Stop the Stop Online Piracy Act

Make your voice heard.

At Bungie we tend to keep our collective nose out of state affairs. We can’t even come to a consensus on which bus line to take into Bellevue in the morning, let alone arrive at any unified conclusions regarding our equally congested political roadways. But we all agree that SOPA sucks. And we’re not alone.

In a clumsy effort to curtail online piracy, this messy piece of legislation will, if passed, negatively impact both the games we make and the people who play them. If that sounds like very bad news to you (and it should), we encourage you to take a few moments to learn more about SOPA by reading the bill itself, by visiting the Electronic Frontier Foundation for more information, and by contacting your representatives in United States Congress and the Senate to make your voice heard.

Bungie is opposed to any legislation that curtails free speech, stifles innovation, and prevents the open sharing of information on the Internet. SOPA fits that bill. If it passes, it will hurt our community, the gaming community at large, and it could very well cripple the kind of games we love to create and play.

Just like online piracy, that would be downright criminal.

Community 1/13/2012 2:56 PM PST permalink

Bungie Mail Sack 2.0

More Questions. More Answers. More Bungie.

Welcome to the first mail call of the new year.  On this occassion, I have broadened the conversation to include some fellow teammates.  Your curiosities ran a wide range of topics.  To tackle the broad spectrum of interrogatives, I got by with a little help from my friends.

  When is the next major update?

As soon as I finish sorting through these questions, I will update the site with some answers.  How's that?

Onyx81  What did the Bungie team do to celebrate the Holidays?

We sacrificed a turkey at the altar of Rooster Teeth.

The Storm  Can we have a community ride along on a game other than Halo?

    HOOBLA 911: Didn't we have a CoD one recently?

I am the one answering the questions around here!  Community Ride Along events will showcase the games that we are playing while Bungie is dark.  What are you playing?  Tell us all about it on the forum.  Start a group with the other people who play it.  Play it together.  Make enough noise, and I am very likely to come knocking with a ticket to ride.

Sir Killalot33  Why are you on fraternizing with fans and not completely leaving us alone for the holidays? We must deteriorate your sanity on some level.

I gave up my last vestiges of my sanity when I accepted the challenge to manage the fanatical hoard that is the Bungie Community.  I no longer had any use for it anyway.

JBSpudster  Who would win in a fight between the Millennium Falcon and Godzilla? By answering this, you would be settling a 5 year debate with my best friend.

For an answer that is better than the one I could give, I have wrenched a laptop that is blistering hot from running Star Wars: The Old Republic for 12 hours straight from the death grip of resident graphic designer Halcylon, who says:

“I think it's pretty clear that, although Godzilla has radioactive breath and strength, the falcon can still make .5 past light speed - and can make the Kessel run in less than 12 parsecs.  That should be adequate enough to escape a giant lizard that needs sunlight to warm his cold blood.  Space is cold.  Lizards are slow in cold, as illustrated here...”

We hope this lays the issue to rest.  Five years is a very long time to be debating such things.

Malfar  If Bungie were a test pilot, what type of test pilot would they be?

Only the very best test pilots can land a plane that is on fire.

Supernova33221  Do you have to be part of a group to be part of a community ride-along?

You do not have to be part of a Private Group to be drafted to ride along, but it does up your chances.  When I am planning these events, I try to match a notable persona with a group from that shares their interests.  From time to time, I might flash-mob a board on our forum for random participants, but those occurences will be far from predictable.

antony X1000  When are we likely to see the next site update?

This question again?  I will update the site in a minute.  These questions don't answer themselves, you know.

ExquisiteDragon  Why does Stosh hate toast?

You people are killing me!  This question is so 2011.

Moose427  What kind of snacks are you all eating these days?

All of them.

xgeua  How many employees can the new Bungie Headquarters house?

All of them.

Blue Jesse  How many people standing on each other’s shoulders would it take to reach the ceiling in the main (largest?) room at the new digs?

All of them.  Actually, we have not had to stoop to such crude tactics to reach the ceiling, thanks to our rock wall.

ECOH Cam  Any word on if the Average Joes interviews are coming back?

