Bungie Mail Sack 1.0

Your Questions.  Our Answers.

Welcome to the first installment of a new feature at Bungie.net.  As a series of random and completely unpredictable events, a mailbox will be opened on our Community Forum.  The questions and curiosities that pour in over the course of several hours will be painstakingly sorted in search of pearls of conversation.  Without further introduction, let’s open the Bungie Mail Sack.

CmdrScott1701: Should I submit myself to the gaming industry?

Your career path is among the most important decisions you will make in this life – right up there with who you will love and what helmet you wear in combat.  I can’t answer this for you.  Follow your passions.  If you want to see how other people have made the jump into the madness of the video game industry, take a stroll through our archive of Breaking In features.

spartain ken 15: Will more events like Ride Alongs be planned for the future?

Count on it.  I am here to keep you all company during this time of darkness.  Bungie missed you guys badly enough to abduct me from my former life and traffic me half-way across this country.  There will be blood.  There will be conversations.  There might even be candy.

kashinfist: Collectively, what is Bungie's favorite game?

Oh, man.  That question is like an incendiary bomb – a literal red-barrel of conversation.  There is no way I am asking that out loud.  Bungie plays many games.  We play the games we make.  We play games that other people make.  Some are on consoles.  Some are on PCs.  Some are on table tops.  At any given moment, you might hear debates about everything from Skyrim to Dead Souls.  We have designated servers for everything from Star Wars: The Old Republic to Minecraft.  There is no one game on which everyone can agree.  Everyone here is a gamer, and everyone is passionate about their opinions.

MURDUR 587: What's the next game about?

Don’t abuse my hospitality!

HC Swat Is Back: Why does Stosh hate toast?

Yeah.  What’s up with that?  As a Newbie at Bungie, I had seen many a mention of Stosh’s furious disdain for toast.  I approached him for comment, and he told me the story about how his breakfast preferences became a thing of legend.  When I asked “But, why?” he said:

Because toast sucks. Bagels are better.

There you have it.

Zee JollyRoger: How does working for Bungie change you?

At first, you think it won’t change you.  Foolishly, you think you can stay the person you were.  Then, they make you throw away all of your pleated khakis.  After a while, you don’t miss them.  Over the longer term, you can’t even remember the feel of them against your skin.  That’s what hurts the most.

Breadisgood91: Will you answer my question?

Hypothetically, no.  I will caution you to keep your username hidden from Stosh, however.

relliK42: What gaming genre, or genres, do you prefer to play/are interested in?

I have always loved first-person shooters.  I like to play the role of the hero.  Many games I have played in the past have also enabled me to pilot a vehicle of some sort – everything from a Perseus Intercept Fighter to an Apache Helicopter.  Halo rescued me from a GTA phase that started to manifest itself in the form of worrisome road rage.  I suppose this would explain my love for the Warthog.

Don’t read a lot into any of that.  There are better minds at Bungie making the next game.  I am here for you.  If I tried to advise them on their craft, they would march me back here to lock some threads.

OMARRCHR: How is Marty doing?

He is locked in his Ivory Tower.  When approached for comment, he told me that he had a slight headache - probably because of something one of you did.

Sven Nietzsche: Will there be some sort of write-up for the 2012 Bungie Winter Pentathlon?

Why yes there will!  Stay tuned to Bungie.net toward the end of January for a day filled with bulletins about an epic clash between new hires and veteran founders.  I will be splitting my time between covering the events and captaining the competitive shooter team for the Newbie school.

goldhawk: “A fistful of banana's” My question is, simply: What is the question to that answer?

What does the Webmaster have for lunch?  Next, I will take “Obscure Master Chief Trivia” for 700.

Raptorx7: What is a normal day composed of at Bungie?

0900 Hours: Passage through the metal detector
0915 Hours: Debriefing and reprogramming by Jerome
0930 Hours: Weapons and Demolitions training (live fire range)
1200 Hours: Lunch!
1300 Hours: Comb lunch crumbs out of urk’s beard
1330 Hours: Classroom Training: Forum Moderation and Mind Games
1430 Hours: Twitter Patrol
1500 Hours: Lock daily quota of threads in Community Forum
1700 Hours: Pretend to read The Flood
1730 Hours: Resist helping self to catered dinner for graveyard shift programmers
1800 Hours: Really bad traffic

Duardo: How can we occupy ourselves while you (Bungie) are dark?

I want you all to misbehave as colorfully as possible in an attempt to provoke all of the Forum Ninjas to quit.  This will allow me to install my own fanatically loyal force of killer robot police that will unflinchingly execute my every order.

Editor’s Note: I am merely harassing Duardo, a notorious Forum Ninja, with this response.  Don’t actually misbehave, Bungie Community.  The Ninja’s swords are sharp, and they operate with enthusiastic impunity.

EL: Can you guys give my mom back?

Not until she finishes her work.  Where did she learn to create such life-like shaders, by the way?  When I look over her shoulder, I feel like I am peering out a freaking window.  She asked me to tell you that she loves you, and to eat your vegetables.

Eraclio: How many bagels are usually consumed on bagel Friday?

All of them.

THORSGOD: Did you have a time period where you walked into the doors of the Bungie offices and you said to yourself that you can't believe you work there?

Every day, friend.  On the day when I become jaded about all of this, I will quit.  The people working on these games, and the people who love playing them, deserve no less.

cortana 5: How much of the company budget goes toward snacks?

I am unsure of the exact ratio, but our budget for snacks is the same figure that the United States Air Force spends on jet fuel.

Homeboyd903: Your initiation. Tell, please.

I have trouble talking about it without visibly shaking.  The horrors.

GPK Ethan: What is your favorite part of the day?

Whenever urk says: “Hey!  Come here and check this out.”

st3althsniper22: Truthfully, which Halo campaign do you enjoy playing the most?

Truthfully?  Halo 3.  I played it straight through in one night – something I used to mock people for in the past.  It would not let me go.  At the end, I was trying not to get all misty at the Chief’s tribute service.

Politically?  “All of the Halo games represent the finest craftsmanship in gameplay and storytelling.”

Personally?  Halo: Reach.  I have a non-player character named after me.  See if you can find him.

Sentimentally?  Halo: Combat Evolved.  That’s where it all began for me as a Bungie fan.

