Wolfsbane

Panda2 Editor: Editing/Adding Assets

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Hi team, 

I'm quite interested in the PandaEditor. However, I'm having some trouble using it.

I'm using the latest version (Downloaded yesterday). 

Here's the assets tab:

image.png.0afc806814f6f6a9bfca85efefcd8928.png

 

Now: How do I add more assets? I've tricked clicking, right clicking, ctrl+click, etc. So it seems that the asset view is just that.. a view? Or am I missing something?

I want to either

1: Be able to select assets for editing. (opens with Editor of my choice).

2.  I would be happy with at least being able to open the file explorer directly to the assets folder from PandaEditor. I had to open file explorer myself, and navigate out to the folder.

Cheers!

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Hi @Wolfsbane Welcome to Panda 2 forum!

Currently there are few things you can do on assets tab:

- Preview assets by moving your mouse over the filename ("Preview assets" must be turned on from settings)

859964729_ScreenShot2018-07-11at7_58_27.png.db4e8ec4d5c9c68c7387e9ddb728f601.png

- Add new assets with the + button in bottom right of the sidebar

104715374_ScreenShot2018-07-11at7_59_03.png.44738447ac7d3977eb0e6607f2b60e16.png

- Add new "game.addAsset('filename.png');" line to the code editor with correct filename, if you click on the asset while holding down Alt-key.

1915861775_ScreenShot2018-07-11at7_59_58.png.58a18c4f182c47697960cf4b76c000e9.png

I have just added few more features that will be in the next 1.6.0 version:

- Click on asset to open it in the default program for that file type.

- Click on asset while holding down Shift-key to open that folder in your file explorer

Thanks for your suggestions!

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Thank @enpu, thanks for your welcome. :) Happy to be here. 

Where do I find settings? I intuitively expect to see it either under Window,  Editor, or maybe File on the menu bar. 

Quote

 Add new "game.addAsset('filename.png');" line to the code editor with correct filename, if you click on the asset while holding down Alt-key.

A nice feature! 

Quote

I have just added few more features that will be in the next 1.6.0 version:

Sounds great.How are updates rolled out for PandaEditor, I would re-download with every release, or does it update itself?

 

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You can find Settings button from the top bar when you have Projects list visible (so if you have project open, you have to close it first).

2125864174_ScreenShot2018-07-11at8_37_46.png.9cb7b096cf2bc6119647d57282c4fe89.png

In 1.6.0 version Settings button will be visible also when project is open, and i have added Settings button to Window menu also (and also keyboard shortcut).

843674099_ScreenShot2018-07-11at8_38_58.png.4825168d6a205bdf089e6b26de723e5e.png

For editor updates, you would have to re-download it from the website.

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Got it, thanks! Once I'd opened a project I just kept it open... so I missed it.  Also, I saw my version number (I'm 1.5.0, which you know already, but I'll leave here as a reference.)

While I've got you here.. is it o.k. if I go a little offtopic? It seems there are no good examples to try out with the free version? I've had a good dig around on the website.

The tutorials page has a getting started (for displaying a sprite), and then a short video tutorial.(which is good)

The examples page is really nice, I love this style of dynamic documentation, but it's code snippet examples only, rather than sample/tutorial game.

The Templates page is much closer to what I'm wanting to see. But I have to have the license to download? Is there not a couple of sample projects I can take a look at (as a new user) to get a better idea of the workflow with this tool, how the debug features feel in a real level, etc, etc?

 

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Once again really good suggestion. Maybe i should make at least one template available for all users, and add note about it at the trial download page and also in the getting started tutorial.

I'm thinking about "Flying Dog" template, it is simple enough, but includes usage of classes like Physics, Particles, TilingSprite etc.

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Yes, I'd like that! If I was to suggest, I'd think about maybe making all those templates free, to be honest. I used GameMaker a long time ago to make games, and they included about 5 or so examples with the install. The community would grow a lot simply with a lot of users asking the most simple questions on how to change the examples to do X. 

And of course, with the community growing, all the members made their own examples, tutorials, books, etc, so I think you'll find that the really fundamental templates will become a bit redundant once the community for Panda2 grows a bit.

But in saying that... this was a long time ago! Now when I check Gamemaker (and unity, construct seem similar) it looks like there are asset stores, where everyone can buy/license, etc. So you might not be wrong on this one.

