Solitaire remains the most played computer game of all time, and for good reason. Simple rules and straightforward gameplay make it easy to pick up for everyone. Solitaire has been part of Windows for more than 25 years, and the Microsoft Solitaire Collection makes it the best experience to date with five different card games in one.
As a game designer on the Daily Challenge team, I designed and prepared monthly deliverables of daily challenge content across titles. I also proposed and implemented some efficiency improvements to smooth out the workflow.
For most of these games, including Mahjong and Minesweeper, challenge content can be programmatically generated and prepared for release with a small amount of testing and massaging. However, no such shortcut exists for Solitaire: random decks of cards must be generated and played by hand. This required me to become a master Solitaire player in a matter of weeks, in order to be able to create Expert-level challenges.
And yes, that means that for a few glorious months, my job was to report to work, sit down at my computer, and play Solitaire.