Please sell me on Panda3D

Hey all,
Can you help sell me on Panda3D or point me in the direction you think I should go?
I a programmer by trade (SQL / Cold Fusion / JavaScript) who is interested in making some games.
The games I want to make are Tower Defense (like Desktop Tower Defense) and Turn Based Strategy (Master of Magic) type games.
I have little C++ knowledge and would prefer to keep my efforts in the Script / SQL realm (I don’t want to have to compile anything if I can help it).
All my current game ideas involve Hexagon shaped areas (If not Hex Tiles then all game pieces snapping to a Hex grid overlay). The problem I am running into is that any game engine I have played around with does not have scripting functions that play well with Hex Grids.
Do you think Panda3D would work for me? Would A7 and lite-C work better? Am I going to have to brush up on my C++?

Thanks for your time,

welcome to the panda3d community!

you’r lucky -> you dont have to use c++.
and before i continue i wanted to say… i doubt that Gamestudio will do a better job in your case.
with panda, you usualy write your game in python. it’s an easy language, yet VERY powerfull. you could even write your own 3D-email-reader application with it. since you know c++ already you should be able to use python within a few hours.
i think i’ve already seen a few hexagon-tile-based things on the forum.
in any case i see no reason why panda would not be able to handle it.
TowerDefense sounds like a reasonable easy concept to get started with panda,too.

if you have specific questions, feel free to ask.
to get started with panda, make sure to read the “absolute beginner thread” which is a sticky. aswell as the manual (on the top of the page), and the examples which come with the panda installation.
some basic python beginner tutorials are also recommended before starting with panda.

as i thought. treeform once experimented with tiles.
have a look at this
it contains a small python script to create a hexagon-tile-based map.

Has anyone attepted a Tower Defense or CIV type game useing Panda3D yet? If so can you toss me any hints, tips, or script snippits that might come in handy?


afaik there are no tower-defence shnippsets for panda.
but since towerdefence is a pretty easy concept you should know how to get there just by working through the tutorial and examples.
there you’ll learn how to:
load and position models,
animate creeps,
do collision tests,
create motion path and use intervals,
how to pick and place objects (for building new towers),
how to check the distance between 2 nodes (so you can tell if a creep is in range of a tower)
and pretty much everything else you need.

a tower-defense example is indeed something which would be a quite nice addition to panda’s already existing examples.

Thomas knows what i did more then i do…

All libs will require to write your own hex map tools … i remember reading about hex maps before. The biggest problems is that there is 101 ways to represent them ~ each way has its benefits and trade offs.

The script above just places them in hex like positions it has no functions for pathfinding, distance calculation, storage and the like. But good news is that all of those problems have been solved you just have to find the solution and code it up in the way that works best for you.

That is what I thought. joy

I have been using Gamemaker to test out concepts and it worked rather well for Hex maps. I was able to dynamically create the map out of bitmap tiles. Because each tile was it’s own object I was able to handle the co-ords system just by referencing the X / Y co-ords of the Hex objects were in. Would this work in Panda3D as well?