I'm also curious for the justification for the large price tag? $200 is a lot of money. Not saying the tool is not good(it seems fantastic so far), but just curious if it's priced to how you see the market, or priced based on the work/passion you've put into it?

If it's priced based on the work you've done, and your current costs, fair enough. I 100% support you getting paid.

But, as a market comparison, GM-S for HTML5 is $150 for a permanent license. (I ignore Construct, as I prefer one-time purchase tools as a rule). That's cheaper for a tool that's already quite mature, with a big support community and company backing it. I'm currently scoping Panda out for personal use, but if I was scoping this for any kind of team project, it's really tough to pick Panda in this regard.

(If you're curious why an old-time GM user is looking at the more expensive Panda over GM-HTML5, then there's a few reasons: 1: I love light-weight, simple editors, and I've been stuck with editors that get more and more complicated everyday. 2: it suits me more to work with an industry language like Javascript, rather than GML, and 3: I've built my own simple HTML5 game engine(currently not nearly as well engineered compared to Panda), and some of the issues with workflow, etc, made actual development of games more difficult than it should have been. I appreciate how the Panda2+Editor is designed.. it's not a full-blown Game-Dev suite but it's lightweight with a good design. But I'm not at the point where that's $200 worth of reasons..

 

 

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I have now made Flying Dog template free to download. Also i updated the template to latest engine version and added comments to the source code.

https://www.panda2.io/templates#flyingdog

About templates, i did think about it when i started to publish them, that if i should make them all free to download or not. Few years ago in the first version of Panda (which was only the open-source engine) i did have templates free to download, and i started to see people just downloading them and releasing them on app stores. I also think that they will attract people to purchase the license? Once the collection of the templates will grow, i will sure turn more templates to free to download.

About prices, in the start there was only one license option, lifetime license for $99. But since i'm working more and more to add more content for download (plugins, templates and assets) i thought that it would be better for me in long-term to have a subscription license also available, and that would maybe allow at some point for me to do this fulltime. I changed the lifetime license price to higher, because i thought nobody would get the annual license if the lifetime would be just 2 times more expensive? I do agree that maybe $199 was too high (though i have already sold some), but then it also leaves some space for discounts which i post pretty often.

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Hi @Wolfsbane @enpu

These are just my thoughts, but here I go ...

Panda 2 is still a 'diamond in the rough'. The flexibility / support / super simple device testing / plugins and so on, are in my opinion unrivaled.

I know that some people will say that other engines have the same features, but, I've been there and tried them all - and no, they don't (at least not to the same standard).

I have absolutely no issue with paying $200 (lifetime license) for a quality piece of software like this, especially when there is also a very cheap annual option.

Some of the engines I have bought licenses for, at one time or another, include Gamemaker, MMF 2.5, Construct 2 and 3, Stencyl, Gideros , Corona, Flash + I have tried many other open source engines like Phaser, Godot and so on.

I understand why people use Gamemaker / Unity etc. to make games, but if they experienced the smooth workflow of Panda, they would not look back.

Everything just works ... full stop. If there is a bug, it's fixed in a matter of days (even hours in a lot of cases). You seriously could not ask for any better.

I realize that some of my opinions are subjective, but one thing stands - Panda 2 is an extremely high quality engine and worth every cent I've paid for it :)

 

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That's fast work, thanks!

Quote

About templates, i did think about it when i started to publish them, that if i should make them all free to download or not. Few years ago in the first version of Panda (which was only the open-source engine) i did have templates free to download, and i started to see people just downloading them and releasing them on app stores. I also think that they will attract people to purchase the license? Once the collection of the templates will grow, i will sure turn more templates to free to download.

Doesn't that just mean the engine was more accessible for novice developers? If you're not getting that now, I'd have thought that simply meant removing the free templates raised the barrier of entry. (or were these simply rip-off artists?)

How do you see the templates going in the future, is this something 

Quote

 But since i'm working more and more to add more content for download (plugins, templates and assets) i thought that it would be better for me in long-term to have a subscription license also available, and that would maybe allow at some point for me to do this fulltime.

Right, that's fair enough. I don't know what happened to me, but I think Patreon is a great idea, but if someone tries to subscription model on my software then suddenly I am not a happy-chappy. 

As I said.. no problems with you getting paid, so I'll keep checking it out, and see where I go from here.

