Panda3D and Blender Game Engine - proposal to devs


I appologise if I offend someone with what I am gonna say here. I would like to address my post to the guy named pro-soft mostly. In short, why not to team up with Blender Game Engine, since both panda3d and BGE are open source free ware tools?

Advantages of BGE

  1. built in editor of everything - the blender itself (models, textures, animation, sound, render, baking). You know, it is blender
  2. Immense community (blenderartists is already 50k members)
  3. Bullet physics engine - from my exp physics in panda is A LOT harder to handle
  4. Scripting language is Python
  5. Blender headquaters is in Amsterdam)

Well, that’s basically it. I think both engines have A LOT in common. Both communites can only benefit from merging.

Again, no offence I hope. Thanks for your time!

Some PS. Together with a friend I tried to make a fan game. At first panda was very attractive until we faced collision detection. That was the main reason why I finally switched to BGE. Here is my wip game demo

To me, the biggest differences between BGE and Panda is that BGE is GPL. Nothing against GPL – but by using a GPL license they are forcing game projects that use the engine to distribute as GPL’d. I can tell you this is going to be a turn off to a lot of people.

The only other option is to distribute your .blend source file separate from the game engine player. Commercial interests are not going to like that.

BGE is a child compared to Panda3D. Panda has proven itself as a powerful, easy to learn and usable to industry (disney games, a vampyre story…).

BGE instead only evolved from a rough simulation package which in the beginning was rather designed to fit in animators’ needs and maybe for smaller plays with your freshly created models. the decision about making it a real game engine fell a short time before yofrankie was developed (that was also the time where people started to feel attracted by it). this is why the BGE is very far from being as powerful as Panda3D and fom my personal point of view, using BGE for more than a jumping cube is WAY more complicated than in Panda3D.
the reason why the BGE has so many fans lately, is probably because it’s sharing the community with blender (which i use every day myself, btw) and maybe also because most ppl coming to BGE are skilled modellers, where in the Panda3D community you’ll rather find more coders than artists (althrough many ppl are both).

long text short: “a toy for modellers” and “a professional, industry proofed game engine” don’t have that much in common and there’s not much in a partnetship both engines could profit from by now, IMHO.

I think comparing the two is apples and oranges. BGE is a cool prototyping tool. The idea of crafting game play without leaving the DCC app is very appealing.

What I would like to see is a way to leverage that as a workflow that produces assets that Panda can use. I would like to see a set of panda3d objects that provide a direct analog to BGE’s logic blocks.

Using Blender as an authoring package for more than just 3d objects, but behaviors as well could be great! It would at least provide a quick means to rough out some game design ideas that could then be more fully developed in Panda.

Blender and Wings3d are two great open source modeling tools, i think they should merge!

I respectfully have to disagree with most posts in here, BGE has come leaps and bounds lately. Check the latest build of Yo Frankie! if you will, I haven’t seen anything of such quality produced in Panda. Panda has been used for commercial projects, but I wouldn’t call their visuals cutting edge, so it’s no proof that the tool is ready for any AAA title. Not that I doubt the engine’s ability, I’m just saying that you can’t use “a Vampyre’s story” as a proof of an engine’s production worthiness.

BGE’s development is on-going as there seem to be so many developers on it. The only thing that can actually be a turn-off, is the license which is not very clear, but this will hopefully be resolved the way Panda’s licensing issues were resolved last year.

Blender’s community being active is important in my book, as there are heaps of tutorials\help to guide you through learning the quirks of the program, a common problem with most engines.

By the way I am not a Blender fanboy at all, I just now started learning the software, but I kinda wait for 2.5’s UI overhaul before I really dig into it, as coming from a Maya\XSI background, the UI seems very strange to me. I am however pleasantly surprised by its power and the way its shortcomings are addressed very fast.

As far as the merger proposal, I’d be very happy if I saw something like that happening, but it’s the developers of both engines those who can decide if something like that would be beneficial or not.

Visual quality of a game != quality of the engine.

those 2 things are completely unrelated. despite the fact BGE has matured recently. it’s still far from mature and not even close to what panda is. both serve a different purpose although they can be used to do simmillar stuf.

if you want bleeding edge grafics in panda, get an artist and pay him to make good artwork.

merging the engines makes no sense. if you want to do something you can extend the exporters to support more of blenders functionalities. such as exporting lights, shaders , entire scenes or game-logic.

Sorry but they are very related. A great artist will produce great artwork, but in an engine which does not support antialiasing for example, the same art will look worst compared to an engine where antialiasing is supported. Or in a poor performing engine, his art will have to be compromised for the sake of speed.
I am definitely not the one to compare panda and BGE, I just thought some of the stuff said about BGE were a bit unfair. I also don’t know if a merger is a good idea, as I mentioned before, the developers know what’s best for it and if it makes sense at all.

Well, any 3D engine supports things like Antialiasing, I’m sure BGE does too. On latest CVS, Panda supports coverage sampling too.

I think ThomasEgi is right - it’s up to the programmer or artist to make stuff look good, and not by the engine. Of course, if an engine has such limitations as you said it’s not really going to help, but that’s not true in the case of Panda (probably not BGE either.) If it is, it’s just a matter of requesting and the next major release has it.

OK, now wait a moment I used the BGE for about 2 years before coming to Panda3d (about 3 months ago), there are a lot of partial truths here.

BGE Can:
1.Be the fastest prototyping tool you’ve ever seen
2. Has a powerful (But Documentation Lacking) GLSL Shaders
3. Produce commercial games (With only giving Blender credit)
4. Sorry, ODE, but BGE Physics is unbeatable. (What I mean you can make it happen A LOT faster, and Blender handles most everything for you)

BGE Can’t:

  1. Produce Terrains from heightfields (Huge Performance hit)
  2. Have any GUI whatsoever ( The Workaround is planes in front of the camera, that means olny images you can click on)
  3. Tell you what your game is currently doing (Really annoying, I.E. you have no idea what code is making your game work, and if it suddenly crashes you ahve no idea what went wrong-> Not good for commercial development)

You can probably see why I switched, the main difference is what few things can be done in BGE are made fast; however the tons of things can be done in Panda3d are slightly slower to make. (But Render faster)

I did not expect the topic would grow so fast. However, I believe non of you understand my points

At first, I am not a fan boy of anything. I am a noob who wants his game of dream to be done. I tried several approches. With BGE recently I managed to do something playable.

So, I have impressiom that to understand my points I have to talk to people who HAVE A GAMEPLAY DEMO DONE in their life, and it should be something more or less serious, 3D perferably, not tetris and stuff.

I would ask everyone participating in dicussion here provide links to their WIP with GAMEPLAY!!! It does not matter to me where you did it.

Again, I explain my points.

  1. It is very important that the free game engine has a big community and lots of developers. Otherwise it will die. With the main supporter (pro-rsoft) quitting ( I heard rumors about it like 3 months ago) I beleive Panda development will be extremely slow.

  2. Without proper built-in world/material/animation editor it is really hard to do some complicated. So I thought integrating with Blender would provide panda3d with such a device.

  3. Since both panda and BGE are using Python, it will be very easy for one community (no matter which one) to integrate into another

I think pro-rsoft you consider panda3d as your child, which is probably very much true. You want to “defend” it from others. It explains to me your refusal. Actually, I did not expcet to hear yes, becasue I think you are one of guys I know who just like developing engines, but not games. From what I heard, soon you will start doing the latter and I am SURE you will understand my arguements then.

Some words on BGE at last. Here is a list of BGE game done within this year with maybe 1 or 2 exception. … llery.html These are the best of the best currently. On panda page we see like ~ 10 games done in panda within several years. Please, make comparision and conclusions without biased rumors yourself.

P.S. I am still using both engines for my projects :stuck_out_tongue:

I’ve seen lots of good Panda3D games with good gameplay. I’ve just today played Hypnos’ escape-the-maze-before-the-torch-is-extinguished game and it was really fun. Or ThomasEgi’s gravity hook that was made in minutes.
Those are all very quickly prototyping games and have a fun gameplay.
There are also big mature games written in Panda with good gameplay (Disney’s Toontown and Pirates of the Caribbean Online are the biggest examples of that, I think).
I think you are simply put off by the fact that there aren’t so much games in the showcase that have a nice storyline, because people either tend to focus too much on the art or too much on the programming. It’s really up to the developer to devote time to gameplay.
I’m sure there are BGE games without good gameplay too.

  1. I’m not the main supporter, and I’m not quitting. I’m just no longer going to be the release maintainer. I’ve just been involved in Panda for a year or so - the rest comes from CMU and Disney who have a team of developers working on Panda (while using it in their own games too!)

  2. I agree. I use Blender as world/model/animation editor for my Panda games. There’s a good, maintained pipeline between Blender and Panda and I’m happy that there is. That doesn’t bring BGE in the picture, though.

  3. Slice an apple and an orange in half. Then, try to glue an half of apple to an half of the orange together. The fact that both things are fruits doesn’t make that possible/easy.

Don’t get me wrong as trying to “defend” Panda3D from the evil BGE. Blender is an awesome tool. I haven’t used BGE enough to do an unbiased comparison. But I don’t see how those engines could be merged together. (The apple/orange thing, you know.)

The fact that there are more BGE games than Panda3D games out there is because BGE just has a bigger userbase.

I’ve never used bge but I like panda just fine and not being able to fnd the bugs in your code sounds like a large headache I wudnt want to go through…
I think maybe integrating panda into blender wudnt be a bad idea tho

it really starts to get extremly annoying to repeat this over and over again so i’m skipping it.
if you want to do something improve the blender->panda pipeline.

Am i the only one to think that most the blender stuffs feel incredibly clunky?

But I agree with the Apple/orange analogy completely.

I’ll chime in too, just for good measure.

I’ll repeat what’s been said above: Blender is awesome. No doubt BGE is also similarly excellent.

But, apples, oranges. Really. They might look the same on the outside, but on the inside they are completely different pieces of software, with completely different architectures, and completely different designs.

No one’s saying that Panda and BGE can’t benefit from each other, but they will never merge into a single project. That just doesn’t make sense. But that’s OK; they can remain as separate, mutually-supportive projects.


I think you missed my point, I used antialiasing as a simple example of how an engine’s feature matters in terms of the visual outcome. I did not imply that panda or BGE do not support it, every DX9\OGL engine I know of supports it. There are heaps of features, performance, shaders, etc of an engine that can affect the final visual result.

I actually used antialiasing as my example, cause I used to program in Blitz3D, and no matter how good my work would look in Maya, it would always lose some of it’s visual appeal cause of the lack of antialiasing, and lack of shader support. Now, the same model in Panda would look visually more appealing.

Anyway, you guys are the devs so you know best, if you say it can’t be done, then it quite simply can’t be done, so there is no sense in further discussing the merger proposal I guess.

I see your point, but I don’t see how you are using that point contra or pro BGE or Panda3D or so.

Oh I don’t. I just mentioned this when I was told that visuals are unrelated to the engine.

I am not pro or contra BGE or Panda3D, they are both proven tools in their own right, that’s why I defended BGE, when I read stuff like "it’s a child compared to Panda cause Panda has got the disney games and “a vampyre story”, or that blender is just “a toy for modellers”. I would defend Panda if I read similar stuff on Blender’s forum.