Richard Meurling is a seasoned programmer who has been involved in some of the most successful mobile games ever developed, such as Candy Crush Saga, a game by King. He did not, however, start his career in game development – he began his career in banking.
On September 13th we celebrated International Programmers Day, and had a chat with Richard about his work and how he faces the daily challenges of his profession.
FunPlus.- Describe your work very briefly
Richard: “Debugging is like being a software psychologist. Time, coffee, and a comfortable chair are all you need.”
FunPlus.- What do you love about programming?
Richard: I am a very visual developer. Anything graphical that moves on screen makes me tick. This is also why I left banks/payments/fintech. And of course, problem solving. There is nothing more satisfying than solving that complex thing that has been occupying your brain for the last week.
FunPlus.- Tell us about the project you’ve worked on that you’re most proud of. What did you do that worked out particularly well?
Richard: Candy Crush Saga levels were originally designed with 5 or 6 unique game modes. They grew naturally with the project. Basically, it was written as IF Gamemode == “Jelly” etc.. I changed that structure to be a collection of goals and a set of lose conditions, and any combination was valid. In theory, you could have a level with multiple goals with both a timer and a set number of moves. Now they have close to 15000 levels.
FunPlus.- If you could master one technology this year, what would it be?
Richard: This is a hard one for me. I usually master technologies that I need to use to do a specific task. Or because I find them interesting. Last year I wrote my own crypto-miner and built a mining cluster of raspberry pi:s. This year it has been more about animations, art tools and effects. But If I had to choose It would be to write good Shaders.