Another panda noob starting out - requesting advise

Hello everybody,

Let me just start with: Wall of text incomming to explain everything in as much detail as I can. The true questions however are summed up at the bottom.

Although it is my first post (and this account has only just been registered), I’ve been reading along off and on for the past couple years. And yes, I too have dreams of grandeur and making my own game, hell I even once wanted to create my own MMORPG. But, that is for another time, another life maybe.

Reading these forums aswell as others have given me the insight to see that, at least at the moment, i’m not ready to start that project. Except maybe in small. So lets skipp the (first)M, the O and the R part, and just go for “MOG” - Multiplayer Online Game. Well, that is to say - I want to start as small as possible.

Now, just so you guys know - I have programming experience. I’ve worked on personal projects for the past 13 years in PHP, C/C++, Python and many others. And that does include actual working and released products aswell as Object Oriented Modular design, Game development and server programming.

Panda3D has caught my eye after looking at a few others like Ogre3d. The relative simplicity and maturity of Panda3D is something that really speaks to me.

I’ve read a lot of documents around game design theory, best practices etc. as well as the “Game design document”. Next to that I’ve also read quite a few manuals, howto’s etc. around different aspects.

That is so far about my personal experience etc. Now onto the actual project.

I want to create a space-based game. Ofcourse not limited to only 1 solar system. The basic idea is a bit like Eve-Online (Though with quite a few chances ofcourse) as I really enjoy that game a lot. I haven’t quite figured the rest out yet, despite dreaming of this for years. I want to make sure that it not only appeals to me but others aswell so I keep making changes :slight_smile:

Now I realise this is still, despite the experience, the “slimming down” etc. that it is still a big project. Next to that (As this is “Yet another hobby project” - the budget is unfortunatly a little… limited.

As such, I feel i’ve reached a point where I cannot continue in good faith without some advise on a few subjects.



  1. Regarding the Game design document - I’ve tried looking (including this forum) but all the links to examples / templates I’ve found go to old pages. do you guys know of any? If so, can you provide some links?

  2. Are there any documents/books in general that, after reading this, comes to mind as a you must read this sort of thing? - I really want to do my research on this but am mostly going around in circles.

  3. What kind of tools do you use (for modeling, building enviroments and creating textures)?

  4. I’ve tried looking but I can’t quite seem to find a how to on creating textures. I know how to apply them once you have them (In blender anyway) but not on how to actually create the textures themselves. Do you know of any good way / howto to learn how to do that? I have especially problems with knowing what shape to use for non-square objects (Cube’s, cones etc. etc.).

  5. When thinking of names for Characters, places etc. - How do you come up with them? How do you make them feel “In-Place”?

I might get more questions down the road but please, if you have any additional tips etc. that are not explicitly pointed to in this post - do post them here.

In the mean time I’ve started to try and get some experience in the fields where I miss them. How ever I ran into a problem.

A) I’ve tried using blender (And succeeded to some extend) to create a 3d model. Using the chicken exporter I can also export it to a .egg file. When I click render frame in blender it also shows correctly however in both pview and a short python panda3d app (Based on hello world) the textures don’t show up. I can do that manually (myTexture = loadTexture(“texture.png”) - .setTexture(myTexture) (From memory so might contain errors :wink:) - but as far as I can tell it is possible to get them to show up with only the model.

Can you guys give any tips on where to look? I’m using blender 2.49 on Mac OSX snowlepard.

Lastly I hope this post shows that I really did think this through. I want this to be a fun experience aswell as teaching. Hence the fact that I already cut it down as much as I could. And yes - Server development is actually fun to me aswell :wink:

If there are any questions let me know.

this should be in “general discussion” but Ill try to throw some answers at you.

  1. Not sure what you are asking here

  2. is a good book I hear. This site could be of help to you

  3. blender for modeling, gimp for textures. As for building environments: I use a “in house” world editor.

  4. If you google around (try “making textures gimp”) you should be able to find some resources

  5. As for names etc, I look at what my game is going to be and use names from other games/books/movies that have a similar time period, location, theme that I am doing

A. I have had this problem too, but I think that there is a way to fix that by editing the egg to include that line (I could be mistaken). For me I like to specify the texture I am using for a model in the code.


  1. for game design, I have this site, but it’s in french :,
  2. you can use sculptris for prototyping your model, then retopo in blender or 3d-coat,
  3. maybe look for digital painting ressources, like this one :,

online game is maybe too much work for a first game project, maybe you can make an old-school shootem’up or platform game (solo).

Hope it helps.

Hi and welcome to the community :slight_smile:

  1. I think everybody here has his own concept about code design. I personally gained a few ideas through watching others’ projects, of which many are open source, but also watching common practices in unity3d, ogre3d, flash and a few others. I think a special Panda3D rule for design is: keep it simple. That’s why Panda offers many things as global variables in Python, I think. You don’t have to stick to that, of course.

  2. There are two books on Panda that were published by Packt Publishing. Also we have a pretty good manual and a few demos and code snippets on the forums. The latter is best resource for any feature you want. If you search for “my game fast” you’ll also find a very neat step-by-step tutorial.

  3. For modelling Blender, for environments the same and textures are done in Gimp or Photoshop. For both programs there are add-ons that help you make normal-maps out of bumpmaps. If you need procedural textures, it’s best to bake them in your modelling program and export as simple image.
    Many third-party programs offer automatic generation of specular maps or gloss maps etc. The good thing is that all textures are pretty unbound from the game engine. You can create your maps with whatever you want and they’ll work in any game engine.

  4. Unwrapping UV maps is a topic for its own. Best is to search for that. There are also many video tutorials about this. For realistic models you’ll need photographic resources. is the best site I know that has huge amounts of good photo textures. Other than that there are hundred, of which some are commercial. In worst case, get a cam and make photos yourself :slight_smile:. This will also help you get an eye on materials in general.

  5. Mythology always has been a good resource for fantasy and middleage settled games. And I’m not only speaking about greek and roman, but also about egyptian, middle-african, mesopotamian, asian and whatnot. For other genres you have to simply dive into books and papers about the topic.

A) Beside Blender 2.4x with chicken you can also use Blender 2.5 and 2.6 with the new exporter you can find on the forums. It’s called “yet another blender egg exporter” :smiley:
Make sure you set up your textures relative to the egg files and the textures need to be where the paths in the egg are pointing to. You can simply open the egg file with a text editor and search for the texture path. It should be somewhere on the top of the file.