Havok claims to dominate BAFTAs

Havok claims to dominate BAFTAs

Bethesda's Fallout 3 is one of the Havok-powered games that's been nominated for a BAFTA.

Intel has been quite openly sniping at Nvidia this week, but today the company adopted a subtler approach to ribbing its rival. Now that the nominations for the BAFTA games awards are out in the open, Havok (which is owned by Intel) is relishing the fact that ten of the nominated games (making for a total of 27 nominations throughout 12 of the 14 categories) feature Havok-powered tools and software.

This, says Havok, is “six times greater than any other physics engine,” which in other words means: “six times greater than PhysX.” We're not entirely sure how you divide either ten or 27 by six into a whole number, so we assume that the "six times" figure refers to the number of categories.

Either way, Havok claims that its physics technology "dominates" the 2008 BAFTA award nominations. Havok’s managing director, David O’Meara, claimed that “the significant amount of nominations Havok-built games received speaks volumes for our technical leadership and clear differentiation in the market.

He also added that “Havok continues to offer the highest-quality and most comprehensive set of cross-platform modular tools available today, which makes Havok the solutions provider of choice for top-tier developers worldwide. Havok enables game studios of any size the ability to deliver more compelling gameplay, character interaction and physical effects in less time with substantial cost-effectiveness.

The Havok-powered games nominated for BAFTAs include Fallout 3, Assassin’s Creed, Prince of Persia, Fable II and Guitar Hero: World Tour. Havok also claims that over 65 games are currently lined up to use Havok Physics in 2009, and points out that 200 existing titles already use the technology, including the Halo series and Half-Life 2.

However, it’s also worth noting that these games rely on the CPU to process physics, and a large number of games support Nvidia’s PhysX API in the same way. Nvidia also promises that more games will feature GPU-accelerated PhysX this year. The company licensed PhysX to both EA and 2K in December last year, and Mirror’s Edge already features GPU-accelerated PhysX effects.

However, Nvidia is currently on its own with GPU-accelerated PhysX effects at the moment, despite offering the technology to AMD. Instead, AMD has signed up to support Havok and has even expressed doubts about whether PhysX will survive in the future. In December last year, AMD’s director of technical marketing at its Graphics Product Group, Godfrey Cheng, said that "There is no plan for closed and proprietary standards like PhysX," adding that "As we have emphasised with our support for OpenCL and DX11, closed and proprietary standards will die."

Are Havok’s BAFTA nominations really a sign of Havok’s technical leadership, and which physics API stands the best chance of survival in the future? Let us know your thoughts in the forums.


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Veles 27th February 2009, 14:33 Quote
Doesn't really mean that it's better, simply means that more of the better games are using it. A game (in most cases) isn't it's physics engine.
UrbanMarine 27th February 2009, 14:34 Quote
Another company saying I'm better than you. 2009 Biggest Ego Award goes to..............
UrbanMarine 27th February 2009, 14:38 Quote
GFC 27th February 2009, 14:50 Quote
I'm putting my bets on DX11 compute shaders for games, and OpenCL for apps. Can't really see havok or physx in that equation..
munim 27th February 2009, 15:58 Quote
I'm bipartisan but I'll still say this: I wouldn't expect BAFTA to know jack about Havok or PhysX.
Sifter3000 27th February 2009, 16:07 Quote
Everyone know if you get more awards you're better. That's why Titanic is the best movie ever made, right?
MrMonroe 27th February 2009, 16:10 Quote
Why on earth does Guitar Hero require a physics simulator?
Jordan Wise 27th February 2009, 16:41 Quote
Originally Posted by MrMonroe
Why on earth does Guitar Hero require a physics simulator?

Exactly what I was thinking
Jenny_Y8S 27th February 2009, 16:59 Quote
I thought HL2 used Valve's own physics engine?
Darkefire 27th February 2009, 17:05 Quote
They use a heavily tweaked version of the Havok physics engine.
Originally Posted by
Since they licensed and integrated it into Source, Valve have been tweaking and adding to Havok to the point it's virtually a new animal. Almost every aspect of the Source engine follows on from the physics — including the sound, graphics, AI and animation. When asked whether or not they would be upgrading to Havok 2, Valve seemed to suggest they probably wouldn't, in part because H2 wouldn't be much of a step forward from what they currently have.
HourBeforeDawn 27th February 2009, 19:48 Quote
either way these two physic engines are on their way out once Direct X 11 and OpenCL hit the scene, which I am soo glad to see once that happens.
mrb_no1 27th February 2009, 23:53 Quote
Originally Posted by MrMonroe
Why on earth does Guitar Hero require a physics simulator?

it doesnt, probably. but it used a havok product, which if you look at their site lists several including animation and the like so even if it is only used in one instance, it stills grants intel gloating rights.

and someone mentioned people who decide the bafta's knowing nothing about physics engines, neither could most people on this site if you asked them about it..."err, it deals with the physics calculations to make objects behave more realistically to improve the overall gaming simulation", but then you are totally missing the point imo, the bafta vote on the game, not on the products that build it, otherwise they might have a category for best gaming engine but i dont think they do!

i dont look at these things as ego swelling excercises but as the kind of the verbal bashing that will make both companies work harder, so long as neither of the companies starts playing dirty its all its kinda funny to sit here and read these news threads and seeing intel say this and wait a few days for nvidia's rebuttle.


V3ctor 28th February 2009, 08:42 Quote
All I can see is that nVidia just wasted lots of $$ in PhysX for nothing... Havok was always the "leader", AGEIA (the former proprietary of physics), only became "famous" because they had a dedicated PPU for physics... Intel made the right move to buy Havok, as it will help to improve it's Larrabee chip with a better physics integration.

- Besides, DX11 will bring physx to the "open", so the only ducks that nVidia caught some money was EA and 2K... ^_^

- I remember a while back, that someone hacked the PhysX software to work on a ATi card, and it did work well on a HD3870 (at the time), so this only shows that nVidia doesn't have specific hardware built in their chips to run physx. And I'm sure it will be a free feature in the near future.
Timmy_the_tortoise 28th February 2009, 13:12 Quote
Ridiculously petty.

And so my respect for Intel as a company continues to plummet.
perplekks45 1st March 2009, 12:45 Quote
Of course they don't have special hardware for the physics calculations. It's CUDA based.

Still I just don't get all this "My penis is longer than yours" stuff recently. Just calm down, make proper products, get rich, develop further, get richer, stay quiet, thanks.
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