The Gameological Questionnaire

Harold Ryan, president, Bungie

Harold Ryan, president, Bungie

The head of the former Halo studio says the upcoming Destiny once played like Gauntlet—and still might.

By Ryan Smith • June 14, 2013

Last week, we asked Gameological readers to submit questions that we could pose to developers on the E3 2013 show floor. We picked five of our favorites; those questions constitute The Gameological Questionnaire.

“Definitely new world. Ripe but balanced.” It’s how an internet commenter described a bottle of 2005 Balboa Mith, the wine that Bungie president Harold Ryan chose as the perfect accompaniment to his studio’s new game. Some might also say that it’s also a good way to describe Destiny, a game that departs from the Halo universe that Bungie established over the past decade but sticks with the format that the Seattle developer knows best: first-person shooters.

The Gameological Society: If Destiny had a super-deluxe version that cost $1,000, what would be in the box?

Harold Ryan: I don’t know what I’d put in the box. Maybe a 3D printing module that would let you print out your own avatar out at home.

Gameological: If an alien species discovered Destiny as the only remnant of human civilization, what would they learn about us?

Ryan: They would learn that we’re resourceful and resilient.


Gameological: Sony and Microsoft have new consoles coming out soon. What are some exciting things you can do on the new machines, in terms of game design, that you couldn’t do before?

Ryan: Certainly on the new consoles, with what they’ve announced and laid out, you can do a much better job with visuals and graphics, as we showed. We could go to higher player counts than we showed in our demo, for example, but we’re shipping on four platforms. So for us, what we get out of them is they have bigger hard drives in them—they all have hard drives, so you can get the local storage, which is nice for a game because it’s easier to rely on that rather than being off a DVD. There’s not a lot there other than the social services, [which] are going to be pretty interesting with sharing content and Facebook uploading. Probably the hard drive, the better graphics, and the social features are the three best things we’re getting out of the new consoles.


Gameological: What wine pairs best with your game?

Ryan: I know of a wine called Mith, made by a winemaker in Walla Walla, so I think for fictional reasons, it’s probably the best wine to have. Though they have an “I” in the name instead of a “Y,” so it’s pretty close, but it’s pretty good. Balboa Mith would be the best to pair with the game.

Gameological: What’s the strangest idea that came up during production but ultimately didn’t make it in the game?

Ryan: There are so many. At one point, the game played very much like Gauntlet, so that’s probably the strangest. It was a lot of fun. We might do it still.

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17 Responses to “Harold Ryan, president, Bungie”

  1. Fluka says:

    “They would learn that we’re resourceful and resilient.”

    Well, and that we fucking hated aliens.

    • NakedSnake says:

      Haha, yea. I would have loved it if he answered the “what would aliens learn?” question with: “FAR TOO MUCH!!!”

    • Effigy_Power says:

      That we hate aliens and that not all PR-people/developers are created equally.
      Sorry, Bungie-dude, but you all will have to be measured by the SR4-dev from now on. HE WANTED TO PUT BOOZE IN THERE!

      • lokimotive says:

        This guy was completely unprepared for our probing and insightful questions. At least he thought about the wine question though, so that’s nice (thought I’m not really sure what he’s talking about).

        • The_Helmaroc_King says:

          Bungie had a game series called Myth, some kind of RTS thing. I watched an LP of the first two games, I think, but nothing else.

        • lokimotive says:

          @The_Helmaroc_King:disqus Oh, yeah. I remember those games. It was probably one of the first, if not the first RTS that was rendered using polygons rather than sprites… plus there was a lot of blood. It always interested me, but never enough to actually play it.
          But, I thought this guy was talking about Destiny, not Myth.

        • The_Helmaroc_King says:

          @lokimotive:disqus Bungie just really likes putting in references to other games they’ve made. They did it for Halo and Marathon.

        • NakedSnake says:

          @The_Helmaroc_King:disqus @lokimotive:disqus I totally did not know that Bungie made those games. They were awesome. There were these moments when you were tending to your business on one part of the map and then one of the guys you have on the other side of the map nonchalantly says, “casualty…” indicating one of your men had died. Then suddenly another guy screams out “Casualties!!!”, indicating that multiple guys have died, and you know that all hell is breaking lose. It was perfectly crafted to throw you into a panic.

    • Spacemonkey Mafia says:

      “They would learn that we’re resourceful and resilient.”

         I find this to be a hilarious response to a question concerning the eradication of our species so complete, a single video game is all that remains to mark our passing.

  2. Citric says:

    I think “there are hard drives” might be the worst answer to my question so far.

    • HobbesMkii says:

      Worst answer brainstorm session:

      “You can play the game on them, so, you know…there’s that.”

      • Citric says:

        “They have both matte black plastic and glossy black plastic, which is great if you’re indecisive.”

  3. HobbesMkii says:

    Another 3D printer for the $1000.00 box. I’m sure these guys didn’t talk to each other at all, but geez. I mean, I know the Halo series cribbed from every sci-fi story in existence (and Destiny looks like it’s cribbing from Halo) but Bungie could try to have some more original ideas.

    Also, for a thousand bucks, it seems like the customer could just design their avatar ahead of time, and then their box would come with that avatar in it, personally packaged. It’s a thousand dollars. If it were a Kickstarter reward level, you’d get a tour of the studios and a bunch of personalized goodies.

    • Spacemonkey Mafia says:

      For a thousand dollars, I want them to include an cryo-injection pen so after playing the game, I can put myself into sleep-suspension until Bungie’s invariably accurate vision of the future comes to pass.

  4. robthom says:

    ” Probably the hard drive, the better graphics, and the social features are the three best things we’re getting out of the new consoles.”

    PC gaming>Console gaming

    The audience for videogames have become mature enough that an underpowered childs toy isn’t the most desirable platform for it anymore.

  5. Annabelle says:

    That guy’s mouth is terrifying.