[sldev] Physics Modularity (was: AWG - Scope (Future SL Architecture versus Multiworld Interoperability))

Dale Mahalko dmahalko at gmail.com
Sat Oct 27 18:35:15 PDT 2007

It's possible that the Havok company might be willing to offer a low
cost-of-entry engine option for people running privately-owned
simulators, or perhaps LL might be able to strike a deal in that
direction. I point to Unreal Tournament as an example, which partnered
to provide Maya Personal Learning Edition for free to gamers, to
generate UT 3D content.

If Havok had to face the possibility of competition with Aegia and
open-source engines, the prospect of a low-cost engine license for
private sim owners/operators becomes more likely.

I think  the first steps towards opening up the server to suppot other
physics engines has already been taken, since Andrew said they worked
to create an abstraction layer separating SL from Havok 1, before
moving to Havok 2 and then Havok 4. That alone counts as a huge step
towards supporting other engines. It looks like Joints were actually a
Havok I feature rather than a direct LL-created mechanism, and so
removal of them further opens up potential cross-engine compatability.

Probably the best you could hope for is that Andrew continues work on
this abstraction, and works to implement beta simulators using the
commercial Aegia PhysX. Once the two majors are supported, work should
begin to extend the abstraction to an open-source engine.

Though I can only wave this suggestion in Andrew's direction due to
the current closed nature of the server source. :-)

- Scalar Tardis / Dale Mahalko

On 10/27/07, Andre Roche <roamingryozu at gmail.com> wrote:
> If LL is ever going to open up the sim server code, there's going to
> at least need to be some kind of physics engine interface to plug in
> any physics engine a user wants to use.  They're not exactly allowed
> to release the Havok code, I don't think.

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