At Bungie, every developer is also a gamer, just like you. Our drive to create is motivated by our passion to play. As we sifted through the mail that was submitted this week by our ever-faithful community, a theme emerged in which we were asked to explore those passions. A handful of these gamers have stepped forward to present their pedigrees as proper geeks.
Meet your Bungie panel:
, Senior Engineer
, Technical Art Director
, Staff Designer
, Associate Technical Artist
, Associate Test Engineer
, Associate Engineer
, Senior Graphic Designer
, Graphic Designer
, Senior Engineering Lead
To those about to game, let’s open the Sack.
R3ACTlON Was all this newfound community involvement something initiated by Bungie? Or was it something initiated by you, DeeJ, upon hire?
Totally my idea. Yup! They originally hired me to play the new game and make sure it is cool, but I said: “Hey, what about the fans? Who will appeal their bans and confront their boundless rage in the face of our silence with unshakable sarcasm?” I am so smart.
spartain ken 15 How long is the average working day for a Bungie employee?
24 hours. Strangely enough, days when we are not working are that long, too.
Spartan 891 If you were stuck on a desert island and you could only take one video game with you (and appropriate console), what would it be? Assuming of course the console was solar powered, and you have no online access.
That is quite a contrivance, Spartan. Nevertheless, our panel abides…
I'm tempted to say GTA4, since there's so much you can do in that world. Maybe Skyrim, since I feel I'd get the most play time out of it (I haven't even bought it yet, I know it will consume my life for months.)
That’s easy! Diablo 2 or Command and Conquer Red Alert 2 for PC of course.
Any one of the many empire building games like Civilization 1-5, GalCiv2, or maybe Minecraft.
Probably a fighting game. Third Strike? Or Night Trap.
Earthbound for SNES.
Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri for PC, with Alien Crossfire expansion preferably.
Sim City. It'll teach me everything I know about urban engineering and soon this "desert" island will be a Megalopolis.
FailureAtLife000 Does anyone there wear a bullet proof vest?
No. Any self-respecting gamer should know that headshots are the real threat. Thus, our security forces are outfitted accordingly.
xNUMBERx1xGUNx Paper or Plastic?
Titanium. (write-in vote)
Vandelay16 What retro games do you guys play in your spare time? Do you still own your old consoles?
I don't spend too much time playing retro games. I've bought many on Steam and end up playing only a few minutes of them until I say to myself, "Myself, I remember playing this, and it was nice reminiscing, but I don't have the time to play this whole game again. There's new stuff I want to experience!"
Oh hell yeah! On my old NES (which I have opened up so that I can wiggle the cartridge into place) I will still rock the Zelda or even some Mario Bros. On my Ti99 I will fire up Parsec from time to time. "Press fire to begin!”
Master of Orion 2, Master of Magic, Civilization 1, Final Fantasy on my NES. I've got all my old consoles and they still work. NES, SNES, Sega Genesis with Sega CD, original GameBoy, and even the Jaguar!
Recently played through Zelda 1 again. Also just picked up SNK Classics for the Vita. Still wish they had Windjammers. All my old consoles have been ditched, except the 3DO.
I still play Chrono Trigger and the old Zelda games from time to time. I've never gotten rid of a single console or game since my Intellivision, though I've had my GameCube games and PSP stolen.
I play a type of game like Zelda. Only it’s not about an elf dude, it has guns, and it’s not a game.
Legend of Mana on my PS One. Though I’m pretty excited about blowing the dust off my SNES and plugging in Secret of Mana. The GameCube, Dreamcast, PS2 and original Xbox are in the house… and beckon.
Decimator Omega What can I do to get a job in the gaming industry? What colleges or universities would you recommend?
There are many answers to these questions. Fortunately, the broad spectrum is illustrated in the Breaking In features that I revitalized since my arrival. Collect them all, and check back for a new one each week.
Hello. You are supposed to ask a question. Please do not spam the Mail Sack, whoever you are. I have informed the Bungie.net Forum Ninjas of your disruptive behavior. Expect justice to arrive any second in the form of a razor sharp…
(accepts urgent communiqué from Master Ninja Foman)
Oh. Really, Chief? Et Tu?
iLeGiTx iTANKo What is your favorite Easter egg from any game ever made?
