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Programming IT Technology

Havok Releases Free Version For PC Developers 86

Posted by kdawson
from the let-slip-the-dogs-of-physics dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Havok has released the free version of its widely-used physics and animation engine (but without source code), including tools that integrate with Autodesk 3ds Max and Maya. Developers may use Havok for free for non-commercial games, middleware, and academic projects. Here are the SDK and tools."
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Havok Releases Free Version For PC Developers

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  • by h2k1 (661151)
    gonna render a babe for this saturday night!
    • Re:cool (Score:5, Funny)

      by tomhudson (43916) <`moc.nosduh-arab ... `nosduh.arabrab'> on Saturday May 31, 2008 @07:41PM (#23613403) Journal

      gonna render a babe for this saturday night!

      Why not go to Soviet Russia, where babe renders YOU!

  • Don't complain (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew AT gmail DOT com> on Saturday May 31, 2008 @08:12PM (#23613575) Homepage Journal
    Havok wasn't obligated to do this. It is a kind (and perhaps savvy) gesture. I can't wait to see all the open-source Linux shooters integrate Havok. How long before it is in Ogre 3D and common engines like that?

    I think it might be savvy, that if physics become common even in free games, that consumers won't want to pay for a commercial game unless it features physics as well.

    I recall a while back someone was trying to create a homebrew engine that would play Jedi Knight levels, and it was a fairly impressive engine, except they couldn't finish it because they couldn't find a coder who could integrate even basic physics stuff. People looked and looked on all the usual sites, but it seems not many people know that stuff.
    • by Kalriath (849904) *
      Open Source still can't integrate Havok - the GNU GPL forbids linking proprietary libraries even if they can be obtained free of charge. So a GPL'd shooter cannot use it.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Enderandrew (866215)
        Not everything OSS is GPL. And I don't want to start a GPL-flame-fest here, but this is another example of GPL restricts as much as it protects freedom.
        • Re:Don't complain (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Rycross (836649) on Saturday May 31, 2008 @08:44PM (#23613749)
          True, I think you could integrate this with BSD code. How many game libraries are available in BSD though? I think most of them tend to be GPL or LGPL. Ogre is LGPL as is Crystal Space. OpenTNL (game networking) has both LGPL and commercial licenses.

          Of course, you could probably integrate this with a slew of commercial engines.

          I'd say GPL restricts certain freedoms for the sake of others that are, in the opinion of the FSF, more important. Not a big deal from my perspective.
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by cduffy (652)
          The copyright holder of a work can make an exception for Havok; it doesn't restrict them, but rather third parties (from creating a combined work under a license which restricts the user more tightly than the GPL itself).

          Yes, though, the GPL is restrictive. I think people understand that (and the purpose of those restrictions) when they decide to use it.
          • Sometimes third parties are more important though. There are dozens of actively developed Quake1 clients out there, with far more activity than IDSoft puts in to it. If someone wants to patch in realistic physics it would have to be done by IDSoftware who has no interest in this.

        • by Kalriath (849904) *
          I apologise for that presumption - I was going on the basic premise that almost all Open Source on Linux is using the GPL (which from my own observations is true). This isn't to say that this free offering could not be used by BSD (or similar) or First Party licensed code.
        • by Haeleth (414428)

          I don't want to start a GPL-flame-fest here

          Amazingly enough, if you make inflammatory comments, your protestations that you don't want to start a flame war sound a little hollow...

          this is another example of GPL restricts as much as it protects freedom.

          Everything restricts some "freedom" or another. It's just a question of which rights are considered more appropriate to protect. The standard example is killing: we have decided, as a society, to restrict your right to kill other people, in favour of protec

          • Except the GPL is about forcing everyone to be completely free, or not at all. It isn't about commercial acceptance.

            The GPL is certainly better than nothing, but I think a simpler, less restrictive license could largely still serve the same purpose for most OSS projects.
      • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

        by bigstrat2003 (1058574) *
        I believe I speak for all people with a lick of common sense when I say: What. The. Fuck.

        Thankfully, you can just rewrite that idioticness out of the GPL if you want to use it. Chalk up another reason why I wish the GPL would die... :/

        • Re:Don't complain (Score:4, Informative)

          by nhaines (622289) <nhaines&ubuntu,com> on Saturday May 31, 2008 @09:57PM (#23614093) Homepage
          The point of the GPL is to produce software which is freely redistributable. But if you integrate non-Free software, then you lose the rights that the GPL is meant to protect. You can no longer share the entire project. You can no longer examine the way the entire project works. You can no longer sell the project. You can no longer fix and support the project.

