Bungie Mail Sack 8.0
Posted by DeeJ at 3/9/2012 9:24 AM PST


Like any great team, Bungie is the sum of its individuals.  Between those very same individuals, there exists healthy rivalries, expressions of mutual inspiration, moments of celebration, and a secret desire to use one another as a human shield in the event of a zombie apocalypse.  In opening the letters that tumbled from the Mail Sack this week, a theme emerged about how Bungie employees feel about one another.  Here are the individuals who agreed to open their hearts and reveal their deepest feelings about their fellow developers.

Sam Arguez, Producer
Chris Carney, Senior Designer
Andrew Davis, Artist
David Gasca, Senior Test Engineer
Tom Gioconda, aka Achronos
Nate Hawbaker, Associate Technical Artist
Luke Ledwich, Test Engineer
Michael Williams, Senior Engineer
Ben Wommack, Associate Production Engineer

Hello, gentle friends.  Let’s open the Sack.

dmg04  Before Bungie, what was your "epiphany" moment. What brought you to the conclusion that you wanted to do what you're doing now?

I was undecided about pursuing a more technical oriented graphics rendering position or a more art-focused position. The moment I had instant clarity is when I saw a job listing *cough*, on bungie.net. The list of criteria for the position I now hold was quite literally everything I loved to do. Until that moment, I didn't realize that such a hybrid position existed.
Nate Hawbaker

Watching Jurassic Park had me hooked on the idea that I wanted to be in entertainment, creating something amazing out of thin air. It was a round-about journey to get from dinosaurs to interface art.
Andrew Davis

I was in the fourth grade, and we had been assigned to do a project based on the book Old Yeller. My partner and I ended up writing a small BASIC program that printed an ASCII dog onto the screen. Looking back, it was a really silly little thing to have made, but at the time I was amazed that we had been able to create a program that created art. Shortly afterwards, I stumbled across a book in the library about creating adventure games. From that point onwards, I knew I wanted to make games.
Michael Williams

I decided I was going to work in the industry when I was 10, while reading the Chrono Trigger manual in the car on the way home from Toys R Us. The good feelings that game gave me, even before I started playing, made working on videogames seem like the best way to live a happy life.
Ben Wommack

Watching my dad make a 20 pixel helicopter shoot a 4 pixel rocket across our Commodore 64 at home.
Luke Ledwich

EZcompany2ndsqd  For those who are I guess newer at Bungie, How does it feel not just to be a fan anymore? But a Fan and a worker at Bungie?

As someone who is (I guess) newer at Bungie, I am going to hoard this question from the panel and enjoy it all by myself.  The feeling is just as surreal as you would expect.  On any given day, you can be walking the floor and cross paths with someone you remember from countless ViDocs or media appearances that you scrutinized over a decade of waiting for Halo titles.  Other people speak names when they introduce themselves that you had only read in print previously.  It can be hard to maintain your dignity in line for coffee, and you never want to make excited eye contact in the restroom.  With this sense of awe comes a self-imposed burden of responsibility.  When you come into Bungie from the realm of fandom, you bring with you a mission to keep the Bungie community experience as cool as it ever was.

Hylebos  What's the strangest or most humorous glitch or error that you've encountered in one of your games during development?

There have been lots of those, but I still think one of the better glitches was the Halo: Combat Evolved Marine using a Needler to taunt (shoot at) the body of a dead Elite... only to cause the needles to super-combine and kill the taunting marine. Particularly in the Keyes escort mission when Keyes did it.
Tom Gioconda


Look in my two eyes.
Andrew Davis


Not exactly a glitch, but during the development of Sandtrap, the Elephant was given temporary sound effects until we could hook up the real assets. It was amazing fighting on the map and suddenly hearing the distant sound of Herb Alpert's "Spanish Flea" getting louder and louder, as the Elephant approached.
Michael Williams


On Reach, in New Alexandria, one of the civilians went all ET when she took damage.
Sam Arguez


I've been waiting to show this off for years.  During ODST, there was a content bug where Dare's textures were mismatched, creating a horrific demon in human skin with white eyes and a mouth on her ponytail.
Ben Wommack

Watching the entire studio crash from the balcony.  You can’t help but laugh, watching every monitor turn an angry red.
Luke Ledwich

Anonym0us  Who is the one person at Bungie that everyone can look to for inspiration or advice on any subject?

