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.
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: