Achronos Rides Along With The Ancients
Posted by DeeJ at 1/25/2012 3:24 PM PST


As the school-on-school violence demanded by the Bungie Winter Pentathlon approaches, the mood in our studio has become edgy.  Coworkers stalk one another around the snack bar, casting sidelong glances over shoulders to size up their opponents.  The tension between young and old hangs in the air like fog exhaled by the evaporating snowbanks that delayed our inevitable skirmishes.

On frequent occasions, the silence is shattered by proclamations of pending Fist ownership.  Sometimes, the talking of trash spills out into the streets, as it did last week on the Bungie.net forums.  These grudges have even lead to an abuse of executive power.



To all who frequent the social environs of Bungie.net, the wizened visage of Achronos should serve as a warning about the fate of trolls, as well as a reminder of the traditions that define our community.  He is the overlord of all he surveys, locked into a dangerous partnership with the Disembodied Soul itself.  When he posts to Bungie.net his word is as good as gold.  So mighty is his control over our domain, that not even your faithful Assistant to the Community Manager can escape its grasp.

On the fateful day of our class warfare, Achronos will fight alongside the most tenured of Bungie citizens as a student in the school of the Grizzled Ancients.  Seasoned by years of battle, he has smote many challengers on the mountainside of the Pentathlon.  To delve deeper into the history that shaped Bungie, I requested an audience with the benevolent overlord of our online community.

It was reluctantly granted on the eve of our Community Ride Along with the Bungie Private Group, the Ancient Warriors. (More on that in a moment.)

Based on the official warning that you issued to me via The Soul, are you truly confident that the Grizzled Ancients will win the Pentathlon?

Cup stays here.


You mean, Fist.  After our games last night, you rushed off to practice playing MW3.  How were your training maneuvers?

Practicing went well, except for the one particularly brutal game where we got owned by our random opponents.  However, our honorary team member and chief morale officer (my wife) kept things positive by providing helpful advice like “you should stop running into bullets with your face,” or “man, that helicopter lit you up…oh, look at how high your body bounced,” and even “did you just die by shaking?” (after numerous explosions nearly killed me and I died from a single bullet while in a slow-motion red haze) - all loud enough so that her commentary can be heard over voice chat, much to the amusement of my teammates.

As the leader of my own school in the Call of Duty tournament, I must ask if you really think you stand a chance against us Newbies.

We stand an excellent chance – we have solid teamwork, and I’m getting better about not running into bullets with my face.


Alright, alright.  Enough of this.  We have company.  During the games we played on our ride along with the Ancient Warriors, there were many expressions of thanks for all of the fun they have had playing Bungie games over the years.  Since I am new to the show, it was hard for me to take a bow.  How long have you been here, keeping the pillars of Bungie.net strong?

I have been employed at Bungie since January of 2001.  I used to be just the web developer guy, but over the years I’ve expanded my role to do all kinds of server-side engineering (stats, services) with a dash of community support on the side as Bungie.net has become much more than just a simple web site for posting news and forums.

That is a lot of lines of code and locked threads.  Throughout all that lost time, what is the biggest change that you have observed at Bungie

The number of people is easily the biggest change.  I knew everyone on the original Halo team, even if I didn’t interact with them as part of my job.  As the years have gone by, and the pace of hiring continues to be fast and furious to meet the demands of the future, it is really difficult to recognize people I don’t work with regularly that haven’t been here all that long.

On the flip side, what is the most important thing that has stayed the same?

The ridiculous amount of passion of the people at Bungie has never wavered.  I’ve been here through the furious crunch to get Halo to the Xbox launch, the trials of Halo 2, the amazing and scary additions to Bungie.net for Halo 3, ODST, and Reach (no ODST love?), and the online launches for all of those games (many of the server team visibly age for the first 48 hours or so of a game launch).  The one thing that has always been true is that people here put everything into their creations.  People stay late when they don’t have to, just to make the latest milestone a little bit better.  It’s always more than just meeting the deadline or the baseline expectations – it is about being our own harshest critics and pushing each other to be better.  Building a new game that exceeds our previous work after coming from Halo should be scary, but with the passion of everyone here… challenge accepted.

