Havok unveils new AI middleware

Havok unveils new AI middleware

By Michael French in San Francisco

March 23rd 2009 at 9:39PM

GDC 09: Latest tool from the firm behind ubiquitous Physics tech is available now

Havok has today confirmed that it is making available AI middleware designed to site alongside its range of products, which includes is very popular physics tool

Havok AI is available now as part of Havok 6.5. The middleware is "architected from the ground up to deal with the sheer scale of characters and dynamics of cutting-edge games of today and tomorrow," the Intel-owned firm said.

"By using Havok AI, developers will dramatically improve the performance of their AI runtime systems and save significant time in production and development, driving down costs while helping developers raise the bar for their gaming audience."

“With the addition of Havok AI, the company continues to expand its broad product portfolio,” said David O’Meara, MD of Havok.

“As the solutions provider of choice for the game development industry featured in over 200 games to date, Havok continues to engineer new software and tools that address key challenges currently unmet in the gaming industry, making Havok the ultimate one-stop shop for development.”

David Coghlan, VP of development for Havok added: “Havok has an unparalleled reputation for delivering robust, optimized, cross-platform solutions to our customers, and Havok AI represents a natural extension of our portfolio of run-time technologies. It provides a focused set of services and technologies that help enable plausible, engaging and creative in-game characters as well as delivering significant productivity gains during production.”

According to Havok the key features are:

* A highly optimized and robust automatic nav mesh generator.  Optimal nav meshes are generated in seconds from complex game levels of hundreds of thousands of triangles allowing for rapid iteration on level content.

* Fully integrated dynamic pathfinding. As opposed to being a static pathfinding solution with an additional layered dynamic avoidance technology, Havok AI is built from the ground up to work with dynamic environments. Its unique, innovative solution handles thousands of moving obstacles in real-time with high fidelity.

* Fully extensible and customizable pathfinding solution. The product includes a hierarchical pathfinder which is multithreaded and platform optimized for all of the key gaming platforms. 

* Advanced predictive local steering module that complements the dynamic pathfinding capabilities.  Characters predict the movement of obstacles and adapt accordingly, moving plausibly through the complex and often congested situations that arise when environments become dynamic.

* Out-of-the-box integration with Havok Physics, Havok Destruction,  Havok Animation, and Havok Behavior