New Beginnings

Bungie.net has evolved...

Read Full Top Story

Community 1/31/2013 11:45 AM PST

Bungie.net Set to Read-Only Today

Pardon our dust...

On Tuesday, January 8th, Bungie.net will be set to read-only mode. During this short, preparatory maintenance window, you can browse, but you can’t post. We expect the outage to be brief.

Thank you for your patience. If we don’t make it back, tell your mother we love her. See you on the other side.

Community 1/8/2013 9:07 AM PST permalink

Happy Holidays. Love, Bungie.

Peace on Earth?

Read Full Top Story

Community 12/21/2012 2:22 PM PST

We Wish You a Merry Mail Sack

Goodwill towards mail...



It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at Bungie. Our cavernous hideout, usually overrun by artists, coders, and designers, is slowly becoming a place of empty chairs and empty tables. Before our beloved partners in crime could flee the scene in favor of their respective family reunions, we gathered around the very last bundle of community interaction that will be seen this calendar year.

The past twelve months have been home to fascinating developments at Bungie. We are thankful. We’ve marched ever closer toward our fate. There is brilliant light at the end of the tunnel, dear community.

But that is a glorious conversation best saved for another time. For now, let’s look back instead of forward.

Let’s open the Sack.


Frag Ingot What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment from this year?

I made it through...

Ben Thompson, Engineer

I wrote lots of cool things for Bungie.next. Maybe DeeJ will tell you more about that soon.
Tom Gioconda, Engineer

I started building a spaceship in my garage, entirely out of spare lawnmower parts.
Dave Mongan, Senior Writer

Deadlift: 325lbs., Squat: 225lbs, Machine Squat: 360lbs. Also, wrote/recorded 13 songs and remixed 2 songs.
Forrest Soderlind, Technical Artist

Professionally, I built a new back end system that (if it works correctly) will make the online experience better for a significant portion of our playerbase, without them ever knowing it is there. Personally, I went on some awesome adventures with my wife this year and didn't get us both killed, or too horribly lost.
Michael Williams, Engineer

Marriage!
Robert Kehoe, BVT Tester

Creating the next generation of the internal tools for Bungie.Next. They ain’t pretty, but they get the job done.
Alex Loret de Mola, Engineer

And, the following people on the Bungie Panel for this week counted their great fortune in landing a place on the roster of Team Bungie. This delegation represents only a fraction of the parade of noobs that stormed our front door to help us bring you a new game.
Will Edgette, Engineer
Leland Dantzler, Tester
Doug Juno, Artist
Drew Smith, Producer
David Johnson, Engineer
Mike Shannon, Senior IT Engineer
Chris Owens, Test Engineer
Andy Howell, Matchmaking Test Lead


Hylebos How is the Pentathlon shaping up?

As someone who has been honored with an invitation to serve on the Exalted Winter Pentathlon Committee, I'm one of the few people who can tell you that it’s shaping up quite nicely. Our competitors have been partitioned into four warring schools, with Captains assigned to lead each. Events have been chosen, with lieutenants designated to lead each school’s respective charge, and commissioners in place to enforce the rules of battle. As the games draw near, we'll treat you to the usual front-row seat, though I suspect the game I'm most anxious to play this year will be zealously guarded from your eyes.


Elem3nt 117 What is your New Year's Resolution?

I resolve to be a little bit more open and transparent with you. If that has you excited, please note that my track record for keeping these annual promises is less than impressive. Let’s see if my co-developers are more or less disciplined. What do you have planned for yourselves in 2013, Bungie Panel?

Decimate the competition in the Pentathlon or die trying.
Drew Smith, Producer

Draw more.
Doug Juno, Artist

Finish building that spaceship in my garage! Or, give up the ridiculous idea already and waste my free time more wisely.
Dave Mongan, Senior Writer

To get up earlier!
Andy Howell, Matchmaking Test Lead

Deadlift: 495lbs., Squat: 405lbs, Bench 250lbs.
Forrest Soderlind, Technical Artist

Write a book, plant a tree. I can already imagine blank pages and a bare yard.
Christian Diefenbach, Engineering Lead

Don’t get suckered into anymore of those crazy “End of the world” doomsday prophesies.
Ben Thompson, Engineer

Create more, consume less.
Michael Williams, Engineer

To finally fulfill my resolutions from the last 8 years.
Mike Shannon, Senior IT Engineer

I resolve to be better, stronger, faster.
Chris Owens, Test Engineer

To not make any more New Year’s Resolutions.
Alex Loret de Mola, Engineer

Be less tempted by Bungie’s free snacks. Who am I kidding?
Leland Dantzler, Tester


Ninja Blue Wolf Does Marty do lessons?

You mean music lessons? No. Marty does teach us a lesson from time to time, but they are more in the vein of knowing when to hold ‘em – and when to fold ‘em. If you don’t get the reference, that’s an old song about Poker, written by a gambling purveyor of Fried Chicken.


WestCoastRonin If you could remake any Christmas movie and give it a sci-fi setting, which movie would you choose and what would it be like?

I’m pitching a starside reboot of A Christmas Story. My hero, Ralphie_9.6, is an astroclone incepted on an off-world colony who dreams of owning a Red Ryder x-ray cannon. As part of his coming of age, he learns to face off against the Academy’s most dreaded bully. Comic relief ensues when he tricks his best friend into sticking his tongue to the cooling towers of the main reactor. For the grand finale, a hoard of feral tusk-wolves make off with the sandtrout that was prepared for the solstice feast of the seventh moon.

The joy of editing this feature is the chance to hoard the best and most obvious answer for one’s self. However, in the event that Hollywood rejects my screenplay, here are some alternatives from the Bungie Panel…

If you ask me, Rocky 4 is begging for a sci-fi remake. It’s got it all: Good versus evil; hi-tech versus old-school; national pride versus personal determination. Everything is on the line, and it all comes to a head on Christmas Day. Simply set it in an interstellar society, with humans versus aliens and… Ba-da-bing ba-da-boom! Instant, updated holiday classic.
Dave Mongan, Senior Writer

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is a cyborg sent back through time to Santa’s workshop (circa 1995) to protect Santa Claus. Sam the Snowborg is on a mission to kill him and alter the future so that Snowborgs rule over all mankind – and Christmas is permanently destroyed. To save the day, Santa and Rudolph must go to the Isle of Misfit Toys Asylum to rescue Mrs. Claus, who was arrested after encountering Rudolph in the prequel.
David Johnson, Engineer

It’s a Wonderful Star Trek Life. I know they kind of already did it in TNG. I guess I just want Star Trek for Christmas.
Andy Howell, Matchmaking Test Lead

As Life Day approaches on Tatooine, Emmet Otter and his Ma decide to compete in the Cantina's talent contest. Watch as they face corrupt Hutt judges, and challenge the Empire's most deadly musicians, "The Boba Fett Sarlacc Band". In the end they will learn the true meaning of Life Day, and the true power of the Force.
Michael Williams, Engineer

Mine is more based on a TV show than a movie. Theorizing that one could time travel within his own lifetime, Doctor Sam Beckett stepped into the Quantum Leap accelerator - and vanished. He awoke to find himself trapped in the past, facing mirror images that looked a lot like Santa, and driven by an unknown force to change Christmas for the better. His only guide on this journey is ELF, an observer from his own time, who appears in the form of a hologram that only Sam can see and hear. And so, Doctor Beckett finds himself leaping from life to life, striving to replace bad presents with amazing presents and hoping each time that his next leap… will be the leap home.
Chris Owens, Test Engineer

I have a visual of people opening their Christmas presents to find face hugger aliens inside.
Robert Kehoe, BVT Tester

The first two Die Hard movies could be convincingly set on an inter-planetary colony and a spaceport, respectively. The plot of the second movie even becomes more much plausible in a spaceport.
Tom Gioconda, Engineer

White Christmas. It’s the year 2196, and Lt. Commander Wallace is performing a holiday space symphony for our troops fighting against the mysterious arachnid alien species that has invaded our solar system. He finds himself caught in a web, and about to be eaten by said aliens, before Ensign Davis runs over in the nick of time and saves his life. Their friendship comes to a head years later when their old Fleet Admiral is discovered running a failed tourist vessel orbiting Jupiter. They decide to bring their interstellar cast and crew to revive his chances of success. The plot really doesn’t have to change much at all! I suppose one of their love interests could get vaporized by a stray phaser blast as they defend the tourist ship from space raiders.
Alex Loret de Mola, Engineer

Yeah, Alex. Because nothing gets people in the Christmas spirit faster than vaporizing love interests.


irishfreak Why won't you return my calls?

Mostly because, for the first time in the years (and years) since I left college and joined The Work Force, I don’t have a phone on my desk. That took some getting used to. I remember asking about this on my first day at Bungie. Urk answered my question with a question of his own. “Who would you call?” That stopped me in my tracks. Hello, Internet? It’s me, DeeJ.


EZcompany2ndsqd If Santa came down your chimney and you were awake what would you do?

I’d handcuff him to the gas starter, light a candle, and have a long chat about all those years I got ugly sweaters instead of the video games that had been released that season. Perhaps the Bungie Panel will be more forgiving than I…

See if he wanted to play some Farcry 3 coop.
Drew Smith, Producer

I would thank him for giving me a brand new fireplace.
David Johnson, Engineer

Offer him a drink.
Doug Juno, Artist

Release the Krampus!
Forrest Soderlind, Technical Artist

Demand gifts as payment for intrusion.
Leland Dantzler, Tester

We would then engage in mortal combat - Bungie wood n00b sword vs. Santa Sack. Spoiler: Christmas would lose.
Andy Howell, Matchmaking Test Lead

Borrow his ride!
Christian Diefenbach, Engineering Lead

Ask if he had a couple hours to babysit.
Ben Thompson, Engineer

Wager my soul against a golden fiddle in a Settler's of Catan match. Santa does that right?
Michael Williams, Engineer

Scream like a little girl and run around in circles until the bad man left. Sadly, that’s how I deal with most situations.
Chris Owens, Test Engineer

Offer the man some milk and cookies for installing a chimney in my apartment.
Will Edgette, Engineer

Probably offer him a beer. Cookies and milk probably get old.
Tom Gioconda, Engineer


DarthCarrick If you could give the Community a present, what would it be?

An exciting new place to call home. Since such things cannot be wrapped, that gift will have to serve another occasion.


Xd00999 You can now un-cancel one television show. What do you choose?

When I do make it to my television, I’m more than likely using it to battle the Internet though the construct of my favorite game. Thus, I am transferring my vote to the Bungie Panel. Have at it, people. What do you wish was still on the idiot box?

I used to work in TV, so that’s like asking me to resurrect only one of my deceased friends. Too cruel. Instead, I’ll bring to life a baby that was never born: a pilot I wrote called “The War.” Imagine the grittiness of “The Wire,” set on the coke-frenzied Sunset Strip of the 1980s. It was an intense roller-coaster ride of sex & drugs & rock-n-roll… or at least it would have been, had it ever seen the light of day. Oh well…
Dave Mongan, Senior Writer

I’d pick one of the following:

Ben Thompson, Engineer

Bring back Firefly!
David Johnson, Engineer

Firefly, Duh. (Says the Star Trek fan… I know.. I know..)
Andy Howell, Matchmaking Test Lead

Firefly.
Will Edgette, Engineer

Can I choose two? 1) Firefly 2) Farscape.
Christian Diefenbach, Engineering Lead

Firefly.
Michael Williams, Engineer

I’m sure this is the first time someone mentioned this show, but Firefly.
Chris Owens, Test Engineer

Answers other than Firefly are wrong.
Tom Gioconda, Engineer

Wonderfalls!
Alex Loret de Mola, Engineer

Better Off Ted.
Leland Dantzler, Tester

Carnivale on HBO.
Doug Juno, Artist

Arrested Development.
Drew Smith, Producer

Deadwood, so I can open a can of peaches.
Forrest Soderlind, Technical Artist


A Pimpin Lady Why will you not answer my question? I want to know where Bungie hires their non-gaming personnel. Last time I asked this question, you sent me to the job listings page on B.Net. In all my years here, I have never seen non-gaming related listings. I know you guys have to have accountants, HR, health educators, etc. Will you please tell me where the job listings for these people are found?

“Ma’am! I answered your question! I answered the darn... I’m cooperating here!” -Jerry Lundegaard, Executive Sales Manager, Gustafson Motors

It’s almost as if our whole team is devoted to the singular cause of making a game. We do have a few people at Bungie who mind the shop while we make the toys. In all your years here, none of them have quit. They really like their jobs. We see to that, personally. If we end up needing more of them, the curious onlookers who pay attention to our Careers page will be the first to know.


Marcellos007 What was the funniest present you´ve got for Christmas?

My father and my sister succumbed to the allure of a home shopping offering on television. One toll-free conversation later, our entire family received the gift of decorative swords. Mine was so decorative, the blade folded under the weight of its own haft when I sank it into the soil of the back yard in a dramatic reenactment of the ending to my favorite Scottish revolution film. Care to recall your own comedic lumps of coal, Bungie Panel?

My dad used to rewrap the board game Balderdash every year and give it to a random member of the family. That was always funny. Plus, it’s a good game.
Drew Smith, Producer

Many years ago, a boss of mine gave me the menu for an adult-entertainment venue called The Chicken Ranch. I never visited the establishment, but I got a lot of laughs out of reading the names of their various “Dishes.”
Dave Mongan, Senior Writer

One year, my friends thought it would be a good idea to all get me Hello Kitty themed gifts, including bubble bath that came packaged with warnings about urinary tract infections. Also included was a lantern that had a warning to “not look directly at.” So, all of the Hello Kitty gifts where deadly in one way or another. But really, isn’t anything to do with Hello Kitty?
Andy Howell, Matchmaking Test Lead

Our family has had a habit of wrapping gifts in bizarre ways. I've seen bizarre polyhedral shapes, boxes nested in boxes, and gifts wrapped in twine that has been spliced so there was no end to untie.
Michael Williams, Engineer

A 20 pound wheel of cheese (I used to be a much larger man who loved his cheese).
Chris Owens, Test Engineer

A Rubik’s Cube shaped like Homer Simpson.
Alex Loret de Mola, Engineer

My dad gave me Heretic: Shadow of the Serpent Riders. I was 8 and my mom was furious. Dad and I played the heck out of it, though.
Leland Dantzler, Tester


Halo biggest fan For all the artists at Bungie: Do any of you frequently go to figure drawing sessions to stay sharp on your traditional drawing skills?

Is this really a question about art? Or, is it more a question about naked people in our studio?


CoRaMo Where is the strangest place you have ever played a video game?

Like so many of you, I was waiting anxiously on the sidelines while Halo: ODST was preparing to drop. Through some magic wielded by the Hand of Urk, I vaulted to the front of a very long line and was the first kid in my zip code to play Firefight in the belly of a military transport vehicle. Moral to the story: Always be nice to your Community Manager. Beat that, Bungie Panel!

The Experience Music Project in Seattle during the Halo 2 launch party. The science fiction museum had only recently gone into the building, and the whole experience was pretty surreal and awesome.
Michael Williams, Engineer

At the Podiatrist, while I was having an ingrown toenail removed. I needed a distraction.
Andy Howell, Matchmaking Test Lead

You mean like the backseat of a Volkswagen?
Mike Shannon, Senior IT Engineer

Backseat of a Volkswagen.
Robert Kehoe, BVT Tester

I played Inception – The App while I was in Erfoud, Morocco just to unlock the Africa chapter. My wife rolled her eyes, but the camels didn’t seem to mind.
Forrest Soderlind, Technical Artist

On the set of a movie.
Chris Owens, Test Engineer

In a van heading across the country to get to PAX – part of a caravan called the Cross Country Super Trip. We wired it up to a TV that was fixed into the ceiling, and played it on our two day long trek.
Alex Loret de Mola, Engineer

I played Pokemon Silver in an unmarked van, in Ireland, stuck at a sheep crossing while thousands of fluffy things crossed the road for more than 15 minutes (true story).
Leland Dantzler, Tester

Do iPhone games on the porcelain throne count?
Dave Mongan, Senior Writer

To most of you, playing in an arcade is probably pretty strange. More people play video games on the toilet via their phones than play in arcades now.
Tom Gioconda, Engineer

With gaming on cell phones, it doesn’t get much more strange than gaming in a public restroom. I’m... not the only one that does that, right?
David Johnson, Engineer

Some of you are sick. Suddenly, that line that forms outside the Bungie men’s room is much less a mystery. Pull your pants up and get back to work. You can launch birds out of slingshots on your own time.


coolmike699 Does Bungie do a secret Santa? Has anyone gotten anything really weird?

Our Secret Santas give presents to the people who need them the most. This year, our tree was decorated with dreams passed along to us from our friends at the Make-A-Wish Foundation. We love making dreams come true at Bungie – the weirder the better.




Duardo What was the best gift ever given to you?

I have everything I want in life: a gaming console, a patient wife who lets me spend a lot of time with it, and a clan of willing killers to carry me to victory. Bungie Panel, can you do a better job of celebrating the spirit of giving?

Not to get all sappy, but a couple years back, my wife gave me a pretty non-traditional Christmas present: a pregnancy test that read positive. Now, a few years earlier I would’ve freaked out; but timing is everything, and instead I was super excited to know we were expecting a little gamer of our own.
Dave Mongan, Senior Writer

The generosity of my friends. I can be demanding and a bit eccentric/neurotic, but they are all super accommodating.
Drew Smith, Producer

My life, by my mom and dad. (I know, suck up...)
Andy Howell, Matchmaking Test Lead

My first thought was to say “my daughters.” Then, I realized they’re more like Trojans taking over my world: making me work harder to get them the best life I can, eating away at my idle time with child’s play and E rated games, pushing me to better myself and… Yeah, my daughters.
Christian Diefenbach, Engineering Lead

My family once commissioned a custom art piece from one of my favorite artists based on a fictional character of mine. The effort and subtlety needed to gather the information for the commission was as precious as the artwork itself.
Michael Williams, Engineer


Mike Shannon, Senior IT Engineer

The gift of laughter! Yeah, right! That’d be my original 8-bit NES with the Gold Zelda Cart.
Chris Owens, Test Engineer

My wife built me a cabinet with a mini-fridge, snack drawer, and movie theater style popcorn popper for my home theater room was pretty damned impressive last year.
Tom Gioconda, Engineer

The gift of life! Hahaha, no. In all seriousness, the Nintendo Entertainment System. It was the beginning of what got me here today.
Robert Kehoe, BVT Tester

Being able to work at Bungie.
Alex Loret de Mola, Engineer

Dethklok: Dethalbum II on vinyl.
Forrest Soderlind: Technical Artist


Will Edgette, Engineer

Hope.
Leland Dantzler, Tester


spartain ken 15 Do you guys ever think you would sell some Bungie-themed Christmas cards?

If you refresh the front page of our website, you can have one for free. There ain’t any cash in it, but it’s still a sincere expression of our love and devotion. Of all the gifts that we’re to receive in the coming days, very few will make us as happy as your unshakable friendship.

And, thus, the Sack is empty. With its closure, we bring to an end another year of community love. This next year promises to be a more exciting one. Between now and then, do take care of yourselves. May your travels by safe, and your holiday loot plentiful.

To all a good night.

Community 12/21/2012 2:21 PM PST permalink

Friendship of Mythic Proportions

Lean on me...

The Bungie Community is constantly astounding us with their creativity, and their solidarity. Recently, some ancients (who were playing Bungie games before some of their contemporaries were born) banded together to produce a piece of art that would steady a friend in need as he took steps toward a new challenge. Behold the intersection between passion for games and compassion for one's fellow gamer.

Miguel writes: Folks, here's a link to the whole Soulblighter Sword Cane saga, how it came to be, why we did it, etc. It all started back at the tail end of August (right before PAX Prime!) and is finally done now. The man has his uber-cane! Thanks of course to all of you for creating a wonderful environment for us to form such lasting friendships. Man, are we getting old.



 Cheers to the big hearts at Bungie.org.  

Community 12/20/2012 4:21 PM PST permalink

MailSackalypse

The end is nigh...



It's with a heavy heart that we loosen the strings on this bundle of mail. The ocean of misinformation on the Internet is filled with ominous waves that foretell the end of times. If the prophecies buried in the Mayan calendar turn out to be more than poorly translated mirages, at this time next week, we’ll all be scurrying to outrun our own panicked demise. That means that his could be the very last Mail Sack to ever grace Bungie.net. Should the world come crashing to an end, it’s doubtful that our website will survive.

Let’s savor this moment, everyone. It’s time to open the Sack.  Perhaps for the last time...


THORSGOD What’s your personal hell?

Why are you asking? Is it because you also think that we’ll all be delivered there next week? I can’t face the music, yet. The Bungie Panel will have to answer this question…

Being bored.
Pat Jandro, Senior Cinematic Designer

A staring contest with a man who has no face.
Drew Smith, Producer

Being locked in a room with a net-terminal and only flakey, dial-up modem to keep me entertained.
Michael Williams, Senior Engineer

There’s only decaf.
Tom Slattery, Localization Content Manager

A room full of spiders.

Rachel Swavely, Associate Technical Artist

An eternal Monday morning staff meeting at a large government bureaucracy.
John Hopson, User Research Lead

Inflation outpacing market growth. Or running out of candy.
Leland Dantzler, Tester

Waiting.
Cameron Pinard, Artist

A world without Bungie.
Alex Loret de Mola, Engineer

A world without Your Mom.
Scott Kankelborg, Special Projects Assassin

Level 14, of course.
Ben Wommack, Production Engineer

My Little Pony.
Andy Howell, Matchmaking Test Lead

Youtube comments. Herp derp derp der herpy herp.
Chris Butcher, Senior Engineering Lead


xXIHAYD0IXx If you were given one standard United States Army Squad with all their organic materials (no artillery and air support) during the American Revolution, how and where would you use them to maximize their effectiveness?

Do you daydream about upsetting the balance of history with modern firepower, too? In this case, I’d post that squad of time travelers at the top of Bunker Hill and say “Standard orders are still in effect... Don’t fire ‘till you see the whites of their eyes.” Of course, with their high-definition optics, this range would be realized with a lot more room for them to breathe.

The limitations you’re imposing here do sort of limit the fun we could have. I mean, why not intercept the invasion army with a carrier group about a mile off the coast, as if to say “Wassup?”




RighteousTyrant What alcoholic drink goes best with making games? And don't lie. I'm sure you've done it a time or two.

A Dark and Stormy.
Luke Ledwich, Test Engineer

It switches every project. For this game, the wheel of fortune seems to have landed on tequila.
Pat Jandro, Senior Cinematic Designer

Chilled Nigori Genshu sake, and I could use some now.
Michael Milota, Slovadomilotavitch

Anything that fits in a beer helmet.
Drew Smith, Producer

Home-brewed root beer. 1 proof, wooo!
Tom Sanocki, Staff Artist

We call it Blöödwine, but outside of these walls, it’s known as Rumplemintz. 100 proof of minty goodness.
Forrest Soderlind, Technical Artist

Beer for playtest. Whiskey for coding. Absinthe for crunch.
Christian Diefenbach, Engineering Lead

The free kind.
Chris Owens, Associate Test Engineer

Sake.
Rachel Swavely, Associate Technical Artist

Yamakazi Single Malt Whiskey (12 years).
Troy McFarland, Motion Capture Lead

A Rum and coke; but have a Monster energy drink handy so you don’t get too sleepy.
Kevin Hart, Artist

Scotch: pretty much a required part of game development.
Cameron Pinard, Artist

Chimay Rouge, which has been known to show up in our beer fridge from time to time.
Joe Venzon, Engineer

Jameson.
Adam Williams, Artist

For me, that’d be Smirnoff Ice. I can hear you judging me, but it’s a tasty beverage!
Alex Loret de Mola, Engineer

Rainier beer mixed with 5 Hour Energy.
Stosh Steward, Web Designer

Bailey’s and Coffee.
Justin Truman, Engineering Lead

Mountain Dew.
Scott Kankelborg, Special Projects Assassin

Single malt scotch, neat, preferably as smoky as a fire pit.
Ben Wommack, Production Engineer

Bundaberg Over-Proof Rum.
Chris Butcher, Senior Engineering Lead

Beer is my go-to when working late hours. I try to stay away from harder stuff while I’m working. Working a 12 hour day with a hangover is a TERRIBLE idea - not that such things have ever happened to me.
Andy Howell, Matchmaking Test Lead


blizzera27 How many stars are in the universe?

“Billions and billions.” –Carl Sagan


All of humanity Who's your favorite Doctor?

Is this a census? Are you testing us? Because that never ends well…



What say you, Bungie Panel? Is there a Doctor in the house?


Daniel Hanson, Engineer


Kevin Hart, Artist


John Hopson, User Research Lead


Andy Howell, Matchmaking Test Lead


Scott Kankelborg, Special Projects Assassin


Troy Mcfarland, Motion Capture Lead


Michael Milota, Slovadomilotavitch


Chris Owens, Associate Test Engineer


David Shaw, Producer


Drew Smith, Producer


Forrest Soderlind, Technical Artist


Christian Diefenbach, Engineering Lead


Rachel Swavely, Associate Technical Artist


Joe Venzon, Engineer


Michael Williams, Senior Engineer


Adam Williams, Artist


gorocurt What are/is the only acceptable topping(s) on a hot dog?

According to the laws of Chicago, the birthplace of Bungie (and its Assistant to the Community Manager), a proper Hot Dog can be garnished with just about anything but ketchup.


catman6 What's the most exotic meat you've eaten?

Good question! If our civilization is reduced to rubble next week, we’ll probably have to revert to appetites that favor whatever we can catch in the wild. Hopefully, the Bungie Panel isn’t finicky…

Widgety Grub.
Luke Ledwich, Test Engineer

Sushi from a freshly caught salmon.
Michael Milota, Slovadomilotavitch

I ate buffalo once. I have since become vegetarian.
Drew Smith, Producer

Guniea Pig in Peru. It ended up being quite tasty.
Michael Williams, Senior Engineer

Jellyfish. Surprisingly crunchy!
Tom Sanocki, Staff Artist

I call a tie between camel and kangaroo. Your call.
Tom Slattery, Localization Content Manager

Rocky Mountain Oysters. Can’t say they were delectable, but they were better than the undercooked rattlesnake sausages I had, or the kangaroo burgers.
Forrest Soderlind, Technical Artist

An armadillo roast.
Christian Diefenbach, Engineering Lead

I have had Shark and Bear. I hope they didn’t eat a person, because that would inadvertently make me a cannibal.
Rachel Swavely, Associate Technical Artist

A friend of mine makes a mean rattlesnake chili.
David Shaw, Senior Producer

Ants, covered in chocolate.
Andy Howell, Matchmaking Test Lead

Elk, venison, bear, shark. Take your pick.
Troy McFarland, Motion Capture Lead

Uncooked chicken. I suck at grilling.
Leland Dantzler, Tester

Ostrich, or maybe alligator.
Cameron Pinard, Artist

Grasshoppers count as meat, right?
Adam Williams, Artist

I’ve eaten Ostrich Jerky. It tastes like Chicken.
Justin Truman, Engineering Lead


SonOfTheShire Are you guys planning to see the Hobbit?

Way ahead of you, Halfling. “Planning” has been replaced with “planned.”




StormFront If at first you don't succeed, _____________.

Nuke the site from orbit.
Luke Ledwich, Test Engineer

Lie, and say you did.
Pat Jandro, Senior Cinematic Designer

Reload.
Forrest Soderlind, Technical Artist

Burn down your opponent’s house.
Drew Smith, Producer

Talk to those who have succeeded. That, or build an army of robots.
Michael Williams, Senior Engineer

Stop trying and DO.
Chris Owens, Associate Test Engineer

Become an assassin and destroy all your enemies.
Rachel Swavely, Associate Technical Artist

Stand behind the engineer’s desk until it’s fixed.
Ben Wommack, Production Engineer

Use short, controlled bursts.
David Shaw, Senior Producer

Blame your team and ragequit.
Leland Dantzler, Tester

Up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, Start.
Kevin Hart, Artist

Redefine the terms of success.
Cameron Pinard, Artist

Try your mom, I hear she’s much easier.
Scott Kankelborg, Special Projects Assassin


Violet Are there any Easter eggs from any of your previous games that we have yet to find?

Yep.


defnop552 What do you see?



Interesting. It’s time for our psyche evaluation, everyone. Fall in, and write your entry into Rorschach’s journal…

A very long conversation.
Michael Milota, Slovadomilotavitch

Broodmother from Dota2.
Drew Smith, Producer

Two fancy gentlemen holding picnic baskets talking to one another in a park full of butterflies.
Michael Williams, Senior Engineer

Two bonobos locked in an uncomfortable stalemate, each wanting to bowl in the direction blocked by the other, and so left with no choice but to stand in silence beneath a pair of kidneys suspended like light bulbs from the ceiling above--the softly cast shadows of the organs a gruesome reminder of the stakes for those who would engage in this primal, bumper-free game.
Tom Slattery, Localization Content Manager

Two girls and one cup. A very big cup.
Christian Diefenbach, Engineering Lead

A cow on his way to becoming steak.
Josh Eash, Release Manager

Two bird-ladies bending over to pour water out of a jar. Their hearts are beating out of their chests because they love each other, even while their baby hatchlings fall from the nests behind them. But what does it mean?
Stephen Hodde, Senior Audio Designer

I see Rorschach, judging me.
Chris Owens, Associate Test Engineer

A tuxedo with a red bow tie or an alien rib cage.
Rachel Swavely, Associate Technical Artist

Alien Tuxedo with a bowtie.
Kevin Hart, Artist

Two waiters putting dishes on a table.
Joe Venzon, Engineer

Two people who are very confused about how bowling works.
Alex Loret de Mola, Engineer

Two monkeys using fire magic.
Ben Wommack, Production Engineer

A person in the cold smiling.
Andy Howell, Matchmaking Test Lead


I ZEROC00L I What's your favorite YouTube channel?

