Blue Fang Games, longtime developer of the Zoo Tycoon
and World of Zoo
series, has become an early participant in middleware developer Havok's recently-launched Independent Developer Program.
The program is targeted at independently-owned studios, and is based on a comprehensive annual fee that confers access to all Havok products, rather than licensing them out on an individual basis. It was publicly announced last December
, with Brisbane, Australia-based Krome Studios the first known partner.
Havok is best known for its physics middleware, a game industry staple for nearly a decade, but in recent years it has significantly expanded its portfolio with products like Havok Animation, Havok AI, Havok Behavior, Havok Cloth, and Havok Destruction.
Waltham, MA-based Blue Fang used Havok Behavior to develop World of Zoo
, published by THQ last year for PC, Wii, and Nintendo DS. Its membership in the Independent Developer Program signals its further commitment to Havok's various development middleware.
"Havok worked closely with Blue Fang Games in creating a customized solution to enhance its technology investment efficiently and effectively," said Havok managing director David O'Meara.
"Havok allowed our engineers to focus on the technology that enabled Blue Fang to create, in World of Zoo
, the most compelling animal behavior ever seen in games -- or anywhere else, for that matter," said Blue Fang Games lead character engineer Bruce Blumberg. "By building our system on top of Havok Behavior, we were able to bring new concepts to market more quickly and at significantly less cost and risk than ever before."