Braid Dev on Handheld Ports, Being Zen Master

Braid creator Jonathan Blow is a reluctant gaming celebrity. He's outspoken. He's direct, whether in praise or criticism. He thinks "Space Giraffe is an excellent game ... certainly the best action game on XBLA." It would be easy to shrug him off as an artiste--but in truth, he's more like a Zen master.

To get worldly concerns out of the way, Blow is working on the PC version of his downloadable minimalist Xbox 360 platformer and all but shot down portable versions when speaking to Joystiq. "The game would have to be completely re-created from the ground up [for the Nintendo DS]," he explained, adding, "I won't do that ... and I don't know anyone I would trust to do a high-quality job on that." A PSP version, despite the handheld's functional digital-download marketplace, would face similar problems.


With those issues aside, Blow was able to focus on some deeper issues. Despite a scathing review from rap star Soulja Boy Tell Em (see below), Blow stood by Braid's love-em-or-hate-em puzzles. "An awful lot of games are just about ushering the player through a fake experience, letting him win, making him feel like he is clever and strong without actually requiring him to be anything but a couch potato," he asserted.

The internet has buzzed with discussion regarding the game's ending and meaning--most of it confusion. Rather than resolve all that and help gamers with resolving the adventure of Tim, the game's main character, Blow headed straight into a Zen-like teaching:

"If I were to make some kind of statement about what the game is about--even a very long, elaborate and well-considered statement--it would miss. It's like trying to clutch a handful of water very tightly; the water runs through your fingers and you end up with almost none. But if you cup an open hand, instead of clutching, you can hold a little more. And then if you don't try to contain the water at all, if you instead just point to where it is, you can point at a whole lake."

Now that Jonathan Blow has cleared your mind, allow the world's richest game reviewer to fill it right back up again:


Soulja Boy reviews Braid