V0rtex’s Open Letter To Club Penguin: What Needs Changing To Stay Relevant

While I do not normally post other people’s content here on Club Penguin Memories, from time to time I make an exception and will re-post other people’s content that I find interesting – with permission and proper credit, of course. This open letter V0rtex wrote to Club Penguin is one of those few exceptions as it’s very important. It’s about what needs changing in Club Penguin to make it fun again and also to keep up with today’s social media features.

You see, back when Club Penguin launched in 2005 it was top notch. It was one of the first of its kind to offer a safe social playground for kids that was safe and secure. But comparing now to back then, the social media landscape has changed immensely. Back then it was just MySpace, but now there are social networks teenagers use daily such as Facebook, Twitter, or even messaging tools such as texting, SnapChat, or WhatsApp. There are drawbacks to this though, as you need to be 13 or older to register for these services and kids younger than that age want to join them. What’s the solution on how to be safe online yet still interact with friends through Club Penguin and keep it very social? V0rtex thinks he has a solution, and I agree with it completely. With that said, I present to you V0rtex’s full letter to Spike Hike:


Dear Chris Heatherly,

You seem like you’re lost, looking for an answer to fix Club Penguin. I apologize in advance for my lack of proof reading. This might seem like I am shaming your company (I am in a way) but I’m also sympathetic because it’s not entirely the fault of you and your company. People go on Club Penguin, logoff, and talk about their experience on Twitter with their friends. What happened to people talking about it in the actual game? The issue is your game is no longer primary. When it launched in 2005 it was the all in one (chat, emotes, games, and more). Being a player since 2006, it was all I could ask for. The price seemed to match up very well with the game because nothing else could offer these safe tools for kids. Of course we could talk about competition… but you guys blew them out of the water. You probably average around 17000 users a day, that’s not a whole lot compared to your millions of registered accounts. You might be asking yourself what I know about the game that could help you. I have some ideas but it’s your choice to implement them. Before doing so let me describe some times where you guys took the wrong turn.

Content, you guys were really good at it. It’s essentially the same game from 2005 but you don’t understand why people lost interest, November 18, 2010! What a shame, you guys changed those newspapers and I never read one again. Why? They’re boring, slow, and missing a story! What happened to the secrets, the surprises that made me think you guys had something up your sleeves? What happened to the small changes that occurred in the middle of preparation for a party that made me imagine? I used to feel like the island was bigger than me; I could find mysteries that weren’t already discovered for me (Puffle Wild). I don’t need to know that there is a secret at the beach, let me find it myself. I want to know that when I’m logged off I could be missing something, because I have faith that you guys are adding the little things. You don’t need to do this all the time because that would be overwhelming. Just every so often, move a rock or two and leave it up to me to decide what happened, you don’t even have to solve it for me.

Items, I only wear the old ones. Why? Because I like to be unique, nobody else has them, and it makes me stand out. Yeah this could end in “rarity” issues but that’s just a problem with growing, not your game. I also missed when you guys made the clothing so it didn’t all look the same and wasn’t a representation of stuff I normally wear in real life. What happened to me being able to wear but a scuba-suit instead of 30 white shirts? I know your art department works hard but let them be crazy sometimes; it’s good for them. Also, hide those pins better and add a hint button so kids don’t go to blogs for the answer.

The client is outdated. I login, pick my server and get my content. It’s all built around the server, why? I don’t want my social experience to be constricted to me actually being in a server because that means I can’t talk to my friends if they’re not also active. That’s when I go to Texting, Facebook, and Twitter because I know that my friend will always get my interaction even if he/she is not active at the same time. At this moment I get caught in a conversation while Club Penguin is open in another tab, I get disconnected for inactivity, close my computer, and use my phone. Your game lacks interaction, although you have all the tools there for me to interact. How do you fix this? I have come to an idea that seems to be the best solution for you. Rather than building the game around the Online server you need to build the Online game inside an Online/Offline interaction.

Instead of one server that delivers movements you build two servers. One server would store activity and a normal one would deliver movements. What do I mean? I want to go on [www.clubpenguin.com] and know that I will be able to interact with my friends without them being online. I want a social world that is built around the virtual world. When in one click I can join a server and talk with my friend but its not constricted only to my friends in the room with me, which would be lonely. I can also upload screenshots that somehow can’t be defaced/intercepted with web tools. Don’t make it so that the only way the game is active is for me to actually be playing, that’s essentially how Metaplace/CPMobile works and it’s confusing and doesn’t make sense with your current world model. Servers would serve as organization rather than singular entities. Your interface is currently built into the client but move it into the social world and get rid of buttons and clutter over the virtual world. Make use of the blank space around the game, but don’t make me feel like I’m controlling a commercial airplane. A profile page would act like the stamp book, currently used in Club Penguin. Have the ability for me to challenge friends in single player games, store my score, and have my friend try to beat it. The ability to make groups where all group messages are stored for those users when they return. Groups get coin paychecks based on how many ‘challenges’ they complete. A member cannot be added/removed from a group unless all group members agree for the member to be removed. Groups can be reported for being unfair + all current CP rules. Groups can also pool coins together in order to achieve a special item that they can all wear in game. Groups do not have a popular page and serve as a private entity. Social world messages are formed by pre-made single or double sentences because there is a risk of having parents be against the social features:

2.That was fun!
3.I have to go.
1.Hello. How are you?
2.That was fun. Lets play again!
3.I have to go. See you soon!

To reduce spam players are limited to two or three messages before the other player replies. This social world is built around the client but doesn’t require me to exit the virtual world to use the tools. When it comes down to member benefits there are a few things that can possibly work:

1. The ability to create groups.
2. Customize your social world text/special chat effects, text size, colors, so on.
3. All the member benefits you get in game now in the external interface.
4. Member badge in the social world.
5. Customize your profile page layout.
6. Ability to throw snowballs at people like the mobile version but non-members can only throw them back.
7. Ability to send out party invitations for a certain time and day (only one until that event is completed) [stop spam].

Of course you can do more but thats not up to me. If you’re still confused on the concept of this I will take a moment to explain it in first person:

1. Visit www.clubpenguin.com
2. Already be logged into my account [User Bar, Notifications, Friends, My Profile, so on..]
3. Notifications that alert me if anyone was looking for me while I was gone, if I received any postcards, igloo visits, igloo likes.
4. I can then see if those players are still active and what server they’re on.
5. If not active I can group message them and say “Lets meet up on server “Blizzard”.
6. I can then see if it was read to determine if I should wait around for them.
7. I say to my friend “Hey want to challenge me in a game of Mine Carts?”
8. He says, “I can’t right now. I’m in the middle of a party quest”
9. He posts a screenshot of the room that he’s in captioned “Want to help?” with a button to join.
10. Then, without having to login again will be brought to the server that my friend is in.
11. My friends get notified if we have mutual friends “Your friends Player1 and Player2 are in a party quest together, would you like to join?” [The players could also disable this feature]
12. We finish the party quest and we get some achievement.
13. I say to my friend “Hey want to challenge me in a game of Mine Carts?”
14. He says, “Yes”.
15. He waits at the Mine until he’s notified in the social world that I finished. When I finish he plays and coins are distributed to whomever wins”
16. I then, in the social world, create a group challenge for Mine Cart scores, we can all collectively try and beat a score with our points added together or have a group battle for the best score.
17. I message “I have to go” and log off.

That’s it, how you should fix Club Penguin. It sounds complicated but you don’t have to try it all at once, baby steps. If you have a different idea, go ahead and do it. Whatever floats your boat (don’t use bricks).

Best regards,

30 thoughts on “V0rtex’s Open Letter To Club Penguin: What Needs Changing To Stay Relevant

  1. Wow, I can tell V0rtex took a lot of time into making that. Hopefully Club Penguin reads it and considers his ideas. If they reply, will you post it here?

  2. Sounds a creative idea.

    I’ve been thinking for CP to do a similar idea (just like their scrapped idea of CP University) where penguins get to choose whatever job they want, making the game more interacting and exciting.

    For example, if they choose to be a soccer player, the game would choose for which teams and which date they’d play. The groups Vortex mentioned could also work in this. The leader would choose the position of the player. Penguins could also pay to enter the Stadium the teams are playing to watch them play. Or even better, CP would release a permanent TV to watch current stuff “online”. The match would last 10 minutes, then a break of 2 minutes and finally, a match of 10 minutes. The game would have a similar layout to the FIFA Videogames. Winner gets coins, and perhaps even exclusives. CP could also make it whether friendly, or even special cups. If a Penguin Cup returns next year, it could be even more fascinating. This could work out with other sports, as well other jobs.