What else did you think I was going to say to this?




ultimatetornado How do you become a man?

Two boys enter. One man leaves.
Luke Ledwich, Test Engineer

Step 1: Grow a pair.
Step 2: Grow another.
Pat Jandro, Senior Cinematic Designer


Michael Milota, Slovadomilotavitch

You’re not truly a man until you have written an app in assembly.
Michael Williams, Senior Engineer

A true man must know how to do seven things:
He must know how to use a sword.
He must know how to use a gun.
He must know how to read an ancient language.
He must know how to write code.
He must know how to ballroom dance.
He must know how to bake a pie.
He must know how to repair a helicopter engine.
Tom Sanocki, Staff Artist

It just happens. One moment you’re a boy in school, and the next you’re looking at pictures of yourself taken from above and realize you barely have any hair left. Before you know it, you’ve got coworkers telling you they were born in the ‘90s.
Tom Slattery, Localization Content Manager

Wear a pink shirt, and don’t give a -blam- what anyone has to say about it.

Drew Smith, Producer

Wrap your steak with steak, before you eat your steak.
Forrest Soderlind, Technical Artist

Watch the Matrix Trilogy, the Star Wars trilogy, The Indiana Jones Trilogy, and the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. No breaks. And if you say some of those are not trilogies, I’ll just ignore you.
Christian Diefenbach, Engineering Lead

The Klingon Rite of Ascension.
Chris Owens, Associate Test Engineer

Treat others with respect, especially those who have less power than you.
Leland Dantzler, Tester

Take care of those around you at your own expense.
Kevin Hart, Artist

Have kids.
Joe Venzon, Engineer

CRUSH YOUR ENEMIES, PAY YOUR OWN RENT, BUY YOUR OWN BEER!
Adam Williams, Artist


Alex Loret de Mola, Engineer

I’ve initiated the rite of manhood at the bachelor party for one of my friends. Each attendee came up with their own ritual. He survived. That’s all I can say about it.
Troy McFarland, Motion Capture Lead

One will only attain true manhood when one realizes he never will. /zen
Ben Wommack, Production Engineer

When you have the tools to support yourself, then you are a man.
Andy Howell, Matchmaking Test Lead

Be as swift as a coursing river.
Have the force of a great typhoon.
Build the strength of a raging fire.
Be as mysterious as the dark side of the moon.
Daniel Hanson, Engineer

Have at least one Y chromosome.
Justin Truman, Engineering Lead

Surgery.
Rachel Swavely, Associate Technical Artist


Mythical_Wolf Will we die next Friday?

We will not die – not as a global civilization, at least. I give you my promise. You see, this is a totally safe bet. If the world doesn’t come to an end, the Internet is left thinking “Wow, those Bungie guys know what’s up!” If we do get knocked down by some grand cataclysm in accordance with Mayan prophecy, you’ll hardly have the resources to tell us how very wrong we were. Thus, we’re taking an optimistic tack. Never mind the satire buried in the title of this Mail Sack. People who bet on the end of the world always lose. We shall return.

And you know we’ll have a good time then.

Community 12/14/2012 9:26 AM PST permalink

Once More Unto the Mail Sack

Let slip the dogs of Bungie...

Every self-respecting Mail Sack begins with an opening act that sets the stage. One cannot just dive right into community love. You need to set the mood. Well, this week, we were so anxious to tear into your letters that we said “To hell with that!”

Let’s open the Sack.

Krimm117 Have you ever been awarded The Shaft, and if so, why?

Ah, yes. The Shaft! For the uninitiated, it’s the dreaded totem that stands on our desks as a monument to our costliest mistakes. As I was writing these very words, Jon Cable stopped by to ask if I knew its whereabouts. That spells very bad news for someone, friends. Let’s see if our Bungie Panel knows where it might be found…

I don’t get the shaft…

…I give it. [YEAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH]
John Stvan, Graphic Designer

Not at Bungie.
Troy McFarland, Motion Capture Lead

Awarded…? No. Given…? Yes.
Chris Owens, Test Engineer

No, but I awarded it to your mom once. Once.
David Shaw, Senior Producer

Not yet. Give it time.
Leland Dantzler, Tester

If you do get the Shaft, you’re told to never to talk about it.
David Hurd, Support Engineer

The shaft has been on my desk for months. I stole it.
Luke Timmins, Senior Engineering Lead

Mr. Timmins, keep an eye out for Mr. Cable.


crawlingshadow9 What is your favorite video game genre and why?

What if I told you that we loved racing games? Or dancing games? How would that warp your theory about what we’re creating in this (occasionally compromised) cloak of secrecy? I can tell when a Mail Sack question is baited like a hook intended to catch some details about our labor of love. Sometimes, I feel like a security guard who can pull a thief out of a crowd of eager shoppers.


defnop552 What's your quote for the Bungie Yearbook?

“This is the worst kept secret ever.”
Jonty Barnes, Production Director

“Let’s shoot this.”
Troy McFarland, Motion Capture Lead

“YOLO!”
Noah George, Sever Ninja

“Remember that time when we did all that stuff? Good Times.”
Chris Owens, Test Engineer

“I blame the bloating on the bagel dogs.”
Leland Dantzler, Tester

There’s a yearbook? Oh man, I need to get into shape.
Drew Smith, Producer


f123456789 01000011 01100001 01101110 00100000 01100001 01101110 01111001 01101111 01101110 01100101 00100000 01100001 01110100 00100000 01000010 01110101 01101110 01100111 01101001 01100101 00100000 01110011 01110000 01100101 01100001 01101011 00100000 01100010 01101001 01101110 01100001 01110010 01111001 00111111

01001110 01101111 01110000 01100101 00101110 00100000 00100000 01010100 01101000 01100101 01110011 01100101 00100000 01110110 01101001 01100100 01100101 01101111 00100000 01100111 01100001 01101101 01100101 01110011 00100000 01101101 01101001 01110010 01100001 01100011 01110101 01101100 01101111 01110101 01110011 01101100 01111001 00100000 01100011 01101111 01100100 01100101 00100000 01110100 01101000 01100101 01101101 01110011 01100101 01101100 01110110 01100101 01110011 00101110


Joris Kyker Why does Drew Smith have such an amazing taste in music?

Drew is formerly a Hipster from the East Coast. His origins endow him with eccentric tastes that extend from his fancy assortment of headphones all the way down to his fleet of funky shoes. This tragically fashionable disposition impacts his music selection as well. I’ll let him offer a counterpoint, since no Hipster alive would tolerate their identification as a Hipster. Drew?

I was posting on BBSs before you even knew what a 2400 baud modem was DeeJ. Now where did I leave my PBR?
Drew Smith, Producer


SilverBulitt82 If you discovered another planet similar to earth on the far side of our galaxy, what would you name it?

SilverBulitt83.
David Shaw, Senior Producer

Urmom.
David Johnson, Engineer

Hurth.
David Hurd, Support Engineer

Bubba.
Troy McFarland, Motion Capture Lead

Kate Upton, since the chances are slim that I’d be able to visit either.
Noah George, Sever Ninja

Planet Owens.
Chris Owens, Test Engineer

Pluto. Take that, scientists!
Travis Pijut, Test Engineer

Far Earth.
John Stvan, Graphic Designer

The Farside, to honor Gary Larson’s brilliance.
Leland Dantzler, Tester

Klarphnog.
Drew Smith, Producer

That’s not even a thing, Drew. I even Netscaped it with my modem.


Sundalius Does Bungie still do Ride Alongs or have they died out?

You make our official community game nights sound like Velociraptors. While equally ferocious, they are in hibernation, rather than extinct. The convention of the Ride Along will return. What we really need to make them meaningful is a new game that we can share as player and creator. We’re working on that, as hard and as fast as we can.


coolmike699 If you got the chance to blow up one thing, what would it be?


John Stvan, Graphic Designer

I always thought getting to plan and blow up things like this looked like a great job:


Jonty Barnes, Production Director

Time.
Drew Smith, Producer

A Golf course, if it would mean my putt would go in:


Troy McFarland, Motion Capture Lead

Do the cars of everyone who drives under the speed limit count as one thing? If not, I would say Pluto, to put it out of its misery since it’s not a planet anymore.
Travis Pijut, Test Engineer

Planet Owens.
Chris Owens, Test Engineer

This question leaves me wondering why so many of our Test Engineers want to destroy planets. Looks like it’s time to check their shared documents for plans to build a Death Star.


A Pimpin Lady Where does Bungie find/hire their contract employees?

They find us, traveling the same treacherous path that’s been negotiated by everyone on the Bungie team. That journey begins with a single first step, and you can find it on our Careers page.


Unanimate Objec How do you combat your body's eternal spiral into decomposition?

Denial.
Jonty Barnes, Production Director

Preservatives.
Troy McFarland, Motion Capture Lead

I’ve been eating better and working out more, but it’s really the ritualistic sacrifices that should keep me going for another century.
Noah George, Sever Ninja

I combat it mentally (I’m losing).
Chris Owens, Test Engineer

Work out twice a day. Burn more than you eat.
Travis Pijut, Test Engineer

http://www.bungie.net/forums/topics.aspx?forumID=10
John Stvan, Graphic Designer

Kicking and punching a heavy bag and watching Cocoon every week.
Drew Smith, Producer

Candy. In reality, it’s likely just like taping rockets to collapsing arteries and blasting further into the decomposition wormhole. But, dang, gummi bears are WORTH it.
Leland Dantzler, Tester


Dropship dude As hard as it is for us to be in the dark, how hard is it for staff at Bungie to keep a lid on the greatness being developed within the walls of the studio? The desire to get what you've been working so hard on out there must be overwhelming.

So overwhelming, in fact, that I have a whole team of censors who watch my every move. The urge to bathe the Bungie Blog in the sweet action that I see every day is almost irresistible. Deploying content from me to you requires more authentication and approval than is required to launch a missile from a submarine, and I don’t have a key.


spawn031 Worst experience on a date. Go.

During the get-to-know you phase of a first date, my dinner companion told me all about her last boyfriend, and how their relationship ended because he played too many video games. This fed logically (and tragically) into a conversation about what I did for fun. I didn’t have the heart to lie. That was before the appetizers had been delivered to the table. Thanks for spawning that memory. Let’s see if our panel has been any luckier…

We hiked up to Griffith Observatory hung over. I lost count of the times I heaved. She didn’t call me back.
Chris Owens, Test Engineer

I showed up at the restaurant and she was having dinner with some random guy that she had just met. On the upside, I didn’t have to pay for dinner.
Travis Pijut, Test Engineer

My date decided it was a bad idea to order the red wine, because it would stain her teeth and her therapist would know that she’d been drinking again.
Troy McFarland, Motion Capture Lead

I made out with someone who had just eaten several dill pickles.
David Johnson, Engineer

Back in school I took the girl out. I planned everything for a night at the Frying Pan (a bar in NYC). When we met there I discovered she brought a friend. <cue price is right fail music>
Drew Smith, Producer

A date threw up on me once. I really can’t go into more detail here.
Noah George, Sever Ninja

I found out she was a vampire.
David Hurd, Support Engineer

Not enough cash to cover dinner… at Hooters.
John Stvan, Graphic Designer

It’s really hard to pick a winner/loser here. As for my own happy ending, it was my wife who bought me my first Xbox, and a copy of Halo: Combat Evolved. There is someone out there for everyone. Keep the faith, boys.


ChorrizoTapatio How tough is it to break into the marketing end of the gaming industry? Are individuals with business degrees just as valuable to Bungie as designers, engineers, and Jerome?

First of all, no one is more valuable than Jerome. Were it not for his unflinching service as our steely-eyed sentinel, Bungie HQ would have been overrun by anxious interlopers long, long ago. As for your more sincere question, the gaming industry can be a bit of a closed circle. Almost everyone who has braved the Internet as the subject of a Breaking In interview has told their story about learning to create their piece of our puzzle elsewhere, and then bringing those skills here. While most of the work done at Bungie is reliant on rare skills for crafting art or writing code, there are occasional roles to be filled by people with the business acumen to complete the equation between the developer and the gamer.


Kvaener Do you have an Arch-nemesis?

With the Pentathalon Puzzlehunt coming up, it would probably be Roger Wolfson.
David Johnson, Engineer

Robert Khoo of Penny Arcade. One day I’ll retire from Soccer and kick his ass.
Jonty Barnes, Production Director

Yes, and she is also the mother of my children.
David Hurd, Support Engineer


David Shaw, Senior Producer

Not… anymore.
Troy McFarland, Motion Capture Lead

Of course, all great super heroes do.
Chris Owens, Test Engineer

The need for sleep.
John Stvan, Graphic Designer

La Fours (mall security).
Drew Smith, Producer


scagjmboy45 How many cameras are in the Studio?

Do all the smart phones count? Or are you only asking about the electronic security eyes that peer into our space from just about every surface? Either way, it’s just about impossible to achieve the quality of “stealth” within these walls.


EpicWaffles If you won the lottery what would you do with the winnings?

“I would quit my job at Bungie!” said no one. Here’s what they did say…

Have some memories erased.
David Hurd, Support Engineer

I would buy a condo in the fancy high-rise right next to work.
Noah George, Sever Ninja

I’d buy a house, a nice car and then invest the rest into a massive domed structure in which contains a tropical paradise with all you’d expect to find there, including a surf-able beach, and a steady temperature of 80 degrees.
Chris Owens, Test Engineer

It depends on the amount.
$1 million: pay off the house, put money away for retirement & kid’s college
$15 million: start my own distillery
$25 million: Create a non-profit creative space for fine and performing arts, including a live/work space for resident artists & all ages theater & music venue
$50 million: All of the above, and create a scholarship foundation for art & technology students
$100 million: Hire a private doctor who is on call 24/7, and spends their time providing free health care to the local community
$250+ million: Hire a crack team of mercenaries to infiltrate the war torn Afghanistan mountains, and extract a pillar of lapis lazuli.
Troy McFarland, Motion Capture Lead


LIGHTNING ROUND!

Gamer Whale Are there any cons in working at Bungie?
Are you asking if any of our people have done time?

SN068237264910 Where is the Webmaster?
We put him charge of our social networks.

CrazzySnipe55 Are you going to have community beta testers for Bungie.next.
There’s a pretty good chance of that. Who’s ready for the next evolution?

BC1096 Is it cool if I pop by Bungie on my birthday?
It all depends on what the word “pop” means in this context.

mister death WHY do you only choose the 'intelligent' questions?
Please see the previous question. So much for your theory.

TopWargamer What's my trust rating?
You mean your Pink T Number? It’s 5827.

JScientia13 Have you ever thought about asking us questions in the mail sack?
Thought about it - even did it. We find that we like it better when you ask the questions – and the stranger the better.


QuirkyNate What are the strangest questions someone has asked you outside of the mail sack?

You really don’t want to know the answer to that. Seriously.
David Shaw, Senior Producer

Do Chucky’s interview questions count?
David Johnson, Engineer

I interviewed an engineering candidate who asked me if I liked a picture of a wolf that he’d just drawn. He really didn’t talk much about programming and the whole interview was quite unsettling. I’ll never forget it.
Jonty Barnes, Production Director

Are you really a Prince? This was a pickup line an older woman used on me when I gave her my business card at an industry event. It had a picture of a frog on it. That was a bit awkward.
Troy McFarland, Motion Capture Lead

Where would I be if I were a muffin?
Leland Dantzler, Tester

Long before I was at Bungie, I was asked who my favorite cartoon character was during a job interview.
Noah George, Sever Ninja

They don’t get any stranger than the mail sack.
David Hurd, Support Engineer

I never leave the Mail Sack.
Chris Owens, Test Engineer


Thank you, Chris. It’s our hope that no one will ever leave the Mail Sack. We love all of you too much to let you get away. If you try, they’ll find you in the woods! We’re sorry if that feels creepy, but it’s how we feel. And there’s no point in denying one’s feelings.

We’ll continue this overly attached love affair next week, Bungie Community. See you in the mailroom on Monday.

Community 12/7/2012 10:27 AM PST permalink

Bungie Crews The Artemis

Per Audacia Ad Astra

It’s no secret that Bungie dreams of traveling (boldly) to the stars. So many of our games have flung humanity into the vast reaches of space in search of intrigue and adventure. It’s also no secret that Bungie loves to play games – all kinds of games. Tables in our studio have been found strewn with controllers, dice, cards, chips, figurines, and even the occasional pawn or queen. Recently, as a mission to explore a strange new blend of these two passions, we built ourselves a starship.



It was as good a way as any to spend a lunch hour. The bridge for this mighty vessel was our state of the art theater. When we aren't using it to screen films with our families and friends (or show our emerging game to very special guests), this multimedia lounge makes for a luxurious Combat Information Center. The game in play was Artemis, a simulator that brings six players together on a network to roleplay as a space-faring crew.

Our ship builder was Garrett Greer. Appropriately enough, Garrett is a Bungie Engineer who troubleshoots our games to keep them in strong working order. As someone who first played Artemis at a LAN Party, he knew that he had to enlist his Bungie teammates into this virtual space program. “My first thought when I saw the theatre was that this would be the best bridge ever,” he recalls.



There’s Garrett, advising Tom Gioconda on the command console he would use to lead our mission. If you’re no stranger to Bungie.net, you may know Tom as Achronos, an Overlord of our community clubhouse. The moment he assumed the big chair, we called him Captain.



A Captain is nothing without his crew.  It was these brave souls that volunteered to man the stations that would keep Artemis functioning like a living organism. From left to right, they are: Jacob Miner (Science Officer), Kurt Nellis (Communications Officer), Michael Williams (Helm), Sergey Mkrtumov (Weapons Chief), Jay Thaler (Engineering Chief).

“What really amazes me about this game is how easily people get into their roles,” said Garrett, who began his off-world naval career with an itchy trigger finger. “I started at the weapons station where I quickly earned a reputation for over zealously loading nukes and randomly shooting ordnance.”



It would happen that, aboard the Artemis, such overzealousness is a very common trait among green officers. Our maiden voyage was anything but a hero’s tale. Fresh out of spacedock, our space cowboy of a Captain ordered his crew to open up the throttle. And who can blame him? It’s not every day that life affords you the chance to bark “Maximum Warp!” at a bridge staffed by eager cadets.



Tragically, our anxious crew never even saw the minefield that brought their trek to a sudden and explosive end. Fortunately, their peril was all just part a game. Watching your shiny new spaceship disappear in a luminous cloud of debris is something that you can laugh about when you can conjure up another one with a few clicks of a mouse.



With some lessons about carefully plotting a course under their belt, our crew ventured forth again. This time, they took more care to chart their surroundings. If you can avoid the derelict munitions strewn throughout the system, there is much to experience aboard the Artemis. Missions of many types beckon from the cosmos. Stranded explorers cry out for rescue. Strange phenomena invite research. Local space stations are available to refit and resupply.



“Red Alert!” No space romp would be complete without a battle against hostile invaders. After their untimely demise in the minefield, the Bungie crew found their rhythm as a team. Under the steady guidance of her Captain, the Artemis fended off several attacks against their own ship and the home base that kept them stocked with torpedoes. The programmable lighting system in our theatre helped to set the mood. With weapons and shields at their fingertips, they ruled the stars.

This will not be our last mission. The word is out at Bungie, and astro-lunches are to become a habit. Thanks to the creators of Artemis for making a great game, as well as to Garrett for helping us to blast off. You don’t need a private theater to enjoy this game. The home version is available to all on the Artemis website. All you need is a brave crew, and a little bit of networking muscle.

See you starside.

Community 12/4/2012 9:53 AM PST permalink

The Return of the Mail Sack

In stars lie hidden messages...



It’s been a while since we've completed the ritual of a proper Mail Sack. So much has happened in recent weeks to interrupt the flow of community love. Good old Xbox LIVE celebrated its tenth birthday – which completes a full era in Internet years. American descendants of colonial defectors devoured millions of flightless birds and battled each other in shopping centers to celebrate the things for which we’re most thankful. And, there was that small matter of the conceptual glimpse of new universe that we let slip.

But enough about the past. Let’s look optimistically toward the future, and open the Sack!


Vladof Assassin Why does Bungie do these 'Mail Sacks'? It just seems like a waste of resources.

Dude! Waste of resources? Talk like that could get me fired. Mind you, I’m not sweating my untimely demise too hard. Bungie assigns an enormous amount of value to good community relations, which is why I get to sit in this comfy chair and bide my time until our gag order is lifted. As for the Mail Sack, I've always believed that listening is more important to a healthy relationship than talking. That’s why I like to ask you fine people questions. Plus, it also helps me plug the void that I will ultimately fill with chatter about our next game.

Soon™.


dmg04 Did you miss us?

Nope. I've been here all this time, looking in on your heated debates and sounding off where it became necessary. Since I've been keeping you all to myself, it’s our panel that might have been missing you…

Definite maybe.
Tom Slattery, Localization Content Manager

Never knew you. Sorry, it’s not you, it’s me.
Matthew Ward, Senior Cinematic Designer

Wait… where’d you go?
Drew Smith, Producer

Every day. I can't wait until we’re firehosing information at you guys.
Michael Williams, Senior Engineer

Sure, but I knew our paths would cross again!
Jay Weinland, Senior Audio Lead

Since answering these Mail Sacks is the only responsibility I have here at Bungie, it has been a terribly lonely and unproductive November. Thanks for coming back, it means a lot.
Pat Jandro, Senior Cinematic Designer

I've thought of you every day while you've been away!
Alex Loret de Mola, Engineer

Not as much as you missed me.
Chris Owens, Test Engineer

Real nice, Chris. Keep an eye on Owens. He’s easily the boldest troll in this Sack.


r c takedown Did you have to move when you scored a job at Bungie?

Aside from the few of us who actually lived in the Greater Seattle area when they got hired, we all had to move. I get the question about “telecommuting” a lot from people who stare longingly at our careers page, but harbor a lingering devotion to their own back yard. At Bungie, there is no such thing as working from home. You have to enter the honeycomb if you want to access the hive mind. Fortunately, Bungie does a lot to make the experience worth the trek.


WestCoastRonin Besides building an awesome universe that none of us can see yet, what is a perk of working at Bungie that most of us on the outside wouldn't know about?

Personally, the chance to be a fly on the walls that contain my favorite creative process is a real treat. The chance to make a contribution to that process is still surreal. Our esteemed panelists might have a less starry-eyed perspective…

Music is blasted throughout the men’s restroom. It’s a beautiful thing.
Matthew Ward, Senior Cinematic Designer

Insanity classes in The Central.
Drew Smith, Producer

Amazing and often hilarious Photoshops by our artists that only our eyes get to see.
Tom Slattery, Localization Content Manager

New Employee Free Lunch program, by far. New Employees can go out with every person at Bungie over the first 6 months and Bungie will pay!
Jay Weinland, Senior Audio Lead

The speed of our network - it will seriously melt your face. Transferring files at home makes me feels like a turtle. If I'm not at work, the Interwebs feel like I'm connecting through dial-up.
Michael Strein, Engineer

I’ve learned a lot, just by working with other departments at Bungie. We have very talented people here, and it rubs off. We work in an open office. No cubicles! It makes for easy sharing of ideas.
J Garris Jones, Technical Artist

The Oompa Loompas who make us candy on a daily basis.
Chris Owens, Test Engineer

We have a liquor license and a fully stocked beer fridge for whenever the occasion calls for either.
Pat Jandro, Senior Cinematic Designer

Don't tell Harold, but I'd probably work here in exchange for a dormitory-style room and three hot meals a day.
Alex Loret de Mola, Engineer

Piloting an amazing starship is a fantastic recent perk.
Michael Williams, Senior Engineer

Ahhhh, yes. I’ll tell that story next week, Bungie Community. Promise.


Recon Number 54 So, are you going to answer the questions that were asked in the BWTJHA era (Before Well That Just Happened Again) or the current era now known as OMGWTFBIMMDCT (OMGWTF Bungie Is Making My Dreams Come True)?

Sorry. We’re not quite ready to call this an end of an era just yet. Soon™.


Big Black Bear Do you enjoy making people cry?

Only if they deserve it. And, only if the proper authorities aren’t around to intervene on their behalf.


THORSGOD What was your most recent interaction with an officer of the law?

Great question! Let’s learn all about the fascinating crimes that have been committed by the Bungie panel, as well as the death-defying escapes from justice that resulted…

My wife and I had dinner with my good friend (and police officer) Jack and his wife back in San Francisco. We grilled lamb. It was delicious.
Matthew Ward, Senior Cinematic Designer

I bought a parking permit in San Francisco. I had to secure several spaces.
Drew Smith, Producer

Mailing one a Christmas card.
Tom Slattery, Localization Content Manager

We recently got pulled over for making a free right that wasn't so free.
Michael Williams, Senior Engineer

A hug.
Pat Jandro, Senior Cinematic Designer

Man, that was a total letdown. Not a single high speed chase in the mix. We need to get out more.


Frag Ingot If you had to choose one screenshot to represent everything awesome about your next game, what screenshot would you choose?

No single image would do the trick. There’s a reason we plan a steady cadence of assets and information as part of our marketing plan; we don’t want to desensitize you, or strip you of your own free will. Not yet, at least.

JScientia13 Can you give us the name of the awesome looking vehicle in the recently released image that is now my wallpaper?

Well, now that you mention it, we’re partial to Awesome Looking Vehicle.


homocidalham I'm feeling down. Can you say something to cheer me up?

Oh, yeah? Did you have a tough week? Here are some words of inspiration from our cheery panelists…

“Life is good… and life goes on.” – Master Splinter (original B&W TMNT comics)
Matthew Ward, Senior Cinematic Designer

Every day is a new opportunity to try new paths, and there are a ton of amazing things to be discovered both big and small.
Michael Williams, Senior Engineer

There is always a light at the end of the tunnel and you have to assume it is not an oncoming train. That thought has gotten me through some heinous crunches over the past 17 years in video games.
Jay Weinland, Senior Audio Lead

Free beer?
Chris Owens, Test Engineer

www.failblog.org
Drew Smith, Producer

If none of those sentiments have done the trick, you can always try music.


arzeik What is the song you listen to when you’re low and you need to cheer up?

Lately, it’s been Draw A Crowd by Ben Folds Five.
Matthew Ward, Senior Cinematic Designer

Right now, something by Neon Indian – Hex Girlfriend.
Drew Smith, Producer


Tom Slattery, Localization Content Manager

Please don't judge me too harshly, but when I seriously need cheering up, I listen to popular pop music (Call me, Firework, Gangam). It's simple, happy, and warm, like going for a drive on a sunny day. In other moods, I'll listen to the more complex stuff you hear on KEXP.
Michael Williams, Senior Engineer

There is a Jimmy Cliff Live album has a few tracks that stick out (Wonderful World, Beautiful People, or You Can Get it if You Really Want it) but then most Reggae makes me happy. A little more modern might be first Joe Jackson album or the first section of Elvis Costello’s Punch The Clock (if those count as more modern… *sigh* yes I’m old).
Jay Weinland, Senior Audio Lead

You Make My Dreams by Hall and Oates always works for me.
J Garris Jones, Technical Artist

Theme song to Cheers.
Chris Owens, Test Engineer


Alex Loret de Mola, Engineer


I ZEROC00L I Will the podcast make its return? Or is it gone forever?

It’s gone forever, or until we decide to revive it. Once we have more to talk about, we just might commit some of those conversations to a castable format. I’ve been accused of being in love with the sound of my own voice, so the odds are in your favor if you be an audiophile. I can tell you one thing: Lukems won’t be invited.


M1Silencer Who are the people you look up to and use as role models?

All of my role models are on the Mail Sack panel…

I think everyone at Bungie looks up to Marty. He’s tall and he’s been making music since the 30’s.
Matthew Ward, Senior Cinematic Designer

My mother and my close relatives are huge role models for me. Anything that is good about my character, I learned from them.
Michael Williams, Senior Engineer

Jason Jones! He made the games I loved as a kid, and makes the games I love today.
Alex Loret de Mola, Engineer

I am my own role model. People look up to ME.
Chris Owens, Test Engineer

Anyone who enters my life and offers inspiration.
Drew Smith, Producer

Well, duh! Thanks for defining “Role Model” for us, Drew. Looks like we have another entrant in the Troll Wars.


Izak609 Am I ambitious in assuming Bungie.next is around the corner, after the "leak"?

Is that all you can think about? I wouldn’t classify assumptions as ambitious. Anybody can just haphazardly lob a wild guess out there. So, no, you’re not ambitious in assuming anything.


MiloOmega I think I might be having a stroke due to the leak, suggestions?

Elevate your feet, and place a phone call to the first responders in your community.


GPK Ethan How does one start modding?

When I first came to Bungie, I met Nate Hawbaker, a fellow community recruit. I remembered some his work from Halo.Bungie.Org. While he freely admitted to me that he cut his teeth as a member of the Halo modding community, he assured me that he was not responsible for the flying Warthogs that terrified me so much in Halo 2. Check out how his experiences helped him to become a member of our team…

First, a disclaimer: All modifications to software should be done under the apprehension that it’s for educational and recreational use. Modifying code should never be attempted in the interest of something nefarious like cheating.

Do you want to start working on a game that has official developer support for user-created content/modification, or do you want to work on a game that doesn’t necessarily have support?

If you want to rely on developer support, the answer is pretty straight forward. Search the Internet for the numerous engines available (Unreal, Source, CryEngine). There is a wealth of documentation and tutorials out there that will cover far more than I ever could in a paragraph or two.

If you want to get into making/changing content that doesn't have official developer support, things get more difficult. For nine years, I was involved in the Halo modding scene. There’s a very active community that harbored the same sort of work you might find in any supported community. All the development and reverse-engineering falls onto the users in that space, but it usually still produces wonderful results.

