Mail Sack No. 19
Posted by DeeJ at 6/1/2012 4:22 PM PDT


Life at Bungie can be difficult these days. We miss you fine people so much. Sure, it’s nice to have you lounging around in a network of private clubhouses on our site, but we long for the days when we can hunt you down inside one of our own dangerous games. Until that time comes, this Mail Sack is our best connection to each other. You honor us with your questions. We try to honor you right back with answers that are worthy of your attention. Take a look at who took a break from the grind of building a universe to sift through your letters this week…

Noah George, Support Engineer
Bob Glessner, Senior Engineer
Tyson Green, Staff Designer
David Johnson, Engineer
Scott Kankelborg, Associate Test Engineer
Alex Loret de Mola, Online Engineer
Sergey Mkrtumov, Super Awesome Server Dude
Travis Pijut, Associate Test Engineer
Tom Sanocki, Staff Artist
John Stvan, Graphic Designer
Michael Williams, Senior Engineer

Let’s open the Sack.

Malcolm Hi my name is Malcolm and I'm 15 years old. I want to work at Bungie and I'm a really hard worker. Can I get a job?

Whoa there, young man! Your passion certainly does you credit, but you still have a long road of self-discovery stretched out before you. You should focus your energy on a discipline that speaks to you, no matter where you end up working. Are you to be an Artist or a Programmer? A Producer, or just a sad wretch who answers studio mail? Read some Breaking In interviews until you come across someone who reminds you of who you would like to be in a few years. Before you can ask us for a job, you need to be able to ask a question like this…

Godzneighbor What colleges do any of the programmers over at Bungie recommend? I'm planning on going into server programming, and one day apply to work at Bungie.

 As long as you are determined, any college with a decent Computer Science program is a good one. I'd recommend looking at a few college rankings for engineering or computer science and finding a school that interests you. When looking at a school, make sure you check the Computer Science department's webpage. Does the department have interesting things going on? Are there interesting Computer Science related clubs? Does the school have an active ACM organization? These are all good things to consider. In the end, find a school where you think you will be comfortable, work hard, and you will find success.
Michael Williams

Pick a college where computer science majors have no social life, are constantly in the computer lab, and everyone complains bitterly that they're expected to learn new programming languages on their own time because class time is spent on other things. Bonus points if the systems programming class gives you a zero for programming assignments that leak memory or crash (for any reason).
Tom Sanocki

Many of my coworkers that I've worked with in the industry went to DigiPen to get a degree specifically in game programming, but by no means is that the only avenue open to you. Personally, I went to a university with a very strong computer science program, and that was enough to really get me in the door.
David Johnson

College, pfft. Who needs that?
Travis Pijut

You should be ashamed of yourself, Travis.  Go to college, kids.  It will be the best 5 or 6 years of your life.

I ColdEmbrace I What do your uniforms look like?

Every week, a team of Bungie developers pry their code-weary hands from the keyboard and brave the outdoors to experience what the real world has come to know as “Soft Ball”. Check out their threads…



According to Head Coach (and Senior Engineer) Bob Glessner, things that are to be expected from the recreational wielding of bats are shenanigans, looking good (as depicted), and the consumption of adult beverages. The things we should not expect are winning games, mandatory practices, or actual exercise. By that humble account, it’s been a perfect season so far.

xgeua What is the most shared first name at Bungie.

Careful. A question like that could result in a rivalry, in which people with common given names form up into Teams and battle for supremacy by amassing greater numbers on the company roster.

We do have two Jason Jones’s, though.

Khirna Are there any fun rivalries in the office?

The rivalry between Team David and Team Michael. (Team David is currently winning. Booya!)
David Johnson

There have to be rivalries, otherwise it wouldn't be Bungie.
Sergey Mkrtumov

Poker night brings out the best in the rivalries...
John Stvan

Cup stays here!
Tyson Green

My favorite has always been Joe Staten vs Marty. It is an unending source of joy.
Michael Williams

burritosenior Would the Magic: The Gathering players at Bungie be interested in playing with other enthusiasts and fans of their work?

Our resident Lunchtime Magicians were very excited by this question. You could say that a rendezvous to play that game is in the cards. We just need to figure out which platform we should use. If you play Magic: The Gathering, and you want to face Bungie in a battle of wits and sorcery, join us here.

HOOBLA 911 What was your most traumatic experience at Bungie?

Broke my nose... head trauma.
John Stvan

90 hour work weeks. Actually it's pretty awesome here, so I don't really have any tramatic experiences.
Travis Pijut

For the most recent Pentathlon, I trained with Blongo for weeks, only to be defeated by a team that hadn't made a single throw before the event. Probably not the absolutely most traumatic event I've experienced, but it was humbling to say the least.
Michael Williams

Bungie Vs the World. I was part of the team that played for the first several hours. We had practiced multiple times and went undefeated. I had a special playlist on my Zune, a giant bottle of A1 sauce, and I was confident I'd eat well that night. In the end I went home utterly destroyed by our fans and with no steak.
Scott Kankelborg

When we ran out of gourmet Root Beer. I had the bends for days from withdrawal.
Sergey Mkrtumov

The interview? (Actually, the interview wasn't THAT bad. But it still was fairly intense!)
David Johnson

jross1993 Sky diving or rock climbing?

Your question points to an interesting juxtaposition. It seems as if doing one of those things improperly could lead to doing the other thing very quickly. Rather than force our esteemed panel of slackers to conform to a bi-polar query, I will let them answer your question in a more open format, such as this…

MightyMarcher01 Name one thing that you have on your bucket list.

Fly as high as a human can.
John Stvan

Skydiving (It will happen soon!)
Michael Williams

Normally I'm not the biggest enthusiast of either heights or extreme sports, but I really want to jump out of a plane - preferably with a parachute on.
David Johnson

There you have it, jross1993. They want to go skydiving. Rock climbing, after all, is something we can do without leaving our compound.

TheSpiderChief What is the weirdest piece of news you heard this week?

Have you heard the one about the Spartan, the ODST, and the Space Marine who walked into the United Nations Security Council?



kudegras Are you guys working hard?

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Tom Sanocki:

Wait, wait! Before answering such a seemingly straightforward and innocuous question, we must carefully deconstruct it:

you: This is ambiguous. Is this statement referring to DeeJ, a single entity, or is it the plural “you” referring to a larger group of people? And if the latter, to whom is it addressed? To whom must we ask this question? Could it be the entire Internet? How do we collect and consolidate the results? This cannot be known.

guys: A colloquial term usually referring to members of the male gender, although in some cases used as a generic term for “people”. Impossible to tell which the author meant in this context. Is the author only interested in the activities of the males of our company, hence forcing us to ignore the crucial role of those of the female gender? We cannot resolve this.

working: Normally considered a term of labor, implying unrewarding, monotonous, unremitting toil. Does this apply to activities done for a product of fun and joy, i.e. our game? Can one “work” in the classic sense on a product that brings fun to the world, thereby converting painful toil into joy and gladness? This astounding suggestion defies logic, implying there exists a sort of alchemy that can turn the “lead” of work into the “gold” of fun. We require further research.

hard: Easily the most straightforward part of this question, “hard” clearly refers to an object's density and strength – “hard” objects are more resistant to force and pressure than “soft” objects.

After our detailed analysis, we must conclude that this question is too ambiguous -- no answer exists. We offer our apologies.
Tom Sanocki

baile045 How many Bungie employees are aware of the existence of Pathways Into Darkness 2?

Well, let’s see. I am aware that you, baile045, are making a sequel to a classic Bungie game. The ex-lawyer, whose permission I secured so that you could proceed with impunity, is aware. And, now that you have gone on record in the very public venue of our imaginary postal system, the rest of us are aware. Consider your secret project leaked to the media. Don’t feel too bad. It happens to the best of us. Now, you get to enjoy the constant roar of questions about when you will be finished, while you labor to finish. As Luke Smith likes to tell us: “Get back to work!”

SilverBulitt82 Do you guys have any special talents?

There are actually a lot of talented musicians in the studio.
John Stvan

Jedi mind trick. But it only applies to playing Risk.
Travis Pijut

I can train cats to use toilets.
Tyson Green

I read Tarot cards: I don't believe in them, but I find it to be a fun activity... and I have a set of "Science Tarot" cards that are a beautiful trifecta of heresy: it maximizes the number of people that get offended by the concept, which is part of the fun.
Alex Loret de Mola

I can juggle, do orienteering, and I am decent at puzzle-solving.
Michael Williams

I'm getting really good at shooting rubber bands at people.
Sergey Mkrtumov

I can write in cursive backwards. I fully believe this is one of the most useless skills on the planet, but I'm super proud of it.
David Johnson

antony X1000 How many users have signed in to Bungie.net within the last 7 days?

Hundreds of Thousands. That makes the population of Bungie.net bigger than that of the evergreen Town that is home to Bungie itself, but not the State.

Geegs30 When people ask you where you work, what do you tell them?

“Bungie.”
John Stvan

“In the video game industry.”
Travis Pijut

If they play games: “Bungie.” If they don't: “Seattle.”
"Bellevue" inevitably leads to "it's by Seattle," so I just cut to the chase.
Tyson Green

It really depends on the audience. For older friends or relatives, I'll sometimes say "A software company named Bungie". For those who would appreciate it, I’ll say “A game company named Bungie,” and for those who are likely to be familiar with our work, I’ll just say “Bungie”. The range of reactions can be hugely diverse.
Michael Williams

“I work for the greatest company in the world.” And I just leave it at that.
Sergey Mkrtumov

Generally "Bungie" is sufficient for 95% of the people I know. If that doesn't sink in, I toss in a, "You know, the people who made Halo," just to see if it rings a few bells. Failing that, I just tell them that I make video games for a living.
David Johnson

DE4THINC4RN4TE Will you please respond to this question with a derogatory remark at my expense for the enjoyment of the community?

You are clearly desperate for some abuse, as evidenced by the 30 questions that you dropped into this Mail Sack. Since the Yes-or-No affair enabled by your question doesn’t leave me a lot of room to instill shame in you, I will sift through the raft of interrogatives that you saddled me with to find the one that deserves the punishment for which you are begging…. Ah, yes. Here is one…

Does anyone at BUNGIE play Minecraft? Have you considered a Minecraft-themed Ride Along?

Have you ever read the Bungie Blog before today? Did you just crawl out of a cave and decide to ask the first 30 questions that popped into your head?



Was that too derogatory? It felt a little forced. Being mean to you people is not my natural state.

OMARRCHR What do Bungie Employees dream of?

You mean, when they take a little Bungie snooze?

Shipping.
John Stvan

Electric Sheep
Noah George, Travis Pijut

It depends on how much Diablo 3 I played right before bed.
Alex Loret de Mola

During crunch times, it tends to be about endlessly fighting with code. During other times, it is the usual random dreams about trying to drive from the back seat, finding out I need to take more classes but I missed the exam, or completely random narratives.
Michael Williams

When we're deep in crunch and sleep is a luxury I'll often start dreaming about being in the game, but still testing. Example: Running around as a member of Noble Team killing Covenant when I see an enemy not moving. I quickly call up my commander on BNET and give him a "AI pathfinding can break in area X" sort of report before I continue on with my mission. That's normal right? Right?!?
Scott Kankelborg

I dream of flying.
Sergey Mkrtumov

Sleep is a vice! Don't fall to that tempting but deadly addiction!
Tom Sanocki

Bagel Fridays.
David Johnson

ddarkjames1 What is your ideal question that we should be asking you in these Mail Sacks?

You should reach deep into the darkest chambers of your hearts and bring forth your sincerest curiosities. This shouldn’t be a contest to see who can appear on the front page. This is our best chance to stay acquainted. Healthy relationships are based on trust and honesty. We heard that on TV, once.

MAC Blast Is it just me, or is anyone else starting to run out of questions to ask?

The guy that showed up right before you seems to be at a loss, too. Group problem solving is a fringe benefit of citizenship in a community of gamers. Why don’t you two put your heads together and brainstorm the perfect question for next week. Therein lies a promise. Have a good weekend, Bungie Community. We will talk to you again soon.
New Beginnings 

Posted by DeeJ at 1/31/2013 11:45 AM PST

Bungie.net has evolved...

Read Full Top Story

Tags: Community

   

Bungie.net Set to Read-Only Today 

Posted by DeeJ at 1/8/2013 9:07 AM PST

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.

Tags: Community

permalink   

Happy Holidays. Love, Bungie. 

Posted by DeeJ at 12/21/2012 2:22 PM PST

Peace on Earth?

Read Full Top Story

Tags: Community

   

We Wish You a Merry Mail Sack 

Posted by DeeJ at 12/21/2012 2:21 PM PST

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.

Tags: Community

permalink   

Friendship of Mythic Proportions 

Posted by DeeJ at 12/20/2012 4:21 PM PST

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.  

Tags: Community

permalink   

Tags

  • Careers

    Help us achieve World Domination.

  • Breaking In

    Find out more about Bungie’s Top Men and Women.

  • Publications

    Insight into building games the Bungie way.

  • Community

    Juicy gossip from or about the Bungie Community.

  • FAQs and Info

    You’ve got questions. We’ve got answers.