That’s was urk’s beat.  While I will continue to find new and exciting ways to recognize the pillars of our community, those celebrations of particular individuals may not be packaged in the ways that you have come to expect.  In other news, I am also changing the name of The Flood to “Mr. Giggle’s Happy Time Explosion Zone.”

HOOBLA 911  When will stosh be accepting Avatars and Themes again? I know many people wish to know this.

The discussion thread that was used to solicit these contributions was four years old.  To save me the confusion of trying to figure out where stosh leaves off and I pick up, I have shut it down.  The fanbase crowdsourcing department is back in business, under new management and with a new challenge in play.

lord of dahorde  Who is your favourite normal user on

As soon as I find a normal user, I will raise them up on a pedestal as my favourite.  Each of you displays a dangerously abnormal love for the playing of great games.  For that, we are eternally grateful, and cautiously terrified.

YahwehFreak4evr  A few years back there was a Bungie baseball cap in the Bungiestore. Can we please see that make a return?

I passed this question along to Christine Edwards, the content coordinator who (among other awesome things that keep you entertained) stocks the Bungie Store with sweet offerings that let all of you express your commitment to our goal of world domination.  She said:

“We are definitely planning a grand return of baseball hats to our store in the near future.  We’re currently tweaking our designs and testing out the best production methods to make these hats as awesome as possible, so stay tuned!”

Izak609  What level are you in Skyrim?

Zero.  I used to play Skyrim, until I took a job offer from Bungie to the knee.  Actually, I have never played a moment of that game.  Many of my coworkers would be ashamed of me for not dabbling in their current favorite digital excursion.  I tend not to play games that lack firepower, spaceships, or Ferraris.  This is just one gamer’s opinion, of course.

GPK Ethan  Are there any new Aerospace games coming out in the near future?

I went straight to the oracle for an update on the Aerospace front.  Please allow me to introduce you to Bernie Yee, the producer of our mobile applications portfolio.  When grilled for comment, Aerospace Actual got all philosophical on me:

"Even for smaller games, the process is like giving birth. Not that I would know, since all I did was stand next to my wife while it happened - ready to help in whatever way necessary. I should have gotten a producer credit.  The short answer is “Yes.”  We’re working on a couple of small, interesting (and, as of yet, unannounced) projects, and some more ambitious ones.  When they are ready, you will be the first to know, and download, and play."

Bob Bobinson  What is best in life?

Being on the original Team Conan.

borrowedchief  Any chance of a Pentathlon preview?

An epic showdown will be described in graphic detail.  Newbies will clash with Grizzled Ancients.  Middle School will battle Old Skool for dominance and bragging rights.  Puzzles will be solved.  Cars will be raced.  Gunfire will be exchanged.  Yours truly is leading a competitive shooter team to the front lines of battle.  Hanging in the balance is a place in history, engraved onto a sweet, sweet trophy.  Achronos calls it a "cup," but it is clearly a trophy.

IliKEpOPtaRTs54  Has anyone really been far even as decided to use even go want to do look more like?

Uhhmmm… No?  Having read that question four times, I took a guess. Don’t hold me to that.

Kboyz07  If one offered to lick a window in bungie studios clean, would they be given a full free tour?

No, but we would provide them with a tour of Bellevue, WA in an ambulance that would deliver them to a hospital to have their stomach pumped clean.

NobleBeat  Is Martin O'Donnell (Marty) good playing Halo?

I thought he was pretty good the other night.

UnderTheKnif3  What music genre is seen as the most popular at Bungie?

The last time I opened the Mail Sack, one of you asked what is the most popular game at Bungie.  Allow me to set the record straight.  Bungie is not unified by a singular mind.  Our big, happy family is more like a multi-headed hydra with colliding opinions and conflicting passions.  There are hundreds of us.  While we can all agree on many things, there is no way we can settle on one genre of music.

Butane123 Which class should I play in Dark Souls?