I think modding is as important as anything else when it comes to getting a job in the games industry. The process of properly condensing polycounts, maintaining good topology, importing your content through the engine, and reconstructing shaders through that engine’s system is truly an art unto itself. Modding allows you to translate your conceptual ideas into a crafted player experience – and that is one shiny star on your resume.
Nate Hawbaker, Technical Artist


MozzarellaMonky Do you accept Christmas gifts from fans?

Your love is gift enough.


FloodScientist I love you.

You see? We’re easy to please. Consider our stocking stuffed.

Now that we’re back to a more predictable routine, the Mail Sack will return to its normal state as a gift that keeps on giving. We start collecting your letters every Monday on the Community Forum. That’s also the place where you can win a rare and special piece of Bungie loot if you can be the first to decipher this message…

Community 11/30/2012 1:40 PM PST permalink

Happy Thanksgiving

Stuffed with gratitude...

In Bungie’s corner of the global village, today is host to the cherished occasion of Thanksgiving. This local tradition reunites us with family and friends to catch up on gossip and dismantle a feast of legendary proportions. More importantly, it’s a chance to reflect on one’s good fortune.

Within the Bungie family, we consider ourselves very fortunate. Among our many blessings, we’re most thankful for you, the impassioned community of gamers who have kept us company these many years and explored the worlds we’ve created. Today, as we take a break from our mysterious work in progress to glutton ourselves into a stupor, you are in our thoughts – even if you aren’t engaged in carnivorous colonial traditions.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Love, Bungie

Community 11/21/2012 9:03 PM PST permalink

Happy 10th Anniversary, Xbox LIVE!

A decade of good games...

Everything that’s fun to do alone, is more fun to do with your friends. – Jason Jones, Bungie

Ten years ago, an upstart service known as Xbox LIVE came online for the very first time. At Bungie, we had a front row seat for the development of this emerging platform for online gaming, and our designers and engineers were already salivating over the prospect of getting our grubby little code-creating hands on it. They were no strangers to the absurd amounts of fun to be had on the internet, and they were dreaming of a day when our Xbox Halo players could connect, not just in their dorm rooms and living rooms, but through the magic of 1s and 0s in cyberspace.

Over the past ten years, Xbox LIVE has allowed me to keep in touch with my oldest friends while connecting me to a wealth of new ones. Despite the distance my life's travels have taken me, I continue to spend countless hours relaxing and playing games with my buddies as if we were just sitting on a couch next to each other.
ncsuDuncan, NeoGAF

A full decade later, the Xbox LIVE Friends List has become all but ubiquitous among people who seek their thrills in multiplayer. Microsoft made magic. And if you’ll allow us to bang our little Bungie drum a bit, we weaved some of our own with a whole slew of features custom built for Halo 2 that eventually became part of the core Xbox LIVE experience.

Bungie's "Virtual Couch" allowed us to enjoy the Halo 2 LAN experience when a real LAN wasn't feasible. LAN play in Halo gave me a way to connect with friends that nothing that came before it provided. As we scattered to the winds, Xbox LIVE and Halo 2 gave us an opportunity to recapture that magic.
Louis Wu, Founder, halo.bungie.org, Member AARP

There is a whole new generation of gamers on the grid who will never know of a time that existed before you could pull a teammate into a pregame lobby, or meet a friend for the first time on a virtual battlefield. As we look back on the launch of Xbox LIVE, we see the impact of this innovation in terms of the impact it’s had on the way we play games, and we thank Microsoft not only for the service, but for the opportunity to play a part in its success.

The first time I connected to Xbox Live was the moment after the midnight launch of Halo 2, where I picked up my Xbox console as well. Having such a simplistic way to compete online with such low latency was astounding. To this day, no one has topped what Xbox Live has become. For me, personally, Xbox Live was (and frankly still is) the easiest way to game with my friends, whether they're a few doors away, or a few miles.
Dac, Community Manager, reddit

Today, this anniversary will be celebrated not just by us, but by an industry. Millions of games will be played tonight over Xbox LIVE. Thousands of prepubescent voices will ring out over your headset, and you will suddenly silence them.

At Bungie, we try to keep it a bit more personal, dare we say, intimate. Below you’ll find a collection of memories from our fans on Bungie.net. Give ‘em a good read. Then log onto Xbox LIVE and kick some online ass.

It's weird that the game I'm experiencing is being experienced simultaneously by others around the world at the same time, and that we can actually converse about it at the same time. As a gamer, it's made me appreciate the games more.
Jacob Crawford, Member, Bungie.net

Xbox LIVE helped me have something in common with people in High School I normally wouldn't have talked to. It became a lot more social which helped me become more involved as I like the social interaction just as much as the games themselves.
vanert, Member, Bungie.net

Xbox LIVE forced me to see that one can forge valuable friendships online. I finally found a core group of guys that I could play with. I started enjoying the experience more, and I can honestly say that some of the people I feel most comfortable talking to now are people I initially met on Xbox Live.
Primo84, Member, Bungie.net

Xbox LIVE actually helped to make me more productive as a person, which is kind of strange in comparison to what you'd think. It was something to look forward to after a long day of work, and people I met motivated me to do what I do now in life.
SpAmMer, Member, Bungie.net

Xbox LIVE was the one asset that allowed me to grow as a gamer. Before Xbox Live, I was a naive young gamer who only knew the basics of gaming. After Xbox Live, I was a young gamer who knew the ins and out of strategy and gameplay. Without Xbox Live, I wouldn't be the gamer I am today.
EDOET, Member, Bungie.net

Xbox LIVE has allowed me to become more social around strangers, as well as give me the ability to sit down after a long day and unwind with some of the best friends I have ever had. I can also learn about the latest happenings in the gaming world and keep tabs on my favorite developers and publishers.
Kretos, Member, Bungie.net

I got Xbox LIVE the month it came out many years ago. It changed my universe in a way. It let me talk to people from across the entire planet. It let me run and gun with some incredible people. I learned what was acceptable behavior. I learned how to interact with different cultures. I learned that my world was just a small part of huge universe. I was 14 at the time and for a 14 year old I think that level of worldwide interaction is incredible.
EAGLES5, Member, Bungie.net

Playing games online has made me feel more connected to those around the globe. It's also changed the way I view games. Having played games competitively, I can honestly say it's made me more patient and far more team oriented.
Anti Gov420, Member, Bungie.net

When I was in a time of my life when I was young and didn't know how to make friends, Xbox Live taught me how to do that. When I was in a time of my life when I was older and had made some good friends, Xbox Live helped me keep in touch with them as I moved across the country.
Halo53, Member, Bungie.net

Xbox LIVE was really a whole new world for me. It didn't matter what time it was or what I felt like playing, there was always someone who wanted to play. I no longer had to wait for friends to come over to play with someone, and I could now play with a whole group of people not just four. I also didn't have to worry about brothers looking at my screen or playing on one fourth of a screen.
me123456789, Member, Bungie.net

Xbox LIVE has introduced me to a world of people that I've grown to call my friends. Interactions beyond XBL have allowed me develop bonds with people that go beyond an XBL party. I've celebrated births and mourned the death of friends, shared laughs, had arguments, and have given and received a lot of valuable advice on life. To me, XBL is more than just a means of gaming, it's a means of life.
chubbz, Member, Bungie.net

The crew at Official Xbox Magazine has dug deeper into the story of the people who created Xbox LIVE. Their account is on newsstands now. To look back on those developments through the eyes of Bungie veterans like Chris Butcher and Roger Wolfson, you should pay a visit to your local newsstand and check it out.

Community 11/15/2012 10:13 AM PST permalink

The Best Mail Sack Ever

Can you spot the lie in the title?



Welcome to the best Mail Sack that has ever been published on Bungie.net in the very short history of this brand new tradition. You’ll be amazed at how different this Mail Sack is from the ones that have come before it. For starters, we invited our community to ask questions, and our team stepped forward to answer them.

If you think that sounds familiar, you’re right. Sorry for the lie, but we needed a theme. Fortunately, a lot of people at Bungie also swallowed the hook, so there are a lot of new friends (and some old favorites) to chat with below.

You know what's next.  Let’s open the Sack.


The EAKLE What question could I ask to make this the best mail sack ever?

Hint: Not that one.


crawlingshadow9 What is your favorite part of your job?


John Stvan, Graphic Designer

Fame and Fortune!
Christian Diefenbach, Engineering Lead

Getting presented with a crazy idea from our designers or client engineering team, and designing whole new services to support it. It is a ton of fun to work out the most efficient way to make our team’s dreams come true.
Michael Williams, Senior Engineer

Getting to see the things I make used throughout the studio.
David Johnson, Engineer

Answering Mail sack questions.
Alex Haraux, Engineer

It’s a toss-up between implementing an exciting new feature or fixing a nasty bug.
Ben Litowitz, Engineer

The people. I get to work with some of the most talented people in the industry… and also DeeJ.
Drew Smith, Producer

My desk! I’ve never had a desk so amazing in all my life. It holds all my things! (And I’m pretty sure it’s longer than I am tall).
Jami Jeffcoat, Tech Designer

I love firefighting, which is probably unhealthy but it’s true. It produces pleasant brain chemicals.
Alex Loret de Mola, Engineer

My coworkers. You can have the most creative, highest paying job in the world and hate every minute of it if you don’t have a team that works well together.
Troy McFarland, MoCap Lead

Seeing things I worked on in-game, and thinking “Dude! I helped make that!”
Andrea Fonger, Engineer

Figuring out solutions to hard problems, and having those hard problems relate to how to make an awesome universe.
Michael Strein, Engineer

Trolling the forums Interacting with fans. My line of work gets especially fast feedback, since I work on the primary way fans talk to us. I can’t imagine how we’d be Bungie without that connection.
Tom “Achronos” Gioconda, Engineer

Seeing a finished cinematic for the first time in Jay's "magic chair" after we've handed it off to the Effects and Audio teams, and they've had their way with it.
Pat Jandro, Senior Cinematic Designer


coolmike699 What are the politics of gaming?

The politics of gaming are completely different from anything we saw in the news this week. As a gamer, you can wage a hard-fought campaign, only to be confronted by additional challenges that will take some strategic cooperation with your allies to overcome. You need to mobilize your base if you want to raise your flag. When a race is over, congratulations are always in order, no matter who wins. And, we gamers always need someone to watch our back. That’s what makes us so unique. I don’t think there is an elected official in the world that would be able to relate to any of those statements.


Kr1egerdude Why do you answer Mail Sack questions?

Why do you ask Mail Sack questions?
Jay Thaler, Senior Engineer



John Stvan, Graphic Designer

Fame and Fortune!
Christian Diefenbach, Engineering Lead

I used to write my favorite game development companies when I was a lot younger, asking questions about games. I love that at Bungie, we actually take the time to answer.
Andy Howell, Matchmaking Test Lead

Because it’s my favorite part of my job.
Alex Haraux, Engineer

I’ve never answered before, but this one was titled “The Best Mail Sack Ever!” so I figured I was required to respond. You’re welcome, internet.
Jami Jeffcoat, Tech Designer

Notoriety…?
Dave Mongan, Senior Writer

Because I think I’m funny. Even if no one else laughs, I crack myself up, and I tell myself that is what really counts.
Andrea Fonger, Engineer

Because “The DeeJ” has compromising information on me and he’ll release it to the masses if I don’t. Damn you, Facebook!!
Troy McFarland, MoCap Lead

To paint a picture in all your minds of what is REALLY happening here. You can always count on me to be honest and truthful. DeeJ, when are you gonna run the story about the new fire pole that leads down into the test lab?
Pat Jandro, Senior Cinematic Designer

As soon as you let me sit in this magic chair you’re always talking about.


Captain Scurvy Would the Bungie office make a great place to play hide and seek?

Since none of us have an office, the studio that we share would make a terrible place to play hide and seek. We don’t make great games by keeping secrets from one another, so there is no place to hide. The whole development floor is wide open. You can hide under your desk, but anyone with hands and knees would be able to find you with a quick scan. Every conference room is concealed by a completely transparent glass wall, so you’re dead meat if you try to take cover in there, too.


CoRaMo What is your favorite ship (real or fictional, space or sea)?


Pat Jandro, Senior Cinematic Designer


Christian Diefenbach, Engineering Lead


Michael Williams, Senior Engineer


Andy Howell, Matchmaking Test Lead


Alex Haraux, Engineer


Drew Smith, Producer


Dave Mongan, Senior Writer


Andrea Fonger, Engineer


Austin Spafford, Engineer


John Stvan, Graphic Designer


Roger Wolfson, Theoretical Physicist


Chris Owens, Test Engineer


I used to work on these in middle school in my Grandpa’s workshop.
Troy McFarland, MoCap Lead


Alex Loret de Mola, Engineer


Michael Strein, Engineer


Jay Thaler, Senior Engineer


Can I use friendSHIP?
Jami Jeffcoat, Tech Designer

Oh, my word! She’s new, Bungie Community. She knows not what she does. Ease down…


DE4THINC4RN4TE What are the perfect ideals for Internet etiquette?

Everyone has their own solution. What works for me is to pretend that the person I’m dealing with over the Internet is right there in the room with me. And that person is Mike Tyson. And Mike Tyson just happens to be holding a shotgun with a freshly-oiled trigger assembly. If it’s a woman, just substitute with Angela Bassett. I let that delicate scenario inform my behavior. Ever since I discovered this roleplay, my participation in flame wars and post-game lobby trash-talking has decreased dramatically.


sacktapped Who would you like to fist fight?

The rich and famous.
Christian Diefenbach, Engineering Lead

I’m going to go with Ke$ha. Don’t get me wrong, I actually like her music. The way I imagine it, once we’re done fighting we could laugh it off, drink whiskey ‘till our wounds don’t hurt anymore, and become best friends forever. The end.
Jami Jeffcoat, Tech Designer

Can I fight a car, like in the bonus rounds of street fighter?
Michael Williams, Senior Engineer

My 16 year old self.
Pat Jandro, Senior Cinematic Designer

Strong Bad!
Andrea Fonger, Engineer

Tyler Durden.
Troy McFarland, MoCap Lead

Abe Lincoln. Big guy, big reach. Skinny guys fight till they're burger.
Josh Hamrick, Senior Designer


DefiniteInfinity how long ago did you decide on that career path and why?

Ten years ago, seeking Fame and Fortune.
Christian Diefenbach, Engineering Lead

In my early grades, I had to do a project based on the book Old Yeller, and ended up writing a program that printed out an ascii dog. The ability to make the computer do something was so amazing that I started on my path right then.
Michael Williams, Senior Engineer

For a long time I wanted to be a teacher, but in high school I realized that computer programming was something I really loved to do (and was reasonably good at), and so I decided to pursue that instead.
David Johnson, Engineer

Ten years ago. However, I did waver and take a break from game development for two or three years in the middle. Because of that break, I know that no matter what comes along, I will not be tempted away again.
Andy Howell, Matchmaking Test Lead

Probably about twelve years ago now. It was either this or marine biology. Frankly, I didn't want to go to school for nine years for the latter.
Pat Jandro, Senior Cinematic Designer

I tried to apply for President of the Universe, but the position was already filled.
Alex Haraux, Engineer

I realized I wanted to make games when I was 17, or so. I wanted to mix technical and artistic skills to make something fun and awesome. As an only child in an overly protective family, video games practically raised me. I just wanna give something back. (/awww)
Jami Jeffcoat, Tech Designer

I knew I wanted to be a writer from birth. Or, at least from the time I learned to write.
Dave Mongan, Senior Writer

In my junior year of college, I discovered that programming was much more fun than physics research. In the summer after my senior year in college, I did an internship at EA and fell in love with the game industry. There’s just something special about working with a bunch of fellow game nerds.
Andrea Fonger, Engineer

Generally, I knew I was doing programming as a career by the time I was in the fourth grade, and server engineering by high school.
Tom “Achronos” Gioconda, Engineer

My freshman year of college. I took my first programming course and loved it. It also helped that I was pretty good at it too.
Michael Strein, Engineer

1996. I got an impromptu interview with Dynamix, who said they weren’t hiring when I contacted them. I asked for a tour of their studio, and brought my resume and portfolio anyway. They gave me a job as a Photoshop retoucher of prerendered images (for Rama). I’ve been in the games industry ever since.
Troy McFarland, MoCap Lead

I know what you’re thinking, but this only works once in a lifetime. Visiting our careers page and following instructions is a far better tactic than gatecrashing our studio with your book under your arm.


Xd00999 Do employees ever look to these forums for inspiration?

This is certainly a great place to browse when we need a reminder for how to be patient.


mark117 mia2553 Besides the Mail Sacks do you have any other duties at Bungie?

Yes I do. Thank you for asking.


joe campbell What are some questions that people haven't asked already?

No one has asked about the game that we’re working on. What’s up with that? Don’t any of you even care?


sytheNsnipe Who's your hero?

Chris Owens. Yes, I’m my own hero.
Chris Owens, Test Engineer

My Grandpa (see above), my Father, Mark Twain.
Troy McFarland, MoCap Lead

Alan Turing is one of my big heroes.
Michael Williams, Senior Engineer

My Father. He was a journeyman mechanic and has a degree in electronics. He could fix anything without biological parts, and he was the kindest, and funniest, most intelligent man I have ever known.
Andy Howell, Matchmaking Test Lead

Ferenc van der Sluijs.
Pat Jandro, Senior Cinematic Designer

Chris Metzen.
Alex Haraux, Engineer

Ferris Bueller (oh man… I suddenly feel old).
Drew Smith, Producer

My 5th grade teacher, who taught me a lot about how being a geek should be celebrated, not hidden. Jocks run the playground, but geeks rule the world.
Tom “Achronos” Gioconda, Engineer


John Stvan, Graphic Designer


AxJARxOFxDIRT Are you tired of Halo related questions?

“Not yet…” –John, 117

It’s exciting to see a new adventure for the Master Chief, even if we’re not at the helm. Bungie will never forget Halo. That series of games will always be a cherished part of our heritage as a studio, even if we have moved on. We’re proud of what we created in that universe, and it’s an honor to see that people still want to explore it. Plus, until we give you something new to talk about, and we will, it’s perfectly logical that our conversations will turn to Halo. There are people who still pop up on Twitter to reminisce about Myth or Marathon or ONI.


BLAIR223 Do chicks dig the job?

I don’t know… do they?
Alex Loret de Mola, Engineer

The ones with a shovel do.
Pat Jandro, Senior Cinematic Designer

Depends on the lady. My awesome wife thinks it is pretty cool.
Michael Williams, Senior Engineer

“The job.” Is that what the kids refer to it as these days?
Rick Lico, Senior Art Lead

It is all about Fame and Fortune!
Christian Diefenbach, Engineering Lead

I have been testing this hypothesis lately; the sample size has been small, but thus far the results are not promising.
Ben Litowitz, Engineer

It’s not the job they dig, it’s that look I give em.
Veara Suon, Artist

They dig the passion and the cornrows.
Drew Smith, Producer

Yes, I definitely dig my job! Wait a minute…
Andrea Fonger, Engineer

I love the job! I’m sure the other fine ladies working here do too. And there’s never a line for the bathroom.
Jami Jeffcoat, Tech Designer

Nope.
Michael Strein, Engineer

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! No. Not at all.
Chris Owens, Test Engineer


John Stvan, Graphic Designer


Remorazz Today during lunch, some guy traded a game with one of my friends who sits at my table. He was wearing this shirt. Do you think he is member of Bungie.net? Should I seek him out?

Looks like you found yourself a Bungie Beta tester. Just imagine what he knows! The lure of information can be tantalizing, but I do not suggest that you not approach him. The punishment for betraying our trust can be messy and indiscriminant.


Disambiguation Being one of the few who had an opportunity to venture inside your studio earlier this evening, I have to ask: Does that NES in your rec room actually work, and what games do you guys play on it?

Hylebos Wait, what?

We got another Bungie Beta tester, and this one is talking! Stand back, Hylebos. Cybernetic Attack Wolves have been dispatched to his location to sweep and clear, and they don’t stand down until they're certain that the rumor has been contained. There’s no escape, Disambiguation. They can follow the scent you left on your chair in our lab across state lines and bodies of water.


Diseased Moto It's no secret that the best thing about a secret is secretly telling someone your secret, therefor adding another secret to their secret collection of secrets, secretly.

Telling a secret isn’t cool. You know what’s cool? Having a secret. At least, that’s what I tell myself whenever I think about tweeting concept art.

Don’t go rushing off to our Twitter feed, now. It’s secure, as evidenced by the fact that I am still here to publish this article – the very best Mail Sack in the history of mail and sacks. We hope you have enjoyed it as much as we have. If you think we can do better, you’ll have another crack at the letter box on Monday. Until then, keep your hands out of the Swedish fish.

Community 11/9/2012 1:46 PM PST permalink

The Mail Sack Has a Secret

And it will never tell...

Let’s say that you have a secret to keep. It’s a really good secret, and you like the people that you want to tell it to. But you know that if you tell that secret, you’ll end up hurting a lot of people who have placed in you their trust. That’s what managing the Bungie Community can be like. It’s not all twitter updates and forum games. Every day is fraught with temptation.

Fortunately, I get by with a little help from my friends…

Austin Spafford, Engineer
Ben Wommack, Production Engineer
Cameron Pinard, Artist
David Shaw, Senior Producer
Drew Smith, Producer
Cale Haskell, Engineer
Pat Jandro, Senior Cinematic Designer
John Hopson, User Research Lead
Chris Owens, Test Engineer
Rick Lico, Senior Art Lead
James Tsai, Senior Designer
Rachel Swavely, Motion Capture Tech
Adam Brown, Engineer

Let’s open the Sack.


ChorrizoTapatio Does saying “First!” make you better than everyone?

Clearly! Just think about you feel when you see the first person who manages to reply to something on the Internet. Don’t you just well up with admiration? Don’t you imagine them as someone who knows things and is going places?


Try What motivates you to do a good job?


David Shaw, Senior Producer

Smiles and laughs.
Austin Spafford, Engineer

First, I love programming, like, a little too much. Second, it’s awesome being part of a team working on a crazy cool project. You don’t want to let the rest of the team down!
Adam Brown, Engineer

Blind devotion, plus a carefully managed system of awesome job perks.
Cale Haskell, Engineer

Knowing that my work is eagerly awaited by millions of people worldwide is a pretty strong motivator to not muck things up.
Pat Jandro, Senior Cinematic Designer

The chance to do the best version of my job that's ever been done in the history of mankind.
John Hopson, User Research Lead

Working in an industry I’ve always admired and with people that are insanely talented and smart.
Chris Owens, Test Engineer

Seeing the awesome work being done by people around me.
Cameron Pinard, Artist

A sense of ownership, and getting to work on amazing projects. If you’re going to put yourself out there, make sure you go full ass.
Drew Smith, Producer

Knowing any failures during development will be forever immortalized by relentless, clever fans. Just kidding — you guys are astounding, but it’s as simple as having personal standards. If the best is possible, why not make it happen?
Ben Wommack, Production Engineer

I love what I do for a living, but there’s also a ton of stuff I absolutely don’t want to do for a living. You know the guy who runs around at the rodeo to distract the pissed off bull, risking great personal injury or even his life? I couldn’t do that. Fear of becoming a rodeo clown and getting trampled motivates me to try my hardest at making video games.
James Tsai, Senior Designer


CTN 0452 9 Has Bungie ever had a flash mob?

Do launch events for games count? How about Holiday parties? Or the lunch hour? There are times when the lot of us moves as a herd to one destination or another. We drink the rivers dry. Our arrows block out the sun. Or is that just the Seattle sky?


OfTheBloodguard If it came down to it, could you trust your Bungie brethren with your lives?

Of course…
Drew Smith, Producer

I've travelled to the ends of the world with some and even given/received rides to the hospital with others. So, yes!
Pat Jandro, Senior Cinematic Designer

Depends on whether or not the coffee machine was working that day.
James Tsai, Senior Designer

I’d like to think so, but we really won’t know the answer to that question until the Zombie Apocalypse.
Chris Owens, Test Engineer

Yes. All except for John Shaffstall. He’s a pair of aviator sun glasses away from being the Unabomber.
Adam Brown, Engineer

I know DeeJ would take a bullet for me. Wouldn’t you DeeJ?
Ben Wommack, Production Engineer

Editor’s Note: Sure, but only in a game. I don’t respond well to bullets.


T1B3R7uMB0YXVI How do you define "Off Task" at Bungie?



I’m just putting this here to troll Derek Carroll, who seems to find a way to work this image into almost all of the Sacks. Let’s see if he notices…


Kr1egerdude “Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don't.” -Bill Nye
What do you know that makes you unique?


If I told everyone, I won’t be unique anymore!
Cameron Pinard, Artist

I know how Ninja Gaiden Black ended.
Drew Smith, Producer

My earwax smells different than anyone else’s. And the right ear is a different fragrance than the left. Dogs and cats always seem to lick at my right ear, but they leave the left one alone.
James Tsai, Senior Designer

I know what it feels like to have your upper jaw cut in half! It’s pretty neat.
Cale Haskell, Engineer

Through trade negotiations, I acquired the ideal method of grilling corn on the cob, which I will share with you (not really).
Ben Wommack, Production Engineer

I have an intimate understanding of the facial features and mannerisms of more people than I’m comfortable to admit.
Pat Jandro, Senior Cinematic Designer

Old telephones used to have a built in magneto that was used to power the other end's bells.
Austin Spafford, Engineer

I know how to gut and replace the head (aka: toilet) in a sail boat. It was a smelly experience that I try not to think about.
Adam Brown, Engineer


Ockeghem Why did no one recognize my costume of gorilla suit + giant yellow foam cowboy hat?

As a wise man once said: “Pics, or it did not happen!”

Did you really honor the Bungie.net Webmaster in costume form for Halloween? If so, you simply must share with us. In fact, that just became the Halloween challenge for next year. We will send an army of jetpacked gorillas into the world, and see if the world notices.


BC1096 What’s your favorite part of History?

I like the H. It’s a strong letter and provides good anchoring by towering over the rest of the word.
Cale Haskell, Engineer

The European Renaissance has some of the best stories.
Ben Wommack, Production Engineer

Yesterday.
Drew Smith, Producer

Recently, I’ve become interested in the modern era, 1700s - mid 1900s. Though, it’s still not as cool as dinosaurs.
Cameron Pinard, Artist

I'm actually quite fascinated with the catastrophes (both natural, and actions of man) throughout humanity's history.
Pat Jandro, Senior Cinematic Designer

The early 17th century, when all the good rapier manuals were written.
John Hopson, User Research Lead

I’m a U.S. Civil War buff in particular, but I’d say that’s more the part of history that’s most interesting to me rather than being my favorite. My favorite part of history would definitely be my birth because, you know, that kind of needed to happen for me to do anything. Not coincidentally, my birth is often listed as many other people’s least favorite part of history.
James Tsai, Senior Designer

Roman Empire.
Rachel Swavely, Motion Capture Tech


 Austin Spafford, Engineer


pureXownage Will we here about the new universe before the end of the year?

It’s 2012. Haven’t you heard? If the Mayans are to be believed (and why wouldn’t they?) you won’t make it to the end of the year. Sorry. And we could have had such fun together.


DE4THINC4RN4TE You have to create a brand new word for the English language. It must be ridiculously hilarious. What is it, what does it mean, how is it pronounced?

Flominate (verb) flom-en-ate: The act of belching near someone unintentionally and then refusing to acknowledge it
Drew Smith, Producer

Hurrication (noun) her-uh-kay-shun: A vacation caused by a hurricane knocking power out at work.
Adam Brown, Engineer


mvyorkie009 What is Bungie’s favorite colored monopoly property to buy and why?

We like ‘Community Chest.’ It can’t be bought, and you never know what you’re gonna get.


thenewxegk Will my questions ever get answered again?

Not when they’re this self-referential. Try to ask a question that would make everyone happy.


welder1stdegree Which music group would you most like to see reunited for a one time only performance?

A tough one, but I’d probably have to go with The Beatles.
Cameron Pinard, Artist

Joy Division.
Drew Smith, Producer

The Ramones.
Chris Owens, Test Engineer


Rachel Swavely, Motion Capture Tech


Infinite Outcast I aspire to go into cinematography. Preferably video or film editing. I also aspire to work for Bungie someday. Is there any possible way those two could intersect and coexist? If so, is there anything that anyone at Bungie could suggest to help me achieve my aspirations?

There’s nothing we would suggest that this guy hasn’t already suggested. Do you read the Breaking In interviews? If you want to work for Bungie, you really should. It’s a weekly arm-twisting ritual around these parts. “The Community Forum is a really nice place now,” I tell them. “The Facebook comments aren’t that bad,” I tell them – which can be a total lie, but I digress. Many brave developers have ascended to the blog lectern to tell the story about their rise to power as a Bungie Employee. There is a tale of fear and loathing in the interview loop that appeals to every skillset known to our creative process: mathematicians, artists, coders, riggers, lawyers, painters, cappers, writers, waistoids, motorheads…


Krimm117 What is your favorite moment, mechanic, or feature of any game you've helped create?

