This week at Bungie, we stand on a sandy coastline to contemplate the seven seas.
“It’s like building a wall to hold back a tsunami.”
Zach Russell has a far off look in his eyes. On the Bungie org chart, his title is “The Ringmaster.” Today, as I’m sipping my coffee and listening to his wisdom, he’s looking more like the weary fisherman from “The Old Man and the Sea.”
Zach’s been spending his days thinking about what happens when hundreds of thousands of gamers come to shore, momentously, exactly as planned. He’s been here before. He can smell the shift in the currents. The sea level change is imperceptible, but he knows that each small ripple on the horizon will soon become a surge, and he knows that each surge that follows will be bigger than the next.
He keeps his feet planted. We’ve made promises. Zach’s going to help us keep them.
So, we prepare. And, we build. We simulate the storm – mapping out the paths we expect Guardians to follow when they crash against our creations. Learning to anticipate and counter the moments when they surprise us. We take our work home, burn the midnight oil. When we can, we shove off from shore in our own boats and make waves.
It’s going to be your turn soon. Perhaps even sooner than some of you might think. We’re starting to feel like we’re finally ready for you.
We’ll find out.
In Your Side.
Every day at Bungie, something surprising graces in my inbox. At this phase of development, people on our team love to call attention to their favorite things about the game, and there’s plenty to share. We even have a special email address for that. It’s always exciting to drink in a sunset from a new vantage point or behold a Guardian build with some exotic armor. Selfies at Bungie are pretty legendary these days.
For me, this act of sharing can be bittersweet. I like to share, too. I see these things, and I know that they’re not ready for public consumption. I can hear the forbidding voices in my head.
“Not yet,” they’ll say.
“Wait ’til E3,” they’ll say.
Every once in a while, however, something inspires me to throw myself at the mercy of the guys who give permission to delight you with a morsel of sweet art from the game. This week, my plea was minimalist. It contained only these words:
[insert Bungie Weekly Update begging here]
Unexpectedly, the approvals bounced right back at me. As Destiny gets closer to being unleashed in Beta, I encounter less and less resistance to showing it off. Even the most scrutinizing artists are eager to push it out there for you to see, and dream.
So check this out.
Man, I’m a sucker for a Warlock. Check out that armor. Who wouldn’t want to be that guy? Energy crackling from your fingertips.
“This is the last time we can show Thorn,” Elliott said as he carved that screenshot into assets for the blog and our gallery (and your desktop).
“We haven’t showed it in game, yet.” I assured him.
People first saw it more than two years ago at GDC when Barrett shared some early concepts.
And we showed them Sloan Hood’s Halloween costume.
And we dragged it through customs a bunch of times.
“They’ve earned some hi-res game love after all that teasing,” I argued.
“Yeah,” Elliott agreed. “I still wish we were showing them Last Word, though.”
What’s that you ask? Last Word? A story for another time.
Very, very soon, we’ll stand our ground before the world and answer a lot of questions about Destiny. As that moment approaches, we’re saving up our best answers. To ease the pain of the waiting game, let’s open the Sack.
Swat When will the Bungie store re-open?
Weeks instead of months.
Ross Will we be seeing a Bungie store for people in the UK any time soon?
The brave new Bungie Store will take us one step closer to true World Domination. That’s just one of the reasons why we razed it to the ground in the first place.
Seven to Eight So, how buzzed are you right now?
The air is super charged. Every day now, we take to a raw space that’s been converted to mimic the E3 arena where players will battle in Destiny for the first time. We’re running drills in there, trying to strike the right chord of education and fun. It’s starting to feel like a party wrapped around a live fire training exercise. I feel sorta bad for the testers that work in there. We scream at each other in there while they hunt bugs. Many wars are being fought in the same space.
ExpBountyHunter Will the information being given out at E3 be spread over several days or most at the beginning and then followed with actual PvP game play?
This won’t be a flash of light. The E3 conversation will illuminate much more than just competitive multiplayer (you’ll never get me to say “PVP”). Our goal is to breed better understanding for the Destiny player experience. If we do our jobs right, that conversation will extend well beyond the day when the LA Convention Center kicks us out and sends us home.
Todge What are you most excited to share with us?
Each other. That sounds corny, but it’s true. The best moments we’ve had in playing Destiny is when we’ve surprised each other. Each of you is on task to contribute the most important ingredient to the world we’re creating. We need your characters. Your characters need each other.
OsiRis VeX If the community feels like something should be changed or added will Bungie give us what we want?
That’s an interesting question. It’s very rare that our beloved Community agrees unanimously about anything. This we know because we listen. We study and we watch. Bungie has always learned about our games from you. Some of our more interesting innovations have been sparked by your more interesting interactions.
Now, if you come to us and demand that your favorite weapon gets buffed so that you can win more games, we’ll smile and nod and remind you that we love you. However, if you surprise us with some hilarious or fascinating way in which you share the world we’ll turning over to your control, some new magic just might happen. This how things have always been between you and us.
GoreQueen With no past MMO experience, is there anything I should study up on to be able to understand how the game works when I am finally able to get my pretty little hands on it?
No. We have no homework assignments for you. You’ll be just fine if you show up with a clean slate, a sense of adventure, and an itchy trigger finger. Come as you are, and prepare to fight for your life.
If you’re really, really curious about how MMO players relate to Destiny, you can listen to a guy like Datto
as he deals in his unique brand of rampant speculation. We’re not making an MMO, but we just might have something that will capture the imaginations of both of you.
OutHouse Will there be a way to break down items that we don’t want once we get to higher levels?
Yep. Some guns will even beg you to let them cannibalize other guns in your inventory. Some guns can be very persuasive. And jealous.
creamfilling How many different types of weapons are there? We've seen assault rifles, fusion rifles, sniper rifles, shotguns, hand cannons, and launchers too. That's not enough, but yeah, I always want more.
You’re in luck. Your list is incomplete. You didn’t even mention the belt-fed machine guns. They are amazing. Perhaps your peers can name some other forms of munition in the comments.
This is where the update becomes a conversation. Have at it. We’re descending from the lectern to move amongst you and listen. We’ll hit our mark again next week, and speak the speech.
Until then, be safe out there in the wild.