          If you do not want to grant others the freedom to your software that the GPL offers, then you should not license your code under the GPL and instead you should pick a more appropriate license.
          • Not true in the slightest. It's entirely possible to give people the ability to modify YOUR code (which is the point of open source), without them being able to modify code which you depend on. Furthermore, you don't need to be able to modify all the code to see how the whole program works, and modify it.

            • The thing is, the Havok free license requires you to distribute your whole software package as binary only. That's incredibly un-friendly to Open Source. Sure, there could potentially be an open source license which doesn't require shared libraries you link to be open source as well (actually, in reading the GPL, I think you could make the case that you could even distribute your software under the GPL if it links to proprietary libraries, because in as much as those libraries are not really part of your pr
          • by nurb432 (527695)
            Or do like some of us who don't believe in IP at all, and just ignore licensing totally.
        • by chromatic (9471)

          Chalk up another reason why I wish the GPL would die...

          I hope your other reasons have more basis in reality than the incorrect claim of the grandparent post.

          • My other reason (which is enough to prompt a 5-page flame war all by itself) is the so-called "viral" aspect of the GPL. I firmly believe that it is an arbitrary and unnecessary restriction of freedom, which, since the GPL is supposed to promote freedom, pretty much makes the GPL an exercise in hypocrisy.

            That's just my 2c, though, I realize I'm in the minority.

            • by chromatic (9471)

              I realize I'm in the minority.

              That may be because reasonable people recognize that you have more rights under the GPL than you have under standard copyright.

      • by chromatic (9471)

        the GNU GPL forbids linking proprietary libraries even if they can be obtained free of charge.

        Citation, please.

        • Ok, I'll bite: (Score:3, Informative)

          by JSBiff (87824)

          I don't know that the GPL expressely forbids linking to non-GPL libraries. However, there is definitely a license conflict between Havok and the GPL. . .

          From the Havok license:

          "i. publicly demonstrate, and publicly distribute a Havok-enabled non-commercial end-user compiled, binary executable software application or game for the Windows PC Platform, in which the Software is compiled and distributed within the software application or game in an integral, non-separable way, for no direct or indirect commercia
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by chromatic (9471)

            There's absolutely no way you can simultaneously abide by the terms of both the Havok license and the GPL.

            From the GPL side, you can -- but you cannot distribute the resulting work.

            I don't know that the GPL expressely forbids linking to non-GPL libraries.

            It doesn't. The GPL only governs redistribution.

      • Re:Don't complain (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Toonol (1057698) on Sunday June 01, 2008 @02:19AM (#23615051)
        How is it possible to write GPL code for windows, then? All windows software links to proprietary win32 libraries.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward
          Correct. However, there is a clause (at least in GPLv2, and a similar clause should exist in GPLv3) that states:

          However, as a special exception, the source code distributed need not include anything that is normally distributed (in either source or binary form) with the major components (compiler, kernel, and so on) of the operating system on which the executable runs, unless that component itself accompanies the executable.

          In other words, it's fine to create GPL software that links with standard Windows li

      • Open source software can integrate Havok. I can write a program and release its source and not be GPL.
      • It seems to be a bit of a murky area, but here is my interpretation of the matter. Please note: IANAL. The quotes are taken from the GPLv3; as far as I can tell, the GPLv2 says much the same thing, albeit less explicitly.

        From section 1, "Source code":

        The "Corresponding Source" for a work in object code form means all the source code needed to generate, install, and (for an executable work) run the object code and to modify the work, including scripts to control those activities. However, it does not include the work's System Libraries, or general-purpose tools or generally available free programs which are used unmodified in performing those activities but which are not part of the work. For example, Corresponding Source includes interface definition files associated with source files for the work, and the source code for shared libraries and dynamically linked subprograms that the work is specifically designed to require, such as by intimate data communication or control flow between those subprograms and other parts of the work.

        I would say an application which makes use of the Havok SDK is "specifically designed" to require it. I don't think one could get away with saying it's a "System Library", either (a System Library being defined earlier as, in essence, something which int

        • A minor clarification:

          a System Library being defined earlier as, in essence, something which interfaces with parts of an application's host OS, if any

          Under that wording, anything running on an OS is a System Library. This is not my intended meaning, nor that of the license; it should read:

          a System Library being defined earlier as, in essence, something which exists purely to interface with parts of an application's host OS, if any

          Think wrappers, language bindings to OS APIs, etc. :)

        • I know it's incredibly bad form to keep replying to my own posts, but I think this is an important subject. :) Please see also http://www.fsf.org/licensing/licenses/gpl-faq.html#FSWithNFLibs [fsf.org] and http://www.fsf.org/licensing/licenses/gpl-faq.html#GPLIncompatibleLibs [fsf.org]. These seem to largely agree with my viewpoint that it isn't inherently prohibited, but there may be legal problems, and you should consider adding exceptions to your program's license to explicitly allow linking with required non-free librarie
    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      This is the Havok SDK for Windows. Even the license agreement states the same:

      b. In the following cases Havok grants to Licensee a nonexclusive, nontransferable, irrevocable (except to the extent provided in section 13 below), perpetual right and license to internally develop:
      i. publicly demonstrate, and publicly distribute a Havok-enabled non-commercial end-user compiled, binary executable software application or game for the Windows PC Platform, in which the Software is compiled and distributed within

    • by Tacvek (948259)

      Well, the problem is that using it in an open source game partially defeats the oint of the game being open source. Any which way, it is unlikely to be integrated with GPL'd works.
      From the explanitory pages:

      With the free download of Havok Physics and Havok Animation for the PC, you can develop and distribute your free PC Game or free PC application for no direct or indirect commercial value provided the Havok libraries are compiled and distributed with your application or game in an integral, non-separable way.

      This sounds like the game must be distributed Gratis which is not guaranteed by the GPL.

      Further, this is all specific to Windows PC game development. Non Windows development is not covered. This probably does not matter much as no non-windows binaries were made available. Similarly, console game devel

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Rycross (836649)
      As others have pointed out, its going to be hard to integrate this with other FOSS libraries. Even though Ogre is LPGL and not GPL, I don't think its possible. But we do have ODE (Open Dynamics Engine) to work with. It'd be interesting to see how Havok compares to ODE.
      • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        ODE is terrible---very limited, rebuilds datastructures each frame...

        Bullet is good though (used in several commercial games and also integrates nicely with ogre (what I use ) )
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Why would OSS want Havok? We already have Bullet, it's actually Free Software, and widely integrated. This release of Havok is due to the Free Software physics libraries gaining traction in the commercial game development world and eating into Havok's market.
    • by CDeity (467334)

      Havok wasn't obligated to do this. It is a kind (and perhaps savvy) gesture.

      They weren't obligated to do it, but let's be honest: they were somewhat forced to. NVIDIA bought PhysX not too long ago and announced they were implementing it with CUDA so GPUs could provide physics acceleration.

      The NVIDIA PhysX binary-only SDK has been available for a while now.

      http://developer.nvidia.com/object/physx.htm [nvidia.com]

      Kindness? Neigh: competition.

    • How does it compare (Score:4, Interesting)

      by PhrostyMcByte (589271) <phrosty@gmail.com> on Sunday June 01, 2008 @04:11AM (#23615449) Homepage

      What I want to know is: how does it compare to the existing Open Source physics libraries, such as Bullet [bulletphysics.com] (which was made by an ex-Havok developer)?

      • It's about time we make a free software game that doesn't smell of mold from the 90s and find out, isn't it? I'm serious - if anyone is interested, Contact me. I can't play doom much longer!

    • > I think it might be savvy, that if physics become common even in free games,
      > that consumers won't want to pay for a commercial game unless it features physics as well.

      Very large numbers of extremely popular games don't need any physics, e.g. Puzzle Quest. And the majority of the game-buying public neither knows nor cares anything about physics or the engine that runs the game.

      Consumers will pay for what they enjoy. Physics, presence or absence thereof, doesn't enter into their buying decisions.
    • Havok wasn't obligated to do this. It is a kind (and perhaps savvy) gesture. I can't wait to see all the open-source Linux shooters integrate Havok.

      It wasn't a kind gesture... They just realized they are getting shut out of the market place after the NVIDIA/Physx merge. The Physx engine was always free (binary) and only required a registration before downloading their SDK - prior to the merge, now you can get it free HERE [nvidia.com] no registration.

      They even provide samples and documentation. If you want a more corporate-like support from them, then you pay, for the service. Havok was about paying for their engine prior to learning the engine. How can you lear

  • Although, when they said May I didn't think they would release it with only an hour to spare..
  • From the Terms and Conditions ( http://tryhavok.intel.com/terms.php [intel.com]), it seems as though:

    You can distribute a Havok-enabled game, as long as Havok cannot be separated from it by the end user.

    You can distribute game middleware/game engines/game tools as long as Havok is not included in them at all (I guess the end user will have to get their own license)

    Where game mods fit into this I am not sure.

    I'm not a lawyer, blah blah blah

    The above sentence is self-contradicting)
    • Thats actually a really painful restriction. If it wernt for that then someone could have written a wrapper around a poor and incomplete opensource physics engine that replicates Havoks api and then just let people link their own havok engine dll in to an open source game (without violating the gpl, so long as they don't redistribute).

      Now you're kind of screwed on both ends.
  • It does not support Visual Studio 2008. Only 2003 and 2005. Boo!

    It does seem to be more than a physics engine, though. It comes with an asset manager with plugins for 3DS, Maya and XSI to ease conversion of scenes into Havok. This could be seen as additional features or bloat depending your point of view.
    • Re:Strike one! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by johannesg (664142) on Sunday June 01, 2008 @01:57AM (#23615001)

      It does not support Visual Studio 6. Only 2003 and 2005. Boo!
      Fixed that for you...
      • I don't see why it should support a 10 year old IDE.

        Just grab the free express edition of 2005 and get rid of VS 6. Unless you're stuck on Win9x, in which case good luck. You're going to need it...
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by johannesg (664142)
          I use that ten years old IDE because it is more pleasant to work with than the more recent versions.

          Something really simple that *really* annoys the hell out of me in any later version: in VS6, you can cancel the message window (i.e. make it disappear) by hitting escape. In later versions, you cannot.

          In VS6 you can create keyboard macro's and bind them to any key you want. I've been looking for this option in later versions and could not find it.

          In VS6, DevStudio was first and foremost a C++ environment wit
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by ichigo 2.0 (900288)
            Ok, so you really hate the newer VS versions. I still think it's unreasonable to expect that companies like Havok spend time making their SDKs compatible with VS 6 when even Microsoft doesn't support it.

            Oh, and those "free" versions of yours? They aren't free for corporate use...

            Actually, they are: [microsoft.com]

            7. Can I use Express Editions for commercial use?

            Yes, there are no licensing restrictions for applications built using Visual Studio Express Editions.

  • why not GPL it? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by RiotingPacifist (1228016) on Sunday June 01, 2008 @05:32AM (#23615661)
    Given that no closed source game is going to GPL themselves instead of pay for a license why didnt they just GPL the thing and let open source games benefit? I'm no Stalmanist but in this case there is no down-side to GPLing it only extra geek credit.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Haeleth (414428)
      They don't want anyone to profit from the free version.

      It would be entirely possible for someone to use a hypothetical GPL version to make a commercial game; they would have to distribute the full source code to the game engine, of course, but the artwork, soundtrack, gameplay, etc could all remain non-free, so the game as a whole would be commercially viable.

      Of course, it's true that only a tiny minority of commercial developers would be interested in that kind of business model, so maybe the open-source g
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by TomorrowPlusX (571956)
      Because there is an absolutely unfathomable amount of brilliant mathematics running behind the scenes. The kind of stuff that competitor physics engine authors would love to pore over.

      Even if they can't use that work, they can certainly learn some of the tricks that Havok uses.

      Now, if what you want is open source physics, check out ODE ( http:://ode.org [http] ) and bullet ( http://www.bulletphysics.com/ [bulletphysics.com] ) both are fully open source, both are well documented, and both are quite good, but aim at different usages.

      • by xhrit (915936)
        ODE is a physics engine; it uses Opcode for limited collision detection. Bullet is a collision detection engine; it uses a native dynamics engine for limited physics simulation. Bullet Collision Detection can work with ODE physics; the best thing to do is to use both.
        • Bullet has full dynamics. Maybe you're thinking of an older bullet implementation?

          Either way, the point ( while more or less true ) is academic. Both bullet and ode have collision detection as well as dynamics. It may very well be true that ODE is better at dynamics and Bullet is better at collision. But either way, you can use just one engine for both purposes.

          Also, OPCODE is solely used in ODE for trimesh collision detection. ODE has had collision detection for primitive shapes ( cylinders, spheres, capsu
  • NVIDIA's PhysX library is free to use and will soon have hardware physics support on Geforce 8+ cards. The days of pay-for physics middleware is over.
  • Is this for PC? (Windows, Gnu/Linux, OSX, Solaris, PS3, Xbox360, etc users..) or just for Windows?

    If it's just for Windows then why does it say PC?

    You know that PC != Windows... :P

Is it possible that software is not like anything else, that it is meant to be discarded: that the whole point is to always see it as a soap bubble?