Speaking of unbridled passion, even with nothing to report, we enjoy a visit from Bungie fans every day on our website.  Can you tease them with something to look forward to in terms of an update to their clubhouse?

Bungie.net has changed a lot visually over the lifetime of Halo, but it has been fundamentally altered only twice during the Halo era – once in 2001 when we changed it from a Myth site to Halo site (and added the fanclub chapters), and then in 2004 when we switched to the code base that has been in use since then.  The transition to the post-Halo Bungie.net won’t just be a visual change with a few new/altered features.  It has served us well this last decade, but we have a window where we can build ourselves tech that will last us the next decade.  I won’t talk specifics, of course, but we’re taking everything we’ve learned over the last decade and building ourselves a brand new battle station.   I can’t wait to share it with you.

I can’t wait either.  We’re lucky to have had such a faithful monitor of this facility for so long.  Good luck to you and your fellow Grizzled Ancients on Friday.

Thanks, but it is my privilege to work here.  Not many people can say that they have fun and enjoy their job, but I do, and a lot of that is because of the community of Bungie fans.  Except for Achilles1108 - he’s kind of a jerk.


Right around the time that The Soul was being exploited to scold me for overstepping the boundaries of my youth, a similarly-grizzled emissary from a tribe of ancient Bungie fans came knocking on my door.  For longer than some members of our community have been out of diapers, the leaders of a private group called the Ancient Warriors have been hosting a virtual old folk’s home on Bungie.net, catering to a withering minority of gamers who hold onto the controller past the ripe, old age of (gasp) thirty.  One of their leaders games under the tag Maddog1953.  The number in his call sign is the year of his birth, betraying the true extent of his ancientness.

Having found myself suddenly surrounded by my elders on all sides, I decided to conduct some research into the psyche of gamers who refuse to go gentle into the good night.  Here was a chance to know my enemy.  If I could lure Achronos into a ride along with his decrepit kin, I could study them and learn of their weaknesses.  To peer into the mind of gamers who believe that age and experience overcome youth and vitality, I tricked Maddog into sharing with me his darkest secrets.

I would usually kick off a conversation such as this by asking if you have always been a gamer, but Video Games were actually invented during your lifetime. Tell us the story of how you came to be a digital warrior.

Maddog1953: (gets teeth off the table and puts them in) Well, sonny... All kidding aside, I'm 58 years old and I've enjoyed gaming since I was a child. It was a natural progression from pinball machines to arcade games.  Finally, I got an Atari 2600.  As my kids got older, we had to get a Nintendo.  Of course, I had to get in there and play along, so I always kept my hand in it.  I discovered the Halo-verse when I was at a meeting at church and happened to walk by the youth group...they had Halo: CE fired up and I was amazed how far home video consoles had come. Once they put the controller in my hand, I was pretty much hooked.

Your career as a gamer is a long and winding road.  It looks like you made every stop along the way.  Tell me about your current destination. What makes the Ancient Warriors a special place to hang?

Maddog1953: One thing we all have in common, other than our love of video games, is that we know what it's like to try to balance our gaming habit with the demands of our careers, family, and "life-taculars" that come along. We are a very diverse group - our members are from all walks of life and from all over the world. We have husbands and wives who are members, as well as brothers and sisters, and some of us are old enough that our sons meet the age criteria.

How long have you been gathering together the old guard of Bungie.net in the games of your choosing? How did your group get its start?

Maddog1953: The Ancient Warriors will celebrate our 4th year of existence this August. In the beginning, I did a search of Bungie.net and found a group whose purpose was to help people improve their game.  I met another senior gamer, BC Miltiades, and we figured that there had to be others who shared our love of the game, and that we could benefit from teaming up. We borrowed the name of the group from another "chronologically challenged" gamer we had met, anci3ntwarrior, and the group was born. We provide a fun, MUTUALLY RESPECTFUL environment in which to play and discuss Halo and life in general.

Congratulations on using the tools at your disposal to build your own castle.  Do you sit alone on the geriatric throne?  Or do you have help leading this kingdom of geezers?

