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Space Mail Sack Magic

You may have noticed that a significant number of people from Bungie went to Los Angeles last week to debut our game live, running in engine. If you’re a constant reader of Bungie.net, you undoubtedly know something that might be news to fresh faces in our community: That game is called Destiny. What might not be as obvious is that every single member of our team was present at E3 2013, even if only in the form of their contribution to the game. 

There isn’t a man, woman, or beast among us who hadn’t committed some measure of blood or sweat to making the worldwide gameplay reveal of this game a reality. Our whole team was on the edge of their seats last week, reading every headline, interview, reaction, and kernel of feedback. We celebrated our E3 success. Then we promptly went back to work.

Fortunately, you don’t have to take my word for it. The Bungie team loves to vent their enthusiasm for what they do in the general direction of you – the members of our stalwart community. To enable this flow of energy (like a sparkling bolt of space magic hurled into the face of a Fallen Captain), we must open the Sack.



EC 437  When will we see more Destiny? E3 has left me amazed and wanting more.

Mission Complete. Your amazement and further anticipation are the shiny jewels of loot that we will scoop from the ground as the dust from the battle settles. We now take those shimmering rewards back to the studio and convert them into the tools we’ll use on our next mission. That objective will be revealed soon, and like all great adventures, it will take us to another faraway destination.


Duardo  What was your favorite part of E3?

There is no wrong answer to this question. Whether one of us attended E3 or not, we all had a vested interest in the happening. It meant different things to different members of this panel.

The “E.”
Chris Owens, Test Engineer

Getting to finally show off what I’ve been working on, and seeing how people react to it, has always been my favorite part. Such a rush.
Damian Frank, Engineer

Playing the game in front of people and watching their excited gasps, elbow nudges to the person next to them, or just straight up jaw hitting the floor.
Lars Bakken, Design Lead

Getting to know my Bungie comrades better.  We spent a crazy amount of time together and have become a pretty tight knit group, and that’s awesome!
Josh Hamrick, Senior Designer

Watching the competitive camaraderie between different teams of developers.
Jami Jeffcoat, Tech Designer

The kid in a candy store feeling.
Rachel Swavely, Technical Artist

Seeing a growing focus on some of the awesome indie teams out there who really deserve to have the spotlight shine on them.
Andrew Weldon, Designer

The best part is watching E3 at work with other Bungie employees standing around and commenting.  It’s sort of like MST3K, but with equal parts insight and snark.
John Hopson, User Research Lead

The public events. Bumping into fans, dinners out with coworkers, talking to press, jumping into impromptu and super fun interviews (Hey, Angry Joe!), catching up with other studios, and seeing all the great games on display is all part of a remarkable experience fueled by people. And their sweat. And our amazing tech team.
Eric Osborne, Urk


HOOBLA 911  How many people can be in a public event?

Enough to make it fun, but not so many that a brave Guardian can’t shine as the vital and crucial hero that they are. The E3 demo featured seven players united in a common goal. The exact number of players that will swarm the larger battles in the finished product is a debate that our designers have on a regular basis. 


Element ZER0  Why the change in name for the Spider Tank to Devil Walker?

Destiny is pre-Alpha. That means that the game is alive, but not fully grown. We’re still exploring the space inside our own imaginations, and funneling what we find there into our brand new engine. There’s a lot more work left to do. Thus, we reserve the right to continue our battle for the best idea, and tinker with our new toys until they land squarely in your controller-wielding hands. 


Supafly1  What number will constitute one Fireteam?

Three.


Good Guy Vex  What was your favorite moment at E3?

My favorite moment was when it was all over, and we could enjoy the company of friends without a care in the world. No call times. No rehearsals. No logistics. Just an after-party and a chance for people to talk about what they liked most about the whole experience, including:

The final play through.  It was epic!
Josh Hamrick, Senior Designer

Sony Keynote, it was the first keynote for any company I have been to.  It was an interesting experience being in the crowd with your friends, rather than watching it stream over the internet.
Travis Pijut, Test Engineer

When we went down the line for our booth handing out shirts and hearing, “Where’s Tiger man?!”
John Stvan, Graphic Designer

Seeing our art on a spectacular 180 degree screen.
Adam Williams, Artist

Don’t make me choose. It was an honor to represent the team on the show floor, and I really enjoyed spending time with the team, our industry colleagues, and our fans away from all of the pomp and circumstance of E3 just talking about life, love, and the pursuit of world domination.
Eric Osborne, Urk

The best part of E3 happened before E3, when we delivered the live demo in front of our entire studio.
Pete Parsons, Moar Space Magic!


FraserBaws  What was in the backpack?

Data. Some of that data was on display in the Ronut, one hundred feet wide and two stories high. Seeing Destiny in the round was one of the most awesome spectacles on display in our booth at E3. I put a toothbrush in that backpack, too. Always brush your teeth when you’re on a steady diet of sweet, sweet imagery from the Destiny universe.



Higgy Doc  How much did you guys miss us at E3?

Enough to sit on the floor and have a good, stiff cry about it.


Wicked Navajo  What did you do afterwards?