I don’t play Dark Souls.  You know who does?  Multiplayer Design Lead, Lars Bakken.  If you have paid attention when Bungie has marched employees in front of the camera to talk about their work in our ViDocs, you would recognize him.  When reached for comment on Dark Souls, Lars said:

“I would recommend starting as a Warrior class. Your initial gear is really quite good, and, most importantly, the shield you get early on will help immensely. If you really want to try magic, but still want to have access to good weapons relatively early, you could also try a Pyromancer. The great thing about Dark Souls is that your starting class is just that.  You can mold your character in any direction you want over the course of the game. Good luck!”

Kr1egerdude  How pumped are you for future Community Carnage and what are some of you plans for it?

I am most definitely pumped about The Community Carnage events that members of host for one another.  However, the plans are not mine to hatch.  That is a fan-owned and fan-driven event.  I have received some interesting messages from leaders of Private Groups that want to form a network of event management that keep the action in the Bungie Community steady, but I will leave that for them to announce.  Anyone who wants to know what they have planned, or throw their weight behind their movement, should join the group.  They host a great party.

talon2000  What’s the atmosphere like in the studio at the moment?

It’s a mix of oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide; with minute, but pungent traces of methane.

Sven Nietzsche This is more for Lee Wlison: Can we expect any "ass shots" in the next IP's cutscenes?  (I know you wont answer this)

Shows how much you know, Sven.  For this priceless pearl of wisdom, I went straight to the source that was cited in your interrogative.  Lee R. Wilson, the cinematic design lead who is hard at work in our Spandex Palace, had the following tease for you:

“Absolutely. With our advances in character rigging and performance capture you can expect truly dynamic and expressive asses.”

Anyone who thinks they have what it takes to assist in this process should check out one of the newest job postings on our careers page.

Butane123 What does Marsellus Wallace look like?

What?  I will answer your next question in the same way, even if you double dare me.

MetalxTongue  When will there be sleepovers on never sleeps, friend.  Our servers are as constant as the Northern Star.  Our network of Ninjas is global.  The sun never sets on our virtual domain.

Insane Monx  Do Bungie Employees (other than the Webteam) ever get on I know there is a few that do, but it seems like the majority of Employees don't even know we're here. That makes me :(

Don't be :(

Someone is always watching.  You might see some of us some of the time.  You might see all of us some of the time.  You will never see all of us all of the time.

RigZ Boi  What is your current stance on t-bagging?

Standing straight up.

MilesDude32  What was the first game you've ever played?

Space Invaders.  It was a game that told a story very similar to Halo, only with better music.

t0ast n jam  Can I rap battle the urk? Please?

I didn’t just approach any urk with this invitation.  As requested, I approached the urk with a track suit and some wicked bling to prepare him for your rap battle.  Alas, your passive approach didn't inspire the legendary freestyle fury that he uses to fill our studio with sick rhymes at the drop of a hat.  The urk said:

“Asking someone if they'll allow you to battle them is like asking a basketball if you can dunk it.”

Moral to the story?  There is no "please" when requesting a rap battle.  You have to step up and just bring it!

burritosenior  Do you have any more as-of-yet-not-unveiled plans to keep us occupied until the darkness is over?

Yes.  They are, as-of-yet, unveiled.

burritosenior  If I sent you another 50 PMs and finally got you to send me one back saying to leave you alone, does that give me the right to say we're best friends and I talk with Bungie Employees all the time?

I will never tell you to leave me alone.  I might ignore you.  And, you have the right to say whatever you want.  As to whether or not you are telling the truth?  Well, that is another question entirely.

ctjl96  Will our questions still be read even though this is the 8th page?

Yes.  Whether or not they will be answered is another question entirely.

IonicPaul  What happens if I ask a question that's already been asked?

I answer the version that is asked most eloquently, unless both questions are equally unanswerable, in which case I commit them to the dark void that is my desktop recycle bin.  On this occasion, you won.

MetalxTongue  Can you ask me a question?

I can and I will.  What motivates you to visit the website of a developer that has sworn to keep all of its secrets until a time at which they can be told?

Community 1/13/2012 10:25 AM PST permalink

Bungie IT Rides Along in Battlefield 3

An invitaton to a private party.