Maddog1953: My good friend BC Miltiades has since moved on to other things, but he was very instrumental in the formation and continued survival of the group. We are led by a committee of eight - myself and Muad Dib, OCCR, Cease2xist, DadWithAGun, John McGhee123, airfalcon2, and Mauro Fire.

 A round table, even!  How do you go about finding new ancients to retire in your keep?

Maddog1953: We are always on the lookout for prospective members when we're online - you might spot something in their gamertag, or just in talking with them in the lobby. I also periodically post a recruiting thread in the Bungie.net Classifieds.  Referrals from our current members are another way.

You sound like quite the networker.  What sort of tactics do you use to bring your Ancients together in a game?

Maddog1953: We try to mix things up to keep the group vibrant and energized. Some of our members are very skilled, and borrowing from what we learned at the Halo 3 Academy, we have regularly scheduled events. Currently, Fridays are ODST nights, Sunday, we are having Map Awareness classes, and a staple for us has been Monday nights, where I host Maddog's Monday Mayhem (it's sort of a grab bag - one night it'll be Rumblepit, another we might re-visit Halo 3, another will be Big Team, or customs). We post sign-up threads in advance of the events and it's pretty much first-come-first served, and we always have a list of alternates.

What does the future hold for the Ancient Warriors?

Maddog1953: As I mentioned previously, we are a great group of friends - I've met several AW's in real life, as have some of our other members. Although we are Halo-centric, we allow discussions of pretty much any game or topic, as long as it's kept civil. All good things come to an end, but I hope we're around for many years to come!

As the setting of our ride along, the Ancients selected Halo: Reach.  Achronos and I (temporarily) buried the hatchet of our interschool rivalry to enter matchmaking on the same team as a squad of early arrivals from the Ancients’ camp.  Immediately, the benefits that Maddog spoke of were apparent.  These gamers move, shoot, and talk as a team that is well-oiled like a wheelchair axle.  Before it could even be spoken, we were holding the balcony on Countdown like a phalanx of Spartans in the pass of Thermopylae (look it up, kiddies).



As the rest of the ancients arrived to our gathering, we opened up the battle to accommodate a bigger team.  In a game of Neutral Bomb on Ridgeline, I was able to display my prowess as a community manager.  Practicing that which urk took the time to teach me about stoking the fires of fandom, I expressed my appreciation for the loyalty of the Ancient Warriors by luring them to a safe place where I could run them over in my car.  In truth, that folly was all my own.  Even though Achronos defended me with the observation that he was clearly in the way of a blitz, I am offering the public apology that was promised to Max Sterling for betraying him as a member of my team.



In a game of Team Slayer on a remake of the ancient Halo: CE classic Hang ‘Em High, the lead was swapped more times than an aging mind could count.  All the while, the mood was like a family reunion, stocked with cheery grandparents.  Tactical chatter was balanced by friendly taunts like “Maro, I know you can hear me!  And I want you to know you are NOTHING without that shotgun!”



To cap off the evening, we stress-tested the fading recollections of our elderly guests with a stroll down the memory lane that leads to a remake of Headlong, one of Halo 2’s most popular cityscapes.  As even the most “chronologically challenged” gamer might recall, the threat matrix for a game of Team Slayer on this map is highly vehicular in nature.  Unfortunately for Maddog, he forgot all about the dangers of standing in the landing-zone opposite the broken bridge.



This ride along of ancient proportions was enjoyed by all.  Achronos and I would like to thank our hosts for the honorary place in their ranks.  If you find yourself keeping company half your age in the wilderness of Xbox LIVE, you might want to stop by the clubhouse of the Ancient Warriors.  As for Bungie, one of the very few things on which all schools of thought can agree upon this week is that we love to see people using our website to form friendships that they will have for several lifetimes.

As for the Grizzled Ancients, our temporary truce ended with the party lobby.  The Pentathlon trophy is in play, and will choose the school that speaks their lesson true.
New Beginnings 

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

Bungie.net has evolved...

Read Full Top Story

Tags: Community

   

Bungie.net Set to Read-Only Today 

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

Pardon our dust...

On Tuesday, January 8th, Bungie.net will be set to read-only mode. During this short, preparatory maintenance window, you can browse, but you can’t post. We expect the outage to be brief.

Thank you for your patience. If we don’t make it back, tell your mother we love her. See you on the other side.

Tags: Community

permalink   

Happy Holidays. Love, Bungie. 

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

Peace on Earth?

Read Full Top Story

Tags: Community

   

We Wish You a Merry Mail Sack 

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

Goodwill towards mail...



It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at Bungie. Our cavernous hideout, usually overrun by artists, coders, and designers, is slowly becoming a place of empty chairs and empty tables. Before our beloved partners in crime could flee the scene in favor of their respective family reunions, we gathered around the very last bundle of community interaction that will be seen this calendar year.

The past twelve months have been home to fascinating developments at Bungie. We are thankful. We’ve marched ever closer toward our fate. There is brilliant light at the end of the tunnel, dear community.

But that is a glorious conversation best saved for another time. For now, let’s look back instead of forward.

Let’s open the Sack.


Frag Ingot What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment from this year?

I made it through...

Ben Thompson, Engineer

I wrote lots of cool things for Bungie.next. Maybe DeeJ will tell you more about that soon.
Tom Gioconda, Engineer

I started building a spaceship in my garage, entirely out of spare lawnmower parts.
Dave Mongan, Senior Writer

Deadlift: 325lbs., Squat: 225lbs, Machine Squat: 360lbs. Also, wrote/recorded 13 songs and remixed 2 songs.
Forrest Soderlind, Technical Artist

Professionally, I built a new back end system that (if it works correctly) will make the online experience better for a significant portion of our playerbase, without them ever knowing it is there. Personally, I went on some awesome adventures with my wife this year and didn't get us both killed, or too horribly lost.
Michael Williams, Engineer

Marriage!
Robert Kehoe, BVT Tester

Creating the next generation of the internal tools for Bungie.Next. They ain’t pretty, but they get the job done.
Alex Loret de Mola, Engineer

And, the following people on the Bungie Panel for this week counted their great fortune in landing a place on the roster of Team Bungie. This delegation represents only a fraction of the parade of noobs that stormed our front door to help us bring you a new game.
Will Edgette, Engineer
Leland Dantzler, Tester
Doug Juno, Artist
Drew Smith, Producer
David Johnson, Engineer
Mike Shannon, Senior IT Engineer
Chris Owens, Test Engineer
Andy Howell, Matchmaking Test Lead


Hylebos How is the Pentathlon shaping up?

As someone who has been honored with an invitation to serve on the Exalted Winter Pentathlon Committee, I'm one of the few people who can tell you that it’s shaping up quite nicely. Our competitors have been partitioned into four warring schools, with Captains assigned to lead each. Events have been chosen, with lieutenants designated to lead each school’s respective charge, and commissioners in place to enforce the rules of battle. As the games draw near, we'll treat you to the usual front-row seat, though I suspect the game I'm most anxious to play this year will be zealously guarded from your eyes.


Elem3nt 117 What is your New Year's Resolution?

I resolve to be a little bit more open and transparent with you. If that has you excited, please note that my track record for keeping these annual promises is less than impressive. Let’s see if my co-developers are more or less disciplined. What do you have planned for yourselves in 2013, Bungie Panel?

Decimate the competition in the Pentathlon or die trying.
Drew Smith, Producer

Draw more.
Doug Juno, Artist

Finish building that spaceship in my garage! Or, give up the ridiculous idea already and waste my free time more wisely.
Dave Mongan, Senior Writer

To get up earlier!
Andy Howell, Matchmaking Test Lead

Deadlift: 495lbs., Squat: 405lbs, Bench 250lbs.
Forrest Soderlind, Technical Artist

Write a book, plant a tree. I can already imagine blank pages and a bare yard.
Christian Diefenbach, Engineering Lead

Don’t get suckered into anymore of those crazy “End of the world” doomsday prophesies.
Ben Thompson, Engineer

Create more, consume less.
Michael Williams, Engineer

To finally fulfill my resolutions from the last 8 years.
Mike Shannon, Senior IT Engineer

I resolve to be better, stronger, faster.
Chris Owens, Test Engineer

To not make any more New Year’s Resolutions.
Alex Loret de Mola, Engineer

Be less tempted by Bungie’s free snacks. Who am I kidding?
Leland Dantzler, Tester


Ninja Blue Wolf Does Marty do lessons?