Bah! This is like picking your favorite kid. That said, I think I still have a soft spot for the Halo 3 flag.
Cameron Pinard, Artist

The debug artwork for the Guild Wars vanquisher-progress buff. For a short time, it was a stick-figure "doom guy" face, complete with paranoid left-right glances and grinning after kills.
Austin Spafford, Engineer

Back in Halo 3, there was a glorious week and a half where the mongoose had a jump button (RB)—sort of like Speed Racer but much more believable. I had tons of fun with fellow testers on Sandtrap, just driving the thing around, jumping over obstacles, and smashing into each other. Sadly, it was cut for engineering reasons. I’ve been crushed ever since.
Ben Wommack, Production Engineer

Creating music and voice-over for game jam games I have worked on (so fun).
Drew Smith, Producer

Either the Brute fight scene on the rooftops in Halo 3: ODST or making people watch themselves meet their end in the closing cinematic of Reach.
Pat Jandro, Senior Cinematic Designer

I'm quite fond of the gradually improving models of motorcycles in Trials. It was a really elegant, intuitive solution to how to increase controller sensitivity over the course of the game.
John Hopson, User Research Lead

I worked on a video game inspired version of The Punisher that came out around the same time as the 2004 movie, but based on a different storyline with different characters. We had a mechanic where players directly controlled some brutal interrogation scenes; my favorite was one was where you held a guy over a woodchipper and forced him into it by “shoving” him with the analog stick. The guy resisted through controller vibrations and on-screen animations until his inevitable, gruesome, bloody death. Eventually we had to scale back the visuals and the graphic nature of a lot of what we originally created to avoid getting an “Adults Only” rating, but the original versions that were in early demos were a hit with press and fans. After reading back this answer, I feel like I need to add a disclaimer that I’m a well-adjusted person that doesn’t kick puppies.
James Tsai, Senior Designer

I’m actually pretty new to the game industry. I only worked on one commercial title before coming to Bungie. But I did make a lot of maps for Half-Life which still hold a special place in my mind. A map I’m particularly fond of forced the player to crawl through a vent while things were blowing up, and each grate they passed they could look out and see a cataclysmic event killing another scientist. I had a lot of fun finding new and interesting ways to kill those scientists. I’m sure my future therapist will love talking about this.
Adam Brown, Engineer

I was co-combat designer and animation lead for Condemned 2 at my former employer. One of the enemy AI you encountered in that game was a twisted, 2-headed, self-conflicted, motherly baby-doll who was alive during one of the stranger levels. As a burly, violence-wielding ex-cop, fighting them wasn't very satisfying gameplay so we decided to try and turn them into playable weapons as well as enemy AI. If you kicked the enemy doll, it would stun it, allowing you to pick it up.

Since C2 was all about using anything you find in your environment as a weapon, it was a great opportunity to have this spooky baby doll judge your actions while you wield it as a weapon. The best part was the move-set. We needed melee attacks, of course, which meant swinging the doll violently at other enemies. I animated the doll in the player's hands to look like it was having fun on this ride, like a little girl squealing as daddy swings her around in a grassy field on a summer day.

We also needed a block for incoming attacks, which would anger the doll. If you blocked with the baby, the second head (shoulder head) would turn in an effort to see what was going to hit it. The protective other head, who had control over the arm, would turn the shoulder head back gently, and shame it for being curious. Like I said earlier, she's motherly. If you managed to successfully block an attack with baby, she would be furious, and punch you for being so mean to her. To this day, I don't know of any other game that punishes you in such an entertaining way for being successful with the combat mechanics. Twisted psychological horror games are fun to design!
Rick Lico, Senior Art Lead


CoRaMo I challenge you to a duel... to the death! What weapons will we be using?

I accept your challenge! And, thank you for letting me (and not Rick Lico) choose the weapons. That was most sporting of you. Let’s see, now…

You’ll be using this.


I’ll be using this.


Good luck to you!

Disclaimer: Bungie would never actually shoot any of the gamers in their community. There are a few that we might like to silence with duct tape for an hour or two, but an assault with heavy weaponry is just not our style – at least not in real life. If you’re taking anything in this Mail Sack seriously, the joke is completely on you, Internet.


the real Janaka What series are you guys into right now, and why?

Link to the Past, because I received a Zelda shirt for my birthday.
Austin Spafford, Engineer

The League, Parks and Recreation, and Sons of Anarchy. I’m also really stoked for new Sherlock and Doctor Who.
Cameron Pinard, Artist

30 Rock, because I finished Walking Dead Season 2 on Netflix.
David Shaw, Senior Producer

Top Gear. Why was I not watching this years ago?
Drew Smith, Producer

I am making my way through Twin Peaks once again.
Pat Jandro, Senior Cinematic Designer

The Flashman series by George McDonald Fraiser. He's like an evil Forrest Gump.
John Hopson, User Research Lead

The Inbetweeners, Key and Peel, and Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia, because they make me laugh like a 50’s comic book villain.
Chris Owens, Test Engineer

Breaking Bad. Be nice to your chemistry teacher!
James Tsai, Senior Designer

I know I’m late to the party, but I just started watching The Big Bang Theory. Reminds me of some of my friends. Not the genius part, just the insufferable nerd arguments.
Adam Brown, Engineer


Rachel Swavely, Motion Capture Tech


crawlingshadow9 I've seen Bungie Employees on the Forums with custom titles, like "Sent West" and "still hates toast.” I've also seen some without that, just "Bungie Employee." Why is that?

Uhhhhhhhhhh… In searching my imagination high and low for a sarcastic answer to this question, I have come up dry. It’s a first. Instead, I’m gonna go for broke and be honest, and see if my response clears the censors. Here goes: We ran out of room in the database for custom titles. It’s a problem that will be fixed by Bungie.next.


Mythical Wolf Recommend a game to me.

I love horror games, so I’m gonna have to go with Penumbra: Overture. It’s one of the best indie games I’ve played.
Adam Brown, Engineer


Austin Spafford, Engineer

Picross 3D on the Nintendo DS, if you like puzzles, numbers, and three-dimensional perspective.
Ben Wommack, Production Engineer

Checkers. As for the digital variety, when I get time, I’ve been enjoying Mark of the Ninja.
Cameron Pinard, Artist

Amnesia the Dark Descent. Get adult diapers.
Drew Smith, Producer

Settlers of Catan. The board game version.
Pat Jandro, Senior Cinematic Designer

Kingdom Rush.
John Hopson, User Research Lead

FTL. You’re welcome.
Chris Owens, Test Engineer


Rachel Swavely, Motion Capture Tech


Phoenix2640 What is Bungie doing on Halloween?
YodasCurd Show us your Halloween costumes. We all know you wore one.
mark117 mia2553 Who had the scariest costume in Bungie Studios this Halloween?

One at a time. Please! All of your questions can be answered here. You can even select the winner of the Community Edition of our Costume Contest. We chose our own champion for All Saint’s Day - and we’ll never tell.


GrandmasterNinja I always wondered...what if we ALL decided to NOT ask a question?

If that were to happen, I would just assume that no one was visiting the website anymore and start deleting accounts – starting with the oldest. It sure would be nice to clean house of all this dead Mythic weight.

But that isn’t going to happen. Is it? Because you will ALL be back here on Monday to taunt us with another volley of questions. Failure to do so would be foolish, Bungie Community. Your virtual existence on website depends on it. You thought this Q/A session was just fun and games. Didn’t you? It started out that way, but it’s mutated into something more dangerous now.

Have a nice weekend.

Community 11/2/2012 1:48 PM PDT permalink

Trick or Mail Sack

Bungie's fire and cauldron bubble...

The witching hour is upon us. As the skies darken to a foreboding shade of grey, and the trees flourish with every color found in a flame, our studio is being readied to welcome trick-or-treaters. Don’t take that as an invitation to knock on our door dressed in costume. We only have enough candy for the good little boys and girls who have parents that work here. We’ll be sure to give you glimpse of our masquerade ball, though.

Maybe you’ll be able to spot:

Derek Carroll, Senior Designer
Mark Flieg, Artist
Josh Hamrick, Senior Designer
John Hopson, User Research Lead
Pat Jandro, Senior Cinematic Designer
Scott Kankelborg, Special Projects Assassin
Alex Loret de Mola, Engineer
Chris Owens, Test Engineer
David Shaw, Senior Producer
Michael Strein, Engineer
Rachel Swavely, MoCap Tech
Alan Stuart, Senior Engineer
Mark Yocom, Release Engineer

Let’s open the Sack.


ALI217 What is your favorite attack/finisher from any fighting game?


SkullsGirls : Ms. Fortune : Nom, Nom, Nom.
Josh Hamrick, Senior Designer


Alex Loret de Mola, Engineer


Mortal Kombat 2, Liu Kang’s Friendship finisher. Makes me laugh. Every. Time.
Chris Owens, Test Engineer


Mark Yocom, Release Engineer


Hougeki Unshin Soukoshou, the Hidden Mountain of Steel
Derek Carroll, Senior Designer


Sgt Bash X77 Do you play some games by other developers just to get inspiration for your new project, and do you see it as work so you can make your new project better?

We play all kinds of games. Almost all of what we play is for the sake of leisure. While we draw some inspiration from experiences that other developers create, we value our game time far too much to treat it like homework.


Kalriq What is your favorite game genre in general?

Adventure Platformers like Ratchet & Clank, God of War, etc.
Mark Flieg, Artist

Turn Based Strategy/4X games.
Scott Kankelborg, Special Projects Assassin

Competitive Shooters like Halo, Quake, and Unreal Tournament.
Josh Hamrick, Senior Designer

I love RPGs, as certain dark things are to be loved.
Alex Loret de Mola, Engineer

RPGs and FPSs.
Chris Owens, Test Engineer

MMOs.
John Hopson, User Research Lead


CrazzySnipe55 Do you subscribe to the ideology that a game development company puts things into their game just to elicit an emotional reaction?

Is there any other reason to put something in a game? Even elements that are designed to inform, guide, taunt, or provide feedback to the player can elicit (or even suppress) a reaction. Some of the things we put into our games are there to prevent you from experiencing emotions like frustration, boredom, or rage. Not only do these design tactics keep the player properly entertained, but deliberately provoking an emotional response makes it much easier for us to identify and retire the Replicants in our player base.

By the way, CrazzySnipe55, you're in a desert, walking along in the sand, when all of a sudden you look down and see a tortoise...


MightyMarcher01 What is the your favorite picture on the internet?

The whole Internet? Thanks for narrowing it down for us.


Chris Owens, Test Engineer


Derek Carroll, Cake-Loving Photo-bomber


Alex Loret de Mola, Engineer


Alan Stuart, Senior Engineer


Michael Strein, Engineer


Josh Hamrick, Senior Designer


MozzarellaMonky When you start a new project, do you take ideas from the entire studio?

Yes we do! Our studio is a totally open environment where everyone is welcome and encouraged to have an opinion. This doesn’t mean that all these ideas are regarded as “good” by the designers who make the final decisions. For example: I’m getting a lot of pushback on my request to have invincible avatars for Bungie Employees who play our next game. The outlook at current is not good (ask again later).

On the subject of taking ideas from the entire studio, let’s see how well that decision-making process works out for this guy…


Captain Scurvy Will you name my new dog for me?

I always thought that Cobalt Nova would be a cool name for a loyal companion. How about you, Panel?

Dog.
Josh Hamrick, Senior Designer

Wind.
Mark Flieg, Artist

Your Mom. Think about the amazing conversations. “I think Your Mom missed me today, I came home and she had completely shredded the couch.” This name is completely acceptable for a male dog as well.
Scott Kankelborg, Special Projects Assassin

Dolly! If you need a steak bone chewed on, or a carpet freshly pooped on, just leave everything to me. (Bonus points for catching the reference!)
Alex Loret de Mola, Engineer

John Waters. You’re welcome.
Chris Owens, Test Engineer

How about Wilbur?
David Shaw, Senior Producer

Snuff, because A Night in the Lonesome October is the best book of all time.
John Hopson, User Research Lead

Considering your moniker, name him/her “Lind” after James Lind who first proved scurvy could be treated with citrus fruit.
Alan Stuart, Senior Engineer


Wikked Navajoe On a scale from 1 to 100, how busy is your schedule?

99. All hands are on deck for this next project, and we’re charging full-speed ahead. Every hour of the day is given to squeezing into this game as much awesome as it will hold - and some days are longer than others. There’s no such thing as idle hands at Bungie right now. We save that final percentage point in our schedule to eat, climb the rock-wall, and keep the connection to our community alive with this here Mail Sack.


DE4THINC4RN4TE Name the most profound effect working for BUNGIE has had on your life.

Working at a place that provides enough paid days off to spend about 2 months of every year in other countries.
Pat Jandro, Senior Cinematic Designer

It’s seriously destroyed my ability to ever be ok working anywhere else again… ever.
Josh Hamrick, Senior Designer

It's been an amazing experience working with talented and motivated people who really care about what they're doing. The most profound effect of this is the gratitude I feel every day to be able to be some small part of it.
Alex Loret de Mola, Engineer

I believe that there are companies out there that actually care about their employees. I was seriously beginning to doubt that.
Chris Owens, Test Engineer

I enjoy my job for the first time in many years. I can spend the weekends with my family.
Alan Stuart, Senior Engineer

I’m skinnier. No, seriously. Bungie is a very fitness-conscious crowd, and it’s helped inspire me to get in better shape. I’ve lost about 40 pounds since I started working here.
John Hopson, User Research Lead


EAGLES5 If I kill and mount big foot, will you hang it in your studios?

We have a Bigfoot. If you be a hunting man, we think that the Loch Ness Monster would be a nice addition to our growing collection of mysterious anomalies.


edableshoe What is the scariest room at Bungie?

The interview room.
Chris Owens, Test Engineer

Any room where I find myself alone with Matthew Ward.
Pat Jandro, Senior Cinematic Designer

Restroom. We’ll leave out the details, for your sake and mine.
Mark Flieg, Artist

The inner sanctum room with no windows and the seven-sided table. The leadership team conducts strange and terrible rites in there to maintain the stability of the universe during crunch.
John Hopson, User Research Lead

The server room. I’ve been told that if you aim just right you can utilize the airflow to gas somebody all the way across the room.
Scott Kankelborg, Special Projects Assassin

What kind of gas are we talking about here, Skank?


WestCoastRonin Who is responsible for making the ViDocs and other video content that has come out of Bungie in the past? Do you have an internal video production team?

I asked the same exact thing when I got here. It turns out that Bungie’s resident storyteller and digital auteur was one of the interrogators on my interview loop, and he never revealed himself. He prefers instead to remain behind the curtain, pushing the buttons that make the wizard belch green smoke. There isn’t a single photo of him in existence – at least not one that isn’t blurry or obstructed by trees in a dense forest.


Lobster Fish 2 What was your favorite decade to experience? Why?

The dream of the ‘90s is alive in Seattle, too. We relive that decade every day. All you need to do is turn on the radio. Let’s see if any of our people have been able to escape the gravity well of pre-millennial nostalgia…

The ‘90s. I'd still be wearing neon baggy pants if it weren't for that court order.
Alex Loret de Mola, Engineer

The ‘90s. Mostly for the music and the sweet arcades.
Chris Owens, Test Engineer

The ‘90s, be it the SNES, rollerblades, denim everything, or a combination of all of the above.
Pat Jandro, Senior Cinematic Designer

The ‘90s. Why? Space Jam.
Michael Strein, Engineer

The ‘90s. It was a great decade for entertainment. Good music. Games started to become a more serious affair - some of my favorite games of all time come from the decade. Good movies.
Josh Hamrick, Senior Designer


The 80’s! Only had a few years in the 80’s but they were amazing due to Labyrinth, the crazy style back then and music.
Rachel Swavely, MoCap Tech

The 80’s. I got my driver’s license. I attend all the big-hair-band concerts. I met my wife. I became a computer programmer.
Alan Stuart, Senior Engineer

Just as I suspected: It looks like only two of the people in our sampling prefer big hair to soggy flannel.


defnop552 If you could travel back in time to when you first started in the industry, what advice would you give yourself?

Skip grad school, make more games.
John Hopson, User Research Lead

Don’t expect college to teach you how to be a professional computer programmer.
Alan Stuart, Senior Engineer

As this was my first gig straight outta school, I think I’d give myself a hug and tell myself to stop worrying so much about not meeting the studio’s expectations.
Pat Jandro, Senior Cinematic Designer

Don’t get jaded, always be closing and bet everything you have on the 2004 Red Sox to win the Series.
Chris Owens, Test Engineer

Don’t sign up for that Facebook account, it’s just gonna become noise. Bet on Bungie.
Josh Hamrick, Senior Designer

Buy Apple stock.
David Shaw, Senior Producer


Mr_Brightside How can I make my writing colorful like yours and Recon Number 54’s?

When you say “colorful,” do you mean the unmistakable hue that signals our posts on the Bungie forum? Or were you referring to a delightfully entertaining literary quality that spurs you on to drink deep of our every word? If you want colored text on the forum, you’re gonna have to ascend to the seat of power occupied by a Forum Ninja, or even a gold-plated employee of Bungie, Inc. If you want to be a more colorful writer, Urk tells me the secret is usin’ a lot of apostrophes.


SG Tumnus123 What's the best costume you've seen?


Pat Jandro, Senior Cinematic Designer


Scott Kankelborg, Special Projects Assassin


Derek Carroll, Senior Designer


Shameless self-promotion.
Mark Flieg, Artist


Josh Hamrick, Senior Designer


LIGHTNING ROUND!

ChorrizoTapatio May we please be the judges of an employee costume contest for Halloween?

Okay. Stay tuned.

AxJARxOFxDIRT Do you shower before bed or after bed? I think that is a good lightning round question.

That’s such a terrible question, we’re cancelling the LIGHTNING ROUND altogether. Nice goin’.

Mythical Wolf Please tell me this week's Mail Sack challenge will be a Pumpkin carving contest.

This week’s Mail Sack challenge is a Pumpkin carving contest. You’re welcome.

Report to Facebook for details. Come on now. You can share a challenge with the rest of the Internet. Show them what you’re made of, Bungie Community.

Community 10/26/2012 2:57 PM PDT permalink

Career Day Mail Sack

What do you want to be when you grow up?



For so many members of the Bungie Community, playing games (and loving them) is simply not enough. Their daydreams about games compel them to make games, and we can certainly relate. Just about every person who calls this studio their home away from home was driven to plant roots here by their passions as gamers. When we opened the Mail Sack this week, the questions that tumbled from its depths focused on the mysterious migration from the controller to the workstation.

Bungie Career Day begins now. Let’s open the sack.

antony X1000 Were you part of the community before you started working at Bungie?

Most of you know that I was plucked from the same battlefields that you have played on to lead this march into our next game. I am not alone. Here are only a few of the developers who blazed a trail into the industry before I ever met them…

Back in 1995, “the community” was just alt.games.marathon on USENET. A bunch of current Bungie staffers were once big fans of Marathon and Myth, way back in the day.
Derek Carroll, Senior Designer

Once a gamer, always a gamer. Just one more level…
Forest Soderlind, Technical Artist

Yes. The website and I always were, and always will be.
Chris Owens, Test Engineer

I wasn’t part of the Bungie community, but I was a part of another videogame community online. I ran my own website, too!
David Johnson, Engineer


EpicWaffles What should I start doing to be a Level Designer at Bungie?

Whenever you ask a question about getting a job at Bungie, the answer will invariably be: “Make something!” No matter what sort of job you’re applying for, the people who interview you will want to see that you have done what we need you to do somewhere else, even if it’s in your home office. Level Design is no different. Here’s some advice on how to cut your teeth on your own projects…

The best way to get into making games is to make games. There are plenty of game engines out there that will let you show off your skill.
Derek Carroll, Senior Designer

Pick up any of the free level editing tool kits and start learning. UDK (Unreal), Unity, and Source SDK are great places to start. Start small, learn the basics, and build small levels no bigger than a couple rooms that emulate spaces you have seen before in real life or other games. Study some architecture, learn basic composition, and apply it to the levels you are building.
Evan Nikolich, Designer

Design your own levels and get them noticed in the community. Keep working at it and try different things. Knowledge is power!
Chris Owens, Test Engineer


Kr1egerdude What's the most difficult part of your day?

Waking up before dawn so I can make it to work on time. Don’t get me wrong. It’s totally worth it.
Chris Owens, Test Engineer

Bypassing the morning treats Bungie offers without partaking in them.
David Johnson, Engineer

Meetings right before lunch. Usually they run long and then I have to wait even longer to get lunch.
Mat Noguchi, Programmer

Whenever I have to make significant edits or completely gut a mission or level. It can be tough to go back to existing work and know where to start and editing to make the gameplay experience better.
Evan Nikolich, Designer

Tearing myself away from the screen to try to get home and start cooking dinner at a reasonable hour. It can be really hard to stop coding when you get rolling on something, and it’s even harder to stop playing the most recent build of our game.
Andrew Friedland, Associate Engineer

The hardest part is prioritizing tasks. There’s so much to do, which makes it essential to prioritize properly.
Alan Stuart, Senior Engineer

The commute. Seattle-area drivers are... different.
Mike Forrest, Senior Engineer


QuirkyNate If you were going to rob a bank which employees would you take?

Bungie doesn't recommend bank robbery as a viable career choice. Assuming, however, that we are just playing around here, I volunteer to drive the getaway car.


Jondis Is it better to specialize in one area or to be well rounded? I've heard both.

I prefer to be well-rounded, although I can see the benefits of both. I think it has more to do with your personality. I tend to get bored easily when I focus all my energy into one area. I like to keep learning and expanding my knowledge on as many different skills as possible.
Chris Owens, Test Engineer

For test, both of those are the correct answer. We’re all expected to specialize in our specific area, but we’re also expected to be knowledgeable across the board.
Scott Kankelborg, Special Projects Assassin

Definitely have a specialty, but know how to do everything else at least a little bit so you can communicate better with people who work in different disciplines.
Forest Soderlind, Technical Artist

The best engineers I know have areas where they’re experts, but also a general knowledge of the entire field. Perhaps just as important, they have a keen understanding of what they know and what they don’t.
Joe Venzon, Engineer


Kaneg93 What all should a freshman computer science student do besides obtaining their bachelor's degree that will ensure they have the necessary skills, knowledge, or experience needed to earn an engineering position at Bungie?

One does not earn any position. They take it, with audacity and tenacity.
Mat Noguchi, Programmer

Write your own game engine. It’s the best experience you can have. There are so many documentation/discussion forums online nowadays that it’s pretty easy to start hacking your own thing.
Alexis Haraux, Engineer

Networking is just as important as knowledge and skills. Knowing who to talk to, when to talk to them, and how to talk to them is imperative to land any position. If no one knows you, they won’t know to ask you to work with them. Get to know the industry face-to-face.
Forest Soderlind, Technical Artist

If it already exists, join the game-making club on campus. If it doesn't, think about starting one. Or, you can try to find people online to work with. I was able to join the Game Creation Society during undergrad. I hear TIGSource is also good for finding like-minded people.
Andrew Friedland, Associate Engineer

All software engineers at Bungie are expected to have a good understanding of data structures and algorithms. Know your Big Oh notation!
Alan Stuart, Senior Engineer

Don’t just stick to classwork. There's no substitute for the experience of working on a real piece of software. One way to do this is to find an open source project that you're interested in and try fixing a bug or two.
Mike Forrest, Senior Engineer

David Hanson, my teacher for Systems Programming, gave weekly programming homework assignments. If your program crashed for any reason, you got a zero for the assignment, no exceptions. After the midterm, if your program crashed or leaked memory, you got a zero. It was the best motivation to write solid, robust code that I ever had.
Tom Sanocki, Staff Artist

We have a good number of programmers that are mathematicians, physicists and engineers; which reflects one of Bungie’s emphases: Math is delicious. A practical (and solid) algorithms base also helps a lot. The rest you can get with hands on experience - and the more you have the better.
Christian Diefenbach, Engineering Lead


HDhacker What do you typically do when you are having a bad day of coding?

Rage eternally at the inequities of reality. I have a lot of bad days.
Mat Noguchi, Programmer

If I get stuck on a problem, I take a break and go running, or if it’s late, I head home.
Joe Venzon, Engineer

Coding in itself is almost never the problem you want to solve, except at school. If you’re having a bad day, just go outside, lie on the grass, and enjoy some sun. If you live in Washington, move to California.
Alexis Haraux, Engineer

I just drink another Monster Import: Dub Edition and make some music in Ableton Live. Usually calms me down.
Forest Soderlind, Technical Artist

I think it’s important to find some sort of inner Zen when you’re having a rough day. When I can, I temporarily switch to a task that’s sure to invigorate me. If I can’t, I ask a coworker to give me a sanity check to make sure I’m on the right foot.
David Johnson, Engineer

When I feel myself starting to stall and get frustrated, I usually get up to go to get a snack. If that doesn't help, I’ll bounce my thoughts off coworkers to see if I’m failing to notice something more elegant, or if I just have a really nasty issue.
Andrew Friedland, Associate Engineer

It is amazing how often a two minute conversation with a colleague reveals the solution. If that doesn’t work, I follow John Cleese’s recommendation. If all else fails, I play a game for a while to relax.
Alan Stuart, Senior Engineer

Stop and take a break. If it's an issue of not being able to focus, switch to a different task for a while. Or caffeine.
Mike Forrest, Senior Engineer

Am I brain dead? Take a day off and go home. Am I still functional? Go play <Insert new Bungie game title here>!
Christian Diefenbach, Engineering Lead


calcarlson Can I or should I pursue a career in Video Games as a 3d sculptor? I use physical media and I'm wondering if that has any place in a video game studio, or if you use solely computer based models?

Yes! Video game models are sculptures in a different medium. Typically, it’s less dangerous and less messy than casting and you go home at the end of the day with clean clothes. A traditional-skilled sculptor can transfer the same concepts digitally. You would just need some basic 3D software training to get up to speed, but the art stuff will already be there.
Forest Soderlind, Technical Artist



That snarling visage was sculpted by hands that belong to our Character Team. In order to see their work from a more literal perspective, the guys that bring to life new creatures in our games took a sojourn to the Seattle Sculpture Atelier. Taking a break from virtual modeling to workshop the physical medium was a valuable exercise. Don’t go jumping to conclusions, now. This was little more than an experiment. If you think you’ll see that beasty critter in our next game, please reign in your conspiracy theories.


Arbiter 739 How did you learn to code?

I figured out how to modify game genie codes for Dragon Warrior 3.
Mat Noguchi, Programmer

I started on a Commodore64 using super simple basic commands. Just pick up a book and try some things out. Keep the scope of your projects small and manageable at first and build from there.
Forest Soderlind, Technical Artist

My mom enrolled me in some computer programming camps offered at universities during the summer. That’s what really sparked my love and passion for it. Once you have the basics, it’s easy to go off and explore.
David Johnson, Engineer

I made the effort to learn to code and it made me a better designer. I learned by taking classes in high school and college, but the most productive learning was done on my own side projects or learning on the job.
Evan Nikolich, Designer

The most important thing is to find some projects that interest you and dive in. I ended up dumping hours and hours into making a terrible JRPG battle engine and was completely hooked after that.
Andrew Friedland, Associate Engineer

In high school I bought a C++ for beginner’s book and went through all the programming examples. Then I bought a more advanced C++ book and did the same. I wrote some programs for some relatives to get some “real world” experience.
Alan Stuart, Senior Engineer

Trial and error mostly. There's no substitute for getting your hands dirty in code.
Mike Forrest, Senior Engineer

I really, really, REALLY wanted to print dots all over the screen, but holding down the period key only gave me 255. It all snowballed from there. (True story!)
Tom Sanocki, Staff Artist

On an Apple IIc computer. Writing code.
Christian Diefenbach, Engineering Lead

Being “forced” into coding for immediate real world needs is what has worked best for me. Back when I started on Halo 3, we had a tool called “Xbox Chief.” I started out by writing automation scripts using the simple language, but eventually needed something more powerful. I learned to convert all of the stuff I was doing into C# and then began playing around. Now I write all of my scripts using C# as well as write programs for various tasks around the studio.
Scott Kankelborg, Special Projects Assassin


LordMonkey What programming language do you find most useful?

When it comes to improving my computer science skills and writing relatively bug-free code, but performance is not a concern, I like using Haskell.
Joe Venzon, Engineer

Python is super useful and versatile. Multi-platform, easy to read, and it’s used everywhere. As an object-oriented language, it’s quite powerful.
Forest Soderlind, Technical Artist

C++, you’d be surprised how useful it is…even if you don’t code.
Chris Owens, Test Engineer

Personally, I think C# is one of the best languages to learn because there’s so much already at your fingertips. It lets you explore and create without having to hunt down or write your own common structures. It’s easily the language of choice I use at home for random projects.
David Johnson, Engineer

COBOL, Basic, Logo, Fortran… so many memories. Fortunately, Bungie focuses mostly on C++ and C#.
Christian Diefenbach, Engineering Lead

C and C++ are supported by most major platforms so learn those first. Next learn C#, Java, and JavaScript. If you know those languages you can get hired just about anywhere and you can quickly learn any other language.
Alan Stuart, Senior Engineer

If I had to pick one it would be C, because you can use it for just about anything. But there are better alternatives depending on what I'm doing. PHP is great for smaller web projects because it's quick and easy and runs on just about anything. And Java and C# are great for more complex systems.
Mike Forrest, Senior Engineer

Certain languages at better at certain things, and you should pick the one that fits best. Don't limit yourself to only one or two. Once you know the basics of how various types of languages work, it usually isn't too hard to pick up a new one if you want/need to.
Andrew Friedland, Associate Engineer


Professor24 I always seem to get stuck on chapter three or four of a book that I'm trying to write, what keeps the writers at Bungie creative?

Accept that the first draft is going to suck and write it as quickly as you can. Don’t judge a single word. Don’t second guess yourself. Don’t correct spelling or grammar. Just get words on the page. Create the ugliest beast you can imagine then chain it to a pipe in the basement and walk away. Don’t even look at it for at least a month. When you are ready, get back in there and make it handsome.
Clay Carmouche, Writer

I think the biggest reason most people get stuck is self-judgment. You have to learn to love your creativity. And if you can’t love it, at least accept it like the problem child it is, and keep trying. It will constantly lead you down dangerous paths and get you in trouble. But if you just take a breath, and love it for trying to be good, love it for aspiring, and accept it as imperfect, like we all are, then you’ll have the patience to wait and try again and see what comes next. Writing is hard. But you have to just keep going, just keep writing, and you will, eventually, fall back in love with your work. And when you don’t feel that creative spark, write anyway. As a great teacher of mine once said, the real secret to writing is three simple words: Ass. In. Chair.
Joshua Rubin, Writer

Consume other acts of creativity. Stare at a painting. Watch an old movie. Read some story that’s not at all related to the premise you’re working on. See how other creative folks handle their business. If that doesn’t inspire you, steal from them, but add enough of your own sauce to make it your own.
Eric Raab, Managing Editor


Full Time Loser Should I give up?

