Braid Creator Jonathan Blow is Creating a New Programming Language Because C++ is "Terrible"

Braid Creator Jonathan Blow is Creating a New Programming Language Because C++ is "Terrible"

Is this the end of C++?

Jonathan Blow, the creator of indie hits like Braid and The Witness, is developing his own programming language that he thinks could increase productivity by as much as 80 percent.

Why did Blow decide to make his own programming language? Well, according to the developer at Gamelab in Barcelona it's because C++ is just a "really terrible, terrible language," a conclusion he came to while developing The Witness.

"People think a programming language should be a complicated ecosystem. I don't want to learn an ecosystem for a year, I just want to put 3D graphics on there," said Blow to an audience during a talk at Gamelab.

The Witness reports that with Jai Blow wants to achieve three things. Namely, improve the quality of life for programmers, simplify the existing systems in place, and increase "expressive power" which apparently means give programmers the ability to do much more with their programs with less code.

"C++ is a powerful language in some ways, because it's what we make games in so obviously it's doing something right. But it makes it a lot harder than it should be," Blow says to "The more I questioned it, the more I said 'actually this is quite changeable. I think I see a specific thing we do here'," and so Jai's development began.

Blow also says that his experience as a game designer in some ways helps his work on Jai. "I've designed games that are big and complicated, and you can design a programming language the same, with eye to the aesthetics."

Blow's next game with his company Theklas Inc. is being developed on Jai as a way to test the language. You can see a teaser of Blow's game here.

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Matt Kim

News Editor

Matt Kim is a former freelance writer who's covered video games and digital media. He likes video games as spectacle and is easily distracted by bright lights or clever bits of dialogue. He also once wrote about personal finance, but that's neither here nor there.

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