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The Ides of Mail Sack

If you’ve read your Shakespeare, or have seen it performed by your local community theatre, you know that today lives in infamy.{{more}} “Beware the ides of March” came the warning, and ignorance of that warning led an emperor to be stabbed in the back by a conspiracy of Senators. At Bungie, we love a good conspiracy. While we’re not plotting anything as grizzly as deposing a tyrant with a swarm of melee attacks, we are hatching a plan of our very own.

Like any good conspiracy, these maneuvers are best kept secret – at least, we think so. The most important element of any good plan of attack, after all, is surprise. You might harbor a desire for us to be as transparent as the occupants of a glass house, but that would destroy so much of the fun we could have together.

Until our next strike lands with deadly precision, we’ll keep on opening the Sack.



FirstClass  Will there be another trailer soon?
Are we there yet?


POKEY CLYDE  Can you tell the tale of an adventure you've had while playing Destiny?

No.
Lorraine McLees, Senior Graphic Designer

I loaded a build, shot a gun, killed a dude. I suck at stories.
John Stvan, Graphic Designer

This one time it was like “brrrt”, and then I was like “whoa” and then the guys were all “oh yeah!” I was like “Yeah, take that!” and then I had to get back to work.
Cameron Pinard, Artist

I found myself working with three separate groups of people at different times. That was pretty rad.
Jake Lauer, Engineer


Gunny 186  Is the team ready for the massive onslaught of players on Destiny's release day?
This isn’t our first rodeo. Bungie is no stranger to anxious mobs of players who rush home after a midnight launch and put our best-laid plans to the test. Since a release date hasn’t even been announced yet, we’ll let our team focus on some less frightening but equally important challenges.


ibex1001  What are some of the more tedious things that the testers have had to do, either for Halo or Destiny?

We had to test squad joining and host migration combinations mixed with various types of network disconnects.  I don’t want to have to go back into matchmaking or reform my squad because the host rage quit.
Rahsaan Green, Sandbox Test Engineer

Halo 2, simulating 14.4 modem bandwidth with massive packet loss, playing 16 player rockets on Midship.  The netcode held up remarkably well, considering.
Michael Williams, Senior Engineer

I still have nightmares about capturing 500 flags.
John Harris, Tester

All I am going to say is, “If They Came To Hear Me Beg.”
Travis Pijut, Test Engineer

I had to verify a bug that involved making 65 transitions from one area to another and back. It was… delightful.
Leland Dantzler, Tester

This rock has a bad texture, this rock has a bad texture, this rock has a bad texture, oh look a hole in the ground, this rock has a bad texture.
Thomas Wiley, Tester


GPK Ethan  What do you guys plan on showing at GDC?
The GDC is really more of an industry affair than a marketing venue. If that’s what you’re after, we’ve got some thoughts about what we might share from the proceedings. When last we checked in with Joe and Barry, their presentation was a whopping 157 slides long, and bursting with Bungie secret sauce.


Warman422  On those few moments where you aren't coding/playing Destiny, what do you enjoy doing?

Making fun of Urk.  
Drew Smith, Producer

Creating pixel art and sprites, often for roguelike games, under the pseudonym Oryx.
Christopher Barrett, Art Director

Some gaming, lately including Tomb Raider and Starcraft II.  Regular Magic: The Gathering over lunch at work is great fun too.
Tom Gioconda, Engineer

I like hanging out at home with my wife and kids.
Joe Sifferman, Associate Test Engineer

Maintaining tall-ships, playing Magic, creating puzzles, and reading books.
Michael Williams, Senior Engineer

I like to make beer and mead then consume the aforementioned product while playing my favorite video games.
Alan Stuart, Senior Engineer

Playing the violin and planning my wedding.
Reed Shingledecker, Artist

Writing, recording, and then never finishing songs in my home studio.
Jake Lauer, Engineer

Golfing, smoking premium cigars, and throwing tomahawks at people in black ops.
David Henry, Senior Audio Designer

Playing with my son.  He thinks handing me a cup and then taking it back is the coolest thing ever.  It never gets old.
Justin Truman, Engineering Lead


MastaSin  In Destiny, can we play as the aliens or are we locked to the human race? And if we are, why are we locked to the human race? What's the reason?
Not all of the aliens in Destiny are evil, just like not all humans are good. We’ve barely scratched the surface on the character and customization options you’ll have access to in Destiny, but we’re not going to dig in any deeper today.


Kickimanjaro  Introverts of Bungie: we hear that the office there is quite open, is it also open to give you some quiet time for solo thought and work as well? Or is this not necessary?

