The Problems with Club Penguin Island

On March 29th 2017, after a journey that lasted over a decade, the web version of Club Penguin was closed down in favour of Club Penguin Island, a decision that backfired quickly with the new mobile version receiving a significant amount of “hate” and criticism, obtaining a rating of less than three stars.

However, many people do still enjoy the game, citing that going mobile only is beneficial in the long run. In this post, I will be discussing my opinion (as well of the opinions of others) about the issues with Club Penguin Island and the impact which Club Penguin Rewritten is making on the official franchise.

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My Thoughts on the Club Penguin Island “Criticism”

Club Penguin Island has a rating of 2.4 due to unjustified and unreasonable hate by players who are not fans of Club Penguin. In this post, I am finally sharing my thoughts on this so-called criticism to our island. These opinions are “controversial” and if you disagree, I would encourage you to leave a comment or a tweet as it is a discussion.

Criticism

Right. Where do we begin? Let’s start with this awful top comment from the Club Penguin Island Facebook page.

“Oh look… its the woman who killed club penguin…literally worst cp CEO by far”

Where do I begin here? Firstly, if you knew anything about Club Penguin, the game does not have a CEO and the closest person to that role is Kyle Patrick Laughlin. Megg/Bobbi, who you referred to as “the woman who killed club penguin”, is the community manager and can’t simply do that.

95 people agreed with these but that brings me to my main point. A large chunk of the criticism is from people who left years ago and are now going “my childhood is ruined” yet they have no clue of recent years. If they did, I have a feeling they would appreciate the meggnificence of Megg a lot more.

It took me three clicks to find the first person saying this. Don’t leave for many years and come back now complaining that your childhood has been ruined when in reality you have no clue of what’s going on.

On the topic of reviews, this confuses me. The Club Penguin franchise is continuing yet people are leaving one star reviews in hope that people won’t download Club Penguin Island and it fails…in which case the official Club Penguin franchise will be over forever? Like, can you not be a bit grateful that they’re trying to keep at least part of your “childhood” alive? Would you rather the entire franchise Club Penguin franchise just ends?

Most of this isn’t even criticism. Rsnail summed it up perfectly when saying this:

The thing is that old Club Penguin cannot be brought back, like some people demand. This was not a change inspired for money. The idea that the team don’t care about us is…crazy. The decision to go mobile only was not an easy one for the team, they have said that. They know that most people now, especially younger people, have mobile devices. They probably would have know that classic Club Penguin was reaching the end of its lifetime with servers being filled with bots and 2-month-long takeovers. They would not spend over 2 years of work to make a “quick buck” like some people claim unless they truly cared for the game and believe me, they do.

It’s very hard to be polite to people who exaggerate the faults of Club Penguin Island so greatly but I tried. Let’s just give some ideas for now.

What does need to happen:

It’s fair to say that whilst most of these reviews are highly exaggerated, the game isn’t perfect. There are three things though which I feel need to happen for Club Penguin Island to pick up to at least a 4 star rating:

  1. Give non-members more features
  2. Do something about private servers (classic Club Penguin ones)
  3. Try and recreate an “old CP” feel

I keep going back to the fact that players will constantly compare the classic version to the new version. Players are already doing that and non-members request at least to wear the pre-registration items. Personally, I think there was a reason why this never happened in the first place. Maybe the team could only program items to be member or non-member altogether but hopefully with such a vast amount of feedback, that will change.

And I do believe that will change. Let me explain. Originally during the geo-beta, the problem with Club Penguin Island membership was how expensive it was. Our feedback made it lower and I’m sure our feedback will have a similar effect on non-member features. We’ve already seen non-members slowly get more features like cannonballs and most recently the ziplines. Eventually I feel that will extend to clothing but it will take some time.

Some people aren’t even that fond of a membership system. It is certainly unique for mobile, but honestly, what’s the answer? Games like Clash Royale can do purely in-app purchases because they’re competitive e-sports, which Club Penguin Island isn’t. Until a solution is designed, membership isn’t too bad.

How to improve the non-member restriction problem

Clothing:

Pre-registration rewards (alumni jacket and beta hat) have got to be for non-members else there will always be so much negative criticism. This is a good start but when igloos come out, I would try and focus on making igloos more for members yet clothing more for everyone. Eventually I’d like to see the first one or two packs available for non-members to wear as well.

Tube (singular):

Members should, in my opinion, have the ability to get some really awesome looking tubes! But non-members should at least get the tube. The main two reasons for this are that it’s annoying to have so many locked things on your interface.

The second is that it’s a tube! All it let you does is float on water, go down waterslides and from later this month, go Sled Racing. It’s not much and making mini-games a member only experience will not at all be a good idea. But I don’t think it’s unfair to give non-member the basic tube if members are able to get some really awesome ones.

Some adventures, eventually:

Currently there’s three chapters of adventures and I’ll explain a bit later on how I’d like this number to increase. When there’s some more chapters for members to complete, it really would not hurt to make the basic ones non-member only. When a bug meant non-members could do some mascot adventures, people weren’t surprised because it isn’t too unreasonable.

My suggestion would be to let people play either chapter one of Rockhopper’s Adventures or Aunt Arctic’s Adventures. It might be logical to go with AA’s Adventures because that’s what you get introduced to at the beginning, non-member or member. Eventually, why not both? But adventures should be something that will slowly unlock for non-members as time goes by. It may take a year, maybe more, but something that should happen.

Overdoing member features in the future:

Things like puffles should be able to have some colours adopted by non-members. I know that’s many months down the line but do have a double think about what non-members get each update too. Of course, members must also get a lot, but still ensure that non-members are also excited for updates!

These are four things and I think they can make a MAJOR difference to the point I’m surprised no changes have been made already. Hopefully they work on something soon.

Classic Club Penguin Private Server Issues:

This is probably the most controversial part of this post. I appreciate that some people are trying to keep the classic version alive. It’s hard to distinguish these people from those who are profiting of the closure of the classic game claiming it’s for “educational purposes” when receiving donations when the game is offline.

I won’t go into names or details but I think most people know what I’m talking about. Receiving over 100K viewers in a matter of days is very impressive but it is also a threat to Club Penguin Island. I doubt there’s ever been a time in CP history where a non-official game is literally competing with an official one that has the power to end the contest.

If you search “Club Penguin”, “island” is first but the name of the CPPS is second. The Club Penguin franchise is continuing and I don’t feel like this private server will help it to continue to its full potential. Anyway, some brief points and not necessarily something that needs to happen but something that would help a lot.

The “Old CP” Feel

The team can help with this, mainly by listening to our feedback. But this is about the players! it is awesome that we’re seeing new social media accounts, new blogs, new readers of blogs, new chat servers and things like that. It’s really bringing back that old Club Penguin feel which was mainly because of the community. Once everyone begins to like Club Penguin Island and we get that “old CP feel”, I think we’ll be a lot better off.

And…back to “criticism”:

It is indeed true that the classic version had more places to explore and you could argue more things to do. But this was classic Club Penguin after the same amount of time CP Island has been out.

More stuff will come in updates. So much amazing stuff is coming, a lot that will be new and a lot that will be familiar. Here’s proof. Above was the map in 2005. Below is the map from classic Club Penguin before it ended after a difference of over eleven years. The point is, the island needs time to develop so give it that! The game is new yet they’ve already done so much and it’s important to realise that, especially before leaving a negative review!

Monthly Update System:

On the topic of more things coming, let’s talk about the monthly update system. It isn’t quite the weekly update system but I think provided there’s events and free items in-between updates, it’ll be fine!

Each update will be big but I do have an ambition for each update. I have no clue how realistic this is but I would like new adventures and new levels with new rewards each update. The adventures might not be possible, but at the start of the update, there should be no player at max. It makes it more boring for that player.

Rewards don’t need to be anything big but then again, I have no clue how realistic this is. Clothing can literally be copied from classic Club Penguin, we would love that to happen! Here’s an idea I had for a random pack…the Sky Adventure Pack.

 

It would contain the propeller cap, space suit, helmets etc. from classic Club Penguin, a tube that’s like a rover and maybe some emojis. That could be a pack and I would love that because it increases the max level, something which I would love to happen with each update.

I Love Club Penguin Island

I just need to add this because Wikipedia considers all my reviews on Club Penguin Island negative even though they’re positive. But it’s true, I love Club Penguin Island. It has a bright potential and I hope for Club Penguin Island to reach millions and millions of more downloads.