Quitters never win. Now buck up, and walk the walk. You could start by picking a more inspirational username.


Try Would you rather work for money or job satisfaction?

Everyone who weighed in on this conundrum chose satisfaction. Here’s why…

I’m compelled to work every day, doing the things I love to do. Some call it obsession; I call it PassionTM.
Forest Soderlind, Technical Artist

Money is a nice perk, don’t get me wrong, but having worked at a job where I wasn’t at all satisfied, your mediocre job eventually becomes your worst nightmare and starts taking over your at-home life as well.
David Johnson, Engineer

I had opportunities to pursue better paying jobs when I first started working, but I’ve learned that if you don’t like coming to work every day, the higher pay isn’t worth it. However, by all means, get paid what you and your skills are worth! Ideally, you have a satisfying job with a wage you feel you deserve.
Evan Nikolich, Designer

If you paid me a ton of money for something I didn’t enjoy, I would end up taking that anger home and would never be happy. On the flip side I should point out that having an employer that clearly appreciates my contributions adds to the satisfaction of a job I enjoy doing.
Scott Kankelborg, Special Projects Assassin

I have a few friends who have a job they love, but are barely making ends meet. They’re always happy and don't mind the fact that they don't have much money. I have another friend who is making money hand over fist, but hates his job, and I have watched him become depressed and less energetic.
Andrew Friedland, Associate Engineer


Job Satisfaction > Money!
Alan Stuart, Senior Engineer

I’ve done the money thing, and it’s soul draining, although I do miss the huge money-filled vault that I used to dive into.
Chris Owens, Test Engineer

Job satisfaction is great, but I do like being paid in money. You can buy more stuff with it.
Mike Forrest, Senior Engineer


MightyMarcher01 What is your favorite type of chip?

Silicone.


SpadesJr2 How would one go about getting into the voice acting business?

You’re in for a special treat. I found a voice actor that might know a thing or two about working on games. You may have even sampled some of his work (you better have). The floor is yours, Chief…

When it comes to Voice Acting. The emphasis is on "acting," not "voice." Someone telling you that you have a nice voice is no reason to pursue voice over. Many great voice talents don’t have a rich deep voice. What they have is believability. The idea is to be able to internalize the message and deliver it so the listener "feels" it. If you live near a place that has a reputable acting school, look into what classes they offer. Many will offer voice over classes. Even taking an intro to acting class or an improv class would be helpful. Talk to actors who have taken classes there and get a few good referrals (very important). If you live near a city that has a branch of the actors union (AFTRA-SAG), call them. Often times, they offer free classes on getting into voice over, and can also make recommendations on reputable schools in your area. Whatever you do, DON'T GO TO A BROADCASTING SCHOOL.
Steve Downes, Master Chief


PVSpartanL36 Do you have any wisdom to share with someone who is new to programming and struggling?

Pick a project that you think is really cool (simple game, cellular automaton, physics simulation, website, etc.), and DO IT. Even if you don’t finish it (I’ve never completed any of my personal projects), you’ll learn a lot.
Alexis Haraux, Engineer

Don’t give in to the gremlins! If you’re struggling over some programming concepts, step back and go through some tutorials to help you understand the basics fully before moving on. Try teaching someone else some basic programming concepts. If they get it, move on to the next level. By teaching someone else, you’ll discover the holes in your own knowledge.
Forest Soderlind, Technical Artist

No matter what you pursue, there will be obstacles. Realize it’s a phase in the learning process. Once you get past the obstacle, you’ll have gained new knowledge and expertise, and this will make you a better developer. Good luck, and keep plugging away!
Evan Nikolich, Designer

Even at the professional level, programming is a constant struggle, so learn to enjoy the struggle. The most rewarding projects I’ve worked on were the most difficult. Also, find a mentor who can review your code and give you guidance. Lastly, it takes time and practice to become a proficient programmer so have patience and diligence.
Alan Stuart, Senior Engineer

Try to avoid getting frustrated. Programming is hard enough when you have a clear mind. Do your best to make sure you're not attempting something that's over your head. Stick with simple problems for a while and things will start to click. Just keep practicing. One way to improve is to take some older code that you wrote or an old homework assignment and re-write it to make it cleaner, or better, or faster.
Mike Forrest, Senior Engineer

Keep finding odd and diverse tasks to sharpen your skills. Challenge yourself to do something new. It doesn’t have to be big, but it has to be outside of your comfort zone.
Christian Diefenbach, Engineering Lead

Learn by shooting for targets that directly affect you, and don’t be afraid to ask questions from folks that know what they are doing. In the five years I’ve been at Bungie, I have never had an Engineer refuse to provide me with as much help as I needed to get through something.
Scott Kankelborg, Special Projects Assassin

Create a reasonable goal involving something that interests you, and learn what you need to do in order to accomplish that. Having that goal behind you will almost certainly steer your passion behind the process, which is a big help. Almost every time I started learning a new computer language for fun, I started simple. One of the coolest university projects I had to do was to create a networked, multiplayer game of Battleship complete with win/loss record keeping.
David Johnson, Engineer

Modify completed code, or code samples. It’s a lot easier to see cause and effect when you can change aspects and directly see the effects and connections.
Jennifer Ash, User Researcher

The universe is fundamentally computational; learning its secrets will take time. It took the universe 13.75 Billion years for you to be born. Have patience and keep plugging away.
Mat Noguchi, Programmer


spawn031 My friend in an Xbox Live party chat just told me that you guys can give me blue flames.

Here you go. We consider the matter closed. Please stop writing us letters.



At least about blue flames. We do love your letters, but the ship that carried your blue flames as cargo has sailed, friends.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this look into our world, and the roads that lead here. We’ll let our hair down a little more next week, and get back to the ridiculous sarcasm and nonsense that you should expect during this communications blackout. So many of you just seemed so sincere about your curiosities this week, and we’re just a bunch of suckers for eager young minds that want to make games.

Community 10/19/2012 2:25 PM PDT permalink

The Mail Sack is Secure

Warning: This can be habit forming...



When you ask a question of Bungie, you can expect a whole galaxy of different answers. Even if there are things that we agree on in lock step, we still manage to take those steps in our own fashion. This collision of perspectives and experiences aids the process we use to make our games. You’ll learn more about that process Soon™. In the meantime, these guys stepped into the mail room to give you a sample of the spectrum that shines in our studio.

Nate Hawbaker, Technical Artist
Andy Howell, Matchmaking Test Lead
David Johnson, Engineer
Scott Kankelborg, Special Projects Assassin*
Alex Loret de Mola, Engineer
Troy McFarland, Staff Artist
Chris Owens, Test Engineer
David Shaw, Senior Producer
Alan Stuart, Senior Engineer
Jay Thaler, Senior Engineer
…and introducing Jerome as Bungie’s Security Lead

*That isn't a joke.  The IT Department has all the fun with their titles. As for everyone else, whether your titles are suitable for a resume or not, let’s open the Sack.


Malfar Any MechWarrior fans in the house? What's your favorite Mech?


Marauder all the way.
David Shaw, Senior Producer

I actually used to be part of a thriving BattleTech table top game. I piloted a heavy assault Mech with three MRM missile pods, two PPCs and six coolant pods! That way I could alpha strike.
Andy Howell, Matchmaking Test Lead

My favorite Mech of all time is MechaGendron. It’s a fictional software-testing Mech I created for a comic series I’m working on. He’s an unstoppable testing machine that can do his job without the burden of emotions or fatigue. He eventually joins the professional gaming circuit and crushes all his opponents with his sweet gaming skillz. At night, he fights crime with his Gauss Rifle/LRM20 combo. But that really has nothing to do with MechWarrior. That’s a great game, though.
Chris Owens, Test Engineer

Good stalkers know that a number of us are ex-FASA Studio peeps, who might have made some ‘Mech games in the past. After four major games and a bunch of expansions, I’m physically unable to leave off the trademark apostrophe from the word ‘Mech (in the BattleTech Universe, it’s short for BattleMech). To actually answer your question, my favorite ‘Mechs are the ones from Tesla Battletech, the most hardcore and evil of all the MechWarrior games. Coolant Loops! Ammo Bay Fires! Glory!
Derek Carroll, Senior Designer


Kivell What is a strange habit that you have?

I maintain a bizarre weekly ritual where I invite a bunch of gamers to ask their favorite game developers questions, and then eliminate any chance of those two groups of people actually talking about what they really want to talk about. The angst that flows from both directions nourishes me, it does. I’m sure our Panel has even weirder fetishes…

If I think no one is watching, I sing when I code. I feel like it has a positive effect on my ability to reason, and it keeps me awake when I’m coding late nights.
Alex Loret de Mola, Engineer

I am addicted to SCIENCE! Well that and almost every joint in my body can pop, probably due to my science addiction.
Andy Howell, Matchmaking Test Lead

I won’t eat hot food. I let my food cool down to what most people would consider “barely warm” before eating. I eat quickly so I don’t hold up the table.
Alan Stuart, Senior Engineer

I keep coming back to this place called Bungie every weekday. What in the world is up with that?!
David Johnson, Engineer

I have a habit of making up complicated origin/backstories for people I don’t know. They usually involve super powers, the mob or the CIA.
Chris Owens, Test Engineer

Responding to these.
Nate Hawbaker, Technical Artist

I end every statement with the words “In accordance with prophecy.”
Troy McFarland, Staff Artist


talon2000 Who's your favorite historical figure and why?

(Inset Marty joke here - then turn question over to Panel.)

I have quite a few heroes, but my favorite would have to be Neil Armstrong - or any of the astronauts from that time frame. Can you imagine? You had to be part scientist, part pilot, part cowboy, part crazy man, and a jack-of-all-trades to make it into the program! Then, you strapped yourself to that giant explosion. It’s probably why I get a kick out of movies like this…


Andy Howell, Matchmaking Test Lead

Thomas Jefferson: For the Virginia Statue for Religious Freedom, Declaration of Independence, his involvement in the distribution of the smallpox vaccine, and for being President of a country that had doubled in size since first holding office.
Nate Hawbaker, Technical Artist

Mark Twain. In spite of the historical climate that he lived in, he held the radical view that all people were created equal. And his wit was razor sharp, in accordance with prophecy.
Troy McFarland, Staff Artist

There are so many to choose from! How about Ludwig van Beethoven? The man loved music so much that, even after becoming deaf, he was still able to work his craft - just because he had an intuition for how melodies and harmonies would weave themselves together. It’s that sort of determination and fearlessness in the face of obstacles and limitations (despite having every excuse to quit) that I’d love to embody.
David Johnson, Engineer

Tesla. His genius and inventiveness have always amazed me.
Chris Owens, Test Engineer

Abraham Lincoln, because of his mad vampire hunting skills.
Jay Thaler, Senior Engineer


Elem3nt 117 Have you ever witnessed anything supernatural?

Every day, I see people conjuring exciting experiences out of nothing but math. They are the wizards in my world…

Getting a job here felt supernatural to me.
Alex Loret de Mola, Engineer

The amount of caffeine ingested by Bungie during crunch time.
Andy Howell, Matchmaking Test Lead

Ministry @ Lollapolooza ’92.
David Shaw, Senior Producer

When I was in high school, two friends and I were in the theater’s green room during lunch, and the age-old question of “If God is everywhere, is he also in the toilet?” came up. Right when it was mentioned, a plastic dinner plate that was away from everyone shattered. We were the only people in the room at the time. We still talk about it when we see each other, in accordance with prophecy.
Troy McFarland, Staff Artist

Yes. Twice. But they are long, scary stories. One story ends with a family moving out of a very nice house.
Alan Stuart, Senior Engineer

Carbon fiber.
Nate Hawbaker, Technical Artist

I’ve seen and experienced a large number of coincidences in my life. I prefer to interpret those things as evidence in favor.
David Johnson, Engineer

YES. One time I was watching TV, and this girl climbed up out of a well. Then, then she came right through the TV. That was crazy.
Chris Owens, Test Engineer


INTERMISSION: We interrupt this Mail Sack to bring you a very special conference with one of Bungie’s most valuable employees. By popular demand, our community was given the chance to put the question to the man who puts the “secure” in our secure location. Bungie fans know him as Jerome. The world knows him as the immovable object that stands between them and their irresistible urge to know our precious secrets. At Bungie, we know him as the gatekeeper who makes us feel safe while we toil away in the darkness of our compound.



Jerome, the mail room is yours.

YodasCurd What do you do to keep yourself occupied while on the job?

I am constantly looking for intruders, allowing access to those who come to conduct business with Bungie, and monitor all entrances to keep them locked down.

antony X1000 Any stories about extremely persistent fans attempting to get into the studio?

Sometimes, people tell me that their brother or sister works at Bungie, and they told them to stop by. Usually when I ask them for the names of the employee, they can’t tell me.

Hylebos What would happen if a fan tried to deliver a cake to the studio?

Bungie’s policy is to reject any food from anyone other than a food service.

mark117 mia2553 Do you like your new home better than the old one? What are some differences that you can share?

I love our new space, but I did have more fun at the old location because I got to tow unauthorized vehicles.

Jerome Trivia: He performed this task without the use of a tow truck.

CTN 0452 9 What is the best part of working at Bungie?

Being part of a great business, constantly meeting highly talented people, and working at a place where most of the world would love to work.

MsCadetUNIVERSE What is the most memorable encounter you've ever had with a fan?

A fan came all the way from Australia to meet people at Bungie. He was excited to take some photos with me. After he returned home, he sent a wonderful letter filled with gratitude.

DE4THINC4RN4TE What is it like knowing that thousands of people fear you?

I didn’t know about that.

Jerome Trivia: In answering this question, Jerome was actually referring to “fear” itself – a concept that is completely foreign to him.



This concludes Jerome’s press-conference. Please back away slowly without making eye contact. We now return you to your regularly scheduled Mail Sack in progress…


edableshoe How many employees would it take to take down Jerome? Does the studio even have enough?

You know, gators eat employees as ravenously as they eat intruders. Our Panel certainly knows that…

Are you kidding? He’s even deflected Harold’s sniper rounds. He’s invincible, in accordance with prophecy.
Troy McFarland, Staff Artist

He would end us… end us all.
Andy Howell, Matchmaking Test Lead

This number is uncertain. I don’t think we’ve ever seen his final form.
David Johnson, Engineer

Are you CRAZY asking questions like that? Keep your voice down. You don’t want to be accused of insurrection.
Alex Loret de Mola, Engineer

Same number it would take to take down your mom.
Scott Kankelborg, Special Projects Assassin


Googlz What's your favorite part of Halloween?

I love the mass-hysteria. The world becomes a stage, and everyone dabbles in theatre. It reminds me a little of Xbox Live, since people channel their personalities into an avatar that they wear for one day. Seeing every profession in the world outfitted with a more attractive uniform is also nice.


Colingo If you could trade jobs with one of your colleagues for 24 hours, who would it be and why?

I would be Jerome so I could make people respect my authoritah.
Alan Stuart, Senior Engineer

Do we get to gain their powers? If we do, I would switch with CJ Cowan, but those 24 hours would have to be on a weekend when I’m at a golf course. Dude hits it far, straight, and with deadly precision - in accordance with prophecy.
Troy McFarland, Staff Artist

Any of our VO actors! I love doing voice over work, and did a lot of it at my previous studio. I haven’t had the chance at Bungie, and I really miss it.
Andy Howell, Matchmaking Test Lead

I don’t think there’s any job here I particularly envy. Everyone here works hard and contributes their enormous talent. I’d like to think that jumping into anyone else’s role for 24 hours would just leave me dumbstruck as I face the insurmountable task of trying to figure out how to solve problems that seem second nature to them.
David Johnson, Engineer


Scott Kankelborg, Special Projects Assassin


catman6 Are there any unspoken rules of the office that are specific to Bungie?

If I speak about them, they won’t be unspoken anymore. We can’t have that.
Alex Loret de Mola, Engineer

Unspoken Rule #1: Nobody speaks about the unspoken rules of the office.
Scott Kankelborg, Special Projects Assassin

If something is broken in the build that gives you an unfair advantage, abuse it.
Nate Hawbaker, Technical Artist

Don’t remind the Grizzled Ancients that Middle School has won the Pentathlon two years in a row, in accordance with prophecy.
Troy McFarland, Staff Artist

There is a sign outside the men’s room that says, “What happens in the Man Cave stays in the Man Cave.” Thankfully.
Alan Stuart, Senior Engineer

Don’t forget your keycard or you will have a miserable day.
Chris Owens, Test Engineer

Be a Hero. I guess that’s not really unspoken. We’ll often literally say to one another: "Be my hero." And we’re usually being totally serious. Also, don't talk about fight club. Wait!
Andy Howell, Matchmaking Test Lead


ChorrizoTapatio DeeJ, could you give us some advice on creating and maintaining a successful blog?

That crucial first step of deciding on the spirit of your message can be the hardest. A blog should be a vehicle for your own voice - a way to express your passions as a gamer. Be honest. Be sincere. And think about the service you intend to provide to your readers.

To build a following, you’ll need to cultivate a unique lure. My friend Hawty McBloggy used to explore games from an edgy, feminine perspective. The guys at Ascendant Justice could dissect fiction better than any other players could. Foo Mo Jive started a blog at Podtacular to serve up a podcast about all things Halo. I walked the Clan beat on my site, which appealed to gamers who craved a social, competitive experience.

As for maintaining that blog? If there is one thing that Louis Wu always impressed upon me, it was the importance of posting updates frequently enough to keep people checking back for more. Fortunately, his forum was also a great place to drop an invitation to the party I was hosting.


Xd00999 What was your favorite project you worked on before coming to Bungie?

This sounds like one of those questions intended for people who have worked on other games. Instead of telling an exciting story about business travel, I’ll assume that you wanted to know about stuff like this…

MAG. That game was crazy ambitious and an achievement that many people thought couldn’t be pulled off.
David Johnson, Engineer

I loved working on the original Fable at MGS. It was my first AAA title, my first time experiencing crunch in the industry, and my first time I really felt like I had my hands on the project. I have a signed poster from my team hanging up in my living room to this day!
Andy Howell, Matchmaking Test Lead

For purely personal/nonprofit projects, my favorite was a NaNoWriMo progress tracking app I wrote over a weekend for my friends in the Penny Arcade forums.
Alex Loret de Mola, Engineer

1vs100 for Xbox LIVE.
Jay Thaler, Senior Engineer

Tribes. It had something like 120 motions that were captured, and the stunts were incredibly fun to get – although we capture more in one day now, in accordance with prophecy.
Troy McFarland, Staff Artist

It’s a tie. Quake 3 (because the project itself was so fun) and Power Rangers Ninja Storm for the GBA (because the development of the project went so smoothly).
Chris Owens, Test Engineer

Mario Kart.
Nate Hawbaker, Technical Artist


EZcompany2ndsqd Can you neither confirm nor deny that the beta testing is taking place?

I can confirm that the Bungie Beta is in a perpetual state of taking place. We’re always curious about the mind of the gamer. Inside the guarded realm of our Laboratorium, we are experimenting on willing subjects to learn how they respond to all sorts of stimuli, including (but not isolated to): builds of our next website, builds of our next game, as well as websites and games that belong to other people. Don’t miss your chance to drive headlong into our wall. Make sure that your Beta Tester profile is up to date, and keep an eye on the email address that you share with us.


spawn031 Roses are red, blue flames are blue, I want them dearly, but only from you.




LIGHTNING ROUND!

Tom T How would you describe the community now? What do you think it will be like in 2 years’ time?

Anxious. Bigger.

coolmike699 Is it true that one of your servers caught on fire during the Halo Reach beta?

Maybe.

QuirkyNate What is your favorite holiday? And why?

Bungie Day. Swag.

MetalxTongue Can I have a peek?

At what?!

Eco Maiden How many Bungie Employees does it take to change a light bulb?

One: Burnaroos.

Mass Craziness Can I have a dollar?

No.

EAGLES5 Is it true you plan on surrendering to the Mythics?

Never!

ALI217 Last! (put this at the end of the mail sack)

Don’t tell me what to do. You’ll spoil the ending.

You have reached the end of the Mail Sack. It’s unlikely that you saw it coming, but life is full of surprises. Speaking of which, the Bungie Riddlemasters have a surprise of their own for you. Rare and wonderful swag will be awarded to cunning decoders at every stage.  The puzzle will be complete when you decode the last line.



The only hint I’ll give you is that your next chance to ask us a question will come on Monday. Until then, you are at the mercy of your own problem solving skills. Have a nice weekend!

Community 10/12/2012 10:54 AM PDT permalink

Mail Sack of Plenty

May your cup runneth over...



This week, the Mail Sack overfloweth with Bungie Love. If you’re no stranger to this weekly orgy of crowd-sourced inquisition, you’re probably anticipating a roster for the Bungie Panel that squared up to answer some questions. On this occasion, they’re too numerous to list, lest this opening beat start to resemble the closing credits for a game. To discover the identities of the developers who were in a sharing mood when your curiosities were revealed, you must delve into the questions, much as they did.

Let’s open the Sack.

TheSpiderChief Do you, DeeJ, actually look through all the pages of questions we give you or do you just go through the first few due to precious time?

My promise to you is that I read every single question that you commit to our virtual mail room. It’s a great way to read your minds. This labor of love results in an internal monologue that sounds something like: “Can’t answer that without getting fired… Can’t answer that without getting in trouble at home… Won’t answer that on general principle… Can’t even think about how I’m supposed to answer that... Oh, look at this one!” (cut and paste)


chubbz What are Bungie's favorite superheroes?


David Candland, Artist


Alex Loret de Mola, Engineer



Nate Hawbaker, Technical Artist


Mark Flieg, Artist


Joseph Fernandes, Production Engineer


Rachel Swavely, Motion Capture Tech


Troy McFarland, Motion Capture Lead


Rick Lico, Art Lead


Travis Pijut, Test Engineer


Joshua Rubin, Writer


John Stvan


UphillMercury What is the main motivational factor that makes you want to go into work every day?

Creating awesome things with awesome people!
Alex Loret de Mola, Engineer

My alarm clock.
Alexis Haraux, Engineer

Making something you want to play.
David Candland, Artist

To get away from the crazy creature that is living in my closet!
Rachel Swavely, Motion Capture Tech


DMX1337 Are there any daily traditions for you guys at the studio (either collectively or individually)? If so, what?

Drinking coffee, followed by drinking more coffee.
Alex Loret de Mola, Engineer

3PM coffee break. If your order has more than two words (including size of the beverage), you lose.
Alexis Haraux, Engineer

I rage against “the man” over coffee round 3PM.
Rick Lico, Art Lead

3PM chocolate milk time (followed by 3:15 nap time).
Pat Jandro, Cinematic Designer

Scotch Friday. Hey, you asked!
Troy McFarland, Motion Capture Lead

I like the group circle we sit in and talk about our feelings. Really helps clear the air.
John Stvan, Graphic Designer


LordMonkey In a haiku, describe a day at Bungie.

Blah blah blah blah blah
Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah
Blah blah blah Awesome

They should have sent a poet. Panel, be any of you poets? If so, issue forth!

My days are filled with
Email and bug fixes
Haiku are stupid
Derek Carroll, Designer

Caffeine-driven code
Prepare for twenty thirteen
World domination
Alex Loret de Mola, Engineer

code monkey write code
code monkey wait for slow build
code monkey debug
Alan Stuart, Engineer

ascending stairway
leads to the forge of new worlds
hammers shaping ideas
Austin Spafford, Engineer

United we build
A creative new landscape
To entertain you
Mark Flieg, Artist

Pew pew, playing games
Tighten graphics, level 3
We get paid for this
David Candland, Artist

Taf dans la bonne humeur
Grosse pause café a 3 heures
C’est que du bonheur
Alexis Haraux, Engineer

Kitchen full of snacks,
Delicious, bountiful gift?
Or plot to kill us?
Joseph Fernandes, Production Engineer

Creativity
Unleashed Imagination
Crushed Technology

And, later…

Innovative fix
Technology works again
Ambition achieved
Steve Lopez, IT Overlord

Wish Jerome good day
Tell no one of what comes next
Goodbye Bungie hello Seattle traffic
Pat Jandro, Cinematic Designer

Working super late
What day is it again please
Someone bring caffeine
Travis Pijut, Test Engineer

Roses are red
This line doesn’t rhyme
I’m not good at poems
John Stvan, Graphic Designer


Kivell What will you dress up as for Halloween?


I like to dress up like Uncle Fester due to the resemblance.
Alan Stuart, Engineer

Undecided. Either retired Master Chief or zombie something. You tell me.
Robert Kehoe, Tester

The event horizon of a black hole.
Nate Hawbaker, Technical Artist

In my imagination, I lose some weight so I wouldn't be embarrassed wearing an EL-wire stick figure costume (black spandex is required for the best effect).
Austin Spafford, Engineer

A robot.
David Helsby, Artist

I don’t know, gimme ideas!
Alexis Haraux, Engineer


Mark Flieg, Artist


Derek Carroll, Designer


Pat Jandro, Cinematic Designer


Xd00999 What is your favorite part of the workday?

The nice quiet mornings before everyone is here, and I can safe-guard myself from impromptu requests. I’m too reactionary to say no.
Nate Hawbaker, Technical Artist

When everything's going well and coding feels more like a rhythm game (mostly chiptunes, hard dance, DnB).
Austin Spafford, Engineer

When a collaborative creative endeavor clicks into place.
Mark Flieg, Artist

Playtest time!
Derek Carroll, Designer

New hire lunches
Pat Jandro, Cinematic Designer


Sven Nietzsche What's your favorite room in Bungie studios?

The rooms that have “lab” appended to them.
Robert Kehoe, Tester

The kitchen, where we store our sweet, sweet caffeine supplies.
Alex Loret de Mola, Engineer

I really like our bathrooms. We play loud music in the bathrooms which helps cover up the bodily functions. I think this should be a rule for all bathrooms.
Alan Stuart, Engineer

I like the big room that we all share – except for the Audio recluses.
Nate Hawbaker, Technical Artist

Hmm, it's hard to choose... does an alcove with a fireplace and hammock-seats count?
Austin Spafford, Engineer

The Bungie Thunderdome, yet for some reason the Rock Wall gets all the attention.
Joseph Fernandes, Production Engineer

Spandex Palace, of course.
Rachel Swavely, Motion Capture Tech

The Theater, glorious AV nerd toy that it is.
Steve Lopez, IT Overlord

Marty’s office.
Pat Jandro, Cinematic Designer


MURDUR 587 What is love?

Love is evil spelled backwards. And misspelled.
Robert Kehoe, Tester


Rachel Swavely, Motion Capture Tech


Mark Flieg, Artist
 
Love is the integral of the intensity of the romantic feeling over time. I learned this in a lecture called ‘The Mathematics of Love’ in a high school summer program (true story!). Yet another way we can use calculus in life!
Tom Sanocki, Staff Artist

Speed.
Nate Hawbaker, Technical Artist

Blindfolded hatred.
Alexis Haraux, Engineer

A wife and son who both outlast me in a weekend Borderlands 2 marathon.
Rick Lico, Art Lead


Alex Loret de Mola, Engineer
Austin Spafford, Engineer
David Helsby, Artist
David Candland, Artist
Joseph Fernandes, Production Engineer
Brittany Lichty, Administration
Travis Pijut, Test Engineer
John Stvan, Graphic Designer
Derek Carroll, Designer


I bet someone in the studio is going to respond with that Haddaway song…
Pat Jandro, Cinematic Designer

Yeah. You think?


XoG Suppressor What is the best prank you've ever played on someone? Don't hold back.

I once Photoshopped my boss’ face onto a picture of Conan the Barbarian and had it printed as a 5’ wall poster.
Joseph Fernandes, Production Engineer

Since you didn’t specify office prank. Back in high-school when there was construction going on, I told a friend that our buddy was using the port-o-potty and had left the door unlocked. I convinced him it would be hilarious if he were to go and open the door of said potty in-front of the entire school. (This was a military school so almost the entire school was out for formation and could see the port-o-john.) Not only did my friend open the door with a huge grin on his face, but he yelled as loud as he could. Our buddy was not in there but instead a construction worker in the middle of pulling up his pants. My friend, cheeks beat read, ran back to his room to the sound of 200+ teenagers laughing at him. By lunch time an orange net fence was blocking off the traveling crapper.
Robert Kehoe, Tester

I like to scream really loudly in the elevator while simultaneously pushing the alarm button. My kids asked me to scare their friends. Hilarious.
Alan Stuart, Engineer

My boss at a previous job was pregnant and starting to show. She'd told a couple of people (including me), but not everyone. A co-worker confided in me that she thought our boss might be pregnant. I said I wasn't sure. The next day, I told my co-worker that our boss wasn't pregnant, but that she'd heard people talking about her weight, got pissed off, and was now trying to find out who started the rumor. I told her I covered for her, but to watch out...
Mark Yocom, Release Engineer


Googlz What is the most irritating part of map design?

Map designers.
Alexis Haraux, Engineer

For a tester, finding that the designer has blocked off my favorite shortcut/exploit with invisible physics. For the designer, hopefully it’s the bugs that show where he/she thought they wouldn’t need invisible physics.
Robert Kehoe, Tester


Derek Carroll, Designer


Im SteelAssassn The Marty Army was promised a Humpday way back when. Gonna pay up?