Quote

I understand why people use Gamemaker / Unity etc. to make games, but if they experienced the smooth workflow of Panda, they would not look back.

 

Hey @Ninjadoodle, @enpuwe might be getting off-topic here, but would you like to share a quick outline of your workflow with Panda? So playing around, it looks like I'd need something like TexturePacker for my sprite sheets. And you just use Tiled for levels?, or do you just build an editor for each new game?

 

Quote

Everything just works ... full stop. If there is a bug, it's fixed in a matter of days (even hours in a lot of cases). You seriously could not ask for any better.

Yes, I was starting to get the impression that the support is not bad. :)

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@Wolfsbane

I usually design my graphics as vectors and export them as bitmaps. Texture Packer is optional, but it will make your game load faster / use less memory if you are using a lot of assets.

Texture Packer is super simple to use and the license is very reasonable (another software I only have good stuff to say about).

If you are making a tiled based game, then Tiled would be a good choice. There are other ways to design your game tho, if you don't like the tiled look.

The other tools I would look into is BmGlyph (for bitmap fonts) and possibly Audacity for sound editing.

I normally use a lot of scenes (for different levels) and the control we get with Panda is awesome. You can preload / unload assets and atlases by scene.

You can easily setup classes inside each scene which can be level specific objects, or you can have a separate module, in which you keep all your 'reusables'.

The device testing is just amazing, you don't have to mess around with any servers, but instead download the Panda Remote, and open your game.

The changes will be updated to your device from your desktop immediately - it's absolutely awesome.

Basically, Panda 2 just let's you make a game, making the process fun instead of frustrating :)

PS. If you are looking for cheap Illustrator / Photoshop alternatives - Affinity Designer / Photo rock!

 

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@Ninjadoodle, Thanks, that's interesting to know. I need to try the Panda Remote now. I've used PhoneGap before with my own engine, but the issue is that get JS/canvas looking/working good on a phone, it seems there should be a lot of tweaking/configuration of settings, which I don't really have a lot of time for. Some this is something I'm hoping works well in Panda.

 

@enpu, just from the example I'm looking at: .atlas files are stored in the asset folder, (which is fine) but I think I should be able to view them in the editor? I don't normally work down to the level of the atlas files, but I assume I will need to check this file to see what sprites I have available in the sheet. (For example, I had to go to file explorer again, etc, then open in some other text editor). So that's a process that could be tidied a little.

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@Wolfsbane

Next version of Panda 2 will allow you to view/edit any files in your project (like html, css etc.), so this will also allow you to take a look inside the atlas file:

316887165_ScreenShot2018-07-11at13_56_03.png.25262c1241a5818a0668a35c1a68e8aa.png

Alternatively, you can open up dev tools and type "game.Texture.cache" to the JavaScript console. This way you can see all the textures that are loaded from the atlas file:

1997239006_ScreenShot2018-07-11at13_58_31.png.6b32576daaa44505f78e314889cb0c2c.png

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11 hours ago, Ninjadoodle said:

Hi @Wolfsbane @enpu

These are just my thoughts, but here I go ...

Panda 2 is still a 'diamond in the rough'. The flexibility / support / super simple device testing / plugins and so on, are in my opinion unrivaled.

I know that some people will say that other engines have the same features, but, I've been there and tried them all - and no, they don't (at least not to the same standard).

I have absolutely no issue with paying $200 (lifetime license) for a quality piece of software like this, especially when there is also a very cheap annual option.

Some of the engines I have bought licenses for, at one time or another, include Gamemaker, MMF 2.5, Construct 2 and 3, Stencyl, Gideros , Corona, Flash + I have tried many other open source engines like Phaser, Godot and so on.

I understand why people use Gamemaker / Unity etc. to make games, but if they experienced the smooth workflow of Panda, they would not look back.

Everything just works ... full stop. If there is a bug, it's fixed in a matter of days (even hours in a lot of cases). You seriously could not ask for any better.

I realize that some of my opinions are subjective, but one thing stands - Panda 2 is an extremely high quality engine and worth every cent I've paid for it :)

 

100% agree with @Ninjadoodle here, I've been going through and trialing a lot of engines to find what works best for me.

Panda 2 is incredibly easy to use, featured filled with things you and not stuff you don't.  Editor workflow makes life super simple to do things, the best support I have ever experienced, I mean seriously good.  I've been using Panda Remote on mobile which makes it so so simple to test stuff.

