Welcome to the forums, MJ-meo-dmt! We look forward to seeing what you’ll be making with Panda3D.
Hi there, I’m also new. I’ve known about Panda3D for a while but never downloaded it until today. All I can say is brilliant! I love multi-platform development (I’m someday hoping to develop games for Linux/OS X), and I believe this is the perfect tool for the job!
It’s definitely different from what I’m used to; I’m using it with Python and I must admit that it’s kind of tough to transition from BASIC to Python. The good news is that some of it seems really similar to C# which I’m also learning (for game development on the Xbox 360), so that’s helping a lot.
One of the examples that’s helping me the most is the cartoon shading example. It explains so much!
I’ve been using P3D for less than four months. The first thing I like to do with a new Engine is all the little things.
[b]Things like finding out how the memory management is going to work (which is a big thing).
Testing the particle system’s render speed and if it’s too slow, then write my own particle code.
Determine if the engine can handle a dozen Avatars on the screen at one time or not.
Find out how to do all the basic API stuff, like moving around, loading and destroying resources and play/stop animations.[/b]
I like to find out how to do things cheaply right from the start. For instance, Collision Geometry is expensive. I knew there had to be a better way to do it and there was, exporting collision geometry tagged as barrier.
It’s common practice for commercial game artists to create a collision level for the game level they model. Of course that collision level is done very cheaply.
I had a friend of mine create me some cheap characters, because I’m not the best graphic artist around. I then modeled a full scale outer environment, as cheaply as possible. I made sure my textures were not too big and correctly sized (wxh).
I even attach and detach collision barriers from render as they are needed or not needed, so the number of collision solids in the scene that need to be check is always at an all time low.
So far, I’ve been able to get one 10K model and three 5-7k models on the screen, animated and keep perfect on the fps (or close enough).
When I add a forth 5-7K model, for a total of four 5-7k models and one 10K model, my frame rate falls around 40ish. By model I meant Actor.
I understand P3D is currently built more for single core processing, but rather or not P3D’s handle on animated vertices is up to par with that of commercial game engines… I don’t know.
At the same time, I understand a lot of processes are happening all the time on a PC. Therefore, you can’t really expect a PC game to push like a console game, unless the PC is ‘over powered’, by hardware.
A console dedicates itself to running a game, when a PC has to dedicate to everything and the OS processes will always remain in Ram.
I still wouldn’t mark that fact as a cause for any PC game losing fps on a modern day PC. I’m just bewildered by some of these PC games that run at or close to a perfect frame rate with a dozen or more high detailed models on the screen.
You can argue and say those models are like my 5-7k models, cheap and high detailed textured, but if you look at the outline of a character, you can tell. A high detailed, but low polygon character will not look super smooth around the edges.
I’ve played games with numerous animated character on screen and they were all modeled with enough vertices to look smooth on the edges, and the frame rate still hits 60.
Panda3D seems like a cool engine to try out, but I don’t know if it’s something to continue to use in the long run.
Unless a version does come out that lets you take advantage of multi core PCs and truly double or tripple your frame rate easily. That will not help users of single core PCs, and I’m in favor of developing from single core up.
But anyway, Welcome!
Hope you have more success with P3D than I have had. I wish there were more full commercial like games made with P3D other than POC and T. Town. There’s that one game which had a vampire as the lead character. I saw it at gamespot and seen some videos of it on Youtube.
I wouldn’t expect a copy of that to still be around for download. POC’s frame rate is awful! But it’s an old game, so it can’t justify anything with the current P3D. I haven’t tried toon town.