GDC, how does a company make its message stand out? The answer: Use ninjas. Apparently the guys and gals at Havok got the "What's awesome?" memo and did just that, showcasing version 6.5 of its new behavioral tool set during the conference. Admittedly, video footage of the tech (found after the break) isn't going to smoke your shorts and knock your socks off, but the event-driven character behavior system hopes to make realistic reactions easier for game developers.
Havok's behavioral tech demo (featuring wacky ninjas) demonstrates animation "tells," allowing characters to properly react to what is about to happen or is in the process of happening. The tech -- which uses the very technical sounding system of Hierarchical Finite State Machines and Blending Trees -- hopes to empower game devs to create realistic scenarios that are easily transferable between artists and designers. What does that mean for the gamer? When a dude gets punched, it looks like that dude done get punched fo' reals. See, we can be technical too ... we have a doctorate in Awesomology.