Xplode441: What non-Bungie game do you find yourself sinking the most time into?

For the past six years, I have had the pleasure of leading a clan of gamers that were born of Halo 2.  They were able to port their brand of teamwork and friendship into Call of Duty as well, so I followed them there.  In between Bungie games, I spent a lot of time on that front.  There were also some experimental forays into Battlefield, Gears of War, and anything else that let people play games as a member of a team.  When I game solo, it is usually in something that Valve made. 

Cay330: What is your opinion on CERN's finding of the Higgs Boson & the potential for humanity's progress?

I believe the jury is still out on the God Particle.  Discovering the quantum unit that is responsible for all mass would be a stunning vindication that our aesthetics and mathematics are genuinely connected with how the universe really operates.  Even without a watershed discovery, relativity and quantum mechanics underlie practically all modern technology.  I would hope that we will use those insights to improve our lives in the long run. 

Editor’s Note: I had to look that up. 

Leprechaun209: You guys should make a movie about Bungie and have Tom Cruise play all of you!  Thoughts?

All Hail Xenu.

Editor’s Note: If you are getting ready to make the accusation that these last two questions are straying toward the variety of religious discussions that are verboten on the Bungie forum, I would offer up that (A) the God Particle is a Theory, (B) Xenu is Science Fiction, and (C) you are not reading the Bungie forum.  Moving right along…

ChampRKO117: Where am I?

Look down.

IHaveTURRETS JR: What are your ideas for improvements to The Classifieds?

What are YOUR ideas for improvements to The Classifieds?  Until the Online Team tells us otherwise, we will use the tools that we have been given to amuse ourselves.  I think that The Classifieds could be more useful with some renewed attention on your collective part.  I see groups inviting people to join.  I see people inviting groups to recruit them.  I would love to see more chatter back and forth.  There are invitations to play games with people issued on that board every day.  The best thing about Bungie.net right now is the other gamers who flock here.   Y’all should form up into some parties and play some games.

Community 12/23/2011 1:07 PM PST permalink

Halcylon Rides Along With The WorkPLace

The Artist and the Board of Directors.

All work and no play makes a gamer a dull boy (or girl).  For the most recent edition of the Community Ride Along, we matched a new Bungie employee who turned gaming into work with a group that turned work into a game.  Sound confusing?  Read on.

The purpose of these events is to celebrate community – that phenomenon that occurs when gamers create something together that the creators of the game may have never even envisioned in the first place.  This week, a designer on the Bungie Visual Identity Team was drafted to ride shotgun.

He is known to us as Halcylon.  You see evidence of his work every day you visit this website.  Just like you, he started out as an impassioned player of Bungie’s games.  Now, he creates art alongside the people who make them.  To give you a sense of the contribution he makes, and how he arrived here, I cornered him under the hot lights.

Put that coffee down!  How did you come to work for Bungie?

Halcylon: The details of my life are quite inconsequential.  I actually got my start in the community doing fan art and screenshots, and eventually started working with BS Angel and Firestream on their sites (HawtyMcBloggy.com and HaloCharts.com).  As I’m told, when I did my “We Are ODST” Star Wars style poster (and the two follow up pieces), a few employees sent them around the studio and my current bosses took notice.  When a contract job opened up, I put together my resume and portfolio and applied.  At first I didn’t get the job.  It wasn’t for another three months that another job opened up and Bungie decided to take a chance on contracting me to help ship Reach.  I guess I did something right, because I’m still here – along with another amazingly talented artist who started on the same day.  He’s the guy who’s designed all the sick Bungie Store apparel you’re wearing.

People like urk, stosh, and agdtinman were paramount in helping me as well.  Bungie’s always been very transparent and open to questions about opportunities.  These qualities were crucial to my getting this job.

Glad you made it.  Now that you are here, what do you do at Bungie?

Halcylon: I make cool -blam!-.  Honestly, that’s the easiest way to describe what I do.  I work for the Visual ID & Marketing Teams as a Graphic Designer.  We work closely with how Bungie is seen both internally and externally.  My projects revolve around graphic design and animation for marketing, PR, and web.  We work internally with the Dev Tools teams, Recruiting, HR, and IT, but also on projects for Bungie Aerospace like Crimson and for our Foundation and even Bungie Day.

You were obviously inspired to create art about Bungie games before you were paid to do it.  What has it been like to work alongside the people that provoked you to pursue a career in the video game industry in the first place?

Halcylon: It’s ridiculous to think about.  I’m a fan boy.  I look up to everyone around me as giants in an industry packed with talent.  To be able to contribute to, and in a lot of cases work alongside with, some of the industry’s leaders in art and design is a dream.  Lorraine McLees is my senior designer and she’s a master of just about anything.  From print to web, sculpting to drawing, it’s humbling to see how talented she and everyone else here is.

What are some examples of your work that Bungie.net members might remember?

Halcylon: Well, DeeJ, your phone has my wallpapers on it… so that’s something.  But we touch so many facets of what fans see, to front and back of packaging, posters, in store signage, screenshots, Avatars on Xbox LIVE, the list goes on.  Bungie.net has recently had some facelifts, too, and with the guidance of the web masters, we have been able to help start the reshaping of Bungie.

What is your favorite accomplishment as a member of the Visual Identity team?

Halcylon: The Bungie Day animated banners were some of my favorite projects.  Actually, everything Bungie Day related – Bungie vs. The World, the web layout, and Steaktacular were all really fun to design and help layout.

Internally, I’ve helped design and develop a tool that is used daily now.  My team director and I had to come up with a solution for a project that went through almost a year and a half of iteration.  The internal site now stands as something that everyone at Bungie participates in.

What is on the horizon for you?  What are you working on right now?

Halcylon: Right now?  You know we aren’t working.  We are all playing games all day and eating turkey.

But other than being lazy and suffering from an overdose of tryptophan, I am currently working with Stosh and the web team designing some interesting new stuff.  But that’s all I can say.

What would you say to aspiring young gamers who dream of following in your footsteps?

