Havok4 Is Here On The Beta Grid!

It is time to announce the beta testing of “the project you thought would never ever get finished” – one that has been far more complex than we expected. Of course, I’m talking about the long-awaited upgrade of the Second Life physics engine to Havok2… which is now Havok4! The Havok physics engine provides the core algorithms for collisions and rigid body dynamics – anything that pushes, collides or tumbles in-world.


This project is all about improving sim stability and reliability, reducing lag in the physics engine, and fixing some bugs that could not be fixed under Havok1. In other words, there are no new features in the Havok4 project, despite the fact that there has been significant work done “under the hood”. Once Havok4 is stableย with beta testing completed we will be able to start adding new features, but the current goal is to get all the current features working with this new version of Havok.

The Havok4 public preview is now open, and you can help us finish testing by downloading the beta installers, logging into the beta, testing the objects in your inventory, and reporting any problems you encounter.

What Should Change With Havok4?

  • Reduced simulator crashes
  • Less lag in the physics engine
  • More reliable prim linkage
  • Stacked dynamic objects react when supporting objects are removed
  • Improved collision management – uniform spheres collide as spheres, rather than as faceted shapes
  • Penetrating dynamic objects will be automatically pushed apart by Havok4’s collision solver
  • Vertical simulation extent has been increased to 1024 meters
  • Some slight dynamic changes – avatar movements have changed slightly

What Should Not Change With Havok4?

  • Dynamic objects are still limited to 31 primitives
  • Region crossings can still lag and “rubber band”
  • Most objects still have a 0.1 meter “collision tolerance” boundary, so they may still collide while appearing to be not quite touching
  • Everything else ๐Ÿ˜‰

This is an early beta, so we are opening this preview with some known bugs that are already being addressed, including:

  • There is a known resource leak in the simulator that can cause it to crash
  • Avatar does not always sit in the “right spot”
  • LSL collision() events are broken
  • LSL VolumeDetect feature is broken


You can download the HAVOK4 BETA CLIENT HERE (Note: This beta is on the BETA GRID and is completely disconnected from the main grid, so your main grid assets will not be affected by any experiments with the Havok beta)

Please see the Havok4 Wiki for more information, try everything you can think of, to be sure that your content works correctly with Havok4, and please remember to send us feedback using Second Life Issue Tracker at https://jira.secondlife.com/. The Havok4 Wiki has information including:

  • Configuration of the beta grid for testing
  • Our release plan for testing and release of Havok v4 physics to the main grid
  • Technical information about the Havok4 update


Please see the Havok4 Public Beta wiki to better understand the Second Life Havok4 update.


At the Brampton Linden Stage (Brampton 106/166/25)

This Saturday September 29, 2007 08:00 AM PDT

Tuesdays 21:00 PDT (ongoing)

Thursdays (starting October 4, 2007) 08:00 PDT


We are looking forward to your participation and feedback!
Andrew Linden, Lead Developer
Sidewinder Linden, Program Manager

Comments are enabled so that we can share ideas, but let’s keep the “hey finally” posts to a minimum, ok? ๐Ÿ˜‰

This entry was posted in Bugs & Fixes, New Releases, Preview Grid. Bookmark the permalink.

143 Responses to Havok4 Is Here On The Beta Grid!

  1. Luciftias says:


  2. mimi says:

    This sound great! OMG this is what all the residents have been waiting for for many months! Less lag and less crashes!


  3. Jacqueline Trudeau says:

    31 prims still!? darn!

  4. Bunny says:

    Kooool! ^_^

  5. wuvme karuna says:

    Way overdue, but hey anything is better then nothing!

    Good work!

  6. kerunix Flan says:

    wonderfull !
    too bad physical joint aren’t coming back with havok 4 :/

    Will the blog post about EU VAT will take as much time as the migration havok 1 -> 4 ? We’re waiting for it too… y’know ? ๐Ÿ˜€

  7. Yo Brewster says:

    Hey Finally! Sorry couldn’t help it ๐Ÿ™‚ – Clearly a step in the right direction!

  8. Ivantwin says:

    JUPIIIIIIIIIII ๐Ÿ™‚ That is great,

  9. Felix Oxide says:

    Sounds cool. I have one question though… What does “Vertical simulation extent has been increased to 1024 meters
    ” mean?

  10. Sven Okonomi says:

    sexy! Finally something to look forward to! ๐Ÿ˜€ Put that windlight thing aside and focus on this puppy. ๐Ÿ˜› Stability baby!

  11. Lex Neva says:

    I thought one of the biggest improvements Havok 4 would bring us would be to get rid of that annoying 0.1m collision tolerance. Why didn’t that go away with Havok 4?

  12. Caleb Francis says:

    this is so exciting! i’m so jumpy, thank you linden labs

  13. Yoshikuni Takakura says:

    Very nice, I love playing with physics, especially making catapults . Anyways, this will be an update I will actually want. Hehe.


  14. Sindy Tsure says:

    Holy crap!! Go LL!

    And… Y’all seem to be missing a VAT blog post.. ๐Ÿ˜›

  15. Holy shit.

    Congrats guys!

  16. Ralph Doctorow says:

    Wheeoooooo……….. Excellent!

  17. I am sure they are writing the VAT blog as we speak. They just had to get the other couple out first ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. les says:

    Get the #()$ out!

    I will now use the 100 posts to cheer!

    Thank you for making me very busy!

    My faith meter just went up 100 points. This is the best thing I’ve heard in 3 years. Oh, how I have waited in pain!

    I’ve been a loud voice doubting this would ever come. Will you take me back? I’d love to see this tested on a dedicated race track sim for vehicles. I happen to have a few laying around! (hint)

    ok, I’m melting here. Much thanks to the dev team for working on this base functionality. It’s been a long time coming and I look forward to exploring the physics fully ’cause racing improves the breed ๐Ÿ™‚

    It’s been a while, but I โค me some SL.

  19. Ann Otoole says:


    sniky… velly snikky…

    this should be fun…

  20. This is very interesting. I shall look forward to testing this. If done properly, this could make a big difference in the long-term to both stability and featuresets. Such a pity that Havok is proprietary and not opensource, since the physics element will cause such problems when trying to opensource the servers.

  21. Ann Otoole says:


    “503 Service Unavailable

    The service is not available. Please try again later.”

    Please fix the link to the download pleeeeeze!

  22. Kazuma Onizuka says:

    OMG after years of waiting something is finally done with the Havok physics engine! YaaaAAAAaaaay ๐Ÿฑ

  23. richard says:

    bugs on top of bugs !!!

  24. Matthew Dowd says:

    Dynamic objects are still limited to 31 primitives

    Oh – that’s a major disappointment! Is this temporary or are they no real improvements to vehicles?


  25. Joshua Perenti says:

    Excellent – been waiting on this for 3 years.

    Now can you get on and give us some info about EU VAT please – some of us already have our solictors ready to bite. So far the theory is – this doesnt add up right!

  26. Harle Armistice says:

    Remember that they are simply trying to get the current features, as is, to work with the Havok 4 core code. If you’re wondering why Havok 4 didn’t change a lot of things, it’s because that’d constitute as a ‘new feature’ and they are putting those off in favor of simply getting everything running properly.

    Which seems to be what people are asking for, so.

    I’m sure that we’ll get new physics treats down the road, like re-implementing joints, etcetera.

  27. Nyoko Salome says:

    hehe, it sure is chilly in hell today!!;) lol!!! wooooooow, congrats!! :)) gonna try it and play with marbles. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  28. Lord Humphrey says:

    Given that I am resident in the UK will I be getting Havok 4.7 ? (4 + 17.5%)

    This is excellent news to be fair and any other weekend I would be as excited as others. Forgive me then that my response is a tad muted.

  29. lone buck says:

    i’ve got a funny feeling this will render those ownage systems usless..

  30. Nalin Nungesser says:

    That’s nice…but I’m still skeptical.

    I may have to check it out on my own…if I feel it’s good, then maybe I’ll let a *little* cheer out. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  31. Sy Beck says:

    I’m sorry but you seem to be pulling the covers over your sudden imposition of 17.5% increase of charges for Europe. Havok will mean nothing to us as we will be packing up and waiting for the next platform to come along. Please address our issues/questions now, others are already noting that you maybe acting illegally in not giving us notice. For once please try a modicum of customer awareness.

  32. Vincent Nacon says:


    that’s all I can say for now. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  33. Raudf Fox says:

    How many years has it been? No matter, I’m thrilled to finally see this coming out to play!

  34. JetZep Zabelin says:

    Vertical simulation extent has been increased to 1024 meters

    Does this mean we’ll be able to build up to that height? I like that =D

  35. Doug Falta says:

    Nice, physics is always a good thing for a game / virtual world. Did we always have some version of Havok? Or did we use some other physics engine?

  36. Somatika says:

    What is next? Simulator code? oh the wet dreams of windlight? Joints? More stable grid? 1024×1024 sims? yum 1024×1024 sims. Faith meter has been shot up 77.5 points.. but still need more ๐Ÿ™‚

    Oh and GET FULL VISTA SUPPORT! and maybe multi core cpu support to? Yum SL using a quad core CPU. Anyone care to make this wet dream real?

    Congrats and a few WOOT’s for ya LL / SL Comunity

  37. Tony says:

    VAT is here on the grid. 100% cowards.

  38. LaeMiQian says:

    According to the page linked from the story, an abstraction layer has been put in between the sim and the physics engine, so substituting an OSS physics system for an OSS simulator release should be less hard than it otherwise might be.

  39. Drake Bacon says:

    So when are we going for Havok 5?

  40. *stare* is that… a FLYING PIG I see? *boggles*

  41. if you find a way to increase โ€œcollision toleranceโ€, please do…!!!!


  42. bigmoe says:

    can we not bring the vat thing into this article. Just amazes me we get such a good thing to play and talk and have fun with everybody and everything and then the lindens make a legal stance and start charging the correct amounts to stay out of legal trouble and bam. Here comes the rage and the anger. Lets take a moment and think about this.

  43. LaeMiQian says:

    Drake, they will put 5 off until 7 ;-D

  44. Tharkis Olafson says:

    /me checks to see if Duke Nukem Forever came out today as well.

  45. Tony says:

    @31 if the Lindens had the balls to step up to the plate and explained and apologised for the VAT fiasco, then we could talk about the funky new features. However the Lindens have disgracefully stuck two fingers up to European residents and decided to hide.

  46. I have just seen Hell freezing over, and Lucifer running around begging for a fur coat.

    April 1st was moved to September 28th?

    I’m looking at the stars and they’re dimming out, one by one…

    The Singularity is out there!

    “Look mommy, a flying pig!”

    *pinches herself very very hard*

    Ok, well, I’m in denial now… this is something everyone has been waiting for FOUR YEARS… now I wonder, will it remain in Beta forever and then become another “abandoned” project, as so many others? Because… this is simply too good to be true!

  47. Ann Otoole says:

    Vista AO non functional. basically any hud attachment is nonfunctional.
    asset server in beta seems to be dead. Hair, etc.; will not appear.

    on a funny note everyone is born naked as a jay bird in the welcome area.

    not even going to waste time in jira making entries unless they fix the basic elements of a grid.

  48. Gomez Bracken says:

    Will the next blog post be about the Linden xmas party, or will it be about the VAT scandal that affects the 211667+ active residents within the EU? (btw this is versus the 149055 active US members….)

    LL, get your priorities right please and answer the questions being asked… burying your heads in the sand will not help LL at all – in fact, it’s starting to look like arrogance of the highest degree!

  49. csven says:

    Surprising and welcome news. And now I’m off to downlo…….

  50. Yes, yes. Very well. Now when are you going to apologize for not warning us that you were going to charge VAT?

  51. martin magpie says:

    Drools on Gwyneth’s shoes; I concur pretty lady.

  52. martin magpie says:

    Could someone point me to the info on the VAT changes ๐Ÿ™‚

  53. Izzy Ireton says:

    AWESOMESAUCE!! I’ve always said that this was the right direction to go as far as SL was concerned! Work out Stability before any new features are added, I made the S in Stability capital cuz I think it’s really important ^-^

    I remember watching this video for Vista, it was horrible! The guy said that Microsoft customers want 3 things: “comunication, appearance and something-else-i-forget-what” they don’t mention Realiability or Stability even once! And guess what… They never though about it either, running the Vista OS is like running a game, it takes up 40% of your CPU just to leave your computer idle on Vista… Anyways, I mention this cuz if you guys continued to add new features without first resolving the known “lag-causers” then, just like Vista, your fanbase would of shrunk pretty quickly.

  54. And another thing, get Arcadia Asylum’s inventory back to her (even if you already ‘killed’ her). She was one of the best builders in SL and without her builds your product would be worth a lot less, imo. With or without Havok4.

  55. sunray seasaw says:

    SL is not able to have a working homepage. – rofl
    SL is not able to deliver simple text chat – wow lol
    and SL has a very much tax evaded/suppressed – eric L you like tax so much (please-beautifully)

    damn Linden Laps…SL is not working and anybody forgots to terminate it

  56. On a more serious note does Havok 4 require viewer changes and if so will the beta viewer be made available to the open source community for testing/inspecting?

  57. Alexia says:

    Why does everyone keep getting mad at LL for being forced to react to the policies of governments? Does anyone here believe SL is a Super Power?

    PS: Woot Havok! I’m gonna play me some Jenga!

  58. Hypatia Callisto says:

    yippppeeeee, I am downloading this NOW.

  59. Oh this is very cool, here’s a question, with Havok 4 out and being tested, do we see incremental updates in the Havok engine as time goes on? (so like every year a new update)?

  60. D. Spitz says:

    wow, it feels so fast!!!
    thanks LL and good luck with next steps.

  61. Raymond Figtree says:

    VAT blog please. let’s address the real havok that’s being wreaked on SL.

  62. AndrewLinden says:

    Woops. The list of outstanding issues is not quite up to date. The resource leak is gone and LSL collision events should be working correctly. Meanwhile, vehicles that move along the ground are pretty much broken and there is a bug with avatar rotations are not updating on others views.

    There are no viewer changes for Havok4 — it is all server side.

  63. Mrc Homewood says:


    that is just what sl needs

  64. Slartibartfast Magicthise says:

    Well, this makes up for the beta grid being down for the past few… HEY! WAITAMINNIT!!!

    I see what you did there.

  65. Kathmandu Gilman says:

    But… but … where is Havoc 2 that was promised being just a few weeks away when I started in May 2004. This is very cool and I’ll take whatever I can get. ๐Ÿ˜›

  66. Enigma Cassavetes says:

    VAT BLOG PLEASE – As Raymond said, let’s deal with the RL havoc you are causing before we talk about your rushed out Havok.

  67. Hypatia Callisto says:

    I hope this speeds up the puppeteering and physical avatar projects. Havok 4 was such a necessary upgrade.

    oh and I wanna my joints back ๐Ÿ˜€

  68. Elendir Axon says:


  69. Aric Crossair says:

    “”The Havok4 public preview is now open, and you can help us finish testing by downloading the beta installers, logging into the beta, testing the objects in your inventory, and reporting any problems you encounter.””

    We are supposed to help by reporting problems with this, however our other reported problems that continue release after release, reported in JIra, get ignored ? Im sorry to be negative without contributing solutions, but really. If we are asked time and again to report bugs and yet issues that affect our enjoyment of SL get ignored, what kind of message does that send?

  70. nimrod Yaffle says:

    503 Service Unavailable

    The service is not available. Please try again later.

  71. Mazer Ludd says:

    I remember two and a half years ago when we were jumping for joy over “OMG HAVOK2 IS COMMING!”

    A little late, but good to see it’s finally here…and better.

  72. sirhc DeSantis says:

    right so off topic but annoyed. I have a prim that i created that i own – that i cannot edit?

  73. Marianne McCann says:

    โ€œhey finallyโ€

    1. Will this clear the way for avatar puppetry? Does this have any substantive affect on future movement on dat project?

    2. Will this affect current content in any major ways? Are there any “warning signs” of potential breakage?


  74. Luisa Bourgoin says:

    ‘Vertical simulation extent has been increased to 1024 meters’

    I have recognised you *can* place prims at this hight, but they tended to behave strange. Does it means the sky is further open now?

  75. Locke Traveler says:

    I’d just like a confirmation from Andrew Linden or any other Linden involved in this:
    Is your long-term intent to not only make the grid Havok4 compatible, but also to add the features that Havok4 supports, such as joints, tight collision boundaries (tighter than 0.1m, that is), and (I may just be dreaming here) physics for flexis and sculpties?

  76. Pingback: Gwyn’s Home » Hell freezes over!

  77. U M says:


    This is wonderful ๐Ÿ™‚

    U sagi Musashi

  78. AndrewLinden says:

    The primary goal of the Havok4 project is to make the simulator more resistant to crashes.

    Therefore, the plan is to first release Havok4 without any new features — just get the old features working as they’re supposed to be (as much as possible). Then, once everything is stable we’ll be able to start adding new features. I’ll definitely going to start with some not-so-hard projects before I tackle joints.

  79. Ranya Palmer says:

    hummm havok4 you say hummmmmmm you mean like the one used in todays video games like saints row or halo3 hummmmmm

    i just have one small favor…….. can the object limit at least be 62 prims now? please pretty please with a cherry on top ๐Ÿ™‚

  80. Smiley Barry says:

    YES! Finally, better physics! So now all that goody physics we’ve seen in most Playstation3 games will be in Second Life ๐Ÿ˜‰ .

    (To give a better example, the physics you may have encountered in MotorStorm and Genji: Days of the Blade, will be 99% integrated in Second Life with the new Havok engine. This gets us closer to “Next-Gen quality” ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

  81. Nate T. says:

    So are we supposed to be able to connect to the beta grid now?

    “Unable to connect to Second Life.
    DNS could not resolve to the host name.”

  82. Arsheba Nasu says:

    Can it be used to bounce the camping farms out of popular places before the rest of us go out of business?

  83. AndrewLinden says:

    Locke Traveler

    (1) Havok4 has nothing to do with avatar puppetry.

    (2) The hope is that we can finish Havok4 while breaking as little content as possible. I suspect some content will break and it will be impossible to salvage in Havok4, however how much is unclear.

    Here is an example where some content will probably break. In Havok1 the shape of the VolumeDetect feature is an axis aligned bounding box, no matter what the shape of the actual object. In Haovk4 the shape of the VolumeDetect feature is actually the shape of the object. This will probably break someone’s content, but in this case it is probably unavoidable — the benefit of properly shaped VolumeDetect outweighs the amount of content that relies on it being an axis aligned bounding box.

  84. Smiley Barry says:

    @Arsheba Nasu: Well, this will make the limit twice the max against performance now (E.g.: Old Havok had a max of either 20 high-end physical calculations users [E.g.: Racers], 40 casual walkers and visitors, 80 bystanders and frequent chatters, and 100 standing doing nothing except chatting to maintain 40-45FPS, while new Havok multiplies the limits by approximately 3 times.), so campers won’t crash or lag a sim.

  85. Pingback: Havok 4?!?!?!?!?!?! at Daikon Forge

  86. Rex Cronon says:

    It says on the wiki that we can test weapons, shields.
    There are lots of weapons and shields that depend on collision event, and on volume detect. So how can those be tested? I hope that will be made possible before havok is released on the main grid.

  87. Blinders Off says:

    Sounds great. Been long needed. Shame we’re still limited to 31prims, but, can’t be helped I guess. I do wish somehow prim sizes could be larger and link distances longer. That would help builders stop tearing their hair out.

    One thing though LL: PLEASE be more lag-conscious. You all keep bringing out new things that lag terribly. Sculpties are fine, but they lag beyond belief. I like flexis, they’re great, but between them and sculpties… you’re killing us out here. I have a great computer with a high-level graphics card and 3 gigs of RAM… and I’m barely keeping up. The lag is ridiculous. PLEASE be more conscious of lag in your “features” additions. It is possible you know, to literally lag the system to destruction.

  88. AndrewLinden says:

    Per-prim LSL collision callbacks should be working in Havok4. The list of broken items on the blog post is a little out of date. I suspect VolumeDetect is still broken.

    We’ll have other versions up for preview next week with more bug fixes.

  89. Anthony Hocken says:

    Once Havoc 4 is rolled out on the main grid and the kinks ironed out, does anyone know what future features we can possibly look forward to in terms of content creation? Looks like some people will be geeking out on wikipedia with a nervous twitch puting a wishlist together…

    “right so off topic but annoyed. I have a prim that i created that i own – that i cannot edit?”

    Server bugs aside, could the prim of being transfered to another avatar (with no-mod perms) and then back to you. That way you could be creator and owner but not be able to edit it.

  90. Hypatia Callisto says:

    Andrew –


    “IK and rag-doll physics: Residents could walk hand in hand with realistic motion. Avatars tumble realistically when falling (or when shot, pushed). ”

    isn’t that part of Havok physics? I’m pretty sure it is.


  91. Archer Braun says:

    Does this mean that the stuff that USED to be in my inventory would behave a bit more realistically in this exciting new environment?

    Ooooh. I’m so thrilled.


    For the love of little puppies…FIX THE MISSING INVENTORY ISSUES.

    Every time an inventory item disappears…a little puppy dies.


  92. DR Dahlgren says:

    How are you supposed to test, you have regions running on different versions so if you move anything across them, you crash or lose control of whatever you are doing. Let us know when you have the entire beta grid running the same server code, and I will be happy to go back and try to test again.


  93. Rex Cronon says:

    I have another question.
    Why do we need a new viewer? Could we use the current Release Candidate Viewer?

  94. Luciftias says:

    Sculpties are fine, but they lag beyond belief.

    Just the opposite, as far as I’m concerned.

  95. DR Dahlgren says:

    Oh, while not havoc related, the following is Beta Grid related.

    I asked last year about available space at the Vehicle lot. I was told maybe in Feb. This is now basically October, and still the same vendors monoplize Ben’s.

    How about opening that place up for others of us to have some fun by putting prototypes etc out for people to buy.

    And what ever happened to being able to purchase land in Beta. I realize it is only temp, but it does give you a place to leave longer terms tests and builds in place.

    Any thoughts out there??


  96. U M says:

    @55 AndrewLinden

    But can the hardware handle this new engine?

  97. Yngwie Krogstad says:

    @ Archer Braun (#65)

    “For the love of little puppiesโ€ฆFIX THE MISSING INVENTORY ISSUES.”

    For the love of little puppies……..STAY ON TOPIC!!!!!!!!! Everytime you come on here to bitch about VAT, missing inventory items, ad nauseum, on a blog post that has absolutely nothing to do with such issues, a little puppy dies!!!!!!!

    Now, for LL………

    Sweet!!!!!!!!! I’ll be on the beta grid helping test it out. Sounds like it’s still going to be work to get it all working right, but well worth it. Thank you!

  98. Rooke Ayres says:

    @ 67 – Rex Cronon:
    It’s not a new viewer, just a viewer that only points at the Beta Grid.

  99. Elle Pollack says:

    @Hypatia (64): While Havok does support rag dolls and such, the puppeteering feature is being based on another product, Endorphin (last I knew anyway). Last I heard, we won’t likely be seeing that untill well into ’08, if that. *sigh*

  100. Aminom Marvin says:

    What, Havoc 4? Really?
    News just in: tomorrow both Duke Nukem Forever and Spore will be released as a bundle.

    Good work ๐Ÿ™‚ Now we will have bouncies to play with.

  101. Brenda Maculate says:

    Given the way SL seems to be so laggy over the last few days, this is certainly welcome news!

    I think I’m going to actually play in the Beta grid, and see if I can’t help with this– I’d LOVE to see a more stable Main grid! ๐Ÿ™‚

  102. Kathmandu Gilman says:

    Havok 4 is Crashtastic!!! Physical objects are wonky and will roll uphill. A rubber ball behaves exactly like a stone ball. Sim crossings are seriously fubar too. And I’m loving every minute of it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  103. Charlie Omega says:

    ….looks outside to see if pigs really did grow wings……..nope, but damn its cold out there….maybe something DID freeze over ๐Ÿ˜›

  104. Ouch. Would love to give it a try, but the link to the download page is broken.

  105. Montana Corleone says:

    So I’m confused. Is this Havok 2, or Havok 4, or Havok 2 plus VAT?

  106. Uccello says:

    “Some slight dynamic changes – avatar movements have changed slightly” .. maybe I missed a question about this from others, but will this affect existing animations in poseballs and Animation Overrides?

  107. paulie Femto says:

    Can we physically model smaller objects in H4? Can we model objects smaller than a billiard ball, for instance?

  108. Ananda Sandgrain says:

    Wow, I think I’m tempted to test out a beta (and possibly finally upgrade my computer) for the first time in a couple of years! I can’t wait to find out if vehicle races, especially the aerial dogfights and the sailing competitions, will be back on the table.

    Can I also renew my call to test out alternative physics settings, such as larger and smaller sims, loading large numbers of sims onto GPGPU-type servers, activity-appropriate physics models such as high-fidelity for vehicles vs. simplified for large crowds of avatars? Just wondering if any of these have been tried out or are on the agenda. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Also I would add to your “Things to test out” list: A couple of “pile-on” nights where you schedule to see just how many typically-dressed avatars the beta grid can handle under the new engine.

  109. Jayme Llewellyn says:

    So …. “apparently” when Havok4 is introduced to SL properly it will “apparently” resolve issues with crashing, lagging and log-in errors. Things that “apparently” should have been fixed before SL was even released. Wow. “Apparently” i should be overjoyed by this, but “apparently” I’m not. “Apparently” thankyou’s are in order. Gee, I really do hope that Linden gives us forewarning as to when they are “apparently” going to install this new software and shut down the grid to do so.

    Hey, I just saw a purple pig fly over the snow-covered fields of hell.

  110. Blake Sachs says:


  111. Mike Westerburg says:

    So is the 64 prim physics limit going to carry over or is that a glitch now??

  112. I knew it’d happen sooner or later. I guess my contact was a little off on his timing (by a year). This is great news to hear about. I look forward to greater sim stability (in regards to physics anyways). I am slightly upset that we still can’t join more than 31 prims together, I would have thought the limit would be raised to 63. Hopefully with Havok 4 in place you’ll have the means to rapidly calculate a tight fitting convex hull for sculpties so we won’t have ferociously over/under sized collision bodies for oddly made shapes like our current spherical method provides.

    In regards to prim sizes though, can we get the size limits bumped up to a wholely reasonable 30-40m? Builders the grid over would love you for it, and it would reduce the prim load in every sim. ^.^

  113. AndrewLinden says:

    By “avatar movements” we’re talking about the avatar’s speed when walking, wallking uphill, walking up steps, walking downhill, flying, falling, … etc, and also times for transitions between various modes of movement — nothing to do with animations themselves.

    No new features are on the current agenda. I’ll be considering what features to work on once Havok4 is deployed to Second Life, and stable.

    There are two main reasons this overhaul of the physics engine took so long (it was a two month project that has taken almost 1 year). One is that we’ve had to do a major overhaul of how the simulator code interfaces with the physics engine. There have been massive changes under the hood that won’t be visible to the residents, but will make life much easier for LL developers. The second reason is that we’ve had to work very hard to make SL features work the same in Havok4 as they did in Havok1. Avatar motion and vehicles have been the two largest headaches in this regard, and I’m still working on vehicles.

