Train2Game News Havok enjoying 2015

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Havok has enjoyed a strong start to 2015 with a variety of Havok-powered titles earning the highest industry accolades, including the BAFTA Best Game Award for Destiny and the Game Developers Choice Awards Game of the Year honor for Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor.

These and other Havok-powered AAA games were acknowledged within critics and peer-voted awards ceremonies during the 2015 awards season and demonstrate a renewed and increasingly acknowledged appreciation for AAA developers in pushing the technological and design boundaries of gaming ever outward.

Havok has long maintained close partnerships with the key AAA developers who have crafted some of the most indelible and critically-acclaimed titles of all time. The recent award winning games are merely a small slice of the outstanding AAA games that chose to adopt Havok technology in the past year, including Sunset Overdrive, Far Cry 4 and Dragon Age: Inquisition, titles that Havok highlight as proof of a resurgent AAA gaming segment.

“At Havok, we’re proud of our AAA roots.  From your first uneasy steps into Rapture, the first time you use the Gravity Gun, and the first time your nemesis in Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor openly mocks you after a bitter defeat, these are the experiences we remember, and these are the games Havok is proud to support via our technology and knowhow,” Says David Coghlan, President and Managing Director of Havok. “There are true visionaries at work at these game studios, and they’re the ones who create these worlds through their passion and talent. At Havok, we are proud to see these incredibly creative teams realize their visions by leveraging Havok Technology and Support. Hearty congratulations to all the teams at this year’s GDCAs and BAFTA Game Awards for their well-earned recognition and their landmark achievements in game development.”

Alongside critical acclaim there is ample evidence of the renewed optimism being felt in the AAA gaming segment. With console hardware sales buoyant and global home console software revenue forecast to top $24bn by 2017, it’s clear that the death of AAA console gaming has been greatly exaggerated. This buoyant market validates Havok’s strategy to be the world’s leading provider of technology to the AAA game development industry.
                                                                                                                                    
For further information, developers can visit www.havok.com

Train2Game News Havok plans for the future

Havok PhysicsThe middleware physics specialist, Havok, plots the future development of its newest physics platform.

Back in 2003, when Havok released its first physics technology to games developers, the impact was considerable.

Crates and barrels in virtual environments the world over enjoyed a new status as strategic playthings of gamers spoilt by a new way to interact. Half-Life 2 set a new standard, and in the following years physics-powered ragdolls and gravity guns became staples of contemporary game design. As the years went on, Havok and the in-game physics it championed never went away. Instead, they became standard.

Then, in 2013, Havok’s reinvented physics tech found its way to studios and now, in the second half of 2014, Havok is building a new template for what physics should offer. Already it is able to have thousands of objects interacting in a realtime, interactive scene.

Havok is pushing further still, ever set on bettering the impact on games. It’s what Havok’s head of product management Andrew Bowell describes as a renaissance not just for physics, but the ideas and potential to impact gameplay, parallel game systems and the creative method of environment artists.

“Describing what we’re doing now as a ‘renaissance of physics’ is not to say physics in games ever went away,” he says. “It’s been our bread and butter for years. But our latest release of Havok Physics isn’t only faster, using less memory and giving higher quality results; we’re also returning to a point where it is pushing gameplay in ways not seen before.

“I mean real cinematic gameplay at a new scale. Instead of 100 objects, we are now pushing it to a thousand, or ten thousand, or one hundred thousand objects in game. When they see that, game designers’ eyes light up.”

As Bowell reminisces about times when stacking ten physically controlled crates used to draw a crowd to a monitor, he and Havok field application engineer Steve Ewart show live, realtime, interactive demos of thousands of boulders tumbling down cliff sides, clattering together and gathering around the structure of a bridge, or soldiers influencing pillars of smoke with a fully automatic gun that unleashes a plume of tinned beans.

The demos may at times be aesthetically absurd, but they prove a point. As Havok continues to push physics, vast interactive game worlds unlike anything seen in consumer products before are increasingly possible. And as Ewart guides a sports car through a demo environment, using its wake to gather a sea of autumn leaves into neat piles, he makes an important point.

“A few crates or ragdolls was one thing, and there were great examples, but if a developer could build dynamic systems through their entire environment that work as a complete, grounded system, there is so much to be done with with gameplay,” he says. “Imagine a world with smoke effects, intricately destructible buildings, swarms of insects and such, that the player can influence directly, all interacting and controlled physically as a single dynamic system, providing information coming out of the physics that informs AI control and various other systems.”

It’s immediately obvious on seeing the demos, that a huge leap forward in the number and complexity of physics controlled objects offers devs a rich toybox of ideas to plunder.

“What we do must give the developer something they can use; something that informs other systems in powerful new ways,” says Bowell.

Source: Develop

Train2Game News BioShock coming to iOS

BioShockHavok, a leading provider of 3D interactive game development technology, is providing its industry-leading Havok Physics and Havok Animation Studio technology to 2K Games’ groundbreaking narrative-driven action game, BioShock, which is launching later this summer on the App Store.

Developed by Irrational Games in 2007 with Unreal Engine 3, the original BioShock made extensive use of Havok’s Animation tools, which played an instrumental part in bringing fluidity to the disfigured denizens of Rapture. The game’s liberal use of Havok Physics also brought further immersion into the game world, even becoming a powerful weapon through the use of the in-game Telekinesis Plasmid. After its release, Bioshock quickly became one of the most critically-acclaimed games of all time, garnering universal praise from press and proving to be a huge success with the gaming audience.

The 2K China team has brought this iconic gaming experience to iOS using Havok’s cross-platform toolset to achieve amazing parity between console and mobile versions, including the full dynamic gameplay and character interactions of the classic title from 2007. Seven years after its original implementation, the same robust Physics and Animation technologies ingrained in the original BioShock have seamlessly transitioned onto mobile platforms.

“It’s a true testament to the power and breadth of Havok Physics and Havok Animation Studio that these technologies have seamlessly transitioned from a AAA console title to an amazing mobile experience,” said Brian Waddle, Vice President of Worldwide Sales and Marketing at Havok. “Just as BioShock redefined the scope of what a game could and should be, the 2K Games team has proven that mobile devices can go beyond simple apps and offer a wholly mature and complete gaming experience akin to those seen on high end gaming platforms.”

BioShock will be available soon via the App Store as a premium title for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch.