Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Havok Releases Free Version For PC Developers

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the let-slip-the-dogs-of-physics dept.

Programming 86

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."

cancel ×

86 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Only gratis, (-1, Troll)

Bromskloss (750445) | more than 6 years ago | (#23613315)

not free.

Re:Only gratis, (2, Insightful)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 6 years ago | (#23613385)

You mean "free as in crack cocaine - the first hit is on the house".

Still, it's a valid way to get developers interested in using your tools. Not everything in life is free, and they have the right to do this, same as other softwae companies did in the past (eg: Borland with Kylix licensing).

Re:Only gratis, (1)

p0tat03 (985078) | more than 6 years ago | (#23615475)

One of the reasons they may have done this is that another highly competitive physics engine (PhysX, formerly known as Novodex) is *also* available for free. I don't think you can create a mass-distributed product for free with it, though. This may just be a competitive move for Havok, as opposed to something done entirely out of the good of their hearts :)

Re:Only gratis, (2, Insightful)

.orvp (208389) | more than 6 years ago | (#23613419)

Havok is indeed being released as 'free' under certain circumstances. Yes, it is 'gratis' but 'gratis' is indeed 'free', just not 'Free'. Throughout the blurb, the software is referred to as 'free', not 'Free', it is only capitalized in the Headline, as per standard Title Conventions (although, I think 'for' should be lower case).

Just because the FSF doesn't consider it to be 'free' does not mean that it is not. To the average user, consumer, and non GNU evangelist, this release is indeed 'free', as there is no financial cost to use.

Re:Only gratis, (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 6 years ago | (#23613451)

who spoke about FSF? It's a piece (or collection) of software. We are on Slashdot, a forum (supposedly) for geeks. The adjective free in this context has a more specific meaning.

Re:Only gratis, (3, Insightful)

c_forq (924234) | more than 6 years ago | (#23613519)

I beg to differ. Slashdot is very familiar with free as in beer. Unless an article is specifically about the GNU, FSF, or Stallman I think it is safe to assume the average slashdotter will interpret free as in beer, and Free as in freedom.

Re:Only gratis, (1, Offtopic)

.orvp (208389) | more than 6 years ago | (#23613541)

I'll agree that this is Slashdot, but 'free' had a meaning well before 'free software'. Since the blurb doesn't say 'free software', when Bromskloss said that this was "not free", Bromskloss was incorrect. It is free as in beer.

The term has been hijacked. Now if you want to argue that "free" should never be used in headlines without qualification, that is another story. But we could also argue that all FOSS stories should be tagged as such, and not just left as free, and let 'free' (without qualification of "free software" or "Free") mean free as in Beer, like it used to be.

Re:Only gratis, (1)

c0d3g33k (102699) | more than 6 years ago | (#23617449)

'free' had a meaning well before 'free software'. ...

The term has been hijacked.
Not really. The use of the word to mean "gratis" is really just a sloppy truncation of 'free of charge'.
Reading through the definition at reference.com, it's quite clear that the meaning of free has much more to do with liberty, freedom and unencumbrace than it has to do with monetary value. If the term has been hijacked, it's in the opposite direction from the one you are arguing.

Re:Only gratis, (1)

Rycross (836649) | more than 6 years ago | (#23613711)

On Slashdot we tend to use free in both the "beer" and "freedom" senses. Usually its specified which one, or they use Free (uppercase) when specifying the "freedom" free. But the original comment was useful since it clarified.

Re:Only gratis, (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 6 years ago | (#23614457)

It's beer and speech.

The full analogy is:

Free as in "Free Beer!" vs. Free as in "Free Speech."

jeez. They used to say that the hacker mentality tended towards very precise use of language. Sadly slashdot is getting sloppy all the time. You even see people saying that "42 is the meaning of life" when that is not anywhere near the very precise wording that made for a joke that stretched out over five thirds of a trilogy.

Re:Only gratis, (1)

debatem1 (1087307) | more than 6 years ago | (#23615213)

Lighten up, Francis.
Some people use language more precisely than others.

Re:Only gratis, (3, Funny)

Kalriath (849904) | more than 6 years ago | (#23613513)

Yes, free [reference.com] (AND gratis - which only has one definition).

Stop trying to redefine English you frigging Nazis. Free means whatever every English dictionary in the world says it means.

Re:Only gratis, (1)

Quartz25 (1195075) | more than 6 years ago | (#23619315)

Godwin

cool (1)

h2k1 (661151) | more than 6 years ago | (#23613375)

gonna render a babe for this saturday night!

Re:cool (4, Funny)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 6 years ago | (#23613403)

gonna render a babe for this saturday night!

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

Re:cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23613503)

gonna render a babe for this saturday night!


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

isn't being rendered another word for disembowelment?

Re:cool (1)

c_forq (924234) | more than 6 years ago | (#23613557)

Rend means to tear into two or more pieces, I think that is what you are looking for. Render can mean to provide a service, which I am pretty sure you can find a lot closer than Soviet Russia (especially since Soviet Russia doesn't exist anymore). Render can also mean to melt down though, so make sure that Soviet Russian babe isn't associated with a foundry.

Re:cool (1)

DMUTPeregrine (612791) | more than 6 years ago | (#23613879)

He means it in the sense of food processing [wikipedia.org] . That is converting waste meat into useful products.

Re:cool (1)

c_forq (924234) | more than 6 years ago | (#23614053)

That is done by heating, not by disembowling/tearing. Render meaning to melt down actually doesn't apply to metals, but to fat (I was trying it to metal at an attempt at humor, even though it isn't proper usage).

Re:cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23614575)

...impotent.

Don't complain (4, Insightful)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 6 years ago | (#23613575)

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.

Re:Don't complain (1)

Kalriath (849904) | more than 6 years ago | (#23613655)

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:Don't complain (2, Insightful)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 6 years ago | (#23613717)

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 (3, Interesting)

Rycross (836649) | more than 6 years ago | (#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:Don't complain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23613953)

They are often LGPL precisely because it allows linking with libraries like this.

Re:Don't complain (1)

faragon (789704) | more than 6 years ago | (#23615497)

You're right. Havok can be in the same case as GNU C library (LGPL), which can be linked statically to GPL code.

Re:Don't complain (2, Informative)

cduffy (652) | more than 6 years ago | (#23613779)

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.

Re:Don't complain (1)

irc.goatse.cx troll (593289) | more than 6 years ago | (#23614743)

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.

Re:Don't complain (1)

Kalriath (849904) | more than 6 years ago | (#23613815)

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.

Re:Don't complain (1)

Haeleth (414428) | more than 6 years ago | (#23616017)

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 protecting their right to life. That doesn't mean our society is not "free", even though it restricts what you're allowed to do.

In this instance, the clause you identify as "restrictive", I see as necessary to protect my freedom. If I download a piece of GPL-licensed software, I know that I have the right to use it in any situation, even commercially. To protect that, the license absolutely must prohibit the inclusion of anything like this Havok code that may not be used commercially, because allowing that restriction to be added to GPL'd software would instantly take away that guaranteed freedom to use GPL'd code commercially.

Re:Don't complain (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 6 years ago | (#23616419)

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:Don't complain (0, Troll)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 6 years ago | (#23614057)

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 (3, Informative)

nhaines (622289) | more than 6 years ago | (#23614093)

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.

Re:Don't complain (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 6 years ago | (#23614299)

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 problem is more the Havok license than the GPL (2, Interesting)

JSBiff (87824) | more than 6 years ago | (#23614747)


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 program, they wouldn't have to be covered by the GPL), but even if you used such a license for your software, you STILL couldn't link your software with Havok, because the Havok license *requires* you to NOT distribute source code to people. The Havok license is FAR, FAR more restrictive and obnoxious than the GPL ever was or will be.

Re:Don't complain (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23617357)

You're a retard.

Re:Don't complain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23622443)

manboobies

Re:Don't complain (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#23620441)

Or do like some of us who don't believe in IP at all, and just ignore licensing totally.

Re:Don't complain (1)

chromatic (9471) | more than 6 years ago | (#23614357)

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.

Re:Don't complain (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 6 years ago | (#23614579)

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.

Re:Don't complain (1)

chromatic (9471) | more than 6 years ago | (#23614701)

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.

Re:Don't complain (1)

chromatic (9471) | more than 6 years ago | (#23614371)

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

Citation, please.

Ok, I'll bite: (2, Informative)

JSBiff (87824) | more than 6 years ago | (#23614651)


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 commercial value;". Notice, particularly, "compiled, binary executable. . .in which the Software is compiled. . . in an integral, non-seperable way".