You mean music lessons? No. Marty does teach us a lesson from time to time, but they are more in the vein of knowing when to hold ‘em – and when to fold ‘em. If you don’t get the reference, that’s an old song about Poker, written by a gambling purveyor of Fried Chicken.


WestCoastRonin If you could remake any Christmas movie and give it a sci-fi setting, which movie would you choose and what would it be like?

I’m pitching a starside reboot of A Christmas Story. My hero, Ralphie_9.6, is an astroclone incepted on an off-world colony who dreams of owning a Red Ryder x-ray cannon. As part of his coming of age, he learns to face off against the Academy’s most dreaded bully. Comic relief ensues when he tricks his best friend into sticking his tongue to the cooling towers of the main reactor. For the grand finale, a hoard of feral tusk-wolves make off with the sandtrout that was prepared for the solstice feast of the seventh moon.

The joy of editing this feature is the chance to hoard the best and most obvious answer for one’s self. However, in the event that Hollywood rejects my screenplay, here are some alternatives from the Bungie Panel…

If you ask me, Rocky 4 is begging for a sci-fi remake. It’s got it all: Good versus evil; hi-tech versus old-school; national pride versus personal determination. Everything is on the line, and it all comes to a head on Christmas Day. Simply set it in an interstellar society, with humans versus aliens and… Ba-da-bing ba-da-boom! Instant, updated holiday classic.
Dave Mongan, Senior Writer

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is a cyborg sent back through time to Santa’s workshop (circa 1995) to protect Santa Claus. Sam the Snowborg is on a mission to kill him and alter the future so that Snowborgs rule over all mankind – and Christmas is permanently destroyed. To save the day, Santa and Rudolph must go to the Isle of Misfit Toys Asylum to rescue Mrs. Claus, who was arrested after encountering Rudolph in the prequel.
David Johnson, Engineer

It’s a Wonderful Star Trek Life. I know they kind of already did it in TNG. I guess I just want Star Trek for Christmas.
Andy Howell, Matchmaking Test Lead

As Life Day approaches on Tatooine, Emmet Otter and his Ma decide to compete in the Cantina's talent contest. Watch as they face corrupt Hutt judges, and challenge the Empire's most deadly musicians, "The Boba Fett Sarlacc Band". In the end they will learn the true meaning of Life Day, and the true power of the Force.
Michael Williams, Engineer

Mine is more based on a TV show than a movie. Theorizing that one could time travel within his own lifetime, Doctor Sam Beckett stepped into the Quantum Leap accelerator - and vanished. He awoke to find himself trapped in the past, facing mirror images that looked a lot like Santa, and driven by an unknown force to change Christmas for the better. His only guide on this journey is ELF, an observer from his own time, who appears in the form of a hologram that only Sam can see and hear. And so, Doctor Beckett finds himself leaping from life to life, striving to replace bad presents with amazing presents and hoping each time that his next leap… will be the leap home.
Chris Owens, Test Engineer

I have a visual of people opening their Christmas presents to find face hugger aliens inside.
Robert Kehoe, BVT Tester

The first two Die Hard movies could be convincingly set on an inter-planetary colony and a spaceport, respectively. The plot of the second movie even becomes more much plausible in a spaceport.
Tom Gioconda, Engineer

White Christmas. It’s the year 2196, and Lt. Commander Wallace is performing a holiday space symphony for our troops fighting against the mysterious arachnid alien species that has invaded our solar system. He finds himself caught in a web, and about to be eaten by said aliens, before Ensign Davis runs over in the nick of time and saves his life. Their friendship comes to a head years later when their old Fleet Admiral is discovered running a failed tourist vessel orbiting Jupiter. They decide to bring their interstellar cast and crew to revive his chances of success. The plot really doesn’t have to change much at all! I suppose one of their love interests could get vaporized by a stray phaser blast as they defend the tourist ship from space raiders.
Alex Loret de Mola, Engineer

Yeah, Alex. Because nothing gets people in the Christmas spirit faster than vaporizing love interests.


irishfreak Why won't you return my calls?

