Mail Sack of Champions
Before we get down to the serious business of dodging the barrage of Destiny-related bullets that were fired at us by the Bungie Community this week, we have a debt to settle. On Bungie Day, we hosted a series of battles. Hanging in the balance was bragging rights - that and a big damn poster. After we unveiled the finalists earlier in the week, we retired to our private voting booths to pick the winners, and sign the loot.
Gather round. Sound the trumpets and ready your volleys of confetti. Here are the combatants who have bested all challengers:
CHALLENGE NUMBER ONE
Design a logo for Bungie Day.
CHALLENGE NUMBER TWO
Show us what 'Space Magic' means to you.
CHALLENGE NUMBER THREE
Create a world of historic, mythic, science fiction.
CHALLENGE NUMBER FOUR
Design a Guardian that you would use to play Destiny.
CHALLENGE NUMBER FIVE
Award swag to appoint some iconic Bungie spokespersons.
The design competitions had a logical path to conclusion. Those of you who Liked or replied to your favorite submissions even helped the likelier finalists bubble up to the top. The written competitions, on the other hand, provided their own challenges in terms of selecting a champion. Thousands upon thousands of entries piled up. Each of them spelled out a very personal version of the truth, which begged the question: Who are we to decide who is right? It was impossible.
Yet a promise had been made, so we took a page out of your book, and we used it to decide the lottery. We picked the people who answered the challenge “First!” It’s not an ideal solution, we’ll admit. If you look that the topics filled with insight and sentiment, you’ll understand why we had to randomize the endgame. We beg of your mercy and your sympathy, but so deep was your Bungie Day love, it was more than we could handle. At the same time, every story that appeared in those topics was written by a gamer as passionate as these two. So how could we go wrong?
CHALLENGE NUMBER SIX
Share a war story from a Bungie game you played with your friends.
"It was the first time I ever played Halo. My brother got a copy of Halo 2, and I had been watching him play through the campaign all weekend. Finally after a few weeks, he let me play... against him. I'd have to say it was the worst match anyone could have possibly played, ever. But, then again, I was 8. Though, what made it my moment was the introduction to a whole new world. As I looked out from the beach in Zanzibar, I knew this was the best game I would ever play. Then came the crack of a sniper as my body slumped into the sand. That first day getting my ass beat by my older brother was my beginning, the start of my journey."
CHALLENGE NUMBER SEVEN
Tell us why you want to play Destiny.
"Between the three different classes, special class abilities, and customizable weapons and equipment, Destiny's sandbox is shaping up to be a diverse and interesting place where I can take my favorite aspects and create my dream warrior before shipping him off to battle against other player's highly specialized Guardians. The metagame will be glorious."
That was fun. We should do more of that – and we will. Right now, it’s time to open the Sack.
DonEliano Will there be visual customization for weapons?
Yes! And not only visual. Your weapon in Destiny will be one of many ways in which you’ll tell your own story – and that story will become more interesting the longer you write it. The various implements of destruction that you wield (and there are a lot of them) will tell the world who you are, where you’ve been, what asses you have kicked, and (most importantly) how you like to fight. The more you use them (did we mention there are a lot of them?), the more they’ll be an extension of your own legend.
Hydaticus If you wear Destiny gear in public (in places other than gaming events), do people recognize the logos?
Why on Earth would we venture out into public for something other than a gaming event? That’s just crazy talk. We might bump into people who are not like us – people who will make fun of us for being nerds. Sounds too risky. I bet if we ask our panel, they’ll say the same thing.
It happens from time to time and a good conversation usually ensues because of it.Josh Eash, Release ManagerYes, the Destiny symbol is now a thing people at grocery stores and pizza places know about.Derek Carroll, Senior DesginerSeattle is notorious for people not talking to each other. I see Valve people around all the time and never say anything.Rah Green, Sandbox Test EngineerIf this counts: “Hey, isn’t that logo from that Dynasty game?”Rick Lico, Senior Art LeadI’m actually afraid to, lest someone catch me doing something embarrassing like drinking or burping or picking a wedgie.Annie VanderMeer Mitsoda, DesignerI probably get stopped twice a month at places like grocery stores with people who recognize the logo.Wesley Olson, TesterI actually have an interesting story about this situation. I was in Vegas a couple of months ago, strutting around in my Destiny gear…when I hop on an elevator full of college-aged kids. As soon as I walked in, they started chatting me up about how excited they were about Destiny. We joke around for a bit, then I happened to mentioned that I worked for Bungie. One of the kids perks up and asks me if I knew his cousin Michael Salvatori, who also works here. I told him no and to leave me alone. Kids and their crazy imaginary cousins.Chris Owens, Test EngineerThe guy with blue hair at the Crossroads Mall Cold Stone is a definite fan.Andrew Weldon, Designer
Okay. Some of those do seem like valid excursions. Thanks to the contribution that Pete Parsons makes to crunch dinner, for instance, we all scream for ice cream.