Oh no you don’t. I delivered on that ancient debt. Well, it wasn’t a Humpday Challenge (those are so old-fashioned) but Marty showed up and played some games with his Army. Maybe I can lure him onto the battlefield again in another ten years. Stay tuned.


coolmike699 What's the strangest way you've ever been injured?

Slicing zucchini with a machete.
Steve Lopez, IT Overlord

Swinging from a flimsy tree branch and splitting the skin on my forearm wide open.
Joseph Fernandes, Production Engineer

My brother sat on me.
Robert Kehoe, Tester

I can’t believe I’m going to admit this to a large audience. When I was four, I cracked my head open by falling onto the corner of a table. This occurred because I was dancing to the music of Fraggle Rock at the time. I still carry the scar on my forehead!
Alex Loret de Mola, Engineer

It was first or second grade. I was very excited to be first in line. I didn’t want anyone to get ahead of me, so I stretched out my arms to the doorframe. Then someone slammed the door behind me – yup, that was my pinky finger stuck in the hinge. I pulled it out and ran to the nurse’s office. Ended up losing the pinky nail that afternoon and wore a thick wrapping around it for weeks. My mom still made me practice the piano, and that was the worst part of the whole experience.
Tom Sanocki, Staff Artist

In middle school, a girl I had a crush on tickled me while I was hanging upside down from the monkey bars. I fell and chipped my front tooth, but I had to act cool about it. I still have a chip in my front tooth.
Alan Stuart, Engineer

The Statue of Limitations doesn’t allow me to discuss this in 43 states, and Puerto Rico.
Nate Hawbaker, Technical Artist

Getting hit by the tail of a friend's overly enthusiastic Great Dane. Those things hurt!
Austin Spafford, Engineer

I split my forehead on my parent’s coffee table at 3 years old playing He-Man on the couch. By the power of Greyskull, indeed.
Mark Flieg, Artist

Being a stupid teenager. We were goofing off and I jumped off the hood of a moving car going about 25mph. Busted my nose and bit through my tongue.
David Candland, Artist

In the eighth grade, I punched a bus seat in an attempt to kill a bee and ended up breaking my left pinky in the process. Bonus #1: I'm not even left handed, so it's not my strongest punching hand in the first place. Bonus #2: I missed the bee.
Mark Yocom, Release Engineer

Tried to push a sewing needle into a chair leg by dropping the chair on it, the needle shattered and went through my finger. Don’t ask why I tried that. I was six.
Alexis Haraux, Engineer

Shot an EpiPen through my thumb by accident.
Rachel Swavely, Motion Capture Tech

I cut myself on a throw pillow once.
Derek Carroll, Designer

In a mocap session prototyping our new IP. I was doing a backwards turn into a run, and craned my ankle on a pillar in our old mocap studio. Which proves that parents do not, in fact, have eyes in the back of their heads.
Rick Lico, Art Lead


Please wait How often does the studio have meetings where the entire studio meets together?

About once a month, if our schedule allows for everyone to share a special moment. Team Meetings are a great way to end a week. Fanfare rings out across the studio floor to call us to arms. The door to the beer fridge swings wide. A mountain of snacks is heaped upon the kitchen island. Rows of chairs invite us to sit and watch as our peers show off their latest and greatest additions to the tapestry we are weaving, with people perched on the grand staircase and every overlooking balcony.


Helveck Is there an Office Motivator? You know, like a Richard Simmons, or an ED-209? Someone that is always saying the right things to help push people to the limits of their talents and beyond?

The biggest office motivator is the game itself right now. It has a life of its own and ultimately reminds us that it’s worth all the effort.
Jonty Barnes, Production Director

You mean besides Richard Simmons who roams our workspace on an Ed-209?
Robert Kehoe, Tester

Yes, and ice cream is frequently involved.
Austin Spafford, Engineer

Pete "Ice Cream Man" Parsons is the go-to guy during crunch.
Mark Yocom, Release Engineer


David Helsby, Artist


WestCoastRonin Are you allowed to bring guests into the studio like spouses, kids, etc.?

The answer is “Yes!” But for the last time, Ronin, I will not marry or adopt you.


defnop552 What's your favorite Pixar film?

Who better to answer this question than someone who worked on some of them? I give you Bungie Staff Artist Tom Sanocki:

Choosing just one favorite Pixar film? Oh, cruel, cruel world! Have you no pity, forcing us to choose between our dear, precious children?

Cars was one of my favorites to work on because we had such a great Characters team – a team fun-loving enough to build a themed bar ("The Rhino Lounge") in our corner of the office. Rigging Mater was a particular challenge for me, since it blended some hard technical challenges with tricky aesthetic ones. Paul Aichele, one of Pixar's top riggers, stayed late with me one night during a hard time in production to figure out how to get his smile just right. That film was filled with moments like that.

Up is one of my favorites because Pete Docter is one of my favorite people to work with. I can't think of anyone else who could pull off a movie as crazy as Up. It was also the hardest Pixar film for me. The concept art for Kevin the bird came in really late, forcing me to squeeze twelve months of work into three. That was wild and brutal, but sometimes the hardest times are good too - especially when you're doing your small part to build a gem like Up.

And Finding Nemo holds a special place in my heart – not only because it's a wonderful film, but because it was my first film. There's nothing in the world like seeing your first film up on the big screen for the first time, seeing your first character appear, and thinking: "Wow, was that really good enough to go up there?"

But who could leave out Incredibles? Brave? Ratatouille -- where we spent several weeks stressing about subtle creases between rat legs, and then rebuilding them all from scratch? Toy Story 2 -- a film about the choice between death and immortality? Or Toy Story 3 -- also about death?

Do I really have to choose, DeeJ? Did we misunderstand the question? Aha – that must be it!


spawn031 Seriously, can I have blue flames?

If I give you blue flames, you know who else I have to give them to?




LIGHTNING ROUND!

SharkTooth Can you post a few pictures of areas around the studio?

Sure.

Hylebos If I wanted to create a fictitious world, where would be a good place to start?

In your mind.

Garland When can you reveal the release date for Bungie.next?

Soon™.

Elite Predator How do you deal with being away from friends and family for a while when being dedicated to the title being worked on at the moment?

Skype.

Remorazz Which position do you think gets it the easiest out of all of you?

Assistant to the Community Manager.

Gamer Whale What are you not working on?

Halo 4. Pass it on.

YodasCurd What would you say if I told you, that the fate of the world lies in a code hidden in this sentence?

It will take more than a superfluous comma to save the world.

Mythical Wolf That's all folks! See you on Monday for another Mail Sack.

Hey. That’s my job. And this is my desk. Who the hell let you in here anyway?

Thank you for your questions. We do appreciate the chance to talk about something while lovingly toil to create something that we won’t talk about yet. You may ask yourself: How can I get in on this? The answer to that question is discovered in our Community Forum every Monday.

Community 10/5/2012 12:22 PM PDT permalink

Sneak Attack of the Mail Sack

It's here to make your day...



You might have heard that Bungie is dark. It’s true. We’re darker than midnight around here. Fortunately, if armed with a flashlight, there are a lot of fun things that one can do in the dark. You can play a game of tag. You can hunt for nocturnal prey. You can even host an underground celebration.

Here are the party animals that showed up this week to illuminate the disco ball.

Chris Butcher, Engineering Lead
Andrea Fonger, Engineer
Zeke Garcia, Artist
Pat Jandro, Cinematic Designer
Alex Loret de Mola, Engineer
Kurt Nellis, Technical Cinematic Lead
Chris Owens, Test Engineer
Travis Pijut, Test Engineer
Matt Richenburg, Producer
John Shaffstall, Engineer
Tom Slattery, Localization Content Manager
Michael Strein, Engineer
John Stvan, Graphic Designer
Jay Thaler, Engineer

Grab your torches, fellow ravers. Let’s open the Sack.


obbsesedwithhalo I feel so sad at the lack of any indication of when you'll not be dark anymore. Can you put my mind at ease?

We’ve been as clear as we can about when we’ll relight our engines. If you were a little more obbsesed with Bungie.net, you’d likely be a lot less sad. You’ll have reason to cheer up Soon™. In the meantime, can I buy you off with an easy compliment? You sure do look handsome today.


SG Tumnus123 Who's your favorite Starship Captain and what one quality most makes them your favorite?

When you say “Starship Captain,” the first thing that rockets into my mind is an image of William Shatner, looking svelte and young in his burgundy dress-uniform (circa, Wrath of Khan). It’s an elemental, knee-jerk of Pavlovian proportions. Let’s see what jerks the knees of our Panel…


Admiral Piett. He intensified the forward fire power.
John Stvan

Admiral William Adama, The Old Man. I don’t want to spoil it, but go watch Battlestar Galactica, Season 3, Episode 4. You will understand why.
John Shaffstall

Malcolm Reynolds. Loved that deadpan wit.
Travis Pijut

Picard. His leadership brings out the best in his crew – he is not a one-man show.
Michael Strein

Captain Will Riker, (and yes, he is a captain now) because of his totally boss beard.
Chris Owens


WestCoastRonin How do Bungie employees get their nicknames? Do you select your own or is it selected for you by others at Bungie?

I was just about to launch a rant about how no one gets to pick their own nickname. Not ever! Then it occurred to me. Everyone at Bungie is a gamer, and gamers are very unique in that they create their own identities. You all picked your own nicknames on Bungie.net or Xbox LIVE. We’re no different. Evil Otto, Abe Froman (Sausage King), Mantis, Lukems, Urk, DeeJ. Even Marty dubbed himself The Elder. When you think about it, the person we become when we can be whoever we want to be says a lot about us. Noodle on that the next time you witness someone bullying a noob in Matchmaking.


Hylebos This is a question to the Magic the Gathering players at Bungie: Now that the Return to Ravnica expansion has been fully revealed, what new cards catch your eye?

Calling all nerds. Would all nerds please pick up a nerd courtesy phone…

I haven’t glanced at the list too closely yet. That kind of ruins the surprise when you are opening packs. But the token populate mechanic is pretty interesting, any of those cards have my eye for a potential deck.
Travis Pijut

Shock lands, Armada Wurm, Ash Zealot, Judge’s Familiar, Grove of the Guardian. I’m really looking forward to abusing Populate.
John Shaffstall

Hint: It starts with a “C” and ends with “hromatic Lantern.”
Tom Slattery

As an Ink-Treader Nephilim fan, I can’t resist the combination of total Nephilim spell copying control and buffing that will come with the Nivmagus Elemental.
Alex Loret de Mola


EAGLES5 Does Bungie studios own any watercraft?

We most certainly do. Our flagship is an enormous source of pride.




DJ Yella What does Bungie think of Rockstar Games and their works?

We liked Red Dead Redemption so much that we hired Danny Bulla to come here and help us fill your next sandbox. He’s doing some amazing work and, so far, he hasn’t tried to lash any of us to a pair of railroad tracks.


Kr1egerdude Any animal on earth can be domesticated on your command, what would you do with this power?

I would domesticate the trolls, and exploit them to staff a virtual information desk where they would be forced to answer questions asked by forum newcomers. Since a troll is just an imaginary creature, I need to come to grips with the fact that this will never happen. Instead, I’ll task our Panel to answer your question…

Is this power exclusive just to me? I feel my answer would change drastically if not.
Pat Jandro

Lemurs. Lemur power.
John Stvan

I would make random animals ride around on the backs of other animals, because apparently that’s hilarious.
Jay Thaler

I’d domesticate all animals simultaneously.
Chris Owens

I’d definitely get a pet rhino. Well, I wouldn’t, but it’s nice to think about.
Alex Loret de Mola

Enjoy a really nice steak every week. Oh, also probably conquer the world with my animal army and set myself up as the “Benevolent” Overlord or something. But mostly steak!
Travis Pijut

Acquire lion, name him Aslan, and ride him around commanding him to roar at people majestically.
Andrea Fonger

Bear Cavalry!

John Shaffstall


Zafric When it comes to applying for a job at Bungie, do you have any tips or suggestions that would help an aspiring Bungie fan get his/her foot in the door?

Start a blog about games and stuff. Or, follow in any of these footsteps…

Step 1. Have foot. Step 2. Find door. Step 3. Do the math.
John Stvan

Don’t literally try and get your foot in the door and sneak your way in expecting to put your resume on someone’s desk. We have the ability to make people disappear.
Pat Jandro

Create cool things and show them to people.
John Shaffstall

Choose an aspect of video games that you think you’d enjoy working on. Become really good at doing that. Send us your resume when you know you’re good enough to do it here.
Kurt Nellis

Do not wear a meat dress. It’s been done.
Jay Thaler

Don’t come dressed as Master Chief. Seriously.
Chris Owens

Never give up. Never surrender.
Michael Strein


Jondis What's the dress code for an interview at Bungie?

Suit and tie! Actually, that would get you dismissed before the first question landed on your jaw like the opening jab of a boxing match that lasts all day long. As a recent rescue from the double-pleated corporate wilderness, I was instructed very carefully on this point before I climbed into the ring myself.


Dangerouswelsh1 Maybe this question has already been asked or answered but, what would you say is the best way to get into the game industry from a writing perspective?

First of all, I couldn’t help but notice that this question was your first post under this login. If you’ve just joined us, welcome to Bungie.net! If you created that account to side-step an old ban, try and keep your nose clean this time. I won’t tell a soul. As for your question, I would recommend reading up on this guy or this guy. They’re both rather strange, but they’ve survived the trek that you’re contemplating.


QuirkyNate What is your favorite heist movie?


Michael Strein


Kurt Nellis


John Stvan


Jay Thaler


Chris Owens


Matt Richenberg


Alex Loret de Mola


Andrea Fonger

Geegs30 Does the studio go through any noticeable changes during the Fall?

This place becomes home to more hoodies than the Jedi Academy. Eh, Panel?

It gains about 10 pounds.
Pat Jandro

It gets dark around 2:30 and the whole studio feels like a cave.
Kurt Nellis

More flannel.
John Stvan

Luke Timmins stops shaving, presumably to help keep his face warm.
Jay Thaler

We all talk about how the sun is gone and start drinking even more coffee as we break out our collection of polar fleece and plaid.
Andrea Fonger


IslocStarkiller Any Bungie employees gonna see how their baby is doing?

In video game years, our ringed friend is really more like a young adult that has left home to make its way in the world. Just like you, we have images from simpler times burned into our minds, we can remember the finer moments from its upbringing, and we expect to continue to see great things from it in the future.


Los Lotus What are you doing on November 6th?

Voting and stomping grunts. Make sure you do get around to doing both as well. In both cases, you’ll be wielding some of the most awesome power ever imagined in the universe.


KUZOKU85 What advice do you have for a man with a broken heart?

It would be indelicate for me to dismiss this obvious cry for help with a gruff challenge that you “Man Up!” This is a question for the Panel…

Go get a tattoo that reminds you of him/her/it. Wait…no.
Pat Jandro

Duct Tape. That stuff fixes everything.
Travis Pijut

Time heals all wounds.
Zeke Garcia

Stay busy. If you don’t stay busy your heart hurts. Workout, read books, play video games. Word on the street is that Bungie has made a couple that are pretty fun!
Michael Strein

Just give it a few turns.
Tom Slattery

The Return to Ravnica prerelease is going on this weekend: get out there and play! You’re bound to have a good time, and who knows? Maybe you’ll meet a nice geeky gal!
Alex Loret de Mola


burritosenior Some developers go to other sites to give information. Even after the next game comes out, will you hold true to giving those of us that have stuck around here information first?

We have grand and ambitious plans for the Seventh Column faithful. In many cases, we fully intend for our most loyal fans to get information first. In other scenarios, we’d rather make an experience deeper, more engaging, and more meaningful after an initial hit of news and information intended for a broader audience. This party can only get better if we add more people to the dance floor. We think about this to an obsessive degree of detail, and we think you’re going to like what we have in the works. Only time will tell.


BlackHeaven Is the video game industry where you originally planned to work? If not, what were your original plans?

Well, I might have had some surreal dreams when I was a wee-child but this is definitely where I wanted to end up once I started thinking about “a career” in high school.
Pat Jandro

Space, the final frontier.
John Shaffstall

When I was like 6, yes. Then I was going to go into Physics, and then briefly 3D Graphics. Then I realized my 6 year old self had it right.
Travis Pijut

Nope. I started out in SFX in film.
Kurt Nellis

I was gonna be a cowboy. There’s still time.
John Stvan

Bungie is where I wanted to work since my freshman year of college. Mission accomplished.
Michael Strein

It’s where I always wanted to work, but I never had much of a plan. I studied computer science in school thinking I would become a game programmer, but it ended up being writing skills and ability in a second language that got me into the industry - on the localization side of things.
Tom Slattery

Well, it wasn’t where I originally planned to work: but there was a long time when I was younger where I wanted to, and I let that dream slip for a while… but somehow it came around and found me in a way. That is to say, I found it right when I think I needed it and was finally ready for it.
Alex Loret de Mola

I wanted to become a theoretical physicist and develop a Grand Unified Theory of Everything. But then I realized that would be hard and that I enjoyed playing video games instead.
Chris Butcher


spawn031 Blue flames please.




LIGTHNING ROUND!

ScooterDad72 How awesome it would be to live the good life?
Pretty awesome.

pureXownage How many mail sacks have there been?
At least two that I can remember.

Valiant Outcast What is the closest you have come to accidentally revealing details about Bungie's new game?
Nice try.

wrcfan Do you agree that poutine is food of the gods?
No. What’s that?

magicmagininja Am I your favorite?
It’s selfish to ask.

Flaming Skullz Can your new game have Godzilla?
Toho would have a fit.

EAGLES5 Has a movie ever made you cry?
Not even once.

Mythical Wolf If I were to leave and never come back, would you miss me?
No. I mean, Yes!

That final sprint has me feeling spent. You have reached the bottom of this Sack. To repeat this process – we do so enjoy the weekly ritual, you must know – please report to the mail room on Monday. Until then, keep the party raging. There will be a bright light at the end of this long, dark tunnel.

Community 9/28/2012 9:45 AM PDT permalink

Reverse Mail Sack 2.0

Back by popular demand: we ask, you answer…



No good conversation is one-sided. There are times when listening is more important than talking. We spend a lot of energy at Bungie listening to the passionate gamers in our community, so it makes all the sense in the world to put them to the question from time to time. At their request, the inquisition for this week has been inverted. When gamers talk about what motivates them, there is no wrong answer. The entire spectrum of answers can be browsed on our forum, but here are some the highlights…


Noah George, Sever Ninja
Do you think the game community could be doing more to cut down on harassment or unsporting behavior in general?


QuirkyNate


antony X1000 I don't think so. With the anonymity that comes with online gaming, people can act like jerks without many consequences. Although with features like muting, blocking communications and submitting player reviews, it's not a massive problem in my opinion. The community has the tools to deal with harassment and unsporting behavior. They just need to use them.

Kickimanjaro If games are to be treated as sports, and that certainly has been happening, then sportsmanship must also play a part. The people who organize the competitive events have the duty to enforce rules that encourage good sportsmanship.

Jujubes Yes, but not at the expense of playability in games. In my opinion, social gaming structures like clans help a lot.

DE4THINC4RN4TE We should have things to do that for us. Algorithms. Big ass, fancy Algorithms.

Telec There can never be too many positive role models.

cortana 5 Absolutely. A better attitude in gaming, be it causal or competitive, is going to start with the attitude of the gamers. Developers can only do so much to quell the bad behavior of the masses. Gamers, you need to call it out as you see it. Don't stay quiet when some jerk is verbally ripping someone to shreds online. You're making that victim feel alone and helpless.


Jay Thaler, Engineer
The zombie apocalypse is upon us. Most of humanity has already fallen to the hordes of flesh-eaters. You have survived because of your ingenuity, cat-like reflexes, and dashing good looks. As you travel in search of food, you find a grizzled old man who offers to give you a powerful weapon. Now is your chance to make a difference in this battle against the undead. You can choose any one weapon, real or fictional. What do you choose and why?


Khirna Something that doesn't need ammo, or a power source, and won't break or need repair: The ability to control the force!

Frag Ingot I would choose the illustrious "Cure Spell." Nothing does more damage to the undead than a cure.

Dropship dude The Iron Man suit. "But that's not a weapon!" I hear you cry. Well, the United States Government would disagree. No zombie will be able to bite through the powerful exoskeleton and the ability to fly away from danger and defend yourself is the perfect combination of assets. It boasts enough firepower to defend a small population too, so it's not all for my own survival.

Xplode441 I choose a crossbow. If you have the ingenuity, you can create bolts from the materials around you and it's quiet.

MightyMarcher01 Does it count if I say Batman's utility belt? I'm sure I could find some zombie repellant if I looked hard enough.

EuAn1196 Weapons are over-rated. I would take a zombie Halloween mask, so I can blend in.

coolmike699 I would choose a machine gun that fires chainsaws. Do I really need to explain this one?


Ryan Klaverweide, Graphic Designer
What do you think is missing from video games right now?


welder1stdegree A sense of purpose beyond reaching the next checkpoint or gaining credits and rank. I'd like to know that I was having an actual affect upon, or helping to shape the world I'm in for better or worse.

LordMonkey Your Mom.

Disambiguation Replayability. Too many games are coming out lately with a $60 price tag that are really only good for one 10-12 hour experience, and I can't help but feel ripped off.

ToastyWaffles Bold, new ideas. Most developers seem content to "play it safe" and conform to all the popular genre conventions, making only a few minor changes to the trusted formula. I'd like to see a real game changer in the industry; a radical new take on gaming.

catman6 Customization for most FPS games and creativity for non FPS games. FPS games seem to be single minded with a singular direction but they generally offer creative elements. Non FPS games seem to offer customization and freedom but the quests seem to be very repetitive.

A 3 Legged Goat Challenge and innovation. A lot of games are just playing it safe these days and they don't want to stump the player or force them to apply practical skills to play. This takes away a key strategic component that I feel gamers once had to master.

Sven Nietzsche The Zebra Battle Wagon. Make it happen!




Brad Loos, Engineer
How and when did you first fall in love with Halo?


Bricypoo It seems so, so long ago. I first got into Halo when I played it at a friend’s house, which made me want it. So my brother and I ended up getting Halo and Halo 2 for Christmas. I remember getting together with 15 other guys just to play Halo. Those were the days that really turned me from Nintendo games to Xbox games.

SkilPhil Halo 2 multiplayer. This was the first time I could sit in my living room with a friend playing against other people sitting in their living rooms playing with a friend. No AI can beat the uncertainty and camaraderie of playing with and against real people.

jyrine Early 2007 before Halo 3 dropped. I started playing Halo CE non-stop: broken arm, best six months ever. Still got a 4.0.

Bulldawg61 My wife bought Halo with the original Xbox when it launched. Judging it by its cover, I didn't care much for playing it, but she insisted that I keep it. Upon crash-landing in a pelican on Halo, I was able to head-shot my first grunt. Now she wishes she hadn't convinced me to keep it.

WestCoastRonin When I was 14, I traded all my PlayStation games to get store credit to buy an Xbox and a game I had heard about called Halo. I was in love the minute I used the M6D Magnum and the SRS99C Sniper Rifle.

Kr1egerdude My first experience with Halo was when I was at my cousin's birthday party and all of his friends were gathered around the TV. They were playing 4 player split-screen on Coagulation. Instead of playing Slayer they were doing rocket jumps, super jumps, honor-rule Infection, and running each other over with Warthogs. I never saw people having so much fun without playing competitively. They handed me the controller and I crushed people with the grill of my Warthog.

BC1096 When I was 7 I was looking through a disk of game demos my brother had and I saw the Halo CE demo. Looking at it I was like, "This green robot dude looks awesome!" so I started it up. The mission in the demo was Silent Cartographer, my favorite halo mission ever. As a kid, storming a beach with a crap load of soldiers was a dream come true. My god, was I hooked.

BONUS: This came our way via email. I had to share.

Matthew In 2008, my first fiancé passed away after a car accident. I was devastated. My college roommate had introduced me to Halo. During times of stress, we would immerse ourselves in that universe. After my fiancé died, I tried to think of things that would help me escape the harsh reality. I remembered the joy that Halo brought to me when I was stressed out in college. I went out and bought an Xbox 360 and Halo 3. I played Halo 3 whenever I was feeling down or sad. I would just like to truly thank Bungie and all of the employees that had helped create Halo. I believe it helped me and saved me from slipping into depression. It truly was and still is a magical experience to this day. Now I have a beautiful wife who also loves to play Halo with me. I own every Halo game. They are all remarkable, but Halo 3 will always hold a special place in my heart. It will always be my favorite video game. It is very sentimental to me.


Matthew Ward, Cinematic Designer
Which movie would you most like to play as a video game?


ARBITOR 5


xXIHAYD0IXx


lime013


CoRaMo


KUZOKU85


TuffJuice


Chewbaccawakka



Michael Williams, Engineer
What is the most memorable positive experience you had with a stranger while gaming online?


joe campbell Meeting my old clan leader. One day, I joined a random friend's custom game in Halo 3. I had a conversation with the person who would eventually become my clan leader and long-time friend. Years later, we were still playing tournaments. He taught me most of what I know about competitive gaming. To this day, we still text each other. It's funny how you can meet such a good friend from the most random occurrences.

Kalriq I was playing Zombie Panic Source with some friends. They all got wiped out early on, and it was me and a few randoms left in the game. With the undead clawing at our barricades, we did an inventory, formed a plan, and tried to break out of our predicament. One member of our party selflessly chose to stay behind and hold off the hordes of undead, while the rest of us ran. When a member of our group was infected, he told us, rather than waiting for our backs to be turned when he transformed, sacrificing easy kills for our safety! It was like some totally clichéd zombie film, but I don't think I've ever had so much fun. I still play with some of those guys now. There's nothing like a horde of ravenous zombies to bring people together!

T1B3R7uMB0YXVI It would have to be playing Battlefield 3 with a group of Bungie guys during the Pentathlon. I had this most inspired moment when Stosh pwned everyone as a gunner when I was the driver. Stosh and I were the most powerful players, better than a squadron of tanks, and we eventually knew about teamwork without voice.

AutobahnRacer This one time, I was playing Modern Warfare 2, and I invited a bunch of my other B.net pals (if you were there, you're awesome). They all joined, and we loaded up a game of Team Deathmatch. All of us equipped Riot Shields. Our team spawned, popped smoke grenades, and formed a phalanx with our riot shields while shouting "THIS IS SPARTA!" into our microphones. The post-game banter with the opposing team was probably one of the most entertaining conversations that I've had with anyone, ever.

Statefarm98 I met this one random person on Halo 3. We played one game, and for some reason we ended up working together really well. Now, we've talked for three years straight (without even meeting in real life). He's pretty cool, and I had never met someone online who I've actually become friends with.

I ColdEmbrace I After getting the game winning kill in Halo: Reach with a Needler, I received a message from someone on the other team saying, "Nietzsche wouldn't use a Needler!" (I have a Nietzsche reference as my motto.) We had a good chuckle over it and ended up playing a few games together. Personally, I think Nietzsche would use whatever weapon you would least expect.

Kiarah94 I was playing with someone online who is really good and I was not doing so well. I was doubting myself when this guy said I could do anything if I try hard enough. I decided that, in the next game, I would go all out. I finished with my first Perfection medal. There was a guy complaining in game chat and my teammate said “You just got beat by a girl.” Everyone just goes quiet. I felt so Powerful! Now, I never doubt myself - and we are really good friends.


Ben Wommack, Production Engineer
Which do you think makes a better e-sport: Dota / League of Legends or Starcraft 2? Why?


SpAmMer Despite LoL's booming popularity and excellent developer support for e-sports, as a ten year veteran of Starcraft, I'd say it still takes the most skill to master - and is hands down the most entertaining.

Hylebos I think it's pretty cool how League of Legends has over a hundred different champions to master. Each professional has their preferred roles and their preferred champions that they become renowned for, and following the metagame is both easy for spectators and very interesting.

Geegs30 I would have to say League of Legends because, unlike Starcraft, it's a team sport, and it's easier to pick up compared to DOTA. People who watch it for the first time can understand what's going on, and there's rich, deep strategy behind what each team is doing.

MasterSin StarCraft 2. It's an amazing game with a great option to create custom maps and toy with all the units of the game.

spawn031 Starcraft 2. You can't beat this...



Austin Spafford, Engineer
If you could easily teach a thousand people one idea, what would it be?


Disambiguation The scientific method.

Verachi If you use the bathroom in an all-girl house or apartment, DO NOT leave the seat up. Female species are not amused when you do that, Bad things happen. *shudders*

ChorrizoTapatio I would teach people that “your” and “you're” do not mean the same thing. COME ON PEOPLE.

Krimm117 “Half for one's own happiness, and half for the happiness of others.” -Doshin So
While this sounds an awful lot like the Golden Rule, the meaning goes a bit deeper for me. The Golden Rule asks us to "treat others the way we would like to be treated," which can be superficially interpreted. For example, the Golden Rule allows room for undue selfishness and hatred, as long as you outwardly appear to be a decent person. That’s not good enough. “Half for one's own happiness, and half for the happiness of others,” on the other hand, advocates a deeper sense of consideration and respect for others as part of your being, rather than simply how you behave in public.

Queens Knights Seek first to understand. Then seek to be understood.

GrandmasterNinja Do what you love to do. Why? The best painter is the one who loves to paint, and the best runner is the one who loves to run. You usually do your best work when you love what you're doing because you enjoy every second of it.

SPRTN One One 7 There will always be someone better than you at something.


Mike Forrest, Engineer
Is there one game (other than Halo) that you can point to that really hooked you and turned you into a gamer? What was it and why?


jacob crawford Star Wars: Knights of The Old Republic. When I first got an Xbox, I was watching my friends play WoW, and liked the idea of character leveling. The plot twists in KOTOR totally blew me away, and I loved the different features reminiscent of the movies.

