What's Update : Cheaters!
Posted by Sketch at 7/1/2005 12:15 PM PDT

Weekly What's Update : Cheaters!

Foul play, cheating and general harassment are things that most all of us have encountered at one point or another during our Halo 2 online adventures. While anyone who has played games online will tell you that these issues are nothing new, the sheer scope and volume of Halo 2 have amplified these problems into something that is affecting a much large number of players. To put it simply, the more people there are playing Halo 2 online, the greater the number of troublemakers to deal with. In addition, if you factor in some of the recent "soft mod" exploits and the ease in which they are implemented, it's easy to see why these scenarios are becoming more and more common. Yes, this sucks and we hate it as much as you do.

Everyone has a lot of questions about cheating – what's happening, what's being done about it, etc… This week we try to address the most common concerns and shed some light into what we've been doing and will be doing to continue addressing the problem of cheating in our online community. For additional information, please keep an eye on the Bungie.net Cheating FAQ .

Why isn't Bungie or Xbox Live doing anything about the rampant cheating in Halo 2?

Actually, we are. Right now we ask that you please be patient as we continue to wade through literally thousands and thousands of emails dealing with alleged cheaters. The Halo 2 online population is humongous – nearly 500,000 unique people play Halo 2 every day accounting for well over 1 million recorded matches. That's a ton of data to sift through and we are trying to keep up as best we can. We realize this is still only half the battle and we are taking additional measures to not only improve our banning but to greatly reduce the instances of cheating that are occurring.

In addition to our efforts, the Xbox Live Team is continuing to track and monitor in-game feedback and they are enforcing the Code of Conduct and Terms of Use for the Live Service.

It seems like almost every game I play involves someone who has hacked their Xbox to run super fast, jump super high or some other unfair exploit. What gives?

Hacking or "modding" isn't a new phenomenon in the Halo universe. With Halo 1, many fans found ways to do interesting things with the game by either using a modified Xbox or some form of "soft modded" application. We have never condoned tampering with the hardware or game code in any way but back in the day, it wasn't ever a huge issue since it only impacted individuals who elected to tweak their own experience.

Now with Halo 2 online, these same types of tricks and exploits are being used to impact innocent players. This problem has become worse recently due to the release of the downloadable multiplayer maps for Halo 2. These maps reside on the consoles hard drive and as such are more vulnerable to manipulation and exploitation. These aren't the only instances of modding or hacking but they are the most prominent.

Our team is aware of the types of activity taking place as well as the websites and individuals who are propagating these files through the community. Anyone who is found to be using hacked tags or modified game content will be PERMANENTLY banned from Halo 2 matchmaking. This is a serious issue and we will not be issuing any warnings. In addition, the Microsoft Legal Team is pursuing any websites or individuals found to be distributing Halo 2 game files or content.

The old saying " if you can't beat 'em, join 'em " may seem more tempting than ever but you should resist the callings of the dark side. Right now we are trying to keep up with modders but admittedly we're a step or two behind. However, we have changes coming very soon that will substantially increase our ability to detect and more importantly, QUICKLY ban anyone found using hacks on Live. Things will be rough for a little while longer but then we should see a very quick purging of these types of players.

Please note that contrary to some rumors floating around the internet, this does not solely apply to ranked games. Anyone using modified content or hacks in any game of Halo 2 over Xbox Live is subject to the full wrath of the Bungie Banhammer. You have been warned.

If the downloadable maps are where the problem lies, won't things get worse when the next 5 are released? Why should I buy them if I'm just going to get matched against hackers?

We realize that once the new maps are released they will open up additional avenues for hackers to exploit them in matchmaking. We anticipate this only being an issue immediately following the map release. Shortly after, we have some changes coming that should make a significant impact towards reducing map hacks encountered on Xbox Live.

In the meantime, it is possible that players who purchase the new maps and choose to play in one of the "Preview" playlists will face people using hacked content to their advantage. We will be continuing to monitor our data and the H2cheats alias to ban people as appropriate.

Does anyone actually monitor the H2cheats alias? I've reported several people but they are still playing.

Absolutely. Since we launched the cheater hotline alias, we have received well over 10,000 email reports of alleged cheating. Yes, TEN THOUSAND. That number is simply astonishing and it’s a painful reminder for all of us here of just how bad this problem has become. We take our banning seriously and its important for us to thoroughly investigate allegations before we decide to issue a ban. The fact is that this takes time, and the flood of mail is currently more than we can handle in a reasonable time frame.

Players who encounter cheaters are encouraged to continue to submit email but we ask that you please be patient with us as we do our best to keep up. We are catching people and we are taking actions, it's just taking a little longer than we would like.

How many people have been banned so far?

The Bungie Banhammer has been dropped on nearly 3,200 people to date. Currently, approximately 2,600 players have active bans in place. We realize that this is probably a drop in the bucket but we are continuing to make progress.

We don't have access to the Xbox Live Team data so we can't comment on how many people have been banned due to negative feedback resulting from racist remarks, threats, poor conduct, etc...

What exactly are people being banned for nowadays?

