Vector’s are one of the most used tools in games. At first glance it might seem like there is a lot of magic that goes into them but actually they are very simple structures.

Here is an example of a two dimensional vector:

1 | Vector A: 0, 2 |

Vector A: 0, 2

It only has two pieces of data! 0 is the position on the x-axis, 2 is the position on the y-axis.

If we take another two dimensional vector:

1 | Vector B: 1, 4 |

Vector B: 1, 4

We can have a look at some of the basic operations, add and substract.

Addition:

A + B

1 2 3 4 5 | 0, 2 + 1, 4 = 1, 6 |

0, 2 + 1, 4 = 1, 6

If you read it column by column you can see that it just adds the x of the first vector to the x of the second vector and on the other set of numbers it adds the y’s together.

Substraction:

A – B

1 2 3 4 5 | 0, 2 - 1, 4 = -1, -2 |

0, 2 - 1, 4 = -1, -2

This is really how simple vectors are at their heart. In Part 2 we will look at how the length of a vector is calculated and what different types of vectors there are.