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Inside Bungie: What Did the Devs Do on Launch Day?
Destiny 2 launched one week ago, and we wondered if the team at Bungie had any launch day rituals, habits, traditions, or anything else they do once the game they have been working on tirelessly for years has finally been released to the wild!
Woke up at an ungodly hour to go to the studio early to see the servers turn on.
Wore sweat pants and a hoodie. Comfort on long days should be prioritized.
After the world didn’t melt down (whew!), went to the gym and read about people’s first impressions while listening to classic rock.
Returned to the office (get back into sweats and hoodie) and started watching streamers play through the game for the first time.
Monitored community reports from our Destiny Player Support team and stared at the concurrency graph we have displayed prominently on the wall via a projector.
Kept fingers crossed all day long to make sure not to jinx the servers. It’s difficult to work out with fingers crossed, but somehow I’ll figure out a way to make it happen.
David “Deej” Dague – Communications Director
My tradition is to hover near the Destiny Operations Center and hope everything goes well. I’m basically useless if it doesn’t, but I like to know things.
Lars Bakken – Crucible Lead
Well, naturally I had the day off, so I went for a morning run, walked the dogs, made my breakfast (oatmeal with raisins & brown sugar), and waited for the servers to activate. My pre-load was finished, so as soon as the servers went live, I was in, baby!
My brother and I have been co-opping Bungie games on Day 1 since before I started working there, so as soon as we were able, we Fireteamed up. That way I was able to hear all of the wonder and surprise first-hand from a longtime fan.
I have to say I'm a long-time lurker on a bunch of forums, and I love seeing what the players have to say about the game. The first few days of a major release are always a fun ride. I'm binging the hell out of Destiny 2. I'll stop to eat and take care of the dogs, but other than that I've been playing full bore.
Steve Cotton – World Lead
I didn’t want to get a head start on everybody else. I've played plenty of times with only Bungie people around, so I wanted to come into the world full of brand new Guardians! I left work early on launch day, grabbed a beer and a bowl of popcorn, logged in, and played through the campaign until I unlocked all of the worlds… or fell asleep trying. First day though, I had to party up with friends and check out their reactions to all the new stuff! Especially Adventures and Lost Sectors. Holy s&@! It’s here!
Jonty Barnes – VP of Production
I did three things:
I always come into the office to surround myself with the server team in the early hours on launch days, to be around when the first players go online and understand first hand if the game is running smoothly. Our future is in the server team’s hands, and they know this. On this Launch Day, they looked uncharacteristically relaxed.
I watched the streamers, and listened to them as much as possible throughout the day to hear about their Destiny 2 experiences as they played for the first time. You can learn a lot from the community on Launch Day.
Finally, I went home to log on at 9pm when the game launched in North America and the servers were heavily tested. I played incognito to see what the launch experience was like as a player, and I wanted to hear what people were enjoying as they experienced the game in the wild.
Matthew Ward – Cinematics Director
The Cinematics team spent the morning, at home, playing TOGETHER and enjoyed the release of Destiny 2 with the rest of the world. It’s something we try to do with each release. I joined them as well, but I always make it a habit to try and spend some amount of time on Launch Day to write thank you cards to the many people our team has to thank for helping us make these incredible little short films. It’s truly a collaborative experience in order to do our jobs successfully and I’m grateful for how hard everyone works at Bungie to raise our bar across the company.
Jason Harris – Narrative Director
Release Day for me dropped at sunrise on Saturday, September 9. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. It brings me back to my days as a 10-year-old budding geek when I got up at the crack of dawn to watch my favorite Saturday morning cartoons. This year, Destiny 2 was my Saturday morning cartoons. Before my lady woke up, I brewed a pot of coffee and took my pup Betty Davis out for a pre-dawn trot.
After Ms. Davis was pooped and ready to go back to sleep, I retuned the brand-new 70 inch 4k flat-screen HDTV I bought just for the occasion (gotta get the best picture possible for my PlayStation 4 Pro!), transferred the java into a carafe, and moved to the world’s most comfortable feather down couch just as the sun broke through the northern Cascades.
The coffee table was set up precisely in this order, left to right, channeling my most idiosyncratic inner Melvin Udall: coffee carafe, two strawberry croissants from the bakery on the corner flanked by a knife & fork, PS4 controller (dead center), favorite coffee mug, journal & pen (for notetaking because I can’t help myself), [redacted], and [redacted]. I then pressed X to start… and prayed that I didn’t get TOO weepy when the memorialization sequence played. I failed.
Destiny 2 is now live around the world, and who knows, you might be playing with someone from Bungie right now! We’ll see you in The Farm, Guardian.