Our highest priority is removing players who are using hacked or modified game content on Live. We consider this to be the most severe offense and we are permanently banning everyone we catch. Teammates and clans who ride the coat tails of someone using hacks in order to inflate their ranking are also being banned. We are currently using the reports submitted via H2cheats along with game data we gather to make these determinations.

Secondly, we are banning people who manipulate their network connections to their advantage. The "standby" exploit is greatly reduced but people still attempt to use it to screw their opponents. We can detect this and bans are being issues for players meeting specific criteria. Reports of standby attacks are way down so there has been good progress in this area both through banning and changes implemented in the last auto update.

Players and clans who "boost" their way up the leaderboards are also being banned and removed from the leaderboards. In addition, the Live team continues to track negative player feedback and ban players as appropriate for violating their Code of Conduct and Terms of Use.

Ok, fine, but whatever you're doing it clearly isn't enough. There are still tons of people cheating every day with no end in site…

Yes, unfortunately this seems to be the case. We are doing our best to keep up but we agree it's not quite enough. This is why we have been spending development time on a new auto update for Halo 2 that will employ additional anti-cheating mechanisms to purge these evildoers from our community. We are very optimistic that the auto update will greatly reduce the instances of hacked and modified content on Xbox Live.

When will this new auto update be available? Will there be any noticeable changes to the game?

The auto update is currently undergoing a test pass and if all goes well, we anticipate it will be released on Xbox Live around the second week of July. This does mean that the new maps will be released beforehand, potentially resulting in a small spike in hacker encounters, but it will quickly level out when the update is implemented.

The AU is a "behind-the-scenes" change only and will not impact the actual gameplay or experience itself. Once it is released, players will be forced to download it in order to play any game of Halo 2 on Xbox Live.

I tried to enter Halo 2 matchmaking and it's telling me that I've been banned. What's going on? I haven't done anything wrong!

Occasionally innocent people may get caught in the fallout of our anti-cheater crusade. While this is unfortunate, overall it is a risk we have to take for the greater good of the overall online population. The only time someone will even possibly be banned inaccurately will be if they are flagged by our quality of service monitor. These tools detect the use of standby and suspicious network interruptions and over time will accrue enough to warrant a ban.

It is possible that innocent players who have a consistently spotty internet connection might get caught in the crossfire. If you regularly encounter connectivity issues, have low bandwidth, wireless interruptions or any other consistent service issue, you could end up being banned from matchmaking. If you feel you have been wrongly banned, please send a polite email to h2cheats@microsoft.com explaining your predicament and we will follow-up. To help our efforts, please indicate the nature of your mail in the subject line. We will do our best to investigate your mail in a timely manner but please be patient as the sheer volume of mail we receive could cause delays.

If you continue experiencing the network issues listed above, please be aware that you will likely end up being banned again once you accumulate enough negative data. To minimize that risk, please take steps to improve your connection when possible and if you have low bandwidth, avoid playing in playlists that push your connection to its limits. Big Team Battle games require more bandwidth than Head to Head or Double Team, so if you experience issues, please try to play within the limits of your connection. While you're not technically cheating, your connection irregularities are causing a poor experience for other players in your game.

Every time I enter a game there's always some jerk who insists on spewing insults, racial remarks or some other offensive comment. I didn't buy Halo 2 to be treated like this. What is Bungie doing to clean things up?

There's nothing that Bungie can actually do to thwart jerks who insist on being mean, crude and rude to other players. In these instances, your best defense is to use the in-game feedback system and report them to the Xbox Live team. As players accumulate negative feedback, they will face punishments ranging from a 24 hour ban to a permanent cancellation of their account. You can also mute players so you never have to hear from them again.

Special Bonus Non-Cheating Questions!

When do the new maps come out!?

On Tuesday, July 5th, five new maps will be available for download over Xbox Live for $11.99. Around the same day (in some cases earlier), the Halo 2 Multiplayer Map Pack disc will be available at retailers for $19.99. This disc includes all nine new multiplayer maps, a special cinematic, behind-the-scenes documentary and all prior Halo 2 auto updates (including the recent gameplay tweaks).

The first four multiplayer maps (Turf, Sanctuary, Warlock and Containment) can all be downloaded for free via Xbox Live right now. The remaining five maps will be available as free downloads starting August 30 th.

My local retailer already started selling the new maps, I heard I'll be banned if I play them online before Tuesday. Is this true?

No. Nobody is being banned for playing the new maps early.

How do we play the new maps on Xbox Live?

Initially, the new maps can only be played in custom games between players who have purchased them. Our current plans are to update the Matchmaking Playlists on Monday, July 11th at which time the five new maps will be available for play in the "Team Preview" and "Rumble Preview" playlists. You will only be able to access these playlists if you have the new maps installed on your Xbox.

We will have more information about the map release, downloadable content in general and playlist updates next week on Bungie.net.

Where's Frankie!?

Frankie is still out touring Europe as a bagpipe playing, kilt wearing street performer. We hope to see him next week, provided he earns enough to cover his trip home. In the meantime, he was kind enough to send along this photo...

New Beginnings 

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

Bungie.net has evolved...

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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

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Happy Holidays. Love, Bungie. 

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

Peace on Earth?

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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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