It’s finally here! A few weeks ago I asked for you to submit your questions for a Club Penguin Staff Member. I interviewed Hamustar. She’s been working with Club Penguin for a while. I know her from Miniclip’s Club Penguin Forum, which her and a few other Club Penguin Employees will visit from time to time. I got the idea of asking Hamustar if I could interview, as she is the most active on the forum, and based on her posts she seems to really enjoy her job. To my luck she agreed and took the time to answer my questions, so without further ado, here is the interview!
Me: When did you first start working at Club Penguin and how did you find out about the game?
Hamustar: I started in August 2006. My husband had been working as a programmer for a few months when he told me about moderators, and I decided to apply.
Me: What exactly is your job at Club Penguin? Has your job changed slightly over the years?
Hamustar: I organize and track all the features that have to go up on the website to make sure all the pieces are handed over for QA testing and launch. I’ve done a few jobs at CP; I started as a moderator, then QA, then Build Admin (game configuration and deployment) before I began my current position. So yes, things have changed quite a bit for me!
Me: If someone were to be in your shoes for a day, what tasks would be done?
Hamustar: It would depend on the day, but usually it means fielding questions for people that need information on the game content, organizing the content so it can be deployed and tested, as well as watching over the status of upcoming launches to make sure nothing is slipping through the cracks.
Me: What’s your favorite part about your job?
Hamustar: We use a tool called JIRA for tracking bugs, as well as lots of other tasks. I really enjoy finding new ways to automate processes using it, as well as utilizing it to show the status of launches to other departments.
Me: How long does it take to design things such as games or parties? Do you ever contribute any game graphics or game coding?
Hamustar: Oh gosh, it certainly depends! Some parties and games are smaller, when others (like Halloween and Holiday events) are HUGE. It can take months for some. I’ve never contributed any graphics or coding, but I have helped with ideas for new features and parties.
Me: How does the Club Penguin Team come up with all the ideas? I know some are user submitted… what is the total time process between the original idea and it being released on Club Penguin? I’m guessing it varies on the idea.
Hamustar: I don’t know much about this part of the process, since most of what I do is at the very end. I do know that they take what the community has asked for quite seriously, and they do their best to implement the feedback into the game.
Me: Does the Club Penguin Team read Club Penguin Blogs and consider their opinions on things? I believe I once heard Club
Penguin has a special team dedicated to this type of stuff…
Hamustar: Oh man, do they ever! There is a team that is dedicated to researching what the community wants, through many different means (including reading blogs).
Me: Have you ever controlled a Club Penguin Mascot (such as Rockhopper or Aunt Arctic) or is it a select group that does it?
Hamustar: I actually have! When Rockhopper was first introduced as an in-game mascot, I was lucky enough to be one of the few that logged on. I had so much fun! Mascots quickly became so popular that a team was formed to play as characters like Rockhopper.
Me: Do Club Penguin employees have to pay for their own membership and game codes or is it included for free in the job?
Hamustar: Employees get to have their own penguin with membership for free. QA Testers are really lucky – they usually have a few different penguin accounts to use for different types of testing.
Me: Might as well include this one even though it doesn’t really pertain to your job – what do you like to do in your spare time?
Hamustar: I like to play lots of video games and board games, and watch movies and tv shows with my friends. I also sew plush toys for fun. ;)
Some of you had questions about future Club Penguin updates.
Me: In Billybob’s recent video blog, he said buddy lists will be “(almost) unlimited”. What exactly did he mean by this? Also, what ever happened to the Notice Board Room that was mentioned in the CP Book “Ultimate Official Guide To Club Penguin: Expanded Edition”? (you can reference this picture)
Hamustar: You’d have to ask Billybob or Happy77 about those ones…
Wow! Thanks again Hamustar! It seems like you have lots of fun at your job and do many unique things! I know I learned a lot from you on what goes on in the Club Penguin Offices. :)