Hello, a newbie introducing himself

Hi panda3D community

I am new to this engine, but so far, it is working really well for me. I got all the tutorials done without to much of a problem. I have been using Reality Factory for some time, but i wanted to broden my horizons a bit. this is the first time i have ever used python, C++ is a whole lot easier, but im still having fun learning python. I wanted to ask, what modleing programs are compatible with this program. And, from what ive seen, alot of the games made with panda are educational games, or younger persons games. Is it possible to make a more indepth game? What my goal really is is to make a WWII combat flight simulator. Is this possible with this progam?

Anyhoo, im happy to be here!

Welcome to the community, Ryan!

About your question, Blender3D is a free, powerful and compatible 3d modeler. It has a great and actively maintained exporter for Panda3D: Chicken.

And making a flight simulator in Panda3D is very good possible. Take a look in the showcase here, some others have also posted some screenshots about flight simulators.

If you already have a favorite modeling program, see if it can export to Direct3D (.x) files. Pnada3D can not only read his own Format (.egg) but also the Direct3D format.

As for the WW2 Combat flight sim… it’s possible.
You can even make it look pretty good if you know how to use/write CG shaders.

Many of us already attempted to write flight sims (including me), so there’ll be enough informations on this forum to get you started and help you with some basic problems like:

-how to rotate the camera/model correctly in 3D space
-implementing a Radar
-network support
-collision detection
and in your case (since you’re making a WW2 flight sim, not a space shooter)
-terrain generation

Well where would i start? Should i get a few models built, and put them in the game. To make terain, would i make a terain mesh? I am really lost. Where do I start? Also, i downloaded blender, and the Chicken plugin. I noticed i could import 3ds formated meshes into blender. I have been using a modeling program for going on 3 years now and I have become extremely good with the program. The only thing is, is that it only exports 3ds format. Would i be able to build a model in this program, export it into blender as a 3ds then export it from blender into an egg format and use it in panda3D?


I really hope i dont sound like a grubby noob :unamused:

Hello, and welcome.

So you want to make a WWII combat flight simulator. It is certainly possible. Panda3D is not specialized on any particular game genre. But such a task is certainly not done in two or three weekends. Perhaps you should first try something more simple to get familiar with the engine, something without combat, perhaps a game where you are walk around and collect items.

This is my opinion:

Do not start making models.
Do not start finding out how to implement paging terrain.
Do not start with flight dynamics.

Take a big (and I mean big!) pile of paper, several pens, and (assuming you are old enough) some spirits of your taste. I prefer vermouth.

Then make up your mind about what your game should look like and be like. The technical term for this is design document. Writing a design document takes more than one or two hours! I think I have seen a post here on the forum with an example of such a document. By IPKnightly if I remember right.

You should start with writing down what the aim of your game is. Just a few examples of questions you should ask yourself:

Will it be mission based? Will there be a score system? Mission goals or points for killed enemies? Where does a session start? On the runway, the briefing room, or already airborne? Will you allow the player to choose between different airplanes? What will be the enemies? Fighter, bomber, ships, buildings, how many? How much flight realism do you want (since you want a “WWII combat flight SIMULATOR”)? What controls do you need? Which input devices? Configurable input? What kind of damage system for the player craft / enemy craft? Simple 100% “health” that decreases with every hit. Or separate damage for every system in the plane, e.g. gears jammed, fuel leaking, aileron damaged, radar dead (um… forget the last, WWII planes didn’t have on-board radar if I am right). What weapon systems in your plane? Ground based anti-aircraft guns? Enemy AI?

Then, when you are settled with the game itself, you should think about what you game should look like. Cockpit view or “shoulder view” (not wise for a combat game :-), HUD or panel, 2D or 3D panel? What instruments on the panel? A different panel for each plane your player can fly, or a generic one? Simple sky or realistic weather effects? Terrain is certainly required, but how much (how far will your aircraft fly)? What details levels? Buildings and vegetation? Or just a heighfield with orthoimages as texture?

When you are done with the brainstorming, put everything in a structure and write it down. Now you are ready to start playing around with Panda3D. Pick one bullet from your design document and find out how to do this with Panda3D (or other libraries you might use for e.g. joystick input or flight dynamics).

For example the instrument panel. Learn about Panda3D’s GUI system, search through the forum (the “Jungle Engine” has a nice compass for example :-). When you are pleased with your results keep it for later use. Then (probably on the next day or week) pick the next bullet, and so on. Might be you have to adapt your design document while you learn Panda3D.

Finally, when you have all the pieces together, write your game. It won’t be difficult now.


Thanks enn0x for the tips. Im looking forward to learing panda 3D. like i said, this is the first time I have ever used Python. And im really confused. I know i really cant do anything in panda3D without learning python so how would you guys suggest learning python?

There’s at least one member of this Forum who learned Python together with Panda3D.
Believe me, Python is an easy to learn language with modules for almost every purpose.
To learn Python itself I would suggest to read the beginner tutorials on http://www.python.org

If you have ever written something in a script language like Basic and already know how to write code in C++, then Python really is easy to learn.
But if you’re more comfortable with C++ you can use Panda3D in C++, too.

Well, for learning Panda itself… you know what kind of game you want to write. So I suggest you should do what ennox said. Do some brainstorming on your game.
After you know what your game should be like read over the index of the Panda3D manual and try to find out what you’ll need to write your game.
Then read the manual about those topics and write some code with what you learn to get a feeling for the code (you don’t have to start writing your game at this point, just play around).

Of course you’ll need to read everything about loading/manipulating models/actors, so you can start with the first point in the manual.
You’ll need tasks and event handling (important for everything from counting the time, getting keyboard input, up to custom events)
DirectGUI and collisin detection should also be on your priority list.

When you already got textures on your models, you won’t need to read everything about texturing for now… But if you want decals (read: bulletholes where you’ve hit something) you should read that section at some point.
And of course shaders. They can change the way your game looks. Adding shadows, glowing stuff, even water surfaces and some skybox effects, lighting and so on, everything will improve with some good shaders.

So I would start to learn the things that are most important for the game logic. First you want your game to work, then you want it to look good.
When I started learning Panda3D to write my space shooter it took me about 3 weeks to have a working proof of concept with network support.
(though I’m not writing a single player game, I’m writing a pure multiplayer game without bots)

Sound of course is an important topic…

oh… when it comes to outdoor grafic stuff… there is one recource on the web you shouldnt miss:
providing nice articles like
no need to read it but might come in handy in case you hit a specific problem with outdoor grafic :slight_smile:

Thanks ennox, for the VERY structured Game Development tips…I can certainly use them.

A newbie question here…What is the IRC channel for panda…and how does one join. I have never used IRC or anything of messenger type stuff.

To join the IRC:

connect to irc.freenode.net
and join the channel #panda3d by typing:
/join #panda3d
If you’re new to IRC, I’d suggest reading some basic IRC tutorial. (google for it)

oh btw. you need to be registered to freenode before joining #panda3d by doing:
/msg NickServ register (your_password_here)
replace (your_password_here) with any password of your choice.
To ‘login’ or identify each time you connected with your nickname, type:
/msg NickServ identify (your_password_here)
When you do this make sure you are using the same nick as the one you registered with.