Q. What are some of your hobbies and inspirations?
Chris Opdahl swings into Breaking In this week and he's picked you as his dance partner for the evening. Check your posture, make sure you're wearing pants, and hold on tight - while Opdahl may be a man of few words, he has plenty of great insight and advice to offer. If you're looking to get your skill set in shipshape and you're prepared to go through the steps it takes to score a great gig in the gaming industry, all you gotta do is follow his lead.
Q. Who are you and what do you do?
A. My name is Chris Opdahl and I am the Campaign Design Lead on Halo: Reach. Day to day I help with the integration of the story into missions and work very closely with AI Engineers, Animators, Audio Designers, and 3D Artists on the characters of Halo: Reach. They do all the work and I take all the glory. It is pretty sweet!
A. Games are my main hobby. Got a puppy fairly recently, so he takes up a good chunk of spare time. Inspirations usually come from the quickest conversations with assorted people here at Bungie. I also got into ballroom/swing dancing a while back, so that is pretty fun as well.
Q. A while back (when you were a little kid), what did you want to be when you were all growed up?
A. Let’s see, I remember planning to be a: professional body builder (which is pretty funny if you know me), race car driver, astronaut, and I remember planning to have fifty kids.
Q. What job did your High School Guidance Counselor tell you to plan for?
Q. Did you end up laying your own educational foundation by going on to earn a college degree?
A. I have two degrees. Bachelor’s degree in Political Science, and a BFA in Fine Art (specialized in 3D Modeling/Animation and Illustration). Put the suit and tie on every day after the Political Science degree, then wised up and got the Art degree.
Q. After ditching the formal wear, how did you end up making first contact with Bungie?
A. Lars Bakken and I had previously worked together at a different company. He got a job at Bungie about a year before I did and kept raving about how amazing Bungie was, so I applied here just to prove him wrong. I learned that Lars is never wrong. Ne-ver.
Q. Once Lars' ravings compelled you to score yourself an interview, what did you bring along with you to the loop to ensure you'd get the opportunity to show him just how wrong he was?
A. A copy of my resume and the design test. Possibly clothes as well.
Q. Besides potentially being sans-pants, is there one moment in the interview process that really stands out for you?
A. Jaime Griesemer talked about the concept of "player space," "neutral space," and "enemy space" and how those concepts worked in Halo encounters. Over the next two seconds ten different Halo encounters and how those encounters used those concepts played through my head. It was pretty surreal. It felt like I had died and my entire Halo gaming experience was flashing before my eyes. It was too much for me to handle, which caused me to pass out. Then I woke up with Jaime giving me mouth to mouth resuscitation, which still flashes before my eyes. And not in a good way.
Q. In one good sentence, describe what it’s like to work at Bungie.
Q. Well played. Any advice for aspiring applicants looking to bring in a copy of their resume and get their CPR on?
A. If you want to get into design, I highly recommend taking some 3D Art and/or Animation classes and some Engineering classes. You can do your job much better if you have a basic understanding of what the other disciplines think about or have to deal with. Otherwise it is like playing darts in the dark.
Thanks are owed to Opdahl for invading our player space and providing us with a little basic understanding of what it might take to land a role here at Bungie. If you've got a solid resume and don't think you'll pass out and require thirty seconds of fun to bring you back to life (and you plan on wearing pants to any interview you happen to score), you should check out our fancy Jobs Page
. If you've got the moves, we're hiring.