Q. A millions things? That's a lot of stuff to noodle. What do you do in your spare time to wind down and keep yourself inspired?
A. I’m Sam and I’m an Associate Producer. As a part of the production team, I help the art team make a plan for how they can complete all of their work. Once that plan is made, I track the overall progress on things like concepts, environments, and other art assets as they get built. A lot of my job is just keeping a million things in my head at once to make sure that things come together correctly. I spend a lot of time putting people in a room and not letting them out until they make decisions about ridiculous things like whether roads in the future are made of metal or asphalt (turns out it’s a little of both). Between all that, I try to solve the little annoying problems that get in the way of people doing their work…and sometimes I bring donuts on Thursdays.
A. For hobbies, I play a lot of games, I play guitar and bass, and I try to read when I can. Inspiration is a harder one to pin down. I’m inspired by all kinds of different art, from game art, to traditional media. I’m inspired by tons of music and I’m also constantly inspired by things that exist in nature. There’s nothing better than standing on a mountain and looking out at the earth around you and feeling on top of the world (Hey, what do you know! Seattle has lots of mountains and hiking trails!). That makes you happy to be alive.
Q. Mountains and happiness - two very lofty goals. Let's step back a bit. Complete the following sentence as you would have at twelve years of age: When I grow up I want to be...
A. ...a brain surgeon.
Q. What did your High School Guidance Counselor suggest you pursue in an attempt to keep your head on straight?
A. A career in science.
Q. Did you end up taking the more traditional career path and earning a college diploma?
A. I have a bachelor’s degree in Bioenvironmental Science from Texas A&M, but then I decided that wasn’t for me so I quit my job and went to The Guildhall at SMU and studied art.
Q. Multifaceted. And how did you make first contact with Bungie?
A. I was sick so I had taken the day off of work. In my half-sick stupor I was browsing the internet and, on a whim, I sort of randomly checked Bungie.net to see if they were hiring. I saw that there was an associate producer position open that I felt like I was really qualified for. I had previously worked at another studio with someone who now works at Bungie, and I asked them if they knew anything about the open position. They told me just to send in my resume, so I did, and that’s pretty much what got the ball rolling.
Q. What did you bring along to the interview loop besides a viral outbreak?
Q. Not a thing? Seems quite Spartan (get it). Do you remember anything in particular about the interview process itself?
A. I was sitting above an AC vent so I was freezing for most of the interview, but I didn’t want to let on that I was uncomfortable. (As a side note, my desk is on top of one of the same type of vents now, so I guess it was a prelude of things to come). My legs were shaking because I was so cold, but I was desperately trying to hold still so that they wouldn’t notice. I remember I interviewed with a lot of different people from various disciplines, some of whom were very high in the company. Even though it was tough, at the end of the day instead of feeling tired and drained, I felt charged and excited. Getting to talk to such amazingly talented people got me excited just to be there.
Q. Now that you find yourself right smack in the middle of that excitment (and right smack on top of an air conditioning vent), sum up what it's like to work at Bungie in a single sentence.
A. Working at Bungie is constantly challenging because there are so many talented people around you that it makes you push yourself to higher places, but that’s also what makes it so rewarding...that and we have beer in our kitchen at all times.
Q. Any advice for aspiring applicants who think they're ready to take on the challenge (and the frigid output of the AC vent)?
A. Bring a pad to write down everyone’s name and what they do. It will give you a better idea of who you are talking to. Make sure you prepare properly and know your stuff. Chances are, you’ll be talking about the same things with lots of different people (and don’t think they won’t discuss your answers later) so if you try and bull-blam!- your way out of an answer, it’s going to show. It’s better to just be as honest as you can.
Big thanks to Sam for taking time out and adding us to his extensive mental list of "Things to be done." Now that the interview has come to a close, we urge him to purge the memory - he's got a million more important things to set his mind to. We'll preserve his insightful thoughts here in the Bungie.net archives for posterity.
If you think you could add some of your own insight and honesty to Bungie, and want to try your hand at juggling more than a few mental objects, take a few moments to check out our Jobs
page. Though it seems it might help to be viral when you click, it's certainly not a requirement. If you do manage to score an interview, make sure you bring a notepad and maybe even a coat.