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International Mail Sack of Mystery

If you saw the news that broke before dawn, you know that we’re taking our show on the road, as well over land, sea, and air. Destiny is bound for Germany. In truth, some of our people are already on the ground in Cologne (that’s pronounced “koln” if you’re groovy). At this moment, the tent for our explosive traveling circus act is being raised.

The ringleader for this show is a Fallen Captain. To dazzle our guests at the Destiny theater, we’ve given him physical form. When he’s not goring Guardians with any one of his four hands, he’s quite photogenic. We hope that the masses at Gamescom will put this fact to good use. 

Meet the team that took an idea from the world of Destiny, and brought it into ours. To give depth to this imposing visage, designers from Bungie combined their talents with Hollywood-grade sculptors from Scenic Route. Before their hands were helping ours to make the Fallen rise, they were working on recent releases like Pacific Rim and Man of Steel.

The Bungie operators on this joint task force:

Scott Shepherd, Staff Artist (second from left)
Chris Alderson, Senior Artist (third from left)
Lorraine McLees, Senior Graphic Designer (double thumbs up!)

The nasty devil they’ve summoned will be looming over the convention floor all week – a sentry in the Activision booth. Seek him out at Gamescom, or in the media that flows from the event. Be advised: While he may be available for photos, he does not sign autographs.

All of that seems very far away right now. The rest of us still need to dust off our passports, and catch up with the vanguard. There is a hurry-up-and-wait operation in play. Between airport security and customs, you’ll find me enjoying a ten-hour stretch in a steel tube rocketing over the Atlantic Ocean. These are the things we’ll do to expand the Bungie Community into new territories.

Before the time comes to pack our bags, however, we simply must open the Sack.

Gunny 186  I have the pedal to the metal, my heel to the steel.
I'm white knuckled and hair blowing straight back.
Do I dare ask, Are We there Yet?

We’re close. The next mission is at hand. 

Hermit  Is your work ever done?

The Bungie Community never sleeps. The Seventh Column is like happy hour: It’s always happening somewhere. We don’t work from sun to sun.

Never. It is always just done enough.
Annie VanderMeer Mitsoda, Designer

As long as there will be English content getting published, I guess there will be a need for translation.
Celine Bolduc, French Localization Editor

Hopefully not!
Jake Lauer, Wed Development Engineer

As long as there are Engineers and Designers, Test will always have something to do.
Joe Sifferman, Combatants Test Engineer

Can the ocean ever be filled in with sand?
Alex Loret de Mola, Engineer

No...  But eventually they kick me out anyway.
Josh Hamrick, Senior Designer

Darklight0107  Will there be guns that have elemental properties?

Where there is thunder, there is lightning. Pay attention to the new Drawing Board series and we’ll riff on that tease another time soon.

LordMonkey  What is your most valuable tool in the workplace?

Our silver Sharpie is mightier than most swords. For every trade, there is a tool. Think of our panelists as gunslingers. On each belt, there is a magic bullet in one of the loops. They are:

Sarcasm, so as to survive the Community team. There are some truly derisive people in that corner.
Jake Lauer, Wed Development Engineer

My coffee mug. It’s never bugged out or broken on me, and always keeps me hydrated and caffeinated
Annie VanderMeer Mitsoda, Designer

I have a fortune cookie fortune on my monitor that says, “You have remarkable power which you are not using”.
Joe Sifferman, Combatants Test Engineer

The most valuable tool at Bungie, in my opinion, is John Stvan.  
Chris Owens, Associate Test Producer

Kyle Robinson, Web Tester

The solid gold monkey wrench, of course.
Alex Loret de Mola, Engineer

My brain.  To back that up with an actual, true story - I once worked with a crazy smart programmer who had no arms, who was a faster coder than anyone else in the office.
Justin Truman, Engineering Lead

The Test team by many factors of 10.
Andy Firth, Engineering Architect

Head phones.
Francisco Cruz, Artist 

One of our teammates said I was a tool. I’m sure “most valuable” was implied.
Tom Slattery, Localization Manager

Facebook Question! (from John K):  What happened to the Bungie Podcast, and will it ever return?

That’s right. We took a question from Facebook. So what? We had to change (or redact) the names to protect the inquisitive. Unlike, where codenames abound, Facebook is not an anonymous environment. That’s why everyone who has liked our page is SO polite!

John K was pretty agreeable, so we’ll go on record: The machine that turns conversations into downloads has been dusted off. The Podcast shall return. We were waiting until we had enough to talk about to be worthy of eavesdropping. We have other pressing matters at the moment, though. Ask us again when we’re stateside again. Seriously.

gestuart88 Describe the coolest teacher you have ever had?

I’d have to call out that cryo tech at the beginning of Halo: Combat Evolved. He knew what I needed to realize my fullest potential, and he taught me to use the tools that I was given to maximum impact. He could even tell that I wanted to have my controls inverted. No one before him understood my potential for heroism like he did. Each of us has a legend within, just waiting to be liberated, as the members of our panel can attest.

