Another week, another mountain of questions to dodge.
It is always a treat to open the sack, and sift through the bizarre spectrum of treasures contained within. You honor us with your rampant speculations and demands for information from within our inner sanctum. Before your patience is eroded by all of this glad-handing, let's dance on the razor's edge of full-disclosure and answer all of that which can be answered.
Ktan Dantaktee Will Private Groups be deleted? There are rumors of this feature going bye-bye, so I think it would be nice if you guys could clear this up.
As long as you are spending your precious time here and having fun, we’ll continue to give you the tools to make the most of your stay. We’re ethical landlords, and we’ll never kick you out of your home (until we’re ready to move you into a better one).
BREQ The question on everyone's pizza sauce covered lips. Will Recon still be unlockable after the transition?
As with all post transition Halo questions, this one should be directed at 343. Ask for angel. Tell her I sent you (we go way back). What we do know is that you won’t be able to unlock it through Bungie.net.
Alpha4O Will the freezing of data mean that my stats like K/D and medals will not be updated? If so will this also affect the Bungie mobile app?
Yes and yes. The app will still display your historical record, let you send private messages via Bungie.net, and see what your friends are playing on Xbox LIVE. Oh, and there might be some new stuff for the future. Might.
Mereel N7 Any idea on what The Flood will be renamed come March 31st? Will there be a public vote if the name does change?
I will say it again: On March 31st we are not leveling any forums, imploding any private groups, or launching anyone into the sun. Please quote me on that, in the event that any other doomsday conspiracies arise.
Its A Mirage Can you give us a hint on the fun that will be had with the halo stats before they're frozen?
The only hint I can provide is that fun will be had. Much fun has already been had compiling them, by all of us. As we hand them over to the new stewards of the Halo warfront that rages every night on Xbox LIVE, it is altogether fitting and proper that we look back in sentimentality.
Elem3nt 117 During Halo 3's development, who created the Halo 3 Cradle of Life (llink here) comic story/art? Was it the folks among Bungie?
I stole an image from that link for those of you too lazy to click it (thanks, Halopedia). The artist behind that work is Ashley Wood
. A number of folks among Bungie were big fans of his work, so he was asked to lend his mighty pen to travel back in time and plant the seeds of Halo 3. Challenge: I will send a "Burn Bright. Burn Blue.
" t-shirt to the first reader who can identity another Halo-themed work from his portfolio.
Big Black Bear Are you just getting us to do your job for you? Shouldn't we be getting paid your salary?
You are doing only half of my job for me. I am doing the other half. The portion of your half of my salary that I didn't spend on controller batteries went to the tax collector.
coolmike699 What's the best food available at Bungie?
The blood of interlopers who crash our gates without an appointment. At least, that is what Jerome is always telling me.
AmazingMaco v2 If I was curled up on Bungie's doorstep, in the cold and the rain, would you take me in and nurture me as your own?
(See previous question above.) Curling up on our doorstep is never a good idea.
Verachi When will Luke give me my steak?
This is not a question you ever want to ask Luke to his face. On this occasion (and this occasion alone) I have braved Luke’s haunt on the other side of the studio to see how he might react to your threadbare query. Luckily, for both of us, he was feeling magnanimous today, when he said:
Verachi. I will never give you your steak. Your accomplishments in Halo, whilst not forgotten, no longer entitle you to dine on my dollar. All the best in your continued quest for meat.
Ah, Lukems. You haven’t lost your tender touch.
RigZ Boi Why does my hate for you know no boundaries?
Did we not have this same discussion privately? I will echo the answer you gave me. You hate me because I am the community manager you need right now, but not the one you deserve. Because I can take it. The one you deserve will show up later, and you will find that he looks just like me (but with a larger, rubberized codpiece).
Cockburnicus Is your current position with Bungie a temporary one? (and don't give me some wishy washy nonsense about just being happy to be here) It seems to me that these community guys hang around for a year or so and then go and do something else. It's a foot in the door type job. So can we expect a newer version of you in a year or so?
Maybe if you were all nicer to your community managers, they would stick around for longer. Did that ever occur to you? All kidding aside, knowing the heart of a gamer makes someone extremely valuable to the creative process that drives development of great games at Bungie. And, who knows the heart of the Bungie Community better than the people who have lived in the trenches with you? Luke and Urk are doing amazing things to make sure that the next game you play with us will be the best it can be. We should be excited that they are where they are. As for how long you will have me to kick around? I was running gamers through a maze of my own creation for six years before Bungie called me up to serve you. I am passionate about games that spark alight the flames of community. No matter where my adventure at Bungie takes me, you will find that I am very hard to shake.
TacoPizzaHunter Who do you think will win the Super Bowl, Giants or Patriots?
First of all, I also love Taco Pizza. It makes my wife nuts, because you can’t put tacos on half of a pizza and expect them to stay there. As for your question: You asked it the day after the game. Would you also like to make a friendly wager over who will win World War II? I love easy money.
prometheus25 What numbers should I pick for tomorrow's lottery?
Now that is a question about the future. If you win, I get half: 7, 12, 26, 32, 57, 79. In the event that you need another number, just give them… 62. Those of you who are reaching for your decoder rings to discover some cypher hidden in those numbers, the joke is completely on you. Seriously. If I see speculation in some hidden corner of the Internet about that, I will roll around on the floor behind my desk, cackling in ways that will send a chill up the spines of those unfortunate enough to be seated near me.
Top_Gun_2021 How are the employees desks organized in the building? A map would be awesome.
We cluster people together based on what they are working on, to make it easy for them to bounce ideas off of one another. A glance over anyone’s shoulder reveals our project reflected through a similar prism. Concept Artists sit near Concept Artists. Animators sit near Animators. There are no walls that separate any of us from each other – aside from the ones that provide privacy for the restrooms. As a relative Newbie, I still come up with reasons to take the scenic route to the other side of the office. For those of us that become lost easily, we do have a map that illustrates the sprawling layout. Here is an extreme close-up:
risay_117 Did you ever have a party in the studio?
SkilPhil What lessons did you take away from the Bungie Pentathlon?
That’s more like it, constant reader. I learned some hard (and very valuable lessons) during the Pentathlon. I learned that, in order to etch your name onto The Cup (that is actually a Fist), you need to be a gamer that possesses skills of great diversity. You must be as competitive as you are social. You can’t just shoot first and ask questions later. You also have to be able to answer those questions. You must be a problem solver, a singer, a riddler, a dancer, a tosser, a gambler, a soldier, a conjurer, a driver, and even (on rare occasions) a sculptor. The winners of the Pentathlon are perfect beings who can crush all challenges in their path. In that respect, Middle School put us all to shame.
Killa kella159 What is the codename for Bungie's next game?
Let’s just call it “Bungie’s next game,” shall we?
MKmiksaFIN Who controls Bungie's Twitter account?
Several of us know the login. You never know which of us is whispering 140 characters of sweet nothing into your ear – although odds are it’s me. If you are not following us @bungietweets
, you should jump on board. I interact with people there almost
every day. World Domination requires one to leave home from time to time, after all.
ExquisiteDragon How much bacon is stored at the studio?
The notion of storage implies surplus, which would suggest that we ate our fill, and left something for later. When it comes to bacon, this is never possible.
Spartan_Natraps Will videogames ever transcend their status as mere entertainment?
Are you not all evidence of the fact that they have already? Every day, thousands of you make your way to this website to interact with one another on topics that have nothing to do with games. Thus, videogames have become a social lounge where people make real and lasting friendships.
AngryFacing When could we possibly expect a peek at Bungie's next project? Even the tiniest peek through a hole as tiny as a pixel.
Why do you make me tease you like this?
There is your pixel. Don’t stare for too long at its brilliance, lest you ruin the vision that you will need to experience it in all its fully-realized glory.
shadow 2648 Are you excited about all the new hires coming in to the studio? And do you see yourself possibly hiring new networking and 3D Designers straight out of college? Or are you looking for more experience than that?
Slow down now, eager young mind! One question at a time. New hires are always exciting. Just the other night, I rode the elevator with a new Environment Artist who was thrilled to announce the he had just finished his first day. It reminded me of that glow of naïve excitement that enveloped me when I started working at Bungie, those long (three) months ago. As for hiring people straight out of college, the Careers page
does a better job than I could of explaining what we look for in a candidate. I can tell you that we want the best of the best of the best – since you would demand nothing less from us.
CODILICIOUS How is JonnyOThan doing?
JonnyOThan… JonnyOThan… Oh! You mean Sandbox Programmer Extraordinaire Jon Cable. He’s fine. Just the other night, he accompanied me on a surprise inspection of a Minecraft server
that is ruled by fellow members of your community. He is happy, healthy, and laying the foundation for your next granular castle.
Kvaener Kannst du mich verstehen? Es wäre so toll, wenn du mich verstehst!
Ich verstehe dich. Tut mir Leid zu enttäuschen.
GrinnialVex Are you guys going to PAX this year? I'll be going for the first time ever and I'd like to stal- er, meet you. You know, hang out, tell stories, get close... totally not in a creepy way though.
I will most definitely be at PAX. Plenty of other Bungie people will as well, to embrace the gaming goodness as fans. We have a good group in attendance every year. It is in our backyard, after all, and Penny Arcade always makes it worth our while. I might even host my very own panel discussion, which would include little more than me sobbing unintelligibly over a table strewn with empty shot glasses about how hard it is to keep secrets from thousands of people who just want to appreciate your work.
darkruby Is it hard creating a game that no-one outside the studio knows about?
Bartender! Another shot?
ecartman1214 Will those of us who signed up for the Bungie beta tester program awhile back be getting any more information in the near future?
I have just returned from the Bungie Lab, where User Researcher Brandi House had the following temptations to forecast:
We contact sub-sets of our beta pool regularly to help with a variety of research like surveys (yay radio buttons!) and on-campus playtests (gasp!). Don’t lose heart if you haven’t heard from us yet! We’re constantly cooking up new ways to leverage your delicious brains, and there’s a good chance we’ll need you in good time. We love you. Bear with us, you dear brave souls.
CheckedBRUTES Will the Bungie Weekly Updates make a comeback? Will there be a Bungie Day this year?
I update this site much more than once a week lately. What more do you want?
CheckedBRUTES Will there be a Bungie Day this year?
Man, you just won’t stop. Every day is Bungie Day when you work for Bungie. As always, we will invite you to celebrate with us on 7/7.
stephen087 It's known that Bungie has a variety of games in studio for employee recreation. Are there any notable rivalries among employees in certain games?
The most bitter and time-honored rivalries exist in Street Fighter. That game has serious business at Bungie for years. Our competitors in that game even have the fancy peripherals, and volumes of downloadable content to keep them sparring. See the angry warning and the security cable? Yeah. I stole their box to mine screenshots for one of our Ride Along recaps. Big. Mistake.
DARKWIND12 How high will you count the Mail Sack? And will it always end in ".0"?
I will answer your questions for as long as you are inspired enough to ask them. Someday, when I am writing more official weekly updates, I will still reserve a small section where you get to drive the conversation. As for the numerology, there may be a .5 or something, in the event that I make a critical error in reporting, and have to issue a retraction.
insaneAssass1n9 What will happen if Bungie cannot find qualified people to fill some of the job openings that the site has listed?
Hypothetically, we would create them from scratch using crash test dummies, spare machine parts, animal guts pilfered from the dumpster of a local butcher shop, and just a touch of black magic. Those creations are hard to control once set in motion, so we would really rather hire gifted professionals who can be manipulated with snacks.
Fortunately, we’ve had little trouble filling our open seats with talented asses.
The Storm What do you (honestly) do whilst in the office?
I sit quietly, chained to my desk, sifting through volumes of insanity in the hopes of finding one insightful question that truly lets me express my inner joys.
homocidalham Is Jason Jones ever going to tell us what the connection between Marathon and Myth is? Particularly concerning Marathon and the great devoid?
No. Not because he doesn’t want to, but because the 90’s are lost to him.
QuirkyNate Can you please tell Achronos to stop being evil and start being merciful?
Achronos has power over all of us that is too dangerous to anger. I crave the same mercy for which you would ask. His reach extends to moderate my forum presence
as much as yours. We need a brave warrior to take up our cause, since it is clear that neither of us have the spine to face him alone.
SPARTAAA 117 Can I get a callout please?
This... Is… (nah, too easy)
SunGlassed Skunk Will you ever answer my questions? I’ve posted in every mail sack, maybe it's because I smell.
You smell just fine – a heady blend of sandalwood and game controller plastic. It’s your questions that stink. Or, perhaps you are just cutting too close to The Truth. I am saying that without delving into the archives to investigate what you have asked. The only advice I can provide is that you keep asking.
El Mequetrefe What do you do with a drunken sailor?
It really depends on the time of day. If it is early in the morning, you chuck him in the long boat 'till he's sober. If it’s late at night, I usually just buy the bastard another drink.
m sghette In an inexplicable tale stretching far beyond the boundaries of my own belief, I have acquired the gun pointed at the head of the universe and I have come to make my demands. I demand you tell us more about what you and Bungie are working on, a lot more. If my demands are not met this Friday, I will pull the trigger.
Also, if you could tell me where the phrase "the gun pointed at the head of the universe" came from, I would be very grateful. I can’t remember.
Well, it’s Friday, and we are all still here. Consider your bluff called. This unsuccessful con was not a total loss, since your question was compelling enough for me to lure veteran Bungie storyteller Robt McLees out of his fiction-fortified bunker to dig deep into the past and unearth some lost trivia about how that phrase entered our lexicon:
I can’t remember exactly when I heard it first, but its original author — at least here at Bungie — was either Jason Jones or Joe Staten. If I was a betting man, I’d put my money on Jason. Here’s the funny thing though — and the only reason that I included Staten in the equation — Jason did not refer to the universe actively as a rule. The galaxy was always big enough for him. It was already inconceivably large, without having to drag the whole universe into it. He hated the phrase “save the universe” because nobody could threaten the universe. Saving the universe would require defeating time at the very least. In fact, it may have started out as “gun pointed at the head of the galaxy” but Marty changed it to universe because it sounded more American. But memory is a funny thing. It is imperfect.
THORSGOD Can you shoot urk with a nerf gun for me?
The Gun Pointed at the Head of the urkiverse?
He had it coming. On more than several occasions, our conversations have been interrupted by a suction-cup-tipped projectile affixing itself to my screen.
Valiant Outcast Is there a chance that I could get some advance warning to when Mail Sack 5.0 will be open so that I don't find out after it closes like this time?
No. These sincere question and sarcastic answer sessions will strike without warning. They will come at a time when I can maintain watch over the post office. That said (starts whispering) Monday mornings are usually good for me.
Coda: No promises on the Internet.
All good things come to an end, friends. This Mail Sack (it was good for me) is no different. Your curiosity about life in the trenches of development is as appreciated as your willingness to keep us company on our website while we toil away on something we hope you will play. Though we are dark, you still burn bright. Talk to you again next week.