Anyone who fails to support it isn’t a Club Penguin fan if they want the official franchise to end but I mean, how could you dislike it other than for the restriction of non-members? The filter is better, the gameplay is better, I’ve never actually been hyped for a new update for over a year now. Club Penguin Island is amazing, my only concern is that not enough membership sales will take place to keep the HQ running but it’s something I really hope will change as it really deserves too.

Okay…so. Thank you very much for reading and uh- have a great day!

Waddle on!

-Torres 126

The Educational Side to Club Penguin Island

The parents page of Club Penguin claimed that such an enjoyable virtual world was actually educational, that players could even learn mathematics from it. Whether or not that is actually true, it’s unlikely, but the point is that Club Penguin always likes advertising themselves as educational. Let’s turn that concept into a Club Penguin Island reality…

Firstly, you get your classic “you have to work to get your coins and spend them wisely ” concept and that is relevant. It’s not what I want to focus this article on but still something I would like to discuss in just one paragraph.

I’m max level and that took 40 days to earn. But ultimately, I had to do everything from doing each Daily Challenge and doing each adventure. Others were there to help. But I don’t feel like this really pushes it enough to consider the game even slightly “educational”, nor does spending your coins since it is common to have currency and to choose how to spend it.

So then what makes Club Penguin Island stand out? What makes it more educational compared to its competitiors, allowing the world to stand out on app stores with a solid example of a reason why this game is educational in a unique way? The answer: catalogs

This is what I’m most excited for in the 1.2 update coming this month, the ability for us to create our own catalogs to “sell” to other people. The opportunity to enter contests. This is just for clothing, imagine when Igloos come out and Rory is a catalog then (which will be happening by the way).

However, what does “sell” mean? Here is my idea which I am extremely hopeful will come to the game. You are essentially designing a product from scratch and selling it. What is the incentive for a player to do such a thing? 💵

Money, or in this case, coins! Here’s an example:

For the seller:

  • You design your item using whatever decals and fabrics are available to you at your level. It should be relevant to the themes
  • You put you decide what price to sell your item. It must cost at least what it took to make, which would be decals, fabrics and the blueprint itself all added together. If it’s too expensive, no one will buy it, but if it’s too cheap, you don’t get many coins, just like in real life.
  • You get to put your item on the store at an extra cost of around 20-50 coins per item.
  • You end up getting about 20% of profits.

Example: You use the “Top Dog” blueprint, leopard fabrics and CP decal. This altogether costs 120 coins plus the say, thirty extra coins to put it on the store. 150 coins. Now you decide how much profit you want and you decide that to be 20 coins. The cost of your item is 170 coins and you get 4 coins each sale.

1000 people buy it and when the themed event ends you get 10% of the profits, as such making you 4000 coins at the end of the event. Not a bad deal!

For the Buyer:

  • You browse through the most popular items and you don’t like any of them, so you switch modes into showing random designs
  • You decide you want a leopard outfit so you narrow down your options by using the filter button, choosing the “Top Dog” blueprint and the leopard fabric. You find the one you want
  • Since you are the same level or a higher level than the seller, you can buy it
  • You pay the 170 coins the seller asks for it and the item is yours

Granted, this method would need tweaking as it plays out and the 20% profit is simply a guess of how to balance it fairly. It could be more, it could be less, but I hope you get the overall idea.

This would not only be EXTREMELY fun but would encourage creativity and allow Club Penguin Island to advertise the app as more educational. It’s something I would really hope to see and you never know, maybe this is already the case! We’ve not been told if those who sell items will get coins for it but hopefully this will idea will be taken into consideration.

Before concluding this post, thank you to Superqami. We spent some time discussing these ideas and it was pretty fun to put them all down in a post. Thank you very much for reading this and if you like it, feel free to email the team with this idea.

Waddle on!

-Torres 126

PS. I’m on holiday at the moment and this was pretty difficult to make since all I have is my tablet and a keyboard so that might be why there’s a lack of images/designs etc. I can really visualise how this would look but I would need a computer to show you. Have a great day!

Bloggers & The Club Penguin Island Team

Here are random thoughts which I could not figure out how to structure and I just wanted to share. I’ve wanted to make this post for a while on how the Club Penguin Island team could influence and help bloggers.

Firstly, this is not for my personal gain as I suspect some people will think. Everything I say here should be for ALL bloggers, and I apologise in the event which I’m unintentionally biased.

