It was only a few short years ago when in-game physics were a novelty, like lava lamps and black lights. Today, however, like barrels that explode when shot, obeying the laws of physics is expected behavior for objects in most any game. This turnabout is pinned largely on the popularity of Havok's core collection of animation and physics tools, which the company notes that it will make available to PC game developers for free later this year.

The toolset, dubbed Havok Complete, has been used in creating a number of high profile titles, such as Ninja Theory's Heavenly Sword. Beginning in May, Havok will make available these same tools to developers for non-commercial use, while both it and parent company Intel also plan to offer those devs deemed worthy with a free commercial distribution license as well. Says Havok, the move is designed to "boost creative game development throughout the industry," from indies and academics, to PC enthusiasts who for too long have lived without the joy of being able to throw virtual ragdolls down flights of stairs.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.

Ninja Gaiden 2 Interview, Itagaki on "real violence"