Halcylon: This is the coolest and most rewarding opportunity I’ve ever had in my life, and it just keeps getting better. For anyone out there interested in the field of game awesomeness, my advice is to work hard, develop a “no-quit” attitude, and prepare to jump into the deep end without warning. It was literally months before I was hired that I was doing web work and some fan art and not really going anywhere.  On my first day at Bungie, I was working on a Dorito’s bag design and Reach assets that the world would see. 

Bungie recognizes talent.  If you have the skill, the tenacity, and the drive to continually challenge yourself and your peers, then you’ve got what it takes.  Oh and a little luck and timing doesn't hurt either.

The private group chosen to ride along with Halcylon has been a break room on Bungie.net since Halo 3, catering to working stiffs who just want to daydream about playing video games when they should be hard at work.  For years now, The WorkPLace has spiced their water cooler conversations with war stories and chatter about all kinds of digital engagements.  Their track record as a company of gamers includes architecture of better multiplayer battlegrounds, mass invasions at fan conventions like PAX, and staunch solidarity among its employees.  To gain an insider perspective on their operations, I audited JoeSki73, a stalwart member of their Board of Directors.

Take us back to the beginning, to a humbler time before a sprawling corporate headquarters home to 195 members.  How did the WorkPLace come into being?

JoeSki73: The WorkPLace started out as “Halo 3 in The Work Place” back in January of 2008. A few of our current members used to create a weekly thread in the main Bungie.net forums every Friday as kind of a hangout for older gamers juggling their jobs and responsibilities with their love of gaming. Someone suggested the bright idea that we start a group (because we would tend to get off topic in the various main forums) and TWP was born.

Speaking of juggling jobs with gaming, the theme of the command structure for your group is all business (i.e.: Desk Jockey, Middle Management, Supervisors). Tell us how the metaphor for the WorkPLace as… well… a work place flavors your interactions.

JoeSki73: It just naturally fit us from the first time they were implemented. We are comprised of all older gamers, holding down jobs and surfing Bungie.net primarily while we are at work. It's actually pretty ironic when you consider the fact that we use a business model structure for our goof-off place to escape from our business model structure places. Although, our WorkPLace BreakROom enforces a strict keg party on each day that ends with “y”... so we have that goin' for us.

Those keg parties might explain the odd capitalization in words like ‘WorkPLace’ or ‘BreakROom’.  Are those drunken typos?  Or are they a secret code that embodies some hidden intrigue revealed only to the members that stride the halls of your online club?

JoeSki73: I would love to tell you that it's something really awesome that has really deep meaning and anyone who knows it’s true origins has mysteriously gone missing, but...no wait... let's stick with that.

Your secret is safe with me.  Let’s talk about what has kept the WorkPLace strong since you first opened up for business.  What keeps loyal employees rooted to your offices?

JoeSki73: Halo 3 was the clear catalyst that brought us all together, but it didn't take long before lifelong friendships emerged, seemingly overnight. I couldn't brag enough about our members and the awesome ways they constantly step up to help out their fellow WorkPLacers. From something as trivial as helping someone get that last achievement to sponsoring a WorkPLacer's son's hockey team so they could play this season to pooling our resources so we could extend our love to the family of a dear friend. WorkPLacers never cease to amaze me and through all the ups and downs, good times and bad, everyone is always there for one another. We definitely have our arguments too, but that's just part of being a family.

“Family” is a bold comparison for a group that shares a common passion for playing video games.  Like other families, has your involvement with the WorkPLace reached beyond the virtual world that you all share?

JoeSki73: It may seem like I'm overstating the friendships we've built in The WorkPLace, but they are sincere. With that said, WorkPLacers tend to jump at the opportunity to meet up with one another and events like PAX Prime, PAX East and Comic Con have all played host to some of the larger meetups. Those are obvious though. What really sticks with me is how multiple times a year you will see in our forums news of WorkPlacers traveling, for whatever reason, and their desire to meet up with any other WorkPLacers in that area. It's not uncommon to see a thread in our forum with pics of a recent get-together of different WorkPLacers every couple weeks.

How does a group as tightly-knit as yours go about recruiting new members?  Do you invite anyone on Bungie.net join you?

JoeSki73: We do have a hard 21 years or older rule in place (for various reasons) but primarily The WorkPLace is open to anyone who an existing member knows them well enough that they are comfortable adding them to our family. We are always looking for great people to share in our shenanigans and BreakROom keg stands.

While I usually see The WokPLace abbreviated as TWP, during our games your squad was sporting a DP72 clan tag.  What is the significance of your dazzling team uniform?

JoeSki73: Unfortunately, we unexpectedly lost a fellow WorkPLacer and a dear friend, this past October. "Deathpimp" was family to many of us and the clan tag in MW3 is just a small tribute to our buddy.

Terribly sorry for your loss!  That tribute is a true testament to the strength of your friendships.

Since you chose Modern Warfare 3 as the game for your ride along, it begs mention that a group born of Halo 3 has evolved to play a lot of games together over the years.  Your forum has always been abuzz with talk about everything worth playing at any given moment.  Yet, when asked, members of the WorkPLace will defend the notion (rather vehemently, in fact) that TWP is not a clan.

JoeSki73: That's because we're NOT a clan!

By some appearances it seems we are a clan and honestly I'm sure we share many characteristics with some clans out there... but what we feel sets us apart from a typical clan is that we aren't as focused on "performance in gaming" and are more focused on just enjoying our hobby together in-between changing our kid's diapers and finishing up that PowerPoint presentation for our big meeting at work the next morning. That's not to say we can't hold our own when we put a party together, though.

Editor’s Note: That actually sounds like many clans I know.

As far as what keeps us playing... sure, we do various little things like in-house tournaments for fun or "Fustoms Friday" events, but day in and day out it all boils down to friends just simply enjoying games together.

To be sure!  Some of the better customs I played in Halo 3 came from your group.  And, I recall seeing a lot of your Forge creations loaded into Matchmaking as official venues for combat.  What does the future hold for the WorkPLace?

JoeSki73: Bungie's new hotness is obviously on top of that list, but honestly, we're going to keep on keeping on regardless of what the future holds. We are all pretty proud of the home we've carved out here on Bungie.net.

