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Game Developer's Front Line Awards 2008
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Game Developer's Front Line Awards 2008

January 7, 2009 Article Start Previous Page 5 of 8 Next

Middleware: Havok Physics

By: Jeremy Gordon and Michael Boccieri, Sega Studios

Let's face it: as the computational power of gaming hardware continues to increase, so too do consumer expectations. Demand continues to rise for game experiences presented within the context of believable virtual spaces: living worlds that are huge, interactive, persistent, and "real."

While realism can be a loaded word for game developers, there is no question that the inclusion of advanced real-time physics has become a necessity for many of today's game engines. And while team sizes continue to balloon to meet gamer demands, physics is not necessarily an area that teams want to throw internal resources at, all things considered.

Enter Havok. At its core, Havok offers developers the foundation for creating realistic physics simulation though efficient and optimized calculations. This package allows games to simulate a lot of complexity simultaneously without a serious hit on performance, and provides a framework that's easily adaptable to both online and offline games.

This solid codebase continues to make Havok a prime choice for physics middleware across the industry.

If that were all Havok offered, Havok Physics would be just another middleware choice among qualified competitors.

What sets Havok apart are the layers of developer support that the company has integrated into all aspects of its product and services. Havok understands what it means to be a middleware company, and what it means for middleware to bring real value to a game's development cycle.

Realtime Worlds' Crackdown

Real value is a company that delivers a solid middleware solution and continues to update it with developer-requested features. It's a mindset of getting to know your clients' products and their product goals, and aligning middleware roadmaps toward providing them with their most-important features wherever possible.

It's providing responsive and thorough developer support when bugs do arise, and a dedication to providing solutions quickly and efficiently. It's continued expansion of Havok Physics' integrated product set, with new modules like Havok Behavior and Havok Destruction seamlessly integrating with the core Physics SDK; modules created based on cross-discipline developer feedback, and expanded and refined with an eye towards versatility and ease-of-use.

It is this real value that Havok Physics brings to developers with its bottom-up methodology, an optimized and integrated codebase, and dedication to supporting the creation of more believable virtual worlds. It stands out among some tough competition as winner of this year's Front Line Award for Middleware.

Middleware Finalists

  • Autodesk Kynapse 5
  • PathEngine 5.16
  • NaturalMotion Euphoria
  • GameSpy SDK

Article Start Previous Page 5 of 8 Next

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