Kalin Sparky1437 What is the comparative size of a Guardian compared to a Cabal?
Depends on the Cabal. The Guardians won’t be the only fighting force in Destiny teeming with unique warriors. Take the Fallen, for example. When people saw them at E3, they were all too quick to compare them to the Elites you fought in Halo. In truth, the Fallen are as varied and diverse as the Covenant as a whole.
Check out the demo again, and see how many varieties you can spot. Some of the smaller targets, like the Shanks and Dregs, will draw your fire. The larger crews, the ones that include Vandals or Captains, will have you wishing you brought that Fireteam. And let’s not forget about those moments when we’ll drop something as big as a Devil Walker in your path.
The Cabal, along with the Vex and the Hive, are equally rich in their varieties. There are a lot of bad guys in Destiny. We need heroes to push them back whence they came. Apply within.
Tartan 118 Any Myst fans in the house (of Bungie)?
Marty liked it enough to decide that creating music for video games would be pretty cool. He even worked on the audio for the sequel, Riven. If you’re a fan of Marty and his sweet, sweet music, you can thank those devs from Cyan for sparking his powder keg.
Novandalis If you're looking to apply for a position at Bungie that isn't open, would an application be saved for when the position opens or would it just be ignored?
So, wait... You’re inventing seats on our org chart? What are they? Snack food poison snooper? Security Team tackle dummy? Coffee Mule?
In all sincerity, we count ourselves very fortunate at Bungie that so many people want to work here. When you look past all the machines, you see that our games are made by people. Those people are our most valuable resource. We hire them because they embody a very specific piece of our puzzle. You’ll find the gaps on our Careers page. If the opening that you fit isn’t listed there, it has yet to be cut by our jigsaw. Just like fashions and seasons, development needs change. Watch that space for updates.
KennyFan93 Why is your work space so dark?
The answer to this question is the same as any interrogative about our studio: Because it helps us make a better game. That’s also why we have free coffee, a plethora of bean bag chairs, a room where you can be wrestled to the ground by our President, and enough desk toys to fill an FAO Schwartz. As the panel will reveal, the light levels are a source of frequent debate.
I’dd tell you,, buut it’s hrd to type whenm I can’t see nmy keboard.,.Leland Dantzler, TesterWe need to provide a consistent lighting environment for creation of assets, it’s far easier to limit ourselves to small artificial lights than it is to try to control the amount of sun coming in.Cameron Pinard, ArtistWe’re just a very green company in that we don’t want to waste power with overhead lights. (Sent from my desk with two PCs, three displays, a couple devkits and multiple lamps.)Ben Wommack, Production EngineerPersonally, I’d love to open the blinds and enjoy the summer sunshine, but I think there are a handful of people here who might burst into (blue) flames.Josh Eash, Release ManagerIt has always been this way.Rah Green, Sandbox Test EngineerIt has been like this since I lost my Ghost.Christian Diefenbach, Engineering LeadGame Dev Dungeon is the industry norm. I’ve been fighting the good fight to roll up the blinds to no avail. Honest answer: hundreds of monitors, lots of glare.Adam Williams, ArtistIsn’t it obvious? We’re all vampires.Alex Gendron, TesterBecause for some reason, artists get to sit next to the windows, and since they hate sunlight they always close the blinds.Alexis Haraux, Associate EngineerProbably due to the lack of ambient light, and mind your own business.Chris Owens, Test EngineerHDR.Mat Noguchi, Programmer*It should be said that the lighting of the studio changes a lot over the course of the day. When everyone has their lamps on, and their monitors are throwing out light, the whole studio brightens up. If you come in while everyone is on vacation, the place is practically a cave.Michael Williams, Senior EngineerIt’s not dark. We just absorb the light and energy then channel it into Destiny.Robert Kehoe, TesterWhy is your play space so bright?Reed Shingledecker, Artist
Bungie Trivia: You know you’re crunching too hard when the cleaning crew arrives and turns on the lights. That vision is more terrifying than the moment when the local pub illuminates your drinking companion at closing time. It’s also the moment in which you realize how many crumbs you leave on your desk.
