Expanding the market for physics and character animation

This one is not written by myself, but I thought that you would like to hear the thoughts of Elliot Garbus, Vice President and General Manager, Visual Computing Software Division:

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Hopefully you heard that today the team at Havok announced a new offering to bring the world’s best physics and animation middleware to the masses. They will make the PC versions of their industry-leading Havok Physics and Havok Animation free for anyone to download and evaluate, and free for PC game developers to use commercially.

Havok, which became an Intel company in 2007, has long been known as the company that brings realism to high end video games. Their industry-leading technology has been used in over 200 titles and they are relied upon by game studios all over the world.

At Intel we believe the computing world is going visual and that the technologies being used in video games will flow into many other market segments. At the heart of this visual computing movement are companies like Havok, which use the power of the microprocessor to bring immersive experiences to the user.

Today’s announcement takes Havok’s tools and middleware beyond the top tier game companies and puts it in the hands of all of the world’s PC developers. We believe this will not only allow PC game companies with limited budgets to get the benefit of Havok’s technology, but it also lets entirely new categories of PC developers start to experiment with physics and animation. This includes students, researchers, enthusiasts and other categories that we haven’t even thought of that will find new ways to use the technology and accelerate the move toward true visual computing.

In the words of Mark DeLoura, creator of the Game Programming Gems series: “This is fantastic news for commercial PC game developers as well as the independent game development community, who will really benefit from this move. It’s great to see a leading middleware company like Havok show such support for PC game developers by making its physics and animation system freely available.”

While this new offering is targeted at PC developers, Havok will continue to be a cross-platform provider, supporting Xbox, Playstation and Wii, in addition to the PC. This will not change.

However, it is our hope that today’s announcement is embraced by the PC community and we quickly see more games using Havok products and new uses for physics and animation that we never imagined before!

Finally, I also want to mention that we have kicked off our third annual game developer contest. Go here http://softwarecontests.intel.com/gamedemo/index.php for details.

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