Because the information superhighway is not a one-way street.
Any good conversation relies on listening, as much as talking. If the flow of ideas and feelings doesn’t travel both ways, the result is not a conversation at all. It’s a lecture. At Bungie, we don’t want to lecture you. We like you too much for that. We all get lectured enough in life: when we sit in the classroom, when we don’t take our shoes off at the door, when we end up standing in front of the judge. That’s why we tried a different approach this week to our Friday ritual.
We can’t take full credit. It was, after all, your idea
that we reverse the flow, with Bungie asking the questions and you providing the answers. And so it was. And so you did. And so, here is a snapshot of what most of you said. Far too much was said for us to share it all, but you can read the rest of it right here
if this digest only whets your appetite for group sharing.
For those of you who don’t have that sort of free time on your hands, lets open the Sack.
, Senior Artist
What good books (besides the Halo novels) have you been reading lately that you would recommend?
"Altered Carbon" by Richard Morgan. Currently re-reading that series. I also can't suggest the “Ender's Game” series enough, I think people that like Halo would like that universe.
“Angels of Darkness”, it's a Warhammer 40,000 novel written by my favorite author Gav Thorpe.
If you're looking for a lighthearted read with a great story, I would suggest the “Percy Jackson and the Olympians” series by Rick Riordan. It's considered young adult fiction, but it has a good amount of depth to it.
“Steve Jobs” by Walter Isaacson. It has its weaknesses, but it's a pretty awesome journey through an emerging market and the successes/failures that Steve had to go through before he really succeeded.
What's a book?
“Atlas Shrugged” has an interesting outlook on politics and human emotions, and “The Dark Tower” books are badass in general.
, Technical Cinematic Lead
When you aren't playing Halo or dreaming about what awesomeness we're concocting, what do you do for fun?
I wrestle for my college.
I'm an executive editor for a gaming website.
I love to work on any type of movie, whether it's a music video or just some random thing thrown together.
I like to produce electronic music and code in my spare time creating small flash games.
amazing teams of amazing people to build amazing websites.
The real question should be what isn't something you do for fun.
I like to watch paint dry.
I body board. Which makes me special because I'm the only person who body boards here on B.net.
, Senior Designer
What was your 2011 game of the year?
For me, it would definitely be Skyrim. The vast environments the player can explore are staggering. I'm still finding places there I never even knew existed.
Assassin's Creed: Revelations. It was a great way to close the story of Altair and Ezio, yet still set up the next game.
I'd have to say Gears of War 3, the game was amazing.
SPRTN One One 7
My game of the year for 2011 was Battlefield 3 because it had a great campaign and an amazing multiplayer experience that no other game has to offer.
Saint of Taint
Limbo, by far and above all else. Great game with a dark gritty feel.
Forza 4. With so many aspects from driving against your friends to creating car designs, it can keep you occupied for a good while.
Warhammer 40k Space Marine, because I am a big 40k fan. The game was a wonderful adaption.
Portal 2. It's better than the original in every sense.
Minecraft. There really isn't any other candidate. The GOTY has to be so far reaching it becomes a part of gaming culture itself.
As of late, it has been Battlefield 3. This is the only game where I can hop into a vehicle and recreate nostalgia comparable to driving someone in a Warthog. You guys at Bungie spoiled me. COD only cut it for so long. Ground combat is fun, but it gets stale without vehicles thrown into the mix.
, Story Design Lead
What's your most memorable story moment from any game you've played, ever, and why?
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots ending. The story developed perfectly and it offered all the answers I was waiting for as a fan.
When I fired up Mass Effect 2, it showed a summary of all the decisions I'd made in Mass Effect. That kinda blew my mind because I didn't know they were linking the games quite like that.
It would be the Flood's introduction in Halo: CE back in 2001. After fighting the Covenant for so many levels, it was completely unreal when a new and more terrifying enemy was introduced to the game.
SPRTN One One 7
My most memorable story moment from a video game was probably the end of Halo: Reach. It was something that was sad, but very fun to see how long you could live.
Old Papa Rich
The revelation of your true identity in Knights of the Old Republic. That game had an amazing story. In some ways, it surpassed the prequel trilogy.
In Red Dead Redemption when John's body is buried on the hill overlooking the ranch with the inscription "Blessed are the Peacemakers".
It has to be when Carter sacrificed himself taking out that Scarab Tank. For some reason that just hit me really hard.