In the lull that gripped the world over the holidays, a member of the Bungie IT Team approached me in need for some fresh cannon fodder.   On, you know him as hdubya, and he manages the systems that keep you entertained on this site.  At Bungie, we know him as the Combat Commander.  That’s his title.  It appears on his emails and everything.  When I asked him for the official translation, I was provided with no substitute.  Bungie is as bizarre a place to work as you might imagine, friends.

“Do you have any ideas for how we can promote our Battlefield 3 server?” he asked.

Our IT Team is an elite squad of alpha geeks who keep the machines in our office – and the network that brings them together in smooth, working order.  When they are not tinkering with the gadgets that enable our collective magic, they are playing (among other things) Battlefield 3 on a private server.  As you might expect, people who make a living working with computers play it on the PC.

Until last week, their server was a lonely place.  The sprawling battlegrounds of Battlefield 3 were home only to them.  When the question was put to me where they might find people who were ready and willing to engage them in large-scale vehicular combat, the answer was quite clear.  The Bungie Community was likely to be home to gamers who could add some noise to the party they were hosting.  I warned them, however, to be careful what they wished for.

On most occasions, a Ride Along focuses on a specific private group hosted on  On this occasion, we created that group ourselves.  The Bungie IT Team needed an army.  Fortunately, a pool of eager recruits lives right here as members of our beloved community.  The invitation issued on the forum resulted in a stampede to the front lines.

Even before I could conduct an official Ride Along, the games started to flow.  Several nights later, Bungie IT hosted a more formal evening of mayhem.  The party was hosted by Sergey, our Super Awesome Server Dude.  Did I mention how bizarre some of the titles are here?  That’s the owner of the server, piloting a fighter jet from his desk, a workstation that would make any villain from a James Bond movie burn bright green with envy.

To sweeten the pot, one of the only people who can beat Marty O’Donnell at a Bungie Poker Night taunted our fans with a dare and a bribe: Anyone that could collect his dog tags with their knife would receive an autographed collectible from his personal collection.

I told them to be careful what they wished for.  The first to collect this bounty that Sergey placed on his own head was scapegoat413.  Over the course of the evening, three more players claimed their prize.  Your loot has been shipped, gentlemen.  Good games!

What makes this event special is that the ride does not end once the evening is over.  The server is still standing, as is the group that filled it in the first place.  On the day of the Bungie Winter Pentathlon, the Bungie IT Team will be hosting fans all over again.  Details will be made available in the private group forum at the appropriate time.  Stand by for further orders.

If you play Battlefield 3 on the PC, you are invited to join the Bungie Army.  When we play games we want to play, we want to play them with you.  Keep your eyes on for the next invitation.

Community 1/11/2012 5:25 PM PST permalink

Marty Rides Along With His Army

Respect your Elders.

Our quest to recognize some of the most notable Private Groups on continues.  For the Holiday Edition of the Community Ride Along, we shined our spotlight on the ghosts of many games past to celebrate the very first Private Group that was created in this iteration of our domain.

In October of 2001, The Marty Army was founded as Fanclub Number One.  That’s ancient history in Internet years.

Like a present wrapped in ribbons and bows, this musical appreciation society was given an audience with their favorite Grizzled Ancient – elder statesman and master composer Marty O’Donnell himself.  That's him depicted above, clad in emerald armor and commanding a Warthog with all the poise of a symphonic conductor.  For over a decade, the artist behind the music that spurred us on while we played Halo has held court with the gamers that follow the beat of his drum in a private clubhouse right here on 

To better understand the relationship that Marty has with his most dedicated fans, here is a collection of excerpts from a recent question and answer session that was conducted in their private forum.  The rules are simple.  The Army asks, Marty answers; so long as the questions do not give him a headache.

BlueBears50: What do you do when you are bored?

I'm doing it now.

walshypru: Which part of the process of creating audio (all aspects included) for a game do you find most satisfying?

Final mix on music.

Eraclio: What is your favorite instrument?


obbsesedwithhalo: What is it like writing for a new universe?

A bit scary.

MangudaiFritz: When looking into a possible new career-path writing music for video games, where are the great places to start looking for contacts?