I have used the GM:S2 engine and HTML exporter and IMO it is very unstable right now with lots of issues that I ran into, support is slow.  Fixes literally taking months to appear, if at all.

You won't regret a Panda 2 purchase.

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@Wolfsbane

I normally keep Texture Packer open so I can update my images at any time. This way I just have to re-export the atlas and voila, all the fixed up images are there, without having to load them one by one. In Texture Packer you also have a list of all the images used and their names. It’s a perfect partner for Panda.

Also, check out ‘Diamond Dasher’ on iOS - it has a blue shield icon. It’s a sample game @enpu made, and it seems to work very well - even on older devices :)

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@enpu Great, you're really onto it. :) And thanks for the tip with dev tools.

Now I tried Panda Remote last night with the Flying Dog game when I got home. (I couldn't do it from the office I'm currently working out of.. I think the network/router was blocking me, not sure). This does work very well, and is a great tool. I'm quite curious about how it works.. so the Panda Editor works as a type  of web-server, and Panda Remote is just basically a browser/canvas, right? There's nothing native app-y in here?

@Ninjadoodle

I did try the two games on Android from the Play store(I don't have an iOS myself). They both ran fairly smoothly. But the games are tiny (I assume they wouldn't be more than 5mb on web including audio/gfx. Yet the app's are 50+mb each? I guess this is just fluff that comes with the PhoneGap compiling process? 

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I have used the GM:S2 engine and HTML exporter and IMO it is very unstable right now with lots of issues that I ran into, support is slow.  Fixes literally taking months to appear, if at all.

Oh, I wasn't trying to saying GMS was better (or worse), just that it was a (somewhat)comparable product in the market, which cost less. You could say I'm curious about the HTML5 game market right now, and what the community is like.

I will say I used GM-HTML5 back.. 6 years ago? This was before even GM-S1, and it was already pretty stable, (and regularly updated) so although I don't know about GM-S2 now, I'm not sure if I agree with you on this one. I know a lot of professionals who use GM-HTML5, and they would be screaming if it got more unstable!

I'd say some things I'd possibly consider negatives on GM is that it's basically closed-source, is possibly a bit too legacy focused, and it's GML scripting language lacked a few of the nicer(and also modern) features that languages like Javascript have. Maybe GM:S2 has addressed some of these issues, I don't really know.

 

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Yeah Panda Editor works as a server and Panda Remote is just a web browser, they communicate with web sockets. When you connect to Panda Editor, it injects some special scripts into the page which handles all the script reloading etc. Actually Panda Remote is entirely made using Panda Editor.

The app sizes are 50+ mb because they include Crosswalk, which is totally optional. Crosswalk includes Chromium webview to make the game work properly on older devices, basically Android 4 devices.

When you export to Android from Panda Editor, you can choose if you want to include Crosswalk or not:

751064304_ScreenShot2018-07-12at8_36_42.png.87ef41f20bc8e6b8b182fe3cd64d635e.png

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Gotcha. And it is neat that it's made with Panda Editor itself. I did some googling on crosswalk, and it seems that without it, the file size should be pretty small.

One other thing I noticed was I did an Update on my project, (see)

image.png.23c1a17415bdc439a3d62355cd8c5916.png

 

But was surprised when the next new project I created was with the old engine number? can't think of any reason why the editor would have to keep using the old engine version for new projects if there has been an update

image.png.4a596fe1e04efc0143f47674fb95a22d.png

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4 hours ago, Wolfsbane said:

Oh, I wasn't trying to saying GMS was better (or worse), just that it was a (somewhat)comparable product in the market, which cost less. You could say I'm curious about the HTML5 game market right now, and what the community is like.

I will say I used GM-HTML5 back.. 6 years ago? This was before even GM-S1, and it was already pretty stable, (and regularly updated) so although I don't know about GM-S2 now, I'm not sure if I agree with you on this one. I know a lot of professionals who use GM-HTML5, and they would be screaming if it got more unstable!

I'd say some things I'd possibly consider negatives on GM is that it's basically closed-source, is possibly a bit too legacy focused, and it's GML scripting language lacked a few of the nicer(and also modern) features that languages like Javascript have. Maybe GM:S2 has addressed some of these issues, I don't really know.