To see where the WorkPLace is currently conducting their hostile takeovers, we infiltrated a squad on maneuvers in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.  What’s that, you say?  Talk of a game not made by Bungie, right here on Bungie.net?  What treachery is this?  Bungie.net is home to gamers that play many titles.  And, it must be said that Activision is a publisher of some of the finest games available (wink, wink, nudge, nudge).  The WorkPLace is a great example of a group that was born in Halo, but ported their friendship and teamwork into other experiences.  Their adaptability will help them to remain loyal to Bungie's quest for world domination.

Answering the call of duty with the WorkPLace squad was a real pleasure.  Tactical chatter was mixed with the sort of barbs that old friends trade.  Despite the fact that their teamwork won them victory in match after match, the party line sounded more like poker night than war.  A variety of games were played throughout the evening.  Team Deathmatch, Kill Confirmed, Domination.  We even made an experimental foray into Hardcore Search & Destroy that was met with angry protest and spirited debate.

As a cap to the evening, we played a more social variant called Gun Game.  Every man fights for himself, and every man starts out with a lowly pistol.  As the bodies hit the floor, a player’s weapon is upgraded.  If a combatant is dispatched with a blade, however, he is sent back to the beginning with that same sad pistol in hand.

Which is exactly what Halcylon did to one of the WorkPLacers before the game was over.  Our killer instinct got the best of our desire to be nice to our hosts.  You just have to watch your six, even when you are wielding a really big machine gun.  These matches were great fun.  Bungie thanks TWP for the ride along, and for making our website a more meaningful place for their members.

If you cross paths with Halcylon, JoeSki, or any member of the WorkPLace, be sure to pat them on the back for their contributions to our community.  This website is what you make of it.  Each of us has a chance to create our own experiences here.  A grouping of friends like this one could be waiting for you on these forums.

Community 12/21/2011 4:42 PM PST permalink

Happy Holidays!

It's the Holiday Season.

Read Full Top Story

Community 12/19/2011 9:33 AM PST

Louis Wu Rides With Community Carnage

Pay tribute to the Godfather, and jump into the game.

For the most recent Ride Along, the organizers of a matchmaking nerve center on Bungie.net were taken on a pilgrimage to pay tribute to the Godfather of the Bungie Community.  Before the crowded grotto that you know as Bungie.net existed, there was Bungie.org.  In the days before this site provided a meeting place for gamers to discuss, converse, conspire, and debate, the fans of Bungie games were hosted by a man we have come to know and love over the years as Chocolate Thunder. (You may know him as Louis Wu.) 

Editor's Note: Yes, urk still has editing privileges.

Halo.Bungie.Org was where the Bungie Community was born.  Throughout the course of all our lost time, even before a game called Halo, a vibrant society of people who play Bungie games have been sharing their experiences and perceptions on the Bungie.org forum.  All the while, Louis Wu has operated as the fan of all fans, showcasing their finest creations and documenting their every move like a cyber-anthropologist on the front page of his site.  Every carved jack-o-lantern.  Every panoramic screen shot.  Every meticulously Forged map.  Every skillfully edited combat montage.

It was on HBO that your new Community Manager (that would be me) first addressed the Halo Nation with a link to a blog.  You could say that this is his entire fault, which is why I sought him out to play some games.  Partly to offer thanks – partly to expose Bungie Community newcomers to their true Forerunner.  Fan sites come and go.  Halo.Bungie.Org is the tent for the circus.

If your only involvement in the Bungie Community is on Bungie.net, we dare say that you do not know the full extent of the Bungie Community.  To put his long and illustrious campaign of nation building in perspective, I approached Mr. Wu slowly and carefully with some questions that would unearth some long-forgotten history…

What games are you playing these days?  What playlists or in-game activities are sustaining your interest in Halo?

I have pretty limited time for gaming these days – Halo: Anniversary and Halo: Reach take up 100% of my console minutes. I've been enjoying the new Anniversary lists - but my older staples (Squad Slayer, Team SWAT, Firefight Score Attack) still get some love.

Editor's Note: 4,500+ games and an Eclipse ranking does seem pretty limited. ;)

There has been a lot of love to be gotten at HBO over the years.  What do you think is cool about the Halo Community right now?

I continue to enjoy the amazing creations people manage to generate to show their love for this franchise - the physical and digital alike. Communities like the 405th have become mature enough to be able to support propmaking for a surprisingly large number of fan-made Halo films currently in production... and machinima continues to look more and more polished.

From the physical world, back to the virtual world, what interesting things are being done at HBO to bring your community together to play games?

We've got several regular Customs groups that get together weekly, we've got organized Co-op Campaign nights, and just recently the idea of a Secret Santa exchange was floated - and jumped on. All of this happens without any need for me (or HBO staff in general) to corral, cajole, wheedle, nag, or otherwise annoy regulars - they do it all themselves. It's a joy to watch.

What do you think motivates gamers to keep playing Halo after 10 years of service in the UNSC?

Gameplay has changed a bit over the years - but all of it, from the first game to the most recent, they're all Halo. For people who got hooked on any one of those games... it's not hard to fall back into it if you find yourself with some free time and a controller nearby.

While some things about Halo have stayed the same, what is the most profound change in the Halo Community since you first started hosting it?

Well, when Halo FIRST started, the biggest part of the community cared about the story, the universe, the (then) upcoming campaign.  Multiplayer for the first game was an afterthought - one that was nearly cut at the last minute.  It wasn't until Halo 2 that online multiplayer showed the world what Halo could do to bring people together. 

I think that marked the start of the biggest shift in the community. The average Halo fan today plays much more multiplayer than campaign, and many don't even realize there IS a 'universe' of stories out there. HBO has moved away from the mainstream, in this respect - a huge percentage of our regular userbase DOES care about the extended universe, and the immediate environment in which each game is played.

What is the funniest thing that has ever happened to you in a game of Halo?

I still remember an incident that happened at E3 2001, 6 months before the game came out.  I've told this story before, but it STILL nails, for me, the glory that is Halo. We were playing on Blood Gulch, and I was out in the middle somewhere with a fully-loaded hog coming towards me. I threw a grenade and the hog took flight, spinning in the air above me. It landed on its wheels BEHIND me, and continued towards my base. Yes, I failed miserably at stopping the enemy - but the adrenaline rush from the moment was astounding.

2001 feels like a long time ago.  Doesn't it?  After all these years, why are you such a fan of the fans of Halo?

