When comparing Cocos2d-x and Cocos2d Family vs Panda3D, the Slant community recommends Cocos2d-x and Cocos2d Family for most people. In the question“What are the best 100% free and easy game engines for beginners?” Cocos2d-x and Cocos2d Family is ranked 5th while Panda3D is ranked 8th. The most important reason people chose Cocos2d-x and Cocos2d Family is:
25% of iPhone games are made using Cocos2d-x (A Cocos2d mobile variant.) This means you will not be alone in development, and will have access to a large community. You'll know you are developing for an engine that works.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro A proven engine for mobile development
25% of iPhone games are made using Cocos2d-x (A Cocos2d mobile variant.)
This means you will not be alone in development, and will have access to a large community. You'll know you are developing for an engine that works.
Pro Supports 3D models with skeleton animation
A new feature since Cocos2d-x v3.1 is support for 3D models (in your 2D game), not only this but support for skeleton animations is included too! This awesome feature allows for impressive characters in your game along with easier, more fluid and realistic animations.
Pro Great script language support
Especially with Cocos2d-JS you can develop games cross web and native, and the native solution have great performance with JS Bindings, much better than hybrid solution.
Pro Highly active community for questions and support
Cocos2d-x forums are active.
Cocos2d-x is not only open source but also supported by Chukong Technologies of China and USA.
Regularly updated and adding support for the latest technologies. 2014 has already seen the release of Version 3, a new Cocos Studio development toolkit (optional) and support for new technologies like skeleton animation systems Spine and Adobe DragonBone.
Pro Greater performance than high level APIs
Cocos2d-x is C++ based engine and it has CPU advantages for most platforms because of that. It uses polygonal mesh methods for sprite rendering for using GPU advantages. (You also use quad methods for benefit CPU).
Pro Allows for easy debugging
It has a built-in Python interpreter that allows for easy debugging.
Pro Great video tutorials
Hundreds of video tutorials available.
Pro OpenGL hardware acceleration
Pro Easy integration of 3rd party plugins
For example, if you want to add a rating plugin, you use
sdkbox::PluginReview::init(); and if you want to add the Vundle Ad Network SDK, you use the one packaged in SDKBox
Pro No external dependencies
Because it is based on Pyglet.
Pro Free, open-source, and permissive license
The liberal license allows use of the engine for any purpose without restrictions or royalties.
Pro Supports most popular physics engines
Panda3D has in-depth integration with industry standard physics engines such as Bullet, NVIDIA PhysX and ODE, but also offers a simpler built-in physics engines that will cover more basic needs.
Pro Will be very easy for developers already familiar with Python
Although it's possible to use only C++ to program in Panda3D, all its power is available to the Python scripting language, while not trading in performance since the performance-critical parts are implemented in C++.
It has a powerful binding layer that exposes the vast majority of the API via Python-based interfaces.
Pro Flexible scene and object hierarchy system
Creating weird world constructs is generally a breeze. The node system the engine runs with allows to build self-looping worlds and, on large scale, non-Euclidean scenes without having to introduce a huge amount of custom code.
Pro Powerful profiling and debugging tools
Panda3D has a suite of powerful tools to help track down performance bottlenecks, memory leaks and examine internal state.
Pro Supports browser deployment
Panda3D offers web plug-ins that allow deployment of an application to all major browsers. A WebGL port is in the works as well.
Con Poor documentation
Most existing documentation is out of date. API documentation sometimes exists, though is usually just a one-liner and more often than not is completely absent. New features and significant system rewrites often make it to a major release without a single line of documentation accompanying them. Cocos2d-x family is developed by Chinese mostly, so market outside of China is not their main priority. Some tools (like Cocos Studio) have China-specific services and markets.
Con Poor support and non-existent community
Up until 2013, this was one of the best engines around. However, since then it was bought by a Chinese company and began stagnating - it's virtually in a slow death. Most developers abandoned Cocos in favor of more modern solutions leaving the community weak and the forums with little or no traffic. Although the Cocos2d-x Forum seems to have a decent community going.
Con Cocos2d-html5 is way behind Cocos2d-x
While Cocos2d-html5 tries to mimic it's Cocos2d-x sister and has the same people working on it, it has lots of restrictions compared to Cocos2d-x: no Spine mesh support, no 3D models, bad text label quality, etc.
Con Inefficiency in making 3D games
Con Fragmentation; hard to find useful tutorials
Cocos2d family includes different projects: cocos2d-x, cocos2d-html5, cocos2d-objc, cocos2d-XNA. Most tutorials describe techniques specific to single project of the family, and cannot be applied to other projects.
Con Can seem very complex for a novice developer
There isn't much documentation or tutorials.
Con Modest functionality
Almost all free alternatives are more convenient, faster, and more functional.
Con No unified editing program
Unlike Unity and Unreal, Panda3D doesn't currently offer a single, unified editing program in which objects can simply be dragged in and assigned properties (although third-party solutions are available). Developers are expected to design their scenes in a modelling program like Maya or Blender instead, and import them into Panda3D using Python code.
Con Direct3D support is behind
Direct3D support not up to par with OpenGL support, only version 9 is supported
Con Limited tutorial
Step by step tutorial is limited. Manual is too general and short without examples. Samples are too complex for beginners.
Con Loading Pandas3d will change your builtins to contain non explicit references to non-standard helper functions
A lot of the pollution comes from storing global state. Instead, you can store and update the global state of a namespace instead. As for the built-in pollution, you can make a wrapper that backs up builtins, imports pandas and then restores builtins, though this may not work as pandas almost certainly uses it's extra builtins to work. The best thing to do would be to explicitly import the same objects that are in the builtins over the top of the modified builtin namespace, although it doesn't remove the code smell, it helps to make things look less (if not at all) magic.