At this year's Game Developers Conference in Austin, film and game design software developer Havok announced the release of Havok 5, adding "major new features" in this latest edition of its modular suite of run-time technology and artists' tools.
Havok 5 features enhancements to its core products, Havok Physics and Havok Animation, and introduces new features for Havok Behavior, a system for developing event-driven character behaviors in a game.
Havok Physics aims to improve memory and CPU performance to accelerate interactive destruction scenes in games, and the cross-platform memory limiting and reporting features have been enhanced in the new version. Wii support has also been added for Havok's Visual Debugger performance diagnostic tool.
New to Havok Animation is a run-time mirroring feature, allowing character animations to be reflected interactively from left to right to reduce memory requirements for directional animation assets. This release also provides compression enhancements that Havok claims reduce the memory required to store arbitrary character animations by as much as 25% over previous releases.
Havok Behavior 5 unifies the behavior authoring environment and SDK with the aim of creating what it calls "hybrid character performances."
Midway is currently using Havok 5 in the development of Stranglehold, as is LucasArts for Star Wars: The Force Unleashed.
“With our commitment to aiding developers to create more fun and realistic games more economically, Havok 5 is creating great excitement amongst our customer base and is currently being used in the development of dozens of “Triple A” game titles. Havok has become a one stop shop for cross-platform, professionally supported first class technology solutions for the industry," said David O’Meara, Havok CEO.