RigZ Boi Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance II. It was something about becoming an angry ginger dwarf wielding a battle axe larger than my character that appealed to me. The joys I had playing that game with my older brother will be a memory I hope I never forget. Brilliant stuff.

Unanimate Objec Trials: Evolution. That game contains one of the most revered and acknowledged contents of any good game: A Challenge. The Challenge is what makes you feel satisfied at the end of a game. It is the reason you keep coming back, and the reason you will never leave.

Odd Hacker World of Warcraft. Before WoW, I was a very casual gamer. After WoW came out I spent thousands of hours preparing for raids, reading forums, and performing spreadsheet-Kung-Fu to sort my gear. Why? It feels amazing to work with other people to take down a boss.

LC o MagiikZ Mario. There is something about that overweight Italian plumber that reaches my heart, and will always have a place there. The first game I ever played was a Mario one, and I own a lot of the games. In my opinion, Mario is an iconic symbol in gaming.

IonicPaul Marathon. Watching my dad play it almost every night when I was young interested me, and getting to shoot aliens with a variety of weapons is a little boy's dream. Marathon was, quite literally, a dream come true, and I've played it consistently through the years. Its Bungie origins led me to Halo, and by extension, every other game I've played via the online community.

DeeJ Adventure on the Atari 2600 sank the hook pretty deep, but it was Halo 2 that turned gaming into a hobby that stayed with me even when I was away from the console. From then on, leading a clan became my own private MMO - and a more rewarding experience than any solitary engagement ever was. I know, I know... I'm jumping the fence here to answer this question, but all this role reversal has me so confused as to where I belong.

We'll be getting back to business as usual next week. It will be your turn again to put us to the question.  The Mail Room opens again, in its usual fashion, on Monday.

Community 9/21/2012 12:54 PM PDT permalink

The Mail Sack Saves the World

Or at least it has some good ideas...



Hot damn! Sometimes the reaction in our studio to your mail is like a pin-prick at the end of a finger. Every once in a while, for reasons I have yet to discern, your questions open a jugular vein of community love. Check out the virtual riot mob who lined up to bleed out their wisdom and sardonic nonsense for your reading pleasure this week.

Jonty Barnes, Production Director
Chris Butcher, Engineering Lead
Derek Carroll, Designer
Andrew Davis, Artist
Mike Forrest, Engineer
Tyson Green, Designer
Josh Hamrick, Designer
Alexis Haraux, Engineer
John Hopson, User Research Lead
Andy Howell, Test Lead
David Johnson, Engineer
Dave Matthews, Art Manager
Troy McFarland, Artist
Jim McQuillan, Visual ID Director
Dan Miller, Designer
Mat Noguchi, Programmer
Chris Owens, Test Engineer
Matt Sammons, Designer
David Shaw, Producer
Austin Spafford, Engineer
Michael Strein, Engineer
Alan Stuart, Engineer
James Tsai, Designer

Just look at that panel, teeming with chatty developers! I think I just set back the reveal of our game another month. At least we get to open the Sack.

So, Bungie Community, now that we’re all here, what shall we talk about?

Achilles1108 #Dragons

Oh, c’mon! Are you guys still forcing that flaccid attempt at a meme down our throats? Give it up. It’s not gonna become a Thing. All you’re doing is angering the Forum Ninjas. In fact, every time one of you stuffs a mention about dragons into a conversation where it doesn’t belong, Foman assassinates a noob.


realcommando8426 Let’s talk about the new games you guys are gonna make.

Wow. You new here? Have a seat - I’ll get to you in a minute. If you overhear someone talking about dragons, I recommend you run for your life.


DE4THINC4RN4TE How would you make the world a better place? (realistically)

I would revamp the Driver’s Education curriculum in the State of Washington to place more emphasis on urgent freeway merging and how to negotiate a four-way stop – but these are just selfish musings of a recently transplanted, overly-aggressive motorist. I am sure our panel can do a better job of healing the world…

I’m struggling to come up with an answer that balances equality, individual achievement, mutually beneficial shared sacrifice, environmental stewardship, fairness, kindness, and happiness without being politically divisive or controversial. So… cats?
James Tsai

In an effort to reduce crime (or at least create more intelligent criminals), each city gets one cell for its jail. If you commit a crime in that city and are caught and sentenced, you wait out your time in that cell. Should you reach the end of your sentence, you are free to go. Should another criminal in the same city get caught and sentenced to jail time, you, being the cell’s inhabitant, is executed. I think most criminals have faith in their own skills (believing they won’t get caught), but few have faith in other criminal’s skills. If nothing else, we would end up creating a legion of super Criminals. Harsh? Yes. Effective? I think so. Oh yeah, did I mention I’m a manager at Bungie?
Dave Matthews

Help people have intrinsic motivation in their work.
Jonty Barnes

I’d like to teach the world to sing, in perfect harmony.
John Hopson

Have everyone spend some time re-evaluating their beliefs and goals. A day or two would probably do it.
Derek Carroll

Be nice to those I interact with, and give what I can to help those who are in need.
David Johnson

Be excellent to each other.
Dan Miller

Get rid of money.
Alexis Haraux

Wait.
Mat Noguchi

So that was YOU at the four-way stop this morning!


defnop552 You're running for "Mayor of The Universe", what 3 policies will you introduce if voted into power?

1. The Spice must flow.
2. We will push our boundaries and explore other dimensions.
3. Free towels for all citizens.
Dave Matthews

1. The ability at the age of 16 to choose 3 super powers.
2. The ability at the age of 18 for your parents to choose 2 powers to take away.
3. The right of the intergalactic space government at the age of 21 to apply one random super power to you.
Andy Howell

When confronted with so much possibility, all I could come up with is making it mandatory for people’s actions to always be in the interest of helping or entertaining others.
Jonty Barnes

1. Earth is home base.
2. Pluto is out of bounds.
3. You’re it
Alan Stuart

1. Don't be a jerk.
2. Don't be a jerk.
3. Don't be a jerk.
Austin Spafford

1. Transformers are a real thing.
2. Everyone gets a puppy.
3. No more pants.
James Tsai

1. Mandatory corporate naptime.
2. Require that proper spelling and grammar be demonstrated before a license to the Internet can be obtained.
3. Universal ice cream Thursdays for everyone.
David Johnson

I am officially volunteering to be Johnson’s campaign manager. Unfortunately, before we can start kissing babies, we'll need to establish dominance over the whole universe so that we can actually elect a Mayor.


Thrasher Fan Any hidden talent(s)?

I am a former improv actor and I love to sing.
Andy Howell

The ability to pick my nose in public and suffer no embarrassment whatsoever.
James Tsai

Come find me on the track and I’ll show you.
Dave Matthews

All my talents have been revealed and tested since joining Bungie, or they’re hidden from me too.
Jonty Barnes

I can lick my elbow.
Derek Carroll

I can write backwards, both in print and in cursive. This is useful only for signing things in funny ways and writing “Help, I’m trapped in the whiteboard!”
David Johnson

I can whistle with my mouth wide open without moving my lips by shaping my tongue against the roof of my mouth.
Alan Stuart

Yes, but they are hidden for a reason.
Dan Miller

I can eat six saltines in under a minute with reasonable reliability.
Austin Spafford

I can become invisible (but only for 1/240 of a second).
Alexis Haraux


xfuzzlex Did you play Halo 4 at PAX?

Yep. It’s looking sweet. Thanks to Angel for letting me jump the rope, and thanks to Wu for giving me the courage to do so.


Brusah Would you say that the build of your new game looks decent yet?

Yep.


Xd00999 Have Bungie employees ever donated to Kickstarter projects?

I was a Teenage Michael Jackson Impersonator.
Troy McFarland

Guts of Glory (STILL GOING!)
Josh Hamrick

Derek is the master of Kickstarter contributions.
Jonty Barnes

I don't consider it "donating", but I've backed a number of projects since Kickstarter, um, started. You can see my history here. I'm very happy with my rate of return (measured in tchotchkes, t-shirts, games, etc.), but I really enjoy helping other creative people bring their ideas to fruition.
Derek Carroll


antony X1000 What is your favourite fictional weapon in a video game?

The Drunk Missiles from Rise of the Triad. They just go everywhere without warning - great 90’s games fun! Also, of course, the “birthday party” skull from Halo. Don’t try to tell me it’s not a weapon.
Andy Howell

Zhang He wielded some badass claws in Dynasty Warriors. Simple, elegant, deadly.
James Tsai

Portal gun: It’s more of a tool than a weapon, but damn it would cut down on my commute times.
Dave Matthews

Zin’rokh, Destroyer of Worlds.
John Hopson

A fully-powered-up bomb in Bomberman.
Derek Carroll

Of all time? Probably the Tachyon Cannon from Wing Commander: Privateer. Good damage, speed, energy drain and re-fire rate. And a pretty sweet price point as well.
Michael Strein

The Super Sheep in Worms: Armageddon.
David Johnson

It's not strictly a weapon, but you can't go wrong with the Slicecycle from Dead Rising 2.
Mike Forrest

Quake 1 Rocket Launcher.
Dan Miller

Shooting from the hip: Land Shark Gun.
Austin Spafford

RCP90 in Golden Eye N64.
Alexis Haraux

WSTE-M5 Combat Shotgun.
Tyson Green


 Kr1egerdude What's your favorite car chase scene? My favorite is from The Blues Brothers.


James Tsai


Jim McQuillan and Troy McFarland


Dave Matthews


Derek Carroll


Chris Owens


Michael Strein


Mike Forrest


Alan Stuart


Dan Miller


AxJARxOFxDIRT Now that everyone is "officially" back at school, what was your favorite class throughout all your school years? Coloring, US History, Advanced Petroleum Engineering? Could be anything.

DRAMA! It was great after stuffy classes to cut loose and just be silly.
Andy Howell

The computer class where I used the school network to get about thirty people to play Quake every day while one person in the class did all the work for everyone.
Josh Hamrick

Anatomy. The human body is a fascinating structure.
Chris Owens

Math or Physics – I also really liked band.
Michael Strein

Outside of my major, I’d have to say that I loved every class of Spanish that I ever took.
David Johnson

Although I’m an engineer, my favorite class was drama class. Change a few, small variables in my life and I might have been Bruce Willis.
Alan Stuart

Visual Communications (Broadcasting).
Dan Miller

Linear Algebra, with Ceramics following close behind.
Austin Spafford

“Oops I didn’t hear my alarm clock” 101.
Alexis Haraux

Tech Ed, which was like an introduction to engineering, metalworking, and mechanics all in one. We made everything from hot air balloons to actual get-you-expelled swords.
Tyson Green

In college, I took an elective ice skating class where you got an A as long as you showed up, and the instructors were all sorority girls. Kind of a no-brainer when compared against my engineering classes.
James Tsai


Colingo If Bungie started selling action figures based on employees, what cool accessories would your action figure come with?

A Mig welder, Mocap markers, and my Bungie ammo bag from Reach.
Troy McFarland

A bunch of exaggerated, fancifully colored guitars with gouges and scratches all over them from years of rough play. Maybe some leopard print underwear. And no pants.
James Tsai

Either a black t-shirt or a Gnome.
Josh Hamrick

Shorts, hackey-sack, Day-Glo yellow hoodie, and about 100 flaming skulls.
Derek Carroll

An Aussie hat, a wardrobe full of videogame-related shirts, and a narwhal.
David Johnson

An even smaller action figure of itself and a six pack of Diet Mountain Dew.
Mike Forrest

A giant coffee mug, a motorcycle helmet, an Xbox controller, and a picture of my wife.
Alan Stuart

A french baguette and a saucisson.
Alexis Haraux

Red Bull and Trident Gum.
Dan Miller

A boonie hat, and perhaps a shotgun.
Tyson Green


spawn031 If I keep my question less to than 140 characters, is it more likely to get answered?

The people at twitter believe that brevity is the soul of wit. We’re not so strict about enforcing a standard for chatter here on Bungie.net. I pay a visit to twitter a few times a day to invite people to the party we host here, and to drop-kick the poor lost souls who are complaining to the wrong people about their Halo: Reach bans.


GoatGuy1 My goat gave birth to two twin males today. If you were to name them, what names would you chose for these baby goats?

Frank Capezzuto and Travis Brady.
James Tsai

Romulus and Remus.
Austin Spafford

Kodo and Podo.
Andy Howell

Pantysgawn and Brunost.
Dave Matthews

Milk and Cheese.
Josh Hamrick

Chewy and Han.
Jonty Barnes

HELLO and JPG.
Derek Carroll

The Furry Commodore and Captain G.
Chris Owens

Mister and Chief.
David Johnson

Kurt Göatel and Vincent Van Goat.
Mike Forrest

Farnsworth and Wommack.
Matt Sammons

Goat and Sir Samuel Franken Marbleberry III Esquire.
Dan Miller

Diablo & Mephisto.
Alexis Haraux

Vexlar the Insatiable Maw and Omnimagnus.
Tyson Green


arzeik If you could choose a fictitious world to live in, which one would it be?

The fan boy in me says Game of Thrones, but the realist in me says Futurama. Wait… is that backwards?
Andy Howell

Rama.
Austin Spafford

Valhalla – fight all day long, then drink ant party at night… rinse and repeat… how awesome!
Dave Matthews

The Culture (“Duh!”)
John Hopson, Tyson Green, and Chris Butcher

The world of The Diamond Age is pretty cool. Most fiction has good places for certain people to live in, and the nature of drama means that not everyone has it so good.
Derek Carroll

The Quentin Tarantino Universe.
Chris Owens

Harry Potter, hands down. That world seems like it has all the perks of living in modern times plus all of the awesome bits of being able to use magic.
David Johnson

Azeroth.
Alan Stuart

Tron.
Dan Miller

In the Smurfs’ village.
Alexis Haraux


Sloanus When will we be getting a new podcast?

I don’t know. Do people listen to those anymore? Seriously. Someone asked me that question just this week.


St Major Dan What would be your Utopia?

A wise man once told me that our utopias are unknown – meaning to say that the concept is always just out of reach. That might sound a little cynical, but that dude saved my ass in a lot of combat on Xbox LIVE, so I trust his insight. Maybe our panel can dream up an impossible dream. That is what most of them do for a living, after all…

Cybertron, before the war.
James Tsai

Scuba School in Shark Alley.
Jim McQuillan

Calm seas, and the wind to guide me.
Dave Matthews

On the beach in Maui with my family.
Alan Stuart

Bellevue.
Dan Miller

Rama, before it was ruined by the second book.
Austin Spafford

A world without money or Mondays, and with a lot of cheese.
Alexis Haraux


coolmike699 What is your favorite season?

New video game season, of course! It’s also the most expensive time of the year (sigh).
Andy Howell

Season 2 of Community.
Josh Hamrick

Snow season. The world is better for the white blanket and me skiing all over it.
Jonty Barnes

FOOTBALL SEASON!!! (Go 9ers!)
Chris Owens

Any season that comes with a Steam Sale.
Michael Strein

Season 3 of Avatar: The Last Airbender.
David Johnson

Season 5 of “Breaking Bad,” but I’m really looking forward to season 6.
Alan Stuart

I prefer Ground Pepper.
Dan Miller


Plain Ben Are there any quotes from fellow employees that have stuck with you?

“Whatever the situation, dual plasma pistols are not the answer.”
John Hopson

"I just need 20 seconds to finish watching this video of the world's tallest cat standing up."
Derek Carroll

“Sure, I’ll call your All-In.” (Pre-flop, with a 7-2. He won.)
Chris Owens

“It is always an easy problem to solve when you aren’t responsible for the solution.”
Alan Stuart

“Always be closing.”
Dan Miller

"Blam!"
Austin Spafford

“We have a lot of potential to put spiders on the other side of that river. And I am committed to delivering on that potential.”
Tyson Green


DesertStormer27 Will we have another fun challenge like we did last week? (Please say yes, PLEASE)

Some of you have a bizarre opinion about the notion of “fun,” but okay. Those of you get a rush from beating your head against a brick wall of maths will be delighted to know that the same puzzlemaster from the last Sack is back with another “misssinglink”:



The clock is ticking, and we are curious to see if you can beat your time from last week.

Community 9/14/2012 1:14 PM PDT permalink

Quality Time with the Mail Sack

Wrestle your demons...



It was great to meet so many of you at PAX. When a face steps out from behind the username, something magical happens. Forum avatars become actual gamers, and gamers become actual people. There’s nothing like some quality time to insulate us all against an Internet flame war. At Bungie, we love to unmask the people who make games, which is why we take the time to dodge your most serious questions each week.

Here are the living, breathing developers that I crowd-sourced up for you this time.

Lars Bakken, Design Lead
David Candland, Artist
Mike Forrest, Engineer
Zeke Garcia, Artist
Pat Jandro, Cinematic Designer
Scott Kankelborg, Test Engineer
Lorraine McLees, Graphic Designer
Chris Owens, Test Engineer
Austin Spafford, Engineer
Alan Stuart, Engineer
Jason Sussman, Artist

I have checked, and they all have a pulse. That’s all we need to open the Sack.


randomrosso If you could change the ending to any movie, what would it be?

They would never find Nemo in "Finding Nemo".
Alan Stuart

I enjoyed Rat Race right up until Smash Mouth stated singing “Somebody Once Told Me.” Ugh. Way to ruin that movie for me, Hollywood.
Chris Owens

I would change Return of the Jedi back to how it was... but with less YubYub.
Lorraine McLees

Prometheus would have ended about 15 minutes early, with the protagonist looking around the landscape in panic after both ships had been completely destroyed.
Austin Spafford


Unanimate Objec What's your favorite flame thrower from any game?




ALI217 How do I become famous?

It’s really hard to say. The adoring public can be fickle. There are people who are famous for all of the wrong reasons, and people who should be famous but are completely unknown to the world. Are you the housewife of a wealthy person? Those people tend to get famous for doing little more than falling off a log. Short of curing a dangerous disease or penning the next great novel that captivates everyone’s imaginations, you could always commit a colorful crime and become a media sensation. When I was in college, I used to conspire with a roommate about robbing banks dressed as Klingons, and then staying in character at our eventual trial. In the end, we just didn’t have the courage to risk taking a bullet in the guts from the barrel of some rent-a-cop’s gun.

Okay… okay… The powers that be want me to remind you that Bungie does not condone nor encourage criminal activity of any kind (or reality television). Stay in school and pay your taxes. Happy now?


THE DON WAN What's it like to work with XO Sancho?

Didn't he quit like 6 months ago?
Scott Kankelborg

He makes one fine first baseman.
Pat Jandro

XO Sancho, more frequently referred to as "Don Juan," is fantastic to work with - as long as he isn't distracted by those dating web sites.
Alan Stuart

I’m new, and he’s my direct supervisor, so I have to go with: Quite Enjoyable!
Chris Owens

He smells like a fresh pine forest filled with fairies and meat.
Jason Sussman

We are but lowly peons when XO Sancho is around. He has helped me ship every game since I've been here. It also doesn't hurt that he's a dreamboat and one hell of a snappy dresser.
Lars Bakken

He is a champion of the Great Dave Uprising of 2012, and one of the key powers of our empire. The Matts (the closest thing we have to a competitive faction) fear us, but are too unorganized to do more than grumble about how superior the Daves are. Without Sancho, we probably would not have our own T-shirts.
David Candland

Editor’s Note: As a Capo in the Dave Mafia at Bungie, I can attest to the shirts. They exist, but I cannot share them because they riff on assets from our next game.


lime013 Do you guys ever have parties at Bungie?

Nope. We work way too hard to party. If we were to stop what we were doing to celebrate, you might never get to play the game we are making.


XxShadowDonutxX What do you guys suggest to someone who wants to get into the video game design field?

The same thing I suggest every Monday. Fetch thyself a beverage and have a good, long read. For as long as I am gagged on the subject of our sweet new game, I am killing the time by doubling as a career counselor. I have to earn my keep with you fine people somehow, lest you kill me and eat me.


HOOBLA 911 How long do you expect these mailsacks will go on?

As long as I am the guy tasked with the privilege of maintaining your conduit to all things Bungie, we will open the Sack together, Hoobla. This ritual might become an aperitif instead of the main course, but that’ll be because we’ll have more red meat to serve up.


antony X1000 Have you ever had any strange encounters with fans? If so, how did you react?

Yes...several. However, I was the strange one.
Jason Sussman

Hmmm, I don't think I've ever had any strange encounters. It's usually just photos and autographs. It's normal to sign moobs, right?
Lars Bakken

I had one sweating bullets whilst I grilled him for the incriminating evidence on his person while his friend fled in terror.
Lorraine McLees

Why yes. During the development on Halo, my name appeared on our web site. Since we didn’t (and still don’t) have a main phone number, one fan decided to go with the first name he could find on our site and look me up in the yellow pages. He called my wife at home, who then gave him my work number. I then got a pitch for a product. It was a pull-down screen with a suction cup that you would adhere to your TV. You pulled it down when you wanted to prevent screen peeking, but it would only work if we split the screen vertically instead of horizontally. Well, so much for that plan. About 5 years later, we heard from him again. He had changed his name to something along the lines of “Clairvoyance Baba Ganoush” and sent us a 3 page manifesto about the end of all time. I’ve been called at home several times since then by fans asking for Recon. Once at 2AM. Since then, I have changed and unlisted my number.
David Candland

The first year at PAX I kept getting hugs. It was actually a nice surprise!
(NOTE: Huggability varies immensely from person to person.)
Austin Spafford

In Vegas, while poolside at a resort and soaking up some rays and football sized cocktails, I noticed a fan with a poorly botched Halo tattoo. He noticed me as well - more importantly the big Bungie beach towel I had. He lit up came bounding over, asking where I got it, which eventually led to him figuring out where I worked and inevitably asking for an autograph. As I was at a pool and not carrying any sharpies or anything, I could not come through on his request. Anxious by this, he got pretty desperate and asked me to "finger paint" my autograph on his arm with suntan lotion so he would get a tan line with my name on it. After a very long "uhhhhhhhhhmm...." of bewilderment from yours truly, I told him to go flag down a bartender and get a traditional writing utensil instead. He did as he was asked, got his autograph the traditional way, and I never went back to that pool for the rest of my stay.
Pat Jandro

Wow. Pat wins. I was really hoping for a good answer to this question after PAX, but everyone was super cool. No one freaked me out, or even smelled bad. I did manage to snap this pic at our lunch in the VIP Lounge in that sports bar, though. If you look closely, you can see everyone’s inner demon.




Its A Mirage What is your favorite lyric from a song?

Pleased to meet you
Hope you guessed my name
Alan Stuart

So take me back to Constantinople
No, you can't go back to Constantinople
Been a long time gone, Constantinople
Why did Constantinople get the works?
That's nobody's business but the Tuuuuuuuurks
Chris Owens

Happy Birthday To You
Happy Birthday To You
Lorraine McLees

My soul must be iron
For my fear is naked
Lars Bakken

Can't blame the stone for being cold
Austin Spafford


Llamaboy291 You guys are understandably super-secretive about your work, to the point where you check all photos if someone gets the chance to go through your studio. But how do you keep the people who don't necessarily work for you company quiet, like cleaning staff (who inevitably see secret stuff)? Does Bungie have an in-house janitorial squad for assured secrecy, or a sworn-to-silence cleaning service?

To get a job on our cleaning staff, all you need to do is…

Wait a minute. My paranoia is kicking in. This sounds like the sort of grift you would see in a heist flick, like Oceans 11. I can see what you're up to very clearly, now. You get a job on the inside and play our game every night while we wonder why the floors get dirtier and dirtier.

What I was going to say is that we don’t have a cleaning staff. We burn our own trash in the woods like the Comanche.


Th3 Invader What is your favorite Internet meme and why?


Zeke Garcia

It just cracks me up every time I think about it.
Lars Bakken


Chris Owens

Dog Fort.
Mike Forrest



This is a man of passion after my own heart. Songs about Sex, Drugs, and Rock and Roll don’t resonate with me these days. You get singing about good BBQ, though, and my eyes start to glisten.
David Candland


DE4THINC4RN4TE DeeJ, will you use this question as an excuse to market the Jobs page here on b.net?

Well, sure! Thanks for the softball. Bungie is hiring. Tell your friends. If we pick ‘em up, they’ll probably give you shirts and stuff.


ZippingFilly817 When the Bungie team is parted with its sarcasm, is there some sort of contingency plan that will go into effect?

You sound pretty confident that this is inevitable. In my world-view, the scenario you describe is impossible. It would be more appropriate to ask what sort of force could possibly part us with our beloved sarcasm. I would swear under oath that no such thing exists. And, if it does, how could we prepare for such a thing? Were the irresistible force to confront the immovable object, it would likely lay waste to everything you have ever loved. Better to wish for happier things.


Professor24 When times are tough, what do you do?

I get going.
David Candland

Must resist urge...
Scott Kankelborg

I remind myself that I’ve been in way worse situations, and I always manage to overcome it and end up in a better time/place. I do work at Bungie after all.
Zeke Garcia

When times are tough I work more, which results in higher self-esteem and less time to spend the money I don't have.
Alan Stuart

Take a deep breath, let it go slowly. Spending time with family is always the best thing to do when times are tough.
Lorraine McLees

Cry into my beer.
Jason Sussman

I hang out with my dogs. No matter how crappy your day has been, they always cheer me up.
Lars Bakken

I realize things could be a lot worse then get over it.
Pat Jandro

Go for a short walk (when I remember to, otherwise I just waste time getting frustrated).
Austin Spafford

Mostly I find myself spamming the grenade button.
Mike Forrest


pimpsta16 Can you have Marty create more Halo soundtracks? I love his work.

As much as I’m starting to feel a little more at home at Bungie, I don't think I'll ever be willing to boss Marty around. I’ll be happy to tell him that you love his work, but you’re going to have to follow us into our next game if you want to hear more. The trek will be worth it - Marty is getting by with a little help from his new friend.


GaRrbAGGE Truck What is one thing you know now that you wish you had known when you were starting out?

A programming language.
Scott Kankelborg

The more responsibility you get, the more time you spend in meetings and less time you spend creating things.
Pat Jandro

If you wanted to travel, do it sooner than later.
Lorraine McLees

Office politics can ruin a great job, and office politics are more common than I ever imagined.
Alan Stuart

Don’t Reply All to a company-wide email... especially if you plan on being sarcastic.
Chris Owens


Avatar Korra Can we get an art challenge this time, pretty please?

Solving a challenge can be an art form unto itself, especially when one of our Engineers helps me concoct the riddle. Remember David Johnson? Well, he was so surprised by the speed with which you solved his last puzzle, he went back to the drawing board. Time for a rematch. Let’s see if your guided missiles can intercept this in five minutes…

9B3E9D48B3A3C99D162D2A75E44FA14A0C3A9261C5873E6D0AB522D2A7
0E4C59D0E2D0A5063CD83524C38332659A51684583522C499663CFAF26A
48A9222C39F366CF9D4294187524C38B067449916B45A5063C59F3A2D38
33A25A8B4A7C5A7527D08B3AA488B26950A53E3D283369AE8F16745A506A
499D1E1CF89166499716A48934E3C59D169419932CC9A7068528B52A59A
F1664C5B1A7D59D122C4A106A548B4A7549F166D0993ECAE9F3AA488B1A
649A14E4C48AB21559D1E4C5934E74FA9667D5A552CD0930E0CC8B3A3C
99D162D2933A3C7A53EAD05D5E2D7A526A45A14A7C7A5066D3AF26A489F
56A4F9D169AE9F569508B3E84C8B127CE9F526499716A488B3AACD85169
2EAF22CBFAF1664C5952445A5160D28B1E94583522D2591E9419D122D29
D566C28B4A9D49F06850996634FA53EAD2AF26659874A0C6A8BA6C1B322
0D0B33EAC4934E0C7A5162ACA11694391067438B667D5831E9458ABABC
883526C1A9522D2A7269D49106A538B5A2CE934E6CFA5160D78B4E7CD8
B524419D3E745AF2664C8B5A2D293360C7933A2C9A94E2CC8D527C28AB
A0CE894E7ACAF161CF8916BC9A9220CDA1322D38B5A2CEA6B274FA93E7
45A6BA3418751D50A53E3D283369D0830E5C5895E4D4914E2D68B3A9C1
A5166CFA5160D78B4E7CD8B524419D424D491668529F1E9419B4EA48835
20D0A132CCF9D169AEB51694F8B4DFD78B3262CAF169D4933265491267
4BA9222D94F4A2C79F3E22EA14A2D4A9668419906A4185322AEAF163D283
4284C8B5E4D4916A2D29F169C19932A488B524CD8ABA2D68B3A74FAEBA
CC5A6BA445A515743833ACCFAB422CFA1322D38B16A488B35FD2931E454
9116945933AA48934E64F9D1EA45B151FD083569C5A93EA4197160CC9F3
A3CC9F3E5AEA11694391067438B52449A7220D385162CE835E4CCB31E0C
D8526A419932A48934EA499B15FD78B3262CA13E649A722A489F4E2D491
2674B933A3C383429AEB33EAC8835A2C19B426459D566C28B4A9D49F1A4
CE88BA441AD169CF9B163559C869D48366441A142CAE

Your first clue is buried in the photo of the PAX demons. Beyond that, I won’t help you, but perhaps themisssinglink will. Post your answer on our Community forum. Good luck. You asked for this.

Something else you might not have asked for, but will most surely receive, is another Mail Sack. Letters get collected on Monday. You have a puzzle to solve, so I’ll leave you to it. Happy cyphering!

Community 9/7/2012 4:32 PM PDT permalink

Mail Sack - PAX Edition

You kids get off our lawn...



PAX is in full swing. Players are anxious to get their hands on new games. Developers are anxious to reap their reactions. Journalists have questions for everyone. When you come to think of it, the whole affair sounds a lot like a day on Bungie.net, only with a lot more costumes.

To get us into character for a weekend filled with rubbing elbows with some of our favorite people in the world, we’ve thrown together a panel discussion all our own.

