Havok Freely Available

⌘-R in Chief
Posts: 1,254
Joined: 2002.05
Post: #1
Middleware developer Havok has announced that it will make Havok Complete, its physics and animation software toolset, available for download free of charge to game developers for non-commercial use.

http://www.havok.com/content/view/582/53/
Quote this message in a reply
Moderator
Posts: 3,572
Joined: 2003.06
Post: #2
It's definitely a nice gesture, but ... for non-commercial uses only? And since when does being an "Independent Game Developer" mean that you don't make money with game development? I get the impression that it's like:

Sure, we're giving it away for FREE so that we can get it into the hands of all those independent game developers out there (coz we're so cool you know), but we don't want you to make any money with it. We LIKE it when you waste time spinning your wheels down there learning how to use our $hit, wishing you were up here.

I noticed a little spot in there where it mentions that "approved game developers" can be licensed by Intel to use it for commercial purposes, but I wonder exactly what "approved" means? I get the impression that it's like:

And hey, if you're really good enough we might throw you a bone some day.

Well, whatever, it's nice what they're doing, but their press release definitely hit me the wrong way I guess.
Quote this message in a reply
⌘-R in Chief
Posts: 1,254
Joined: 2002.05
Post: #3
It's a step between their own "pay us half a million dollars upfront" and GarageGame's "give us $100 and you can have it, unless you make too much, in which case, give us $1000."

You don't give something away for free, attracting people with next to no money, to make more half-million dollar contracts. They've gotta be trying to move into the indie and smaller dev houses by trying to not be entirely AAA. So I hope this turns out to be "use it for free to learn how to use it, and if you decide you're going to make a little bit of money, call us up and we'll work out something reasonable."
Quote this message in a reply
Member
Posts: 446
Joined: 2002.09
Post: #4
Havok's attitude towards Macs in the past does not inspire any confidence that this non-commercial release will actually run on Mac OS X. The press release just says "PC" - I'd wish people would stop using that term and just say "Windows" when they mean Windows.
Quote this message in a reply
Moderator
Posts: 3,572
Joined: 2003.06
Post: #5
FreakSoftware Wrote:It's a step between their own "pay us half a million dollars upfront" and GarageGame's "give us $100 and you can have it, unless you make too much, in which case, give us $1000."

You don't give something away for free, attracting people with next to no money, to make more half-million dollar contracts. They've gotta be trying to move into the indie and smaller dev houses by trying to not be entirely AAA. So I hope this turns out to be "use it for free to learn how to use it, and if you decide you're going to make a little bit of money, call us up and we'll work out something reasonable."
Well, one does need to consider the fact that Intel doesn't need half million dollar contracts for video game middleware; they need major multi-million dollar contracts for video (and supposedly now physics) hardware, which is why they *apparently* bought Havok to begin with (although I've seen no concrete info on what they planned to do with Havok exactly). My point being that this seems like a half-measure from all angles. If they really want market penetration of their new Havok toy then they might as well let it out in the wild without strings attached. If they're trying to make money with the Physics library and they want it in the hands of the indies then they might as well charge for it on an indie level. Most serious indie game devs won't mess with it since they don't need to mess with an unkown licensing fee or other strings being attached when there are perfectly good FREE physics libraries already available.

The other angle to consider is that they don't want to piss off existing licensees of Havok who already paid large sums of cash. But Intel has way more than enough cash resources (last time I checked) to pay back all or part of those investments.

I guess it's a trade-off that only Intel and Havok know the inside details of, but from the outside it looks more like a publicity stunt to me at this point. I'm not sure I understand how this strategy will truly help them. I could understand its use in colleges for educating wannebe professional game developers, and perhaps other research projects, but the angle that independent game developers are going to be excited about this looks a little odd if they aren't allowed to make money with it except under unspecified approval, or large sums of cash.
Quote this message in a reply
Member
Posts: 320
Joined: 2003.06
Post: #6
It seems logical to me, basically 'Get the kids hooked, and it'll pay off later'. A sound long term strategy I would've thought.

Back when only freeware projects were on the horizon I would've jumped at the chance to see what I could do with Havok. Now however I have to treat anything that involves a cost on commercial release with extreme caution, to the extent that I will not be wasting my time learning an API with an unknown price tag.

If they had an open price scheme I would be far more likely to consider it. Maybe that will come later.

Chopper, iSight Screensavers, DuckDuckDuck: http://majicjungle.com
Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply 

Possibly Related Threads...
Thread: Author Replies: Views: Last Post
  Havok physics engine coming to the mac, Skyhawk surprised skyhawk 9 3,963 Sep 15, 2006 06:51 PM
Last Post: SethWillits