My experiences are all based off GM:S2, as far as I'm aware GM:S1 is much more stable in its runtime HTML exporter but is coming to its end of life (31st July).  I know of at least one high profile HTML5 dev that isn't using GM:S2 due to issues it has and when using GM:S1 wrote a lot of custom asset management code that Panda 2 has out the box.

If you look here http://gms.yoyogames.com/ReleaseNotes.html you'll see GM:S2 has had 1 release in 7 months, the Panda 2 engine has had 12 releases in the same time period (looking at github tags), not sure about the editor.  The lack of releases are not because GM:S2 is super stable either,  I had a whole project get trashed, lots of other more minor things in the IDE.  If you take a peek here https://bugs.yoyogames.com/roadmap_page.php you'll see a pile of HTML5 fixes not released and an even bigger pile confirmed and not fixed, neither of which there's any ideas of when a release is due.  I've waited minimum of a few days for a response from support with GM:S, reading around their forums that was fast, its mostly hours with Panda 2 and if its a bug its normally fixed in a day.  The fact its an open source is huge as well IMO, I went and fixed an issue in my local copy and reported it here for a minor thing for example.

I know it doesn't look like it but I'm not trying to bash GM:S, its a great tool, it shines with its visual workflow etc but for modern HTML5 dev my personal experience so far is Panda 2 will give you a lot less headaches and is aligned much better with HTML5.

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23 minutes ago, Wolfsbane said:

Gotcha. And it is neat that it's made with Panda Editor itself. I did some googling on crosswalk, and it seems that without it, the file size should be pretty small.

One other thing I noticed was I did an Update on my project, (see)

image.png.23c1a17415bdc439a3d62355cd8c5916.png

 

But was surprised when the next new project I created was with the old engine number? can't think of any reason why the editor would have to keep using the old engine version for new projects if there has been an update

image.png.4a596fe1e04efc0143f47674fb95a22d.png

Hi @Wolfsbane I think when you make a new project it takes the version that was included in the Panda Editor at the time as its 'base' version.  I've not tested it but I'm guessing you might be able to overwrite those files to make sure all new projects start at a preferred version, I'm sure @enpu can correct me :)  Also, little side note, if you look in your projects 'src' folder you'll find an 'engine' folder which you keep at a given version if needed by grabbing a specific version from github say.

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That is correct. New projects will use template included in the editor, which has a specific engine version (latest major version at the time of the editor release). 

Updating the engine files of the template sounds a bit hackish, but that's possible too.

One solution would be to add feature, that checks for new engine version each time user opens a project (that is also when creating new project), and then asks if user wants to update or not. This could be turned on and off from settings. I have added this to my to-do list, though i think it's not a really major issue, since updating is just a matter of two mouse clicks.908490355_ScreenShot2018-07-12at11_20_38.png.ba550856c34d8ed7d31d15fd0bd3456d.png

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I'd just make it update the template src at the same time when they update their project source. 

No, this is not a biggie, but I noticed it, didn't seem to be correct, so thought I'd mention. :)

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I like the idea of being able to select what engine version I'd like when starting a new project or updating one.  If there's ever an engine code regression or specific need to stay at a certain engine version its easy to do then?

*EDIT* Then again when you throw all the plugins into the mix there might be incompatibilities with this.  Latest is always greatest hahaha ;)

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Yes, I had a similar thought. I assume that an update is just a pull request from Github (or something similar), so just making this git parameter editable would probably do it. But I think I saw some post from enpu that the next Editor version is allowing for different engines, etc, so possibly you'll get this feature in a roundabout way.

Another not big issue, but FYI: I can't rename projects?

 

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Actually .. since we are talking about the editor I have one question. I love Panda 2 editor and work on my game in my free time almost every day - the workflow is super easy. 

I make my game assets in Affinity Designer and I have continuous export enabled. When I make changes in Affinity Designer I can actually see the change immediately in the game window in the Panda2 editor, because it updates automatically when assets are changed  - this is super awesome!

There is one thing in the editor I would love to have. Maybe @enpu - you could consider this for the next version. When I write code, I like to look at the code of the templates or the code from my previous pet projects. I would love to be able to open more than one instance of the Panda2 editor - which is not possible (at least on Mac). I'm using VSCode at the moment to open the main.js file but it it is harder to navigate than in Panda 2 editor.

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