Bungie Corporation  2/7/95

CCCarl     : So, BungieCorp, what exactly do you do for Bungie?

Oglvie CCC : (And who are you exactly?)

BungieCorp : This is Jason Jones.  I'm the lead designer and programmer at

Bungie.  I started way, way back with "Minotaur" which I actually designed,

programmed and did all the illustration for ... our next project was "pathways

into darkness" which I did all of the programming for, but got help (!) from

Colin Brent on the artwork (so it looked far more professional).  Finally on

Marathon we got an entire team together, where we had three programmers and an

artist working full time to crank out a cool product.  I still did all of the

design, and a lot of the programming, but it was great to have help.

      Other than my job at bungie, I'm a part time student at the university

of chicago where i'm currently dodging work in my latin class.  :)

CCCarl     : I have a question from Vic1....

With the advent of CD-Rom games, will Bungee create a more "active" game, i.e.

first person movement rather than from the first person perspective?

BungieCorp : I'm not totally sure I understand the question, but I'll answer

it anyway.  :)

       Bungie is working on a new project which will surpass Marathon, but it

isn't going to be a first person movement game like King's Quest or Monkey

Island or any of those, if that is what you mean.  We're committed to the

first person perspective games, for a while at least, because we think they're

really cool.

CCCarl     : We've got a question from Charlatan...

wondering if Marathon is compatible with Apple Remote Access?

BungieCorp : Ok, I'm sure a lot of people are wondering about this so this is

going to be a long answer.  We originally hoped that Marathon v1.0 would work

over ARA.  Technical time constraints prevented this from happening.  Marathon

will be compatible with ARA in the v1.1 release, which will be released

on-line as a patch very soon.

     Unfortunately the v1.1 patch is being delayed right now because of

problems with ARA (it's been done for over 2 weeks right now).  Marathon sends

a lot of network packets, and ARA places such a heavy load on the CPU that

Marathon becomes very, very slow over ARA even between two powermacs connected

with 28.8 modems.  We're trying to fix this, but I don't know how successful

we're going to be.  In any case, the patch should be out soon.  I expect we'll

have to address the modem problem directly, that is, add direct modem support

to a "later version" of marathon or our next product (no promises!)

CCCarl     : We have had several people wondering....

How long did it take to make Marathon?

BungieCorp : Marathon has a long, complicated history of rewrites, respecs,

etc ... so it's hard to say exactly how long it took.  But from the time we

started, after shipping Pathways at August MacWorld in 1993, it took us until

december of 1995.

CCCarl     : Peggy Pride wonders....

now that the physics editor is out, What do you think of it?  p.s. great game

BungieCorp : I think the physics editor is totally cool, and we've actually

used it here at Bungie to spice up our network games a little.  Even in the

single player game, it's really cool just to play around with, and I've been

amazed with some of the ideas people have come up with (thanks)

CCCarl     : DAx2 wonders...

Would it be possible to use 3 monitors in Marathon to give side views?

BungieCorp : Sounds like a great idea, and after seeing F-18 or Hellcats

played like that, you really see how useful it would be.  Unfortunately we

didn't have time to do that for  Marathon (and it really would eat your CPU!)

but its something I'd like to look at doing ...... "next time".

CCCarl     : Harmelink wonders....

What is the practical limit of players on LocalTalk & etherTalk?  3 gives no

problem, but 4 for many scenarios hangs after 10 minutes.

BungieCorp : LocalTalk is actually fast enough to play a good game of Marathon

with way more than four people, but there are two problems.  First, LocalTalk

relies on your CPU to  receive incoming packets.  This means that every time

you get a game packet (sixty times a second) your CPU has to stop drawing the

screen and handle networking.  Ethernet does not have this problem, which is

great (it's all handled in the card).

     Second, the LocalTalk drivers just were not designed to handle the amount

of data we're trying to push accross the wire, and it ends up slowing down the

game a lot.  Combine these two problems, especially on a PowerMac where

everything is still running under emulation (until Open Transport) and

LocalTalk gets really weird with 4 or more players.  We used to run games of 4

and 5 players here over LocalTalk, but we gave that up when we got Ethernet.