Mostly because, for the first time in the years (and years) since I left college and joined The Work Force, I don’t have a phone on my desk. That took some getting used to. I remember asking about this on my first day at Bungie. Urk answered my question with a question of his own. “Who would you call?” That stopped me in my tracks. Hello, Internet? It’s me, DeeJ.


EZcompany2ndsqd If Santa came down your chimney and you were awake what would you do?

I’d handcuff him to the gas starter, light a candle, and have a long chat about all those years I got ugly sweaters instead of the video games that had been released that season. Perhaps the Bungie Panel will be more forgiving than I…

See if he wanted to play some Farcry 3 coop.
Drew Smith, Producer

I would thank him for giving me a brand new fireplace.
David Johnson, Engineer

Offer him a drink.
Doug Juno, Artist

Release the Krampus!
Forrest Soderlind, Technical Artist

Demand gifts as payment for intrusion.
Leland Dantzler, Tester

We would then engage in mortal combat - Bungie wood n00b sword vs. Santa Sack. Spoiler: Christmas would lose.
Andy Howell, Matchmaking Test Lead

Borrow his ride!
Christian Diefenbach, Engineering Lead

Ask if he had a couple hours to babysit.
Ben Thompson, Engineer

Wager my soul against a golden fiddle in a Settler's of Catan match. Santa does that right?
Michael Williams, Engineer

Scream like a little girl and run around in circles until the bad man left. Sadly, that’s how I deal with most situations.
Chris Owens, Test Engineer

Offer the man some milk and cookies for installing a chimney in my apartment.
Will Edgette, Engineer

Probably offer him a beer. Cookies and milk probably get old.
Tom Gioconda, Engineer


DarthCarrick If you could give the Community a present, what would it be?

An exciting new place to call home. Since such things cannot be wrapped, that gift will have to serve another occasion.


Xd00999 You can now un-cancel one television show. What do you choose?

When I do make it to my television, I’m more than likely using it to battle the Internet though the construct of my favorite game. Thus, I am transferring my vote to the Bungie Panel. Have at it, people. What do you wish was still on the idiot box?

I used to work in TV, so that’s like asking me to resurrect only one of my deceased friends. Too cruel. Instead, I’ll bring to life a baby that was never born: a pilot I wrote called “The War.” Imagine the grittiness of “The Wire,” set on the coke-frenzied Sunset Strip of the 1980s. It was an intense roller-coaster ride of sex & drugs & rock-n-roll… or at least it would have been, had it ever seen the light of day. Oh well…
Dave Mongan, Senior Writer

I’d pick one of the following:

Ben Thompson, Engineer

Bring back Firefly!
David Johnson, Engineer

Firefly, Duh. (Says the Star Trek fan… I know.. I know..)
Andy Howell, Matchmaking Test Lead

Firefly.
Will Edgette, Engineer

Can I choose two? 1) Firefly 2) Farscape.
Christian Diefenbach, Engineering Lead

Firefly.
Michael Williams, Engineer

I’m sure this is the first time someone mentioned this show, but Firefly.
Chris Owens, Test Engineer

Answers other than Firefly are wrong.
Tom Gioconda, Engineer

Wonderfalls!
Alex Loret de Mola, Engineer

Better Off Ted.
Leland Dantzler, Tester

Carnivale on HBO.
Doug Juno, Artist

Arrested Development.
Drew Smith, Producer

Deadwood, so I can open a can of peaches.
Forrest Soderlind, Technical Artist


A Pimpin Lady Why will you not answer my question? I want to know where Bungie hires their non-gaming personnel. Last time I asked this question, you sent me to the job listings page on B.Net. In all my years here, I have never seen non-gaming related listings. I know you guys have to have accountants, HR, health educators, etc. Will you please tell me where the job listings for these people are found?