Because even after all these years, they CONTINUE to create truly amazing stuff I've never seen before. A Fistful of Arrows was finished up just a month ago. Operation Chastity is still in production. New maps come out - and within days there are new panoramas to look at. I'm STILL seeing new and cool Forged gametypes. It hasn't stopped yet, so I haven't stopped loving it yet.

Meanwhile, on the Bungie homeworld, there is a Private Group that upholds traditions all their own.  To bring the members of Bungie.net together in the games that they play, there is The Community Carnage.  These ringleaders of custom game nights and recreational tournaments seek to turn forum chatter into game-based mayhem.  I sought out The Community Carnage for this Ride Along to learn more about their efforts to turn Bungie.net into a place where people can make friends and play games.

For the unacquainted, what is the reason for the existence of The Community Carnage?

Index: The nomenclature is our guiding light. We provide the means to bring folks on bungie.net together and throw down in Bungie games. The community takes it from there.

The community is good like that.  And where are they taking it next?  Are you planning any events again in the near future?

MURDUR 587: We've started basing our Carnages around specific events such as the release of Map Packs, Title Updates, etc., but we do try to launch events if there's increased interest in the Carnage or increased activity. We usually try to set up Carnages within scenarios which have a high probability of us filling up the roster, preferably with new faces.

Believe it or not, new faces still show up at Bungie.net everyday, looking for people who share their love of games.  How can people join?

MURDUR 587: There will be a thread posted in the community forum whenever a carnage event is happening, you simply state that you would like to participate.  After you have done so, make sure to add the Gamertag "Carnage Event" or you won't be added to the roster.

This all sounds like quite an elaborate affair.  So who beats the drum that leads people to the front lines?  Who leads your group?

Rokit: We proclaim no leader. We work together in rotation with careful guidance provided by two of our acquaintances - Tom T and Qbix89.

Ah, a democracy overseen by Ninjas.  Sounds dangerous!  The lifeblood of any good online democracy is new members.  Are you recruiting? Do you need new “fungineers” to organize your events?

Rokit: We're always looking for input on other Carnages from the masses. The only major role we're actively looking for at the moment is Content Guru - if you have a capture card and can record in-game audio, let us know.

Combat Correspondents apply within.  How has your involvement in this group enhanced your experience as gamers?

burritosenior: The Bnet community is huge, so I consider it a privilege to bring together so many parts of it into one place. Everybody has something unique about them and it only makes the game that much more fun when I get to experience those things first-hand.

There can be no doubt that games played with friends are better than games played with hostile strangers who will turn on you for your favorite weapon.  What would you say to someone who is going it alone on Xbox LIVE?

burritosenior: Make friends! With so many different kinds of people here, if you look around in the Classifieds, Private Groups, etc., you're bound to find people you'll fit in with. And when you find those people, you're going to enjoy your games and this community that much more.

On the subject of enjoying games and community, I invited Louis Wu and the leaders (who do not proclaim themselves leaders) of The Community Carnage to enjoy some action in Halo Reach.  The outcome of this clash was a series of explosive games on elaborately Forged maps.

At this moment in any event recap, you might expect to be invited to feast your eyes on a gallery of screenshots intended to immortalize the simulated violence and actual glory.  Unfortunately, all of my game films were nuked by Bungie colleagues who accessed the Xbox in our Arcade to quench their thirst for Street Fighter.  Have I mentioned that Bungie plays lots of games?

Fortunately, The Community Carnage came to my rescue with a buffet of multimedia all their own.  Thus, I will yield center stage to Index, their current Content Guru, who operated as our combat correspondent for the evening.  Check out the highlights from our romp through their File Shares.  You can also visit Carnagenet, the YouTube channel dedicated to chronicling the Community Carnage experience.

Warning: The combat chatter is for adults only. Get your parents' permission before viewing.

In Your Base, a custom game played on a custom map named Stealing Your Flags, was my favorite engagement of the night.  I like the rocket-fueled action so much, I asked to play it twice – much to the chagrin of our special guest.  The premise is simple: Rush the base wall on a Mongoose.  Dodge the volley of munitions that rain down from the ramparts to steal flags and return them to your beach.

BUNGLE Pen Hill on 4 Corners was heavy on ‘splosions and light on strategy.  In keeping with Community Carnage tradition, the Hill was the Mongoose.  The battleground was… cramped.  The result was nine minutes in a slaughterhouse of plasma.  The hill traded drivers more times than we could count.  Perhaps you can come up with accurate number yourselves (LIke we said: Game experience may change during online play)

Special thanks go out to everyone who rode along on this matchmaking event.  To Louis Wu, thanks for enabling the best that Halo fans have to offer, since the time before there was even a Halo on which to crash land.  To The Community Carnage, thanks for enhancing the experience to be had by the people who visit Bungie.net in search of gamers who share their pastime.

To echo burritosenior, make some friends.  You don’t have to wait for an invitation from us to play games like these.  Bungie.net, and Halo.Bungie.Org are packed with souls who would love to make your acquaintance, and blast you all the way back home with a volley of rockets.

Community 12/14/2011 3:15 PM PST permalink

Bungie Community Ride Along

Attack of the Ninjas.

This ain’t no Humpday Challenge.

This is more social.  Selected activities that shape our interaction from week to week will be more varied.  We will pay attention to the notable players and private groups that make Bungie.net special, and make them a little less private.  So, we’re going to shine our spotlight on the people who comprise our ravenously loyal community, and we’re going to share the virtual experiences that we have in common.  Let’s use the time we spend on Bungie.net to enhance the games we love, and to form even stronger bonds with the people we play them with.

For this opening salvo of gunfire and ‘splosions, the private group of all private groups on Bungie.net was selected as the squad of honor: The Bungie.net Forum Ninjas.  Cloistered in their mysterious chamber, they secretly regard themselves as Team HFCS (whatever, that stands for).  This volunteer army of moderators and peacekeepers maintains a constant patrol over the forums that serve as the venue for our community. What better way to kick off our series of weekly ride along events?

To better understand the culture shared by these elusive regulators, I convened a meeting of their elite council and deciphered their cryptic code so that we all may understand them better.

What does HFCS stand for?