    They could also make stuff like in the real world. Have a variety of items a penguin would like to throw such as a banana. If another penguin gets injured by stepping on the banana, either the penguin could stay there, or a group of Rescue Squad arrives helping the penguin and taking it to an hospital igloo where again, CP could provide special furniture to heal penguins.

    Make Coins For Change something permanent in the game, and during Holiday/Merry Walrus Parties, make it even bigger. Penguins could also give coins (and even items to others; yes, penguins could purchase multiple items at once. Doesn’t matter whether it’s clothing or furniture).

    CP could provide special interactive furniture penguins would like to use to make their igloo. If they want to become a chef, CP would provide then kitchen and restaurant stuff to make the penguin work like a real chef.

    Make the Puffle Hotel like a REAL hotel. Let the groups do whatever they want to do. If they want to become robbers, they could break through igloos, steal money, etc. Also, if his igloo sets on fire, he would be forced to live in a room of the Puffle Hotel temporarily until the firefighters fix it (that’d take like a week) (the affected igloo would be saved). OR the penguin would pay it instantly.

    I will try to be more clear. Penguins could form groups (like Vortex said) to do anything they want to do. Penguins could also join other groups and even get their own career (the CP University/School could be a great place to start in to learn more about that career). CP host competitions randomly such as soccer tournaments for penguins, or battle of the bands for musicians, or something similar. Also, make the penguin and igloo be affected by anything. That would be REALLY interactive and if that really happens, then it will truly be CLUB Penguin.

    • You want to be a criminal leave innocent penguins and there stuff alone!
      steal your own stuff and set your OWN IGLOO ON FIRE!

      • It’s just a game. Anyways, to prevent kids influencing them to steal or do bad actions, CP would show them as well the consequences of being a robber. Everytime a penguin would choose a job/career/occupation, a note would appear stating the salary of the job, rewards, and how important it is.

        However, there could be bad occupations as well. In that case, CP would state in the note the risks of that bad occupation.

        Now that I think about it, when CP hosts a party related with the job/occupation, those penguins who are that would receive “bonuses” (exclusives and coins).

        Let’s say, in January 2014 CP hosted another Prehistoric Party. In that case, paleontologists would receive extra coins, and even exclusives like an exclusive Dinosaur Costume. Another example, in May 2014, CP hosted a Future Party. In that case, astronauts would receive the same thing I mentioned with paleontologists. That way, it would influence more the job the kid would like to have.

        In the case of the igloos, there would be some sort of a safe box, with coins in it. You could buy which size of safe box you’d like to get. Robbers could either steal coins by the safe box in igloos, OR by penguins stealing their wallet and/or purse (the item wouldn’t be affected, so no worries). Also, accidents could happen in igloos such as the player adding too much furniture in the igloo (depending on the type of igloo). The player could pay with its money to fix the igloo as fast as possible

        • Oh, one more thing I forgot to mention is that CP should do things happen unexpectedly. If CP ever releases comunication tools such as TV and Radio furniture items, there could be a channel to hear the news. CP would advice when are the breaking news occurring. In that channel, they could advice of an earthquake occurring on the island very soon. That could teach kids on how to be ready and prepared in unexpected moments.

          Another example would be in the case an important mod retires the game, or a mascot is visiting during a party. In that case, the news channel could tell meetup times of the mascot, the mod’s final words, etc.

          I know that the newspaper is over there, but like Vortex said, ever since CP modified it in 2010, it’s not the same anymore. CP took the essence away of a real interviews, and how desesperate they try to save it such as writing COMPLETELY irrelevant, ridiculous interviews (I am certain several people think the same thing when Aunt Arctic interviewed Olaf during the Frozen Party).

          Anyways, if that really happened, at that point is when CLUB Penguin turns into a thing. When it turns into a real-virtual society. This is why most virtual games are succesful, because the game creators let the player do WHATEVER they want, in a way the player can react whatever it desires to do.

