I am a C++ programmer. Currently I am searching an engine to prototype some game. My company can’t afford to pay 250000 for AAA grade engine (at least before the prototype is created), so I am evaluating some free and low-price engines. That is how I’ve heard about Panda3D. I’ve heard it is easier to use this engine, than some C++ engines, but I am not sure and have some questions. I would appreciate much, if someone answers them.
Performance. Can anybody give me a link to some hi-end demo, that renders hundreds of thousands vertices at once, or shows tens of animated characters? I would like to know how efficient Panda is and how it’s performance compares to other C++ engines.
About Python. It may be ridiculous question. I ask, because I know nothing about Python. If one creates some game, using Panda 3D, will it require python at runtime? I mean that DOS window that appears when one runs engine samples - is there any way to not show this window?
Ease of use. I wander how using Panda may shorten development time? I’ve downloaded engine and can’t find any level/map editor, model viewer, or similar programs, that is must have for modern game SDK’s. I revied many engine, such as TGEA, ORGE etc. Currently I consider Irrlicht best free/low price engine - it has clear architecture, it is easy to use, has alot of capabilities. It lacks some features, like network support or pathfinding (by the way, Panda lacks those features too), but those may be added as free libraries. Besides, Irrlicht has sufficient level editor and it supports alot of 3d/2d formats. So, I simply can not see how creating game with P3D (which even has not world editor) woud be easier. Can anybody give an example, what makes using Panda easier?
Thanks in advance
I can assure you that performance really relies on the programmer, not the engine. Panda provides thousands of optimization tools, performance analyzers, and functions that can help you to squeeze every microsecond out of your app.
It will require Python at runtime, unless you pack your application into an exe (using tools like py2exe, pyinstaller or Panda’s own tool packpanda)
You can easily hide the DOS window (use pythonw instead of python or save your game with the pyw extension).
I don’t really have an example, but I must say that it’s very easy to use panda. There’s not an official scene editor (at least - not anymore) but there’s one in development (and already working) here: discourse.panda3d.org/viewtopic.php?t=5330
But if you’re working for panda you’ll find that you’ll not really need a scene editor - panda makes it quite easy for you. There are even functions enabling you to in-game place your models as you want.
At Carnegie Mellon’s Entertainment Technology Center, Panda3D is used to let inexperienced students create 3D games within 2 weeks, and it’s surprising how much they can do within those two weeks. (There’s a youtube channel showing some of these games. they are not commercial quality but hey, dont expect too much from 2 weeks work)
There are also several commercial game developing companies that use Panda3D (Disney being one of them)