It has been over 10 years since Issue 7! This is a real testament to the now 2 decade old Panda3D game engine. It’s still out there, still maintained, and all of the code in prior issues still works to this day! Lets crack on and complete our arcade shooter game.
We’ll be giving the bad guys pursue, attack, flyby and flee behaviours. How do we do this without all of the bad guys behaving identically? If we’re not careful they will flock together and fall into synchronized movements. Worse, they could be predictable (not much fun for a game!). Artificial intelligence (AI) is an interesting subject. Is the solution smoke and mirrors or do we need to program something “intelligent”?
Time to add the bad guys! Along the way we’ll be doing a bit of audio editing, some image editing and some more neat tricks with inheritance. To finish, we’ll add some new cameras you can switch through while playing using the ‘tab’ key and also get the RADAR on the HUD working. First, the audio editing. In Issue 5 we provided an engine sound you could download for the game. Time to explain how we made it…
It’s time for some housekeeping before the New Year! We’re going to change the design of our code completely in this Issue to support us as we venture forwards in 2011. We’ll also take some time to explain the water we added in Issue 4 and add some sounds effects along with a basic HUD.
Issue 4 already? Time flies! In this one we’re going to do a bit of housekeeping. As a project grows you often need to refactor (rewrite) parts of your code to keep the code scalable and readable. Our approach is what you might consider ‘rapid application development’ (RAD). An alternative approach would have been to sit down and work out the whole game in advance – before writing any code – but the MGF aim is “results, fast” so the more traditional ‘waterfall’ approach is out the window! We want fun while we learn. You’ll also be adding collisions to your game, explosions, gravity, water effects and a bit of camera trickery. As promised in Issue 3 we will also explain and improve the fog, lighting and sky.
Welcome back! In this issue you will learn how to add a sky to your game, add some lighting and some fog. You will create controls for your player and be able to fly around your 3D world, barrel roll, loop-the-loop and more! We’ll also dip into how the camera works and how to control it while also explaining how positioning and transformations work. With a further snippet on performance tuning there’s a lot to cover, so away we go…!
In Issue 2 we will focus on getting your game’s main character (player) into the world you created in Issue 1! In order to do this, we do need to cover some tricky concepts. Issue 2 will be one of the most difficult issues for new developers but we encourage you to persevere, once you have understood the concepts in this Issue life will get easier!
All of the Issues in Volume 1 rely on something called Panda3D. Panda3D is a 3D game engine provided completely free by the Carnegie Mellon Entertainment Technology Center. A game engine is a Software Development Kit (SDK) that takes the pain out of the common tasks involved in game development. For example, Panda3D provides libraries for graphics, physics, lighting, audio, keyboard/mouse/other input and so on. You really would not want to find yourself having to write all of these routines yourself (you’d never finish a single game on your own!). There are other game engines out there but we really like Panda3D due it’s ability to run on Windows, Linux and Mac and its support for Python: