Develop puts Havok's next-gen-ready cross-platform game engine in focus

The top 14 game engines: Havok Vision Engine

Company: Havok
Platforms: Android, iOS, Linux, Mac, PC, PS3, PS Vita, Wii, Wii U, Windows Phone, Xbox 360
Used in: Arcania: Gothic 4, Carnival Island, Orcs Must Die!, The Settlers 7, Soul Worker

Eighteen months since its acquisition by Havok, the Vision Engine has been the foundation for many RTS games and MMOs.

The engine is designed with a focus on flexibility and modularity. Its C++ API allows new features and modules to be added without modifying the engine’s source code.

Vision Engine principal engineer Dag Frommhold believes that developers want an engine that initially allows them to get their game up and running as quickly and efficiently as possible, and then, later on, one that doesn’t limit their creativity.

“Providing a flexible, easily extensible game engine that fits into any development pipeline is vital, as is minimising turnaround times for both artists and programmers,” he says.

Frommhold isn’t surprised by the demand for cross-platform game engines on mobile platforms. Indeed, the engine’s last update included many enhancements for mobile development, including Visual Studio integration for Android, new file serving and rendering solutions to reduce iteration times.

What’s more, the Vision Engine codebase has also been restructured to match that of all other Havok products, which improves the workflow when using it in conjunction with other Havok middleware.

Recently, an asset management solution was added to its editor, and the engine maker will be sharing more at GDC.

With hardware ecosystems constantly changing, Frommhold says that engine developers need to anticipate these shifts and help game studios adapt.

“Professional middleware offerings provide game studios with a lot of additional flexibility – for example, by facilitating ports to new platforms – and can help them get their game up faster than with an in-house solution. I think this added freedom and efficiency can have a very positive impact on the quality and cost-effectiveness of games development.”

You can view all of the top 14 game engine profiles as they are published here.

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