Rebranding - Part 2

(Making a new post, since the older ones got quite outdated)

There is a rebranding planned for panda since a while, and we settled on a new logo already:

Now to come is a new website design, and I’m looking forward to suggestions on how to improve it:

Full resolution:

Also, what do you think are the main advantages of Panda3D, which make it better compared to other engines?

In my opinion we should try to market Panda3D a bit better on the front-page, listing the main advantages for example (and screenhots of course!).

I’m looking forward to hear your suggestions.

It looks pretty good to me. Honestly, I think in the old thread people were just disagreeing on aspects of the style which were based on subjective taste rather than anything objective (like ease of navigation, etc., consistent style with modern OSs and other software and website GUIs). We could disagree on the subjective elements forever, I think you and rdb know what is best.

I’ll provide more suggestions later but for now there are few things:

  1. I believe more than anything Panda needs better assets included both in the images on the website and demos which come with the engine. People always point out that programmers to whom this engine is targeted towards know better, but the fact is human psychology doesn’t work that way, first impression is critical and it is formed by “eyecandy”.
    Back in 2008 I believe there was a discussion in the forum and some points aren’t true anymore, back then we needed to hire an artist or find someone who would contribute for free but today both creative commons licensed assets as well as contributors are not a problem.
    We now have Blendswap, for example:

  2. I don’t think I offend anyone by saying the decade old photos in the Gallery do more harm than good. Perhaps it will be best to have a “Legacy” or “Old projects” folder and move them there.

  3. Please include the new logo as SVG download like Blender Foundation does for Blender. The artist of the current logo is gone and he has not shared a vector file for the logo so we can’t put a hi res splash of Panda in our games nor can we update on his work. Lets not have that happen again.

  4. Update the contact page. Does Andrew and CMU even use Panda anymore? I haven’t heard from Andrew for years.

It actually works. If you ever tried to get a working version of pyOgre or others (even in other programming languages), panda is a real blessing. Only pygame tops it, but it is more focused on 2D games. The documentation is in the better half as well.

I cannot compare the features, as the aforementioned aspects stopped me from comparing many other engines. But everything seems to be in here, especially considering some of the great projects from the showcase subforums.

As for the website design: I’m really glad there is an intuitive navigation making it easy to find information. Compare it to the “improvement” pygame did.

Great look and feel!

I totally agree. Compared to your page, I would suggest additional “market advantages” for Panda (from more to less significant advantage IMHO):

  1. Easy to develop/maintain (and not only to learn) AND yet powerful: this is the very advantage of Python (compared to the other C/C++ engines) but with the power of C++ ‘under the hood’
  2. Multi platforms (and especially when WebGL will be delivered ‘out of the box’)
  3. Long term support through the active community
  4. Full integrated APIs (Physics / Sounds / AI /…): Panda is not only a 2D or a 3D engine but a complete game engine
  5. Highly configurable and customisable (modify the C++ source / create easily your C++ module to be integrated into your python code)

In addition to that, I think what should be highlighted are the real (and recent) showcases:games published, demos, with some developper’s testimonies (‘Why I chose Panda’), to show Panda as a tool that can be used not only by hobbyists but also by professionals.
Chosing and starting on an engine is somehow complicated and requires a huge investment (at least in time!) for developers: we should reassured newcomers that Panda is a good and long term choice.

I like this logo much more then the last one. The panda needed them ears. Since the logo has all straight lines maybe the letters could be in the same style?

Key features? It’s free. Not free-ish, not a free core with paid addons, not free until you make 1000$…

I’m not 100% sure that all the screens on the new page should be from Tobias’ Render Pipeline. They do look better then anything else I’ve seen, but the RP isn’t official part of p3d (yet), I’m not sure if it’s production ready and that level of ‘awesome’ can be intimidating. Showing that p3d can do both next-gen AAA, simple ‘asteroids’ 2D and anything in between (like pyweek titles) would be nice.

A kick ass community showcase game is something we need, but these kind of projects somehow never get finished.

Well, enough with ranting, it’s good, you have my seal of approval (whatever it’s worth).

[Just lost about 1.5 hour of writing… Starting over because of the login timeout… pfffff. It’s always less good the second time you write something, but I’ll do it anyway! I hope I haven’t forgotten too much of that I initially wrote]

Hi! As some of you know (remember) I just came out of the long process of choosing a game engine. Here are some things that I would have liked to the see in the “about the engine section”, and what I think about different subjects that could interest a newcomer.

Warning: I will repeat many things that some of you already have said!

First of all: Panda 3D is a C++ game engine, using python as the scripting language. C++ is still the most used language in games, and when people will see that panda3d use python, they will use their favorite search engine and look for c++ vs python and get the false impression that python is less suited for making game because it is slower for complex math calculation. So saying that panda3D use the power of c++ under the hood while using the ease of python to create the game will reassure people that they are not learning a game engine limited in power.

