Mail Sack 16
Posted by DeeJ at 5/4/2012 1:49 PM PDT


Life at Bungie is governed by cycles. Production schedules culminate in milestones that add up to new and more exciting phases of development. On a smaller scale, the cycle of a work week is brought to a triumphant close with the publication of a Mail Sack, just like the one you are about to read right now. Like everything that we produce at Bungie, this article is the result of artists and engineers working together to create something that we hope our community will love.

Check out the development team that made this interactive experience possible.

Brad Fish, Senior Engineer
Nate Hawbaker, Associate Technical Artist
John Hopson, User Research Lead
Luke Ledwich, Test Engineer
Alex Loret de Mola, Engineer
John Shaffstall, Associate Engineer
John Stvan, Graphic Designer
Eric Will, Engineer
Tom Sanocki, Staff Artist
Lorraine McLees, Artist
Joe Venzon, Engineer

Thanks for the hard work this week, everyone. Let’s open the Sack.

CTN 0452 9 Who was the best James Bond?

Your question has resulted in the first ever Mail Sack poll. Having investigated the full company of actors who have committed themselves to being shaken (and not stirred), our panel has favored the Scot (pronounced: “shhhcot”).

Barry Nelson 0%
Sean Connery 59%
David Niven 0%
George Lazenby 5%
Christopher Cazenove 0%
Roger Moore 0%
Timothy Dalton 0%
Pierce Brosnan 23%
Daniel Craig 14%

The next time someone tells you that they like the original James Bond the best, ask them why they like Barry Nelson. Throw that little piece of trivia right in their face. You’ll be looking pretty smart. When they ask you how you grew to be so wise, tell them that you hang out on Bungie.net.

YodasCurd I live 15 minutes away from Bungie Studios in Kirkland. If i were to show up unannounced, what kind of treatment would I receive?



AllusedUp How fast can Jerome run?

Jerome doesn’t need to run. His forbidding glare can freeze anyone in their tracks. Then, he can just saunter right up to them and bounce them from the premises.

kosen13 DeeJ, We have someone else (see above question) to add to the suspicious characters list.

Good eye, kosen. Thanks for looking out for us. While we have that list handy, let’s put this next guy on there…

LordMonkey Is there a chance that a person with a criminal record could get a job there? Not that I have one.

Suuuuuuure, you don’t. You’re on the list…

HipiO7 What is one good thing and one bad thing that everyone at Bungie has in common?

Good: Community Showers
Bad: Community Showers
John Stvan

Good: Everyone's passionate about what they do and what we make here, which is a wonderful and amazing thing.
Bad: Well, everyone seems to always need to use the bathroom at the same time. Does that count?
Alex Loret de Mola

Good: They're all huge nerds.
Bad: They're all perfectionists. It's good for the final game, but it's occasionally frustrating on smaller issues.
John Hopson

edableshoe Tell Marty I'm still waiting to play trombone for him!

No. I will not say that to Marty.

Kr1egerdude What happens when two employees disagree about a feature in a game? Do they duke it out in a 1 vs. 1 Halo 2 match on Lockout?

Lockout, huh? While I am rarely an audience for these mediations, I get the impression that they are far more violent than a virtual duel in a sentimental arena from Halo 2. If we settled arguments in the game, the Testers would run the whole show. Although, now that I mention it, that would explain the meteoric rise to power of our studio head. I guess you are right. That must be exactly how it happens. Good deduction.

KUZOKU85 What would you suggest to someone who knows they want to be part of the video game industry but is not sure what they want to do?

Once you determine what it is you want to do, start working on side projects if you can't get your foot in the door at a game studio.
Alex Loret de Mola

Start making little games and you'll soon discover which parts you're really interested in.
John Shaffstall

Figure it out and find your passion. Make your own game and discover what part of the process interests you the most. Even a pen-and-paper game will suffice if you have no interest in programming.
Eric Will

Pick up a good book and some of the free tools that are available, and teach yourself to program. If you don't love it, you'll then know you don't want to be an engineer. That might help narrow things down a bit.
Brad Fish

Make your own video games. Some parts of the process will feel less like work than others.
John Hopson

Make a tiny game on your own. When you have to do everything yourself, you'll probably find yourself gravitating toward some parts of the process.
Joe Venzon

Try and be critical of the games you play, a strong opinion about a particular aspect usually indicates passion and interest. I also agree with making a game. Any game works, it was pretty obvious when I did this I was most interested in the programming.
Luke Ledwich

If you haven’t noticed, this engineer-heavy Mail Sack panel is going to ask you if you have made your own games if you ever cross paths with them during a dreaded Bungie interview loop.

