Benefits of Panda?

Hello, A friend and I are planning on making a multiplayer 3d game, but there is some dispute as to which game engine we should use. I know python, he knows java, I would prefer to use Panda3d yet he would prefer to use JmonkeyEngine. Please can somebody explain some of the positives and negatives of panda. Thanks.

I think a great advantage of Panda is official Python integration, like JMonkey is great for Java programmers.
I think you should first decide which one of you will sacrifice himself into using another programming language.

The main disadvantages of Panda3d are:

  1. It’s for programmers. No scene editor included like in jmonkeyengine. Most of us made our own or use Blender and Maya, because Panda’s 3d format allows to store custom properties in the files.
  2. Not many shader effects bundled.

Those are the only disadvantages I see.
Other than that you get everything you need, with official bindings for other game-related libraries and the rapid development speed of Python.

Some projects using Panda:

Thanks, thats great. We also intend to deploy our game on linux, mac, and windows, and having our game run on low-end PCs is also something we would require (ideally). So how fast is panda on low-end hardware?

You might expect it to be slower than the rest on low end hardware because of the Python interpreter (if you do use it with Python that is), but it didn’t seem like it by my tests.

The slowest harware I tried it on was a notebook from 1998 with 900 mhz cpu, 256 mb ram and 32 mb vram (some old vooodoo gpu or something). It supported only DirectX7, so I could only run with software renderer. I got around 20 fps with the “Roaming Ralph” sample. I think that’s pretty good for software renderer and such a hardware.

So yeah, any PC that can at least run DirectX8 can run Panda at reasonable speed.

On fairly low end (Athlon xp @1.6GHz, 1GB ram, GF6200) the samples run at 60fps. My own project (per pixel lights, normal gloss and glow mapping, shadows, 3 lights, 10-20k triangles terrain, one or two 7-8k animated characters, post-process bloom) runs at 1024x768 at about 24-30fps… but then again with some advanced shader-hocus-pocus it can drop to 0.3 fps.

I wanted to compare that with JmonkeyEngine, but most of the demos on their page did not run at all (terrain test runs @50-70fps, the demo with shooting a ball at a brick wall @ 1-20fps).

Right, interesting. So what makes it faster than jmonkey? They use just-in-time compilation dont they? Isnt that supposed to be faster than both interpreted and compiled code?

Panda is written in C++ with official Python wrapper, jmonkeyengine is written in Java. Although Java is faster than Python, it’s slower than C++.
When you use Panda with Python, it’s still running the C++ part in the end.

I don’t think jmonkeyengine is too slow though.

Right, thanks then everyone, now I have some good ideas about each enigine, I think we will end up going with jmonkey because it is feature rich and can do pretty much everything panda can do, and my buddy already knows more java than i know python. Cheers everyone, maybe ill come back one day!