Prepare to access the imagination center of your brain. Now, picture a super hero. What is he or she doing? Are they swooping in to rescue people from terrible fates? Are they using special powers to remove implacable obstacles so that our daily lives can resume? Now, picture our studio, where hundreds of brave developers are working to make Destiny a reality. To play the role you just imagined, we hired this guy.
Who are you, and what do you do at Bungie?
John: My name is John Favaro. I’m a production engineer. If someone has an issue that gets in the way of them doing work, I help them fix it or I help them find out who can help them get back to work. Without me, if someone ran into an issue that made it so they couldn’t work, they’d be up a creek without a paddle. I also do a lot of work with the investment team.
How do your heroics impact the final product of this game we’re trying to finish?
John: I help more people get more done.
More people getting more done means more game for us to play. For that, we thank you. When you’re not rescuing us from lost productivity, how do you invest your boundless energy outside of work?
John: There is a place outside of work? All kidding aside though, I play a lot of games of all shapes and sizes. I like Magic the Gathering, MMOs, and tabletop games. When the weather permits, I like to play a bit of airsoft.
Mom always said no airsoft in the house! It seems you’re a man of action in all facets of your life. Were you an equally rambunctious kid?
John: When I was younger, I wanted to be a Dinosaur. I couldn’t follow through, because dinosaurs are all dead. That was what made me change my mind; I didn’t want to be dead. My father always told me to do what I love, because that way I’d “never work a day in my life,” and I figured that I played an awfully large amount of games so why not do that for a job?
I think we can all say that you work on most days of your life, but your point about having a passion for your career is well taken. Was there one game in particular that made you want to pursue a career behind the code?
John: The Tiger Electronics Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game. It’s funny, but it’s true. I wrote Konami a letter about how I would make it better and ideas (including drawings) about what they could do next.
Yeah, we intercepted that letter through the miracle of time travel. Sorry about that. On your own journey through time, what did you learn to prepare you for the future?
John: I went to community college for a few years. Then, I went to Columbia College in Chicago. My biggest takeaway was a mentality that helped me get where I am. I’m not making a game for me. I’m making a game for people that might not like games that I would make for me.
Did you have a chance to apply that selfless perspective anywhere else before landing at Bungie?
John: I worked in a lot of places. Grocery stores, GameStop, a steel mill (for 3 days), a deli, and then I actually got into something along the lines of what I do now. I got a job testing Golden Tee Golf. That led to a job at SOE in San Diego, and then I wound up here.
Slow down, now! One does not just end up at Bungie. How did you get us to take note of your ability to leap tall roadblocks in a single bound?
John: I like to think that I blinded you with my stunning personality, but I’m going to say I had the right experiences to fit in with my current duties.
Crafting a compelling resume is one thing, but surviving the Bungie Interview is the ultimate challenge. How harrowing was your day in our interrogation chamber of doom?
John: It was seven hours long! I had no idea what to expect, so I was totally unprepared. It even went on into lunch – at which point there were 3 interviews at once.
And then you joined our hall of justice. Eh? Now that you’re here, aside from the capes, what’s the best thing about working for Bungie?
John: It’s really refreshing to work with a body of people that all really enjoy coming to work in the morning. I haven’t run into a single person that didn’t seem to want to be there.
When you wake up the morning, what makes you want to bound through our door to get to your desk?
John: My day is a constant tug-o-war of checking my desk side assistance emails, and actually getting content work done. At some random point of time (normally when I lose my train of thought for the Nth time) I decide that it is a good time to fulfil my biological imperative to eat. I do that, dose myself heavily with caffeine, and then repeat the first half of my day.
Of all the ways you help our team reach their full potential, what’s the one thing you wish you were better at doing?
John: Balancing work and home. When a task is given to me, the world outside of these walls fades away and working any/all hours required to complete the task is all that matters to me.
There’s that selfless attitude again. Even a superhero needs to grow stronger over time, so as not to fall to their arch nemesis. How do you become more powerful over time?
John: I get lots of new tasks handed off to me that I had little to no knowledge in before it was given to me. I can’t think of a better way to learn other than to do.
We also receive letters from eager young minds that also crave the work you do. If we tasked you with answering them, what would you write?
John: Don’t give up. Even if you’re tasked with working on something you wouldn’t normally play, don’t give up. When you think about giving up, remember why you want to work in the industry, and realize that if you give up it won’t happen.
Before the end of this year, we’ll open Destiny to a whole world of heroes. On that day, where will they find your trademark calling card?
John: I dealt with most of the things that make unlock notifications show up on your screen telling you that you did something good.
And you, yourself? Where will you be when the people who are reading these words start to play a game that you made for them?
John: Playing it. It doesn’t really matter what aspect I hit first. I’m just really excited to jump into the game with my friends from around the world and experience it as a player along with them.
We thank John for his efforts, and for making the Bungie Team faster, stronger, and braver. We’re lucky to have him in this obstacle course of delicious problems to solve. Of course, heroism comes in many forms. If you’d like to size up the people that fly into action with Mr. Favaro, the Breaking In archive is always open.