Destructability to be the new 'ragdoll', says Havok

Next step for physics is destructible environments

Middleware maker Havok believes physics in the next generation will be about destructible environments.

Speaking to GamesIndustry, Havok’s Andrew Bowell said the firm sees destruction as one of the main drivers for its products with the next generation systems in mind.

“The way that ragdolls became the last generation thing and everything had to be ragdolls, we reckon next generation, everything’s going to have to be destructible,” said Bowell.

“It will be no longer acceptable to walk into a room where you can’t punch a hole in the wall or break a table and see it splinter.”

Ragdoll was popular almost to the point of becoming a marketing bullet point towards the end of the PS2 and Xbox era. Bowell said that the attraction to destruction technology will help create interest in Havok products, but also competitors’ own offerings.

“It’s more key than ever that developers don’t waste time writing actual tech,” Bowell said.

“Guys that I talk to and publishers, they just want to get their games to market as quickly as they can. I think it’s a great opportunity for all middleware, to be honest.”

However, Bowell does admit that the movement towards mobile present challenges for triple-A developers and the tools providers who support them. Havok’s recently announced Project Anarchy is one way of the company diversifying in the face of this change.

Bowell added: “What’s interesting is some of these guys as they leave the big devs to form their own indie studios, I think we have an advantage there in that they know our tech. I think that’s a trend and it’s a good one for Havok.”

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