GDC is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Use the GDC 2021 Session Viewer to browse and sort the ever-growing list of sessions by pass type, topic, and format. You will be able to build your personal schedule directly within the event platform, once live early July 2021.

Math In Game Development Summit: The White Box Black Box: Demystifying BSP

Christopher Forseth  (Professor of Practice, SMU Guildhall)

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Summits Pass

Topic: Programming

Format: Session

Vault Recording: TBD

Constructive solid geometry (CSG) is a powerful and intuitive geometric algebra with a wide variety of applications in 2D and 3D games, and Binary Space Partitioning (BSP) is a common and powerful data structure for implementing CSG. In this talk we use BSP to implement a 2D level editor using a CSG system, providing intuitions for the construction and aliasing of BSP Trees and complex polygonal geometry.


Attendees will leave with a greater understanding of BSP trees and how to use them for constructive solid geometry in level building and mesh manipulation.

Intended Audience

Gameplay, engine, and tools programmers looking to improve their understanding of BSP trees and gain better intuitions about how and when it is useful in level building and mesh editing. Attendees should have a basic working knowledge of simple data structures (pointers, trees), geometry (polygons), and linear algebra (vector, dot product).