When I first started, I wanted to create a game engine from SDL and OpenGL. I quickly became overwhelmed by the effort that would be required to create a basic, low quality game engine. Panda3D take cares of that for me, while not limiting the user. The absence of GUI allow to the user to create his own framework, and many tools exists to ease some tasks (such as the particle panel) [I never looked if there is a good scene editor available for panda3d, but it could really be a big + for the developer that want to manually create a map].

I know that panda3D focus on being really good at some thing rather than okay at many things ( and I really agree!), but I think that mentioning that mobile platform deployment is under way could attract many people. I mean, only take a look at how many game are made for ios and android! More user also mean more contributor to the engine, and more showcase game!

Panda3d can be used to create 2D game as well as 3D games. While the 2D game take place in a 3D world, this approach have the advantage of making a simpler 2D game, while learning a tool that can also be used to create a 3D games (and also allows 3D effect in a 2D game!)

In a more condensed way:
-Panda3d is a C++ game engine, scripted in python.
-Panda3d can be used to create AAA games, as well as simple one.
-Panda3d is 100% free, no catch, no limit, no paid addon.
-Panda3d can be used to create 2D game as well as 3D game.
-It’s open source core allow for unlimited adaptation for the developer’s need
-Panda3d focus on the basic (and more!), allowing the developers to create anything that they want!
-Panda3d’s flexibility allow it to be used in 3D project other than games.
-Panda3d’s allow easy deployment over many platforms.
-Panda3d’s active community keep improving the quality of the engine and up to date with modern graphics capability

On other subjects
-As everybody knows, more showcases are needed!
-The sample front page have repetitions:
“Go ahead and grab it here”
“If you get stuck… … which is very active”
" To learn how to … documentations resources"

And finally, there should be a lot more game sample that people could download and use as a study case. A simple FPS, a simple platformer, a simple rpg, a simple… you get it. But these will come with time. I am new and haven’t got many time, but I would be willing to contribute to this!

Good work on all that you have done, and I really like the new logo!
Sorry if I said some false thing, I’ve written this with the limited knowledge of a newcomer! I am also sorry for my repetition, my bad syntax and worse grammar.
I really like panda3D and I think that these changes could be the start of a new panda3d era :stuck_out_tongue:

Thanks for the extensive feedback! Summarizing your responses, I thought about maybe 3 or 4 sections - maybe like this:

  1. 100% Free to use and Open Source
  2. Power of python - Speed of C++
  3. Easy to use but yet powerful
  4. Runs out of the box

What do you think? Maybe we could also add some feedback qoutes, like ogre3D did on their new website.

I think that cross platforms should really be emphasized (I would say it should be #1 or #2). Looking at the Ogre3D website, this is the first key competitive advantage that is highlighted. Even if Panda is not a mobile platform ‘native speaker’ yet (I do hope it will be become in the next releases), it is a true desktop multiplatforms engine. I think this should clearly be highlighted (with some notes/comments telling that next releases will include these capabilities).

In your item #3, I would probably illustrate “Powerful” by taking the advanced OpenGL / GLSL capabilities since 1.9 (e.g. compute shaders,…). We really should assure people that choosing P3D will not prevent them to unleash the full power of the graphics cards!

Yes - I think this is key. We should probably ask the community for a feedback on their mature projects (I remember at least one game that went to Steam - Signal Ops - [url]Signal Ops - A game that will multiply your perspective.] but there are hopefully other ones) and provide short insights that should be put in the front page.

What I would suggest as section:

  1. Power of python - Speed of C++
  2. Easy deployment over major platforms
  3. Maintained up to date with modern graphics capabilities [by it’s active community]?
  4. 100% Free to use and Open Source

2D mention can be held from this section, but I should be obvious that panda3D is capable of 2D as well as 3D, not only capable-ish.

And I found another recently published game that was made with panda3D: Hidden: On the trail of the Ancients!

I made a fast draft based on the current suggestions:

What do you think? (Besides of the few typos :p)

I will also work on designing a “Feedback” section. Feel free to already leave a small quote (about 3-4 sentences) about your experience using Panda3D (Including your real name would also be nice - You don’t have to, though).

Excellent, thanks Tobias!

Should be mentioned that it is not just a 3d engine, also includes collision detection, several audio, physics and GUI engines and particle system.
Exporters for 3dsmax, Maya and Blender should also be mentioned I think.

Added that (edited the post), thanks for the hint! I’m not sure where one would put the exporters though - I think its better to keep the texts short

Nice work! Out of curiosity, do you have any guess of when the new website could be ready?

I would also, maybe a bit further down the list, that panda is also suited for exhibits and other visualizations

Well it will take some time, especially since I also have to create a theme for the documentation and for the forums (Although plans are to switch to discourse).
Maybe we can time it with the 1.10 release, or even get a prototype out earlier.

Please don’t get this the wrong way, but some sentences could use some rewording. English is probably not your first language, not5hing wrong with that and again I don’t mean to be rude. I’m sure rdb could reword some parts.

Had to point out the irony in jest :smiley:

Shame Jekell or something similar couldn’t be used, make contributing to the site as simple as a pull request.

Updated the page, also added some dummy testimonials.

You are right about that, and I’d be happy to accept any corrections :stuck_out_tongue:

I’m sure rdb is better for that