Qbix: Helt fantastisk creme saus
[Editor’s note: Q is Norwegian, not illiterate]

Lord Revan: Here For Commander Stosh

True Underdog: Having Fun Cracking Skulls

Old Papa Rich: High Fructose Corn Syrup

Who is the leader of your group?

Foman: I'll tell you who is NOT our leader: Qbix.

evilcam: Spartan Ken

Bobcast: Harrison's mom

Tom T: I just listen to the voice inside my head that says "ban", repeatedly.

How does one strive to become a Forum Ninja?

Old Papa Rich: You see the first part of Batman Begins? It's mostly like that.

True Underdog: It involves a toothpick, an empty bag of Big League Chew, a shot glass, and a sack full of dirty silverware.

Duardo: I battled my enemies to great snowy peaks of a mountain. I sought a magical element that would transform myself into a mythical force. I rode atop the great beast of legend. I was scathed and battered. Sweat pierced my eyes as though the great sun was mocking me. A coarse laugh was heard from afar. I turned to face my greatest enemy. Swords clashed. Bones were broken. Blood was spilled. I thrust my scabbard into his gut. My enemy had fallen. I climbed to the peak, and sitting atop was Foman's Mom. I claimed my reward. That is how I came to be.

evilcam: I don't know.

What is your favorite thing about the Bungie Community?

Recon Number 54: In a word? Diversity.  In more words? The fact that there is such a wide and varied group of people who for one reason or another choose to spend their time gathered around in this cluster of people.

Qbix: Every day is different! Personally the private groups, the Septagon and the Flood are what keep me coming back.

Tom T: When members come together, united around a goal, to create something awesome.

True Underdog: I like how passionate the Community is. When they get behind something, they are pretty outspoken about it, even if that passion sometimes makes them rage...it's still pretty cool.

[Editor’s note: Awwwwww...  See?  Despite all of the banishments, dismemberments, and halted conversations, the Ninjas love you.  All of you.]

Special guests selected to ride along with our Ninjas included a sampling of Bungie.net perennial citizens, selected at random from an avalanche of Xbox LIVE Friend Requests.  Within moments of issuing the call to arms, my inbox became the site of a literal flash mob of eager players.  The full power of the Bungie community rushed to my door, anxious for mayhem and thirsty for carnage (or maybe it was Doritos and Mountain Dew).

The fates were left in charge of the games we would play – at the click of a button, 15 players (we saved a seat for Foman) were thrown to the winds of Matchmaking.  Servers hidden away in the Microsoft industrial complex sorted us into teams.  Collective spamming of the gametype voting system turned map selection into a lottery.  Our 16th warrior ended up being mute, having deprived himself of an active headset – serving up yet another reminder that the best way to ensure chatty teammates is to take matchmaking into your own hands.

Over the course of 90 minutes, the bonds of community were defined and strengthened.  In all, six games were played (1 2 3 4 5 6). 

A recurring theme of the evening was panicked cries of "Get Foman out of the Wraith!"

Starving and outnumbered, but not outgunned, the blue team on Abridged waged a battle two players short, due to drops.

This did not stop them from sweeping through red team defenses to detonate their bomb.  Three times.

Did I mention Foman?  Next time, we will fill that guy's seat, instead of waiting for him to arrive and lay our precious vehicles to waste.

During the scuffles that ensued, forum chatter caught fire.  Alternative lobbies started to form, filling up with players looking to get in on the community action.  Those that remained on the boards were entertained with random updates posted by SonicJohn, who assigned to himself the role of combat correspondent.  He even compiled a morsel of multimedia to commemorate the night’s event.  

To all that braved the blind curve that led to our impromptu battle royale, we say “Good Game.”  Thanks for joining the party.  And, thanks for being part of a kick ass community, ready to pick up and throw down at a moment’s notice.

This is just the beginning. Keep an eye on the forum. Keep checking your favorite private group for chatter.  The call will come at a moment’s notice.  The games we play will be up to you.

Let’s ride.

Community 12/2/2011 6:05 PM PST permalink

Marathon for Free!

Happy Holidays from the Aleph One development community.

You might not have your head wrapped around the Holiday Season just yet, but the Aleph One development community is ready to drop some season's greetings on your unaware, slack-jawed face! Out of nowhere, they've just announced a new version of the Aleph One engine that not only makes playing Marathon a breeze on Mac, Windows, and Linux platforms, but also brings it up to date with the most modern bells and whistles.

Read on for the full press release, and hit the link below to travel back in time to a distant future where space-docking was novel, rampancy was in its infancy, and the only good Bob was a dead Bob.

Bungie's Marathon, Marathon 2: Durandal and Marathon Infinity; polished, packaged and ready for download with the brand new Aleph One 1.0 engine.

December 1, 2011 - The Aleph One development community is thrilled to release version 1.0 of the Aleph One game engine. Since the release of the Marathon 2 source code, the team has worked diligently to deliver a cross platform game engine capable of bringing the classic Marathon games, as well as fan-made modifications to the modern Mac, Windows PC and Linux platforms.

Aleph One, an open source project, enhances Bungie's original Marathon games with modern OpenGL shader support, Internet co-op and multiplayer, modern mouse-look and gamepad support and plugin support for modifications.

To celebrate the 12 year development of Aleph One, the original Marathon games have been upgraded to take advantage of the new engine features.

  • Marathon has been updated with a modern HUD, high resolution graphics as well as extensive changes to the scenario to create the most authentic Marathon experience since 1994.
  • Marathon 2: Durandal has been updated with the high resolution graphics previously only available for the Xbox LIVE Arcade game.
  • Marathon Infinity has been updated with high resolution graphics.

All three games can be downloaded for free!


CommunityMarathon Series 12/1/2011 11:34 AM PST permalink

The Beta: Still Super Awesome

Enter the Lab. 

As Bungie continues its quest for world domination, the opportunity exists for you to do your part!  Brave volunteers are still being conscripted as willing test subjects for the Bungie Beta.  The work will be dangerous.  The missions will be highly classified.  The pay will be minimal (in truth, it will be non-existent).  However, the honor and the glory will all be yours.

Sign up!