Side note: I did some research for this post. I found nothing but I did see all these old blogs. Wow. Just, so nostalgic. The WordPress.com old blogs that were so simple. Wow. Take a look at this page by Saraapril if you’re interested. Okay, let’s begin with the actual post and things I don’t expect to happen.

Did you know that in 2005 you could submit your fan-blog to the comments on the Blog and he would review it. Sometimes, he would even put a link to it on the official website! As you can see above, this didn’t work out for the reasons blog could place swear words for other kids to see. But this was the start of supporting fan-bloggers.

Credit to Best CP Cheats for this image from May 30 2010

Some lucky bloggers even received exclusive stuff in the mail. Once again, something I don’t expect to happen. Unfortunately throughout last year one blog constantly received exclusive pins, but I still don’t think that this will continue anymore. The point is, the team have previously taken fan blogging as a big deal, but I feel it’s not so much of a priority anymore. I mean, they used to show fan-blogs to new recruits. Let’s look at things which I feel could realistically happen. Commenting on posts.

Club Penguin Memories, November 16 2013

I trust the team when they said that they read fan-blogs. It would just be really cool if they occasionally left comments on a post – particularly those which are opinion/discussion/idea based and not really news posts. It could just be something to address that post. Since interaction has returned on Twitter, people have been happy, but imagine interaction on fan-blogs!

Creating a WordPress account to follow blogs too would be great. This happened by Polo Field in 2014 and it literally made me so happy when he followed mine! Now, don’t get me wrong, I completely believe that they read fan-blogs. But I’d like to give some more ambitious ideas which I feel could possibly happen.

Twitter, 9th July 2014

I don’t think fan bloggers ever got access to this support team email but I will talk about this in a bit. Why not now though? It’s never too late. Here’s my main idea. It kind of ties in as to how Billybob used to give bloggers “packs” to use back in the day.

The team take a sneak peek. Let’s use igloos for example. It’s a basic image, but the team simply cut it into a few pieces. These are then distributed to fan-bloggers who can only post their image – they can’t take post others.

It’s up to everyone else to then piece the image together and form a proper sneak peek. After a few days, all bloggers can post the full image. I’ve scaled down this idea from just giving content-creators a look at new stuff to post a week before the update. This would build up hype – it’s what mobile games like Clash Royale do. This would still be amazing though.

So how would it work? Firstly, if you do choose to take part in this “scheme”, there needs to be a non-negotiable, published for all to see criteria involving no favouritism, which I will discuss in a bit. Here’s my idea of a criteria containing three basic things:

  • Follows the Club Penguin rules (no inappropriate language, cheating programs etc.)
  • Has been blogging for at least six months
  • Cannot break any rules/terms laid by the Club Penguin team

Audience would be hard because that would once again bring back favouritism. Also, some blog types have a different view counting, which would make it more unfair. This is all about removing unfairness!

So how does the Support email tie into this? Well, firstly, it would be an easy way to clear up any uncertainty by knowing you’re talking to someone who knows about this scheme. But also, back in 2016, Megg said exclusives to a large blogger without anyone knowing until it was leaked from her personal email. She publicly posted this so I assume it isn’t a problem me sharing this to benefit the discussion.

Megg’s image captioned with “Please read” – 8 Feb 2016

I don’t want to use this as a negative, but I will say that favouritism should not happen with any scheme that takes place. Instead…THERE IS HOPE FOR THIS IDEA! Megg said that it was a trial and that they wanted to compile a list of bloggers which they could share exclusive information with.

It’s been over year. The team must have got passed the planning stage now. Club Penguin has a history of hiring the best Community Managers and this is not an exception. I would really like Megg to make this official and really turn it into a reality.

That being said, I do want to give my idea of how I would compile this list. I would make some form that opens once in Summer and once in Winter for a week. Something simple – your penguin name, email, blog with a few details about it and whether or not you agree to the published criteria.

The team then get back to everyone with this special email and explain if they have been accepted or declined. The list is then made with people being put randomly in order. Something (whether it be a full image or a piece of an image) gets given to every blogger who meets the criteria. They go down that list ensuring everyone gets something before the list restarts and maybe the form is opened again, depending on how they do it.

This would be my idea to support bloggers. Commenting on blogs, a great start! But this sneak peek system would be more than “just cool”. I would put it as “ideal”, not really “essential” though you could argue “necessary”.

If you disagree, please do leave a comment! This post took a while to make. Let’s hope that the team can make this happen!

Waddle on!

