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The Mail Sack of Your Dreams

In our last exciting Mail Sack, we delved deep into your darkest dreams and challenged you to project them into a long-since abandoned structure in the ruins of a place called Old Russia. You’ll find that place in our next game, an exciting first-person shooter that you might have heard about. We’re calling it Destiny, and so should you.

Destiny won’t be an experience that revolves around your nightmares. It will actually be a bright and hopeful adventure, with challenges all its own. Until we’re done making it, however, we’ll amuse ourselves with our own games, like a contest to decide who is the most dangerous member of our community to wield a digital paintbrush.  This week, that man is JimmyC, who reached into his mind and subjected us all to this:


Thanks to a selection process waged by your peers, you win a Destiny t-shirt mister! Fortune favors the brave, and you shall be handsomely rewarded for facing your fears. Get in touch. Let us know which size would make you look the most handsome.

There will be other chances for you to win stuff and delight your fellow your fellow citizens of Bungie.net. It’s just one of the reasons why we open the Sack.


Destiny Updates  Do you think hardcore MMO players will find Destiny enjoyable? And what about open world RPG players who mainly like to play solo?

Video games matter to people for very different reasons. Players who come from expansive universes found in MMOs might enjoy exploring our worlds, assuming they can handle the fact that we’re filling them with the explosive threats and heart pounding action that we think makes games fun. RPG players will be able to invest pretty deeply in their character, assuming their aim is true enough to earn the rewards they’ll need to earn new loot, weapons, and gear.

As for playing solo, this question still comes to us a lot, and we’re happy to answer it again. The company you keep, the challenges you tackle, the war you wage will all be products of the choices you make. If you never want to have a cooperative or competitive experience in Destiny, and if you want to experience every cinematic in private, you’ll have the option. We believe you’ll be having way less fun, and we think you may find it really difficult to resist the pull of our cooperative vortex, but when we say we’re building activities for every mood, that includes players who don’t want to party up.


cho lips LLC  Video games matter to me because I love the art, the story, the action. My question is, what about games matters to you?

Alright. Let’s dig into this. Perhaps you can find some hidden truths in the passions of the people who contribute their physical and emotional energy to our team. This is why they play games, and why they love them enough to make them their life’s work.

That smell when you open the box for the first time.
Tom Slattery, Localization Content Manager

My gaming time is becoming more limited, which makes it more precious these days, so I like games that let me have fun and accomplish something even if I don’t have a ton of time to spare.  
Josh Eash, Release Manager

Video games have managed to give me a visceral and real physical response to a digital medium like no other form of entertainment does.  Immersive gaming transports me to another world and allows me to experience stories, ideas, and emotions that I would otherwise never be able to experience.  Games can be like reading a great piece of literature, but in a more visceral and tangible way.
Adam Williams, Artist

The interactivity. It’s what makes them unique from the mediums that inspire it/comprise it. It’s a gestalt construction, where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
Annie VanderMeer Mitsoda, Designer

The community.  A community can elevate a game to something that you tell stories about over and over like you weren’t just playing a game in a way that few other forms of entertainment can.
Tom Gioconda, Engineer
I grew up in a small town that valued mainly athletic individuals; games were (and are) a safe place with meaningful social interaction where I (a nerd) could be myself with like-minded friends.
Leland Dantzler, Matchmaking Tester

It’s simple for me. If I am entertained, it is a good game. 
Wesley Olson, Tester

For me, it has to be a combination of those three things. It’s like a triangle. Without any one of those three components, a game just falls apart for me.
Elizabeth Bergeron, Lead Combatant Tester

It’s about enjoying the time I spend in the game, and for me that comes down to either gameplay or story.  If a game is really fun to play, I have no problem overlooking a predictable or bland story.  And if the story is interesting, I’m fine with setting it to Easy Mode and pushing through some mediocre gameplay.  And in those rare cases where you get both…
Mike Forrest, Senior Engineer

Definitely the story. Why do I keep going through the trouble of forcing The Neverhood – a Windows 95 640x480 game – to install on new versions of Windows? The story.
Jake Lauer, Web Development Engineer

Most important to me is gameplay and next is the world/style.  Either of these being really strong can be enough to hook me.  
Rah Green, Sandbox Test Engineer

To me, a good video game provides the escape I need from reality. It should be able to tap into the deepest part of my imagination and make me feel powerful, special, and allows me to perform Space Magic that I normally wouldn’t be able to in real life. If there are competitive elements in a game, balance is very important to me.
Andy Xiao, Artist

I love watching a plotline evolve – though if a game has interesting social interactions and I have a group of friends that I enjoy playing it with, I love that aspect as well.
Alex Loret de Mola, Engineer

As game developers we should always respect your time, so that you spend more hours doing whatever matters most to you.
Jim Levasseur, Cinematic Designer


Henge  For me, storyline comes first. No matter how good the gameplay is, I usually end up forgetting why the mechanics were special. But if you're able to tell me a good story, I'll remember it FOREVER. Now it's my turn to ask some questions:

Will the storyline in Destiny satisfy my endless thirst for new experiences to remember?

Yes, but don’t take my word for it.  Take Joe’s.



EC 437  Are there other abilities that Guardians get besides the ones we saw in the E3 demo?

Yes, sir! The scratch we made at E3 only scored the surface. We wanted to show off the action game, fireteam formation, and the seamless nature of our cooperative public events. We’ll dig into the spectacular sandbox of toys as soon at a later date.

We want to give you many ways to fight in this game. You’ll need them. The enemies of our shattered civilization will be highly skilled in the art of kicking your ass. To help you survive, we’re dreaming up a suite of dangerous skills that will be your own. That’s the good news. Now, for the bad news.

Your fellow Guardians certainly won’t go easy on you either, when you meet them in the ring.


Chorrizo Tapatio  If you were a pro wrestler what would your stage name be and what would the name of your signature move be?

I would be the Moderator. My opponents would get permabanned from the ring with a spinning toss from shoulders. I would scream “Try to appeal THIS!”  Then I would point to the crowd and say “You see that, y’all? Play nice!”  These are the people who will be in the other corner.

The Dark Pope – my signature move would be The Elbow from Hell.
Adam Williams, Artist

The Murderblonde! (because I have blond hair, you see). My signature move would be “Sorry About Your Kidneys,” because I would hit them in the kidneys.
Annie VanderMeer Mitsoda, Designer

Actually, when I lived in Shanghai, some friends and I came up with exactly this scenario (yes, there was beer involved) and I would be: Emily Headlock. Emily, weirdly enough, used to be my nickname in Germany AND Shanghai and I once put a guy in a headlock in a bar in Shanghai (yeah, he wasn´t very nice), before we became really good friends. So, that would be my signature move.
Melanie Theisen, Localization Editor (German)

“The Debugger”, with his terrifying move, “KTO.”
Leland Dantzler, Matchmaking Tester

The Bearded Viking.  Signature move: Vikings Funeral (knock somebody out, put them on a boat, and light it on fire!).
Wesley Olson, Tester

Name: Ally McBeal. Signature move: The Bag of Coathangers.
Elliott Gray, Graphic Designer

The Ultimate Macho Hulk Ownz.  My signature move would be to counter other wrestlers’ signature moves.
Chris Owens, Test Engineer

Jimbotron 3000. Signature move: something something dance-off.
Jim Levasseur, Cinematic Designer

Sir Serious, with his famous move The Joy Killer.
Tom Sanocki, Staff Artist

My stage name would be “Professor Bicuspid” and my signature move would involve putting my opponent into a backbreaking move I’d call “The dentist’s chair.” Whenever I pinned someone, I’d have my dental assistant/ring manager come out and put them to sleep with a general anesthesia administered from a big cartoonish jug of ether, after which I’d fit them with unnecessary orthodontic appliances.  My defeated opponents would all have to sport their new headgear, braces, or maybe even a sweet gold grill with my initials engraved into it, and the audience would laugh at how funny each one sounded after losing to me. In my pre-match speeches, I’d talk to the kids about the importance of brushing their teeth and pass out little packages of dental floss to the crowd.
Josh Eash, Release Manager


SHIBITO 76  Who in the office has the biggest kill/death streak in Destiny?

The following statistics have been compiled since the Bungie Day build was opened for business:

Most Kills: 6,239
Adrian Woods
Our brave Technical Artist has left a pile of victims in his wake of his recent voyage. Some of those bodies belong to the invaders who set up camp in worlds that are rightfully ours. Others are fellow Guardians who challenged him in multiplayer.  The next closest competitor has amassed less than half that amount of carnage.

Most Deaths: 548
Anonymous
No one wants to be called out on the Internet as the guy or girl (but it’s a guy) who has died the most, so we’ll preserve his or her (shh, his) dignity. What is interesting to note is that a very close second place is held by the same Adrian Woods who leads our pack in kills.

Hedgemony  You're watching an old movie. It shows a banquet in progress, the guests are enjoying raw oysters. The entree consists of boiled dog. What are you thinking to yourself?

It’s strange, but I’m having a hard time forming an emotional response to that question. In fact, all of these questions are just starting to wash over me (the one about the tortoise was especially weird). I feel almost mechanical in nature, like an EXO.

Why are you aiming that gun at me, Hedge? I've seen things you wouldn't believe!


cho lips LLC  When creating levels or worlds, what do you consider when determining how and where you want the gameplay to happen? Do you start with a concept for a battle or scene and develop it from there, or start with a world and build battlegrounds within it, or both?

This question was so good, I just had to let you make the cut twice, cho.