“Ma’am! I answered your question! I answered the darn... I’m cooperating here!” -Jerry Lundegaard, Executive Sales Manager, Gustafson Motors

It’s almost as if our whole team is devoted to the singular cause of making a game. We do have a few people at Bungie who mind the shop while we make the toys. In all your years here, none of them have quit. They really like their jobs. We see to that, personally. If we end up needing more of them, the curious onlookers who pay attention to our Careers page will be the first to know.


Marcellos007 What was the funniest present you´ve got for Christmas?

My father and my sister succumbed to the allure of a home shopping offering on television. One toll-free conversation later, our entire family received the gift of decorative swords. Mine was so decorative, the blade folded under the weight of its own haft when I sank it into the soil of the back yard in a dramatic reenactment of the ending to my favorite Scottish revolution film. Care to recall your own comedic lumps of coal, Bungie Panel?

My dad used to rewrap the board game Balderdash every year and give it to a random member of the family. That was always funny. Plus, it’s a good game.
Drew Smith, Producer

Many years ago, a boss of mine gave me the menu for an adult-entertainment venue called The Chicken Ranch. I never visited the establishment, but I got a lot of laughs out of reading the names of their various “Dishes.”
Dave Mongan, Senior Writer

One year, my friends thought it would be a good idea to all get me Hello Kitty themed gifts, including bubble bath that came packaged with warnings about urinary tract infections. Also included was a lantern that had a warning to “not look directly at.” So, all of the Hello Kitty gifts where deadly in one way or another. But really, isn’t anything to do with Hello Kitty?
Andy Howell, Matchmaking Test Lead

Our family has had a habit of wrapping gifts in bizarre ways. I've seen bizarre polyhedral shapes, boxes nested in boxes, and gifts wrapped in twine that has been spliced so there was no end to untie.
Michael Williams, Engineer

A 20 pound wheel of cheese (I used to be a much larger man who loved his cheese).
Chris Owens, Test Engineer

A Rubik’s Cube shaped like Homer Simpson.
Alex Loret de Mola, Engineer

My dad gave me Heretic: Shadow of the Serpent Riders. I was 8 and my mom was furious. Dad and I played the heck out of it, though.
Leland Dantzler, Tester


Halo biggest fan For all the artists at Bungie: Do any of you frequently go to figure drawing sessions to stay sharp on your traditional drawing skills?

Is this really a question about art? Or, is it more a question about naked people in our studio?


CoRaMo Where is the strangest place you have ever played a video game?

Like so many of you, I was waiting anxiously on the sidelines while Halo: ODST was preparing to drop. Through some magic wielded by the Hand of Urk, I vaulted to the front of a very long line and was the first kid in my zip code to play Firefight in the belly of a military transport vehicle. Moral to the story: Always be nice to your Community Manager. Beat that, Bungie Panel!

The Experience Music Project in Seattle during the Halo 2 launch party. The science fiction museum had only recently gone into the building, and the whole experience was pretty surreal and awesome.
Michael Williams, Engineer

At the Podiatrist, while I was having an ingrown toenail removed. I needed a distraction.
Andy Howell, Matchmaking Test Lead

You mean like the backseat of a Volkswagen?
Mike Shannon, Senior IT Engineer

Backseat of a Volkswagen.
Robert Kehoe, BVT Tester

I played Inception – The App while I was in Erfoud, Morocco just to unlock the Africa chapter. My wife rolled her eyes, but the camels didn’t seem to mind.
Forrest Soderlind, Technical Artist

On the set of a movie.
Chris Owens, Test Engineer

In a van heading across the country to get to PAX – part of a caravan called the Cross Country Super Trip. We wired it up to a TV that was fixed into the ceiling, and played it on our two day long trek.
Alex Loret de Mola, Engineer

I played Pokemon Silver in an unmarked van, in Ireland, stuck at a sheep crossing while thousands of fluffy things crossed the road for more than 15 minutes (true story).
Leland Dantzler, Tester

Do iPhone games on the porcelain throne count?
Dave Mongan, Senior Writer

To most of you, playing in an arcade is probably pretty strange. More people play video games on the toilet via their phones than play in arcades now.
Tom Gioconda, Engineer

With gaming on cell phones, it doesn’t get much more strange than gaming in a public restroom. I’m... not the only one that does that, right?
David Johnson, Engineer

Some of you are sick. Suddenly, that line that forms outside the Bungie men’s room is much less a mystery. Pull your pants up and get back to work. You can launch birds out of slingshots on your own time.


coolmike699 Does Bungie do a secret Santa? Has anyone gotten anything really weird?