In Homefront when you come home expecting to return to your beautiful life-filled hide out, and find out everyone has been killed, and the place destroyed.
Call of Duty 4, when you are killed by the nuke. The story behind my death was so chaotic and real, it has always struck me as a well-placed and well-timed event.
, Production Engineer
Has playing a game narrative (story, characters, etc.) ever caused you to cry?
Yes. When I was playing Gears of War 3 and it got to the point of Dom dying, I admit that a tear found its way onto my cheek.
At the end of Final Fantasy X, when *SPOILERS* Tidus was revealed to be a dream, and Auron had to be sent. Both were hinted at a few times throughout the game, but it really hit home in those moments.
Halo CE, the part when FoeHammer dies (11 year old spoiler) . I really liked FoeHammer throughout the entire story, and I was finding myself becoming more attached to her as the story unfolded. My 9-year-old self shed many tears, and my 20-year-old self shed many more.
Not yet, but Mass Effect 3 was really close. If I was younger, I would have cried. It's setting the bar for video game storytelling... if you ask me. Wonderful.
No. But the most emotional would be the cutscene in Halo 3 where Chief got to Cortana. Also the ending of Bioshock 2. Loved it. The music was amazing in both scenes.
Why you gotta be like that?
Don't hate the player, hate the game.
Why you gotta keep us in the dark? This works both ways...
Old Papa Rich
I'm a man. Sorry.
Being a malcontent is what keeps me satisfied.
Because I'm old and I can be.
Because I'm a hardass and I'm not afraid of nothing.
why you gotta be so nosy?
, Graphic Designer
Blue one. It's 2 AM and some guy wearing sunglasses in a dark room is talking about cryptic stuff. I just wanna sleep.
Old Papa Rich
Give me the red pill. I'll face the truth over delusion any day.
Red pill. To be honest and boring, I like to take reality straight on and fix problems.
Blue. Everyone knows Dayquil just isn't as.... effective.
The one on the right. It's the side of my dominant hand and if reaching for the pill is a clever rouse to get me to lower my defenses and subsequently be attacked, I will have my dominant and stronger arm out ready to parry any incoming attack.
I would take the blue pill. The matrix is a scary place and I'd rather not intrude in Samuel L. Jackson’s business.
, Head of Business Development
Kirk or Picard? And why?
The answer is obviously Kirk. Why? Because Kirk kicks more alien ass and gets more attractive women.
David iZ Mental
I have no idea who either are.
Kirk. Gotta stay with the original.
Picard had a better ship, but come on. We're talking about James T. Kirk here.
Why? Here's why: He's the original Enterprise captain. He does awesome commercials. That hair....
Lobster Fish 2
Beam me up, Scotty.
Reach deep now. Why do you play games?
I play games for fun. When I don't have anything else to do, I put in a game, and I play. Yes, winning is fun, but I'll take a close match that keeps me on the edge of my seat over a match where I shut out the other team any day.
To have a good time and socialize with my friends. I'm also pretty competitive. When sports are out of the question, gaming is an awesome alternative.
I grew up playing games. They are a hobby of mine and I enjoy them and they allow me to put to use the free time that I have.
Saint of Taint
The feel of community. A sense of being part of something bigger than myself.
Old Papa Rich
I feel like you get the same entertainment that you get from movies, only you get to be a part of it.
For the story that keeps you up till 5am and simply cannot stop till the end is reached.
Because I lost control of my life at the age of 4.
Because they are an excellent means of killing time and communicating with friends. I also enjoy the feeling that I receive when I pwn n00bz.
Adventures, beauty, challenges, friends.
I happen to find games very inspirational and ideal. Not only that, it can help me solve some problems that I may encounter in the process of coding some games.
Challenges are good for the soul.
, Associate Test Engineer
Favorite Pen & Paper RPG, and why?
Tic-Tac-Toe. Cause if you know how to play you never lose… and it is fun to watch the others rage.
, Senior Designer
What was your first game system, and what was your favorite game on that system?
Playstation 1 - Duke Nukem: Time to Kill. I was 3 and that's probably why I couldn't get past the first level.
The first PlayStation. My favorite game (and the first game I ever owned) was Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back. I still play it to this day.
Amiga Commodore, and I would say Prince of Persia.
Sega Master System. Sonic The Hedgehog.
My first system was the Nintendo 64, and my first game was Star Wars Pod Racer N64.
CTN 0452 9
Nintendo Gamecube and 007 Nightfire. I got to be James Bond, fight my friends and have bots fight on my team.
