Played around with the demo suite a little bit last month. I didnt really read the manual (didnt realise they release one with it actually). Basically I just did the usual coder thing and started to modify the demos to get a feel for the api, code functionality etc. Seems to me the code base is written quite well and is actually pretty self-documenting. Lots of good stuff in there. Didnt like that you only got the headers\libs and not the full source cpp’s
From a code perspective, the best place is the demos, there are some simple main line ‘console’ apps there that show the very basics. If you took one of them (as opposed to the main graphical demos) and got that working in your code base, then you will be off to a good start (at least the base mem system etc and a world will be setup). From there you can start taking parts you want from the other demo examples (per example, per feature you want). Loading a HKX and simulating it is a good, simple, start. You can see if it is working if the VDB (Visual Debugger) is working (you have it enabled in your code, agian the simple ‘console’ main line demos do this). Then it is a mater of hooking the havok rigid body tramsforms up to your graphics transforms.
It is also the Havok Content Tools, they will allow you to create the HKX files from Max/Maya/XSI, and have a preview too, so you can see what effect you have created.