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Mail Sack Visiting Hours

Every week at Bungie is exciting. Right before our eyes, Destiny is turning into the place we’ve imagined.{{more}} Some weeks are more exciting than others. This week, we were visited by some friends. Some old.  Some new. One of them was just passing through town, and stopped by to see what we've been up to. The others were here to help us make sure that E3 is worth the attention you’ll pay to it.

They know things. They’ve seen things. Soon, you will see them, too. That will have to wait. For now, we’ll open the Sack.



Spottedstar  What kind of experience have you gained working at Bungie? Has it benefitted you in the long run?
One thing that a gig at Bungie promises is the chance to stretch one’s legs. We’re always creating something that doesn’t exist, and most of the time, our creators are using tools while they’re still being built. All the while, we bounce off of each other, having a blast doing what we do. Along the chaotic path that leads from the first spark of imagination to the game we want to play, we learn a thing or two.  Our panel can tell you more about how they’ve grown during their time here.

The most valuable experience I've gained has been working with all of the talented people here. Every day has a new set of problems, with really difficult communication, leadership, and artistic challenges. But it also brings inspiration - I'm continually driven to do my best every day. Also, humility. Lots of humility.
Chris Butcher, Senior Engineering Lead

I can now hold my liquor better than anyone in my family...which makes going back home for the holidays a breeze.
Pat Jandro, Senior Cinematic Designer

I like to think of my four years contracting here as getting my master’s degree in Game Development from Bungie University, class of 2010.
Ben Wommack, Production Engineer

How to be patient with proprietary tools. It has taught me that good things come to those who wait.
Reed Shingledecker, Artist

As this is the only place I’ve worked since I graduated college in 2000, I’m going to say “All my experience” and “Yes.”
Tom Gioconda, Engineer

Fencing. Haven’t been ambushed yet.
Francisco Cruz, Artist


Shark Attack  What do you mean by "hopeful world?" Is it hopeful like the ending of Halo: Reach, or is beautiful/colorful hopeful, too?
We’re building a world that we hope players will want to spend their valuable free time in. We want Destiny to be worthy of its heroes, energized with light and life, familiar and yet fantastic, mysterious and evocative, adventurous and captivating. That doesn’t mean we can’t or won’t explore more nuanced, dark and dangerous themes, of course, but it does mean that when you step into our world, you are taking on the role of a hero – a Guardian of the last safe city on Earth.


OctaviusFalcon  Can you describe one thing that will be revealed in the next batch of Destiny info in an incredibly vague manner?
You know us all too well. We try to keep the teasing to a minimum, especially since we’re as excited to talk about what we’re working on as you are to see it (or play it). At the same time, we live to serve. Since you’re basically begging us to torture you, I’m turning you over to our panel. Do your worst, lady and gentlemen.

Yes.
Mat Noguchi, Programmer*

The next tidbit of news may or may not feature some info about a huge game we’re making.
Leland Dantzler, Tester

“Weird Al” Yankovic wrote an entire song about the thing I’m thinking about right now.
Josh Eash, Release Manager

Today I saw something that made me just stop and watch for a while.
Chris Butcher, Senior Engineering Lead

There will be light. It will enter your eye, hit your retina, and form a sweet image on your brain. So, so sweet.
Tom Sanocki, Staff Artist

I heard there’s going to be dynamically controlled audio - wired directly to your remote control volume buttons. 
Jami Jeffcoat, Tech Designer

I imagine there will be guns.
Tom Gioconda, Engineer

Space guns.
Wesley Olson, PS3 Tester

There will be shiny objects in Destiny.
Kevin Hart, Artist

G.T.D.O.M.L. (Those are just random letters, by the way.)
David Shaw, Chief Pyrotechnical Officer

Majesty.
Drew Smith, Producer


burritosenior  After E3 will the pace of information released be the same as it is right now?
We’re not convinced there’s life after E3. It’s all consuming. Are we there yet?


E Z RIDER 2001  Alright bungie, make with the goods! We want competitive multiplayer info! You will not silence me!
Silly, Rider. Anyone on Bungie.net can be silenced. The MUTE button looms like a threat over us all. 


POKEY CLYDE  How do I get the ladies?
How do you “get” the ladies? Is this a question about how one might entice the opposite sex to think that you’re cool and/or groovy?  We’re going to assume that’s the case, and we’re here to help.

Disclaimer: Bungie offers no warranty for the effectiveness of the following social tactics.