Our Secret Santas give presents to the people who need them the most. This year, our tree was decorated with dreams passed along to us from our friends at the Make-A-Wish Foundation. We love making dreams come true at Bungie – the weirder the better.




Duardo What was the best gift ever given to you?

I have everything I want in life: a gaming console, a patient wife who lets me spend a lot of time with it, and a clan of willing killers to carry me to victory. Bungie Panel, can you do a better job of celebrating the spirit of giving?

Not to get all sappy, but a couple years back, my wife gave me a pretty non-traditional Christmas present: a pregnancy test that read positive. Now, a few years earlier I would’ve freaked out; but timing is everything, and instead I was super excited to know we were expecting a little gamer of our own.
Dave Mongan, Senior Writer

The generosity of my friends. I can be demanding and a bit eccentric/neurotic, but they are all super accommodating.
Drew Smith, Producer

My life, by my mom and dad. (I know, suck up...)
Andy Howell, Matchmaking Test Lead

My first thought was to say “my daughters.” Then, I realized they’re more like Trojans taking over my world: making me work harder to get them the best life I can, eating away at my idle time with child’s play and E rated games, pushing me to better myself and… Yeah, my daughters.
Christian Diefenbach, Engineering Lead

My family once commissioned a custom art piece from one of my favorite artists based on a fictional character of mine. The effort and subtlety needed to gather the information for the commission was as precious as the artwork itself.
Michael Williams, Engineer


Mike Shannon, Senior IT Engineer

The gift of laughter! Yeah, right! That’d be my original 8-bit NES with the Gold Zelda Cart.
Chris Owens, Test Engineer

My wife built me a cabinet with a mini-fridge, snack drawer, and movie theater style popcorn popper for my home theater room was pretty damned impressive last year.
Tom Gioconda, Engineer

The gift of life! Hahaha, no. In all seriousness, the Nintendo Entertainment System. It was the beginning of what got me here today.
Robert Kehoe, BVT Tester

Being able to work at Bungie.
Alex Loret de Mola, Engineer

Dethklok: Dethalbum II on vinyl.
Forrest Soderlind: Technical Artist


Will Edgette, Engineer

Hope.
Leland Dantzler, Tester


spartain ken 15 Do you guys ever think you would sell some Bungie-themed Christmas cards?

If you refresh the front page of our website, you can have one for free. There ain’t any cash in it, but it’s still a sincere expression of our love and devotion. Of all the gifts that we’re to receive in the coming days, very few will make us as happy as your unshakable friendship.

And, thus, the Sack is empty. With its closure, we bring to an end another year of community love. This next year promises to be a more exciting one. Between now and then, do take care of yourselves. May your travels by safe, and your holiday loot plentiful.

To all a good night.

Tags: Community

permalink   

Friendship of Mythic Proportions 

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

Lean on me...

The Bungie Community is constantly astounding us with their creativity, and their solidarity. Recently, some ancients (who were playing Bungie games before some of their contemporaries were born) banded together to produce a piece of art that would steady a friend in need as he took steps toward a new challenge. Behold the intersection between passion for games and compassion for one's fellow gamer.

Miguel writes: Folks, here's a link to the whole Soulblighter Sword Cane saga, how it came to be, why we did it, etc. It all started back at the tail end of August (right before PAX Prime!) and is finally done now. The man has his uber-cane! Thanks of course to all of you for creating a wonderful environment for us to form such lasting friendships. Man, are we getting old.



 Cheers to the big hearts at Bungie.org.  

Tags: Community

permalink   

Tags

  • Careers

    Help us achieve World Domination.

  • Breaking In

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

  • Publications

    Insight into building games the Bungie way.

  • Community

    Juicy gossip from or about the Bungie Community.

  • FAQs and Info

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