I had thought of those as well- a quest could be given a length of time before it fails and the money is given back to the quest creator.
I am sure there is an automated way to do that thru Paypal.
The book thing actually may be harder- becuase we need an actual purpose for each book beyond just a glossary of techniques.
Of course lulu can be done for cost of printing only, I think though the real work is going to be in the editing and desktop publishing side, especially if it will have photo’s and captions. I used to be an editor and I published a Sci Fi and Horror mag so I can help out with that.
But what will the rewards be for contributors besides publishing credits (which look good on Bio’s and Resumes).
Personally I think the first book should be something like:
Creating your first rpg town with Panda3d, Blender, and Gimp.
covers game design and conception (the biggest reason why projects fail)
covers basic modeling, texturing, uvmapping, and eggs.
covers model controls, collisions, and interactions
A book is a good idea - but it must either be a reference book or like jbskaggs proposed, not combined. I think jbskaggs’ idea is the best (currently we don’t really have something like that).
But well, this, along with the “Most Wanted” idea is part of step #88 while we’re still at step #1. We’ll need funding for it, authors, time, etc. - we first gotta find a permanent solution to keep Panda running, then we can worry about cool stuff like a book.
pro-rsoft: Actually the book could be the first step towards a public sort of foundation. It could create some money if we can print it cheap. I did a partial translation of the manual into german already (years ago) and I am willing to do it again. So if we are gonna walk that path, count me in.
Having that ( a product ) as a base for further decissions, it might help getting all the other steps going as well. (like the quests thing).
However, I stopped my efforts because I got no feedback at that time - plus: It was clear, that 1.1 would kill 80% of my work right away. So what we would need for the book to take off is a sort of stable Panda3D release (as proposed only with error fixes). Having new Panda3D releases in between might be a good idea, but it will cause many programs to break - which will frighten/anger newcomers away. Think of a book written for 1.5.4 - the one reading it is using 1.7 and 40% of the code examples doesn’t work any more because a import statement was changed.
But yea, this would mean again more work for the maintainers/devs to keep two releases up to date…
So thats not such a bad idea to have a “beginners” book. At least not if you could invite schools to use Python/Panda3D for IT classes. There are many things that could be considered. But all of them include a stable Panda3D tree, where the syntax doesn’t change any more.
Without schools I wonder if there will be enough people buying a book about a programming language they don’t know nothing about. - I wouldn’t.
But yea. I am very well aware that this can only be another step while bringing CMU on board in the first place.
I wasn’t going to point this out before I’d actually gotten started, but since the discussion in this thread is moving in this direction, well I’m planning to write a book about Panda in the next year. Specifically, I’ve been thinking for a while about writing a book about developing real-time 3D, and I’ve been finding Panda such a great tool for that purpose that I think I’ll focus on Panda in my book.
At this point I don’t even have a solid list planned out for what material to cover, but I can say that the book I’m planning to write will be geared toward new media artists too rather than only game developers (refer to my website for the kind of work I’m talking about, or processing.org for examples in 2D.) As a result, the list of topics covered will reflect the differing priorities of both these audiences.
So while I’ll definitely be covering many of the items on your list, in many cases I intend to just direct the reader to other books for certain topics (eg. books like The Art of Game Design and Game Design Workshop cover your first point way better than I ever could) and some of the later chapters on advanced topics will reflect the priorities of new media artists more than game developers. For example, new media artists would very much want to know about integrating live video into their 3D environments, but most game developers don’t care much about that, at least not at first.
I’m new to Panda3d, and upon reading through this thread I was a little disheartened at the thought of investing time to learn an engine that’s future is rather uncertain. It seems however that there’s quite a few dedicated individuals that seem to have that Underdog Spirit, tirelessly improving the program and helping others. It’s because of these people that I have made the decision to stick with Panda3d. Pro, Treeform, David, etc… Thank you all for your work and dedication to the community. Hopefully ETC will see that the community is growing slowly but steadily and help you all out.
The only questions I had about the engine is it appears to be lacking networking support and shadows. In regards to networking is that a total lack of support or just Client/Server support. Reason being is I plan to write a turn based game with 2-4 player support over LAN or Internet is this possible? I see shadows in the Student Recreation of “Colossus” so to me I’m guessing they can be faked somehow even if the engine doesn’t support them natively which is good enough for what I’m doing?
Thanks again and I look forward to being part of the Panda community.
What do you all suggest for learning Panda3d. The most current version 1.6.2 or the stable release 1.5.4? Is there any differences between versions say Linux and Windows, as Pro-softr has said the Windows version was lacking.
Actually, Panda has networking support. That’s why it’s called Platform Agnostic Networked Display Architecture. Also why Disney uses it for their MMORPGs.
The only problem is that Panda’s networking modules are barely documented.
Shadows can be done using shaders, I’m working on native shadow support (which is almost finished).
interesting thread. Wanted to say that I’d be more than willing to donate.
Also, as a comp sci student, im getting closer and closer to the point where I’d feel capable of contributing to a major project like this, so if you plan to get more people involved in future, you can count me in.
A common mention in this thread is the outdated documentation. Is there any chance of wikifying it? I’m sure it would get updated quicker if the community had the ability to change it directly. (if this is already there, then I’ve completely missed it).