Some of us went bowling. No, really. We actually did go bowling. Or, at least, bowling was happening in the nearby vicinity. The main attraction was an outpouring of hospitality. Others of us celebrated in our own ways.

Got ta werk.
Lorraine McLees, Senior Graphic Designer
We saw the old guard and visited Shuttle Endeavour in all its glory. Talk about a great way to wind down the week.
Lars Bakken, Design Lead

Went to Disneyland.
Tomonori Kinoshita, Designer

I called my mom and said, “See mom! It does pay to play video games.”
Alan Stuart, Senior Engineer

Went diving in a tank with 300+ sharks.
Pat Jandro, Senior Cinematic Designer

Sleep.
Nate Hawbaker, Technical Artist

We got set up with the awesome folks over at SpaceX for a private tour of their headquarters in Hawthorne.  Pretty inspiring day!
Tristan Jackson, Senior Engineer

I promptly got sick. I think E3 used up my good karma stores. Worth it.
Jake Lauer, Web Development Engineer

I relived the whole experience over again in my mind’s eye.
Chris Owens, Test Engineer


wcd45  You have had some criticism for not showing more of the world and that the demo was identical each day. Was it a conscious decision to leave more surprises when we finally get hold of Destiny or did you just want to highlight that specific gameplay selection?

The story we wanted to tell was the same. We wanted each of you to see yourselves in the role of the hero of this story, only to be joined by powerful allies who would help you to overcome overwhelming odds. Everyone who subjected themselves to the demo shared that experience. What was different was the action. Every shot we fired was unique. This world is alive. While the players are on your side, the hostiles are far from cooperative. Some of our shots missed their targets. Others took heads right off the shoulders of our combatants, fired fresh off a triumphant slide across the floor.


TURRETS  Why is Joseph Staten such a terrible shot?

Joe Staten is a dead eye, my good man. Before you judge someone else’s marksmanship, lay your own monitor on the floor and play a game in a standing position. Then, do it with a spotlight shining in your face. Then, add a live audience of thousands, and a streaming audience of millions. Bet you can’t stick it.


TheBiggerBang97  Did it ever get even slightly tedious playing through the same section of the game over and over again?

Not a single member of our presentation team will admit that they got tired of performing the demo. You had to fight for a seat in front of the screen in our theater. Given a chance to enjoy the instant gratification of sharing the same air as one’s audience, developers became divas. It's a phenomenon that was best described my a man who spent most of his week performing for an audience of one.

By the time we got to E3, we were already intimately familiar with the gameplay demo. We’d stopped and smelled all of the dandelions, Parkoured all of the buildings, and spent countless hours just drinking in the sights and sounds of Old Russia.

But something different happens come show time. You get a little bit anxious. All those hours poring over the build mean you lose a little perspective. It’s awesome, right? In each demo, you look for the answer in the faces of fans, of press, of the people manning the controls. With every smile, compliment, award, and ecstatic fan you become more and more relaxed, more and more comfortable, more and more confident.

And then something truly wonderful happens. You stop caring so much about the reactions. The people manning the controls stop doing demoes and start playing Destiny, with big fun grins plastered on their faces.

That is the furthest thing from tedium. That, my friends, is Space Magic.
Eric Osborne, Urk


Son of Pride  What is your favorite way of fighting an enemy in Destiny?

There are more answers to this question than we have people to answer it. These preferences for the arts of war that are being packed into our game should keep you daydreaming for a while.

Violently.
Elliott Gray, Graphic Designer

With my buddies.
Kurt Nellis, Technical Cinematic Lead

Standing on a rusting aircraft in the fields of wreckage, with my sniper on my back and a full clip.
Nate Hawbaker, Technical Artist

Sliding in with a shotgun for the classic action hero kill.
Kevin Yanes, Production Engineer

Up close and personal! I may die a lot but I have a motto: I do not die alone!
Rachel Swavely, Technical Artist

Those spiffy red grenades that latch onto your moving enemies.
Jami Jeffcoat, Tech Designer

Using my knife as a bottle opener, releasing the white screaming souls from their Fallen shells.
Lorraine McLees, Senior Graphic Designer
Sliding with the Hand Cannon into a one-shot critical to a Dreg’s ugly face is pretty satisfying.
Lars Bakken, Design Lead

I’m sure Josh has already said it…
Tomonori Kinoshita, Designer

SPACE MAGIC!!!
Josh Hamrick, Senior Designer


stungun  Is there 3 dimensional, real time water deformation (like in Halo 3)? The water looks amazing and it seems to interact with banks and objects. It's not just a flat image?

That’s a great question, but the best person to answer it is enjoying some well-earned time off. He leads the team that will make Destiny a place you’ll want to visit again and again. And he’s on vacation, enjoying some scenery on his own.



burritosenior  The lighting was probably the best I've ever seen in a game, during the E3 demo. Who is/ who are responsible for that contrast between light and dark?

Another great question. Same guy. Same team. They’re resting up. Ask us again sometime.



FlameA24  How do you live with yourself?

