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Havok Physics
Havok company logo
Developer(s) Havok
Stable release 7.1 / 2009-12-22
Operating system Unix, Linux, PS3, PS2, PSP, GameCube, Wii, Mac, Xbox 360, Xbox, Windows
License Proprietary/Shareware

Havok Physics is a physics engine developed by Irish company Havok. It is designed primarily for console computer and video games, and allows for real-time collision and dynamics of rigid bodies in three dimensions. It provides multiple types of dynamic constraints between rigid bodies (e.g. for ragdoll physics), and has a highly optimized collision detection library. By using dynamical simulation, Havok allows for more realistic virtual worlds in games. The company has also released the product Havok Animation, which provides efficient playback and compression of character animations in games, and features such as inverse kinematics.

On September 14, 2007, Intel announced[1] it had signed a definitive agreement to acquire Havok Inc.

In 2008, Havok was honored at the 59th Annual Technology & Engineering Emmy Awards for advancing the development of physics engines in electronic entertainment.


Platform availability

Version 1.0 of the Havok SDK was unveiled at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) in 2000. The current release, Havok Version 7.1, released in December 2009, is known to work on Microsoft Windows, Xbox and Xbox 360; Nintendo's GameCube and Wii; Sony's PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation Portable; Linux; and on Mac OS X. Licensees are given access to most of the C/C++ source-code, giving them the freedom to customize the engine's features, or port it to different platforms although some libraries are only provided in binary format.


Since the SDK's launch in 2000, it has been used in over 150 video and computer games, most notably Halo 3 and Half Life 2. Those games have primarily been in the first-person shooter genre (the physics engine in Valve Corporation's Source engine uses a heavily modified version of Havok). However, it has seen some use in other genres, such as in Cyan Worlds' adventure game Uru: Ages Beyond Myst, THQ/Relic Entertainment's real-time strategy game Company of Heroes, racing game MotorStorm, Namco's Soul Calibur IV; Nintendo's Super Smash Bros. Brawl,[2] Blizzard Entertainment's StarCraft II and Diablo III, PAIN! and WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2010.[3] Havok has also been used in LucasArts' blockbuster game Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. LucasArts made a modified engine called Ronin that could run Havok in association with Digital Molecular Matter (DMM) and Natural Motion's Euphoria.

Havok can also be found in Autodesk Media and Entertainment's 3ds max as a bundled plug-in called reactor. A plugin for Autodesk Media and Entertainment's Maya animation software and an xtra for Adobe Director's Shockwave are also available. Havok supplies tools (the "Havok Content Tools") for export of assets for use with all Havok products from Autodesk 3ds Max, Autodesk Maya, and Autodesk Softimage.

Havok is also used in the Second Life virtual world, with all physics handled by its online simulator servers, rather than by the users' client computers. An upgrade to Havok version 4 was released in April 2008.

Havok FX

The company was developing a specialized version of Havok Physics called Havok FX that made use of ATI and NVIDIA GPUs for physics simulations,[4] but may have been cancelled.

Havok Behavior

Havok Behavior is a toolset and runtime SDK for controlling game character animation at a high level using finite state machines.

Havok Cloth and Destruction

In 2008, Havok released two new games middleware products — Cloth and Destruction. Cloth deals with efficient simulation of character garments and soft body dynamics. Destruction provides tools for creation of destructible and deformable rigid body environments.

Havok AI

In 2009, Havok released Havok AI, which provides advanced pathfinding capabilities for games.

See also


External links

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