Codex Gamicus

Havok is a middleware software suite developed by the Irish company Havok. On September 14, 2007, Intel announced it had signed a definitive agreement to acquire Havok Inc.[1] In 2008, Havok was honored at the 59th Annual Technology & Engineering Emmy Awards for advancing the development of physics engines in electronic entertainment.


The Havok middleware suite consists of the following modules:[2]

  • Havok Physics: It is designed primarily for 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 Physics allows for more realistic virtual worlds in games. The company was developing a specialized version of Havok Physics called Havok FX that made use of ATI and NVIDIA GPUs for physics simulations,[3] but it may have been cancelled.
  • Havok Animation Studio: Havok Animation Studio is formally known as Havok Behavior and Havok Animation. Havok Behavior is a runtime SDK for controlling game character animation at a high level using finite state machines. Havok Animation provides efficient playback and compression of character animations in games, and features such as inverse kinematics.
  • Havok Cloth: Released in 2008, Havok Cloth deals with efficient simulation of character garments and soft body dynamics.
  • Havok Destruction: Also released in 2008, Havok Destruction provides tools for creation of destructible and deformable rigid body environments. In 2009, Havok released Havok AI, which provides advanced pathfinding capabilities for games.
  • Havok AI: Havok AI provides navigation mesh generation, pathfinding and path following for video game environments.
  • Havok Script: Havok Script is a Lua-compatible virtual machine designed for video game development. It is shipped as part of the Havok Script Studio.
  • Havok Vision Engine: On August 8, 2011, Havok announced their acquisition of German game engine development company Trinigy and their Vision Engine and toolset.[4]


Version 1.0 of the Havok SDK was unveiled at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) in 2000. The current release, Havok Version 2011.2, released in September 2011, 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. In March 2011, Havok showed off a version of the Havok physics engine designed for use with the Sony Xperia Play, or more specifically, Android 2.3.[5] During the Microsoft's //BUILD/ 2012 Conference, Havok unveiled full technology suite for Windows 8, Windows RT and Windows Phone 8.[6]


Video games[]

Main article: List of games using Havok

Since the SDK's launch in 2000, it has been used in over 500 video games. Those games have primarily been in the first-person shooter and third-person shooter genres. However, it has seen some use in other genres as well.

Other software[]

Havok can also be found in:

  • Futuremark's 3DMark2001 and 03 benchmarking tools
  • a plugin for Maya animation software
  • an xtra for Adobe Director's Shockwave
  • Valve Software's Source game engine uses VPhysics, which is a physics engine modified from Havok[7]

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 and an upgrade to version 7 started June, 2010.[8]

See also[]

  • Autodesk Gameware
  • Bullet (software)
  • Open Dynamics Engine
  • PhysX
  • Source (game engine)
  • Vortex (software)
  • AGX Multiphysics
  • List of games using Havok


  1. Intel Corp (2007). Intel To Acquire Havok. Intel Corp. Retrieved on 2009-09-09
  2. Product Overview. Havok.
  3. Shilov, Anton (2005). Havok Intros Havok FX Engine to Compute Physics Effects on GPUs. Xbit Laboratories. Retrieved on 2008-11-28
  4. Havok Announces Acquisition of Trinigy. Retrieved on 2011-08-12[dead link]
  5. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named engadget2011
  6. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named yahoo-finance
  7. VPhysics. Valve Developer Community. Retrieved on 2011-08-15
  8. Release Notes/Second Life Server/1.40. Retrieved on 2010-09-27

External links[]

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