OMARRCHR What's the most boring thing to do at Bungie?

This. Kidding! You did leave yourself wide open there, man.

SlashingArbiter How are birthdays celebrated at Bungie?

True story: When someone at Bungie completes another successful revolution around our local celestial body, one of their coworkers says (as loud as they can):
“Hey everybody, it’s __________________’s birthday!”
 
Then, everyone claps. Then, we get back to work.

SPRTN One One 7 Tell us about your favorite moment working at Bungie.

When Richenburg found out how secure the hanging seats were.
John Stvan

So far, it would have to be when Team Newbie was almost disqualified for memorizing the topic cards for Cranium at the Pentathlon. It resulted in the rules being changed on the fly. I believe Jerry Lawler said it best: "Win if you can, lose if you must, but always cheat." Not that it was cheating - no, no.
Alex Loret de Mola

(2/06/2010, 8:08PM: Bungie engineers are hard at work closing out issues for the Alpha playtest.)
Luke: "Hey Brad, check out bug 22614."
Brad: "Sure thing."
...
Brad: (perplexed) "What the...?"
===== Opened on 02/06/2010 08:08PM =====
ALPHA: Brad needs Klondike Bars, and we have none in the freezer

(shortly thereafter)
===== Resolved as Fixed on 02/06/2010 08:23PM =====
Regular and Heath varieties both in the freezer on the right, 2nd shelf from the bottom. Thanks, QFC!

This bug was reactivated numerous times over the next 4 months before ship.
Brad Fish

Plain Ben How are visual/game art ideas spread in game development? Who gets to decide what stuff looks like, or is it a group decision? Did you all gather round as someone just said 'Right, the Covenant are gonna have this whole purple thang going on'?

The creative and ideation process you are describing relies heavily on Military Grade Bacon.

Gamer Whale If Bungie managed to acquire some Military Grade Bacon, what would you do with it?

Great question. We would give it a job as a concept artist.

Arcane Phoenix What is your favorite recreational activity inside the building?

I would tell you, but this is a family friendly website.
John Stvan

Magic: The Gathering.
Alex Loret de Mola & John Shaffstall


Joe Venzon & Nate Hawbaker

westpointusma15 Does working on video games "ruin" them for you?

Don't feed the trolls.
John Stvan

Absolutely not. It only increases the appreciation I have for those who make them.
John Shaffstall

Only until you learn to shut off "bug fixing mode". Once you see behind the curtain, it can be cool to see the approaches that other game teams take.
Eric Will

If anything it makes me appreciate them even more, because I now understand how much work goes into them.
Brad Fish

I definitely find myself being more... critical. I admit this does take away from my enjoyment slightly.
"This UI convention makes no sense and offers no practical benefits!"
"Why is their specularity so extreme when it's only showing off the sampling limitations of their normal maps?!"
Nate Hawbaker

Yes, in a way. I can't play games without critiquing them to some degree, and I've always got a giant backlog of games I need to play to keep up with the field. I still enjoy them, but it's definitely different than before I worked in the industry.
John Hopson

In some ways it makes me pickier, but it also makes me more appreciative of the things done well, because I can recognize how hard they are and how much work went into each little feature.
Joe Venzon

I tend to be a little more critical of the games and less forgiving of bugs, but it in no way ruins a good game.
Luke Ledwich

coolmike699 Do you think video games should be considered art?

The essence of art has been defined as “the use of skill and imagination in the creation of aesthetic objects, environments, or experiences that can be shared with others.” I could apply those same words to a job description on our Careers page. Anyone who says that video games do not deserve to be regarded as art are going out of their way to demonstrate a basic lack of understanding for the medium of interactive entertainment. Either that, or they are just a snob who wishes that berets were still in style.

ibex1001 Have there been times when you have desperately wanted to talk to someone about Bungie's next game but couldn't?

