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Bungie Weekly Update - 01/10/2014

This week at Bungie, we got back to work.

And so it was that 2013 gasped its last breath like a Cabal Centurion in the desperate throes of a Nova Bomb overdose. While that went down, we were dark. Our studio was silent. Of all the indulgences that spice the holiday season, our favorite was a heaping helping of our most valuable resource: Time. 

To close out an action-packed year of developments and revelations, we took some precious time to recharge our batteries. Our understanding of the rigors that await us in the year ahead might have factored into the scheduling decision. Like the Guardians who stride the Tower in preparation for a vital mission, we took time to repair, refuel, and rearm.

Each of us scattered to our own corners, far and wide. Some of us hunkered down on sandy beaches. Others visited frozen settlements buried under snowfall. A few of us never strayed more than a block or two from our safe city. No matter where our journeys took us, we all arrived at that magical moment in which we managed to lose complete and total track of the time we so richly spent.


With a new metaphorical calendar bolted to the theoretical wall, we’re casting our gaze over the horizon, where we hope a bright future awaits. In exactly nine months, we’ll unleash our sweet little bundle of joy on the world. We’re like expecting parents, with big dreams, cautious fears, and a head full of strange names.

Breaktime is over. Bungie is back in full swing. The delicious noise and energy that fuels the development floor has returned. And it’s great to be back.

On Monday morning, we relearned the valuable skill of waking up to an alarm. In returning to our home away from home, we relearned the location of our desks. The entire development floor underwent a tectonic shift in our absence. Sandbox Designers were flung across the room, becoming an island unto themselves. Their migration displaced Localization translators who found refuge with their friends on the Bungie.net team. As if guided by inexplicable forces that control the flow of energy in the universe, Project Director Jason Jones ended up back to back with Executive Producer Patrick O’Kelley. In the midst of chaos, Chief Everything Officer Pete Parsons managed to stand his ground.

Under this new arrangement, there is profound work to be done. We have a game to finish, and after years of plotting and scheming, we can finally say that we’ll destroy that milestone this year. There is a Beta to launch. We’re planning an aggressive calendar of events that begs our attendance. Time to renew that passport, they tell me.

There will also be play. At Bungie, that’s a crucial part of making games. Our one big team has been segmented into four less big teams in anticipation of our Winter Pentathlon. Internal hostilities will resume with a vengeance. The Cup (that is actually a Fist) trembles and shakes in anticipation. Captains have been commissioned. Events have been chosen. An upcoming action shooter (you might have heard of it) is rumored to weigh very prominently in the schedule of events that will help us crown the champions in our midst.



“First!”

If you’re anxious to play Destiny, and we hope that you are, the second biggest event of the year (the first being the freaking launch of the game) will be the Destiny Beta. Ever since a scouting mission into our brave new world was announced, we’ve been in awe of the response. You have honored us with your urgency. Beyond our wildest expectations, hopeful Guardians have lined up to reserve their seats.

The chatter has been lively, and we’ve listened to as much of it as we could filter from the unyielding cacophony of the Internet. In following the conversation, more than a few themes have become unmistakable. As a New Year’s Resolution, we’re taking a moment to speak to as many of them as we can. Call us greedy, but we want all of you to help our game take its first steps.


"How do I get into the Beta?"

It might seem obvious to some, but we still get asked about the key that opens the door. To score a code for the Destiny Beta, you need to pre-order the game from a participating retailer. It’s one small step for a brave gamer like you, and it will help our team make that giant leap.

"I have to buy the whole game just to get into the Beta?"

Nope. A pre-order is like a reservation. Depending on who you do business with, it might cost a couple of bucks, or it might even be free. It’s a simple gesture of your intent to defend the last safe city on Earth from total obliteration – a decision that should not be made lightly.

"I’m not sure what console I’m going to use to play the Beta."

You don’t need to make up your mind about that just yet. All you need to decide right now is whether or not you’re curious about Destiny. A pre-order earns you a code. That code lets you reserve your seat for the playtest. Before the games begin, we’ll invite you to download the Beta to whichever platform you prefer. You’ll know when the time comes.

"Can I change my mind about which version of Destiny I’ll eventually buy?"

We’re pretty sure your retailer will let you revise your order. It’s a question you should ask them, and you should ask nicely. Just because.

