Interview with Jonas Eneroth
Interview done by "Frost," the Editor
Note: This interview was done around October-November, so some of the information may be a bit behind. Also - Eneroth, Jonas is ©1996-1998 Bungie Sof... err, whoops...
Frost: How and when did you first become interested in computers?
Jonas: Since forever I guess. Got my first Atari 400 when I was about 9. And since then it grew from there, a CMB 64 to a PC of some kind and then the infamous Mac Plus. What grabbed my interest was the programming aspect, the sheer creativity involved and the absolutes of those ones and zeros.
Frost: And, what initially influenced you to get into the computer game industry?
Jonas: Bungie called and offered me a job. I love computer games and have worked on a few as an undergrad at Georgetown but what changed it all was doing scenario work on M1. That got Bungie's attention and I took over Greg Kirkpatricks position in Chicago. After he decided to leave.
Frost: When was it that you joined Bungie?
Jonas: I joined officially in december 1995 but I moved from London to Chicago in January of 1996 The only people here then were Alex, Jason, Rob, Mark, Pam, Doug, Matt, and we had Eric out in California.
Frost: I see, so you used to live in London?
Jonas: I'm from Sweden, moved to London when I was 7. Went back to Sweden when I was 18 to do my military service. After that I was in college in Washington D.C., majoring in Finance and Int'l Business with a minor in Computer Science. I joined an investment bank in London after college BUT - then Bungie called.
Frost: What do you normally do on a day-to-day basis?
Jonas: I do three things mainly:
1. Oversee our international contracts, make sure they're happy and that the money keeps flowing in.
2. Do some map work, like netmaps for Myth
3. Go out and try to originate contracts as part of our "take over the world" scheme.
Mostly I deal with localization issues, content and marketing in faraway lands.
Frost: And what type of government does Bungie plan to establish once Earth is under their control?
Jonas: Totalitarianism, naturally. I just want a pair of knee high riding boots and have a valid excuse for wearing them on the street.
Frost: Ok, a few questions about Myth. When do you think Myth might be finished? In 1-3 months, 4-6 months, or longer?
Jonas: In time for Christmas.
Frost: Alright, and what price will it be when it's out, or has one been set yet?
Jonas: It should hit the street between 49 and 59 US Dollars. Probably cheaper in some places, like out web store at www.bungie.com... by the way <g>
Frost: Will a demo be available to the public anytime soon?
Jonas: Yes. Soon.
Frost: Any date, or you think it best not to give one out yet?
Jonas: It will be available when it's done. You know Bungie and dates... it is in the pipe and we are doing our best.
Frost: I understand. So, it's not going to be out in just a few weeks like Next Generation said? Or wait... 1 week they said.
Jonas: Next Generation is a generation off... their story has no validity but reality may be different in the end. It is soon and logically the demo has to be out before the full version which in turn has to be out before Christmas... I hope that answers your question.
Frost: Ahh... they pulled a "we make the news" act there. Ok, that clears that up. Are there any projects Bungie is currently working on other than Myth?
Jonas: Yes. Taking over the world, that's one.
Frost: Heh. Any computer-related projects I mean...?
Jonas: Yes. We are teaching computers to do our bidding and take over the world for us.
Jonas: We have a few new projects up our sleeves but that is all I can say on that issue. There's Myth stuff, new stuff, some old(er) stuff... I guess it's fair to say you'll see a lot more from Bungie than you are used to.
Frost: Oh really? That's good to hear. I haven't seen much info coming out of you guys lately, thought there might be something up...
Jonas: We're very busy at the moment with Myth: The Fallen Lords and all the rest... that's why we're so quiet.
Frost: What non-Bungie games do you play most frequently?
Jonas: Civ II, Castle Wolfenstein on an old Apple IIe, Strategic Conquest, Panzer/Allied General. Mostly strategic games. Right now I am helping out on a Marathon third party project so that keeps my off hours busy. I liked Terminal velocity a lot too.
Frost: What is your favorite non-Bungie game?