Every day. Art is only complete when it is received, after all. By that account, you complete us.

FalleNxRegret As someone who is about to get a Bachelor of Computer Science degree what kind of personal projects should I look at taking on to gain experience that may someday help me get in the game software development field. What languages, platforms, tools, devices, etc. should I be playing with?

Ever hear of X-ray glasses? We want those. Get on it.
John Stvan

Languages: C, C++, Objective-C, C#, Java, Python and, most importantly, Javascript
Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android
Tools: Visual Studio, Xcode, Eclipse, Vim, Git, StackOverflow.com
Devices: iPhone, iPad, any Android phone, Kindle Fire
Build cool things, then show them to people
John Shaffstall

Pick something small and finish it. Make a simple game from scratch, or take an existing game engine or tool and modify it, or anything in between. It'll get you exposed to some of the problems a game developer encounters. But make sure you see it through the end. Don't take on too much initially. C++ is still the gold standard of the industry, but Java and C# can be useful to know as well. The hardware doesn't matter too much because it's constantly changing. Pick something current.
Eric Will

If you're serious about working on console game code, make sure you're sharpening your C++ skills. Beyond that, build a small game on your own! Pick a simple idea that you're interested in, and commit yourself to developing it as far as you can. It doesn't have to be big, fancy, or pretty, but it will stretch you in very beneficial ways.
Brad Fish

C#, WPF/XAML, MVVM conventions, Expression Design/Blend.
*Half of those are technical artist oriented, rather than traditional engineering.
Nate Hawbaker

More important than the language or platform is that you make a bunch of games! It doesn't matter how tiny or silly they are, get a bunch of completed game projects under your belt and you'll learn plenty. Secondarily, learning a language with manual memory management and then also learning a functional language will help make you a better programmer (and able to transition to just about any language/platform pretty quickly).
Joe Venzon

coolmike699 What happens to material that is cut from games? Why don't you do what movie studios do, and include it as a bonus feature of collector’s editions or other special editions of the game?

That’s a great idea.





AI carsaib How do you maintain your personal health during crunch? Is it possible?

I tell myself I'll go running on the weekend.
John Shaffstall

Start taking the stairs everywhere. Avoid the awesome kitchen as much as possible.
Eric Will

I spend 45 minutes walking in the nearby park during lunches. Actually eating during lunch is not super important to me since dinner is catered and usually large enough for 2 meals.
Brad Fish

Never breaking from a five day gym schedule, regardless of professional pressures.
Nate Hawbaker

I try to keep my running schedule up, but I usually fail.
Joe Venzon

Vegemite for the vitamins and Rum for the sanity.
Luke Ledwich

Insane Monx If I asked a question in a previous Mail Sack that didn't get answered, is there a chance of it getting answered in a future one?

It really depends on the question, doesn’t it? If you are asking about our next game, there will come a time to answer all of those questions. Someday. Here is a Mail Sack Pro Tip: If you don’t see your question answered, it is not recommended that you ask it again and again every week, thus growing angrier and angrier with us for ignoring you.

MasterSin What is Bungie willing to do in order to win our love?

We are willing neglect our own families and friends for months at a time, slaving over a cold keyboard to create for you a new universe. We are willing to study you and interact with you so that we may better understand how to blow your mind. We are willing to ban the people who are mean to you and make you cry. We are willing to employ an Assistant to the Community Manager who will cultivate delicious Internet time wasters to delight you while you pass the time on our website, waiting for us to spill our most recent crop of magic beans.

SkilPhil What's the most unusual item you've purchased online?

IGN Insider subscription. It was mostly just for the forum avatar and access to the 'Insider-only' boards like the PCGB. We were an elite clique of tools.
John Shaffstall

Robotic jellyfish from Japan. It swam in a fishbowl on my desk.
Tom Sanocki

2 pounds of silly putty.
John Hopson

Two hands. I was hoping for a matched set, but they were both right hands.
Lorraine McLees

{Image removed by censors}
Awwww....
John Stvan

That’s right, John. So much for your reverence for our family friendly website…

GPK Ethan As a developer, can you still be fans of the game you're creating? By that I mean do you still get giddy playing through the campaign or after learning new things about the game?

