Studio profile: Havok

Studio profile: Havok

  • Founded 1998
  • Location Dublin
  • Employees 115 and growing
  • Key staff David Coghlan, MD; Andrew Bond, VP of technology; Dave Gargan, VP of engineering; Brian Waddle, VP of worldwide sales and marketing; Felix Roeken, VP of international development; Andrew Bowell, head of product management; Ross O’Dwyer, head of professional services and support; Andrew Callanan, head of finance
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As we stand at reception, waiting for our hosts to come and meet us, the TV on the wall showing a promo reel of realtime environmental physics has us transfixed. It’s a surprisingly soothing video considering its destructive content, as pillars crack under gunfire, vases shatter across slippery marble floors and numbers we can’t interpret dance at the sides of the screen.

Perhaps it’s the result of spending so long playing in inert environments that we still coo at a lively physics simulation as if it were the first time we’d seen a ragdoll. And whether you realise it or not, this Dublin company is responsible for a great many of those moments.

Managing director David Coghlan and VP of engineering Dave Gargan

“Even though we’re aside from the industry, we like to be very much involved in the production of games, and that’s what motivates a lot of the people who come to join us,” VP of engineering Dave Gargan tells us. But the atmosphere here is far less chaotic than the results of the technology being developed; in fact, there’s an almost zen-like calm as we’re shown around the new open-plan office, carefully laid out to ensure that the small teams are in close proximity.

Though Havok has become synonymous with physics, the rubble and debris left over from its efforts has necessitated exploration into new territories. The result is a portfolio of seven products covering everything from physics and cloth dynamics to AI and animation.