Archive for the ‘Havok’ tag
A few years ago, CD Project Red has licensed Havok physics engine and animation system for upcoming game titles. As result, the highly acclaimed The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings title was using Havok based physics.
As company’s next generation REDengine 3 was announced, it would be natural to expect that future games utilizing this engine, such as The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, will continue to rely on Havok technology.
However, in a recent interview with PCGamesHardware, it was revealed by the developers that PhysX SDK will be used in The Witcher 3 as the physics engine (and this was confirmed by our sources as well). In addition, NVIDIA APEX integration will provide additional features such as cloth simulation and realistic destruction.
As of yet there is no information if GPU acceleration will be supported by The Witcher 3 or if other CD Project Red projects, like Cyberpunk 2077, will use PhysX based physics too.
Recent announcement of Sony’s next-generation PlayStation 4 console has revealed that the new gaming system will be equipped with custom AMD GPU, capable of GPGPU computations – for example, physics simulation. To showcase its processing power, a live demo of GPU accelerated particle simulation, running on the Havok engine, was demonstrated during the event.
Update: official press-release
Update #2: PhysX SDK and APEX – now on Xbox One
An opinions began to emerge, that NVIDIA PhysX SDK engine and PhysX Technology as a whole won’t find its place in the world of next-generation consoles and, thus, will be abandoned quickly.
However, official “PlayStation 4 Tools & Middleware Developers” page says that “following middleware companies have their innovative technology solutions available right now to support PlayStation 4 developers”:
Since NVIDIA does not own any AI or Animation middleware, it is pretty clear that PhysX SDK physics engine is implied here. PhysX SDK will support PlayStation 4 and is already available for developers, as our sources, close to the industry, can confirm.
It is yet unclear, how the situation with GPU acceleration (you know, that “NVIDIA technology running on AMD hardware?!?!” stuff) will be handled on PS4 , but it is now certain – PhysX is here to stay.
While inspecting the PC version of Hitman: Sniper Challenge demo, recently released as bonus to Hitman: Absolution pre-order, we have spotted interesting detail – this demo is utilizing PhysX SDK 2.8.4 engine for physics calculations.
Since Sniper Challenge is based on same new “Glacier 2” engine, developed by IO Interactive, it is safe to assume that Hitman: Absolution (and other future games on this engine) will be also using PhysX SDK.
PhysX is responcible for rigid body physics, character controller and collision detection, while cloth simulation is powered by CloakWorks Shroud engine.
However, we do not have any official or unofficial information regarding GPU PhysX support in Hitman: Absolution – most likely, it will feature only CPU based physics.
As interesting note, latest games by IO Interactive – Kane & Lynch: Dead Men and Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days – were using Havok physics solution.
Physical simulation of character clothing is yet inceptive, but very promising trend and a great way to make game characters more believable.
We are giving an overview of most interesting cloth simulation packages in our new article : “Clothing simulation solutions for games“.
PathEngine, pathfinding and agent movement middleware toolkit, was updated to version 5.23.
Apart from other changes, like memory footprint and loading time optimisations, PathEngine 5.23 adds support for automatic ground meshes processing and building from third-party physics provider scene data – PhysX SDK and Havok.
PathEngine middleware was used in certain games, like Titan Quest, Stormrise and Pirates of the Burning Sea, and is going to be implemented into Metro 2033 and Just Cause 2.
Year ago AMD’s opinion on PhysX was clear enough – it will die, if it remains a closed and proprietary standard.
Recently Bit-tech.net has published massive interview with Richard Huddy, AMD’s Worldwide Developer Relations manager, on game development, competition’s progress, DX11 and other technologies. Of course, few words were said about PhysX – let’s focus on that and see what has changed for the past year.
About Batman Arkham Asylum (Link)
[Nvidia] put PhsyX in there, and that’s the one I’ve got a reasonable amount of respect for. Even though I don’t think PhysX – a proprietary standard – is the right way to go, despite Nvidia touting it as an “open standard” and how it would be “more than happy to license it to AMD“, but [Nvidia] won’t. It’s just not true! You know the way it is, it’s simply something [Nvidia] would not do and they can publically say that as often as it likes and know that it won’t, because we’ve actually had quiet conversations with them and they’ve made it abundantly clear that we can go whistle.
However, PhysX is a piece of technology that changes the gameplay experience and maybe it improves it. What I understand is that they actually invested quite a lot, Nvidia put in a hefty engineering time and they tried to make a difference to the game. So, in that aspect, I have respect for it; it’s a reasonable way to handle the situation given the investment in PhysX. Nvidia wanted a co-marketing deal and put forward PhysX, and Rocksteady and Eidos said, OK, as long as you do it – which they did.
Our commentary: It’s now hard to call PhysX irrelevant, when you have played Batman, isn’t it ? Another interesting part is different look on that ATI-NV PhysX licensing situation.
About ATI+NV PhysX setups ban (Link) | Nvidia’s position
They don’t want to QA it. The PC is an open platform, though – you’re meant to take any two parts and put them together. Intel don’t say “we’re not prepared to QA our CPUs with Nvidia or AMD’s graphics parts” when they obviously spend time QAing them because you want to build a system that works.
Our commentary: Yes, it’s looking, let’s say, not right for us too. That’s why we are doing our best to support PhysX Hybrids idea.
End of the year is proper time to gather some statictics and summarize what PhysX SDK has archieved in past 4 years. So, we woud like to present our new article “Popular Physics Engines comparison: PhysX, Havok and ODE“, in which we are trying to compare PhysX SDK with other physics engines presented on the market not in terms of features, quality, performance or something like that – but released game titles.
Article includes basic statistics for Bullet and Newton physics engines, and advanced statictics for PhysX SDK, Havok and ODE – released games quality, platform distribution, and release dynamics for past years.
Expreview asked its readers recently, about which physics acceleration technology looks more promising to them.
Now, after 5 days and 281 votes, Nvidia PhysX is leading, Bullet is going second (probably, thanks to AMD users and all recent hype, as Bullet was listed as “AMD Bullet”, while being independent development), Intel Havok comes third.
Polling is not over, so you still can lend your vote.
Ervin Coumans, creator of “Bullet” open-source physics engine, has posted some interesting facts at bulletphysics.com recently. According to article in August 2009 issue of Game Developers Magazine, covering middleware survey results (over 100 senior developers of various development companies surveyed), Physx SDK have the lead with 26.8% in physics libraries rating, next is Havok with 22.7%, third – Bullet at 10.3%, and finally – Open Dynamic Engine at 4.1%.