Wouter van Oortmerssen

I am a Dutch programmer living in San Francisco, mostly working on games, engines, programming languages & tools.

Professional Career

Currently running my own games studio VoxRay Games (more on my twitter). Previously at Google, working on WebAssembly, and game/VR related tech (I created for example the serialization library FlatBuffers).

Before that I was doing independent consulting/contracting in the area of game engine and programming language related technology. Recent clients include Maxis (SimCity) and Gearbox (Borderlands 2).

I am one of the creators of the Guildhall at SMU Master’s program for game development, teaching my students how to build engine components (such as shader systems, skeletal character animation, scripting compilers), and supervise their Master’s projects.

Before that, I worked at Crytek on the original CryEngine and the game Far Cry, working on multiplayer, core engine systems, and a new scripting language. Prior, I was a consultant for Amiga Inc working on a new operating system and a new system wide programming language.

Games & Engines

Some of my largest projects have been self-employed, or in the case of the Cube Engines, in cooperation with Lee at dot3 labs. The first Cube engine started as an exercise in simplicity, game design, and in-game level editing, but has evolved into a rather complete open source game & engine project in Cube 2 / Sauerbraten.

My other Games, Engines, Editors & Maps.


Thinking on how we can better organize information has led me to create TreeSheets, a “hierarchical spreadsheet” as an alternative to text editors, spreadsheets, mind mapping programs, outliners etc.

Read about several other Productivity Tools I made.

Programming Languages

Recent work centers around my Lobster game programming language and the Restructor Refactoring system.

I did my PhD at Southampton University (UK), and my Master’s at the University of Amsterdam (NL), both in programming language research, with Aardappel and Bla being the respective resulting projects / languages.

I created one of the most widely used languages on the Amiga platform, Amiga E, which I sold as a commercial product for a few years, and the False language which started a wave of esoteric languages.

More on my Programming Languages projects.


Besides programming I dabble in Photography, used to do a lot of level design (part of what motivated me to create better engines!), game design, and when I was younger I used to do even music, comics and painting.

I am very much into natural languages, and actually studied Computational Linguistics and Italian before I switched to programming languages entirely. Besides Italian, English I also speak German and Dutch fluently, and can get around in French or Spanish.


Some Random Rants, Notes & Articles (for everything that doesn’t fit elsewhere).