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Blow: Current Linux is a 20% productivity drain

Braid developer on the drawbacks of open source OS

Outspoken game designer Jonathan Blow has revealed mixed feelings about developing for the Linux operating system.

"I would be very happy to switch to an open-source operating system," he said in a post on Ycombinator.

"The main reason is that debugging is terrible on Linux"

"I really dislike what Microsoft does, especially what they are doing now with Windows 8. But today, the cost of switching to Linux is too high. I have a lot of things to do with the number of years of life I have remaining, and I can't afford to cut 20 per cent off the number of years in my life."

Blow is best known for his critical indie hit Braid, which was released on Linux in 2010 as part of the second Humble Indie Bundle.

"The main reason is that debugging is terrible on Linux," he explained.

"Productivity is crucial. If the lack of a reasonable debugging environment costs me even 5 per cent of my productivity, that is too much, because games take so much work to make. At the end of a project, I just don't have 5% effort left any more. It requires everything. (But the current Linux situation is way more than a 5 per cent productivity drain. I don't know exactly what it is, but if I were to guess, I would say it is something like 20 per cent.)"

Blow is currently working on a new game, The Witness, which is due for release on Microsoft Windows and iOS this year.

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Rachel Weber

Senior Editor

Rachel Weber has been with GamesIndustry since 2011 and specialises in news-writing and investigative journalism. She has more than five years of consumer experience, having previously worked for Future Publishing in the UK.