       One thing I should say to LocalTalk players: if you've got fast

machines, try playing on the "Ethernet" setting, and the game will be far more


CCCarl     : The 68kmug wonders...

what languages/development environment was chosen to use to construct


BungieCorp : Marathon was developed completely in MPW (Macintosh Programmers

Workshop).  We used Apple's C compiler for both 68k and PowerPC, as well as

the 68k assembler.  CodeWarrior didn't come out until long into development,

and even now it doesn't compare to MPW's PPCC compiler. 

CCCarl     : McFarland wonders...

 Do you feel 'threatened' by MacDoom?

BungieCorp : Obviously I'm glad we shipped before Doom was released on the

Macintosh, but I think it'll be great for the Mac to finally be taken

seriously by some of the big PC developers.   I think we've got a far superior

network game, and the storyline in our single-player game is something totally

missing in Doom.

BungieCorp : $next

CCCarl     : Gmor wonders...

In network play, if you have a certain weapon, you can pick up that same

weapon repeatedly.  Most of us consider that a bug... Any info on this issue?

BungieCorp : There is a problem in Marathon when playing on "Total Carnage"

difficulty level where you can pick up an infinite number of the same weapon.

This is really annoying in network games when one person picks up all the good

stuff and doesn't die for a long time , and it gets frustrating in the

single player game when you pick up 15 alien weapons and can't use them!  If

you play below Total Carnage, this won't happen.

CCCarl     : Many people are wondering....

what is next for Bungie?

BungieCorp : I'm sure most of you know that we had some problems last  year

when we started talking about Marathon back in May, showed it in August at

Boston MacWorld and then didn't ship until December.  There were good reasons

for the time  it took us to finish the game (and I hope if you've seen

Marathon you agree!) but the lesson we learned from this was not to talk much

about future releases until we know for sure when they  will be finished. 

   Having said this, I will tell you that we're working on something really

cool, possibly in the Marathon universe, which will include a lot of things we

didn't have time to add to Marathon because we ran out of time (and we had a

lot of great ideas).

CCCarl     : Jumping Fis wonders...

Where is Marathon available?  I can't find it anywhere.

BungieCorp : Marathon should be available everywhere, but as you've seen it's

really difficult to find.  Your best bet is to backorder it from one of the

Mac mail order catalogs, which get product fairly often from us (unless you

can find a computer store near you which has it in stock!).  We're doing

everything we can, including stuffing the boxes ourselves, to get  product out

as soon as possible.

CCCarl     : BBryantJr says....

I'm new to computer games. My son, 7y.o., and I, mid- fourties, would like to

purchas some entertaining games that both of us would like. Can you tell us

more about your game??

BungieCorp : Ok, technology first:

    Marathon is a first-person 3-dimensional texture-mapped game.  This means

it's something like Wolf3D, Sensory Overload or our own "Pathways Into

Darkness".  I can say without hesitation, however, that it is way, way cooler

than these games.

       Plot, second:  It's a science-fiction adventure game, where you must

repel an onslaught of hostile aliens trying to destroy and enslave a human

colony on a remote world in the 23rd century.  You're guided through the game

by one of the colony ship's three artificial intelligences, who sometimes help

you out and sometimes get you into serious trouble.

  The best way to see what the game is like, however, is to download the free

3-level demo from eWorld.

CCCarl     : PMLincoln wonders...

Would you plan to integrate the sound into Marathon without the QuickTime

Musical Instuments?

BungieCorp : Yeah, it's a great idea, but we didn't have the time or

resources.  We'll try to provide a better solution for people wanting to hear

the music next time, so you don't have to go looking for an instruments file

Apple hid on your hard drive somewhere.  :)

CCCarl     : Todd J. LGC  says...

It great to see developers suport the Power Mac, does it take a great deal

more time to write a program for the PPC and what type of speed to you get out

of a 604?

BungieCorp : No, with all the tools available, doing PowerMac code is as easy

as recompiling your C code for a different  platform.  Of course, tracking

down bugs on a PowerPC is way harder than it is on 68k.  :)  Marathon will

rock on a 604, especially in the new (as of v1.1) 24-bit color option.