ONE person? It wouldn't be Bungie if we couldn't go to just about EVERYONE here for inspiration and advice. (Anyone who answers otherwise is off my list.)
Andrew Davis

Every day, I'm surprised at how wide everyone's skill set is. Traditionally, an engineer will have excellent knowledge of just engineering. This is the only working environment I've been in where I can discuss rendering costs with a concept artist, and artistic merits with an engineer. I think it's that constant edge-bleeding of abilities that helps us craft extremely informed problem solving and innovation.
Nate Hawbaker

Marty. He's certain to have an opinion on whatever you need. Admittedly, the advice may not be good advice, but it will always be inspirational.
Tom Gioconda

One of the joys of working here is that you can start up a conversation with anyone, and come away with amazing ideas. For the purposes of the question, I'll just choose someone recent I had a conversation with: Steve Lopez. He has a huge range of knowledge on tons of topics.
Michael Williams

Joshua Rodgers, once Production Engineer turned Tools Engineer. I maintain he knows everything and only holds back information so we children may better ourselves through self-discovery.
Ben Wommack

Probably Pete Parsons.  It’s always inspiring to see someone cheerful in any situation.
Luke Ledwich

defnop552  Does Pete Parsons still work at Bungie?

I love it when you guys cancel each other out.

AcedannyK 7  Does the studio celebrate employee birthdays at Bungie? If so, how?

On any given day, the eerie silence might be broken by a jubilant cry similar to “Hey everyone! It’s Acedanny’s Birthday!”  This always triggers an enthusiastic round of applause all across the sprawling maze of desks.  Coincidently, dropping something heavy on the floor is answered with the same response.  All of these stories are true.

Big Black Bear  Historically, developers and testers make up one of the bitterest adversarial relationships known to man... How would you classify that relationship at Bungie?

When you crave context for the test culture that rules the march of progress at Bungie, you debrief one David Gasca, who is at this moment doing me the favor of clearing this very Sack of typos and dangerous misinformation.  Let’s see if he will notice this gap in our conversation and fill in the blanks:

One of the best things about being in test at Bungie is that the testers work very closely with everyone here - much more closely than many other places I’ve worked. Test is involved in a lot features from almost the very beginning. We sit in on spec reviews, we give feedback, watch the feature come online, then test the crap out of it. It’s very common to see testers and engineers hanging out at each other’s desks talking about bugs, or new features coming online. Regardless of discipline, the goal is to make sure we have the best possible product go out the door. People from all disciplines appreciate that, it makes it easy to work together. That doesn’t mean we haven’t seen our share of snide comments in the thick of crunch.

burritosenior  Who designed Blood Gulch and who named it?

Look at you, Burrito!  You finally asked a Blood Gulch question that doesn’t make me roll my eyes.  When you crave trivia about classic Halo multiplayer maps, you make a pilgrimage to the oracle that is known to the faithful as Chris Carney.  I made this trek, just for you, into the fabled canyon of scorched earth.  Here are the historical gems that he dragged from the depths of his war-torn mind:

I designed the ground, roads, hills, and cliffs and also did the finishing of the Gulch.  However, someone else did the bases (I just textured those) and slapped a name on it.  If I had to guess, I would say it was Hardy LeBel.

SPARKSFLY2000  How can I hold lightning in my hand like you?

Were you not warned against playing with electricity as a child?  Yeah, neither were we.  Our halls are filled with brave developers who monkey with the destructive forces of nature every day.  We are always seeking equally foolish souls on our Careers Page.  Give it a read.  Do any of those Required Skills remind you of your special gifts?  If not, you could always fly a kite adorned with a key.  Or, seek education in an arena of relevant study that represents a cherished passion that we can exploit.

