Bungie Mail Sack 6.1
Posted by DeeJ at 2/24/2012 10:11 AM PST


Last week, the Bungie Panel enjoyed catching your volleys of interrogation so much we fielded even more people to shag the mail that poured from the depths of your collective mind.  The culture of our studio is a source of great pride among the people who populate Bungie.  Here is the peanut gallery that assembled this week to tell you all about it:

Rick Lico, Senior Art Lead
Cale Haskell, Associate Engineer
John Stvan, aka Halcylon
Dan Miller, Senior Designer
Jim Levasseur, Cinematic Designer
Christian Diefenbach, Engineering Lead
Justin Truman, Engineering Lead
Sam Arguez, Producer
Nate Hawbaker, Associate Technical Artists
Michael Williams, Senior Engineer
Kurt Nellis, Technical Cinematic Lead
Andrew Davis, Artist

Welcome to the show, brave souls.  Let’s open the sack.

antony X1000  What is your favorite thing about working at Bungie?

Working with a talented team of people. Join us, we are hiring!
Dan Miller

My co-workers. The passion and creativity they apply to making awesomeness ensue is incredible.
Michael Williams

Working everyday with people that are absolutely awesome at what they do. It makes you want to push yourself.
Sam Arguez

Free coffee and soda. Free snacks and chocolate. And the gym membership to offset them.
Christian Diefenbach

At any one moment I can stand up from my desk and see several monitors housing some of the most awesome content and artwork ever bestowed upon my retinas. I mean just yesterday I saw [CENSORED] set up a [CENSORED] in [CENSORED] and it had [CENSORED] over the entire [CENSORED]!
Nate Hawbaker

Editor’s Note: Nate censored himself.  I would never play you like that.

spartain ken 15  How often do fans go to the doorsteps of Bungie HQ and try to gain entry?

Never!  One does not simply walk into Bungie.

Statefarm98  Why haven't we seen a Bungie game where you play as Jerome and fight off fans?

The best games are ones that provide a threat that is realistic enough to instill in the player a sense of tension – perhaps even dread.  There would be no sport or contest in the game you are describing.  Plus, everyone would just complain that Jerome was overpowered.



CTN 0452 9  If you could have one superpower what would it be and why?

Sprint. 'Cause Armor Lock isn't balanced.
Dan Miller

Do you know when your roommate wakes up just before you and then proceeds to take the longest shower ever? My superpower would be doing that every day.
Jim Levasseur

The flash! Anything to keep my schedule balanced.
Christian Diefenbach

Something that could be used without being conspicuous. How about the ability to stop time? Then I would always be the first one to the kitchen when free food arrives.
Nate Hawbaker

The power to view the past. This ability would be amazingly educational when viewing events in the distant past, and incredibly powerful when viewing events mere seconds ago.
Michael Williams

To stop time, or to move super-fast. Anything that would allow me to squeeze more into a day.
Sam Arguez

Flying. Seriously, who wouldn't choose flying? I guess if you were afraid of heights? Even then, you could fly, so what are you afraid of?
Kurt Nellis

The ability to grant wishes. Everybody gets one.
Andrew Davis

Editor’s Note: Andrew’s offer not valid on Bungie.net.

jacob crawford  Has the idea of tours of the studios ever been taken seriously? I don't mean us normal folks waltzing in to the more secret areas, but something maybe like what you would get on a tour of a brewery.

If only games could be brewed in enormous iron vats.  You tease us with your metaphors, jacob crawford (if that is your real name).  There have been times when our fans have been welcomed onto the other side of our shark-infested moat to enjoy the tapestries.  Those times will very likely come again, for a very exclusive and carefully selected audience.

U Got Pwned1264  What games, besides Battlefield 3 and Halo, do you guys play during free time?