Playstation 1. Spyro The Dragon. I always had trouble with the last world. The sound of certain enemies gives a very weird sense of nostalgia.
, Staff Artist
If we built the stadium, would you enter a real world Grifball tournament?
Only if you'll allow me to respawn. Don't blame Stosh if I can't.
I'd build a plant to manufacture the balls, since you're going to go through at least three a game and high explosives tend to also be high profit margin. Not that I'd know. This is gonna get me on some FBI watch list, isn't it?
In Grifball I kill my team mates with pure gravitational force. Are you up for testing?
I ColdEmbrace I
Yes, because bomb beats everything!
In your opinion, what's the best video game system of all time?
The Nintendo 64. Playing Namco Museum against my dad… Playing Star Fox 64 against my friends... I would love to have that back.
The Gameboy Color.
The PlayStation 2. It paved the way for the revolution with video game platforms.
Old Papa Rich
I'm gonna go with the 360. I absolutely love playing on Xbox LIVE. I spent the better part of a decade trying different forms of networked gaming. There was nothing but sorrow and heartache. Of course, that was all before high speed internet.
, Test Engineer
Who is your best villain?
Ivan Ooze from the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers movie. That guy had serious style. He was funny too.
That sniper over there becau-
My favorite villain would be the Master from Doctor Who. A man who can change his form and is as timeless as the show itself.
Mr. Freeze. The only villain I've ever really felt anything other than hate for. His entire life has just been tragedy after tragedy. He's less of a villain and more of an anti-hero.
Old Papa Rich
Hannibal Lector. Of course he isn't really the villain, but is a villain. And the Silence of the Lambs is an unbelievably fantastic movie.
, The Elder
Can you sing the theme to Sea Hunt without cheating on the Intertubes?
(video proof required)
They could not, Marty. Not a single one of them. Either that, or they could, but they were just too shy to stand up in front of the Internet and prove it. Maybe if they had known that you were the one asking the question, they would have found the guts. On the merits of the question alone, you were the only one to stump them.
Editor’s Note: Other things our community likely cannot do without consulting the Internet:
• Fashion a blanket using a loom
• Start a Ford Model T
• Kill a boar with rocks and spears, fashion a tent of its inedible remains, and survive a harsh, enduring winter.
Alex Loret de Mola
What was your favorite non-Halo Bungie game, and why?
Marathon: Durandal. It was the best shooter I'd ever played. DOOM, Wolfenstein, I enjoyed none of them as much as I enjoyed the whole Marathon series. Not just because of the gameplay, there was a whole Universe of background info written into the game that just drew you into the story. I fell in love with it from the very first shot.
I ColdEmbrace I
*queue Spartain Ken...*
spartain ken 15
Myth 2 Soulblighter is my favorite non-Halo Bungie game. After all this time it still has a lot of people who play it and a dedicated community of custom map-makers. There is nothing more satisfying than laying waste to someone's entire army in a blaze of glory and dwarfs throwing explosives.
, Support Engineer
Can you solve this code?
01010111 01101001 01101100 01101100 00100000 01111001 01101111 01110101 00100000 01100110 01100001 01100011 01100101 00100000 01110101 01110011 00100000 01101111 01101110 00100000 01110100 01101000 01100101 00100000 01100010 01100001 01110100 01110100 01101100 01100101 01100110 01101001 01100101 01101100 01100100 00111111 00100000 01101000 01110100 01110100 01110000 00111010 00101111 00101111 01110111 01110111 01110111 00101110 01100010 01110101 01101110 01100111 01101001 01100101 00101110 01101110 01100101 01110100 00101111 01100110 01100001 01101110 01100011 01101100 01110101 01100010 00101111 01100010 01110101 01101110 01100111 01101001 01100101 01100001 01110010 01101101 01111001 01100010 01100110 00110011 01110000 01100011 00101111 01000111 01110010 01101111 01110101 01110000 00101111 01000111 01110010 01101111 01110101 01110000 01001000 01101111 01101101 01100101 00101110 01100001 01110011 01110000 01111000
Well? Can you? The first person to solve this riddle
will win something to keep them warm, and remind them that they are the fastest decoder in the land. There may even be an invitation hidden in that binary forest. And, I promise it will be more profound than a call to arms to drink your Ovaltine. This experiment is over, Bungie Community. Next week, you reclaim your rightful place as the ones who ask the questions.