MP: My name is Mike, and I’m an Artist. I work alongside other artists to help realize and create the destinations of Destiny.
MP: I’m a part of the Lighting team, working on Venus to develop the Vex lighting palette. Aside from a general overview, before I joined the Lighting team, the Vex didn’t really have a defined direction for their environments. I’ve been able to contribute to the feel of the Vex and the spaces they occupy. Vex environments need to feel different from Fallen/Cabal/Hive environments. They need to be instantly recognizable as Vex.
MP: Video games. If I’m not here working, I’m probably either playing a few rounds of Halo 4 or Animal Crossing New Leaf. That contrast, am I right? I’m also having a great time exploring Bellevue and Seattle. I’m from Maryland so everything here is new and interesting to me.
MP: When I was younger, I wanted to be either an Artist or an Architect… or Spiderman.
MP: I’ve always enjoyed making things with my hands. I’d spend hours building Lego sets and model airplanes or tanks. In high school, I gravitated toward making wood sculptures. I spent the better part of three years making guns and vehicles out of wood, most of which were based off of the Halo universe. My second sculpture was actually a 2x6 foot warthog chain gun. After that, it wasn’t much of a jump to pursue 3D modeling and game design.
MP: Just one month before starting work at Bungie, I graduated from Ringling College of Art and Design’s Game Art and Design program. There, I learned to hone my art skills and aim them towards the game industry. My education at Ringling culminated in a year-long team project in which myself and two classmates designed a game pitch and created a trailer for said pitch. The trailer was meant to showcase our environment art skills as well as showing our ability to think about possible gameplay. Our intent was to make something shiny and badass so we made Swarm Protocol. Check it out!
MP: I had actually applied to Bungie a few times while in college hoping for a chance at a summer internship. Each time, I did not get a response. After the third time of not hearing back, I took more time to build my portfolio. Then, I tried again, this time with a recommendation attached. I heard back about three or four weeks later and my month-long journey through Bungie’s application process began.
MP: Though I hate to admit it, the hardest part for me was calming my inner fanboy. Bungie and Halo were the main reasons that I pursued a career in game art and design. Had I not played Halo CE when I was in middle school, my life would be completely different today. Having seen every Bungie ViDoc, listened to every podcast, and played every game over the course of the last decade, it was easy to see the passion and commitment (as well as the talent) of the people here. Meeting them and having them critique my work was a fantastic, though extremely intimidating, experience.
MP: The best thing is that the view I have of Bungie has only gotten better since I started here. It’s easy to build something up in your mind when you’ve never experienced it first-hand and I had definitely built Bungie up in my mind. It’s about 100x better than that now that I’m here to see it in person.
MP: The biggest challenge for me right now is getting used to how things are done here at Bungie. I’ve been here for a bit over 2 months now and I have a good overall grasp of how things work but there are still plenty of things that I don’t know how to do yet. I’m getting there, but it is definitely a process that takes time.
MP: The people working here make the hard work easier. I can’t walk two feet without seeing someone working on something that blows my mind and inspires me to work harder so that I can inspire them in the same way.
MP: So far, my favorite accomplishment has been receiving my Bungie Noob sword alongside all of the other new hires. I’m sure there will be plenty of other great moments but I’m still riding that high.
MP: Besides learning from the ever-growing number of talented people here at Bungie, I’m continuing to work on personal side projects here and there on my own time to keep my environment art skills up outside of work. Sometimes it can be difficult to find the time after a long day, but it happens.
MP: Given that I’ve just begun my foray into the industry, I think anything I were to say here would be a bit premature. I have a long way to go before I’ll feel comfortable handing down life lessons, but I will say that the route of getting a formal education in game art and design is beginning to be a more prominent means of getting into the industry. It certainly worked for me. If you’re really excited about the idea of working on games, but don’t have enough experience to land the job you want, taking some classes may be a good place to start. Lastly, always remember that while living in a perpetual state of hoodies/soda/and dim lighting seems like a lot of fun, it is.
MP: Before coming here I was sure that I would only play as a Titan because, let’s be honest, who doesn’t want to be a brick made of steel, dipped in kickass with a gun? But I’ve actually converted and now play as a Hunter. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s the hood. Either way, Hunter it is.