Havok for Avination?

While people were focused on the announcement last week concerning InWorldz joint venture with CariNet, many of us missed an interesting snippet coming out of Avination by way of Maria Korolov’s excellent Hypergrid Business.

In an article by Maria, Melanie Thielker of Avination (and who also heads-up  OpenSim hosting company 3D Hosting) confirms that her company has entered into negotiations with Havok over the potential deployment of the company’s physics engine on the Avination grid.

As those actively engaged in Second Life know, the Havok engine is used to provide physics capabilities on Second Life; if the negotiations between Avination and Havok are successful, then it could see Avination becoming the first OpenSim grid to deploy physics of a standard comparable to Second Life – something that could give the company a strategic edge in gaining user-take up, especially in the areas of combat and role-play, which Aviation is geared towards already.

This is not the first time Avination has taken the path trod by Linden Lab; as Maria points out, in March of this year, Avination became the first OpenSim grid to offer Vivox voice capabilities. Again, given the widespread use of Vivox (Eve Online, EverQuest and others online games use the system as well), Avination opted for a product with a solid track record that is an excellent fit for their product. And they did so without having to pass on costs to their users.

Obviously, there are alternatives to both Voice and physics. In the case of Voice, there is Freeswitch and Whisper/Mumble, for example, although these have disadvantages in terms of reliability and usability. Physics-wise, there are open-source alternatives, as currently used by Avination and others. However, both Vivox and Havok are widely regarded as the “gold standard” in their respective fields.

Given this, Avination have demonstrated a shrewd approach to developing their platform and adding to its overall appeal both with Vivox in March, and now with Havok. It’ll be interesting to see how these latter negotiations pan out.

2 thoughts on “Havok for Avination?

  1. This is interesting. Using Havok on OpenSim might actually improve things far more than any other change to the code (which is frankly messy hehe). This is definitely a trend worth watching…

    Of course, the more “improvements” a commercial OpenSim-based grid has, the more their owners act and behave like Linden Lab: the first thing they shut down is almost invariably HyperGrid teleporting, which is the keystone to ever creating a federated multiverse…

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