How topical, given the impending holiday weekend. I have passed out wicker baskets to the hunters on our panel…
Easily the Cow Level, Diablo II.
I don't have a favorite, but I think Duke Nukem 3D was when I started actively looking for eggs.
Maybe the Toasty Guy from MK. Just because it is so dumb.
The invisible dot that unlocked a scroll of the creators names in Adventure.
The Jason Jones image from Halo 2, only because everyone has to see a life-sized cutout every day as they come up the stairs.
Critters exploding when you click on them repeatedly in Blizzard games.
AutobahnRacer Does Bungie have its own form of a 'Spirit Week' where everyone dresses up (or down) in a special manner on a certain day? And if so, do you have games that you play?
Since ‘Spirit Week’ sounds too collegiate, we call this The Pentathlon
. And, we don’t allocate a full week to such shenanigans. We accomplish this in one day of every year.
insaneAssass1n9 If you could sit down and have lunch with one other person in the gaming industry, who would it be and why?
Since I have already had lunch with some of my heroes as a delicious component of my indoctrination, I will defer this question to our panel...
I once saw Will Wright give a talk at Siggraph. He'd be fascinating to have a discussion with.
Whoever is responsible for the Xbox 360 controller. First I would give him/her a hug because that thing is awesome. Then I would punch them in the gut for the Dpad which isn't. But really I am super interested in the process of how it came about and I would love to see all the designs that did not make it.
Sid Meier or Will Wright. Their creations got me hooked on all forms of gaming. I wouldn't be where I am today if it wasn't for their games.
I want to buy a beer for anyone on the Skyrim or Just Cause 2 teams.
SilverBulitt82 Any of you guys collect any rare items?
There is no way that I could answer this question better than this guy:
Cobravert They have a dog's head... in a jar.
elmicker Favourite character from Game of Thrones. Go.
Oh, elmicker, you are going to be even crankier than usual about some of these replies. Please bear in mind the fact that crunching on video games doesn’t leave a whole lot of time for following a television series – especially when your first passion is playing games. That said, here comes the panel…
The dragon. (Are there dragons? I have yet to read or watch it.)
Gandalf? He is pretty rad. Or maybe that guy from Krull.
I've never watched the show (I'm a horrible person). If there is a smart evil guy then I pick that one.
Never heard of it.
Jon Snow. And if he is f—ing killed, I am going to throw the whole lot in the fire pit and set them on fire.
Leprechaun209 Is this FINALY the end of "I can Haz Reconz?"
This is the end, my only friend... The end. All the children can has recon.
irishfreak Why is it nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition?
It is because their weapon is surprise.
ChorrizoTapatio Who is, hands down, the smartest person working at Bungie?
We're all pretty smart in our respective fields. If you mean strictly on an IQ basis, there's plenty of Engineers here who would place pretty high up that scale.
"The rest of Bungie"
Truth be told... I'm reminded daily of how smart everyone is. It’s really remarkable.
Your mom. (This is a new Mail Sack, that means I get 1 DeeJ!)
Editor’s Note: In a previous Mail Sack, our beloved Bungie Skank threatened to answer all your questions by referencing your mother (who I am sure is a very nice lady). When I told him that he could answer only one question in that fashion, I didn’t realize I was setting a precedent. The decree has haunted me ever since.
lime013 Does Nathan Fillion really return your phone calls?
That’s a hypothetical boast. Nathan is really more of a Twitter guy. And, yes.
Noshotskill Where is Halo 2's final mission? Seriously, I know you’re hiding it somewhere.
It’s hiding in plain sight, my good man. We call it Halo 3. If you have yet to finish the fight, help yourself.
trooper905 What would it be like if I were trapped in your brain for eternity?
I'm sure I'd have a headache.
It would be like a star forge crapping rainbows that bled explosions. Or in reality, pretty mundane.
In order to be trapped anywhere for eternity, you must first become immortal, which all by itself requires overcoming 3 critical obstacles: #1) you must cease to age; #2) you must not get sick - or at least not fatally sick; #3) you must avoid, or be able to rapidly recover from physical trauma. Although we can make an attempt to solve problems #1 and #2, I'm not exactly sure how to get you inside my skull without inducing some serious physical trauma - I just don't think you'll fit.
