Just over a month ago I asked you to submit your questions for an interview with Spike Hike. It took a lot longer for me to go through the comments and send some of the questions to Spike Hike than I meant for it to, however as promised here is the interview with Spike Hike! The post received over 200 comments. Of course Spike Hike can’t answer every question, however I did send him as many as I could without overloading him. Out of the 200 comments containing easily 250 to 300 questions or more, I picked out 20 questions at random. I do apologise if your question was not answered. The questions sent to Spike Hike range from being about Club Penguin’s future plans, questions about the game in general, or even about Spike Hike himself! He’s shared some really interesting items about the game, even giving a few hints. Here are the questions I sent Spike Hike along with this answers. Enjoy! :)
1. How did you find out about Club Penguin Memories?
I’ve heard about Trainman1405 for years from the CP team. Everyone on the team reads his blog.
2. What is your favorite Club Penguin party?
Hmm….tough one. I’ve loved both Medieval Parties for the last 2 years although like a lot of kids I wish we had Scorn and the quest in retrospect. I loved the original Marvel party! That was just hugely epic! I like all the “travel” stuff we’ve been doing this year – the limo, the road, the surfing – that stuff is awesome and we have more of it coming. Operation: Blackout was awesome! Everyone was just so pumped for that one and The Director reveal made everyone on the team cry because her voice is our finance woman that we all love. Puffle Party has to be my favorite every year! It keeps getting better and better and the Puffle Hotel and Rainbow Puffle were just amazing this year. There’s a great mechanic going into the December party where members can do something cool to help non-members. It may be one of our best ideas yet and the perfect CP type of play. We shall see!
3. Would you like to see Club Penguin have more rooms?
Yes eventually. Here is the problem – the way CP is shared into servers where the entire world is on a server is a major problem for community. Even the most popular servers only have a few rooms that are busy at any one time. Most servers can look like a ghost town, especially during the way. The more rooms you add the worse because people are that more spread out across rooms and shards.
We have a new technology that we call CPNext and it is the future of Club Penguin. Today you know it as “My Penguin” but eventually all of CP everywhere will use this technology. CPNext works completely differently when it comes to sharding and grouping. We don’t have the concept of “servers” anymore – which I know will bum some people out – but its a better experience for most people because we automatically group you with other Penguins and every ROOM is in effect a shard. That way, if we need 1000 versions of the Town and only 1 version of the Underground Lake, we can have only as many as we need at any one time of those rooms. And theoretically those rooms will never be empty because we only spin up as many as there is demand for, so the CP world should feel a lot more busy. We also have the ability to dial it up and down to make it less busy in different rooms if we need to.
Now, back to your question of more rooms. Now that we can group people together better, we don’t have to worry about more rooms spreading out the audience too much. And we can do LOTS of different things with the new tech. CP could conceptually have an UNLIMITED number of rooms for you to explore and maybe those rooms are only revealed over time as you discover them. Or remember Operation Hot Sauce where we had an EPF mission in world? Imagine we bring back missions like that that happen in world only instead of being temporary like parties, you can play through them any time you want, and we group you with other EPF agents who want to play at the same time. Its incredible stuff and it will allow us to do SO MUCH MORE with CP.
4. I think most players are missing old Club Penguin parties like Water Party, Western Party, Festival of Snow. Are they going to return sometime?
It’s a balance. At any one time 2/3rds of the audience are new players and we have to keep the parties feeling new and fresh or CP runs the risk of feeling dated. But the older players are really important so we try to bring back parties or reinvent old party ideas. Teen Beach had a lot of elements of the Water, Summer, and Music Jam Parties because players were asking for them. It’s a balance. Also, not all the parties that people are nostalgic about were as popular as people remember. For example, April Fools and Earth Day were two of our worst attended parties. They had a super passionate group that wanted them but most of the audience didn’t show up. So the best ideas we bring back and some of them we stop doing if the audience didn’t seem to like them.
5. Are there any plans to release new game stamps?
Yes but we need to rewrite that whole system. New stamps are actually really hard to put in but not a lot of people actively collect them as is. We’re going to rebuild them as part of a general overhaul of our social systems and we think we can really take stamps to the next level!
6. Are you, Polo Field, and others ever going to have the same system as mascots where when you send them a friend request it’s automatically accepted?
We want to! It’s another system that will get upgraded and when we do, we will add a lot more mod functionality.
7. Why did Club Penguin change the art style of penguins?
There’s never actually been one art style for CP. There have been literally dozens and it depended on who the artist was. The look of the penguin started to get all over the place. We wanted to update the Penguin while keeping its spirit and making more consistent. We also made changes to make the Penguin more possible so we could do action shots with them. It was much harder to do that in the old art style.
8. What’s in store for the 2014 year?
Lots of secrets of course! There will be a major push on mobile and we want to get onto other devices as well as add more parts of CP. There will be the biggest expansion of Puffles in CP history and we have some amazing things planned for Card-Jitsu. I can say no more but its going to be awesome. We’re doing some of the best work we have ever done right now.
9. I’ve noticed there has been a lack of new Club Penguin toys. Will there ever be new merchandise? (this excludes memberships)
Yes! We’re working to bring back merchandise now and we are starting with new custom t-shirts in the next month or so!
10. What are your thoughts on the Club Penguin experience? What has made Club Penguin the success it is today?
I think the Club Penguin community is what has made CP a success. There aren’t a lot of safe places for kids to play together online. And there aren’t a lot of places where you can be accepted for who you are and where being you is the coolest thing you can be. CP really has that genuine positive true community feeling and that’s honestly what’s made it great.
11. Do you play Nintendo Games like Mario, Zelda, Metroid, Donkey Kong? Do you also play the Sonic The Hedgehog games?
Yes! They are some of my favorite games! I love everything Nintendo has ever done!
12. What ever happened to the Club Penguin Shorts like Puffle Trouble, Best Seat in the House, etc? Will there be more?
We will do more. They are really expensive and take a long time to do and so we have experimenting with faster, more regular content. But yes we want to do more and we are working on some ideas now.
13. Will the My Penguin app ever have all of the island rooms and/or parties?
Yes to both!
14. What happened to igloo contests? Will there be more in the future?
Contests are really hard to do around the world because there are a lot of laws governing them. We’re working on ways to do it now.
15. Will night ever come to Club Penguin?
16. Why don’t you make pins smaller, like it was before? They were more of a challenge to find back then, and it was fun.
Interesting idea! I’ll talk to the team!
17. Why was Fall Fair cancelled this year?
Lots of people were telling us they wanted Medieval Party so we did that! But we listen and if people would like to see the Fair….
18. Will the non members item selection in the Penguin Style ever change?
Yes. But slower than member content.
19. Will the Penguin Band come soon? They haven’t visited for a long time.
I don’t think we have them planned for this year but definitely in 2014!
A huge thank you to Spike Hike for taking the time out of his busy day to do this! I really appreciate him doing this and I’m sure all of you do too. Hearing about the technical aspects on how Club Penguin runs is interesting and the hints on what to expect in the future sounds very neat! I wonder what the biggest expansion of Puffles is going to be? So many questions! All will be revealed overtime…
Want more? You can read my interview from 2011 with Hamustar from the Club Penguin Team here.