All of humanity  Who are the unsung heroes at Bungie?

I thought this would be an infinite regress of who is responsible for allowing other people to work, until I got to Jerome. I think it could be said that anyone at the studio may not be here if it weren't for preventative measures taken by Jerome.
Nate Hawbaker

The testers. I'm fairly certain they're going to kill us all one day, given that they have to deal with all manner of craziness being thrown at them constantly.
Tom Gioconda

Probably our Admins and HR. They keep us running. Without them there's no way we'd survive.
Andrew Davis

The test team isn't unsung, but the song can always be sung louder. I think the quality and drive of our test team is one of the most important factors to our success. Another relatively unsung group of heroes is the Audio team, who has often ended up working the most brutal crunch cycles, due to the narrow window where audio gets finalized before release. They work amazingly hard.
Michael Williams

Definitely the admin, HR, and security staff - pretty much everyone who doesn't actually work on games. The reason the rest of us can focus so much on projects is because they're handling all of the other work details so well. We would starve without them.
Ben Wommack

The Snack Fairies
Luke Ledwich

EAGLES5  What kinds of magazines do you guys read in the break room?

What’s a break?  For that matter, what is a magazine?  Do you mean those things that feed bullets into rifles?  Doesn’t sound like very good reading to me.

RigZ Boi  My hate for you is stronger than a mother bear's love for her new-born cubs. Thoughts?

I think that you suck at metaphors.  If you wanted to talk hate, you should have alluded to the fact that father bears eat their newborn cubs, so that they won’t compete with him for their mother’s attention.  That might have wounded me where my esteem resides.  The way you phrased it enabled me to run home to fond memories from my childhood, in which I was raised by bears.

coolmike699  What's the strangest thing a fan has ever sent you?

I haven't seen anything too odd from fans, they're usually extremely awesome. We still have poetry sent in from a fan hanging in our kitchen - it's great!
Nate Hawbaker

Lots of poems, raging voicemails, poorly-worded attempts at death threats, slabs of meat and other foodstuffs could suffice for an answer; but the strangest/most memorable was probably the crate of alcohol from someone who wanted to get rid of his booze but didn't want to just throw it away. Security "confiscated" the open containers. Riiiiight.
Tom Gioconda

If I remember this correctly, it was just after Halo 2 when we got a package from France. In it were a few Barbie and Ken dolls, messily dressed up and painted as Cortana and some Marines. There were notes scratched on a few pieces of paper in French, but the most disturbing part were the photos of the dolls they included... I'll leave it at that.
Andrew Davis

At some point, our Spanish-speaking fan-base decided that I spoke Spanish (I do not). I could only stare bemusedly at my XBL messages, and regret that I couldn't read their (presumably) kind words. I'm still not entirely sure where they got the idea, but I still get occasional messages to this day.
Michael Williams

I think the incoherent Xbox LIVE messages are the strangest.
Luke Ledwich


The custom-made, life-size cake of Master Chief's helmeted head, which probably cost hundreds of dollars to have commissioned. No one wanted to try eating any because it was so weird.
Ben Wommack

Koolen  What is beyond the boundary of space itself?

Stuff, I guess.  Isn’t stuff the opposite of space?  Don’t we always say that we need more space for our stuff?

insaneAssass1n9  If you could switch jobs with one other Bungie employee, assuming you had the required skill set for that job, who would you switch with and why?

Probably one of the concept artists, because I really do wish I had their required skill set. They do beautiful work.
Andrew Davis

Dan Miller, one of our senior designers, and creator of the infamous trench run at the end of Halo 3. His work always seems to be among my favorite parts in any of our games.
Ben Wommack

I've always been in awe of the concept artists on our team. The quality of their work and the speed at which they create images is incredible. I'd love to have the ability to take the scenes I see in my head, and turn it into images (rather than my current line-art scribbling).
Michael Williams

There's this guy, I'm not sure if you're familiar with him, I think he goes by DeeJ. From what I can tell from my observations, he spins in his chair all day whilst occasionally muttering deeply existential questions to himself. That seems like a pretty solid gig.
Nate Hawbaker

Editor’s Note:  I only do that when one of you posts something mean or stupid on the forum.