If you saw Joe Staten’s lecture at GDC, you heard him talk about previous Bungie games providing a more linear pipeline of action, sort of like a toboggan run filled with aliens begging you to send them on their great journey.  With Destiny, we’re creating environments that are more open to exploration.  And yes, there will be aliens to battle, but you’ll find that they’re not so willing to stay in their corners.  One of the designers on the forefront of this evolution is Dan Miller. He’s been quickening the pulse of gamers who play Bungie games for a long time.  Now, he’s just one member of a team that is stretching its legs to see how much ground you can cover as a Guardian.  This is what he had to say in response to your curiosity:

For Destiny, we’ve taken a number of different routes to get to where we are now. There are some parts of our worlds where we build areas to suit the fiction or backstory of the game and focus on exploring these spaces. There are other parts where we wanted to experience a specific gameplay situation or setup and build focused gameplay to accompany that. And there are even other parts of the world where we wanted to build an area to compliment one of our many Activities or shared spaces. It’s great to be able to do all of these concepts in a single destination where players can meet up from completely different scenarios and circumstances.
Dan Miller, Senior Designer


AYAVA  Which location from any game would you go on holiday to?

Zanzibar always seemed like a nice place, were it not for all the spawn camping from the wall. It seems like every time I try to enjoy a nice day at the beach, I’m taking cover from Sniper fire. Our panel, given a travel agent with the powers to bend reality, would send us thusly:

I’d like to take a cruise that stops above the city of Rapture for a few days, and then delivers me to Zack Island for some beach time. I’d also really enjoy having drinks at one of the bars from Root Beer Tapper.
Josh Eash, Release Manager

Silent Hill.
Adam Williams, Artist

If they got rid of the mutated wildlife, the Jowai Resort on Planet Pokitaru from the first Ratchet & Clank. Dang that place was pretty.
Annie VanderMeer Mitsoda, Designer

Certainly not the Moon in Destiny.  Some strange stuff going on there.
Tom Gioconda, Engineer
Dead Island. It’s breathtaking – and full of zombies to play with!!!
Alejandro Polo, Localization Editor

The Town in Animal Crossing: a friendly multicultural experience, but with crippling debt so I feel right at home.
Leland Dantzler, Matchmaking Tester

The Forbidden Land (Shadow of the Colossus).
Wesley Olson, Tester

I’d go to my Vengeful Sky dimension in Rift, which I’ve named Stormglade. I’ve built a forest and castle as well as a small cottage on a cliff. I’ve got a gorgeous view from the top of my tower.
Elizabeth Bergeron, Lead Combatant Tester

Steelport.  Seems like a fun place.
Mike Forrest, Senior Engineer

Aperture Science headquarters from Portal 2, hands down.
Jake Lauer, Web Development Engineer

A Pac-Man maze.  
Rah Green, Sandbox Test Engineer

I’d like to go to Rapture, preferably before it went to shit. 
Brad Fawcett, Engineer

Azeroth, you can never get enough of Darkmoon Faire.
Andy Xiao, Artist

Alex Loret de Mola, Engineer

The island from MYST.
Chris Owens, Test Engineer


Guywired  What control scheme is the best control scheme for space magic?

Nice try.


iGraviton  We've seen skill "branches" that will allow us to change how our weapons function. Will there be similar features that will allow us to affect how our powers, or even our characters, will function?

The more you play Destiny, the more options you’ll have. Your weapons will evolve. Your gear will evolve. “Become Legend” isn’t just marketing spiel. 


DTM3000  What game or games are you guys, as gamers, most excited to play at the launch of the new systems this fall?

You're right about your assumption: We are, all of us, gamers. What’s on the menu, panel?

Off the top of my head: LocoCycle, WatchDogs, Ghosts, Need for Speed Rivals, Infamous Second Son, Killzone and Forza 5.  Plus, I’m sure I’ll still be working on GTA V.  I don’t know how I’ll find time to play them all…but this is a good problem to have.
Josh Eash, Release Manager

I’m keeping my fingers crossed for ‘The Last of Us’ port to PS4.
Adam Williams, Artist

Watch Dogs looks great.  I have it preordered along with my PS4.
Tom Gioconda, Engineer

Just Dance 2014. Why, my body is ready! (For realz, Watch Dogs!)
Alejandro Polo, Localization Editor

I’m an indie nut, so I’m thrilled to see what surprises the independent developers have ready for launch.
Leland Dantzler, Matchmaking Tester

Kingdom Hearts 3 and Final Fantasy!
Elizabeth Bergeron, Lead Combatant Tester

Battlefield 4 and Watchdogs.
Mike Forrest, Senior Engineer

The Division looks rad!
Jake Lauer, Web Development Engineer

I am looking forward to the new Pikmin.  Second Son looks fun.  Knack.
Rah Green, Sandbox Test Engineer

inFAMOUS: Second Son looks really great.
Andy Xiao, Artist


Decay66  Will there be a more contests to win signed destiny posters?

Posters? You like posters? If you like them so much, why don’t you make your own? That’s what they’re up to in the community-owned and community-operated art gallery on Bungie.net this week. They have a challenge running in which you’re supposed to take a familiar movie poster, and make it a little more strange by setting that story in the world of Destiny. Will the last safe city on Earth have picture houses? Will they retell stories from our golden age of cinema?


Who cares? It’s a funny contest. Jump in and try your hand at bending reality to your will. We’ll sign a poster of our own and award it to a winner selected next week by the mob that likes Bungie on Facebook. Why Facebook?  Why not?

Let the sparks fly.  We’ll be back next week with more chances to keep in touch and dream about what’s to come.
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