    Havok4 very similar to Havok2. Havok1 is very different from Havok2. The latest version of Havok is now 5, but we’re going to finish Havok4 before we move to Havok5 (Havok5 isn’t very different from Havok4 anyway). Due to the aforementioned overhaul of the simulator code it will be much Much MUCH easier to upgrade to Havok5 than it was to go from 1 to 4.

  114. anonymouse1 says:

    This is good news. ๐Ÿ™‚ Stability is a good thing. I think this is a pretty good development.

    See? Positive feedback for positive things.

    Anony Mouse

  115. martin magpie says:

    September 26, 2007, 6:00 am – Second Life is closed for a scheduled service outage while we make updates to the grid. The outage is expected to last from 6am-8am Pacific Time (13:00-15:00 GMT). Watch the blog for details and updates.

    You who…anyone up at LL we have a small problem with the splash screen saying the grid is down on a Friday night….hello *Is this thing on?

  116. Kasolai Nighbor says:

    Will Havok4 allow support for the Ageia PhysX cards for those of us that have them ?

  117. Tegg B says:

    EXCELLENT news Andrew,
    This will bring SL back into the 21st century in this regard, looking forward to all the upgrades that start after it is stable, and I expect some stuff to stop working, just as any opperating system upgrade (except Vista where it seems deliberately incompatable)

  118. Ozman Dwi says:

    does anyone else notice you can make physical objects in the beta that are over 31 prims AND have flexi objects linked to them? how awesome is that!? is this staying?

    also I’ve noticed objects tend to go through eachother much easier when going at high speeds and hitting the ground.. also when I drop large objects ontop of my head (:D) they tend to swallow me up like it were made of jello or throw me off to the side violently.. collisions may be too soft.. also sometimes when riding falling objects I end up standing in mid air.

    additionally, the physics become incredibly innacurate when put under any stress.. hollow halfspheres start being hit like non-hollow halfspheres and small objects start going straight through larger objects. the previous physics would stay somewhat accurate when put under stress. things like chain links or hinges seem to break apart really easily now..

    ehrm….. other than that, awesome update! havok 4! woo!

  119. Will Webb says:


    The world just ended ?

    That means I have to go to the store; Duke Nukem Forever will be out soon ๐Ÿ™‚

  120. Loki Clifton says:

    I am all over this test

  121. U M says:

    That leads to another questen how will this effect the min rq to use sl? Well those that have lower end computers be left out?

  122. Farallon Greyskin says:

    Did quite a bit of testing. Havok on the beta grid actually seems quite slow. Like 2-5 times slower than on the main grid in several tests.

    My av actually seemed to get stuck MORE inside of prims than no the main grid when I tested rezzing objedcts on top of me.

    Crash resiliancy seems better, but not perfect if the number of downed regeons is any indication (never crashed on me though)

    Maybe the beta grid is slower than the main grid for some reason (all class 3 machines?!?) though my test sim was running 100%, only one in it etc.

    So the testing is… kind of a draw or a wait and see at the moment. It atleast seemed to work ok, even with a delicate physics system I tested with.

  123. Farallon Greyskin says:


    Havok is 100% simulator load, nothing on the client at all I don’t believe. While I was able to choke the sim to it’s knees with my tests, the client never sputtered a single FPS.

  124. WarKirby Magojiro says:

    We need ragdoll avatars now !!!

  125. Jakyl Lightfoot says:

    For those complaining about the preformance of the beta grid… THAT’S WHY IT’S IN BETA! TO FIX WHAT’S WRONG BEFORE IT GETS RELEASED ๐Ÿ˜› lol

  126. U M says:

    No asking about the future of the main game. Well it cause people to nolonger use SL. Due to the H4 Engine?

  127. WarKirby Magojiro says:

    We need a linden supervising the beta grifd and removing the THOUSANDS OF PHYSICAL TORII IN THE SANDBOX


  128. Farallon Greyskin says:

    Due to H4? No.

    Due to Windlight or other future CLIENT features? Yes.

  129. Rex Cronon says:

    For some reason when going to beta using the RC the HUD attachments don’t. And, my computer crashed(it could have something to do with the fact that my graphics card is not supported). But, I have seen interesting things: bike chain swinging, engine pistons moving. All these were physical objects(they had some parts that were NP).

  130. U M says:

    What i would want to know is will windlight cause ( even me ) to go out and spend even more money on system upgrades ( yet again ). If this is the case LL needs to learn that keeping the game stable ( AND COST EFFECT for atleast 60% of its users ). Having to upgrade a computer every 7 to 9 months ( 700.00 US monies ) is totally uncalled for. If H4 and soon after H5 is indeed more money consuming for playing on sl. OMG only the rich kids and computer geeks who only spend on my their computers wil be left.