Club Penguin Island: Memberships are not Good

Memberships on Club Penguin Island suck. There’s no other way of saying it and no matter how hard I try to resist “bashing” a game that is still in beta, I can’t help it. They’re expensive and not ideal. I’ve collected some opinions from the community, my own and even got the most surprising and confusing response from Support.

They cost $6.99 a month but for the purpose of this post, I’ll mostly be using British currency where memberships cost £6.49* a month. That’s already £1.50 more expensive than classic Club Penguin and it gets worse.

Update: Good news! There are talks going on about this. Read more here!

Double update: Bad news! It gets worse. Read more here.

Value compared to classic CP:

membershop-prices

It does not matter where you live but your membership will always be more than the classic game, which is horrible, and that’s on desktop which many people claim they would be more likely to pay for. You may remember I said that players will constantly be comparing old to new and this is another mark for new.

Membership is £3.33 per month if you buy a six month membership. In total, making it £19.95. At £6.49 per a month, membership is £38.94 in the same period making it 1.95X more expensive than classic pricing. That’s almost double the price if you bought a CPI membership for six months compared to classic!

Your country might not be as badly affected, but it eventually will be more expensive than classic. This is because you can only buy one month membership deals instead of getting better value for a longer time period. That is something which needs to change in my opinion.

Quick questions:

Would in-app purchases work?

This is a controversial topic, but I would say yes, provided that they do not run on top of memberships but along memberships. That means a non-member could buy a Disney outfit for something like £1 and keep it forever.

I’ve actually written an entire article on this when we knew CP Island as Project Super Secret and I stick by it. Read it here!

How’s the exchange rate system?

It’s been scrapped, from what I can tell. That’s great, it’s not a baseline system, something the community was against! The downside is that the prices are way more expensive than the exchange rate will (hopefully) ever get.

But hey, if we spoke out against the baseline system maybe there is hope we can help encourage the team to solve this membership issue!

Is it attractive to buy a membership?

Absolutely, when you don’t consider the price. I cancelled after 2 months because of it. I really wanted to see the hard work the team put into the game and that’s not possible with a membership*. Unfortunately, I don’t think I can be a member 24/7 with this pricing and I plan to buy in April when there is a huge update, cancel, and buy again in the future.

*The solution to making membership more attractive is not to limit non-member features more. That won’t result in a higher sales increase, it’ll result in uninstalls as you will see later in this discussion.

But there is a free trial!

If you can persuade your parents to put in your credit card to get a 7 day free trial, there’s a high chance you’ve just got membership. Parents are unlikely to input their details for a trial and ultimately the team should not make them have to.

If they create another Disney account and another iTunes/Google Play account to abuse this, it makes no difference since they start from scratch anyway.

What about their advertising techniques?

They’re advertising tubing as an activity for members. Enough said. Check out this tweet from a really talented former Club Penguin artist and musician who also made some of the tracks on CP Island.

But…you’re not in the geo-beta. You can’t complain!

I think I speak for most of the community when I say that the state of memberships are ridiculous. I should not need to be part of three specific countries to give feedback on something that must change by worldwide release. I completely get nothing is finalised which is the reason I’m writing this post.

I disagree!

This is a discussion and I appreciate you may not agree with me. Instead, please leave a comment below to help expand this discussion so everyone can hear different thoughts!

Community thoughts:

Club Penguin Island has a rating of 2/5 on both stores and the reason for that is because of memberships! People aren’t happy with this! It’s resulting in low reviews and a low rating. To those saying it’s a geo-beta, well, tell the reviewers that!

cpi-reviews

However, I decided to host a poll for around 21 hours. I asked whether or not you thought that CP Island membership was fairly priced. Here are the results:

twitterpoll

It would blow my mind if despite how many people are unhappy with the membership system, the team makes no adjustments. I would even go as far to say that this would doom Club Penguin Island, and that’s a bold thing to say for a game which has not even launched yet.

Prices vary by device:

Android is £6.49, but some users on iOS are saying it’s £4.99, a much cheaper price but I still go back to my value issue! Dj Stores/Foodtrekker kindly gave me permission to use this image but he also said the following:

“It’s solely the listing for the current GB price band is not reflective of prices once the game is pushed into worldwide production though it’s likely based on trends so far.”

c408xf6waaa8fxt

This confuses me, but it gives hope that prices could be reducing! Once again, I completely get that the £ is not a currency in the geo-beta but that should not prevent me from giving feedback.

