Mail Sack 13
Posted by DeeJ at 4/13/2012 12:31 PM PDT


Welcome to Mail Sack 13, published on Friday the 13th.

At Bungie, we feel very fortunate to have the chance to make kick ass games in the company of kick ass developers. On a day that invokes a foreboding sense of dread among camp counselors and the overly superstitious, we take comfort in the fact that our shared culture is peppered with enough instances of the number 7 to ward off any amount of bad omens. As an expression of appreciation for the community that enables us to enjoy so much good fortune, we have assembled a panel to share some thoughts on why they feel lucky.

Here they are, as they throw salt over their shoulder…

Eric Will, Engineer
Tom Gioconda, Engineer
Ben Wommack, Production Engineer
Michael Williams, Senior Engineer
Jon Cable, Senior Engineer
Adrian Perez, Senior Engineer
Nate Hawbaker, Associate Technical Artist
Lars Bakken, Design Lead
Kurt Nellis, Technical Cinematic Lead
Lorraine McLees, Artist
Derek Carroll, Senior Designer

Let’s polish up our horseshoes and open the Sack.

T1B3R7uMB0YXVI Please finish the following sentence:
"When I was little, I wanted to be a..."


…real archaeologist... that is, until I realized that what I liked about the subject matter were the drawings I was creating/compiling for those school reports.
Lorraine McLees

…Aerospace Engineer. Those are the guys that make paper airplanes all the time, right?
Jon Cable

...game designer; thanks to Square and Chrono Trigger for spurring that ambition.
Ben Wommack

…Astronaut! But that changed while visiting a local science museum. The museum had a sleeping bag with a picture of American spacemen in a laser-gun fight with Communist spacemen. My young self decided that astronauting seemed pretty dangerous, and that instead I wanted to be a "button-pushing man," As it turned out, I ended up being a button-pushing man creating games where green spacemen fired lasers at one another, so... mission achieved?
Michael Williams

I wanted to be a bunch of different things, but mostly I wanted to work in SFX on specifically Star Wars and sometimes I wanted to work on video games. I'm pretty sure my 8 year old self would be proud.
Kurt Nellis

…Millionaire/Astronaut. See my recent Breaking In interview.
Derek Carroll

…Aeronautical engineer, ever since I saw a bit on 3-2-1 Contact about the job. They got to build models of their ideas out of balsa wood and test them in wind tunnels. I couldn't imagine anything better.
Adrian Perez

I had an amazing answer for this, but it didn't start with a consonant.
Nate Hawbaker

yippiyak1 What is Jerome's weakness?

He has a severe dislike for cookies and cupcakes. They throw him into a violent rage.

yippiyak1 If I brought you all freshly made cookies and cupcakes, would you let me in?

See above (not a good idea).

Geegs30 What special skills do you bring to the table?

I am supremely proficient at learning from my mistakes.
Ben Wommack

Depends on the table.
Kurt Nellis

Amongst my special skills are such diverse elements as: coding, surprise, puzzling, designing services for massive scale, and an almost-fanatical devotion to our black banner.
Michael Williams

A worrying lack of impulse control.
Adrian Perez

I'm pretty good at hacky-sack, although it's harder to do that at a table.
Derek Carroll

CODILICIOUS What would one have to do/pay to be invited to Bagel Friday?

According to Daniel Hanson, whose rise to power is chronicled in the Breaking In interview for this week, you need to survive eleven hours of grueling scrutiny at the hands of Bungie hiring managers. To my knowledge, they don’t accept bribes.

WestCoastRonin If you had to credit one thing that got you a job at Bungie, what would it be?

When I was a sophomore in college, I decided that reverse engineering Slashdot without looking at the source was a good way to learn more about web application development. This turned into an excellent "portfolio" that made my application stand out.
Tom Gioconda

World of Warcraft, seriously. Without WoW I would never have gotten into modding, which really helped expand my resume.
Ben Wommack

When I was hired on as a full-time programmer, I would credit the connect-four clone I wrote for my portfolio. It was a simple game, but I used it to demonstrate code for UI, networking, AI and animation. It is important to stress that none of these things would have been enough on their own.
Michael Williams

When I was in high school I wrote a map editor for Starcraft. Bonus points to anyone who can figure out what it was called.
Jon Cable

Personal projects. Even in their principle they shine in an advantageous light. It is one thing to go into class every day out of a feeling of passive obligation. It is another thing to actively seek out the quest for knowledge, and directly translate it toward a working application in a functioning environment.
Nate Hawbaker

I credit my wife. The interview process at Bungie can be a long and arduous one, but she never let me lose hope or give up. She kept me positive in the face of incredible odds, which was exactly what I needed.
Lars Bakken

I'm guessing it was expertise in my field. I had a pretty good resume by the time I applied (so that got their attention), but that's not nearly enough to get in.
Kurt Nellis

Ability to listen and understand the visual need of a project and then sketch it out in less than 20 minutes. Near the end of my interview, I volunteered to sketch out what they were talking about to see if I could come up with something they might like in fifteen to twenty minutes. I got hired that very hour.
Lorraine McLees

DE4THINC4RN4TE Why do you want us to ask questions? Is this how you control your army, the seventh column? Get inside our head?

That’s exactly right. The sharing of hopes, dreams, and fears by our esteemed panel of Bungie people is all a smoke screen. From behind that cloak of misdirection, I am studying and cataloguing all of you for future reference. Right now, DE4THINC4RN4TE, I am filing you away under “Dangerously Insightful” and “Can’t Spell Own Name.”

xstar To whomever answers this, what College did you go to and what did you major in?

Virginia Tech, Computer Science.
Tom Gioconda

University of Puget Sound, Computer Science. I would probably major in something else if I could do it all again, at the same school.
Ben Wommack

University of Michigan. Computer Science in the school of engineering.
Jon Cable

I went to Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh and majored in Computer Science.
Adrian Perez

I graduated from the University of Iowa and majored in Communication Studies. At the time, they didn't have a film program by name, but that's what I studied. It was a great school and I got a lot of hands on experience.
Lars Bakken

Rochester Institute of Technology - Film/Video and then Computer Animation.
Kurt Nellis

American Academy of Art in Chicago. Majored in Graphic Design, minored in illustration and computer graphics.
Lorraine McLees

Western Washington University - Bachelor's in Computer Science (we actually have a bunch of Western graduates here at Bungie).
Michael Williams

I can only image the switchboards for the office of admissions at these schools lighting up like a Christmas tree right about now. They should send us a fruit basket.

AmX15 What is the history of the Bungie logo? Who designed it? Can you show us all of the previous versions?

An interesting piece of trivia: Bungie didn’t even have a logo when “Operation: Desert Storm” was shipped to the masses. Instead, our name appeared on the box in the same bold stencil as the title.



That was our logo in 1992. It was a simpler logo for a humbler time.



In 1994, we created a new logo that seemed to suggest the seeds of our plans for world domination. Is that fanciful swoosh a subconscious homage to a giant slingshot? Or just a serendipitous flourish of design? The world may never know.



In 2009, we made drastic changes to the logo, to correct some issues with what design nerds call kerning. You will notice that it is completely unrecognizable to its former self. Everyone is sleeping better at night since the revision.

CTN 0452 9 What do you have in the trunk of your car right now?

First Aid Kit, my CD changer, and an empty spare tire well. Sorry, I would have had a more interesting answer two weeks ago.
Lorraine McLees

A spare change of clothes, California license plates, a tire iron, and room for a few people. Wait, are you law enforcement?
Eric Will

*tries really hard not to make a Mom joke*
*succeeds*
Probably something that smells like a horse (context: My wife and I own a 2 acre horse farm).
Tom Gioconda

Chains, a survival kit, a flashlight, and heaps of dead microscopic ocean life.
Ben Wommack

Bike rack, bike helmet, stunt kite, 2 Seattle Knight's practice swords, Iaido gi, and several blankets. Several of the more interesting elements in that list belong to my spouse.
Michael Williams

A fios router and some tools.
Jon Cable

Full sized spare. Snow chains. Emergency kit.
Adrian Perez

A couple of dog harnesses, some canvas grocery bags, a Bungie fleece, and an old blanket.
Lars Bakken

A bunch of reusable shopping bags that I always forget to bring into the store and a bike rack that gets about as much use as the bags.
Kurt Nellis

A Kodak Carousel 4400 slide projector.
Derek Carroll

Jose291 Show your wallpaper.

You mean the desktop for my computer. Right? Not the floral pattern that makes my kitchen feel cozy? I hate to disappoint you, but even that is classified. When it is not host to Bungie.net or internal communications that I can’t disclose, my desktop is a rotating slideshow of concept art and screen shots from our next game. It gets updated weekly by the team. I have a separate monitor at my desk that I try to leave idle so that I can enjoy the bad ass parade of awesomeness as it scrolls past. You may resent me, but you will come to know the wonders yourself. Someday.

spartain ken 15 What are some things employees do or keep around to increase their luck? (4 leaf clovers, lucky horseshoe's, etc?)

All we need is one Ling Ling.
Lorraine McLees

*tries really hard not to make a Mom joke*
*fails*
Your Mom.
Tom Gioconda

Honestly I can't think of one occasion where a consideration of luck has come up in the studio before. I guess one could say that we don't depend on luck, but welcome it when some bubbles up.
Ben Wommack

I don't know about others, but I carry a laminated 7-leafed clover in my wallet. It was a gift from my brother (and probably constructed out of fewer-leafed clovers). I don't know that it brings me luck, but it does remind me of the people I love, and the reasons I care for them.
Michael Williams

Luck is an illusion of pattern-seeking and, as Charles Darwin once said, the indelible stamp of our lowly origin.
Also: Your mom.
Nate Hawbaker

Pat Jandro has been pretty good luck for us so far, so we keep him around.
Kurt Nellis

Song Do you love being stationed in Seattle?

Stationed? You make us sound like the Army.

ARBITOR 5 What myths and legends do you guys believe in?

If they were "myths and legends," I wouldn't believe in them.
Eric Will

Who needs myths and legends of olde when I can just ask the Grizzled Ancients what is was like to develop Halo CE and show the game at conventions? Some amazing stories there – but only if Luke Timmins tells them.
Ben Wommack

I've always enjoyed Arthurian legends, along with Irish and Old-English mythology and fairy tales. I also spent far too much time researching whether it was possible to save General Leo in Final Fantasy.
Michael Williams

Each half in that question is mutually exclusive.
Nate Hawbaker

The Legend of Zelda was pretty sweet.
Derek Carroll

LordAustin16 What is Pulp Fiction even about?

Pulp Fiction is a film about the little differences between America and Europe. At least, that is what the first few minutes were about. I stopped watching because I don’t care about that stuff. How is the rest of the movie? Does it get better?

a rascal cat What is your proudest moment in your time at Bungie?

When we ship a game!
Lorraine McLees

November 15, 2001 - bringing Bungie.net online at the end of a 3 day period where I basically didn't sleep after months of crunching to get it ready.
Tom Gioconda

I will always remember working 23.5 hours straight as a tester helping to shoot the Forge & Saved Films ViDoc for Halo 3.
Ben Wommack

At my first Summer Pentathlon, I got so far ahead in the croquet game, that I was able to double back and strategically damage the players we wanted to come in last to help my team's overall score. Even though the Summer Pentathlon has turned into a less competitive summer picnic, I forever will treasure the gold medal I received.
Michael Williams

Showing my wife the Easter egg I put in the halo 3 loading screen for her - the one that nobody has found yet.
Adrian Perez

I think my proudest moment is when we first demoed Saved Films to the press for Halo 3. No one was expecting it and it was brilliant to see the look on their faces at the possibilities this feature opened up.
Lars Bakken

Getting to meet a ton of fans on the night Halo 3 shipped. It made me feel like the months of overtime and hard work were all worth it because I definitely didn't want them to be disappointed.
Kurt Nellis

ALI217 What is the Bungie office like over the weekend & when everybody takes a break? No sarcasm! Don't say something like "It's how it usually is but without people."

It’s how it usually is, only we unleash a pack of ferocious wolf hounds to stalk through the halls in search of curious interlopers. Every new hire has to submit to Bungie a sweaty handkerchief so that these feral guards can learn our scent.

elmicker This week saw the tragic death of Jack Tramiel, founder of computing and gaming legends Commodore. So, I'll give you a choice of two questions: Can you pin down one particular moment, be it some epiphany or the purchase of a C64/BBC Micro/ZX Spectrum etc., that really marked the start of the path to where you are today?

Some of my favorite gaming memories are from playing C64 games over at friends' houses. The C64 was the first system I owned that had games with level editors, and we spent as much time building tracks in Racing Destruction Set as we did racing them.
Derek Carroll

It was really the Commodore 64 that sparked my interest in video games. Honestly though, it wasn't until I realized that I could tell stories with a film camera in college that I really started down this path. I got involved in CG, and found I could do even more with a camera to tell a story. Eventually, I found my way here. As I said earlier, I think my 8 year old self would be very happy to see where I ended up.
Kurt Nellis

Copying BASIC-language games from the back of a '3-2-1 Contact' magazine into my Commodore 64. Not only did it teach me the basics of programming, but it also taught me how to debug, because occasionally the magazine had a maddening typo.
Eric Will

My parents buying our family's first PC when I was around 7 years old. 20 megabytes of hard drive space! I knew that whatever I did in my career it would involve technology/computing.
Tom Gioconda

VENOM MDK Do you ever pick the last question posted in the mailsack thread because it was the last one regardless of the question?

No. Questions are selected based on their conversational merit, their potential interest to would-be panelists who have deadlines to distract them from participating, and my ability to answer them without getting fired. I will, on occasion, choose which question gets answered last, so that I have a good outro.  For instance...

Xd00999 Will the Mail Sacks ever end?

It’s hard to say, but this one has most definitely come to an end. We are looking down the barrel of a weekend, which means it is time to release the hounds. Fear not, mailroom enthusiasts. When the next week is pressing down upon us like a thumb on our foreheads, the Mail Sack will return to give us comfort and companionship. Until then, set your imaginations on the hunt for a really great question.
New Beginnings 

Posted by DeeJ at 1/31/2013 11:45 AM PST

Bungie.net has evolved...

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Tags: Community

   

Bungie.net Set to Read-Only Today 

Posted by DeeJ at 1/8/2013 9:07 AM PST

Pardon our dust...

On Tuesday, January 8th, Bungie.net will be set to read-only mode. During this short, preparatory maintenance window, you can browse, but you can’t post. We expect the outage to be brief.

Thank you for your patience. If we don’t make it back, tell your mother we love her. See you on the other side.

Tags: Community

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Happy Holidays. Love, Bungie. 

Posted by DeeJ at 12/21/2012 2:22 PM PST

Peace on Earth?

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Tags: Community

   

We Wish You a Merry Mail Sack 

Posted by DeeJ at 12/21/2012 2:21 PM PST

Goodwill towards mail...



It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at Bungie. Our cavernous hideout, usually overrun by artists, coders, and designers, is slowly becoming a place of empty chairs and empty tables. Before our beloved partners in crime could flee the scene in favor of their respective family reunions, we gathered around the very last bundle of community interaction that will be seen this calendar year.

The past twelve months have been home to fascinating developments at Bungie. We are thankful. We’ve marched ever closer toward our fate. There is brilliant light at the end of the tunnel, dear community.

But that is a glorious conversation best saved for another time. For now, let’s look back instead of forward.

Let’s open the Sack.


Frag Ingot What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment from this year?

I made it through...

Ben Thompson, Engineer

I wrote lots of cool things for Bungie.next. Maybe DeeJ will tell you more about that soon.
Tom Gioconda, Engineer

I started building a spaceship in my garage, entirely out of spare lawnmower parts.
Dave Mongan, Senior Writer

Deadlift: 325lbs., Squat: 225lbs, Machine Squat: 360lbs. Also, wrote/recorded 13 songs and remixed 2 songs.
Forrest Soderlind, Technical Artist

Professionally, I built a new back end system that (if it works correctly) will make the online experience better for a significant portion of our playerbase, without them ever knowing it is there. Personally, I went on some awesome adventures with my wife this year and didn't get us both killed, or too horribly lost.
Michael Williams, Engineer

Marriage!
Robert Kehoe, BVT Tester

Creating the next generation of the internal tools for Bungie.Next. They ain’t pretty, but they get the job done.
Alex Loret de Mola, Engineer

And, the following people on the Bungie Panel for this week counted their great fortune in landing a place on the roster of Team Bungie. This delegation represents only a fraction of the parade of noobs that stormed our front door to help us bring you a new game.
Will Edgette, Engineer
Leland Dantzler, Tester
Doug Juno, Artist
Drew Smith, Producer
David Johnson, Engineer
Mike Shannon, Senior IT Engineer
Chris Owens, Test Engineer
Andy Howell, Matchmaking Test Lead


Hylebos How is the Pentathlon shaping up?

As someone who has been honored with an invitation to serve on the Exalted Winter Pentathlon Committee, I'm one of the few people who can tell you that it’s shaping up quite nicely. Our competitors have been partitioned into four warring schools, with Captains assigned to lead each. Events have been chosen, with lieutenants designated to lead each school’s respective charge, and commissioners in place to enforce the rules of battle. As the games draw near, we'll treat you to the usual front-row seat, though I suspect the game I'm most anxious to play this year will be zealously guarded from your eyes.


Elem3nt 117 What is your New Year's Resolution?

I resolve to be a little bit more open and transparent with you. If that has you excited, please note that my track record for keeping these annual promises is less than impressive. Let’s see if my co-developers are more or less disciplined. What do you have planned for yourselves in 2013, Bungie Panel?

Decimate the competition in the Pentathlon or die trying.
Drew Smith, Producer

Draw more.
Doug Juno, Artist

Finish building that spaceship in my garage! Or, give up the ridiculous idea already and waste my free time more wisely.
Dave Mongan, Senior Writer

To get up earlier!
Andy Howell, Matchmaking Test Lead

Deadlift: 495lbs., Squat: 405lbs, Bench 250lbs.
Forrest Soderlind, Technical Artist

Write a book, plant a tree. I can already imagine blank pages and a bare yard.
Christian Diefenbach, Engineering Lead

Don’t get suckered into anymore of those crazy “End of the world” doomsday prophesies.
Ben Thompson, Engineer

Create more, consume less.
Michael Williams, Engineer

To finally fulfill my resolutions from the last 8 years.
Mike Shannon, Senior IT Engineer

I resolve to be better, stronger, faster.
Chris Owens, Test Engineer

To not make any more New Year’s Resolutions.
Alex Loret de Mola, Engineer

Be less tempted by Bungie’s free snacks. Who am I kidding?
Leland Dantzler, Tester


Ninja Blue Wolf Does Marty do lessons?

You mean music lessons? No. Marty does teach us a lesson from time to time, but they are more in the vein of knowing when to hold ‘em – and when to fold ‘em. If you don’t get the reference, that’s an old song about Poker, written by a gambling purveyor of Fried Chicken.


WestCoastRonin If you could remake any Christmas movie and give it a sci-fi setting, which movie would you choose and what would it be like?

I’m pitching a starside reboot of A Christmas Story. My hero, Ralphie_9.6, is an astroclone incepted on an off-world colony who dreams of owning a Red Ryder x-ray cannon. As part of his coming of age, he learns to face off against the Academy’s most dreaded bully. Comic relief ensues when he tricks his best friend into sticking his tongue to the cooling towers of the main reactor. For the grand finale, a hoard of feral tusk-wolves make off with the sandtrout that was prepared for the solstice feast of the seventh moon.

The joy of editing this feature is the chance to hoard the best and most obvious answer for one’s self. However, in the event that Hollywood rejects my screenplay, here are some alternatives from the Bungie Panel…

If you ask me, Rocky 4 is begging for a sci-fi remake. It’s got it all: Good versus evil; hi-tech versus old-school; national pride versus personal determination. Everything is on the line, and it all comes to a head on Christmas Day. Simply set it in an interstellar society, with humans versus aliens and… Ba-da-bing ba-da-boom! Instant, updated holiday classic.
Dave Mongan, Senior Writer

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is a cyborg sent back through time to Santa’s workshop (circa 1995) to protect Santa Claus. Sam the Snowborg is on a mission to kill him and alter the future so that Snowborgs rule over all mankind – and Christmas is permanently destroyed. To save the day, Santa and Rudolph must go to the Isle of Misfit Toys Asylum to rescue Mrs. Claus, who was arrested after encountering Rudolph in the prequel.
David Johnson, Engineer

It’s a Wonderful Star Trek Life. I know they kind of already did it in TNG. I guess I just want Star Trek for Christmas.
Andy Howell, Matchmaking Test Lead

As Life Day approaches on Tatooine, Emmet Otter and his Ma decide to compete in the Cantina's talent contest. Watch as they face corrupt Hutt judges, and challenge the Empire's most deadly musicians, "The Boba Fett Sarlacc Band". In the end they will learn the true meaning of Life Day, and the true power of the Force.
Michael Williams, Engineer

Mine is more based on a TV show than a movie. Theorizing that one could time travel within his own lifetime, Doctor Sam Beckett stepped into the Quantum Leap accelerator - and vanished. He awoke to find himself trapped in the past, facing mirror images that looked a lot like Santa, and driven by an unknown force to change Christmas for the better. His only guide on this journey is ELF, an observer from his own time, who appears in the form of a hologram that only Sam can see and hear. And so, Doctor Beckett finds himself leaping from life to life, striving to replace bad presents with amazing presents and hoping each time that his next leap… will be the leap home.
Chris Owens, Test Engineer

I have a visual of people opening their Christmas presents to find face hugger aliens inside.
Robert Kehoe, BVT Tester

The first two Die Hard movies could be convincingly set on an inter-planetary colony and a spaceport, respectively. The plot of the second movie even becomes more much plausible in a spaceport.
Tom Gioconda, Engineer

White Christmas. It’s the year 2196, and Lt. Commander Wallace is performing a holiday space symphony for our troops fighting against the mysterious arachnid alien species that has invaded our solar system. He finds himself caught in a web, and about to be eaten by said aliens, before Ensign Davis runs over in the nick of time and saves his life. Their friendship comes to a head years later when their old Fleet Admiral is discovered running a failed tourist vessel orbiting Jupiter. They decide to bring their interstellar cast and crew to revive his chances of success. The plot really doesn’t have to change much at all! I suppose one of their love interests could get vaporized by a stray phaser blast as they defend the tourist ship from space raiders.
Alex Loret de Mola, Engineer

Yeah, Alex. Because nothing gets people in the Christmas spirit faster than vaporizing love interests.


irishfreak Why won't you return my calls?

Mostly because, for the first time in the years (and years) since I left college and joined The Work Force, I don’t have a phone on my desk. That took some getting used to. I remember asking about this on my first day at Bungie. Urk answered my question with a question of his own. “Who would you call?” That stopped me in my tracks. Hello, Internet? It’s me, DeeJ.


EZcompany2ndsqd If Santa came down your chimney and you were awake what would you do?

I’d handcuff him to the gas starter, light a candle, and have a long chat about all those years I got ugly sweaters instead of the video games that had been released that season. Perhaps the Bungie Panel will be more forgiving than I…

See if he wanted to play some Farcry 3 coop.
Drew Smith, Producer

I would thank him for giving me a brand new fireplace.
David Johnson, Engineer

Offer him a drink.
Doug Juno, Artist

Release the Krampus!
Forrest Soderlind, Technical Artist

Demand gifts as payment for intrusion.
Leland Dantzler, Tester

We would then engage in mortal combat - Bungie wood n00b sword vs. Santa Sack. Spoiler: Christmas would lose.
Andy Howell, Matchmaking Test Lead

Borrow his ride!
Christian Diefenbach, Engineering Lead

Ask if he had a couple hours to babysit.
Ben Thompson, Engineer

Wager my soul against a golden fiddle in a Settler's of Catan match. Santa does that right?
Michael Williams, Engineer

Scream like a little girl and run around in circles until the bad man left. Sadly, that’s how I deal with most situations.
Chris Owens, Test Engineer

Offer the man some milk and cookies for installing a chimney in my apartment.
Will Edgette, Engineer

Probably offer him a beer. Cookies and milk probably get old.
Tom Gioconda, Engineer


DarthCarrick If you could give the Community a present, what would it be?

An exciting new place to call home. Since such things cannot be wrapped, that gift will have to serve another occasion.


Xd00999 You can now un-cancel one television show. What do you choose?

When I do make it to my television, I’m more than likely using it to battle the Internet though the construct of my favorite game. Thus, I am transferring my vote to the Bungie Panel. Have at it, people. What do you wish was still on the idiot box?

I used to work in TV, so that’s like asking me to resurrect only one of my deceased friends. Too cruel. Instead, I’ll bring to life a baby that was never born: a pilot I wrote called “The War.” Imagine the grittiness of “The Wire,” set on the coke-frenzied Sunset Strip of the 1980s. It was an intense roller-coaster ride of sex & drugs & rock-n-roll… or at least it would have been, had it ever seen the light of day. Oh well…
Dave Mongan, Senior Writer

I’d pick one of the following:

Ben Thompson, Engineer

Bring back Firefly!
David Johnson, Engineer

Firefly, Duh. (Says the Star Trek fan… I know.. I know..)
Andy Howell, Matchmaking Test Lead

Firefly.
Will Edgette, Engineer

Can I choose two? 1) Firefly 2) Farscape.
Christian Diefenbach, Engineering Lead

Firefly.
Michael Williams, Engineer

I’m sure this is the first time someone mentioned this show, but Firefly.
Chris Owens, Test Engineer

Answers other than Firefly are wrong.
Tom Gioconda, Engineer

Wonderfalls!
Alex Loret de Mola, Engineer

Better Off Ted.
Leland Dantzler, Tester

Carnivale on HBO.
Doug Juno, Artist

Arrested Development.
Drew Smith, Producer

Deadwood, so I can open a can of peaches.
Forrest Soderlind, Technical Artist


A Pimpin Lady Why will you not answer my question? I want to know where Bungie hires their non-gaming personnel. Last time I asked this question, you sent me to the job listings page on B.Net. In all my years here, I have never seen non-gaming related listings. I know you guys have to have accountants, HR, health educators, etc. Will you please tell me where the job listings for these people are found?

“Ma’am! I answered your question! I answered the darn... I’m cooperating here!” -Jerry Lundegaard, Executive Sales Manager, Gustafson Motors

It’s almost as if our whole team is devoted to the singular cause of making a game. We do have a few people at Bungie who mind the shop while we make the toys. In all your years here, none of them have quit. They really like their jobs. We see to that, personally. If we end up needing more of them, the curious onlookers who pay attention to our Careers page will be the first to know.


Marcellos007 What was the funniest present you´ve got for Christmas?

My father and my sister succumbed to the allure of a home shopping offering on television. One toll-free conversation later, our entire family received the gift of decorative swords. Mine was so decorative, the blade folded under the weight of its own haft when I sank it into the soil of the back yard in a dramatic reenactment of the ending to my favorite Scottish revolution film. Care to recall your own comedic lumps of coal, Bungie Panel?

My dad used to rewrap the board game Balderdash every year and give it to a random member of the family. That was always funny. Plus, it’s a good game.
Drew Smith, Producer

Many years ago, a boss of mine gave me the menu for an adult-entertainment venue called The Chicken Ranch. I never visited the establishment, but I got a lot of laughs out of reading the names of their various “Dishes.”
Dave Mongan, Senior Writer

One year, my friends thought it would be a good idea to all get me Hello Kitty themed gifts, including bubble bath that came packaged with warnings about urinary tract infections. Also included was a lantern that had a warning to “not look directly at.” So, all of the Hello Kitty gifts where deadly in one way or another. But really, isn’t anything to do with Hello Kitty?
Andy Howell, Matchmaking Test Lead

Our family has had a habit of wrapping gifts in bizarre ways. I've seen bizarre polyhedral shapes, boxes nested in boxes, and gifts wrapped in twine that has been spliced so there was no end to untie.
Michael Williams, Engineer

A 20 pound wheel of cheese (I used to be a much larger man who loved his cheese).
Chris Owens, Test Engineer

A Rubik’s Cube shaped like Homer Simpson.
Alex Loret de Mola, Engineer

My dad gave me Heretic: Shadow of the Serpent Riders. I was 8 and my mom was furious. Dad and I played the heck out of it, though.
Leland Dantzler, Tester


Halo biggest fan For all the artists at Bungie: Do any of you frequently go to figure drawing sessions to stay sharp on your traditional drawing skills?

Is this really a question about art? Or, is it more a question about naked people in our studio?


CoRaMo Where is the strangest place you have ever played a video game?

Like so many of you, I was waiting anxiously on the sidelines while Halo: ODST was preparing to drop. Through some magic wielded by the Hand of Urk, I vaulted to the front of a very long line and was the first kid in my zip code to play Firefight in the belly of a military transport vehicle. Moral to the story: Always be nice to your Community Manager. Beat that, Bungie Panel!

The Experience Music Project in Seattle during the Halo 2 launch party. The science fiction museum had only recently gone into the building, and the whole experience was pretty surreal and awesome.
Michael Williams, Engineer

At the Podiatrist, while I was having an ingrown toenail removed. I needed a distraction.
Andy Howell, Matchmaking Test Lead

You mean like the backseat of a Volkswagen?
Mike Shannon, Senior IT Engineer

Backseat of a Volkswagen.
Robert Kehoe, BVT Tester

I played Inception – The App while I was in Erfoud, Morocco just to unlock the Africa chapter. My wife rolled her eyes, but the camels didn’t seem to mind.
Forrest Soderlind, Technical Artist

On the set of a movie.
Chris Owens, Test Engineer

In a van heading across the country to get to PAX – part of a caravan called the Cross Country Super Trip. We wired it up to a TV that was fixed into the ceiling, and played it on our two day long trek.
Alex Loret de Mola, Engineer

I played Pokemon Silver in an unmarked van, in Ireland, stuck at a sheep crossing while thousands of fluffy things crossed the road for more than 15 minutes (true story).
Leland Dantzler, Tester

Do iPhone games on the porcelain throne count?
Dave Mongan, Senior Writer

To most of you, playing in an arcade is probably pretty strange. More people play video games on the toilet via their phones than play in arcades now.
Tom Gioconda, Engineer

With gaming on cell phones, it doesn’t get much more strange than gaming in a public restroom. I’m... not the only one that does that, right?
David Johnson, Engineer

Some of you are sick. Suddenly, that line that forms outside the Bungie men’s room is much less a mystery. Pull your pants up and get back to work. You can launch birds out of slingshots on your own time.


coolmike699 Does Bungie do a secret Santa? Has anyone gotten anything really weird?

Our Secret Santas give presents to the people who need them the most. This year, our tree was decorated with dreams passed along to us from our friends at the Make-A-Wish Foundation. We love making dreams come true at Bungie – the weirder the better.




Duardo What was the best gift ever given to you?

I have everything I want in life: a gaming console, a patient wife who lets me spend a lot of time with it, and a clan of willing killers to carry me to victory. Bungie Panel, can you do a better job of celebrating the spirit of giving?

Not to get all sappy, but a couple years back, my wife gave me a pretty non-traditional Christmas present: a pregnancy test that read positive. Now, a few years earlier I would’ve freaked out; but timing is everything, and instead I was super excited to know we were expecting a little gamer of our own.
Dave Mongan, Senior Writer

The generosity of my friends. I can be demanding and a bit eccentric/neurotic, but they are all super accommodating.
Drew Smith, Producer

My life, by my mom and dad. (I know, suck up...)
Andy Howell, Matchmaking Test Lead

My first thought was to say “my daughters.” Then, I realized they’re more like Trojans taking over my world: making me work harder to get them the best life I can, eating away at my idle time with child’s play and E rated games, pushing me to better myself and… Yeah, my daughters.
Christian Diefenbach, Engineering Lead

My family once commissioned a custom art piece from one of my favorite artists based on a fictional character of mine. The effort and subtlety needed to gather the information for the commission was as precious as the artwork itself.
Michael Williams, Engineer


Mike Shannon, Senior IT Engineer

The gift of laughter! Yeah, right! That’d be my original 8-bit NES with the Gold Zelda Cart.
Chris Owens, Test Engineer

My wife built me a cabinet with a mini-fridge, snack drawer, and movie theater style popcorn popper for my home theater room was pretty damned impressive last year.
Tom Gioconda, Engineer

The gift of life! Hahaha, no. In all seriousness, the Nintendo Entertainment System. It was the beginning of what got me here today.
Robert Kehoe, BVT Tester

Being able to work at Bungie.
Alex Loret de Mola, Engineer

Dethklok: Dethalbum II on vinyl.
Forrest Soderlind: Technical Artist


Will Edgette, Engineer

Hope.
Leland Dantzler, Tester


spartain ken 15 Do you guys ever think you would sell some Bungie-themed Christmas cards?

If you refresh the front page of our website, you can have one for free. There ain’t any cash in it, but it’s still a sincere expression of our love and devotion. Of all the gifts that we’re to receive in the coming days, very few will make us as happy as your unshakable friendship.

And, thus, the Sack is empty. With its closure, we bring to an end another year of community love. This next year promises to be a more exciting one. Between now and then, do take care of yourselves. May your travels by safe, and your holiday loot plentiful.

To all a good night.

Tags: Community

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Friendship of Mythic Proportions 

Posted by DeeJ at 12/20/2012 4:21 PM PST

Lean on me...

The Bungie Community is constantly astounding us with their creativity, and their solidarity. Recently, some ancients (who were playing Bungie games before some of their contemporaries were born) banded together to produce a piece of art that would steady a friend in need as he took steps toward a new challenge. Behold the intersection between passion for games and compassion for one's fellow gamer.

Miguel writes: Folks, here's a link to the whole Soulblighter Sword Cane saga, how it came to be, why we did it, etc. It all started back at the tail end of August (right before PAX Prime!) and is finally done now. The man has his uber-cane! Thanks of course to all of you for creating a wonderful environment for us to form such lasting friendships. Man, are we getting old.



 Cheers to the big hearts at Bungie.org.  

Tags: Community

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