Havok: Everything in next-gen games must be destructible

Head of product management for middleware company says "it will not longer be acceptable to walk into a room where you can't punch a hole in the wall."

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Destruction must be at the heart of next-generation games, according to Havok's worldwide head of product management. Speaking with Games Industry International, Andrew Bowell said destructible environments will be a cornerstone of PlayStation 4 and next Xbox games.

"The way that ragdolls became the last generation thing and everything had to be ragdolls, we reckon next generation, everything's going to have to be destructible," Bowell said.

"It will be no longer acceptable to walk into a room where you can't punch a hole in the wall or break a table and see it splinter," he added.

Havok Physics is a physics engine that has been used in a number of high-profile games including the Halo series, The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, L.A. Noire, and Uncharted 3: Drake's Deceptionl, among others.

Discussion

512 comments
flammable_zeus
flammable_zeus

Wow, lots of people here are missing the point so badly. Just because something's destructible, doesn't mean you'll destroy it or even be able to. After all, I live in a house that's completely destructible but I don't live in constant fear of it falling on me. 


It sounds like too many people are afraid of more complicated games than CoD existing.

brok
brok

Havok- I love you guys and you've always been my favourite physics engine but... shut up. Destructable environments aren't even that good- there's no strategy to hiding behind something that can just be blown away with MOAR FIREPOWER. Honestly I prefer fights to be won by the smarter combatant, not just the one with the bigger gun.

Anteares
Anteares

just make a good effing game.  if you're going to make a fps though...sure, make it destructable. For everything else its just more icing on the caek.


cousinmerl
cousinmerl

what? argh this give me a head ache as a game developer. honestly there's a lot of issues of blowing stuff upm, it tends to break things and cause deadlines to be missed - there has to be limits, we cant make reality we just make it look a bit like it!

Saketume
Saketume

Yup! Must be like this now!

& the gen after every character must be a pink furred animal. Those are the rules.

Aengelus
Aengelus

These people would love Michael Bay. MORE EXPLOSIONS AND DESTRUCTION RAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!

obsequies
obsequies

just worry about making 60fps on consoles a requirement first. Don't worry about things blowing up spend more time making the engine work properly FIRST. Quality can carry shit anywhere

Ricardo Martin
Ricardo Martin

@Daniel Parry, I like your thinking. Make it challenging by allowing destructibility for enemies as well as the player. I always wondered why enemies never shot a conveniently placed gas barrel when I was practically standing next to it.

golden_ashen
golden_ashen

But.....what about Battlefield? It will no longer be a unique game.

somebody337
somebody337

Oh god yes! If thats what next gens going to be like count me in! :D

stealthyninja81
stealthyninja81

for some games, yes, I want to be able to punch through walls. some games, like halo, I don't.

jetjetjaguar
jetjetjaguar

Making holes is a good step *if* it can lead to floors collapsing down on you.  I second the idea of reduced/no load times.

Bobby Miller
Bobby Miller

No. While MOST objects should be destructible, it would be annoying if you could destroy things essential to your task: that would result in lots of restarting.

Michael Kenny
Michael Kenny

What about a puzzle game? or a story driven adventure? This developer sounds like a complete idiot, no doubt works on the modern warfare series.

Jim Palermo
Jim Palermo

Not in all games.. It's not so easy to implement either

insanem0nk
insanem0nk

lol halo with destructible environment, sorta gamebreaking imo lol especially in BTB

Garrett James Monson
Garrett James Monson

if everything was destructible you could just walk in a strait line to the end blowing up anything in the way. This would make level design extremely difficult. In my opinion this would suck, you need a mix of objects that you can destroy and those you can't so you can lead the player through the world and story.

Raj Gupta
Raj Gupta

is it from BATMAN ARKHAM CITY

lilmcnessy
lilmcnessy

Was L.A. Noire running havoc? I thought it was just on the RAGE engine

famekiller
famekiller

What a stupid thing to say.  I hate how some people like to speak on behalf of everybody. I really don't care if i can punch holes in walls or not. Just make cool games. end of story!

Asif Mohammed
Asif Mohammed

There should be a destructable mode for gta and saints row where you can destroy buildings

Cryptic_Shadow
Cryptic_Shadow

Just build a game with no/minimal loading times/screens.  I don't want the freedom of busting through a wall just to have to wait for the next room to load.

benelori
benelori

Pretty interesting comments...too bad for him that lots of games don't emphasize mindless destruction like this...

It would be interesting to the see level designs for such games though... 

MfKiNg360
MfKiNg360

i can imagine HAVOK creating a tech demo that is in first person and you see the player punching walls in an isolated room. 

epicness 

Dudersaper
Dudersaper

Say goodbye to good level design.

flammable_zeus
flammable_zeus

@brok Just because something's destructible it doesn't mean that it will be easily destructable. Red Faction is the only game that really features physics-based building destruction and in that the weapons you used are futuristic demolition tools. In a game where you don't have access to nano rifles, mini black holes and explosives designed specifically for demolition, cover is still likely to act as actual cover.

flammable_zeus
flammable_zeus

@golden_ashen Are they putting destructability in Battlefield now? Sweet that might get me looking at it more. With BF3 all of the destruction was scripted.

Flexanite
Flexanite

@golden_ashenI'd rather not have destructibility be restricted to only one game thank you very much.

Broodax
Broodax

@stealthyninja81 think of it this way.....makes executions more...interactive.....say a destructible wall slam an enemys spartans head through the wall and his corpse is just laying their limp from the wall or you get promethean vision and shoot a elite in the back of the head through a wall with a sniper rifle


flammable_zeus
flammable_zeus

@Bobby Miller That's like saying we shouldn't allow friendly fire because it means you have to take care who you shoot at. If you're able to destroy your objective then that just adds another layer of gameplay. Even then, for easier games they could always make objective-based objects indestructible.

flammable_zeus
flammable_zeus

@Michael Kenny You mean like Tiny and Big? Very fun puzzle game in which just about everything is destructible. MW would in fact find it harder to deal with destruction than puzzle games. Hard to have a corridor shooter in a game where you have access to explosives and have things like wooden doors keeping you in your corridor.

Karlhavana
Karlhavana

@famekiller People, is just about making games more real, if you shoot a rocket to a wall, the wall shouldn't be standing after that. Of course is not going to be everything destructible (i.e. BFBC2 containers, and some others structures are not destructible) 


brok
brok

@flammable_zeus Red Faction did it brilliantly- I have no issue with that. What Havok is saying here is that EVERYTHING should be destructible, which I disagree with. There should always be SOME cover, or SOME limit that forces you to think outside the box or adapt your strategies.

brok
brok

@flammable_zeus what is your point then? That structures won't necessarily be easy to destroy, and will need specific tools to do so? Isn't that abundantly obvious? Whatever you need to destroy structures, you better believe the games will be shoving them into your hands as often as possible. That's just how they roll these days