A select few of us play Street Fighter... or various incarnations of it... Street Fighter X Tekken is the game we're really looking forward to.
Rick Lico

Dominions 3
Cale Haskell

Mind games.
Dan Miller

I just played through Dear Esther which was beautiful and thought-provoking, if not exactly a traditional game. Next up is Alan Wake on the PC... where it rightfully belongs. Can you tell I'm a grumpy PC gamer?
Jim Levasseur

Do board games count? Dominion, Risk, SmallWorld, Ticket to Ride, Aquire and Go Fish.
Christian Diefenbach

Lately I've been playing an irresponsible amount of Dark Souls. Before that was Arkham City and Uncharted 3. I also love playing short-form indie PC games.
Justin Truman

I'm currently playing Skyward Sword and Skyrim, and the backlog contains God of War 3, Bayonetta, Darksiders, finishing Dark Souls, Tactics Ogre, and the list goes on... I used to play a lot of JRPG's but there haven't been a lot of good ones in years.
Sam Arguez

Forza 4, Modern Warfare 3, Minecraft.
Nate Hawbaker

I've been catching up with my backlog (Arkham City, Assassins Creed 1, Beyond Good and Evil), have a group for Risk Legacy, play a bit of pen-and-paper RPGs (Pathfinder), and play a lot of board games with friends.
Michael Williams

Skyrim.... Wait. There are other games?
Kurt Nellis

I just finished up Fable 3 (finally!). I think I broke the end-game moral decisions by becoming a land baron early (and rubber banding my controller to earn me lots of dough!). I have a stack of games I still want to play, but the ones I've completed recently that really stand out to me are Red Dead Redemption, and the Batman and Assassins Creed series. I'm a sucker for single player exploration & collection quests.
Andrew Davis

adeckofcards77  How often is someone interviewed for an open position at Bungie?

Interview loops are top secret, and happen in a hidden nook deep in the belly of our sprawling compound.  Very few candidates survive them.  Out of respect for the dead, we choose to not speak of them openly.  That said, it does seem that a fresh newbie is birthed into the studio every week lately – sometimes, several at a time.  So, you do the math.

OMARRCHR  Does anyone at Bungie ever take a break? If so, what do they do?

We get breaks?
Sam Arguez

Only long enough to acquire sustenance.
Nate Hawbaker

No breaks. Facilities recently removed the bathrooms to improve our efficiency. In a few weeks, IT will be rolling out feeding tubes for all the artists.
Jim Levasseur

Work out, rock climb, Insanity sessions in the Central.
Dan Miller

My hobby is woodworking. Powertools without a computer interface FTW!
Christian Diefenbach

Nothing beyond our mandatory shuffle around the exercise grounds. Otherwise the shackles really start to chafe.
Justin Truman

We generally spend time with our family and friends, and catch up with our entertainment backlog.
Michael Williams

Everyone is encouraged (and sometimes forced) to take all their vacation days. I try to take as many motorcycle camping trips as possible during the summer. A few years ago I drove down to San Francisco and Yosemite, and I'm now thinking of going further.
Andrew Davis

sam da man 2008  What's next for Bungie Aerospace?

We have games in the pipeline.  I am working on a plan that will reveal them to you.  Please stand by.  Someone will be with you shortly.

StormFront  What music does the office listen to when creating the best game on Earth?

Anything not in the bathroom – ‘cause we aren't making games in the bathroom.
Dan Miller

See: Steve's "Poop-tunes" playlist.
John Stvan

Max Richter, The Avett Brothers, Explosions in the Sky, Vampire Weekend, Parov Stelar, Mimosa, etc... pretty much anything that doesn't involve mindless noise or creepy chanting.
Jim Levasseur

Anything that doesn't steal focus from the task at hand: Gregorian chants, Chopin, Mozart, etc. No operas though, people hate when I yell "Figaro" with my headphones on.
Christian Diefenbach

I'm listening to Jay-Z while typing this.
Justin Truman

Old game soundtracks (it makes me miss the old days), Anamanaguchi, Helios, Thrice, The Dear Hunter, In Flames, Soilwork, Rise Against, and so on...
Sam Arguez

Let’s take an adventure over to Monitor #3. Childish Gambino, Hadouken!, JAY-Z, Tegan and Sara, Snoop Dogg.
Nate Hawbaker

There's a huge variety of music that gets listened to in the studio, and several employees are active in local bands. Regular debates spring up about the music streamed to the bathrooms (Christmas music & Puzzle Hunt music have been major topics of discussion). Personally, I enjoy listening to KEXP's streaming station, or occasionally listening to a bit of NerdCore. (Full disclosure: I know the artist behind that link, so I may be biased, but I also think the song is awesome.)
Michael Williams

Last.fm tells me I've been listening to way too much Dan Deacon, Decemberists, & Neutral Milk Hotel (I shipped Reach listening to those three almost exclusively.)
Andrew Davis

nerd  I want a pic of your desk!



Thanks for the softball.  Here is where the magic happens, dear Community. I waffle between calling it “Mission Control” and “CentCom.”  It’s not much to look at, but it’s home.

walshypru  What is your opinion on the validity of 'video game design' degrees and other similar qualifications that have gained popularity recently?

Speaking specifically to the animators out there... Your animation reel and its demonstration of your skillset is what matters to us. Saying you went to school and successfully mastered a skill is much different than showing us what you've learned. The reel is everything. That being said, the best way to learn animation is by attending an art college, specialty school, or online animation training. The quality of the training is much more valuable than the accreditation, so do your homework on the professors and department. Many animation schools teach buttons in a program, or strictly film animation. Even though that information may be helpful, finding a school that will teach animation tailored for the gaming industry will help you MUCH more.
Rick Lico

I came into Bungie with a “video game programming” degree, so, hey-o!
Cale Haskell

Mod experience is free.
Dan Miller

Do your research. School can be a valuable environment to learn from experienced industry professionals and ambitious peers, or it can be a huge waste of time and money. Focus more on what you can do (animation reel, environment art portfolio, graphics demos) than earning a piece of paper. And if you want to make games, make games (even the Portal guys had a solid playable concept).
Jim Levasseur

Bungie has people who hold degrees in Art, Math, Engineering, Physics, Biology, Game Design, Game Programming, Computer Science, etc., and some really awesome people who never graduated in anything. The point is, if you are really good in what you do, you will find a home in the games industry.
Christian Diefenbach

I think it's awesome that there are finally legitimate education avenues for game development and design. On the other hand, nobody in the game industry requires you to have a degree - you just have to be good and be able to prove that you're good. Draw, model, level design, program on your own, and you can get the same chops without the college debt.
Justin Truman

I went through the Guildhall @ SMU and wouldn't be here today if I hadn't, so I guess that answers the question.
Sam Arguez

It's hard to answer this question without upsetting at least half the population that has considered one. Everything that my job requires me to know, I taught myself. The catalyst for that learning owes itself to my involvement in the modding community, and the resulting personal projects.
Nate Hawbaker

For the right people, video game schools can work well. We have a number of people here at Bungie who have come to us through game schools. That said the vast majority of people working at Bungie have more traditional 4-year degrees. A 4-year degree gives you a wide range of knowledge that you can often apply to game development in surprising ways. The main disadvantage to a college or university is that they generally won't give you hands-on experience making games, or give you projects that will build your portfolio. I always suggest that people in a 4-year school get involved in game clubs, or online projects to make games - it gives you lots of experience and material to show potential employers.
Michael Williams

I'd say try and get a well-rounded education. With almost any type of degree, you'll only get out of it what you put into it.
Andrew Davis

Editor’s Note: I minored in Theatre!

drummer0702  Why don't you require actual letters to be sent?

For the same reason we don’t require you fine people to shoot each other with actual guns.  The Internet is safer and more efficient.  If we used the postal service to have these chats, they would occur a lot less frequently than once a week.

r c takedown  What is your favorite thing to do at the Bungie office?

Work.
Dan Miller

Insanity workout at lunch time!
Christian Diefenbach

Make awesome videogames.
Justin Truman

See something awesome and unexpected.
Sam Arguez

Putting lap times on our in-office scoreboard in the ForzaPod.
Nate Hawbaker

Besides the daily work and the Pentathlon, I love the evenings when we get together to play games.
Michael Williams

Thinking. More specifically: During the winter: Thinking about how wonderful it is to work for such a great company and not have to be outside in the weather. During the 2 weeks of summer: Wonder how I ended up working in a cave and reevaluating if I could have made better choices in my life.
Kurt Nellis

All the after-school activities are really awesome. Rock climbing, life drawing, Pathfinder, Risk: Legacy, enjoying any of the many games on Steam, drunken debauchery at karaoke next door.
Andrew Davis

Editor’s Note: Anyone who did not indicate that their favorite thing to do here is work really hard has been reported to Harold.

elmicker  With a mind to gabe's interview and his commentary on Valve's flexibility at the individual level and lack of structure, how would you describe Bungie’s environment? Is it flexible? Is it flat? Is it agile? How free is any one developer to just go "Whoah, this is cool!" and work on said cool-ness?

Interesting interview.  Thanks for sharing.  I would describe Bungie as a complex animal, comprised of internal organs that work in concert to drive us forward in our hunt for kick ass games.  We have teams of people committed to specific elements of development, all focused on a singular goal.  While independent thought is demanded of the people who work for Bungie, for the most part, all of our audacia is aimed at the same astra.

Sven Nietzsche  What are your strengths?  What are your weaknesses?

Strength: Muscles.
Weakness: Muscles.
John Stvan

Next question, plz.
Dan Miller.

Strength: Writing TLDR emails.
Weakness: Writing TLDR emails.
Sam Arguez

This isn't a job interview.
Nate Hawbaker

Strengths: Puzzle making, rocket racing, and thinking up ways players could abuse game systems.
Weaknesses: Chocolate cookies, fighting games, and using the sniper rifle.
Michael Williams

Zaphog  What's up with the Laboratorium?

Hidden away amidst the beakers and instruments, our venerable Dr. Bunsen Honeydew toils away in the trenches of Science to answer mission critical questions, like:

Bungie Sam  When is Bungie.net most active?

Honeydew: 1pm to 6 pm Pacific Standard Time.

Dropship dude  How do timezones work?

Basically, the entire world adjusts their clocks so that the sun is high in the sky at High Noon.  It was enacted as a standard in the 1800s, to make sure that people could see real good during their gunfights in the town square.

Chalupa King117  What is THE most absolutely most treasured object in the Studio?

Our pants.
Rick Lico

Desk space.
John Stvan

Electricity.
Dan Miller

I can't speak for everyone, but I'd say I am.
Justin Truman

Time.
Sam Arguez

The simple answer is the Pentathlon "Cup". The real answer is Urk's beard.
Nate Hawbaker

Given the level of competition over it, I'd argue that it is the Pentathlon Cup. Other candidates include the Jason Jones cardboard standee, our Declaration of Independence, the Hydra Device, and our Server farm.
Michael Williams



Editor’s Note: The Pentathlon Cup is a Fist.  And, thanks for the Forge art, DoughBoy.

KUZOKU85  Back in August or so you told us you'd be going the darkest you've ever gone and it’s been almost seven months. For the Bungie fan this is no mere torture, this is agony in hell. Please, you must give us some tiny morsel, a table scrap, some beacon of light, a date, an event, anything. Can you spare us some idea of when we'll get even the tiniest fraction of knowledge about Bungie's new game?

You will play it with your hands.

Kr1egerdude  Where do you see video games 10 years from now?

In your mind.
John Stvan.

In the future.
Dan Miller

In my living room.
Christian Diefenbach

I want new input devices to replace motion-sensing and directly read my thoughts. That way I can stop flailing my arms and panting.
Justin Truman

That's what's great about them, no one really knows.
Sam Arguez

Modern Warfare 12 - I kid. It's extremely difficult to project that far in the future without just referencing current trends. If anything that Paul Debevec has shown in the last two years makes it into a realtime environment, consider me excited.
Nate Hawbaker

In 10 years, I believe all games will have an online component. I think the kind of stats and interaction you see on Bungie.net will be common even in the simplest arcade titles. Our challenge is to stay ahead of what is common!
Michael Williams

Streaming directly into my retina via a corneal implant. Oh, there'll probably be some kind of goblin derivatives and/or aliens to fight, too. That sort of thing is timeless.
Kurt Nellis

LordMonkey  Coke or Pepsi?

Coke.  Give ‘em hell, Bobby.

farmerscott21  Is Luke Timmins a nice guy in real life?

Editor’s Note: Is this real life?

Yep.
Sam Arguez

Nope.
Justin Truman

HOLY CRAP YES HE IS. He's the nicest man who plays with knives that I've ever known.
Cale Haskell

I heard that he no longer stabs people when mistaken for Jason Jones.
Nate Hawbaker

Luke Timmins is a saint and a lover.
Dan Miller

Yes, he is. And he does use the word "sausage" every chance he gets.
Christian Diefenbach

Luke Timmins is a super nice guy, who is a pleasure to work with. He likes to claim that his job these days is "drinking coffee," but he is directly and indirectly responsible for a ton of awesome technology.
Michael Williams

Answering that would be a bit like someone in the Justice League unmasking Batman. No can do, my friend.
Kurt Nellis

Super nice. Wait... our review period just ended, I can say whatever I want to! He's pretty nice... I guess.
Andrew Davis

People are always asking me if I know Luke Timmins…With a gun barrel between your teeth, you speak only in vowels.
Luke Timmins

Zafric  When it comes to hiring employees... Would Bungie favor applicants who are devout Bungie fans as opposed to someone who is indifferent? If not, does being a Bungie fanboy actually have the opposite effect? i.e. Does the childish glee of a fanatic get so sickening that you'd prefer not to have him/her around?

Indifference doesn’t sound like a quality that any self-respecting employer would value.  At Bungie, we are fortunate to be in the position to hire many people who bring with them a passion for what we do.  We newbies try not to make fools of ourselves when we meet our legends, but it happens.  They give us a six month grace period, and take us out to lunch to let us know that they need to eat, just like any mortal.

SkilPhil  Have you had any unusual requests for help in the office that isn't really 'Community Manager' related?

Urk did ask me to pick up his dry cleaning once.

spartan120  How much has the culture at Bungie changed over the years? Have you all 'matured' [so to speak] and given up your 'stick it to the man' ways?

Our beer selection has improved. You can tell a lot about a company by their beer.
Dan Miller

We are still a company that values its creative independence, and the maturing happened in the way we manage our time and build relationships with our publisher, but at heart, we are still like kids in an amusement park.
Christian Diefenbach

When Chucky pulls his pants down, we no longer take pictures.
Justin Truman

A good bit.  We have fewer whiteboards to draw –blam!- on...  I'm not sure if that counts.  How exactly would making games "stick it" to anyone?
Sam Arguez

I've been with Bungie since Halo 2, so I can't speak to the Chicago days, but I feel like Bungie has matured while still keeping our passion. In the old days, most people here were single, and now the majority is married and has children. These days the whiteboards are cleaner, but new craziness around the office has replaced the old.
Michael Williams

Not really all that much. We're a lot bigger (I started working here in 2004 and I've now been here longer than 3/4 of the company!). But even at this size, we've maintained a pretty good level of irreverence. There exists video of our own Dave Dunn performing Rock Lobster in a crab costume in front of a bar of Bellevue popped-collars and cougars, if that means anything.
Andrew Davis

IamNickMan  Does the sarcasm just come to you for these questions, or are you just a sarcastic person?

Aren’t those two conditions the same thing?  I am a sarcastic person.  It’s a job requirement.  Thus, sarcasm just comes to me.  Just in case this response is not sarcastic enough, I will close by offering up the fact that you look really, really nice today.  I like your pants.

Wumpa Warrior  Can we please become / A site with only haiku? / I want an answer

One thing I have learned / Is that our Community / Chooses their own style

Your answer is “No.”

…And the Mail Sack is now closed.  Fear not, stalwart Bungiephiles.  It will reopen again, when the weekend is a dull memory, and the sun rises on a brave new Monday filled with renewed threats of another work week.
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

permalink   

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

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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