          Moreover, I’ve noticed CP to do unexpected things, in that case, the Sasquatch wandering around. I really like how:

          1) No meetup times are available
          2) The Sasquatch escapes quickly
          3) It’s a mysterious character

          Seriously, I like it and hopefully, CP takes into consideration my ideas, as well Vortex’s

    • It would also be nice if they like made the whole island itself interactive. Like random plays appearing, where members could just set up a play then boom. Random performances like at the Town, a random penguin will just get his guitar and for example touch a button and he will perform, then every so often, players can donate to him. I really hope CP cheated, it really is no longer relevant. I agree to you and V0rtex completely.

  3. hello trainman translate de message

    trainman y vortex hola mi nombre es robot 0005 jugador de club penguin del 2011 de octubre a mis 17 años yo sigo jugando club penguin desde 3 años cuando iba cumplir los catorce yo no resistí la fiesta de halloween 2011 y cree mi jugador
    cp a cambiado pero me gustaria que hicieran estas cosas
    1- regresar la mini misiones de espia mas dinamicas que sean misteriosas, interactivas y que sean repetibles
    2-que regresen mas salas comi el escondite ninja y la sala virtual donde estaba las misiones de la aps
    3-mas mini paridos que sean experiencias unicas aunque simples pero unicas o inspiradas en viejos eventos
    4-que los moderadores suban mas video blogs y sean mas comunicativos
    5-explorar mas salas nuevas o fuera de la isla como la isla dinosaurio, visitar otros pinguinos o cambiar de especie de pinguino
    6-mas salas dinamicas interactivas, emotivas y que nos inspiren como el salon de clases de la fiesta skate y escuela del 2014 que me gusto el diseño de salas me inspiro mucho a realizar investigaciones
    7-como dijo vortex mas misterios y enigmas y un mejor periodico
    8- fiestas mas dinamicas y exageradas para mi club penguin en su mejor tiempo fue del 2011-2012 y del 2012-2014 fue medio malo ahora 2013-2014 medio malo pero que para este 2014-2015 sea exitoso
    club penguin progreso mucho creando video juegos para consolas necesitamos mas apoyo de cp mas cosas mucho mas que no solo sean app que tambien sean juegos descargables para sistemas de video juegos o computadoras que creen mas video juegos como game day o elite penguin force mas juegos
    en resumen
    mas juegos
    interactividad de usuarios
    mas salas
    mas exploracion
    mas productos que no solo sean app ( por ejemplo club penguin snowball day un juego para steam gratis)
    mas cultura de clubpenguin
    y mas y mas comunicacion personal jugador
    muchas gracias espero que me oigas trainman y deseo si puedes publicar este mensaje
    y por cierto si van a hacer takeovers que no sean de la marca o pelicual que se basen para crear una fiesta ejemplo
    star wars – club penguin: operacion caja de sorpresas( liberar la dimension caja de herbert)
    es lo que quiero porfa trainman si puedes haz que llegue el mensaje
    muchas gracias
    sigue actualizando ;)
    Robot 0005 blogger de club penguin exploracion blogspot

    • It’s not making CP to another ‘silly network’, it’s making the game more interactive and RELEVANT again, like before. What’s the thing usually do in the Internet? Socialize. How can Club Penguin be relevant if it’s like an extremely watered down version of a group chat? Make it feel as if it’s a social network. The ideas mentioned by V0rtex NEEDS to happen, or else, CP will just be utterly lost in the Internet, irrelevant and unknown to anyone. Do you want that to happen? I think not. An idea I liked from V0rtex was the group creation, and the whole social media part of Club Penguin. It really makes it more interactive and RELEVANT. What’s the main goal of V0rte and many other penguins? Relevance for the game, because right now, it’s just, gone.

  4. V0rtex is a genius. I think this Idea is great and Club Penguin should use it, obviously not doing it exactly as he said because of credits but do something like it in their own way. It is true that i never interact with anybody within club penguin but i play on club penguin and talk on twitter. That makes me spend less time on club penguin.

    I hope Spike Hike at least thinks about this.

    Good Job V0rtex. You might just make this game better.

  5. Kingdom Island has this sort of feature. The sort of feature where it’s like a social network. You could message someone when they’re offline. It’s definitately possible to create this sort of feature on Club Penguin then too! Kingdom Island needs help on growing their community. It’s like a ghost town when you log in.

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