May 21, 2018

5 Questions With…Sami Karilainen

5 Questions with Sami Karilainen

1. Where were you/what did you do before working at Seriously?
I worked at another game company, which mostly specialized in browser games on the Internet. Before that, I worked at more traditional software companies doing everything from product lifecycle management to testing software for mobile phones. I’ve always loved games and wanted to work in a more creative field, so when I got the chance to work for a mobile entertainment gaming company, I didn’t think twice.

2. What is your current role at Seriously?
I’m a senior game programmer mostly working on the technology side of Best Fiends. This means I work on the parts of the game that are not actual gameplay– the things a player might not normally think about or see. This includes purchases, ads, connections to external systems, tools, and analytics, as well as ensuring that all the underlying technology works…and fixing it when it doesn’t. Another vital part of my job is to communicate with various people within Seriously and at other companies in order to make sure that if there’s a problem somewhere, it will be addressed immediately.

3. What’s your favorite part about your job?
Troubleshooting. For me, it’s similar to detective work from an old novel. First I start hearing rumors that something might be wrong, but the reports can be all over the place. So, I start digging in, testing various hypotheses, and layer by layer I uncover more information until I finally have that “eureka” moment when I figure out exactly what’s going on. This sometimes happens on a version of the game that’s currently out, which then adds time pressure to it, transforming the detective narrative into more of a thriller.

4. Who is your favorite Fiend or Slug and why?
Postman Buggles! He was the first Fiend I participated in creating. We were making a big overhaul for sending gifts to friends and wanted to somehow tie it in to the game. So I thought what better way to incorporate that than to have one of the Fiends as a postman delivering gifts from you to your friends?

5. When you are not working at Seriously or playing Best Fiends, what do you enjoy doing?
I discovered bouldering bout a year ago and have really loved it ever since. I’m not great at it, but it’s my favorite sport since it combines problem solving with strength and mobility. Usually I’ll work on a bouldering problem with a friend, and we take turns coming up with different solutions until we figure out the best way to climb it. It’s also very open-ended, so you can always learn more and better your techniques to keep improving– it’s actually quite similar to programming!

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