CCCarl     : R. Hallock wonders....

The docs that came with the demo mention "VR compatibility".  Where, if I

actually had the cash, would I pruchase one that would work with your game? 

BungieCorp : Marathon works with VictorMaxx's CyberMaxx VR headset.  This

system is shipping commercially for the PC right now, but won't be ready for

Macs until .... who knows when (they say, "real soon now").  When it does

ship, we'll probably have to rev Marathon to support it, but will do that ASAP

(we tested marathon with a prototype unit designed for the PC).  The helmet

retails for about $700, I think.

CCCarl     : SAmies wonders...

Now the grunt work is behind you. Do you anticipate, the Marathon engine being

so complete, powerful and cool in all, being able to crank out many  cool new

Marathon Scenariors?

BungieCorp : Like I said before, I'm not going to talk much about what Bungie

is doing internally, but I will say that I'm working with a few people on the

internet to create a 3rd party map  editor, like the physics model editor

which was  recently released, so that everyone will be able to do their own

maps.  I think we're about a week or so away from a tool which will allow

people to customize the graphics, as well.  We designed marathon as much as we

could to be "open", and you'll see us moving more in this direction in future


CCCarl     : ScareCrow wonders...

Was there any concern that you would get complaints about the violence and

gore that made you revise the game in any way?

BungieCorp : There were a few times when I had to tell the artist, "uhhh..

uhhh ... like, Reg, that might make some people wonder if we're normal, let's

not do that."  But we really didn't make any concessions like you're

suggesting.  We were thinking for  a while about a "no gore" checkbox in the

preferences dialog, which you may still see in a future product, but we

honestly haven't gotten that much negative feedback about the violence.  (but

are open to opinions!)

CCCarl     : Locutus 1 asks...

Why did you do a Mactionsh game, when most of the other develpers are doing

games for the IBM only?

BungieCorp : Because the PowerMacs rule.

uhh ... ok, I'll be a little more serious.

Macs are what we know best.  I've been doing Apple programming since high

school on the old Apple ][, and I've always liked Apple products better (I did

my time on PCs for two years at a CAD/CAM company, and hated it!)  So for the

time being, I think it's good to stick with what we know and what we do best.

CCCarl     : Blue Avenge asks...

There is a rumor that there are secret rooms in  Marathon.  Is this true?

BungieCorp : no way, who told you that?

ok, sure there are secret rooms ... there's one every 2 levels are so, and

most of the time they contain weapons that you wouldn't otherwise get for a

few more levels. The flamethrower, for example, can be found on the sixth

level,   "Smells like Napalm, Tastes Like Chicken" if you're really, really,

really, looking for it.  The last level has a secret terminal with messages

from everyone at Bungie, if you look hard enough.  :)

CCCarl     : GGilman wonders...

Does anyone from Bungie read the Marathon news groups on the internet?

BungieCorp : I keep more-or-less up to date on comp.sys.mac.games and

alt.games.marathon, and try to listen to the suggestions people are making.

I've also helped a bunch of internet people get tech support help through


CCCarl     : ScareCrow wonders....

What games or products have you guys put out on the market as of today?

BungieCorp : The only three products we are currently selling are Minotaur, a

2-8 player network-only game which is very cool and we still play here,

Pathways Into Darkness, the precursor (in technology but not in plot) to

Marathon, and then Marathon itself.

CCCarl     : ScareCrow wonders again....

I've heard rumors that you guys may be thinking of producing a saturday

morning cartoon?

BungieCorp : Actually I didn't want it to get leaked before our big

announcement next week, but Bungie is actually giving up the software business

and moving to animation.

     That is to say, no, that's ridiculous.  We're not doing any sat. morning


Oglvie CCC : Awww.... ;)

BungieCorp : Sorry!

BungieCorp : Thanks for coming, guys.  Any programmers out there can email me

if they're interested in working on map editors,

I want to get one done soon!


CCCarl     : Thank you everyone for coming tonight....

Oglvie CCC : Folks ... thanks all for coming, and please make sure to stop by

Inside Games.  For other cool demos, software, and messages on every game imaginable