"When is the Beta?"

We were thinking sometime this summer. Does that work for you? It will provide you with shelter from the harmful rays of the sun, and help you fill those empty hours of summer vacation. That’s not a concrete plan. We’ll let you know for sure.

"How many people are you going to let into the Beta?"

We’ve been saying “while supplies last.” That means we need a lot of Guardians to see if this living social world is truly worthy of heroes. There’s no reason not to guarantee your access to the Beta if you want to play.

"I pre-ordered, but I didn’t get my code. What’s up with that?"

First of all, we’re terribly sorry about that. Unfortunately, we need to ask you to talk to your retailer. Are they on our list? They need to be. Get in touch with their customer service department, or go pay them a visit. It’s their job to help us get you into the Beta. That’s why they’re on the list.

"I have my code. What do I do with it?"

Redeem it here! You’ll need a login for Bungie.net. You can use your PlayStation ID, your Gamertag, or even a login for Facebook and Google+ to set up an account if you don’t have one. Once you’re a member of our community, hunker down and stay a while. Tell us what’s on your mind. Everyone here is so nice!

There have been other questions that people have asked, of course, but we don’t talk about the precious moments we spend with your mom. And, we’re not about to spoil the adventure we’re packing into this Beta. The act of playing Destiny is one of discovery. The Beta is your first of many mysteries to solve.

We hope we’ll see you in the opening stampede.

See you Starside!



You know what’s the best thing about the retreat of the holidays? Life returns to normal. For instance, mail service is restored, and we can once again open the Sack!


Remorazz  Is it just me, or does the Pacific Northwest have the most boring weather in the US?

Be careful what you wish for. Many of us at Bungie traveled to this gentle, misty paradise from hostile environments where the human body evicts an arctic inhale with a raspy cough. That sort of excitement is rarely missed. Have you ever exhumed a windshield from six inches of snowfall using nothing but a numbed claw that used to resemble your own hand? Get back to us when you have. Only then can we engage in small talk about the weather. As much as I crave a deep-dish Chicago-style pepperoni pizza enough to kill a man for one, this week I’m happy to be in Seattle.

If you’re not so lucky out there, stay warm and drive safely.


K Kealiher  Why has there been so little info on Venus?

Venus is still very much a mystery to us. Very few Guardians have braved an adventure there. Even fewer have returned. As seductive the lure of the ruins in those jungles may be, the danger is greater. We need Guardians to reclaim our rightful ownership of that lost world. Your question seems to indicate that you might be such a champion.


Ryksos  When should we expect the next ViDoc, if you even have plans for another one?

Why so cynical? ViDocs arrive exactly when they intend to. They are neither early, nor late. You can be certain, however, that we have plans to do more of them. We still have much to discuss about Destiny before you’ll have all the information you’ll need to play.


Hylebos  Who is the Director?

The Director is not a who. It is a what. Think of it as a guide. Think of it as an oracle. It’s equal parts war plan and treasure map.


BadAccount  Will it help to have variety in your fire team? Would a fireteam with a Titan, a Warlock, and a Hunter be better than a fire team with two titans and a hunter?

This is up to you. The company you keep on a mission, assuming you keep any at all, is just one of the choices you get to make in Destiny. You’ll be able to choose the Guardians that watch your back, so choose wisely.

You are certainly on to something with this question. Variety is the spice of life. Would two Titans in one fireteam make each other feel less special? Would they make the Hunter feel like it didn’t belong? 

Let’s look at it from this perspective: Each Guardian has a very specific talent that makes them dangerous to our enemies. When you combine those talents, something wonderful happens. They complement one another. They make each other stronger, and cloak each other’s weaknesses in armor wrought from teamwork.

Of course, we’ll let you venture into the wild with a Titans Only Club, if you insist.


GrandmaterNinja  May you give us an ETA on the new site features?

You mean like the triumphant return of Ninja Justice to the Bungie forum? I may not give you an ETA on such things. I asked Achronos if I could telegraph that punch, and he told me to just let it land. Pucker up!


That’s all the news that’s fit to blog this week. Next week will harbor it’s own secrets.  We’ll share as many of them with you as we can – within good taste. Maybe there will be a Podcast to delight your ears. You just don’t know, is the point. All you can do is stay tuned.

Have a nice weekend.

We out.
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