What better way to solve your confusion than to contact Support about it? (Spoiler: it becomes way more confusing)

The Club Penguin Team’s Response:

Firstly, I called Billing support  They told me that I couldn’t even give feedback about membership prices because I’m not in the geo-beta, yet alone inquire about why prices vary by operating system!

Okay, so now I called general Support. They told me to email, no big deal. I get a response back with them asking me to contact Google, which was an issue as I could not find their email.

This is part of my response to that email addressing memberships in general:

“…£4.99 is still quite expensive in the long run, but not too bad. £6.49 is ridiculously expensive. I really hope that the price changes because as a non-member there is nothing pulling me back to the game: daily challenges offer fifty coins but I can’t buy party supplies, I can’t fish, I can’t wear clothes or do activities. You’re advertising going down a waterside with a tube as a member only feature. I mean, where do I begin with this?
I so badly would like to be a member all the time but it’s looking like I’ll be buying in April when there’s an update, cancelling and buying whenever there’s a new update. I don’t get how prices can vary by device. I don’t get why the game has even gone down this membership route, yet alone charge unaffordable prices for it. I get the game is in beta (which is why I’m classing this as feedback) but, seriously? Please fix this by worldwide launch, it is essential. 
You guys have put so much effort into this game which is why I bought a membership for two months! It’s amazing but you only get to experience a fraction of that awesomeness as a non-member, which is disappointing! …”
But none of the last 1300 words make any difference if the first sentence of this response holds true:
“We do not set our membership prices anymore”

oh

Wait, I forgot, am I blogging about Club Penguin Island or Broken Telephone? Oh right…

This is now so confusing. Who does set prices? I wish we could get a simple answer but it seems as if Support isn’t even sure what to do saying they could not discuss this further until worldwide. I mean, fair enough, but this is very confusing!

Solution:

The solution, in my opinion, is to start by either reducing membership prices or by adding better value deals where you can buy a longer membership for less money each month. It’s also important that non-members get way more to do.

As a non-member, other than interacting, I have no reason to log on each day other than to do the Daily Challenges to get coins, but I can’t buy party supplies or clothes so there is no point. For most users, that would mean an uninstall.

Further down the line, in app purchases should at least be considered. Going down the membership route is one very risky for mobile and I am concerned with this. Either way, reducing prices and adding more things to do for non-members is a great step in the right direction!

Conclusion:

I rated Club Penguin Island a solid 8.5/10. With this membership issue I have decided to change my rating to…

6/10

Thank you very much for reading! If you do get the opportunity, I would highly suggest getting a CP Island membership, at least for a month. Leave your thoughts in the comment below and make sure to send feedback to the team. Together, as a community, we can make change!

Waddle on!

wpid-dsf-1.png

The Club Penguin Times #2 – Club Penguin Closing Down

cptimes

Newsflash:

Club Penguin is closing a major door in its history on March 29 2017. Many players have used the hashtag “#WithoutClubPenguin” to appreciate some of the many things which would never have been possible without our snowy island.

This is a sad edition to produce and pretty soon, The Club Penguin Times will only be fan-made here and not official in the real game. As much as I wish to stick to the new game, I must note that we have tipped the Iceberg and beneath it contains a special note, which I will share in this edition! We’ve got stories, a sad discussion, questions, articles and more!

cpending

How did we get here? How did we get from “The Big Update” in 2005 to aisles being filled with merchandise and membership sales booming to having an amazing community with an amazing team to this, a closing announcement?

Over the past few days, I’ve read how Club Penguin has helped so many people, from another staff member’s perspective to a player who was diagnosed with autism to so many more. The game hasn’t helped me directly (except for giving me something to use in presentations) but it has in so many ways but ways which are so hard to convey with a keyboard. It’s interesting though because I doubt I would really be interested in a keyboard if it wasn’t for Club Penguin.

As much as I would love to focus on the memories and what the game has done for me in this article, I can’t. As a blogger, it’s hard to describe the feeling when you know what you want to say but just can’t get it out. But have no doubt, this game does mean so much to me. Instead, I’d like to say that this is a major change in Club Penguin’s history. I am sad, even though I knew I predicted the game wouldn’t last until April.