Malfar  Has anyone there ever secretly wished that Bungie was located in a milder climate?

As someone who just migrated here from Chicago, where it was -20 degrees in the winter and 100 degrees in the summer, I would say that a climate that is 40 degrees and rainy for nine months out of any year is pretty freaking mild.

BeguiledEnd  Gimme ALL YO CASH FOO!

This is not a question.  While a request in nature, it is more like a command.  And, No.

HWJohn  If each employee had the choice of one weapon and one fellow employee to use as a human shield to protect him/her self from the zombie apocalypse, what would their choices be?

My weapon would be an anti-zombie raygun. With that, I wouldn't need a human shield.
Andrew Davis

Weapon: A light tank loaded up with a lot of fuel. Don't even worry about the main gun, just roll over the top of the zombie hordes on your way to shelter. Make sure to have some machine gun rounds available just-in-case.
Human Shield: Robt McLees - Our resident zombie expert. If I've got him with me, I estimate my chances of survival increase 5000%. Plus, if the tank is a terrible idea, he will let me know.
Michael Williams

I'd take a gravity hammer to knock back the hordes, and enlist Dom, our resident test guru, as my shield. Because Dom is a robot, and doesn't need to eat, sleep, or leave the office, he will be immune to infection.
Ben Wommack

I think a good old fire axe.  Anything else would run out of ammo. I would probably choose Andrew Harrison for the human shield.  Once he had out lived his usefulness (or turned), I am sure I could outrun his gimpy knee.
Luke Ledwich

Anybody not saying "shotgun" here for their weapon is both wrong and possibly already a zombie.
Tom Gioconda

Poy Poy  How about a mandatory 10 minutes a day where all of the employees roam the forums?

How about a video game that will never be ready for anyone to play?

antony X1000  Is the studio pretty much one big open room, like the previous one was?

I don’t answer questions about our facility unless bribed.

(Opens next letter, with contains a question and a crisp twenty dollar bill.)

Lekesa  Do you still have limited walls to create an open environment?

We do still have limited walls to create an open environment.  Good question!  Here is a view of our studio from the About Us page of Bungie.net.  You can browse the rest of them as they auto-load on the page.



When I tell my friends back home about what is like to work at Bungie, I describe our space as a Day Care Center on a Star Destroyer.  The development floor is a magical place, bristling with screens that display wonders that would get me terminated faster than a freedom fighter from the future if I were to tell you about them.  The great thing about where we work is that people always have access to one another to share ideas or to dig each other’s work.

HEDGE 071  What is the greatest compliment a team member can receive from others working in the studio?

If you look up and discover someone behind you, just staring at the stuff you've got running on your screen, you know that you've done something well. When a crowd starts naturally gathering around someone’s desk, you know that something amazing has been created.
Michael Williams

"That's going in game!?" ...said with positive connotations, of course.
Nate Hawbaker

I really liked the bottle of whiskey that showed up on my desk after a pretty grueling milestone deadline. I think I teared up a little.
Andrew Davis

That's a tough one; it's different for so many people. The most general compliment would be something like "He / she gets stuff done." The idea that the rest of the team can rely upon a person without concern or question.
Ben Wommack

JABBERWOCK xeno  Any chance once we get weekly updates going again, we could have a weekly Q&A as well?

That’s it.  I quit.

(drops the mic on the stage – walks off)

Fear not, Bungie Community.  I will likely regret my hasty resignation in the morning, and beg for my old job back.  That’s means that the Mail Sack will return next week, starved for your usual tidal wave of interrogation.  Keep your eyes trained on Bungie.net, or our point of presence on your social networking channel of choice to be alerted about your next chance to put us to the question.
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

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Happy Holidays. Love, Bungie. 

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

Peace on Earth?

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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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