Game Audio Network Guild.

Editor's Note: Here, have a link!

Elite_Buddy: What game (in your opinion) had the best soundtrack this year?

I'm currently on a panel that will determine that.  My own opinion hasn't been formed yet.

Doodlebox: If you could work with any contemporary composer for a game's soundtrack, who would you want to work with?

More on this to come.

paulmarv: What are your three favorite film scores?

Ben Hur, Lord of the Rings, Cool Hand Luke. At least today, it might be different tomorrow.

THORSGOD: You and Jason Jones get into a bar fight. Who wins? 

I win by body weight, Jones wins by brain weight.

Doodlebox: What's the strongest animal you think you could best in combat?

Depends on my firepower.

Top_Gun_2021: Does it mean a thing if it ain't got that swing?

It don't.

paulmarv: What is the best state in the U.S.?


obbsesedwithhalo: What mood is going around the office, now that you are "dark"?


PyroSporker16: What makes your poker game so strong?

My sweet face.

Editors Note: That same sweet face strikes fear into the hearts of all who attend Bungie Poker Nights.

EvilEye: Have a headache yet?


Im SteelAssassn: What's your favorite dialogue line from any Halo game?

I need a weapon.

J0man1: If you were to compose a theme song for a bungie employee, who would you choose?

Joe Staten.

Anelf3: What is the best scene in any Star Trek movie?

Death of Spock.

cortana 5: Does the sword that sits in your studio have a name? You know, the one behind you in the "O Brave New World" video.


paulmarv: What is your biggest life regret?

Should have been a CPA.

Top_Gun_2021: What is the most popular buzz word at work?


Editor’s Note: I really hate to contradict my elders, but this is a total fabrication of the imagination.

obbsesedwithhalo: Why wasn't I invited to the get together? Hope you guys had fun though!

Ask DeeJ.

Awwwww, man.  This bus under which I have been thrown is so heavy!  Sorry, obbsesed.  The ranks of your group are obviously too big to fit into a custom game lobby for Halo: Reach, the venue selected for this Ride Along.  On the last Thursday of 2011, Marty conducted an inspection of his private army.  The mood was kept light, playful, and 100% headache free.

One highlight of the evening was "SUMO," a custom game concocted by some Gunslingers I know.  As the name would suggest, the objective follows that time-honored tradition of territory control by brute force.  The object of the game is obvious.  Players must force their opponents beyond the boundaries of a court that is suspended dangerously high above Forge World.

The catch is that disqualification also results in a terrifying plunge to one's demise.  To make matters worse, the court is littered with mines.  The Warthogs themselves are indestructible.  The mines serve the purpose of tumbling drivers from the relative security of their rides, and turning them into splatterbait.

The name of the game, however, is not running over one's opponent.  The most honorable victory is obtained by forcing them over the edge.

Of course, this goal is best met without succumbing to gravity one's self.  Yet, all too often, literal stampedes of wrestlers were met with the same fate at the same time.

Here, we see The Elder leading his Army right off a cliff, like lemmings lured to the slaughter.  When you follow the leader of the band, it is always a good idea to check his compass once in a while - especially when he invites you to participate in a scored event.  Have we learned nothing from the warnings about his sweet poker face?

On the way down to the killzone that lies below, some players will refuse to give up.  They abandon their doomed vehicles to engage in aerial shootouts as the ground rushes upward to meet them.  While admirable in bravery, the tactic in practice is useless.

These parting shots are always fired in vain.  In SUMO, it is the soil of Forge World that claims the most victims.  What goes up, must come down.  The grotto awaits for the first driver who falls.  You can give this experience a dance on your own, or with some friends, if you like.  It's in my file share.

Thanks for dropping in, Marty.  And, to the members of the Army, thank you for all of these years of faithful service in the ranks of our first fanclub.  Your longevity sets a standard for which all others can strive.  This evening of casual play was more about mutual appreciation than healthy competition.  Your love for the score of the game is far more important than the score of the game.  Wait a minute... did that make sense?

Community 1/5/2012 2:25 PM PST permalink