From the GPL v3 (GPL v2 is basically identical in this regard): See section 6 (not copied here because it's fairly long). In a nutshell, if you distribute binary/object code of the GPL'ed work, you MUST offer recipients access to the source code. So, if you honor the terms of the Havok license, you violate the GPL, or vice-versa.

Also from the GPL v3: See section 5, wherein the user is given permission to modify the work and distribute copies, but those copies MUST be licensed with the GPL (and so the user gets permission to modify the work). Access to the source code, and the right to modify it, means that end users could seperate Havok from the GPL'ed software. So, again, you would have to either violate the Havok license (by providing users access to the source and the right to modify it), or violate the GPL.

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

Re:Ok, I'll bite: (3, Insightful)

chromatic (9471) | more than 6 years ago | (#23614709)

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 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23614865)

There are good open source engines that are not (L)GPL, such as Panda3D.
They should be able to integrate with Havok just fine.

Re:Don't complain (4, Interesting)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 6 years ago | (#23615051)

How is it possible to write GPL code for windows, then? All windows software links to proprietary win32 libraries.

Re:Don't complain (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23615613)

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 libraries. If, however, you want to link it with libraries that are add-ons - like WinG was back in Windows 3.1 days (to pull an example off the top of my head) - you're violating the terms of the GPL.

open source != GPL (1)

Khashishi (775369) | more than 6 years ago | (#23615513)

Open source software can integrate Havok. I can write a program and release its source and not be GPL.

I don't think it does, but there's a catch (1)

mangobrain (877223) | more than 6 years ago | (#23620127)

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 interfaces with parts of an application's host OS, if any). Hence, the source code of the Havok SDK is Corresponding Source, IMHO.

So, what requirements does the GPLv3 place on Corresponding Source?

Sections 4 and 5, "Conveying Verbatim Copies" [of the program's source code] and "Conveying Modified Source Versions", do not mention Corresponding Source at all. From this, I would draw the conclusion that provided you are distributing your application in source code form, you do not have to re-distribute Corresponding Source.

However, from Section 6, "Conveying Non-source Forms":

You may convey a covered work in object code form under the terms of sections 4 and 5, provided that you also convey the machine-readable Corresponding Source under the terms of this License

So, if you are distributing binaries, you must distribute Corresponding Source, which obviously requires you to have access to it. In the case of the Havok SDK, this is clearly not the case.

This requirement is, in my opinion, linked in with the "anti-Tivoisation" measures incorporated into GPLv3; however it also has some importance when considering continued access to - and historical preservation of - useful software. It means that something licensed under the GPLv3 and distributed in binary form cannot be specifically designed (think "modified by Corporation X") to require closed-source components which do not qualify as System Libraries or Major Components of an OS. It also means that if a third-party library falls out of maintenance, it can still be fixed and updated as required to enable applications requiring it to keep working.

So, to summarise:

  • The Havok SDK qualifies as Corresponding Source of programs which require it.
  • Distribution of Corresponding Source is not required for works distributed in source code form.
    • This is important, as it means GPLv3 programs can use proprietary libraries provided they (the programs) are not distributed pre-compiled.*
  • However, Corresponding Source must be distributed with binaries.

Please note that I have not read the Havok SDK's license. It may or may not lay out requirements of its own for programs which prevent the scenario under discussion, but AFAICT, the GPLv3 itself doesn't prevent usage of closed-source libraries per se, provided you stick to only giving out source.

* Similar - but by no means identical - to the provisions in the Mozilla license which require distribution of binaries compiled by third parties to have all Mozilla-related trademarks removed. Debian et al. rebrand Firefox as a result; source-based distributions such as Gentoo don't innately prevent usage of official branding because they only distribute source code, but make doing so optional, and make it clear that doing so means you can't re-distribute your own binaries after compilation.

Re:I don't think it does, but there's a catch (1)

mangobrain (877223) | more than 6 years ago | (#23620167)

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. :)

Bit more info (1)

mangobrain (877223) | more than 6 years ago | (#23620371)

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 libraries.

However, their arguments seem to rely on the concept of linking - including static linking - being some sort of "magic" that results in a derived work. Not everyone agrees with this concept, provided that what you're linking with isn't modified. For example, see this LKML post by Linus Torvalds: http://lkml.org/lkml/2006/12/17/79 [lkml.org] . His views basically boil down to static linking being a form of aggregation, and dynamic linking of separate works having even less bearing since it doesn't necessarily require distribution of both works. Both, however, having bearing on whether or not two works are independent.

