A Truly Exceptional Mail Sack
Posted by DeeJ at 7/27/2012 1:37 PM PDT


Another week. Another Mail Sack. It’s been said that no two days in the life of a Bungie Employee are ever exactly the same. To sustain our sanity in this ever-evolving landscape, we impose some rituals that provide the illusion of a routine. Like the bagels that graced our kitchen island this morning, a conversation with our community is among our favorite of those rituals. To prove that boast, just look at the friendly neighborhood video game makers who joined me in quilting this blanket of oversharing.

Nate Hawbaker, Artist
John Hopson, User Researcher
Pat Jandro, Designer
David Johnson, Engineer
Alex Loret de Mola, Engineer
Jason Minard, Engineer
David Mongan, Writer
Mat Noguchi, Engineer
Eric Osborne, urk
Eric Raab, Writer
Joshua Rubin, Writer
Ben Thompson, Engineer
Tim Williams, Engineer
Ben Wommack, Engineer

It’s time to bask in something familiar, my friends. Let’s open the Sack.


odmichael Based on this tweet, can you confirm that Bungie's next game is in some sort of playable form?

I can confirm that Chris Butcher did not spend his weekend playing an unplayable build.


TopWargamer So how's that game build?




antony X1000 What other games have you been playing recently?

Lots of Minecraft! On the PC. There's a private Bungie server and I have one with some outsider friends as well. Super excited for the 1.3 patch.
Ben Wommack

Diablo 3, Tropico 4, Magic: Duels of the Planeswalkers 2013.
Tim Williams

Draw Something, Words With Friends, and daily rounds of fetch with my dog.
Pat Jandro

Tales of the Abyss (PS2), Tales of Graces (PS3), and Diablo III (PC).
David Johnson

Kingdom Rush, Lord of the Rings Online.
John Hopson

I've been playing a bit of Sins of a Solar Empire, Magic: The Gathering (of course!), and a certain secret and awesome project by a certain secretive and awesome company.
Alex Loret de Mola

Diablo III and some other super-secret game DeeJ won't let me talk about.
Ben Thompson

Sorry, Ben. Soon™.


cortana 5 Are you guys scared about how your new game will be received by fans and critics?

To say that we are “scared” implies a lack of confidence. As you can see, that’s not the case. We want to make something that will blow your mind, and it’s always pretty terrifying to let a project go out the door (so I am told). You’ll see. When we get close to launch, we will be very interested to hear your opinion. Pete Parsons says it best when he talks about why he wanted to work at Bungie. It was because we set the bar so high the fall would kill us. Don’t look down.


Halo biggest fan What's your most anticipated game for 2012?

Halo 4.
Jason Minard

Probably Guild Wars 2.
Tim Williams

The 7th Annual Bungie Invitational Golf Tournament.
Pat Jandro

Assassin's Creed III.
David Johnson

Tossup between Guild Wars 2 and Torchlight 2.
John Hopson

Resident Evil 6.
Mat Noguchi

I'm looking forward to Borderlands 2. I jumped on the Borderlands bandwagon so late the first time around that none of my friends played anymore by the time I got into it. I want to get in from day 1 this time around and actually play with some friends.
Alex Loret de Mola

Starcraft 2: Heart of the Swarm! Barring that one being pushed back, I'd say Halo 4. I'm excited to see how it turns out.
Ben Wommack


Thrasher Fan Do you consider video games art?

I would say that most of us do. There might be a few of us who relate to them as pure science, but even the practice of science can be an art form. Everyone has their own definition of art, and everyone is right.


Xd00999 What was your most emotional moment in any form of media?

Tommy's return to Power Rangers to re-don the Green Ranger armor. You had to be there.
Mat Noguchi

Scrubs season 5, episode 20. Or the recent Batman movie.
Nate Hawbaker

No one mentioned the moment when Red found Andy on the beach of the Pacific (it has no memory), so I am just going to leave this here.




coolmike699 What do you think is the most important part of writing?

Had I tackled your question myself, I would have mentioned of a knack for cutting and pasting together the wisdom of others and peppering the dialogue with agonizing heaps of irony and sarcasm. Since I highly doubt that’s what you want to know about, I approached our coven of writers who toil under the spell of one Joe Staten. They spend their days boiling delicious fiction in their cauldron full of lies. Some of their answers were slightly disturbing, but it takes a twisted mind to conjure the story we are telling…

Killing your babies. I’m talking about ideas. Even if you think you’ve got the best idea for a character/scene/explosion/alien abduction/whatever, don’t get so attached to it that you won’t kill it if a better idea comes along. This goes hand-in-hand with another writing essential: Rewriting. Multiple drafts make everything tighter. And, as with everything other than belts and nooses, tighter is better. Trust me on this.
Dave Mongan

Not to be too much of an ass, but the most important part of writing is to keep writing, reading other writers, and letting people who aren’t your friends and family read your work. Your first 1,000,000 words are most likely going to be trash, but word 1,000,001 could be epic. (note: “could be”).
Eric Raab

One word: Peeing. No, honestly, I find that I can sit at my desk for an hour banging my head against a problem. And only when I walk away to relieve myself and I’m standing there thinking about nothing does the answer suddenly come clearly to me. One of the big secrets of any creative activity is the frequent taking of breaks. Go for a walk, have a snack, take a pee – but don’t bring a magazine along. The trick is to let your mind go to that empty zen place and forget all about what you’re doing. If (and only if) you’ve put in enough time banging your head against the problem, then chances are your subconscious will take over and offer up the prize. So, to be clear, the most important part of writing is: Stay Hydrated.
Joshua Rubin


SharkTooth__ What do the studio artists do for inspiration when they need to come up with something cool and new?

Oh, man. You should see some of the internal emails that fly around this place. Some of it is reference material that blows your mind. Some of it is visual collateral damage from an impromptu Photoshop war that spills out into the streets. Most of it would give away far too much about our creative process, but I can tell you that my Inbox has never been as colorful as it is at Bungie.


Mythical Wolf Can I have blue flames, please?

Please tell me you were kidding. What is this, twitter? Bungie can’t give you blue flames anymore. Bungie can’t claim responsibility for anything that happens in a Halo title anymore – past, present, or future.


beorn What was the most recent thing that made you laugh?

You mean aside from that last question? Sometimes, we laugh so that we won’t cry. And sometimes, a question is better answered by the panel.


Nate Hawbaker


David Johnson


ChorrizoTapatio Hey DeeJ, suppose some of us aspired to be the community manager just like you. What kind of degree do you have that qualifies you to do your job and what made you stand out above the rest of the candidates you were competing against?

You know what? I have no idea how to answer this question. To be honest, I am still not even sure why I am here. Let’s see if my boss is willing to shed some light on this subject.

Urk said: Here’s a version of the job description we posted on Bungie.net:

“Bungie is seeking a witty, self-deprecating wordsmith capable of using more than just soothing vowel sounds to fully engage our polite and passionate Community. In addition to creating and executing the existing editorial calendar for Bungie.net, this individual will be tasked with generating unique, fresh, never-before-seen content that: increases Bungie’s visibility in new and existing channels, aids in recruiting efforts, and challenges the ways we think about community engagement.”

The role breaks down very roughly into three areas of focus: community advocacy, brand evangelism, and content creation. Towards those ends, you could choose to pursue a B.A. in Creative Writing, Public Relations, or Multimedia. That’s by no means a comprehensive or required list, but they’re all comfortably in the wheelhouse.

Brand evangelism is a little more complicated. At times, Bungie’s Community Managers are expected to operate somewhat independently from the rest of the Marketing mix, so we look for people who understand our studio’s culture and heritage, and who are already effectively managing a community of their own. Just like artists, designers, and engineers, if you want a job on the Community Team – now two men strong! – you need to be able to prove you have the chops.

