Intervew with Michael Williams from bungie

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VII Toast was able to interview one of buniges 60 new employess, Michael Williams. Here is what he had to say about himself and his co-workers at bungie studios.
Tell us a bit about yourself. I was born in Boston, but have lived in Washington most of my life. I've wanted to work in video games since I was young, and made an ascii art Old-Yeller show up on a computer screen for an elementary school project. In college, I started a club for students who were interested in game design, and we created a number of small games. I graduated from Western Washington University with a degree in Computer Science, and began working in the games industry as a tester soon after. In about a week I'll be getting married to a beautiful girl who loves games as much as I do. What do you do at Bungie? I was originally brought on as a contract tester working on network simulation. After we shipped, I was hired on as an SDET (Software Developer Engineer in Test). Normally, the SDETs on a software development team create testing tools and automation setups to help with the creation of the product. At Bungie, our team takes on these tasks, but we are also responsible for catching cheaters, online statistics, and tons of the cool features on Bungie.net such as the game viewer and RSS feeds. Currently I am working on some internal test tools and assisting with the automated cheater detection. What was it like at your first day working for Bungie Studios? My contract work at Bungie started right after the E3 2004 demo. When I came in I had to pick up a great deal of information very quickly. Between the multiplayer dynamics of the game, the test tools available, and just the culture at Bungie, there was a lot to learn. Much of those early days are a blur, but some things I can clearly remember. The World War II posters on the wall, reminding everyone to keep quiet (Even my close friends and family didn't know I was working on Halo 2 until the game was nearly done). I also remember having my ass handed to me on Zanzibar for the first time, and playing on nearly a untextured Ivory Tower. Were you ever a fan of Bungie before you joined them? I was definitely a fan. I can remember reading the updates for Halo 1 and being amazed at what they were managing to pull off. Does anyone ever give you a hard time? Frankie, perhaps? Most of the time folks are totally friendly around here (frankly, the friendliest guys I've ever worked with). But shotgun a teammate in the face once (just once!) and you won't hear the end of it for days. It is also a wise idea not to harass the artists much, lest you end up with your head photoshopped, or make a cameo on the whiteboards. Trying anything with the Bungie princess? I'm always trying to get free food from her (Granted this isn't very hard - she keeps us *very* well supplied with snacks) Where is Ling-Ling's head? Right now I suspect that it is nestled safely in a wooden packing crate, ready for transport by armed guards to the new building. Anything interesting that you can tell us about Bungie's upcoming games? Nope. As Frankie said in his recent update, it's "Coming along nicely". What is your favorite game? (besides one from Bungie) I'm a big fan of 'Natural Selection' (a Half-Life 1 mod), and 1000 blank white cards (a do-it-yourself card game). Right now, I'm also lusting over a boardgame called "Shadows over Camelot". What is your favorite Bungie game? My personal favorite is Halo 2. I just don't get tired of playing it. Where is the Webmaster? He currently in locked away in the server closet approximately 15 feet from my desk. We try to ignore the occasional bangs and crashes from that direction. When we move, he will be shot full of Tranquilizers from long range, and awake in the server room version 2.0, hopefully with few ill-effects. Honey Mustard or BBQ? Definitely Honey Mustard. BBQ is good, but honey mustard goes on so many more foodtypes. Favorite Food? One-Star Chicken Phad Thai. Hair color? Brown, with a reddish goatee. ..and finally, anything you would like to tell the members on the forums? We read the forums. While we may not always agree with what folks have to say in posts, their statements are not ignored. Though some forum goers claim otherwise, it is demonstrably true that Bungie cares deeply for its' fans. Between the weekly updates, the free DLC, the anti-cheater mechanisms, and the regular playlist updates, Bungie spends a huge amount of time an effort keeping Halo 2 a great game. Why? Because we love you guys.
Thanks to VII Toast for the interview.
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