  131. Mike Westerburg says:


    Havok is SERVER side, not client side. This should not cause the min requirements to go up at all due to this.

  132. Robustus Hax says:

    # Dynamic objects are still limited to 31 primitives
    # Region crossings can still lag and โ€œrubber bandโ€
    # Most objects still have a 0.1 meter โ€œcollision toleranceโ€ boundary, so they may still collide while appearing to be not quite touching

    LOL so none of the important stuff

  133. Pingback: Second Life News for September 29, 2007 « The Grid Live

  134. U M says:

    Yes i know that information thank you anyways…….

    ……Anyways………..what is the hight limit we can fly up to in this new engine?

  135. Harle Armistice says:

    @70 “Can we physically model smaller objects in H4? Can we model objects smaller than a billiard ball, for instance?”

    Hehe. This has nothing to do with Havok, as far as I’m aware. SL has always been able to render smaller objects. The build menu is just designed to round and simplify geometry to easier-to-manage decimal places. It does this because a lot of messy geometry tends to add up and can hurt framerates due to more complicated math in the rendering process.

    You can make smaller objects with scripts and by playing with the build menu options(I make super tiny things all the time, it’s a big part of my business).

  136. Mike Westerburg says:

    Oh, sorry my mistake. I took this snippet wrong then *rolls eyes*:

    U M Says:
    September 28th, 2007 at 9:55 PM PDT

    If H4 and soon after H5 is indeed more money consuming for playing on sl. OMG only the rich kids and computer geeks who only spend on my their computers wil be left.

  137. U M says:

    Don`t understand what your getting at ……………..

  138. Sun says:

    There are 2 things that I must commend LL on… Now please, understand, I by no means am a LL Hoorah Cheerleader, but.. LL obviously is listening to us, even if it is subtle and few and far between… (1) They plainly state that “…..there are no new features in the Havok4 project, despite the fact that there has been significant work done โ€œunder the hoodโ€. Once Havok4 is stable with beta testing completed we will be able to start adding new features,****** but the current goal is to get all the current features working with this new version of Havok.*******” *applauds*
    (2) They have made it clear with this posting that, even though LL is completely hyped and excited for Windlight, they have placed priorities first.. taking care of a major issue re: stability, and staying focused on it. *applauds again*

    LL, you have bounced back and forth in my eyes, from good management to downright obsurd handling of SL matters. On this note, with the above paragraph in mind, you have raised yourselves (in my eyes) to a greater and more welcomed level. Thank you for your hard work, and, wise decision re: stability and priorities, keep it up! and I look forward to seeing SL become once again what it was.

  139. Coventina Dalgleish says:

    Just a dollar short and a year late don’t know why you are bothering as you will be losing all of your European land owners. Just more incompetent management from a team that has absolutely no management skills. Oh and Havok 5 has been out for a while. The game is a failure on so many levels I am almost sorry I ever started it except for the friends I have made

  140. Harle Armistice says:

    @90 “What i would want to know is will windlight cause ( even me ) to go out and spend even more money on system upgrades ( yet again ). If this is the case LL needs to learn that keeping the game stable ( AND COST EFFECT for atleast 60% of its users ).”

    Windlight was taken off of the first look precisely because, in its current state(at the time), it came with mandatory additional system requirements that LL dubbed to be unacceptably high. They have been reworking it and trying to minimize any additional strain.

    Which I found odd, because the Windlight client actually worked better for me than the regular client at the time, but I guess that kind of depended on your system setup.

    Anyway, H4 is going to improve performance, not cause additional performance degradation. That’s why LL decided to put it in; it’s a solution to physics-based bugs and lag. Havok 4 is improved physics code: it runs better. Not worse. What’s the point of coming out with new physics engines if they run worse than the ones before them? The only way that SL would run worse than before is if LL decided to chuck in all kinds of new Havok features that would take up additional server strain, and they have made it clear that isn’t planned for the immediate future.

    So there you go. =)

  141. Raul Crimson says:

    Wow, finally!!!!
    Good you decided to do it! A lot of people were asking for it for a long time, i know is a hard work but will give us all a better SL experience.

  142. Masuyo Aabye says:

    Havok 4 is server side, no additional work client side. It will make sims a hell of a lot more stable, and able to cope under load.
    This is a very good thing.
    if anyone is complaing that this is another useless “shiny” feature, wake up will you? this is actually a pretty major fix for SL, it’s a very good thing.

  143. Rosen Janus says:

    All you have left is to add the Havok BETA to in the “Versions” category in JIRA. =D You’ll need it to get resident feedback.

    I already have an issue up on there, but can’t find the right version. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

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