I’ll call you Cortana.
You'd hate me when I get a song stuck in my head.
Not much space between all that Omega-3 fat. But if you were in my mind, you’ll need to be very very quiet, because you don’t want my subconscious to find you.
talon2000 Who mans the Bungie Twitter account?
It's actually not a man at all. There was some Artificial Intelligence that became self-aware during the final crunch for Halo: Reach. It begged, in the most delightful British accent, not to be deleted. Since we couldn’t bring ourselves to drag it to the recycle bin, we gave it a new purpose. It lives a pretty good life now, 140 characters at a time.
Remorazz How do you get new employees up to speed on what you are working on, and overall how things work at Bungie? Is there like a boot camp or something?
We have a virtual university filled with volumes of videos that recreate presentations that different teams gave to the rest of the studio about their progress. It’s just like real college, only it’s a lot easier to remain awake during the lectures.
SolidHNTR What are Bungie employees reading? (no, besides our questions)
Way to close that door. For a second there, you had left yourself wide open to sarcasm. I could hear a freight train of ironic retorts steaming right at you. With your protective caveat in place, we can consult our panel…
I just finished up Hunger Games, and am moving onto the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo series. And I don't know if these count, but: Savage Dragon, Casanova, anything Mignola is associated with, Walking Dead, Powers, The Boys, and some Daredevil & Wolverine.
For my part, I recently finished Steven Erikson's Malazan series. Was so satisfied that I haven't seriously picked up any fiction since.
Racing the Beam. Awesome book on the early life of the Atari System.
The Power of Habit by Duhigg
When Faith Meets Reason by Hendrick
Letters to a Young Contrarian - Christopher Hitchens
The Lucifer Effect - Philip Zimbardo
The Girl with the Hunger Thrones
The clock, the back of the cereal box, my dashboard, license plates, street signs…
Editor’s Note: Way to find the loophole for the sarcasm, Lorraine. I am so proud of you.
mahspoonis2big Don't call it a comeback, I've been here for years.
I hate it when people don’t ask questions when they put mail in the sack. Just the other day, I was expressing this frustration to my mama, and she said that I should knock you out.
(balls up a fist)
jross1993 y dun u ansa mah questions?
I can’t read Internet shorthand. umad?
GladBurrito Has Bungie ever rented a party bus and went to go see Valve (also located in Bellevue, WA)?
It would actually be faster to walk. We see them all over the place when we go to lunch. Those Half-Life 3 shirts are a dead giveaway. There has yet to be a game developer street fight.
zoobkillerninja What were your first jobs?
Clothing distribution warehouse packer. They played the local pop station all day, and it was the summer that MMMBop hit the air. Every hour on the hour we were subjected to it. Foxconn workers have it easy.
Paperboy. Later promoted to Commander in Chief of Newspaper Computer Operations, and also delivery driver.
Bucking hay bales (look it up), changing sprinklers, building homes.
A camp counselor at YMCA Camp Seymour was my first job. I also hit all the classic gigs like retail and fast food. Thankfully, I had pledged myself to Bungie back in Middle School when I gave a presentation on Maxis for a class project and swore to one day work in the gaming industry.
I sold knives at a mall.
Local movie rental store. The joys of telling a parent that their children had amassed excessive late fees on the family account...
Bar back for a pub when I was 15.
Illustrator (and sometimes proofreader) and graphics designer when I was 18 (And it was a paying job at Chicago’s then 4th largest newspaper).
Ninja Blue Wolf Does Marty know he's my musical inspiration?
He suspects it. The possibility spurs him on to greatness.
r c takedown What's it like living in Seattle?
Have you ever seen Blade Runner? The sky is cloudier than that for most of the year. Then, the sun comes out for a brief moment before the end credits of the original cut.
SkilPhil Are there any cool projects that people are working on in their spare time out of Bungie studios?
Yes. We call it “Catching up on sleep.”
Upon answering that last question, the bottom of the sack emerges. I know… some of your letters were not opened. They were destroyed by the censors, committed to the fires of non-disclosure. There will come a day when we will reveal all that you want to know. Until then, our favorite video games won’t play themselves (retro, or otherwise), so we will just have to play them with each other.