Re:Don't complain (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23613665)

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 the software application or game in an integral, non-separable way, for no direct or indirect commercial value;
ii. publicly demonstrate, and publicly sell a Havok-enabled commercial PC Game only for the Windows PC Platform for a retail value of less than or equal to ten US Dollars (US$10.00) (or equivalent amount in other currencies based on prevailing exchange rates at the time of game launch), and in which the Software is compiled and distributed within the binary executable game in an integral, non-separable way only;
iii. publicly demonstrate a Havok-enabled commercial PC Game for the Windows PC Platform, intended for commercial sale above a retail value of ten US Dollars (US$10.00), subject to (aa) in Havok's sole discretion, Havok's prior written approval; and (bb) execution of a separate no-charge PC Game distribution license which must be secured from Havok at www.havok.com/PCgamedistribution; and
iv. develop compatibility between the Havok SDK and PC Game tools, PC Game middleware, and PC Game engines, subject to no components of the Software being redistributed in any manner.
v. publicly distribute Havok-compatible commercial and non-commercial demo code and academic research subject to no components of the Software being redistributed in any manner.

Re:Don't complain (1)

Tacvek (948259) | more than 6 years ago | (#23613699)

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 development is not covered, but once again the lack of binaries would be a bigger issue.


For the record, it sounds like there are no further restirctions for commerical games costing $10 (USD) or less, and that a different license (still at no cost) is available for Commerical Windows PC development of games costing more than $10 (USD).

Re:Don't complain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23614271)

Well, the problem is that...
and this is worse than them not giving it away why exactly? the "not free enough" argument is bullshit, they dont have any obligation to give the public ANYTHING. in the spirit of the GPL, if you dont like it then code your own fucking physics engine and release it under whatever licence you want

Re:Don't complain (1)

Tacvek (948259) | more than 6 years ago | (#23617803)

Did I say it was worse than them not giving it away? No I did not. I said that trying to use it in an open source program would be problematic. As it stands though, It looks like it is free to all windows PC developers, so I do expect to see better physics In PC games (free and commercial) in the future. As for your comment that they don't have any obligation to give the public anything, I counter that they are indeed obligated under the license that Intel took out on behalf of the public. Obviously, they had the right to refuse that license, but since they accepted it, they are surely now obligated to hold up their end of the bargain.

Re:Don't complain (2, Interesting)

Rycross (836649) | more than 6 years ago | (#23613725)

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:Don't complain (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23614531)

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 ) )

We already have Bullet (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23614501)

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.

Re:Don't complain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23614595)

What's wrong with Bullet or ODE? They're both far more capable than Jedi Knight's physics, open source, and have even been used in commercial games.

Re:Don't complain (2, Interesting)

p0tat03 (985078) | more than 6 years ago | (#23615469)

Warning: It's been a few months since I've touched physics engines... so maybe things have changed somewhat since then.

ODE's solver is horrendously slow compared to commercial physics packages. The plus side is that it has a more physically accurate solver... which unfortunately most games simply do not need. ODE is geared towards physical SIMULATIONS, whereas Novodex/PhysX and Havok are built more towards *looking* physically correct, as opposed to being *actually* correct. The difference is in the scale of physics problem they can solve. Havok has proven itself able to crack thousands of interacting rigid body objects, while ODE buckles on the same hardware.

As for Bullet, I really don't know... It's a very young project and I haven't had much experience with it.

Re:Don't complain (1)

CDeity (467334) | more than 6 years ago | (#23614637)

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 (3, Interesting)

PhrostyMcByte (589271) | more than 6 years ago | (#23615449)

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)?

Re:How does it compare (1)

TehZorroness (1104427) | more than 6 years ago | (#23622457)

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!

Don't be silly! (1)

EWAdams (953502) | more than 6 years ago | (#23615597)


> 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.

Re:Don't complain (1)

VeNoM0619 (1058216) | more than 6 years ago | (#23627331)

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 learn it without some basics? Yes, they allowed you to view some of it (their sales pitch), but nothing for the independent people who have an interest without a company backing them up.

In my opinion, this is only following because they would go out of business otherwise. Regardless, I am still going to be using the Physx engine unless I hear there's multiple advantages using Havok.