The open environment, simply put, is amazing.  It reminds us that we’re all forging this uncharted territory together.
Drew Smith, Producer

The main floor has hum like a busy beehive, but that fades to white noise.  It is sort of amazing how many people and how much productivity we have in this space, but it doesn’t feel crowded.
Rahsaan Green, Sandbox Test Engineer

Everyone’s out in the open so headphones are a sure sign you’re deep into the work and shouldn’t be interrupted. But weird hats and sour faces can do that too, the latter is harder to keep on though.
Lorraine McLees, Senior Graphic Designer

When I need to really think through a problem, I will often go to an empty break-out area and sketch my ideas out on a whiteboard.  We have a lot of areas around the building where one can do this sort of thing.
Michael Williams, Senior Engineer

There are introverts at Bungie? Where are they? I want to go talk to them incessantly.
Cameron Pinard, Artist

Quiet time is definitely possible, but usually Urk interrupts it by making spaceship noises when he passes my desk.
Jake Lauer, Engineer

Zwoooooooosh!
Urk, Living the Dream

The audio block is far less open than the rest of the studio, and we are always welcoming to coworkers that need a moment for quiet reflection. However, we make no promises about the “quiet” part of that moment.
David Henry, Senior Audio Designer

Our thoughts are one.
John Stvan, Graphic Designer


Element ZER0  How big are "levels" in Destiny compared to the levels from your past Halo games?
The scope and scale really don’t tell half the story. At a high level, we now have what we call World teams. As the name implies, they’re less concerned about atomic “levels,” instead focused holistically on each world’s visual themes and the various destinations and activities you’ll find when you set foot in an LZ. It’s a bit more nuanced than that, of course – there are a number of teams that fall outside the umbrella of World teams whose contributions are equally instrumental – but ultimately our grand and overarching goal is to make Destiny feel like a world you visit, not just a disc in your drive.


Don Shibz  Which planet do you guys most enjoy adventuring on and why?
I personally love the Moon (yes, I realize this is not a planet).  There is a spark of childhood wonder looking on the horizon and seeing the Earth in the distance.  Just call me Neil Armstrong.
Drew Smith, Producer

Whichever is pretty this week.
Lorraine McLees, Senior Graphic Designer

Venus. It’s pretty and I like the Combatants you find there.
Joe Sifferman, Associate Test Engineer

There’s no place like home – there’s some great stuff set right here on Earth. It’s always neat seeing a modern-ish era presented as archaeological ruins/relics.
Andrew Weldon, Designer

Right now, I’m pretty partial to the red sands of Mars, but my favorite seems to change each time I land on a planet.
Michael Williams, Senior Engineer

Venus by far! No wait, Mars!!! Well, actually the Moon is pretty sweet when I think about it. But if I had to choose, I would say good ‘ole Earth!
Reed Shingledecker, Artist


yo momy hafu  Is Destiny going to have any kind of community creation tools in it?
The entire game will be a community creation tool.  As you encounter other brave heroes on your path, you’ll be very aware of the other people playing this game.  On some occasions, they may save your life.


Mental  What is your favorite new feature in Destiny that you can give us an extremely vague hint at?

Crossing paths.
Michael Williams, Senior Engineer

Moving.
Andrew Weldon, Designer

We just got this sweet new import feature that speeds up workflow.
Cameron Pinard, Artist

Particle wrapping.
Reed Shingledecker, Artist


slunkling  So, you've given us sparing details about the game so far, understandably. We got guns like the Gravesend MkII and The Fate of All Fools, care to give us another one?
For reveal, we showed off and named a good half-dozen guns for our friends in the press corps, including one of Staten’s favorites, Thorn. Here’s what he had to say about it: 

“The City wants us to recover a piece of Charlemagne, one of the great Warminds of the Golden Age—a vast machine intelligence built by the ancient Powers of Mars. The Cabal do everything they can to try and stop our descent, but we keep pushing, rifles cracking and Traveler energy boiling from our fists until the only thing left standing is us, and the only thing left of the Cabal is the loot they hid in Charlemagne’s vault.

Jason finds a new shotgun – perfect for his close-quarters combat style. I find a rare hand cannon that looks like it was carved from the dark heart of one of the Cracked Moons of Saturn. It feels good in my hand, and glows like starlight when I prime its magazine. 

I am instantly and totally in love.”

Barry also showed off Pocket Infinity and Super Good Advice, but those are toys we’ll save for another day.


Thanatos  What was your reaction when they told you "You’re Hired".

