GDC 11: Box 2D Creator Wants Credit for Angry Birds

At the end of a largely boring Angry Birds panel, led by Rovio employee Per Vesterbacka (and his delightful Finnish accent), a lone man strode up to the microphone. Looking like most of the other attendees at the panel (pullover, technologically advanced backpack), he had what at first seemed like a perfectly routine question:

“What physics engine does Angry Birds use?”

“Box 2D,” Vesterbacka replied, clearly expecting to move on to the next topic. The questioner, however, wasn’t finished. His follow-up was, as they say, a doozy:

“Do you think you guys could include a credit for it? I’m Erin Catto, programmer of Box 2D.”

The room erupted in laughter. Vesterbecka, though gracious, was clearly flustered, and he bestowed on Catto the best a panelist can offer by way of apology: “let’s talk after this is finished.” I caught Catto as he was waiting for the bevy of Angry Birds sycophants clustered around the balding Finn to disperse, and asked him some questions about his software and his situation. I forgot to ask him why his parents gave him a name that makes him sound like an NPC in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic — maybe next time.

Here’s the brief interview for your enjoyment:

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