Bungie Mail Sack 3.0
Posted by DeeJ at 2/3/2012 9:24 AM PST

With the dust from the Bungie Pentathlon having been carried away by a cleansing winter wind, the highly classifed development timeline that rules our roost has returned to a normal state of fury.  As such, I can get back to the all-important business of answering your mail.  Wherever possible, a window is being opened into our world.  Once again, I have hounded my coworkers for comment on (most of the) topics that roll around inside your collective mind.  Let's open the sack.

Statefarm98 So who do you think is winning the Super Bowl?

I am rooting for Volkswagon.

acnboy34  Once again, got any ideas to revitalize groups - new features, etc. - that you're willing (or allowed) to share?

Once again?  Have I been ducking your furious inquiries?  (See next question below)

ECOH Cam  What are your thoughts on the sudden increase in community activity - all the community organized events and such?

All part of the plan!  A healthy online community is the sum of its citizens.  You are the most important ingredient in the concoction of spicy mayhem and carnage upon which we all feast.  As someone who is desperate to feed you meaty updates of our work-in-progress, I am thrilled that we can appetize on games we are playing, and maybe even play them together.  As for changing the way private groups operate?  I am not the head chef in that kitchen.  Top men are working on it.  Top.  Spicy.  Men.

THE SALTY CHIP  What do you think of the Bungie community?

(See previous question above)  I think you are freaking awesome.  I think you kick much ass.  I think I am most fortunate to have the chance to lead you all into a brave new world.  I think this is a glorious time that we can use to get acquainted and reinforce the social structures we will need to preserve the tightly-knit aesthetic of our community in the event that it is invaded en masse again by a new breed of fans.

antony X1000  What is your favourite event from this year's pentathlon?

My favorite competitive event was the Modern Warfare 3 tournament, in which I led a rag-tag and frantically-trained squad of Newbies to a field of battle from which they emerged victorious against seasoned warriors from far more tenured schools.  My favorite social event was Dave Dunn’s Photoshopathon.  The challenge was to build a work of art around the fearless leaders of our sprawling team.  The theme was Space – The Final Frontier.  Here are the winning entries.

David Candland  Senior Artist (Winner)

Anonymous  Senior Artist (Co-Runner Up)

Michael Zak  Senior Art Lead (Co-Runner Up)

Cpl Crosseyes  How crammed are the hours there at this early/medium point in development? Any of the employees starting to pull the overnighters yet or do the lights actually turn off every night?

The lights are turned off even during the daytime here, lest we wilt under the blaze of full luminescence.  Many hours committed to the cause of world domination have atrophied our ability to withstand the unfiltered radiation of the daystar.  Fortunately, the magic on our computer monitors lights the way.

Big Black Bear  What's been the biggest surprise / shock / eye-opener since starting at Bungie?

At my previous job, when my boss would catch me browsing a gamer forum, he would say “Get back to work!”  At my current job, when my boss catches me browsing a gamer forum, he says “Keep up the good work!”  Old instincts do die hard, however. Sometimes, I still minimize Bungie.net when I feel someone creeping up on my six.

jross1993  What's it like working for Bungie?

This question again?  Okay.  What else can I tell you?  This is the first job I have ever had in which I do not have a phone on my desk.  Also, I am surprised by how seldom I get “sick” anymore.

Bob Bobinson  What's urk up to these days, besides super classified secret stuff?

He spends a lot of time talking to super serious dudes in black suits and dark shades who roll up to our studio in unmarked luxury sedans.  (see next question below)

Dropship dude  Why doesn't urk return my letters?

According to urk, your letters are currently the subject of an ongoing criminal investigation. As such, we are unable at this time to comment on said letters or acknowledge their existence (which I totally just did).

Editor’s Note: I asked your question sincerely. That’s what he said. Those of you who are always asking questions about what it is like to work here should try and imagine approaching your boss for an official comment for official release and being fed madness like that.

coolmike699  How the hell do you plan on world domination if a snow storm is enough to stop you?

Whoa!  What gave you the idea that we were stopped by the crystalized moisture that heaped itself so cruelly upon on our fair city?  Allow me to be completely clear on one point.  Snow didn’t stop us.  It may have slowed us down a little, but world domination is still clearly in our crosshairs.  We adapted to the hostility of our conditions and arrived safely at work through guts and ingenuity.  Challenge: I will send a "Burn Bright. Burn Blue." t-shirt to the first person (employees not included) who can correctly name the two Bungie Commanders depicted in this Halcylon original.

Editor’s note: Aren’t you glad that imperial legislation didn’t shut down that glimpse into our rebel base?

Kretos  How long did it take Jon Weisnewski and his band mates to come up with the songs for Sandrider?

Now you gone and done it.  Jon is rarely at a loss for words about his awesome band.  Here is what he had to say:

Some of the songs came together really quickly. I’ll get an idea for a riff or arrangement, figure it out on my own and then bring it to practice. Nat and Jesse are both very talented musicians and we’re all pretty like-minded with our music tastes so it’s pretty easy for us to all click together on an idea and bang out a song in one or two practices. Other songs take a long time, depending on how we’re playing them in the practice space.  All in all, that record took about a year to get to a point where we were ready to record.  Keep in mind that we are all busy dudes so we weren’t practicing regularly. Practice is key to getting good at anything and everything.

All of humanity  Are there any plans to bring back the Bungie Podcast?

I would certainly enjoy the chance to step to the mic and address each of you with exciting updates and exposing interviews.  Someday, friends.  Let’s wait until we get to a point where there are things we can actually tell you.  Right now, it would be an hour of dead air, or me describing what I had for lunch.

snipe champpppp  What happens if I don't ask a question?

You don’t get an answer.  And, I don't get to dole out the abuse that you, snipe champpppp, have personally requested of me previously.

HALO3syourdaddy  What is something I absolutely don't know?


Sonic343  Do you guys ever go to local restaurants as a company?

That question is just a little creepy, as if we might put our menus down on the table, only to discover you staring at us from the booth across the aisle.  Deepest fears of being stalked aside, if you pay attention as you make your way through the hospitality scene of the greater Seattle area, you can find evidence of our passing.

Ktan Dantaktee  Will we be getting any new merchandise in the Bungie store soon?
H0FFman J  Will products from the Bungie store become available for purchase in other countries in the near future?

Alright fellas, take a number and get in line.  Remember the last time we opened the Mail Sack and someone was asking about baseball hats?  On that occasion, Bungie Store curator Christine Edwards was gracious enough to step out from behind the counter to take a bow and let us know what was on back order.  On this occasion, she has been equally gracious:

Because the Bungie Store currently uses Amazon's WebStore, we are limited to the countries that Amazon allows shipments to, which is a very expansive list of countries.  We ship to the maximum number of countries available.  We introduced several new items in the Store for the holidays and simultaneously discounted clearance items that have been on there for quite a while.  We're currently planning new items to be put on the store, but do not yet have a date for when they'll go live.

spartain ken 15  Have you guys thought about putting a vintage section in Bungie store? (Like selling Marathon and Myth shirts, old soundtracks, etc.)

Oh, Ken.  You really do take every opportunity to stake out your corner as president of the old school fan club.  If I could harness your enthusiasm, I could power a small, idyllic town for a year.

CoRaMo  What is Jerome's favorite sports team?

Indianapolis Colts.

There you have it.  Jerome is a man of few words, but he was still happy to go on record.  He’s the strong, silent type, you know.  Any time spent answering questions like these distracts the laser-like focus he keeps trained on the constant threat of interlopers that looms over our front door.

Sniffy66  Does Bungie have any plans in case there are no bagels to serve on Bagel Friday?

This would never happen.  Ever.  However, in the spirit of sharing, we could always order up some Bacon Maple Bars.  As the name suggests, these are donuts.  With bacon.  Donuts Evolved!

Insane Monx  Why don't you or urk write Weekly Updates filled with useless information?

What do you call this?

x Foman123 x  Have you guys looked on the bottom of the Pentathlon trophy yet?

You know, Foman, we hadn’t looked under the trophy until you asked.  Upon closer inspection, we found absolutely nothing.  We looked under.  We looked behind.  We looked around.  So, either you were teasing us, or our late-night cleaning crew made off with whatever time capsule you had secreted away for us to find.  If you were teasing us, I must remind you that, with great power comes great responsibility.  Urk and I are very prone to your suggestions.  For now…

MightyMarcher01  If Bungie was a person, would you date it?

I suppose you could say that Bungie and I are in a very exclusive relationship.  So, yes.  My lonely eye no longer wanders to websites that promise a new career and a better tomorrow.

Stormkiller626  What's the point of these mail calls?

It's a Mail Sack.

I am studying you.  I seek to know what is on your collective minds, which of you require closer scrutiny, and which of you need to be watched at all times.

Muzza777  To be or not to be?

That is the question.  Isn’t it?  Given the choice, I would prefer to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.  As anyone who has discharged a rocket launcher too close to their opponents can tell you, there is not much nobility in taking up arms against a sea of troubles and, by opposing, end them.  For those of you who are totally confused right now, stay in school.

Cranium Crater  Does the web team look at our suggestions for the site?

Yes.  All the time.  There is the proof.  To quote Achronos from our most recent ride along:

…We’re taking everything we’ve learned over the last decade and building ourselves a brand new battle station. I can’t wait to share it with you.

CheckedBRUTES  Is Jason Jones still around?

Of course.  Who else would knight us on the day of the Pentathlon?

xgeua  Who else outside of Bungie Studios knows what Bungie is working on.

It’s just Bungie. “Studios” was cast off the moment we become independent again.

Decimator Omega  Is Bungie still hiring?

Still?  We never stopped.  Are there any Engineers on deck?  I added about a dozen new job postings this week.  Bungie is looking for alpha geeks who can ascribe code to everything from animation to mobile applications.

Geegs30  Are you guys accepting community-made Crimson avatars?

We are accepting community-made avatars of (almost) all types.  User themes, too.  Rather than focusing on specific games, I would recommend creating forum assets that embrace a theme that is more universal to Bungie.

SirShadow  Are the "Breaking In" interviews going to make a glorious reappearance sometime?

Yes.  Sometime.  In fact, sometime very soon.  I have one open on my desktop right now, even.

Delta 15t  If you had a hammer, what would you do?

I would hammer out love between my brothers and my sisters, all over this land.  Short of people living up to that utopian ideal, I would ban some fools back to the Stone Age.  Ya dig?

R3ACTlON  Do a lot of you guys at the studio like Minecraft?  If any of ya do play, can we get together on one of the community servers to build cool stuff like this?

I have to admit, that is pretty cool.  To answer your question: Yes.  We play Minecraft.  We should arrange for a tour of your finer creations sometime.  The only problem is that the people I am inviting to ride along are threatening to start fires in all of the worlds that they visit.  So, keep a river dammed up and at the ready.

Professor24  I love free writing, but I am nervous to make it my career. Should I keep it as a hobby and go to school for something else? What does Bungie look for in a writer?

The oracle that I consulted for this wisdom is a member of the writing team here at Bungie who is working with Joe Staten to spin tales that will haunt your dreams.  Senior Writer Dave Mongan had the following pearls of inspiration for you:

I won’t lie, it’s not easy breaking into writing.  And a helluva lot of hard work goes into making it your career, whether you take a slew of screenwriting courses or toil away in a dark corner for years, honing your craft alone.  But – it is the best job I could ever imagine, especially at a place like Bungie, where the creative spirit is encouraged to go wild... or wilder.  That said, imagination and inspiration are the most important factors we consider when screening candidates: Does a writer blow our minds with his slightly-insane outside-the-box ideas?  Does her passion for storytelling jump off the page, scream obscenities in our faces, and demand we pay attention to the riveting tale being told?  If the answer is a resounding “yes,” then we know we’ve got a winner. 

Bricypoo Will you marry me?
im am b0red Will you marry me?
Sundalius  Will you marry me?

And... No.

It’s not that I don’t love each of you; truly, madly, and deeply.  My wife is just not crazy about sharing our marital home with three people that I met on the Internet.

SH4D0W0733  Will you marry the first poster on page 12?


Editor’s Note:  The discussion thread that issued the call to fill this Mail Sack was unceremoniously locked on page 11.  Crisis averted!

That concludes our fireside chat for this week, gaming fans.  Tune in next week, as I dodge more bullets and crush more softballs out of the park.  The Mail Sack is your chance to ask "What's up?" and for me to answer "That's classfied."  Thanks for playing along.
New Beginnings 

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

Bungie.net has evolved...

Read Full Top Story

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


Happy Holidays. Love, Bungie. 

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

Peace on Earth?

Read Full Top Story

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

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

Will Edgette, Engineer

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

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

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

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


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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