I’m happy to announce that a new release of the Panda3D SDK is available. This is a highly recommended upgrade that addresses a number of crashes, bugs, and minor usability issues. There are a few things that will be highlighted in this post, but you can go straight to the download page to read the full release notes or to try out the changes right away.
Of particular note is that the deployment system now works correctly with the most recent version of pip. Shortly after we released Panda3D 1.10.5, the pip authors released pip 20, which had changes that were incompatible with our deployment system. We have remedied this, and you should now be able to use any (recent) version of pip.
It is now possible to procedurally create morph target (shape key) animations from Python. Previously, this was difficult due to the fact that a few classes were not properly exposed to Python. The panda3d-gltf plug-in can already take advantage of these changes to support loading morph animations from glTF files.
The collision detection system behaves slightly differently when processing collisions against visible geometry. There is a system in place to handle the special case of colliding with sharp (convex) corners, but it was only being activated when using pre-generated collision geometry, and not when colliding against visible geometry. This has been remedied in the new release, so that the system behaves the same regardless of whether the collision geometry has been pre-generated or generated on the fly.
On X11-based systems, like Linux, the keyboard input handling has been improved. Previously, keyboards with dead keys (like the US International or French keyboard layouts) would not allow inserting accented characters correctly. Furthermore, raw input events were not always behaving exactly as expected, and
base.win.getKeyboardMap() had no way to identify keys with accented characters. All these issues have been remedied; keyboard input should now properly take the X input method into account, and otherwise behave more similarly to how it does on other platforms.
There are many other changes in the new release. To see the full list, see the release notes on the download page.
We’d like to take this opportunity to remind you that the PyWeek 29 challenge starts this weekend! If you feel like challenging yourself or giving your game development skills some practice, you might consider giving it a go. Check out the PyWeek website for more information.
Google Summer of Code
This week, the application period for the Google Summer of Code 2020 has opened up. We are once again participating this year, so if you or someone you know is interested in signing up, contact us in the Discord chat to discuss a proposal for Panda3D! Just keep in mind that the deadline for proposals is March 31st, and proposals should ideally have been discussed with mentors well before that date.
Check out our ideas page for possible projects that can be taken on. It is also possible to make an entirely different proposal, though we recommend talking to the mentors about that first.