At this very moment, mad scientists are hard at work in the Bungie laboratory conducting experiments on willing gamers just like you.  Your preferences, opinions, perceptions, assumptions, and tolerance for electric current could have a direct impact on the next killer application that is currently in development at Bungie.  We need gamers of all breeds to participate – from the hardcore competitors who crave the rigors of matchmaking to the casual players who engage their imaginations in campaign.

To join the pool of willing test subjects, make your way to our enrollment portal.  If you have signed up, but have yet to hear from us, now is a great time to verify that your contact information is accurate and up to date.  Each test scenario requires gamers of different varieties.  Please remain calm, and await your orders.  Your number could get called up any day.

Surveys will arise to be filled out.  Questionnaires will emerge as a vehicle for your insights.  An elite band of test subjects may even be invited to visit Bungie and be subjected to a playtest of our next game.  You have to enroll to participate.  Report to the recruitment office and make your mark.


Community 11/29/2011 5:11 PM PST permalink

Bungie Store: Still Open For Business

DeeJ writes:

Sale Over.  Hunting Season Still Open.

Did you sleep through your chance to secure sweet loot at a discount from the Bungie Store?  Fear not, faithful gamer.  While the holiday weekend was the best opportunity to score mission-critical resources, our Black Friday sale was the kickoff to an entire season of swag hunting.

To the Bungie Store!

Yes, the sale prices are gone, having vanished like an off-brand DVD player from a bargain table in the midst of a raging department store riot.  Nevertheless, intriguing gifts still hang in the balance for your consideration.  There is something for everyone on your holiday shopping list.

The “See You Starside” Collection presents a unique opportunity to be the first Bungie fan on your block to sport the bold new look, before it was cool.  Gear and accessories are available to curb your insatiable hunger for new information.

Of course, this is not all about rampant consumerism.  Proceeds from the sale of selected items in the Bungie Store also benefit charity.  Expressing your solidarity for our goal of world domination is one thing.  Taking up arms to benefit the Bungie Foundation is even more meaningful, and it is never too late to “Burn Bright, Burn Blue.” 

Get in there and get yourself some while supplies last.

Community 11/28/2011 5:29 PM PST permalink

Bungie Store Black Friday Sale

New gear just in time for the Holidays.

Read Full Top Story

Community 11/23/2011 1:37 PM PST

Community Manager Plank Walk

Official Hazing begins now.  Plus, win codes to download content for Crimson Steam Pirates!

On the advent of my unmasking as your new community-facing punching bag, it was promised that you (the community) would have the opportunity to haze me (the punching bag) in the face.  Since then, several of you have been frothing at the mouth in anticipation – plucking feathers and boiling tar.

Why the wait?  No challenge is complete without a reward hanging in the balance.  This is more than an invitation to humiliate your new faithful community manager.  I am sweetening my rite of passage with a contest that will enable some of you to score codes to download Crimson: Steam Pirates for iPhone!

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to make your way to the Bungie portal on Facebook.  There, you will be subjected to several rounds of trials.  Don’t worry; this will be much harder on me than it will be on you.  The winners of each round will impress their friends by being the first kids on their block to play the explosive finale of Captain Blood’s saga of piracy and intrigue on the iPhone.

Why Facebook?

World Domination, my friends.  If Bungie is to conquer all that we survey, we must be willing to leave the relative security of our fortified base from time to time.  I am inviting you on an off-world incursion of the utmost importance.  If you have come this far, perhaps you can come a little farther.

This is an outrage.  I don’t even have an iPhone!

The booty to be won in this collision of creativity and cruelty is completely transferable.  With a code in hand, you could even run a contest of your very own.  Surely someone you know is in possession of an iPhone, and would be enthralled to partake in a swashbuckling tale by sea and air.

What are the details of the contest?

I am thrilled to tell you all about it!  No, really.  The razor sharp and slightly rusted tip of the sword that urk has leveled at my back has absolutely no bearing on my complete and total willingness to participate in this public act of shaming.  Here is the pitch: You are all be invited to superimpose my ugly mug on the body of a pirate.  Extra points will be awarded for the inclusion of elements of Steam Punk.  Content that is not safe for work or family gatherings will result in a ban from Bungie.net.  Host your creations somewhere online, and link to them in the discussion thread for this post.  I will take our favorite selections and migrate them to Facebook for voting.  The more people "Like" a photo, the more it stands a chance of winning a download code for the artist that created it.

Whoever wins, I lose.  For the purpose of illustration, the warning shot that resident Bungie designer Halcylon fired over my bow is featured below.  Samples of my face will be provided.  The pirates are for you to find on your own.  Good hunting and happy photoshopping.

Get thee to Facebook, ye scallywags!  Time to make the new guy walk the plank…

Community 11/18/2011 10:12 AM PST permalink

Crimson: Steam Pirates for iOS

The Adventure Continues on iPod, iPhone, and iPad.

Read Full Top Story

Events 11/17/2011 5:24 PM PST

Straight Outta Gotham

Unveiling your new Community Manager.

Unless you’ve been squatting in the Seventh Column to talk about how audaciously rugged my strapping ginger beard has grown, these might be the first substantial words you’ve read from me lo these many months. My apologies, my working hours have been monopolized by all this plotting and scheming, the fruits of which won’t touch your sweet lips for quite some time. So, I picked up a new guy to help out from one of those Bungie-stroking feel-good websites that saturate the Internet like so many drops of rain falling upon the streets of Seattle.

DeeJ is gonna be doing exactly the same thing on our forums and community hotspots that he’s been doing under the strikingly similar, albeit slightly more difficult to pronounce pseudonym over at Tied the Leader:

1. Kicking ass
2. Taking names

Literally. Short term, his handiwork will mostly involve applying heaps of his expertise and glops of elbow grease in private behind studio walls, bustin’ out the old studs to make way for a new Bungie.net framework that will boast an even stronger community focus.

Long-term, well, we’ll just have to wait and see. For now, here’s what our newest community dude had to say for himself. With perfect form, he’s asked and answered a slate of his own questions. (If you want to ask him some of your own, stop into our community forums, like our Facebook page, or follow us on Twitter  – DeeJ will be running the show at all our external venues from here on out.)

What’s with the new guy?

Greetings, gamers.  I come to you in peace, basking in the glow of excitement about the privilege to address you as Bungie’s freshly minted Community Manager.