Change your name to GENTLE_MASSAGE_CLYDE.
Brad Fawcett, Engineer

Wear enough cologne that your presence is announced by your odor a good ten minutes before you actually arrive. It should be strong enough that the cloud takes a good hour or two to settle after you leave.
Leland Dantzler, Tester

Sounds like you need Mr. Microphone.  
Josh Eash, Release Manager

First you get the money.  Then you get the power.
Tim Burris, Engineer

Charm.  When that doesn’t work, Lucky Charms.
Chris Owens, Test Engineer

Chat Roulette.
Ben Litowitz, Engineer

Capes!  Girls dig capes!
David Johnson, Engineer

Replay the start of New Mombasa in Halo 2. Johnson has some suggestions.
Tyson Green, Staff Designer

You got to know what the ladies like.
Mat Noguchi, Programmer*

If there are two things that the ladies like, it’s popped collars and Excel spreadsheets. No, wait… that’s what I like.
Joey Gibbs, Broducer

Record yourself reading 50 Shades of Grey aloud. Upload to Youtube. Post link here immediately.
Jami Jeffcoat, Tech Designer

The trick is making them think they need to get you.
Kurt Nellis, Technical Cinematic Leads

Grow a beard.
Wesley Olson, PS3 Tester

Tell them how totally into video games you are.
David Shaw, Chief Pyrotechnical Officer

Try talking to them, for starters.
Pat Jandro, Senior Cinematic Designer


ActionMovieFreak  When can we see really strong female characters? I really want to see female characters dressed in equally protective (not revealing) and appropriate clothes, and not something you think guys will find attractive. Just one at least? Think "Vasquez" from Aliens.

Welcome to the Frontier.


sacktapped  I haven't been on in a while. Can you briefly sum up what I have missed out on?


Wolffen  Does Bungie have a group of designers and testers dedicated to thinking like griefers and trolls to help identify potential spots/actions in the game that could be abused? If so, what is that group called?
We call them coworkers. When we say “We make games we want to play,” what we mean is that we play our game while we make it. You should see the way we tear apart our own work. We’re not gentle. We rough it up and shoot it full of holes. Then, we patch ‘em, rinse, and repeat.


Beorn  How's the Bungie soccer team doing?
The closest most of us ever get to Bungie’s soccer team is seeing them in their dazzling uniforms on a game day. Their rippling muscles offering a pleasing curve to the fabric. Let’s see if any of them – or their supporters – were paying attention when the Mail Sack solicitation hit their inbox this week.

Timmins has come back from the games in a dark fury of vitriolic wrath and has coded madly into the wee hours of the night. So…pretty well, I guess?
Leland Dantzler, Tester

I couldn’t tell you.  I play football and poker…you know, REAL sports.
Chris Owens, Test Engineer

My other team just met them on the pitch to do battle and they put up a great fight tonight which resulted in a 3-3 draw. Really impressed to see how well they've improved over the last few seasons. Good match, chaps!
Pat Jandro, Senior Cinematic Designer

Half the Digipen soccer team is from Bungie. Timmins was a wall as always.
Ben Litowitz, Engineer

We have a soccer team?
Francisco Cruz, Artist

We score on a weekly basis.
Drew Smith, Producer


TwinkieMation  How many submitted questions do you actually read?
Every single one of them. This is gold. Once a week, we get to peer into your skulls and see exactly what is on your mind. The first phase of the weekly Mail Sack drill is like an intellectual census. What are people thinking about? What do people want to know? What pesky little strains of misinformation are permeating the culture of our community? Many of you ask fascinating questions


SniperNoble3  Is Digipen a good school to go to if I want to work at Bungie in the future?
For the best answer to this question, we’ll take a journey back in time to a previous Mail Sack in which this logic was dropped by Pat Jandro, full time Senior Cinematic Designer, part time Digipen guest lecturer, and sometime soccer field double-agent. Since it’s in our backyard, we’ll let the panel sound off on Digipen as well.

Where you go isn’t nearly as important as what you do.
Leland Dantzler, Tester

The most important thing is to have passion for the work, and make games regardless of which school you attend.  For programming you also need a fundamental understanding of data structures and algorithms.  Digipen seems like a good way to combine both the necessary CS knowledge and the critical first-hand gamecrafting experience.  So does any other quality CS department with a healthy dose of your own initiative.
Tim Burris, Engineer

There are a number of us from DigiPen who are now at Bungie, so it certainly isn't a bad choice.
Andrew Friedland, Engineer

Wherever you go, build up your own portfolio of games or mods in your own time. Showing your work on an actual game is the best way to prove your chops.
Tyson Green, Staff Designer


FireSream  Who would win in a duel between DeeJ and Halcylon?
It depends enormously on the activity of the duel. Is this a war of words? Or a Photoshop contest? Many of Hal’s preferred armaments deliver a Nerf payload, while I deal in lead. In a game, I would win the ground war, but Hal would rule the air. I’m the Northside to his Southside (it’s a Chicago thing). We’re unevenly matched across a vast array of disciplines, which is what makes us ideal teammates. And who are you to try and come between us?


