|Education||B.Sc. in Computer Science, specialization in Artificial Intelligence|
1. How did you end up in Finland?
I came to Finland in 2007 as an exchange student. I lived and studied in Turku for three months before moving to Helsinki to work. I decided to come to Finland because the country seemed as different from Venezuela as can be. I've also always been interested in games, and knew that Finland had quite an active video games scene. I didn't really have any expectations when I arrived, I only knew that there would be a lot of snow!
I went back to Venezuela after one and a half years in Finland to finish my degree, but came back as soon as I had graduated. Helsinki is a great place for a foreigner, since it's a very international city and everyone speaks english. That applies for Rovio as well, as we have people from all over the world. I also get to use my mother tongue spanish at work, which is really nice.
2. Why did you apply for a job at Rovio?
Back then Rovio was just starting out with the Angry Birds franchise, and I wanted to be a part of that. I have previously worked as both a designer and a programmer, and I felt that in a growing company I would have a chance to use my expertise from both fields.
3. What are your main responsibilities and tasks?
My main responsibilities include design and implementation of new tools, prototyping new ideas and searching for new groundbreaking technologies that we could introduce to the market. I also guide more junior developers and help in the interview process for new candidates. The best part of my job is getting to do a lot of different things. I love prototyping new ideas, but would probably get sick of it if that was my only task. Doing research on new technologies definitely balances that out.
4. What are the most challenging and interesting projects you've worked on at Rovio?
I've gotten to work on a number of projects during my time at Rovio. Angry Birds Space was a really important project for me, since I got to work on it throughout the project. We had an idea of doing something space-themed, something different than what had been done before. We started out by testing different gameplay mechanics, and found that the no-gravity approach worked quite nicely. The turning point was coming up with little planets with their own gravitational fields. That really is the core of the game.
What I loved about this project was that I got to work on a whole new concept with new gameplay and characters. The birds actually took the most time to design, and the game was almost ready before we had decided which birds to include in the game. Ice Bird is my favorite character, as it was the most fun to design. It also works very well in the game!
5. What has been the most amazing experience or day you have had at Rovio?
That's an easy one: definitely the day we finally shipped Angry Birds Space. We popped a couple of bottles of champagne that afternoon!