Essential Game Engines: Havok Vision Engine

Essential Game Engines: Havok Vision Engine
Craig Chapple

By Craig Chapple

February 28th 2012 at 9:28AM

We look at the inner workings of the versatile multi-platform tool

Creator: Havok
Platforms: Windows, Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, PS Vita, iOS, Android
Seen in: Stronghold 3, Orcs Must Die!, The Settlers 7: Paths to a Kingdom
www.havok.com

Formerly known as the Trinigy Vision Engine, Havok acquired the platform in August 2011, integrating its own software into the tech.

The tool provides a ‘versatile’ multi-platform runtime technology that its creators say is capable of rendering complex scenes at smooth frame rates, whilst having a set of integrated features such as streaming, scripting, audio and physics solutions.

Product management head Andrew Bowell says that both runtime and tools have “clean, well-structured” plug-in API’s, which he explains allows for features and modules to be easily added without having to change the engine’s source code.

“With regard to optimisation, developers still do not want to relinquish control of the hardware to the engine. With that requirement they are looking for flexible, modular and open game engines coded in C++ they can easily customise where needed, but also rely on already provided highly optimised code," says Bowell.

"In terms of tools and workflow, it’s clear that rapid iteration, fast build times and on-target editing are also key requirements.”

The tech firm supports both big budget titles and small development teams through its Havok Strike Program, and Bowell believes that supporting everyone in the development community is a key part of the company’s success.

“We have seen some really great games being developed by independent developers and small studios over the past couple of years,” he says.

“With the evolving needs of the games development community, we are always looking for ways to help developers push the game-play experience to its limits.

“Last year, Havok developed the Strike Program as a way to offer small studios innovative licensing options, enabling them more freedom to execute their creative visions, regardless of their budgets.”