Sunburned Goose  What are some memorable or satisfying topics that you had to learn for a project?
Our people pore though endless reams of reference material as they shape the universe of Destiny. They look at art, architecture, history, mythology, biology, weapons, anatomy (get your mind out of the gutter), vehicles, botany, pop-culture, propaganda, color-palettes from various decades of fashion, astronomy, and so much more.


If you subscribe to the right email lists, you can see fascinating mediations every day on information that we take for granted as a pre-collapse society.  These pieces of real world trivia are some favorites among the panel who is conceiving a brave new world.

Phobos, one of Mars’ moons, is on a decaying orbit and will eventually crash into the planet!
Reed Shingledecker, Artist

There are more air molecules in each breath you take than there are total breaths by volume in Earth's atmosphere.
Tim Burris, Engineer

I am faster than 80% of all snakes.
Chris Owens, Test Engineer

I had no idea how cool the iris of an eye looks when you magnify it a few dozen times. Go on, take a peek! Husky dog eyes look even more amazing.
Tom Sanocki, Staff Artist

The most interesting facts that have been thrown around here have been real-life details on space travel. One of my favorites was just how much farther away Mars is than the Moon - about 914 times as far in fact.
Ben Wommack, Production Engineer

Cherenkov radiation is caused by particles moving faster than the speed of light in that medium.
Tyson Green, Staff Designer

When players are picking from a pool of options, they are much happier with the decisions they make when provided all of the options simultaneously instead of sequentially.
Andrew Friedland, Engineer


Kri77ical  What is one thing that you know now, that you wish you would've known when you were starting out?
Starting out in life?  Starting out at Bungie?   Starting out as a young adult who enters the workforce naked to the world, armed with nothing but hopes, dreams, and a cursory knowledge of the evil that men can do?  Life is full of starts, but we’ll do our best to help you, wherever you find yourself on the path. Your question provoked us to offer these pearls of revisionist histories.

The people you work will lead to much greater happiness than perks/project etc. Being pleasant, patient, and willing to learn and teach will make the hard times seem easy.
Reed Shingledecker, Artist

Ctrl + shift + esc.
Francisco Cruz, Artist

The precise location of every cop car I would encounter from the day I got my driver’s license until today.
Josh Eash, Release Manager

Templates and virtual function pointers are bad. Really, really bad.
Chris Butcher, Senior Engineering Lead

Learn to read other people's code and understand how they think. If you really don't understand something, ask questions. You will probably only cause more problems if you don't understand their intentions.
Andrew Friedland, Engineer

It’s not all fun and games.  It’s mostly games.
Chris Owens, Test Engineer

I wish I worked on more personal projects!
Tom Sanocki, Staff Artist

That I should have spent as much time making games as I did playing them before I got out of school. If I had taken that path, I may have figured out my calling much sooner, and had the experience to apply for the jobs I wanted as well.
Ben Wommack, Production Engineer

I wish I had spent the time learning to draw.  Drawing is a really useful skill no matter what you plan to do.
Kurt Nellis, Technical Cinematic Lead

How to pronounce “DeeJ.”
Leland Dantzler, Tester


Ninpire  DeeJ, why are you such a tease?
They make me. I hate it. Keeping secrets is not my strong suit. I’ll tell you what, meet me in the alley behind our studio and I’ll tell you how the story will end in ten years. Any takers? No? Why not? That sounds “anticlimactic” does it?


Anima Alchemist  What is the most helpful thing we can do on the forums for you guys?
Be honest. Be sincere. Just tell it like it is. We really do want to know what you think about our work. You don’t even need to sell your opinion with rage, because we’re listening. Sometimes, you show us what we need to fix. Sometimes, we don’t agree on what’s broken. Above all else, you should be really nice to the new people.  Once upon a time, you came to Bungie.net for the first time. At first glance, it can be a little menacing, you know.


As for what keeps you coming back, we’ll do our best to make Bungie.net a world you want to visit as well.  For instance, you’ll find all the artwork that punctuates this Sack in the Multimedia galleries. Help yourself to some new visions of Destiny to sweeten the wait for what lies ahead.

And remember, if you want to follow the Mail Sack and never miss a chance to put us to the question, there’s a group for that. See you next week.

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