I have no idea how this works, or the requirements, but could you maybe get a google summer of code student in here? They generally do a pretty good job on specific tasks and could help keep things moving in the interim while the current mess gets sorted.
What exactly is required to maintain the project? I understand from your posts that its tough, but having had to maintain nothing this complicated I have no idea of the tasks needed. how easy is it to separate the tasks, and is it something that could be written as a 23-step instruction manual or does it require knowledge and experience too? I’m going to go out on a whim and say that you can’t just click a build button…
Maybe the best thing to do would be to put all the effort into simplifying the maintenance process? make it as automated as possible, then the most immediate issue would disappear. Of course, this may not be possible…
@JonWayne: 1.6.2, definitely. Only revert to 1.5.4 when there are serious issues (and if there are, report them).
@fynn: Thanks for your offer. New contributors are always welcome.
The manual is a wiki, the login button was just hidden, because we don’t want all newcomers to see it. (Click the tiny blue dot in the lowerleft corner).
Oh, before you edit anything, read the guidelines, please.
GSoC wouldn’t be a bad idea, but I don’t think that works for maintaining too.
I’ve tried to do that as much as I could by automating the distro-building (I don’t have to spend hours in vmware anymore) but if you find a way to automate bugfixing, you’ll be rich in a day.
Making new releases is just a small part of maintaining, it also means fixing bugs, developing requested features, fixing more bugs, making sure everything stays running, fixing even more bugs, making sure that every branch has bugfree stable releases, etc.
We could do it as community, but then we’d need more than one person for it.
JonWayne: No need to feel dishearted. Disney is still putting a lot of effort into the engine. They made clear that they don’t abandon it - even if the userbase disappears. Networking is there, but not too good visible (there is also a manual section about it, I think) - otherwise you can still use the python based networking stuff, which I did. There should be a few examples out there using that. Shadows will be there (afaik) in the (not too distant) future.
fynn: Donations are more than welcome. Be it dedicated time or material. As a (planned) maintainer, pro-rsoft is the best choice to talk to.
To both: Have fun here. Panda3D isn’t dying. This thread tries to avoid that and/by encouraging CMU to take a bit more care about their “duties”. (Hosting is only one of them - at least that one is fixed…)
[size=59]Oh man, the hidden button is hella friggin awesome LOL[/size]
I really wish that this had come up either a year ago, or 6 months from now. Right now, my senior project and school are keeping too busy to be of much more use than answering the few threads that I can. But when I’m done, I’ll be more than happy to take over whatever I can; I’d probably learn more about game development and programming than I did in school. All I can do now is toss money into the community pool (which I would love to do…where’s the link again?).
Good news is that over the past 8 months or so I’ve introduced the panda engine to my school and it’s taken off quite well. We currently have probably about 4-5 project groups all using panda; and the teachers are starting to warm up to it as well. I know of one teacher who was planning on assigning documentation updating homework (I’ll see what I can do to convince them to actually do it, but I feel like something like that would burden pro_s with more work as the real problem wont be solved). Unfortunately, I think the influence is only at our local building, and coorporate/heads probably won’t make any moves in adopting it as a student/educational tool soon; but I can talk to my dean and see if he knows what’s up (btw, not from CMU…but I should probably get permission before saying much more since they’re really stingy on this kind of stuff).
Best of luck in getting a response from CMU
Of course, all donations are welcome. Currently they are kept together to make sure to use them wisely. (means devs asking for help)
Noone wants people to do more than they can. When you are answering forum questions, this helps. When you want to do bug fixing or developing for P3D or WITH P3D, this helps as well. If you can help by donating, then so be it. Just keep the key factor in mind: Have fun. When it ends in being forced to do something, you will stop it sooner or later. And that shouldn’t happen.
I’ll be interested in seeing what CMU says. Hopefully, it will give us some hope that they want to stay involved.
I just found Panda 6-7 weeks ago and already have a semi-working (read: not too crappy ) version of my dream game (despite not being a 3d programmer at all), so I really want this software and community to be around for a while.
If CMU’s on the way out, is there a possibility that another university might be interested? Not even sure how that would happen, but would that be any help?
There is a large amount of discussion generating in CMU ETC corridors now based on this thread. Thank you for useful suggestions, and for all of the heavy lifting and significant work that has been done by pro-rsoft and others since Josh’s departure from CMU in 2008. We are right before a holiday weekend here in the U.S. which will delay further any specifics, but I needed to voice the commitment of CMU to be using Panda3D in upcoming coursework and projects at the Entertainment Technology Center this Fall, the investment of student time and mine to get a few ETC projects (including Crayon3D) detailed more this summer for greater utility by the Panda community through more documentation, examples of use, etc., and hopefully the packaging of materials used by the Building Virtual Worlds here at the ETC regarding Panda streamlined and published back into this forum for the benefit of other users and educators looking for an open source game engine. There is discussion underway on how to further invigorate and sustain the community within CMU. I see some of that here in this thread (nice ideas!). Through the ETC Press, a book publication could be pursued, and I think a newsletter/brag sheet highlighting how the community is advancing would help retain and attract interest. There are numerous individuals at CMU passionate about Panda. That energy needs to be harnessed for the benefit of all. This wake-up call thread will serve as some impetus for that action.