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…
, Support Engineer
, Senior Engineer
, Staff Designer
, Associate Test Engineer
Alex Loret de Mola
, Online Engineer
, Super Awesome Server Dude
, Associate Test Engineer
, Staff Artist
, Graphic Designer
, 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.
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).
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.
College, pfft. Who needs that?
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!)
There have to be rivalries, otherwise it wouldn't be Bungie.
Poker night brings out the best in the rivalries...
Cup stays here
My favorite has always been Joe Staten vs Marty. It is an unending source of joy.
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.
90 hour work weeks. Actually it's pretty awesome here, so I don't really have any tramatic experiences.
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.
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.
When we ran out of gourmet Root Beer. I had the bends for days from withdrawal.
The interview? (Actually, the interview wasn't THAT bad. But it still was fairly intense!)
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.
Skydiving (It will happen soon!)
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.
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.
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.
Jedi mind trick. But it only applies to playing Risk.
I can train cats to use toilets.
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.
I'm getting really good at shooting rubber bands at people.
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.
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?
“In the video game industry.”
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.
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.
“I work for the greatest company in the world.” And I just leave it at that.
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.
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
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.
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?!?
I dream of flying.
Sleep is a vice! Don't fall to that tempting but deadly addiction!
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.