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.
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: