Building a Better Chapter - Part Two
Posted by Sketch at 3/14/2003 7:19 AM PDT

Building a Better Chapter - Part Two

By SketchFactor
Friday, March 14th, 2003, 3:19 PM

In my ongoing efforts to develop the ultimate sure-fire plan for creating the best possible 7th Column chapter, I thought it might be interesting to ask for some feedback from some founders themselves. I contacted 5 founders of some of the Column’s most active chapters to get their advice and share successful tips with the rest of us. What follows is a virtual interview of sorts with the goal of hopefully giving some of you new ideas and insights to help make your current and future chapters BETTER.

Hi guys, thanks for taking the time to help out with this! First question - What is the central theme of your chapter?

Loco X : Both of my chapters are Bungie game specific with the primary focus being on Halo. Xbyercide was founded in Adelaide, Australia to establish regular Halo LAN tournaments. Kindred, my other chapter, was founded along the same lines but it is specifically for Sydney based X-gamers.

deadman : At FRC7 we’re focused on Halo entirely. Some of us play Myth still but the chapter isn’t really focused on that. We try to foster other games occasionally but we usually stick to the basics.

Spesh : The common theme for Florida Halo Community is...Halo!

Mr.Master : The Halo Covenant focuses on lots of game and movie reviews and plenty of HALO.

Deadpool-05 :At Houston Halo College Halo is our common theme and we focus on news, playing online and LANs.

Do I see a trend here? Everyone is focused on Halo, which of course is a good thing! They all used Halo as the building block upon which to grow and expand their chapter. Keep this in mind as you create your own chapter. There are a lot of Halo-centric chapters out there so what will you do set yours apart? Are you the only one in your area? Are you focusing on one specific element of Halo?

What kinds of cool content do you feature in your chapter? What makes it unique?

Spesh : The coolest thing about our chapter is its ability to work together and channel players from everywhere to the hottest Bungie chapters around. Our database system and external links are like no other. We are also keeping the up-and-up on gaming in our community – new gaming centers, updates on new games, etc…

Loco-X : Geez, what don’t we have!? Xybercide has a staff of 4 that troll the Bungie-verse and post news daily. (ed – He’s not kidding, the list is too long to print in its entirety but some of the more interesting items are listed ) Xbyercide War Stories is my personal favorite and contains some of the coolest Halo based fiction I’ve read. Petition the Sequel God is a place to sacrifice newbies to the Gods and let us know what should be in Halo 2.

deadman : We have tons actually. We were first recognized by our gametypes database but we’ve since added much more to our chapter. Our About FRC7 articles database contains general info about the chapter, FAQs for underage members, rules, instructions for new members and more. We also have a chapter history database that contains all our tournament exploits, a 1-on-1 ranked ladder, a Philosophy & Tactics db, Halo Haikus, and a few other things like book reviews.”

Mr.Master : Our game and movie review databases are quite extensive and the staff and I try to run it according to how our members want them.

Deadpool-05 : We keep up on game news, releases, Halo toys, etc. We also keep our polls current and have interesting databases.

There’s a reason these particular chapters are among the most active in the Column – they work hard to keep their content areas interesting and entertaining. As we discussed in the first article, creating “cool” content is what will ultimately make or break your chapter.

Which feature of your chapter is most popular?

Loco-X : As far as members go, it’s the LAN events. There are a couple per week and the members are right into them. There’s huge hype up before, the massive fun during and then forum bragging afterwards. Personally, I really enjoy our fan fiction.

deadman : From outsiders who visit our chapter, they seem to like the organization of everything. Also we get contributions from outsiders in our Halo Haikus database from time to time and I’ve heard positive feedback about our Tactics and Philosophy database. For our members, our forum is really central to the chapter as it makes communication so much easier.

Spesh : Probably the external links. The databases and forum are a blast.

Mr.Master : I’d say our forum, databases, and polls are neck-to-neck-to-neck. Yeah!

Deadpool-05 : I would have to say our polls. People love them and find them funny.

As you can see, each of these chapters has different areas that appeal to their members. Even though all of these are based around Halo and they all have the same tools to work with, each has established their own personalized content.

One of the biggest questions new founders have is “how can I get people to join my chapter?” How did you promote your chapter and increase your membership?

deadman : We promote our chapter at our LAN events which happen about 2-3 times per week here in the Denver metro area. They range in size from 8-20 people and we always seem to get new people there. We’ve also had luck recruiting at local tournaments. The best way I’ve found is to just nag the hell out of friends and make flyers for LAN parties. If you can convince people that there’s something to offer by registering, you’re golden.

Mr.Master : We’ll message someone who seems like an interesting person and ask them to check out our chapter if they come across any spare 7th Column time.

Spesh : Well the external links channels many players throughout the overall Halo community worldwide. So, it was easy to promote because the players know they can reach practically every major Halo site from Florida Halo Community. Our players here in FL are some of the best and we are always setting up clan matches across the country also.

Deadpool-05 : Word of mouth mostly. We haven’t grown to satisfaction yet though with only 113 members. We only had 23 or so in the beginning of this year so we should be content but we would like to be the largest because we are the most active that we’ve seen.

Loco-X : We basically nagged everyone in the world until they caved! Our Kindred FAQ database lists 6 tips for recruiting:
1. Post a notice on other sites. If you’re going to advertise on other chapters, make sure your article is well written
2. Get people excited. What does your chapter offer? News? LANs? Live? Stories? Reviews? Let people know why they should join.
3. Drop the 7th Column a line. Writing a small ‘I need members’ email to the 7thcol@bungie.com is your best bet at an article in the ‘Week in Review” write up.
4. Network. Get to know other founders, post to other sites, message members that are online quite a bit.
5. Post to external forums. Hard to believe, I know, but not everyone is aware of the Bungie Universe. Post to external forums, especially local ones, to get members into the 7th Column and your chapter.
6. Staff. Members that are particularly active make exceptional staff members. When you’re busy, your team can keep things going.”

Thanks guys, these are definitely some great ideas. As we discussed last time, getting members to join is certainly a necessity but it shouldn’t be your primary focus right out of the gate. Build your foundation and then when the stage is set, focus your efforts on getting the word out. As you can tell from their responses, there is no ONE way to recruit members. Be creative and don't give up.

What advice would you give to new founders to help their chapters grow?

Mr.Master : Friendliness and common courtesy go a long way.

Loco-X : Be respectful to other chapters and help them out. Let people know what your chapter has to offer, especially now with the 15 chapter limit. Encourage activity by keeping things interesting. Have a goal – why are you running the chapter? To establish LANs? To make friends? A front for an evil organization? Branch out beyond the Bungie-verse to recruit, especially when it comes to local gaming talent. Keep things like Quick Polls and news as current and informative as possible. Play nice with others.

deadman : Put work into your chapter. I see too many chapters out there where the founder clearly has no idea how to use the databases and just adds crap like hardware lists and expects people to join. Every founder should join chapter founders, read the information there, and work on their chapter at least every other day if they want it to flourish. Either that, or get a really motivated staff but those are hard to come by (out of our 90 members, we have about 5 people who maintain the site and are motivated enough to keep it up). Best the best advice is to host lots of LANs and go from there. As long as you’re playing Halo you’re all set. Another thing though, founders need to realize that not every member is good to let in the chapter. Some guy from Kalamazoo won’t be able to attend your LAN if you live in Kansas. Lots of members doesn’t mean a good chapter.”

Spesh : Keep your chapter at a constant pace. Make sure your members are continuously posting GOOD information about gaming and let them know if they have any questions – this is the chapter that can answer them.”

Deadpool-05 : Don’t demand anything from your members. Allow them to check out your site and see how active it is, vote on your polls, and then encourage them to enter info into the databases. Write them thank-yous or “that was interesting” when they post News.

Once again the guys have some wise words to pass along to the rest of the Column. There are two main points surfacing here – attitude and effort. Treating people with respect and kindness will make your recruiting that much easier. Think of all the times you’ve been spammed, hassled or just treated rudely. Naturally you’re not going to run out and join a group that comes across like that. Building and growing a successful chapter is not going to happen over night – it takes time and effort. From setting up the groundwork to keeping things fresh and lively, you will only get out of your chapter what you put into it.

What advice would you give to a new founder to help make their chapter more interesting and exciting?

Deadpool-05 : Keep it active and don’t wait 3 or 4 days for an update. Members get used to this and stop checking your site or just leave! I know I leave inactive sites.

Loco-X : Post relevant and informative stuff. The more interesting the news, the more people are likely to check you out. Also, local news helps to build a bit of a community wherever it is you’re located. It doesn’t necessarily have to be Xbox related, whatever gets the crew together.

deadman : I would not tell a founder to try and make their chapter ‘interesting’ per se. I think a catchy name is about all you need, plus a forum and a good organization. As long as it shows that a lot of work goes into what’s there, that seems to make the difference. The key is to identify a purpose and tailor the databases to suit that purpose as best as possible.

Spesh : Keep everyone informed of what’s happening in your community with their game of choice. This shows interest on a more personal level and players like that.

Mr.Master : Listen to EVERYTHING the members have to say. They are the reason this whole system is running.

Staying active will definitely go a long way towards keeping your chapter interesting and exciting. To remain active requires a certain amount of commitment from you and your staff. If you saw the exact same thing, week after week, every time you watched TV, would you even care to watch anymore? Keep it fresh to keep ‘em coming back for more.

What’s the hardest part about maintaining an active chapter?

Loco-X : Persistence. As a founder, you’ll get frustrated from time to time and think ‘screw this, I’m bustin my hump here’ and more than likely you’ll want to throw in the towel. During a slow news week, it’s hard to keep the ole active-o-meter in the red. A good staff can REALLY help with this though. Also, the sheer time and dedication involved can be pretty daunting. When it all gets too much, just go and play Halo for a while, the site will still be there when you get back!

deadman : The hardest part is the work involved and the quantity of it. I spend lots of time keeping the databases up to date and coming up with ways to make them more useful.

Spesh : Keeping your players interested and excited. That’s why being more personal with them helps but also keeping up on the news and making sure your players know what’s happening in the gaming world.

Mr.Master : Without a doubt, it is keeping people interested in your group.

Deadpool-05 : Members leaving because with the new limit they have obligations to others, won’t join new ones, or just cut off the last five they’ve joined!”

As you can see, it’s not all just a walk in the park. Keeping your chapter active requires dedication, resourcefulness, and some help doesn’t hurt either. Don’t bite off more than you can chew initially and definitely don’t be afraid to bring on new people to help your efforts. More staff = less personal requirements for the founder.

About how many hours per week do you spend dealing with your chapter?

Loco-X : Lets see, there are what, seven days in a week? So that’s 7 by 24 hours, ummm, 300?

deadman : In any given week I would say I spend around 6-8 hours working on stuff.

Spesh : WOW at least 6 hours a day. I work right in front of a computer.

Mr.Master : On a slow week, 2. Average week 4. Mega week 8.

Deadpool-05 : Probably one hour per day so seven per week.

It takes a lot of time to make great things happen and you will definitely get out of it what you put into it. It will take more time up front but once things are up and running, it’s up to you to figure out how much time it will take to accomplish your goals. As we mentioned above, getting extra staff onboard to help out is definitely a HUGE help as your chapter starts to grow. You should look for potential partners early on to make growing easier.

Just for kicks, what’s your favorite theme?

Loco-X : Probably the Flood Captain theme. It’s pretty rare so Xybercide managers to stand out a bit. We’re also working on our own theme to submit.

deadman : Currently we use Soffish. I have to say it’s my favorite. Not so much from a content basis, as it has nothing to do with Halo, but from a color standpoint. It’s a nice light and colorful theme.

Spesh : The Legendary theme.

Mr.Master : We have stuck with the “In the Shade” theme almost since day one and I assume we’ll be with it for quite a bit longer.

Deadpool-05 : We use Forerunner – it’s the least used so it’s very unique to us.

Well, clearly there is no secret theme that lends itself to greatness. All of these guys use different themes and they’re all kicking ass. Remember, you can always download the Theme Creator and whip up your own theme if none of the existing ones appeal to you.

So there you have it, wise words from five experienced founders from the 7th Column. Of course there is no one way to do anything and you’ll inevitably have to figure out what works for you and your chapter but hopefully some of these tips will lead you to enlightenment and success. Keep at it and be willing to put in some extra work to support your chapter but most of all, HAVE FUN!

For more information, be sure to join the Chapter Founders and check out the Septagon, the official forum for Chapter Founders to discuss ways to improve the 7th Column.

Thanks to the guys who contributed to this article. Drop them a line or go check out their chapters for yourself.

Mr.Master : The Halo Covenant

Deadpool-05 : Houston Halo College

Spesh : Florida Halo Community

deadman : Front Range Company 7

Loco-X : Xybercide & Kindred

New Beginnings 

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

Bungie.net has evolved...

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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.

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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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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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