Jonas: Too many to pick out a single game as the best. I joined Bungie because of Marathon and I think that speaks volumes on my favorite game... It is the only first person game I like, by the way. Except for Duke, that was fun... for a while. I thought Damage Inc was fun... cool to see some homegrown net maps in it.
Frost: Speaking of that... I heard you made a few of the network levels in Damage Incorporated. Which ones were these?
Jonas: Their names all changed so it's hard to tell you which ones... my favorite net map is in Infinity. It was originally called Scoliosis but was changed to Spline. It was designed to let us mere mortals kill the juggernauts of marathon destruction here in the office. i.e. Jason, Tuncer and the lab team. And it worked - they hate it 'cause they can't Spanker us from afar - me and my trusty 'ole shotguns make short work of w'em... sometimes.
Frost: I also heard that you made some of the levels for Marathon 2. Which ones were these?
Jonas: For M2 I re-designed the Win95 version, new textures, alignment, layout as well as clear up and create some bugs. Mostly UI stuff... Mostly.
Frost: Ok, so you didn't make any levels of your own for M2, only ports to Win95?
Jonas: Yeah. Just made changes. The version could not be too different. I joined just after M2 was done for the Mac.
Frost: What is working at Bungie like?
Jonas: Like Disney but better.Bungie is a small company and as such it is a fairly close knit community. We work 24/7 (well, most of us do) at some point and yes, it is a lot of hard work. We even get stressed but a netgame clears that up quickly. Everyone is awaiting Myth: the Fallen Lords - it is gonna be BIG!!!
Frost: Hah, ok, I think that gives a good idea what it's like working there. Which Bungie game is currently the most popular on the international market?
Jonas: Marathon 2 was the most popular game internationally. We even had Portuguese and Spanish versions of the game :)
Frost: So in these international ports, you guys had Doug and the Pfhor learn Spanish and Portuguese?
Jonas: Nah, mostly they did it themselves or kept the English sounds. It is fun though to hear a Swedish Bob... "Han skjuter på oss" Ha ha ha! Swedish sounds so... ahem... strange in the game :)
Frost: Which foreign country has the largest market for Bungie products?
Jonas: Germany, U.K., and France. In that order. With Japan... we love Japan. They love us too.
Frost: I see, it should be easier to take Japan over when you take over the world then, eh?
Jonas: Oh yeah. It has begun. Why do you think you are willing to spend all this time in front of a computer? Free will? I don't think so. I get paid to sit here... what's your excuse?
Frost: I bribed Alex to force your mind to do an interview with me.
Jonas: Lol! You see, that is why you shall be among the upper echelon of Bungie State. You know. Only a few do...
Frost: Hey, you should see what he offered to have you do when I flashed that... err... you didn't hear what I just said.
Frost: heh, ok, back to the real world. Some of the readers wanted me to ask you these questions:
1. What's your favorite movie?
Jonas: Alien and Aliens (duh), Trainspotting, Pulp Fiction and Star Wars - always loved that film. Ghost in the Shell and Akira rank highly as well.
Frost: Number 2: Which do you prefer: Macs or PCs, and which aspects of them do you like?
Jonas: I like both but for different reasons. I like a PC because I can be the mechanic, I can get my hands dirty and make sure it runs as well as possible. I like Macs because when I need a Porsche it's there, ready and willing with a touch of class and polish. I just think Apple is insane... But that's another story. But, I prefer my Mac over my PC but that's just me.
Frost: Oh it's all of us, believe me. We ALL have superior intelligence. <g>
Frost: If you're talking about the cloning issue, I'm with you in that statement.
Frost: And lastly, do you think another Marathon game may be made in the future? Say with a great new engine and cool features. That sort of stuff.
Jonas: I don't see why we won't return to that universe at some point. Maybe by then our children will play it, I don't know. I love the Mara-verse and I hope to return someday, be it by book, movie or a new game. With everything that kicks butt!!!!!
Frost: Well, thank you very much for doing that interview, enjoyed it.
Jonas: Anyway, thanks and best of luck. I hope I had something noteworthy to say. Thanks again.
Frost: Be seeing you.
Back to The Table Of Contents