Bungie Day: Seven Memories of Bliss and Piss
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Mostly the best, on account of the free snacks and the endless CTF, but occasionally it was the worst of times. With that in mind, Seven arbitrarily chosen Bungie employees recount their best and worst experiences over the years. You'll laugh! You'll cry! You'll pee, just a little bit.
Jason Jones taking direction from Jaime on how to do a horrible, mythical Scottish accent for a game
featuring stellar voice talent (pre-Halo).
picking up a call from Alexander Seropian the night before the unveiling in NYC
at MacWorld in 1999, telling me that the only copy of the brand new Halo music was stepped on. I had about an hour to get another copy on a plane.
The best moment would be E3 of 2000. This is the year where we showcased a short film of Halo to the world. We had our own little movie room and allowed about 20 or so people to watch the film through the whole expo. It was exciting to see a line to see the film for every day of the expo. Just that alone makes you feel good about something you've done. The best was on I think the 2nd day, I went into the bathroom to take a leak and heard someone just say 'man! did you see that halo movie? No? Good luck man, the line for it goes out the door~!' Watch out world, here comes BUNGIE~~!!!
When Jason brought me into the conference room to talk one on one on the move to joining Microsoft and the Xbox group. The news was given a few days back as a group, and caused quite a ruckus. It had just felt like we've given up the fight, everything that we thought we wanted Bungie to mean and do just felt so against a decision like this. Although thinking back with what we were capable of and the situation Bungie was in, it indeed was the best decision to propel Bungie forward. But as it stands, that day was the worst day for me working at Bungie. That and seeing chucky mooning his hairy ass all the frickin time.
Tough one. My favorite Bungie moment is probably one which I was not at. When Bungie was purchased by MS Seropian decided to have a big blow out. I think he just realized that with the amount of cash MS had he no longer had to hoard the slush fund or something. I guess they paid this guy who was living in Alex's old apartment a thousand dollars to go take a walk so they could party at the place. I thought that was probably one of the funniest things I've heard anyone doing. Other than that it may have been when we moved offices from the rodent infested mission on the south side of Chicago to downtown. My commute was shorter, the building was heated and pest free and it felt like I was working at an actual real live company!
Easy one. We all sit down in one of the development rooms at Bungie, brought there by some hasty calls from the leaders. Bad news, Myth 2 is wiping people's hard drives and a recall is in the works and our profit sharing flushed down the toilet. My decision to get more involved in quality assurance at Bungie cements.
Shipping Oni was the capstone on an amazing effort from an amazing team of people that will always leave me impressed. Hardy Lebel, Steve Abyeta, Hamilton Chu , Chris Butcher and the entire team did tons of work to make that game great. It was really awesome to see that game become real in that last year of the mad crunch.
Worst Bungie moment was Steve Abyeta telling me he was leaving. I wish him the best but that really hit me hard. Alex we all sort of know was going to leave but Steve hit me out of the blue.
Coming in for an interview with Max, I got to see Bungie in its natural state within a month before one of its game went gold (Myth II); cots everywhere, people wrapped in blankets while working, someone was passed out on the floor (sleeping, I think), many others looking like they hardly slept, but everyone looking like they _wanted_ to be there, and to work really hard at what they enjoyed doing.
Working late, I had my headphones on and Joseph was shouting back at somebody across the room that he would "be right there". Not soon after, I felt this shaking of the floor, as if someone was running or maybe there was a big scuffle. I turn around curiously and with some concern, only to see that Chucky had pulled down his pants, was bent over and telling Joseph to hurry up - by ventriloquizing (is that even a word??) "Hey Joe! Hurry the f-k up!" with his butt cheeks. Apparently, he didn't see me sitting not more than ten feet from Joseph. I turned around real quick, but unfortunately the after-image got burned into my retinas.
Plowing backwards into Greg Kirkpatrick's p.o.s. beater out in front of the Halsted office to intimidate the jack-ass that had blocked me in (and was still sitting in his car and very aware of the fact I wanted to leave). Then calling up Greg later that evening and telling him about it and him saying, "hey, no problem, that's cool."
Being Juan's 24 hour technical support guy while he was doing contract work for us on Myth. Getting phone calls at 2~3 am like: "Hey, I just saved my file... where did it go?" or "Hey, man, I was just in Photoshop and now my screen is all black!"
All time favorite Bungie moment would have to be the Christmas party where everyone was all dolled up for our formal banquet, and then Seropian produces a set of electric clippers and announces that since Hardy lost the bet on whether The Sims would sell a million units or not, he had to shave his head. So, they whipped out a chair and bib and sheared his locks right there on the banquet room floor. Hardy's wife was NOT impressed.
The pentathlon where the Oni team reclaimed their wrongfully stolen trophy
Charlie mooning Bill Gates in front of the webcam.
Showing the e3 2000 demo to the tribes 2 team and seeing their faces when they walked out of the theater.
Joseph and Marty getting into a political discussion two weeks before shipping Oni and becoming so mad they couldn't talk to each other for a week.
Jason's expression on seeing the foamcore Jones we had made while he was away in New Zealand .
Least favorite is definitely falling asleep in a field on the way home from work.