Accepts hand-written note from urk.

Very well... Assistant Community Manager.  Of course, titles are not as important as the mission-critical function that I will be carrying forward.  The makers of the games that we all love to play have seen fit to appoint me as the faithful emissary to their most prized ally: Their Fans.  If you’re reading, that’s you.

Back up.  Who are you?

They call me DeeJ, and I am at your service.  Ever since Bungie conscripted digital warriors to play Halo from every household that could connect an Xbox to the Internet, I have been fighting and dying [and gladly respawning] alongside the players of their games.  You could say that this is not my first blog post about the glory and agony to be found in multiplayer matchmaking.  If you are a veteran of Bungie games, you may have crossed plasma swords with me.  If you are a constant reader of this website, you may have seen mention of the antics I have been cultivating in my own field of the fan-driven landscape.

I have watched this community of skirmishing combatants grow beyond its borders with the release of every new title.  I have lent audience to your war stories, served up in explosive moving pictures.  I have thrown my lot in with the heroes of the post-game lobby and opposed its villains.  I have tracked the clans that have controlled their own territory on the battlefield, all while guiding my own.  I have dealt in lead. 

What can we expect from you?

As I am abducted by the mother ship, you can expect from me the same thing that you have come to expect previously from Bungie’s face to the world that plays their games.  I am filling the boots left by stewards of community who have come before me.  The torch has been passed to me by urk, but it has not been reinvented.  My role is to enable you, the gamer, to seek out your very best game through the interactions to be had on this website.

We are in for a great deal of fun together, you and I.  As the newest member of the Bungie team, it will be my distinct pleasure to peel back the curtain ever so slowly to reveal the universe that has been created for us to fill with our shared mayhem. I will bring you along on a fascinating journey of discovery and exploration.  A steady stream of official updates and communiqués from the development bullpen will bring you out of darkness.

But all of that will have to wait.  For now, I beg of your patience.

Where can we find you?

I will be around. You will see me in all the familiar places, shooting all the familiar faces. Stay tuned. My public hazing begins tomorrow.

Inside BungieCommunity 11/14/2011 12:06 PM PST permalink

Careers in the Spotlight

Five great opportunities to help guide the future of our studio and the games we create.

We’re always on the hunt for talented and passionate people to help our studio create the best games possible. This week, our recruiting team spotlights five open positions that will have a big impact on our brand new universe.

Lead or Senior Graphics Engineer
Senior Environment Artist
Senior Multiplayer Systems Engineer
Senior Mobile Application Programmer

Careers 10/25/2011 10:13 AM PDT permalink

Bungie Mobile for Android and iOS

Connect to your Xbox LIVE friends, Halo stats, and Bungie’s news feed. For free.

Read Full Top Story

CommunityWallpapersSite UpdateHalo: Reach 10/19/2011 10:22 AM PDT

More Crimson: Steam Pirates Reviews

No moneyhats necessary.

If you're one of the few iPad owners who has yet to set sail on Harebrained-Schemes latest adventures with Crimson: Steam Pirates, here's a few more reasons to give it a go.


Game Guide 9/16/2011 4:23 PM PDT permalink

B.net Maintenance (Complete)

urk writes:

Do we cut the red wire, or the green wire?

The guys who make our computers work tell me that they'll be yanking on some wires tonight. As a result, Bungie.net will be offline between the hours of 12:00AM and 2:00AM PT. You've been warned (but please feel free to squawk about the outage on Twitter).

Site Update 9/7/2011 4:16 PM PDT permalink

Last Chance to Buy Bungie Pro (Updated!)

Details inside.

As part of Halo’s transition to Microsoft management, Bungie Pro will soon be going dark. On September 15th, we’ll stop offering the current 6-month subscriptions, and full support will be phased out around March 22nd, 2012.

What happens after September?

Bungie Pro Video will only be offered in pay-as-you-go form, via the Render Minute Packs available through Bungie.net, and you’ll no longer need to be a Pro member to buy them.

More information about the last time to use up your minutes will be available after that March date, but you’ll have until then for sure.

We will NOT be removing Pro features, including expanded File Shares or Bungie Pro Nameplates for any Pro accounts that expire after 9/15, and Microsoft has let us know that once that last Pro subscriptions have expired they intend to allow you to retain your 24 File Share slots.

Group Memoranda 8/24/2011 1:57 PM PDT permalink

Bungie Mobile App Updated!

Wallpapers, Private Messages, and Xbox LIVE Friends Status.

Read Full Top Story

Community 8/15/2011 2:03 PM PDT

A Word on Using Protection

Keep it secret. Keep it safe.

Xbox LIVE Security has notified us of an internet creeper who's registered a fake website to try and trick you into divulging your personal information. Bungie will never ask you for your account credentials and you should never divulge your personal information, especially to online asshats.

Group Memoranda 8/15/2011 9:46 AM PDT permalink

O Brave New World

It’s big, it’s beautiful, and it needs caressing.

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Inside BungieCommunity 8/4/2011 8:00 AM PDT

ViDoc set for 8/4

It's big, it's beautiful, and it needs caressing.

In case you haven't been filled in via Twitter or Facebook, our final Halo-era ViDoc is now set for Thursday, August 4th. We'll be airing it for the studio in conjunction with our internal Bungie Day celebration. We'd love to have you here in spirit. (BYOB.)

ViDocs 8/2/2011 2:18 PM PDT permalink

Bungie.net Gets a Facelift

New look. Same great taste!

You're great at noticing things. No doubt you've already laid eyes on the new look for Bungie.net. Go ahead, browse around. You'll likely uncover some newly bedazzled content. But don't get too freaked out about all the changes. Though today does mark the transition of Halo playlist and matchmaking support, you can still access our friendly forums, hang out in your private groups, and check all your career Halo stats.

Site Update 8/2/2011 2:12 PM PDT permalink

See You Starside

Bungie: 1, World: 1.

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Inside Bungie 7/8/2011 10:34 AM PDT

Bungie Aerospace

Bang. Zoom!

Read Full Top Story

Inside Bungie 6/30/2011 5:00 AM PDT

Burn Bright. Burn Blue.

Burn Bright. Burn Blue.

Read Full Top Story

Community 6/23/2011 11:04 AM PDT