Bungie History
The Juggernougat


The Chicago mob moved onto a brand-new franchise. Made up mostly of the Marathon team, the group switched gears dramatically, but smoothly. Lots of players were expecting another first-person shooter. What they got was a Real Time Strategy game so innovative; they invented a new genre for it: Real Time Tactical. As obscure genre subcategories go, it's no Panic-Action-Horror, but it's nice when your game defies description for a good reason.

Myth: The Fallen Lords was the game of course, and its mix of (still) impressive realtime 3D graphics, online battles, fast, intuitive gameplay and smartly defined characters rocketed it to success. To date, Myth has sold over 350,000 units and continues to enjoy an almost rabid following. It was released to massive critical acclaim on Mac and PC simultaneously – another Bungie first.

And Bungie's pioneering networking technology continued apace, with the standard-setting Bungie.net online gameplay service. Its success spawned an equally impressive sequel – Myth II: Soulblighter, and as anyone who's had their soul blighted by its improved online play and graphics can tell you, it's roundly considered a pinnacle of online gaming.

Bungie "Vivisectionist" Rob McLees, describes a necessary move from the crappy Halsted Street office to the slightly less crappy and much bigger Ontario Street (still in Chicago ) office, saying, "The move to the Ontario street office was like Battlestar Galactica.  We did have movers, but we also moved a lot of stuff in our own vehicles – I wish I still had my Bel Air for that.  It was like moving out of your dorm with all your college buddies into a slightly less junky dorm with fewer rats, but with more leaks."

Jaime Griesemer's first days at Bungie were pretty typical of early Bungie career paths. "My break into game design came when the Myth news website I ran in college got me a job as an in-house beta-tester at Bungie.  Within three days I had determined that designing levels was a lot more fun than testing them, so I started working on multiplayer maps for Myth II under the auspices of 'testing the tools'.  Nobody really bought that excuse, but the maps turned out ok and I was doing things nobody else had time to do, so they let me keep doing it."

Bungie kept doing it too, 1996 was the year Bungie hired musician Marty O'Donnell – a man known as much for his cat-like virility as his famous Flintstones Kids ad jingle. Marty also wrote several Mr. Clean jingles before noticing that the sound of monks chanting was more romantic.

Marty himself describes his first job for Bungie, "Late '96 I was working on audio for my first game project, Riven, and I dropped an email to Bungie to let them know I was available if they needed me. Tuncer Deniz answered my inquiry and had me come over and meet the guys. I started working on sound design for Myth: The Fallen Lords soon after that. Originally that game wasn't going to have narration or music, but I changed their minds."

Marty also claims to have invented the Microwave oven, tweeters and frivolous litigation, but counts Myth among his greatest creations.