Rocketman287 Will Destiny have Bungie.net integration?
Well, of course! Remember the good old days when, as soon as you were done splattering your enemies with the bumper of your Warthog in Halo (you may have had your own things going on), you would rush over to Bungie.net to punctuate your own personal war stories? We’re making strides right now to make sure that your experiences with playing Destiny are extended beyond the console in similar, and in some cases, very different ways. To become a legend in the making, you need an audience. You need people to admire your accomplishments and covet your rewards. You need a following. Bungie.net will be one of your parade grounds. There will be a lot of ways to strut your stuff in Destiny, and we’ll tell you about them someday soon.
Mycroft Can individuals join public events?
Just like the name suggests, Public Events in Destiny are optional engagements that are open to everyone. Think of them like an all-ages club, only the dance floor is filled with throngs of aliens that you can shoot in the face. You can join in the fun as a party of one, or bring your friends for some synchronized stomping. We do recommend the second option, though. Discotechs are designed from the ground up to be more fun with your friends.
Awoken Logic DeeJ, what games did your clan play before you joined Bungie?
You just hit a nerve!
Let’s see, here. Give me a moment to rifle through this old disc container. All of our founding members played Halo: Combat Evolved, but only a few of us played it together in different, independently operating cells. Halo 2 got us off the couch, and sent us into the wild of the Internet to find each other. Once we got a taste of being a clan – of playing games as a team – we were hooked. Like a herd of action junkies, we ported that experience into any game that would support us. Halo 3 was our first mass-migration, and we’ve since stormed every title in the franchise. From there, we invaded Gears of War, Call of Duty, Chrome Hounds, Battlefield, and Day Z. We even built our own society in Minecraft.
My joining Bungie has changed none of that. We still play. Some of my best friends are the people who have played lifetimes of games with me. You can bet that they’ll play Destiny. You wanna piece of me? You’re going to have to go through them. We are one from many.
Challupa King117 What's a line from anything, book, game, play, poem, that you have memorized?
My favorite quote is “Get busy livin’ or get busy dyin’.” I’m sure the panel has their own obscure references to make, and just to be cheeky, we’re not going to cite any of them. How many can you identify?
“No, it’s not evil spirits, it’s just rain. Raaaaaaaaain. Oh, fine, try and kill it.”Andrew Weldon, Designer“Tyger! Tyger! Burning bright / In the forests of the night, / What immortal hand or eye / Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?”Annie VanderMeer Mitsoda, Designer“It's dangerous to go alone! take this.”Joshua Jones, Infrastructure Tester“Conspiracy theorist screaming Illuminati, they can't believe this much skill is in the human body”Rah Green, Sandbox Test Engineer“Your mother was a hamster, and your father smelt of elderberries!”Christian Diefenbach, Engineering Lead“Look but don't touch. Touch, but don't taste. Taste, don't swallow. Ahaha. And while you're jumpin' from one foot to the next, what is he doing? He's laughin' His sick, fuckin' ass off! He's a tight-ass! He's a SADIST! He's an absentee landlord! Worship that? NEVER!”Adam Williams, Artist“We're talking softball.From Maine to San Diego.Talking softball, Mattingly and Conseco,Ken Griffey's grotesquely swollen jaw,Steve Sax and his run-in with the law,We're talking Homer.....Ozzy and the Straw.”John Hargrove, Player Investment Designer“I have existed from the morning of the world and I shall exist until the last star falls from the night. Although I have taken the form of Gaius Caligula, I am all men as I am no man and therefore I am a God.”Rick Lico, Senior Art Lead“Space. It seems to go on and on forever. Then you get to the end and a gorilla starts throwing barrels at you. And that’s how you play the game”Alex Gendron, Tester“My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings!Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!Nothing beside remains. Round the decayOf that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,The lone and level sands stretch far away.”Alex Loret de Mola, Engineer“I am here to chew bubblegum and kick ass, and I’m all outta bubblegum.”Wesley Olson, Tester“As I was going to St-Ives, I meet a man with 7 wives, every wife had 7 sacks, every sack had 7 cats, every cat had 7 kittens. Kittens, cats, sacks and wives, how many were going to St-Ives? My phone number is 555 and the answer. Call me in 30 seconds or die.”Chris Owens, Test Engineer“Remember, the enemy’s gate is down.”Michael Williams, Senior Engineer“The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel. “Tristan Jackson, Senior Engineer“My spoon is too big. My SPOON is TOO BIG. My SPOON is too big!”Jake Lauer, Web Development Engineer“Things change. Always do. You'll get your chance! Important thing is, when it comes, you gotta grab it with both hands and hold on tight!”Kurt Nellis, Technical Cinematic Lead“It's got a cop motor, a 440 cubic inch plant, it's got cop tires, cop suspensions, cop shocks. It's a model made before catalytic converters so it'll run good on regular gas.”Robert Kehoe, Tester“But I, being poor, have only my dreams;I have spread my dreams under your feet;Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.”Leland Dantzler, Tester
Hope you had fun. And, no. This was not a contest.
Malfar The community celebrations for Bungie Week was epic. How did you celebrate Bungie Day?
We’re glad you had fun. Thanks for being awesome enough to create your own holiday, and for giving us enough reasons to turn it into a tradition. The Seventh Day of the Seventh Month is a celebration of you.
We’ve adopted Bungie Day in our own way, but it happens on a slightly different schedule. Our time to come together as a team - to reflect on where we’ve been and where we’re going - happens soon. You must forgive us for saying so, but the plan is to set aside the development schedule, lay out a feast fit for a hundred fireteams, and spend the day playing our game. All work and no play makes Jack a careless game designer.
Scorch How did you sober up after Bungie Day?
Ask us again next week.
Progo Aside from the Beer, Bungie, and Coffee, what keeps you motivated in Seattle?
As a recent transplant, the absence of snow drifts that can swallow entire cars whole is a nice development in my life. Everyone has their own reasons for wanting to live in Seattle, and forgiving its soggy tendencies.
Wine and liquor?Annie VanderMeer Mitsoda, DesignerThe best girlfriend in the world and board games.Joshua Jones, Infrastructure TesterThe two weeks of Summer were awesome this year.Rah Green, Sandbox Test EngineerThe Cascades, the Olympics, the lakes. The insane wilderness surrounding us on all sides. Oh, and the really delicious food.Adam Williams, ArtistFood trucks.Rick Lico, Senior Art LeadI’m motivated by the rain clouds, with them I can open my eyes all the way to wake up faster.Alex Gendron, TesterI love how gamer-friendly this town is. It’s much easier to find people to play games with of any sort here than anywhere I’ve lived before.Alex Loret de Mola, EngineerScenery! I’m a photography nerd.Jake Lauer, Web Development EngineerThe Northwest is the most beautiful area in the US between May and October. Um, I mean, it rains all the time and is really cold and I like that. Don’t move here.Ben Wommack, Production Engineer
Ben makes a valid point: To each his own. If you’ve only been to PAX, you don’t know Seattle. Labor Day Weekend in this town is a bigger lie than Springtime in Chicago.
Adam THE Fondre Can we get more challenges with our mail sacks?
Sure. What should be the objective?
Colonel Aloki We've seen a lot of love to the guys who draw, paint, and sculpt but where is the love for us writers? We are a part of the artistic community too.
You’re right, Colonel. And since you pointed out a need in our community, you just volunteered to help fill it. Anyone who is reading these words is welcome to follow The Black Garden. They’re hosting a contest that will let creative writers on Bungie.net share and celebrate their work. Here’s the pitch:
Write a short-form offering of fan-fiction, a slice of action from the world of Destiny not to exceed three hundred words. Set your tale here:
The staff that tends to the Black Garden will select seven finalists, from which one lucky winner will win a print of the Buried City on Mars, signed by the Bungie Writing Team.
Start spinning your yarn. We’ll let you know how the competition unfolds. You might even have a chance to select the winner.