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The Havok Game Dynamics SDK, better known as simply Havok, is a middleware physics game engine designed for computer and video games by allowing interaction between objects or other characters in real-time. By using collision detection Havok allows for more lifelike worlds and animations, such as ragdoll physics, that adds to the overall game by making these interactions appear natural.
Havok is available for the Microsoft Xbox, the Nintendo GameCube, the PlayStation 2, and the PC. Havok Version 1.0 was unveiled at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) in 2000. Version 2.0 was launched at the GDC in 2003.
Since the SDK's launch in 2000, it has been used in over 100 video and computer games. Those games have primarily been action titles of the first-person shooter genre, but Ensemble Studios plans to incorporate it into its upcoming real-time strategy game, Age of Empires III. The engine has also been used in movies such as The Matrix trilogy. Havok can also be found in Discreet's 3D Studio Max and Alias's Maya 3D design software packages both support Havok via plug-in extensions.
Havok is also the name of the company that develops the physics tools. The company was founded in 1998 by Hugh Reynolds and Dr. Steven Collins of the computer science department in Trinity College Dublin and has offices in Dublin, Ireland and San Francisco, California. The Havok development studios are licensed middle-ware developers on the PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo GameCube platforms.
Games using Havok
As of 2005, there are more than 100 games that have been released or that are in development using Havok. Notable games include:
- Armed and Dangerous
- Astro Boy
- Auto Assault
- Backyard Wrestling: DTAH
- Brute Force
- Crash Nitro Kart
- Destroy All Humans
- Deus Ex: Invisible War
- Full Spectrum Warrior
- Half-Life 2
- Halo 2
- Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne
- Medal of Honor: Pacific Assault
- Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction
- Middle-earth Online
- Pitfall: The Lost Expedition
- Psi-Ops: The Mindgate Conspiracy
- Robotech: Invasion
- Second Life
- Starsky and Hutch
- The Punisher
- Thief: Deadly Shadows
- Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon 2
- Torque: Savage Roads
- Tribes: Vengeance
- Uru: Ages Beyond Myst
- WWE Crush Hour