Table flipping happy.
Alex Gendron, Tester

Thank you for not holding my status as a not-quite-graduated from college student with no industry experience against me.
Tom Gioconda, Engineer

I recall getting hired on the spot the day of the interview so I could get started immediately, paperwork be damned.
Lorraine McLees, Senior Graphic Designer

Dazed happiness.
Michael Williams, Senior Engineer

I knew the hard work had ended, but the harder work was about to begin.
David Henry, Senior Audio Designer

I answered in a really calm and monotone voice “Wow, that’s great.” When they told me that I sounded like I wasn’t very excited, I said “I’m trying really hard not to scream into the phone.” As soon as I hung up, I started screaming and jumping up and down.
Andrea Fonger, Engineer

Friday: “When do I start?” 
“Tuesday.”
John Stvan, Graphic Designer

I immediately ran to my boss on the project I was working on and told her that today was going to be my last day and that I most likely wasn’t going to come back after lunch break!
Jason Pate, Network Tester

It’s a trap!
Thomas Wiley, Tester


Xenos85  What class of the announced classes is your favorite?

The classiest one.
Cameron Pinard, Artist

Warlock, but I am a sucker for magic users.
Drew Smith, Producer

My favorite class switches weekly (or daily).
Rahsaan Green, Sandbox Test Engineer

Currently dueling between the Hunter and Warlock. The Titan may come crashing in and punch them in the face at any moment.
Andrew Weldon, Designer

Hunter.  Fell in love the first time I met her. Jaime Jones painted the first hunter permutation as female and in my mind associated with that class more as a result. Combination of speed and strength. I also liked the shorter cape and rather sexier shape.
Lorraine McLees, Senior Graphic Designer

Two Words: Titan [Redacted]!
Amos Yuen, Associate Engineer


one eight four  What has been your biggest setback so far?

Not enough time in the day!
Lorraine McLees, Senior Graphic Designer

Whenever we hit a new internal milestone, all our characters get deleted.
Michael Williams, Senior Engineer

My first day was the day the studio took the hands-at-sides-wearing-blazers picture. I knew it was going to be a weird time from then on.
Jake Lauer, Engineer

Real blocking bug by Timmins in January: 49361 – there is no ice cream in the freezer.
Leland Dantzler, Tester

I was backing up looking at some effects that I was working on and fell into the Hellmouth.
Reed Shingledecker, Artist


MetalxTongue  When will the world of Bungie.net be a better place? A lot of older members and really old members are unable to adjust.
As you read these words, the web team is chewing through a very long list of tweaks, upgrades, and (wait for it), changes to Bungie.net. Some of these changes are short term updates. Others are exciting features that will extend Destiny’s in-game experience, once you get your hands on it. We’re not ready to make any promises or claims about those specific feats of code yet, but we will say that, if you fear change, you’re probably going to find yourself in a constant state of shock.

Community heritage and personal legacy are important to us. You might not see the manifestations of that right now, but we’ll continue to keep detailed records of the quality time we’re spending together, and the rewards we’re planning to bestow upon you are more substantial than forum titles. We’re making no promises. We’re making plans.

Be Brave.


shmuel30  How does it feel to have been working on Destiny for so long and being finally able to release more information about it to us?

I no longer feel like a huge douchebag making small talk with friends when the subject of how work is going comes up.
Tom Gioconda, Engineer

Now the kids can say “Destiny” instead of “the new game mommy’s working on…” I like how they say “Destiny” in hushed tones, though. It’s a relief to be sure.
Lorraine McLees, Senior Graphic Designer

Liberating.  It’s also fun to read all of the comments and speculation out there.
Joe Sifferman, Associate Test Engineer

It’s nice to not have to do the whole “we haven’t announced anything” but now there is the totally new problem of me having no idea what we have and haven’t talked about.
Cameron Pinard, Artist

I still plead the fifth on everything. 
Rachel Swavely, Technical Artist

It’s like playing with the best toy in the world and finally getting to show it to your friends but still not letting them play with it.
John Stvan, Graphic Designer

I’ve only been on the project for 5 months, and I was literally bursting at the seams. I can’t imagine what some coworkers who’ve been working on it for years had to endure.
Leland Dantzler, Tester

I’ve spent 3 years having to say “the game I’m working on,” and now I can shorten that to three syllables.
Justin Truman, Engineering Lead


irishfreak  Will drunk DeeJ be posting on St. Patrick’s day?
I do have a bottle of Jameson’s on my desk, but the generous soul who bestowed it upon me told me to drink responsibly.  So, no.  That’s super good advice.

Be safe, everyone.  Don’t make the same mistake as Caesar.  Heed your own warnings.  We wouldn’t want you to miss out on the fun we’re planning for you.
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