Better late than never (2, Funny)

simonloach (974712) | more than 6 years ago | (#23613619)

Although, when they said May I didn't think they would release it with only an hour to spare..

Free? (1)

Joseph1337 (1146047) | more than 6 years ago | (#23613783)

The truly free ones include: ODE, Bullet, Tokamak and Newton(IIRC)

Re:Free? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23614839)

Newton Game Dynamics is gratis but not open source.

Licenses are hard to read! (2, Informative)

PhasmatisApparatus (1086395) | more than 6 years ago | (#23614173)

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)

Re:Licenses are hard to read! (1)

irc.goatse.cx troll (593289) | more than 6 years ago | (#23614757)

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.

Strike one! (1)

Perseid (660451) | more than 6 years ago | (#23614751)

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! (3, Insightful)

johannesg (664142) | more than 6 years ago | (#23615001)

It does not support Visual Studio 6. Only 2003 and 2005. Boo!
Fixed that for you...

Re:Strike one! (1)

ichigo 2.0 (900288) | more than 6 years ago | (#23616715)

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:Strike one! (2, Insightful)

johannesg (664142) | more than 6 years ago | (#23617587)

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 with some other stuff thrown in. In later versions it is the other way around: the normal C++ stuff seems to be an afterthought, and the focus is on lots of other stuff I don't use and don't care about, like HTML and .NET.

The list was longer, but it has been a while since I last used those later versions.

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

Re:Strike one! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23618639)

I really cannot stand it when people argue for VS6 superiority. You are stuck in the past. VS2003 and on have the same c++ support, and MORE. Just because it has the .NET label on it doesn't mean c++ was an after thought.

You probably used VS2003 for 10 minutes, realized that it wasn't the same old clunky IDE you were used to, and now refuse to ever move on.

The new versions of visual studio are DIFFERENT. They are not WORSE.

Re:Strike one! (2, Informative)

ichigo 2.0 (900288) | more than 6 years ago | (#23619717)

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.

Re:Strike one! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23708833)

2008 opens the projects fine.

why not GPL it? (2, Insightful)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 6 years ago | (#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:why not GPL it? (2, Interesting)

Haeleth (414428) | more than 6 years ago | (#23616049)

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 game development community should get together and petition Havok to go the extra mile. Maybe they don't understand the protections the GPL would give them, or just hadn't thought of it. It can't hurt to ask, right?

Re:why not GPL it? (2, Informative)

TomorrowPlusX (571956) | more than 6 years ago | (#23616921)

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.

ODE is great for robotics simulation, and is decent for games. ODE's strength is in joint types ( motors, sliders, etc ). ODE has a clean C api and is very easy to use.

Bullet is faster and more stable than ODE; however it is targeted more towards gaming. It's weak in joint types, but has much better performance when dealing with large groups of bodies. Bullet also has soft-body simulation as well, which is very very impressive. Bullet has a C++ api which, well, is well designed but perhaps over-designed. Finally, bullet supports Collada export, so you can wire up rigs in Blender and use them in your game.

I've been using ODE for five years. I love it. But recently I worked with the bullet folks to port their demo app to cocoa ( they have a windowsy demo, which uses GLUI, but was fugly on OS X ). I learned a lot about bullet doing that and I can see myself moving that direction in the future, when the joint types mature.

Anyway; I just wanted to make it clear that there are valid open source physics engines out there.

Re:why not GPL it? (1)

xhrit (915936) | more than 6 years ago | (#23627053)

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.

Re:why not GPL it? (1)

TomorrowPlusX (571956) | more than 6 years ago | (#23629085)

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, capsules, boxes, planes ) for a very long time. OPCODE is a relatively recent addition ( last 3 years or so ) and is for trimesh collisions.

Anyway, the developers of both ODE and Bullet are friendly to one another and work together to make both engines stronger.

Futile gesture (1)

ichigo 2.0 (900288) | more than 6 years ago | (#23616691)

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.

For PC or just Windows? (1)

AnXa (936517) | more than 6 years ago | (#23617361)

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

Wikipedia claims that it supports linux. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23666501)

Wikipedia claims that it supports linux but on their site there are no downloads for linux. only for win32. So it is better to use AGEIA PhysX for free crossplatform apps in case you dont want an opensource physics engine.
Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>