This is not an option at Bungie – it’s a requirement. We make games we want to play, after all. It is our passion for playing great games that drives us to create them. The day we stop caring about games, and the experience of the gamer, is the day that we should stop making them. You should see people run into the playtest labs here.  I just came from a Bungie Team Meeting, and the entire studio is buzzing with enthusiasm for what was put on display.

DDISAP If you had to watch 1 film, on loop, 24/7 for the rest of your lives - which film would it be?

Terminator 2
Eric Will

A Clockwork Orange, though I may want to avoid it since that scenario would result in me hating it.
Nate Hawbaker

The one playing before my eyes right now. But I heard it loops right about when my neurons stop firing, so as of right now it's been looking kinda neat.
Lorraine McLees


John Stvan

I am allowing John to share this with you as an invitation into my own personal hell. When he wants to drive me closer to my inevitable nervous breakdown, he reminds me that this song exists. For the rest of the day, it is all I can hear.

coolmike699 What do you think of my game collection?

I think you must have been really confused about what the heck was going on when you played Halo 3. To catch you up, in Halo 2, the Master Chief kills a lot of Covenant in a romp that leads from Earth and back again. He also misplaces Cortana along the way.

And, now we know where you sleep. So do all the people who are jealous of the fact that we answered so many of your questions, and none of theirs.

Get some rest. You will need it. Next week represents a whole new cycle, and it will kick off with another chance to ask us a question. Or, perhaps we will reverse the flow of the conversation, and put you – our beloved community – on the hot seat. However the events unfold, we will talk again soon.
New Beginnings 

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

Bungie.net has evolved...

Read Full Top Story

Tags: Community

   

Bungie.net Set to Read-Only Today 

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

Pardon our dust...

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

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

Tags: Community

permalink   

Happy Holidays. Love, Bungie. 

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

Peace on Earth?

Read Full Top Story

Tags: Community

   

We Wish You a Merry Mail Sack 

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

Goodwill towards mail...



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

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

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

Let’s open the Sack.


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

I made it through...

Ben Thompson, Engineer

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

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

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

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

Marriage!
Robert Kehoe, BVT Tester

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

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


Hylebos How is the Pentathlon shaping up?

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


Elem3nt 117 What is your New Year's Resolution?

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

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

Draw more.
Doug Juno, Artist

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

To get up earlier!
Andy Howell, Matchmaking Test Lead

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

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

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

Create more, consume less.
Michael Williams, Engineer

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

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

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

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


Ninja Blue Wolf Does Marty do lessons?

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


irishfreak Why won't you return my calls?

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


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

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

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

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

Offer him a drink.
Doug Juno, Artist

Release the Krampus!
Forrest Soderlind, Technical Artist

Demand gifts as payment for intrusion.
Leland Dantzler, Tester

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

Borrow his ride!
Christian Diefenbach, Engineering Lead

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

I’d pick one of the following:

Ben Thompson, Engineer

Bring back Firefly!
David Johnson, Engineer

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

Firefly.
Will Edgette, Engineer

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

Firefly.
Michael Williams, Engineer

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

Answers other than Firefly are wrong.
Tom Gioconda, Engineer

Wonderfalls!
Alex Loret de Mola, Engineer

Better Off Ted.
Leland Dantzler, Tester

Carnivale on HBO.
Doug Juno, Artist

Arrested Development.
Drew Smith, Producer

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Backseat of a Volkswagen.
Robert Kehoe, BVT Tester

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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




Duardo What was the best gift ever given to you?

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

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

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

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

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

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


Mike Shannon, Senior IT Engineer

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

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

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

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

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


Will Edgette, Engineer

Hope.
Leland Dantzler, Tester


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

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

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

To all a good night.

Tags: Community

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Friendship of Mythic Proportions 

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

Lean on me...

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

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



 Cheers to the big hearts at Bungie.org.  

Tags: Community

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