In DeeJ’s case, we knew he understood Bungie through our historical relationship with Halo and TTL, and we could read a few years’ worth of his writing through his blog (although we still gave him a viciously unfair writing test). But even though he was a strong candidate on paper, we also screened and interviewed a bunch of other great candidates, some of whom had more creative writing and multimedia experience. In the final analysis, though, DeeJ had just the right blend of all three facets, and he looked positively regal in his cargo pants and matching, monochromatic polo.

It’s a rare breed to be sure, and nearly every Community Manager has a wildly divergent, but remarkably similar path into the role. They get involved with communities and brands that they love, contribute their own proprietary blend of creative madness to the mix, and they set themselves apart from the masses through dedication, resolve, and a towering mountain of inappropriate jokes.


defnop552 What's your Superhero name? What's your Supervillain name?

Lord Phatrick. Not sure if I'm a hero or a villain though...
Pat Jandro

I know what you are doing. It won't work.
Mat Noguchi


I ZEROC00L I Is your current position at Bungie the same job you wanted while attending school?

Nope! I didn't even know Production Engineer was a thing while in school. To be fair, Bungie hadn't invented the profession yet.
Ben Wommack

Not me, personally. It wasn't until I actually got a taste of doing meaningful web development just after graduating college that I fell in love with the tech and interesting problems related to web development.
Alex Loret de Mola

Not at all. I went to college thinking I was going to be a high school biology teacher, then switched to philosophy (was thinking teaching or law) and then ended up in IT. It's been a strange and fantastic path to where I am now!
Jason Minard

No. Production Engineer is a made up job that only Bungie has and didn't exist when I was in school.
Tim Williams

It's totally better; I'd heard how competitive the games industry was, and there really wasn't any opportunity to get into the industry where I grew up, so I didn't even look into it!
David Johnson

I had no idea that games user researchers existed until Microsoft tried to hire me as one. (Btw, as your forum handle implies, Hackers is the best movie ever.)
John Hopson

Given that I could not even conceive of the idea of what I do right now, it would therefore be impossible for me to have wanted it to begin with. Having said that, the fact that I have stayed so long at Bungie implies that deep down in my subunconcious I crave something that I have been unable to find elsewhere. So insofarasmuch as one can attribute an almost preternatural need to align oneself to the cosmic vibrations of knowledge and learning to harness the fundamental structural fabric of the universe to desire, yes. Also, given your handle, I can only say "RISC is good".
Mat Noguchi


homocidalham Who is your favorite forum goer and why did you pick me?

You are, homocidalham. You are! And the warm barrel of the revolver you are pressing against the side of my head has nothing to do with my proclamation of undying love and devotion. My life for you!


Kalriq If you could meet one celebrity, who would it be?

I already had the pleasure to meet Nathan Fillion. I think I'm good for now...
Ben Thompson

I think I'd have to go with Will Smith. He seems to be one of the few Hollywood stars that seems to find a way to lead a rather "normal" life amidst the seemingly chaotic turbulence within the Hollywood circle, not to mention that he's a huge philanthropist and does some amazing things with some charities that I really support, so I definitely admire him.
David Johnson

Terry Pratchett. Love his stuff and he's by all accounts a swell fella.
Ben Wommack

Celebrities aren't real... They're all just humans like you and me who happened to be put on superficial pedestals.
Pat Jandro

(Editor’s Note: Killjoy!)


CoRaMo What is your go-to brand of sunscreen during this shining summer?

Is the summer shining where you are? We find that the atmosphere that hovers over our fair city does the best job of screening out the sun. When the daystar does manage to punch a hole through the omni-present soup, people crawl from out of the darkness like Vitamin-D-starved groundhogs and bask naked in its rays.


Geegs30 What goes through your mind when you see a Bungie fan in the wild sporting some company apparel?

I usually gawk a little and point them out to anyone I'm with, which is ironic.
Ben Wommack

“When did we start selling that at the store?”
Mat Noguchi

I just get a huge grin on my face about the fact that I get to work here.
Jason Minard

"We shop at the same store."
Pat Jandro

“Is that one of our new hires?”
Tim Williams

Now you gone and done it, Tim!

Community, I know what you are thinking right about now: Those of you who helped yourself to Bungie Day swag have the perfect disguise to infiltrate our secure location. Don’t make that mistake. For your safety and continued survival, read on…


DE4THINC4RN4TE How does Jerome remember who to let by the front desk? Or is there some sort of high tech security system to identify who he should let in?

We have an unbeatable security system, combined with the steely gaze that Jerome and his peers train on the front door during every moment of every day. Remember that scene from Mission Impossible when Tom Cruise was hanging upside down so that the security system surrounding the terminal he was hacking wouldn’t detect his sound, weight, or body temperature? Our security system makes that one look like a bicycle chain tied in knots. Okay?


snipe champpppp SHOW ME YOUR WAR FACE!




xNiGhThAwKx19 What is the most impressive non-career related accomplishment you've done?

Your mom.
Nate Hawbaker

There was a complex World of Warcraft addon I created and put up on Curse Gaming back in 2006 before I started working here. It garnered a few thousand downloads and a bunch of feature requests, then was made obsolete when the game updated. I won't say which because the code is downright embarrassing six years later.
Ben Wommack

Probably a tie between hearing my music played on an international radio station, getting into the Tokyo Times newspaper, or the fact that I survived long enough to see the age of 28.
Pat Jandro

I help to organize the "Cookie Brigade," a group of people who get together every PAX to give out cookies and accept donations to Child's Play. We've raised well over $60,000 for Child's Play since we started in 2008. It's a blast!
Alex Loret de Mola


ALI217 Can you tell if questions are inspired by a thirst for knowledge or a desire to solely enter the mail sack?

It’s hard to tell. Take your question for instance. Are you really curious about what I think about your questions, or did you just discover a clever new way to see your name pixelated on the Bungie Blog? Fortunately, your sinister motives are not as important as your ability to sustain a good conversation, which is why Bungie.net is still a cool place to hang.


WestCoastRonin When did you know that Bungie was the right place for you?

When I stayed up 23 hours working on the Halo 3 Forge / Saved Films vidoc with Jim's team. I was just super impressed how dedicated he and all his guys were to showing the most engaging and exciting presentation possible, and he made me and the other tester feel like an important part of the process. Many of the crazy things you see shown off in that video are straight from the trenches of Test.
Ben Wommack

When I first played Myth: The Fallen Lords, I knew that it would be a place I'd love to work at. However, I never dreamed I'd actually *be able* to work here.
Alex Loret de Mola

During the last loop of my interview process here. My final hour was with Marty and we spent the time talking about horror movies and drum machines.
Pat Jandro

It was during my first week at Bungie. Watching all of the videos describing just what insanity it was that we were working on and realizing what a great challenge it would be convinced me that this was the right spot to be.
David Johnson

After I worked with Bungie on Halo 2 and 3, I took a few years off to work with other studios, particularly Xbox LIVE Arcade stuff. They were fun projects, but working with other teams really drove home to me how special Bungie is.
John Hopson

Well, I haven't been fired yet.
Mat Noguchi


burritosenior Can I have a free Bungie Shirt now?

“Not yet.” You have to win the weekly challenge first. Now all we need is a riddle or some sort of puzzle…


Eco Maiden Know any good riddles?

Yes. Quite a few, actually.
Mat Noguchi

What's in Ben's pocket?
Tim Williams

What's in my pocket? (Tim already knows)
Ben Wommack


Full Time Loser Do you really read this far into the Mail Sack thread?

Yes. All of the letters that are committed to the depths of the Sack provide their own valuable intel about the hearts and minds of our community. Even if I cannot answer them all, I read them all. Even this next one…


ConstantC4RN4GE I gave up on the Mail Sack. It's lame and offers nothing worthwhile.

I am never going to give you up. I am never going to let you down. (No matter how hard you might try to hurt me.)

I will, however, take the weekend off. You should do the same. Happy Friday, Bungie Community. We will see you right back here on Monday, fresh to embrace this routine of inquisition and spin all over again.
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

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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

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