Lars Bakken, Design Lead
Chris Butcher, Engineering Lead
David Candland, Artist
Frank Capezzuto, Artist
Joseph Cross, Artist
Ryan DeMita, Artist
Tyson Green, Designer
Pat Jandro, Cinematic Designer
Lorraine McLees, Graphic Designer
Chris Owens, Test Engineer
Austin Spafford, Engineer
Alan Stuart, Engineer
Jason Sussman, Artist
James Tsai, Designer

Please display your badges where enforcers can see them, and let’s open the Sack.


catman6 Why are we here?

That is the question. Isn’t it? The motivations that still drive the Bungie Community to B.net are likely as varied as the people themselves. Perhaps you’re waiting to discover our next game, and you refuse to surrender your front-row seat. Maybe you’ve just come to know this website like a comfy chair that has sagged to conform to the unique contours of your ass after all these years. Or, it could be that you’re curious about a future career in game development, and you hope to learn something from our team.

Whatever brought you to our virtual convention hall today, cop a squat. I have goodies prepared for you.


pfhor007 How many of your employees were fans of Marathon and Myth back in the day?

That day was long ago, but we still have some old friends on our team who began their relationship with Bungie as members of much older iterations of our community. It’s no secret that being a creative player of our games is a great way to become a creator of those games. These three gentlemen are proof of that…

David Candland
Although I was hired at Bungie in 2000, Halo was not the first time I contributed to shipping a Bungie product. Back in the early ‘90s, when I was a budding college student, I had entered a Marathon mapmaking contest called “Bungie for Life.” The winner of the best Marathon Mod was to receive every game Bungie made as long as they remained in business. I was a fan, and the draw of such an enticing prize compelled me to put aside my homework for a week and build The Greatest Marathon Mod In The World™.

Well, I quickly found that one week was not enough time for that, so I settled for a couple of Pretty Cool Single Player Levels With Custom Sprites™. Titled “Return to Tau Ceti,” my first level was essentially a stressful lava maze with health packs placed just before the kill distance (if you went the correct way). The second level was a boss battle in a Pfhor spectator arena against a Juggernaut-Cyborg hybrid. Well, I didn’t win the contest, but I did get my mod published in the Marathon box set bonus disk. It was an honorable consolation prize.

Since coming to Bungie, I’ve added little nods to Marathon in my work; the overshield colors, the little 15m by the motion tracker, naming the Postgame Carnage Report. At one point, I had named the easiest difficulty in Halo “Kindergarten” but that didn’t fly with Microsoft. Go figure.

Chris Butcher
When I enrolled at the University of Otago in New Zealand in 1995, I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do. I had a degree in computer science already, but the programming that I’d done had mostly been pretty dry and boring stuff. So, I thought maybe I’d go into physics instead, just taking a few additional CS courses on the side for interest. Marathon changed all that.

We used Power Macs exclusively in the CS labs at that time, which were ideal for clandestine excursions into the carnage zone. It was a constant game of cat-and-mouse between us and the sysadmins, who would try to lock down the Macs, but we would always find ways to get around them. (Sorry Tracy and Brian!) Marathon was the lingua franca of our social group, and pretty soon after the release of Marathon 2 it escalated into a nightly religion. One of our favorite tricks was to browse around on the AppleTalk network and try to find other players who were waiting to be gathered by their group, and then hijack them into our group instead. We would also spend hours doing 2-vs-2 co-op speed runs of the M2 campaign. Let me take this opportunity to pimp the one map that I made, “Newton’s Folly”, which is an M2 homage to What Goes Up from Marathon 1. We also made a compilation of 50 of our favorite Marathon 2 netmaps, if you’re in the mood for some carnage.

Download 1
Download 2

Marathon convinced me that I wanted to do something in realtime computer graphics, so I gave up the idea of becoming a theoretical physicist and enrolled in graduate school for computer science instead. During my Masters and PhD programs I spent quite a lot of time playing Myth and Myth II, with the Blade of Thorns, Altus Praeses and Civil Order among other people. I also ran a number of tournaments, both FFA and team tournaments, the last of which was the Myth World Cup ’99 which involved over 1000 players and dozens of tournament officials. You can see the MWC99 website which is still up and running at http://www.macobserver.com/mwc99/ … and let me give a shout out to Grim, the continuing organizer of the Myth World Cup, now in its 14th year, at http://mwc2012.weebly.com/. I don’t play much on MariusNet anymore, but it is amazing to see how the community has sustained itself so many years later.

Tyson Green
I started out keeping tabs on Myth during development, maintaining a little news website in the early days. After Myth launched and the community was really starting to come into its own, I partnered up with Jaime on the larger Myth Codex website that was fairly involved in the community from that point on.

When it became possible, I tried my hand at modding and made a passable map or two, and helped admin b.net as a BNA. In mid ’98, I applied for a job on Myth II, and (to my amazement) was taken on as a production assistant. Among other things, I ended up writing the documentation we shipped with Myth II’s Fear & Loathing editors, which resulted in some proficiency with the engine and my creating a bunch of Myth II’s spell effects.

On account of work visas being somewhat more difficult to obtain than expected, I returned to Canada after Myth II went gold. Still, I kept active with the Bandlands map making group, helping with a few of their releases, and ultimately scripting about half of the Chimera mini-campaign pack.

CODA: For more Tyson’s illustrious career as a Bungie gamer, this interview is a great look back.


Gamer Whale Does anyone at Bungie play FreeSpace 2?

Oh, man… What a great game that was! Are you still playing that? I logged a lot of hours in the Perseus Interceptor simulator, but the PC that hosted that fight is long dead. Still, I have some really great memories of leading wings of fighters and bombers into battle against the Shivans.

You know who has even better memories from that game?

James Tsai
FreeSpace 2 was my first game in the industry. I started in test for the initial release (one of only two full time testers), and then was the QA manager for the subsequent game-of-the-year and localized editions. During those later releases, I also got to do some production work for the first time in my career, helping manage schedules and deliverables between Volition and Interplay. But the most rewarding part of all of it was getting to do mission design work with the fans. We put together a content pack where the players submitted missions and the community picked their favorite ones, which I’d then work on with the creators and get them revised, balanced, and polished.

It was a great project; the development team was small and tight knit, and lots of those guys are still my best friends in the world even though many of us are at different studios now. We’ve been to each other’s weddings, we meet up in Vegas now and then, and we fly across the country to visit each other often.


ChorrizoTapatio This question is for the artists over at Bungie: You guys draw some amazing things. How did you hone your skill to that level? Teach me your ways.

For this question, and the next, I went directly to the concept artists who are imagining everything you’ll see in our next game. Several of them were kind enough to sketch some of their unique brand of wisdom on a cocktail napkin.

Ryan DeMita
Practice, practice, practice. Grab a cheap sketchbook and pencil and start grinding away! Draw everything and anything. I started off drawing the 7up dot and Bart Simpson over and over. Eventually, I went to design school and drew everything from the apple on my desk to giant walking mechs. Onward!

Frank Capezzuto
“A teacher must never impose this student to fit his favorite pattern; a good teacher functions as a pointer, exposing his student's vulnerability (and) causing him to explore both internally and finally integrating himself with his being. Martial art should not be passed out indiscriminately…” – Bruce Lee

A way is learned by the student. But to break it down in its simplest form: What subject inspires you? Once you discover this, draw every day, make plenty of mistakes, seek feedback and direction from the art community and professionals alike.

Many great artists are self-taught, but many more go through some form of an education system. If you can get in, I think Art Center is the best. Other excellent education systems are Gnomon or Feng Zhu Design School or Art Institutes International (where I graduated from). If you want to go self-taught route, I recommend Gnomon DVD’s to get some professional insight and tutorials. In my experience, learning how to draw is a lifelong process – no 20 minute ‘session’ with a professional artist is going to transform your ability.

Feng Zhu Design is a constant internal and external process – but I recommend going through some kind of an education system that involves years of study that I listed – covering all aspects of art including set design, human and animal anatomy and vehicle design. Education from an institute of higher learning is the fastest, and even then it takes years. The most important thing is to do your craft every day – so it’s part of who you are.


Zafric When it comes to applying for jobs at Bungie, do you have any tips or suggestions regarding how to present your portfolio and/or resume?

Ryan DeMita
The simpler the better! You want to make sure you work is well presented and easily viewable. I’ve always preferred the blog format. It’s a simple and inexpensive way to present work as well as making you searchable on the web. I would avoid flash portfolio sites, cd portfolios, mail away portfolios or anything that requires more than clicking a button. HTML is always a safe bet. I would keep the resumes short and sweet and in Word, PDF, or HTLM page format. Best of Luck!

Joseph Cross
My best advice for portfolios and resumes if you’re feeling lost, is to find examples of artists you admire and are in the position you want to be in and do what they do, make you website like theirs, organize your portfolio like theirs, and find a professional resume and format it the same way. Look at professional artists you admire as instruction manuals for success.

Frank Capezzuto
A website, along with a DVD or CD, is the best for submission. On an interview, simply printouts or even a slideshow on a laptop or iPad will work. Don’t do fancy flash intros or anything like that for a webpage, since reviewers of portfolios have hundreds of submissions to go through. Loading times or clunky interfaces might make a reviewer pass over to the next submission. You never want to make anyone work to figure out a complex interface to see your work. A simple gallery page is the best if you’re applying for 3D or Concept. Obviously for animation, a YouTube page of demos is free and effective.

Some good examples are BlogSpot pages, like Feng Zhu’s BlogSpot – a simple gallery of images with a thumbnail browser. YouTube can also be embedded into blogspot for animation applicants. BlogSpot is awesome because it’s 100% free, fast and has plenty of storage for art sites. Also, no need to pay for a registered address, they provide you with one for free.

Most importantly, when applying to any game or production company (Bungie), don’t apply there because you want a paycheck or a job. Apply because you are inspired by the company’s mission and you’re passionate about their games. It will show in every aspect of the application process.


GrinnialVex So, I'm going to be in town this weekend for the first time ever for PAX and all, and I want to know what the area has to offer for a food fanatic from Chicago (where we have TONS of good stuff to eat). Since you guys are all living there, what sort of places can you recommend I check out for some really awesome meals?

Pat Jandro
Nick's Grill in Kirkland. Get the burrito.

Alan Stuart
Salmon and chowder at Ivar's on pier 54 (the original location).
Steak at The Metropolitan Grill.
Italian at Bucca di Beppo.
Burgers at Red Mill.
Pub fare and micro-brew at The Pike in Pike Place Market.

Chris Owens
Salumi (A sandwich shop run by Mario Batali’s dad).
Red Mill (GREAT burgers).
The Wurst Place (GREAT sausages).
Volterra (GREAT Italian).

Jason Sussman
Din Tai Fung or Facing East (Bellevue), Maltby Cafe, Skillet (Seattle).

Lorraine McLees
Steak? Got to the Brazilian Steak House in Bellevue or John Howie Steakhouse. Pizza? Go to Kylie's in Fremont. Ice Cream? BlueBird ice cream in Fremont. For that matter, just head over to Fremont, see the Troll, and walk around eating food until you pass out near the Center of the Universe.

Lars Bakken
If you don't mind walking up the hill from the Convention Center, I highly recommend Skillet. http://www.skilletstreetfood.com/. They started out as a food truck, but they have a physical restaurant at 14th & Union. I'm salivating just thinking about it. If you go, definitely get the poutine. My lord it's good.

Austin Spafford
My favorite place to eat when attending PAX is Cyber-Dogs, but it's more for the unique atmosphere, perfect distance, and vegetarian menu (which while not essential, is almost always a treat for me).


dmg04 How many hugs can I give you at PAX?

You have to find me first.  If successful in your quest, I prefer fist-bumps.


emopinatapwns I never have any good questions to ask...

Not to worry. You neighbors in the Bungie Community have you covered. Mail Sacking is just as enjoyable as a spectator sport.

In fact, I have questions in reserve. The customary question/answer drill resulted in an embarrassment of riches this week. There was enough delicious community interaction to fill two mail trucks, so I hid one of them in the nearby forest. When it is Friday again, I will share Part Two of the conversation that took place between us and you.

In the meantime, I’ll be seeing several of you any moment now.

Community 8/31/2012 7:02 AM PDT permalink

Gotta Mail Sack on Friday

It's not news, but it'll keep you warm...



Friday is home to some cherished traditions at Bungie. The day begins with a spread of bagels vast enough to clear the shelves of a small deli. On some occasions, like this very Friday, we look forward to concluding our week with a Team Meeting. It’s always a lovely gathering. With a handful of snacks in one hand and beverage in the other, we converge on our grand ballroom to feast on presentations about our work in progress.

And, further to the point of Friday traditions, these guys enjoy the Mail Sack as much as you do.

Andrew Davis, Artist
Noah George, Server Ninja
John Hopson, User Research
Ryan Klaverweide, Graphic Designer
Dave Matthews, Art Manager
Tom Sanocki, Artist
Austin Spafford, Engineer
Alan Stuart, Engineer
John Stvan, Graphic Designer
Scott Taylor, Producer
Ben Wommack, Production Engineer

We've gotta get down on Friday, gentlemen. Let’s open the Sack.


snipe champpppp Question.

Answer.

Off to a great start! I know our community can do better than this.


antony X1000 What is the most impressive thing you have seen the community do?

I think it’s a true testament to the boundless creativity of our fanbase that you ascended to the level of developers in your own right with fan-forged maps that were included in playlists for matchmaking. You took the tools you were given you and created battlegrounds that shaped a multiplayer experience that was enjoyed by all.

Our panel also has some favorite moments for which you can take credit.

I’m always blown away by the amount this community contributes to charity, particularly in response to the disasters which struck Haiti and Japan. You people rock.
Ben Wommack

Halo Charts.
John Stvan


Noah George

For those of you who might not remember (or weren't paying attention when it happened), Noah is referring to the time that one of you claimed our dog tags (thus claiming a prize) on a dare during a Ride Along in Battlefield 3.  Was this the greatest moment in Bungie Community history?  Maybe not, but it made us smile.  And, we're always in awe of the skill that you players bring to any game.


Kalriq If you had a Flux Capacitor, where would you go?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but Flux Capacitors are intended to propel us to a specific when, rather than a specific where. Settling for a journey to a specific place seems like a waste of rare (and completely imaginary) technology.


TheSpiderChief What is your fondest memory when it came to making the Halo games?

I didn’t make any Halo games, aside from the ridiculous Warthog-intensive customs I forced upon my clan, so I’m turning this question over to the authorities.

Getting Halo and Halo 2 working on the Xbox 360 was hard because the hardware architecture changed significantly, yet it was very rewarding when they finally worked.
Alan Stuart

I believe I was the first internal tester to find Jason Jones in Halo 3 au naturel. I was doing saved film flying cam sweeps and found this weird, oscillating black card in a back corner. None of the other testers knew what it was, so with everyone crowded around I started up the level and made my way over to it. Staring straight at it, still no idea. Flipped on my flashlight…oh my. Many lulz were had that day in Test Land.
Ben Wommack


John Stvan

Forky was a fine steed, but more, he was a fine friend.


FALSE R3ALITYx How does Bungie feel about the occasional member meet-ups?

We think they’re fine, as long as they don’t involve wrongful imprisonment or ransom notes. Remember, kids, not everyone on the Internet who invites you to a hotel wants to play System Link in a conference room.


MiloOmega Can you give us some suggestions on what to do to pass the time?

As a former boss once told me, “If there is time to lean, there is time to clean.”
Alan Stuart

You are your own gym.
John Hopson

Dig through the ooooold B-net forums and read posts made by people predicting/reacting to Halo 2 and 3. Come back here and tell us what you find.
Ben Wommack

Make a video game. It takes a while!
Ryan Klaverweide

Visit a local hackerspace to see if you get inspired by any of the projects people are working on. While it may be intimidating to approach people with cool projects, just keep in mind that nearly everyone loves talking about the things they do for the sake of doing it!
Austin Spafford

Create something (new, if possible).
Andrew Davis

I’m sure DeeJ will edit this, but while working on marketing and web stuff for **********, I enjoy playing ********. It’s got that ********.
John Stvan

Those asterisks are all John, people. If there is a troll in the room, it’s him.


MightyMarcher01 If you could put anything you own into a time capsule, what would it be?

I’ve always wanted to prank a time capsule by including another time capsule that says, “Do not open for another 100 years.”
Alan Stuart

Hydrochloric acid.
Noah George

Twinkies, obviously, so that future generations may survive.
Ben Wommack

Something physical I designed. Most likely a t-shirt.
Ryan Klaverweide

Two rocks and some tinder.
Austin Spafford

Facebook.
John Stvan

Dude, how would you put a website in a time capsule? It’s a good thing you can make art.


IRISH 249 What game or games influenced you to want to pursue a career in video game development?
What caused your a-ha moment where you said, "I want to create something like this"?


The moment I saw “Prince of Persia” in 1990, I knew I was going to work on a game someday. By the way, the original source code for PoP is now available along with a great story of how it was recovered.
Alan Stuart

Chrono Trigger on the SNES inspired me to work in games - it was just so cool. How could I not want make game development my life? Any other alternative was unthinkable.
Ben Wommack

Dragon Realms MUD, circa 1997.
John Hopson

Street Fighter 2 and Shadow of the Colossus.
Ryan Klaverweide

Halo: CE.
John Stvan

I worked with a fellow student on a crazy text-based multiplayer game called Bomberman clone. It was so fun and socially viral that it was banned from the computer labs.
Austin Spafford

Duke Nukem 3D and its Build level editor.
Andrew Davis

Playing Space Warp on the TRS-80. Yes, that means I’m nearly as old as Marty.
Tom Sanocki


Sven Nietzsche Will Zebras serve any important roles in the upcoming game?



Our lawyers tell us that we're not allowed to use fan ideas in our games. Thanks to your treachery, Sven, now no one will know the thrills of piloting the Zebra Battle Wagon. It's probably for the best. Not only was it a real memory hog, but all those stripes were inducing seizures in way too many testers.


pureXownage Will Bungie have anything to show off at PAX?

I just got some new socks that I’m gonna wear. Ask me nicely, and I’ll hike up my pant leg (I’ll let you choose which one) and have a look.

There will be a number of Bungie people at PAX. It is, after all, in our own back yard. We’ll be there as fans, just like you.


Kivell What were your first jobs?

For an entire summer in high school, that mysterious face in the small window at the back of the movie theatre was mine. I could thread a movie projector in 30 seconds flat. Because it was the longest film running that summer, I had to monitor the ending to Terminator 2 hundreds of times. Corner me at PAX, and I’ll act out the final scene for you.

"I know nauhw why you crahy, but it is somezing I can nevah do..."

How about you, Panel?

I fried chicken at a restaurant named “Po’ Folks” in a city named Niceville. Our motto was “We might be po’, but we are nice.” I still have a copy of my first paycheck as a memento.
Alan Stuart

In order: scanning documents in an office, college tour guide, college facilities recycler, Test contracting at Bungie.
Ben Wommack

My first job was a barback/bus boy… at 15.
John Stvan

Tomato fertilizer. I worked in a hydroponic farm, tickling tomato flowers with an electric toothbrush to spread pollen.
John Hopson

Tester at Nintendo of America (summer job while plowing through a computer-science degree).
Austin Spafford

Mohawk Mountain State park maintenance, in Connecticut. Hours of mowing, weed whacking, and getting big diesel trucks stuck in the forest.
Andrew Davis

Does shoveling cow poop every day for a summer count? Even if I had to do it for free?
Tom Sanocki

Working in a sweat shop steaming clothes, handling sticky meat, washing dirty dishes. Ahhh, the more things change...
Ryan Klaverweide

To my knowledge, we have never made Ryan wash our dishes.


Ockeghem When we see another person in real life wearing Bungie swag, what should our response be?

If I were you, I would charge that person and beat them down, all the while screaming “There can be only one!”

(In truth, please do not actually do this. You’d be better off approaching them slowly and introducing yourself.)


ChorrizoTapatio Would you say trying to getting a job at Bungie is like trying to play football in the NFL? Difficulty wise I mean.

I would say it’s a lot harder to get a job with us. The NFL has a lot of teams that need people, and you can try to join them all. Bungie is just one company, and we need people who know how to do things that are more complicated than colliding with other dudes at full speed.

This is not to say that it’s impossible to work for Bungie. Right this very minute, we are looking for some first-round draft picks on our Careers page.


MASTERMIND416 What is one of the most rewarding experiences you've ever felt as a game designer/programmer, etc.?

When I was in college a friend and I wrote a shareware game. It took us about 6 months of hard work, but at the end I was so proud that the two of had done everything ourselves (level editor, audio, graphics, cut scenes, engine). Someday I plan on converting it to a mobile app, so I can’t share the game design with you at this time.
Alan Stuart

Everything we did to celebrate Bungie's 20th Anniversary.
John Stvan

Creating a testing command to hunt down and kill every creature on a map, and for semi-legitimate reasons (nausea due to rapid teleportation), dressing it up to mimic Akuma's Raging Demon (complete with flashing a gigantic omega and emoting the character once the screen stopped blacking out).
Austin Spafford

Seeing the fans at PAX and launch events. The excitement I see, and knowing millions of people will get to see my work make all the long hours worth it.
Andrew Davis


CrazzySnipe55 Is there any clique-y-ness that occurs at Bungie?

Well, sure. We have hundreds of people working on this next game. The social theories that inform our design process tell us that any group larger than five to nine people starts to fracture into cliques of about three people. So, yeah, we got cliques. Some of them even have matching jackets and switchblades. Others just have decks of magical cards and multi-sided dice.


catman6 If you were going to die tomorrow, what would your last meal be?

What's with the recurring theme of morbidity? Last week, one of you asked us what we would put in a bomb shelter. The world won't come to an end before we reveal our next game, people.  I promise.  That said, this question does make for good Panel chatter.

What'll you have everyone?  Apparently, the end is nigh again.


Ryan Klaverweide

A BBQ pork sandwich from Sonny’s BBQ. An ice-cold IPA for a drink. Cheesecake Factory and coffee for desert.
Alan Stuart

Eggs Benedict.
Noah George

I’d buy out the French Bakery, take it all to the Melting Pot, and dip everything in melted cheese and chocolate. Why die ambiguously tomorrow when you can die via chocolate covered pastry today?
Ben Wommack

Baconator.
John Stvan

Probably the usual food, because I doubt I'd see the end coming.
Austin Spafford

Two bites of every meal ever.
Andrew Davis

Ice cream. LOTS of ice cream.
Tom Sanocki


DesertStormer27 Has anyone ever fallen off the rock wall?

Despite your lofty opinions of us, we have yet to conquer gravity. Plus, the best part about climbing the wall is crashing down into the foam pit that awaits below. I have seen grown men release their grip and treat it like a bounce house.


spartan120 Who is your favorite Bungie-created video game character?

Cortana
Noah George

Durandal of the Marathon series. In my youth, I even wrote a little fan-fiction centered around that rapscallion AI. Don’t tell anyone though.
Ben Wommack

Ask me again in a few years.
Ryan Klaverweide

Noble Six, because it’s me!
Andrew Davis

I can’t tell you yet. SoonTM
John Stvan


Austin Spafford


Kr1egerdude What makes you want to get up everyday for work?

Usually my alarm.
Andrew Davis

My landlord.
Noah George

The siren lure of the coffee robot in the kitchen. Its range is pretty wide.
Ben Wommack

The chance to do the best version of my profession that’s ever been done.
John Hopson

Money How awesome this is!
Ryan Klaverweide

Baconator.
John Stvan

In theory, knowing that I'll be able to help a mind-blowing number of people feel net-positive emotions! But when processed by a just-booted brain, it's sadly just the alarm.
Austin Spafford


Googlz Question to get Jason Jones out of his office: Why do you hate us?

First of all, Jason Jones doesn’t have an office. He moves among us like a General on the battlefield. Second of all, why on Earth (and beyond) would you ever think that he hates you? Jason Jones gave us a Halo, as well as a rich back-catalogue of exciting Bungie games. If that’s hate, my friend, I don’t want to be loved. Ever.


Jujubes Do you guys think there's any merit to blogging and if so, what blogs would you recommend we check out?

I lifted this quote from a movie I saw last week: “Blogging is not journalism. Blogging is graffiti with punctuation.”

I don’t agree with that sentiment – I just thought it was funny. For years, I poured my little gamer heart out on a blog about the Halo Clan scene. That put me on the path to talking to you fine people, so I would have to admit that there is merit to publishing yourself in the Internet.

If you want to read a blog, our esteemed panelists recommend the following…

Noah George

Ben Wommack

John Hopson

Ryan Klaverweide

John Stvan

Austin Spafford

Andrew Davis


AutobahnRacer 'Twelve Monkeys' or 'The Fifth Element'?

Die Hard. We’re talking about Bruce Willis movies here, right? Yippiekayay…


MasterSin If you had the chance to turn a movie into a game, which movie would it be?


Ryan Klaverweide


Scott Taylor


Noah George


Ben Wommack


Dave Matthews

In his infinite wisdom and creativity, Mr. Matthews went as far as to scope some specs for a third-person action brawler that put the player in the oversized shoes of a clown who beats up mimes. After the designation of booze as a healing mechanism, things went downhill rather quickly. The rest of his vision included some GTA homages that I cannot mention on this family friendly website.


randomrosso Why does it seem like I'm the only one who doesn't give a crap about these mail sacks? I want news.

Well, of course you want news! All of the other boys and girls who are being good sports about this weekly stalling tactic want news. And I want more than anything to give you some sweet, face melting news. Now just ain’t the time, yo. There will come a day when I signal the coming of something important – and you will be the first to know – but it is not this day. Until then, try not to spoil the mood for the rest of us.

The only news I can provide you with is that the Mail Sack will return next week. For now, our team meeting beckons. If you will excuse me, I need to claim my beverage before the fridge is cleared out.

Community 8/24/2012 12:57 PM PDT permalink

Bungie Foundation Update

People make all the difference...



One week out of every year, a place in the majestic Pacific Northwest known as Sunset Lake becomes the Stanley Stamm Camp. On that occasion, the guests are children who are too busy battling illnesses to enjoy the great outdoors. The setting is uniquely equipped to accommodate these special guests. As Christine Edwards tells the story: “They take them out of the hospital setting and help them forget about their challenges. Their illnesses would prevent them from going to any other camp.”

“I love this type of work,” says Christine, describing her role as a Bungie Foundation Coordinator. She never imagined herself working for a company that makes video games, but Bungie is a place where she can explore her passions for helping others. When she isn’t keeping our marketing team as sane as possible, her job gives her a chance to make a difference in children’s lives.



“To me, it doesn’t make sense to go through life not loving or supporting the people around you. It’s a natural reaction for me to help someone in need,” she explains. “One of the things that have made me successful at Bungie is my desire to ask people questions about how I can help solve their problems.”

Making video games relies on human talents, so it makes sense that our people would be our most valuable resource. As much as you have heard from our designers, artists, or engineers, there are other people who operate behind the scenes of some of your favorite games. Their efforts make Bungie a great place to work, and impacts the world outside our studio.


 
Our charitable mission is to ease the suffering of seriously ill children through entertainment. Those goals usually find people like Christine at Seattle Children’s Hospital. There, she and other foundation staffers have been working on a new program to put iPads loaded with games into the hands of sick kids. Recently, we even went as far as to launch a nautical vessel – our first entry into the Bungie Navy.

During our work on the iPads for Kids program, it came to our attention that a guild at Seattle Children’s Hospital shares our mission for entertaining kids who suffer from serious ailments. To a gamer, the word “guild” conjures images of raiders from World of Warcraft. At Seattle Children’s Hospital, guilds are crucial to their culture – they’re altruistic committees of people who volunteer their time to special projects that enhance the lives of their patients.



“We’ve been working with Stanley Stamm for about a year and a half now,” Christine recalls.

Our partnership with Dr. Stamm and his guild began with simpler contributions. At first, Bungie did the obvious things that companies tend to do for charity. We hosted a party. We sold some art. We raised some money. This inspired a more personal touch.

“After that, we told them that we really enjoy doing things that are more hands on.”

Those hands belong to Steve Burnaroos, our Facilities Manager at Bungie. When we learned that life at the Stanley Stamm Camp would be better with a boat that could be enjoyed by the handicapped, we gave him the challenge to build us a solution. Steve loves a challenge, and we have yet to stump him.



“There is no job title that could describe everything I do here,” Steve boasts.

He’s right. Our resident MacGyver can build us anything from a completely random set of supplies. A tour of our studio reveals all of his personal touches, from the LED accented pull-up bar to the full-immersion racing simulator. Whether he’s fabricating equipment racks for IT, changing light bulbs fifty feet in the air atop a hydraulic lift, or building a series of bike-racks overnight, there is no request too weird for him.

“The weirdest thing I’ve ever done was to build a boat from scratch.”

His mission was to launch a boat that could be accessed by wheelchair. To begin, he worked with Avalon, the boat manufacturer, to fabricate a boat to our specifications. Doors needed to be wide enough. Seats needed to be removable for a modular deck.

“Then I customized it and made it more awesome.”



By the time he was done, our flagship emerged with custom graphics, an onboard stereo system with sub-woofers big enough to send ripples across the surface of any lake, and a live-well bathroom. A fish-finder takes the guess-work out of where to cast your reel, and we would come to find that the dual hoses would come in handy in a water fight. It’s even got underwater lights.

You may ask yourself, as I asked Steve, why a boat needs underwater lights... “We don’t need any of this stuff,” he laughs. “It’s just there to make it unique and super-cool for the kids.”

With the boat ready to launch, it was time to make the 100 mile trek to the campgrounds. It was a trip that Steve made every day last week. Every mile was worth it.

“When I first pulled in, there were kids all over the place, cheering and screaming,” he remembered.



According to Steve, the camp counselors wer