Friday, June 15, 2012

Virtual Worlds : Phoenix FireStorm To Offer Two Different Versions

By Avatar JayR Cela

    Well this should come as no surprise to anyone following recent tensions between Linden Lab and Third Party Developers in general.

    The Lab licences a software product from an Irish based company called Havok, basically it allow's for more realistic collision detection between objects, players etc..

    It is considered by some to be the defacto standard in the computer gaming industry, even Nintendo use's it. So does SecondLife, and it's not cheap !

    Until recently the lab has graciously offered TPV's the ability to include HAVOK code into their viewers at no charge, considering the expense that the licence cost's this is very cool.

    Sadly however this mutual agreement seems to be ending.

    So The Phoenix FireStorm viewer will now have a forked development project geared towards Open Sim based virtual worlds, and one specifically developed for SecondLife.

    How this will play out is anyone's guess.

    The Lab has a track record of shooting themselves in the foot from time to time.

    I guess we will just see what happens.

JayR Cela


Stacy Bluxome said...

As I understand it, previously the physics collision calculations were done on the server, not the viewer. LL didn't give TPV's the physics system because it was running on their grid. Now with the pathfinding some of it is being done by the client, which means Havok has to be added to the viewer. If LL allows other grids to use their Havok licence they are breaking that licence. There's nothing to stop other grids paying Havok for their own physics licence though, besides the cost. (The basic physics that animates flexi prims etc is different I think, and each viewer has their own free licence)

JayR Cela said...

Hi there Stacy

Thank you for your comment.

I personally do not see how any of this will make any sort of difference to the average SL user.

Moving HAVOK from the server to the viewer, sounds like a very good idea to me.

At this point in time it is a wait and see situation.

*bigg huggs*

JayR Cela :_)

Lord said...

With Armin Weatherwax joining Firestorm team, does this mean the end of Armin's direct contributions to Kokua as well as the end of the Teapot viewer ?

JayR Cela said...

Hi there Lord

I think any future development on Kokua has stagnated to pretty much nonexistence anyways, and the Teapot viewer is Armin's personal viewer used mostly for testing.


Mister Acacia said...

The issue was described to us is that Havok is not licensed for use outside the SL grid, and so in order to "legally" use Firestorm on, say, OSGrid, the Havok code has to be removed.

I could be wrong, and I reserve that right.