My high school Latin and Greek teacher was a cool cat named Mr. Cser (yes, seriously).  A heavy-set dude with a huge booming voice, Mr. Cser was a real presence at the front of the room, and he ran his class like a Roman Senate, listening to us self-indulgent teens opine ad nauseum.  The coolest thing about Mr. Cser was that, at report card time, he let us determine our own grades. You’d think that would be an invitation for abuse, but it actually made us far more self-critical. In the greater scheme of life, that’s a helluva lot more valuable than any letter grade.
Dave Mongan, Senior Writer

I was fortunate to have a lot of great teachers, but I gotta call out my college mentor, Professor Stephen Burt. He approved my honor’s project (a literary analysis of fantasy and science fiction as genres worthy of study), helped explain the meaning of Wallace Steven’s “Anecdote of the Jar” by standing on a chair with an empty Diet Coke can on his head, and always pushed me to do better. When I had a lot of pressure on me to go into academics and not games, he argued that I should do what I really loved, which is absolutely what I needed to hear. (Also he writes fantastic poetry, including an amazing poem about Kitty Pryde!)
Annie VanderMeer Mitsoda, Designer

Short, bald, had a weird way of talking; putting objects before subjects and verbs.
Joe Sifferman, Combatants Test Engineer

That would be Professor Keating. He inspired my love of poetry and taught me how to seize the day. O Captain, my Captain.
Chris Owens, Associate Test Producer

I had a Russian teacher in high school whose name escapes me (sorry, awesome teacher), and there was a rumor he was ex-CIA. I believed the stories, because when he looked me in the eye after I forgot to do my homework once, I instantly regretted everything, ever, and all that will be.
Ben Wommack, Production Engineer

I had this history teacher, Lou Mroz, who used to say sentences twice.  He used to say sentences twice.  But he was an incredible teacher.  He was an incredible teacher.  I’ll never forget the lessons I learned from him.  I’ll never forget the lessons I learned from him.
Alex Loret de Mola, Engineer

My coolest teacher survived the Second World War, was the shortstop of the regional champion girls softball team in Albay, is ambidextrous, a fantastic cook, and allowed me to do what's right and chased me with a broom when I wasn't.
Lorraine McLees, Senior Graphic Designer

OPs mom  You won't answer this but I'm going to ask anyways. Will there be a fire fight mode or a gametype that is similar to fire fight?

We’re not going to answer that. You’re, like, psychic or something. What number are we thinking of?

Ask us about Strikes later. We’ll probably still dodge the question. Old habits and all that.

Fresh Pancake  What number am I thinking of?


Dont Pass Gass What is your favorite part of working in the gaming industry?

I’m still a fanboy, and I get to pore through the shared documents where our artists wage the battle for the best idea. I’m always asking for tickets to ringside seats that I can share with you.  If you read the blog this week, you can see that the iron grip on our creative process is starting to slip. But that’s just me. We all have our reasons for being here. As you can see, a lot of them have to do with turning passion into vocation.

Seeing people get just as excited and geeky about a thing you worked on as you were when you worked on it.
Annie VanderMeer Mitsoda, Designer

Very often, people I meet ask me what I do…and when I tell them I work in the gaming industry, they say: “It must be wonderful to get paid to play games all day.” I’m not sure if these people really believe that there are companies out there willing to pay people to simply sit and “play” all day, but I always smile and nod. Truth is, like many jobs in the tech industry, I work a lot in Excel, I have meetings, I have deadlines, and there is always something new to work on that wasn’t there last week. All of that hard work pays off whenever we have a playtest, and I get to sit with my coworkers and simply play the game we’re working on together. Those are the days when the job is exactly as awesome as everyone imagines it is, and you feel incredibly lucky to be here.
Josh Eash, Release Manager

Definitely the fame. I’m approaching 140 followers on Facebook, which is only 2,778,106 fewer than Danny Devito.
Jake Lauer, Wed Development Engineer

The fact that games can make people feel emotions just like real life things can. I like being a part of that.
Elizabeth Bergeron, Lead Combatant Tester

Shipping titles is an amazing feeling of accomplishment, no matter what your contribution. I can take Halo 3 off the shelf and give someone a guided tour of the ins and outs of its development, along with plenty of juicy bugs and Easter Eggs no one has discovered yet.
Ben Wommack, Production Engineer

Almost everyone around me is as much of a game nerd as I am!
Alex Loret de Mola, Engineer

Garbage Eater  Has anyone at Bungie become addicted to Destiny?

You won’t need to consult your doctor to play Destiny. Playing Destiny has no known side effects, aside from a hyper-active imagination, enhanced problem solving skills, and increased swagger.

Lhuna What is the best thing you want to hear at the end of the day?

“Nice work, DeeJ. Everyone on is getting along, and everyone is happy.” Someday. If I hang in there long enough, I know it will happen. Our panel has their own preferred accompaniment for the sunset.

The sound of my kids playing at home. Or sleeping. Either one is music to my ears…
Dave Mongan, Senior Writer

“That was fun!”
Annie VanderMeer Mitsoda, Designer

Jake Lauer, Wed Development Engineer

This may be cheesy, but hearing “Daddy’s home!” when I walk in the door is pretty awesome.
Joe Sifferman, Combatants Test Engineer

“You have won the lottery.”
Wesley Olson, PS3 Tester

"Ship it!"
Francisco Cruz, Artist

"Beer o’ Clock anyone?"
Kyle Robinson, Web Tester

“Have a good weekend” is one of my faves.
Ben Wommack, Production Engineer

Josh Hamrick, Senior Designer

T1B3R1UMB0YXVI  How can you tell if someone working too hard?

Their grammar starts to break down. Entire words just drop from the narrative, and they start to make less sense.

irishfreak  How do the higher ranked fallen shake hands? I mean which arm do they use, do they use more than one hand? What kind of secret handshakes would they have?

Ireland is pretty close to Germany. If you’re a good swimmer, you could find out for yourself.
Disclaimer: Bungie does not actually recommend that you try to swim from the UK to continental Europe.

Easy for us to say. Right? We get to fly. This reminds me that I have other baggage to attend to. There will be reasons to watch next week. The Mail Sack will not be one of them. There will be other ways to keep in touch with Bungie. Our twitter feed, for example, should be a good way to follow our journey.

And, a deeper dive on becoming a legend in the world of Destiny is coming soon.
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