Every night. I cry.
Kevin Yanes, Production Engineer

In an uneasy stalemate.
Damian Frank, Engineer

I sing a lot. My dogs think I’m crazy.
Lars Bakken, Design Lead

Very carefully.
Josh Hamrick, Senior Designer

I have, like, 10 pillows.
Jami Jeffcoat, Tech Designer

I try to make entertaining things that people care about, and to change the world for the better.
Derek Carroll, Senior Designer
By being myself.
Rachel Swavely, Technical Artist

It’s pretty easy to live with someone as awesome as me!
Wesley Olson, PS3 Tester

My life is a living hell.
Elliott Gray, Graphic Designer

How do you live without me?
Pat Jandro, Senior Cinematic Designer

Knowing that my wife puts up with even more by living with me (she’s awesome).
Andrew Weldon, Designer

A steady diet of take-out and work-provided snacks.
Jason Pate, Network Tester

I just change my beard once every couple weeks so I can feel like a different person.
Adam Williams, Artist

Clearly you don’t know my ego.
John Stvan, Graphic Designer


mellow mojo  People have been saying that the vanguard is a different class…

People say a lot, don’t they? The Internet is a big place, abundant with theory and speculation of every flavor. Safeguard yourself against spoilers and rumor, my friends. If you didn’t hear it on the Bungie Blog, it ain’t nuthin’. We’ll tell you all about the Vanguards, and how you can become one of them. You’ll learn the truth right here. Someday. 


Decay66  What's the biggest tease you can give us about Destiny?

It’s a dangerous game you invite us to play. Here is who flocked to your dare.

My god, it’s full of stars.
Kevin Yanes, Production Engineer
At E3, you only saw a tiny fraction of the kinds of things you’ll be doing in Destiny.
Lars Bakken, Design Lead

Just because there’s one last safe city on Earth, doesn’t mean there can’t be DANCE PARTIES!
Jami Jeffcoat, Tech Designer

That depends, how closely did you watch the gameplay video?
Travis Pijut, Test Engineer

Heatmaps are so 2006.
John Hopson, User Research Lead

I can play Destiny any time I want. You asked.
Josh Eash, Release Manager

I don’t have any info to give about Destiny, I just realized that the Mail Sack could be called “The Teasebag” and that sounds funny.
Jake Lauer, Web Development Engineer

E3 was the under-construction battle station, now it’s time to use the fully operational one.
Cameron Pinard, Artist

The first time you go from one place to another, you're going to be amazed.
Chris Butcher, Senior Engineering Lead

Space magic is real!
Wesley Olson, PS3 Tester

At some point in time, you’ll be at lunch with your buddies and you’ll see them checking their smartphones. Before you can get mad at them for being anti-social, they’ll tell you that you’ll all need to meet up on Mars after dinner.
Lorraine McLees, Senior Graphic Designer


Steampunkmasked  I have come across all too many games where I am constantly out done by someone with a better job or richer parents, and this makes game-play particularly cruel, so, to what extent will real life money be used, even if you are planning on using it?

What we can tell you right now is that the rewards you will gain by playing Destiny – and playing it well – will be earned.  You will carve them from the hides of your enemies, after you stomp them into the ground of your favorite destinations.


ZER0COOL  I loved the YouTube uploads while E3 was going on, can we look forward to more behind the scenes videos in the future?  Also, Podcast.

You can probably expect more videos than podcasts. Given the chance to wax philosophical in the darkness of an audio file for an hour, we’d rather welcome your prying eyes into our studio for a vision of how the project is coming together for a moment or two now and then.


Prototape  How do the reactions of people at E3 effect your development process?

I obviously have a LOT more to write about, but that’s not what you were asking. You want to hear from the people who will take what you say and use it to make what you’ll play – and here they are.

It motivates and inspires us.  It also gives us an insight into what people are really noticing in the game and what we might want to push on in the future.
Josh Hamrick, Senior Designer

People like what they’ve seen so far, so we need to work extra-hard to make sure the stuff they haven’t seen yet blows them away.
Derek Carroll, Senior Designer
We get just as excited as you all for events like E3, but it’s for a different reason.
Nate Hawbaker, Technical Artist

The positive feedback validates all the hours we put in, and the negative feedback pushes me harder.
Adam Williams, Artist

It is always valuable to get some perspective from people outside the studio
Cameron Pinard, Artist

It fuels a fire that’s been raging for some time. Every now and then, when doubt creeps in, we get a jolt of reality and it gets us up in the morning and motivated to make amazing things.
John Stvan, Graphic Designer

Initial reactions are so valuable, and here we are able to get initial reactions from all of our community! We love to hear what you guys do and don't like.
Chris Butcher, Senior Engineering Lead


OPs mom  What month are you looking forward to the most in 2014?

The one in which Destiny is released to our beloved community of Guardians in waiting.

You didn’t really think it would be that easy.  Did you?  Silly rabbit.


Swat  Should we look forward to Bungie day?

Now and forever.

We love giving you something to look forward to. Sometimes, the wait is two hours long, and subject to swag attacks. Other times, it might seem like there is no set date, and that we are waiting for something more abstract – like 2014. No matter the case, there are more highlights ahead of us. We’ll do our best to make the wait worth your while.
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