Puddle out today on Xbox Live, PSN on Tuesday
Aching for a physics-based puzzle game? Konami has a treat for you. They have released Puddle, a winner in the 2010 GDC Indie Games Festival, on Xbox Live Arcade. You can grab it for 800 Microsoft points.
The project was initially a project from six students from ENJMIN, a French game development school. It was eventually picked up by Neko Entertainment and was developed further. The game highlights the various basics of physics – momentum, friction, etc. You’ll need to work your way through fires, rifts, spells, and more without evaporating away.
Puddle is expected to be released on PlayStation Network on January 31 for $9.99.
Halo 3 Powered by Havok
Physics-developer Havok sends word that it powers the explosions, jumps and anything physics-related in the just-released action blockbuster Halo 3. The company’s technology was used to power ragdolls, the portable gravity lift and the “mancannon”, among other things in the game.
BioWare Goes PhysX
AGEIA sends word that BioWare is integrating its PhysX technology into its next-gen Eclipse Engine for PC and next-gen consoles. The development studio will be using the physics solution in Dragon Age, as well as in future titles.
Those looking forward to upgrade their physics can purchase the AGEIA PhysX processor available now in computers from Dell and Alienware; it is also available as add-in boards from ASUS and BFG Technologies.
Havok 4 Announced
Physics software company Havok has officially announced the release of Havok 4, the latest in its modular suite of its physics tools for easing development of cross-platform games.
The new version enhances the suite by adding two new products – Havok Behavior and Havok FX – accelerating development of sophisticated interactive character behaviors and delivering an “unprecedented” level of physics based special effects. The company is also focusing more on next-gen cross-development, optimizing support for PlayStation 3 and Windows Vista.
Havok 4.0’s tools and SDK are designed to be modular and open – so they can be integrated easily into existing production pipelines, reducing the overall iteration time needed to create immersive game-play experiences and special effects. The Havok 4.0 suite is backed by expert support and professional services, leveraging the experience of over 160 commercially released Havok-powered game SKUs.
In the 4.0 release, Havok’s HydraCore™ technology has been optimized to distribute physics and animation even more broadly across specialized cell and multi-core processing units in today’s most advanced game and PC hardware configurations. This maximizes game-play responsiveness and overall performance, enabling literally thousands of game-critical, game-play objects and characters to interact in real-time.
Havok Behavior™ introduces an SDK and stand-alone composition tool that works seamlessly with Havok’s plug-in tools for 3ds Max, Maya, and XSI, enabling rapid creation of real-time blending and character performances that respond intelligently to other characters and the physical world around them.
Havok FX™ adds an unprecedented level of hardware-accelerated physical phenomena, by utilizing graphics processing (GPU) technology from industry giants like NVIDIA and ATI to simulate tens of thousands of objects that collide in real-time, to add eye-popping effects to games.
The announcement states that the first games making use of Havok 4.0 will be out this Fall/Winter.
PhysX Processor Launched
AGEIA announced that its PhysX processor is now available, accelerating physics in supported games through hardware. A lot of companies have made related announcements: Alpha Prime, Blink 3D, City of Villains, DarkBASIC Professional, EMotion FX 3 Character Animation System, Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter, Rise of Nations: Rise of Legends, Vanguard: Saga of Heroes and Unreal Tournament 2007.
AGEIA PhysX SDK for PS3 Developers this Month
The PlayStation 3 news keeps rolling in as AGEIA announced that its PhysX SDK v2.4 will become available to registered PS3 game developers on March 31. Details:
The AGEIA PhysX SDK is highly recognized for its extensive physics functionality and multithreading capabilities, which are uniquely suited for the multicore architecture of the Cell processor adopted on PLAYSTATION®3. The latest AGEIA PhysX SDK version 2.4 is optimized for the Cell processor, adding mind-blowing physics action to the high-definition graphics of PLAYSTATION®3 titles.
In the 2.4 release, several components of the AGEIA PhysX pipeline have been offloaded from the PPU of the PLAYSTATION®3 to the SPUs; developers can fully control the component deployment. This has resulted in a 50% reduction in maximum PPU load, leaving more room for game code and smooth frame rates.