April 28, 2001

Colin Ferguson writes in to Bungie Sightings:

Sakura-Con (an annual anime convention near Seattle) hosted four people from Bungie today at the Holiday Inn in Everett. Of those Bungie members attending, Lorraine Reyes McLees was the primary guest, but she brought along Rob McLees, Matt Soell, and (I believe) a new member of the group who stayed pretty quiet.

They were there to talk about Oni, but the GameStock Halo trailer was also shown. Most of the event consisted of a questions and answers period. I asked if we could expect to see exploding clowns as easter eggs in any of Bungie's upcoming games. Mrs. Reyes-McLees looked at me and said "You've been reading, haven't you?" while Mr. McLees just smiled. Questions from other members of the audience were about Bungie's plans for other anime-themed games, how they felt about joining Microsoft, and why Oni did not get as much hype as Halo.

Later, there was a Bungie trivia contest to win Bungie prizes. I managed to bag an Oni Soundtrack CD by correctly answering "What is Blam?" What is more, I was able to get Mrs. Reyes-McLees to sign the insert with her name, today's date, and a small sketch-portrait of herself smiling.

Matt Soell further added:

- The mysterious fourth member of our little group was none other than Peter Marks aka Mordia.

- The trivia contest was truly a haphazard affair, as none of us knew it was going to happen. Lorraine just announced, "Okay, we're going to have a trivia contest now" and then we all tried to come up with decent trivia questions. [...] No true fans should have any difficulty with those.

Apparently they didn't do too bad. Herewith is the list of questions and answers, in no particular order, as best remembered by Colin:

Q: Do you plan on making any more anime themed games?

A: That is up to the design team. If we want to do another anime game, we will.

Q: Why do you think that Halo's hype drastically overshadowed Oni's?

A: One major reason was that Halo got a big kick off at the MacWorld Expo with millions of people watching over the internet. Oni did not get that same kind of initial exposure.

Q: Can I work at Bungie?

A: Maybe. Send us your résumé and portfolio. We keep all the résumés that we receive. In the future, if we think that we could use your skills, we'll contact you. We hate to have good talent go to waste. Oh, and be prepared to live at the office for days at a time.

Q: What do you think about those people who claim that violent computer games lead to violence in real life?

A: Every generation has something to blame for its problems. In the past, things like Elvis and television were blamed for inciting violence. Computer games make an easy scapegoat. If you examine all the people who play violent computer games, only a very small fraction of them actually do something seriously violent, and they usually have something wrong with them to begin with.

Q: Can I buy the Halo soundtrack?

A: We currently have no concrete plans for the Halo soundtrack. But, we have released soundtracks for all our other recent games, so Halo will probably not be any different.

Q: What was the inspiration for Oni?

A: Ghost in the Shell. We're all big Shiro fans.

Q: Is Halo going to have the contextual music like in the GameStock demonstration?

A: All the music for the GameStock demonstration was activated manually in real time while the game was running. Are we going to have contextual music in the final game? That's the plan.

Q: Was that GameStock level deliberately designed to resemble the Command System in the Planet of the Dead in Iain M. Banks' novel Consider Phelbas?

A: [Murmurs from crowd, chuckles from Bungie people] I don't know. The guys have been reading a lot of his book lately though. Yeah, lots of science fiction.

Q: Well, it's just that the Covenant Warriors remind me so much of the Iridians.

A: [More chuckles from Bungie.]

Q: Will we get to see exploding clowns as easter eggs in any of your upcoming games?

A: You've been reading, haven't you? I don't know. We'll see. We can assure you that there will be exploding stuff, though.

Colin's aside: Well, that goes without saying.

Following are some of the questions (and _some_ of the answers) to the Bungie/anime trivia quiz. One prize per question answered correctly.

Q: What were the three original names of Robotech?

A: Super Dimensional Fortress Macross, [Cannot Remember], and [Cannot Remember].

Q: What is Blam?

A: A code name for Halo.

Q: What do Rei Ayanami, Rally Vincent, and Konoko have in common?

A: They were all voice acted by Amanda Winn Lee.

Q: What once fell out of a window and hit Greg Kirkpatrick on the head?

A: A washer.

Q: What was Halo's original code name?

A: Monkey Nuts. Jason wanted a code name that he could tell his mother, so it was changed.

Colin ended his last email with the following:

That is all I can think of at the moment. If I remember anything else, I shall let you know. And if anyone from Bungie is reading this, let me remind you that this document will not hold-up in a court of law ;-). If you remember, I was the geek guy with glasses, a plaid (Clan Ferguson tartan) tie, and an overloaded pocket protector (from which Mrs.. Rayes-McLees borrowed a Sharpie to sign something).

-Colin Ferguson
Many many thanks to you Colin, from your pal here at Bungie Sightings!