This is very brief because there’s so much I want to say in the future (and I will), but now we must move on from the vine which we’re currently holding on to. Jump like Experimental Penguins to Penguin Chat, to Club Penguin and now to Club Penguin Island. Because staying on that vine is safe but there’s more too it. There’s more on this journey. And if you fall off, then the Club Penguin franchise really is over.

Billybob talked about how Club Penguin is never about standing still, it’s always part of the journey. This is the next part of a long journey, a journey that has lasted 18 years.

newband

Many penguins are unable to move to Club Penguin Island and from what we’ve heard, The Penguin Band appears to be some of them! That leaves a pretty cool stage empty but fear not, you could be the band!

“One of my friends just decided to join a dozen other penguins on the Stage. There were lights, fire and confetti!”, said one penguin. “I saw a mixture of drums, keytars and guitars. Whilst I think it is a shame that The Penguin Band cannot play on this beautiful set, it’s awesome that we can”.

weekinreviewNo doubt the biggest news is the announcement of Club Penguin closing, with an enormous spike in traffic with YouTubers making final videos on the island and protesters complaining about the decision. However, there’s also a bit of other news we’ve posted throughout the week:

News:

Other:

Admittedly, many bloggers have been relaxed on news and are planning to talk about Club Penguin closing. I am one of the people who has a lot planned before the game truly ends on March 29th and I request you read back frequently to find out what that is!

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Q. What are your priorities for Club Penguin Island?

-Joemcq

A. That’s a great question! There are two things which I would really like to see prioritised in Club Penguin Island.

The first of those are safety features. I think many of us who have played have seen inappropriate penguin names or due to the new filter, inappropriate chat from advertising to rude things that simply shouldn’t be on our island.

I don’t believe that the answer lies in making things more restrictive, though an Ultimate Safe Chat where you can only use and see the quick chat phrases is a necessity. That would eventually just lead to a filter like the one we have now but I would like to see that automatic filter removed when choosing a penguin name.

Instead, I’d prefer if we knew when a moderator dealt with our report to give us and parents a peace of mind. It could be as easy as a thank you at the top of your screen but when a moderator review your report, we ought to know!

toy-4My second priority is puffles because truthfully, they’re the face of the Club Penguin franchise. They should not be edited or changed whatsoever like the mascots have. I think they should remain cute and instantly recognisable, even to those who aren’t a fan like you and I.

Q. How did you think of the name, “Club Penguin Mountains”?

-FriendJad

Thanks for sending in your question! This is something which I have discussed on the “About page in detail, but I’ll quickly summarise it now.

Formerly this blog was known as “Club Penguin Torres 126” but I just didn’t like that name. Its domain was too long and it just didn’t look right. It was nighttime and I was in bed in South Africa and decided that I wanted it to be “Club Penguin *noun*”. I’m not sure how I thought of “Mountains”, but the domain was available and I liked it so I just worked from there.

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Q. Do you think Club Penguin Island can bring back the heyday activity of original Club Penguin?

-Tech70

A. Club Penguin Island reaching a peak of over a million users at once is something I just can’t imagine unfortunately. As for the accounts, I really don’t see how they can get over 300 million users again.

That being said, I do think that it will be successful enough to press on for years to come. I feel like it has lots of potential but that potential really needs to be fulfilled. The game is starting from scratch and the team can’t assume that just because they ran a game for 11 years that this will be successful.

It’s pretty hard to answer this question at such early stages, particularly when the game’s prediction was so inaccurate that they even added another country to geo-beta. However, I’ve got hope, particularly if we see some good advertising to attract old and new players! But hey, if my teacher has pre-registered, there’s a lot of hope!

 Poll:

Last weeks poll was “What would you want to see more of in the new game?” and the results are in!

  1. More features/things to do (50%)
  2. More areas (20%)
  3. More quests/adventures (15%)
  4. More levels with things to unlock (15%)

This week’s poll is on the future of Club Penguin. Many players have been asking one of the original three founders, Lance Priebe/Rocketsnail, if he could purchase the game and he has said it depends on the cost.

My question for you is do you think that there’s a future for official desktop Club Penguin after March 29th?

As much as I would love to say “yes” to this question, I personally don’t think that there is, but that’s why I wish to hear from you!

Art:

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Edek2012 made this epic “Club Penguin Mountains” logo. Thank you!

Puzzle:

This image from Saraapril is this week’s puzzle! See if you can find 12 construction penguins with hard hats on!

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Conclusion:

Please leave this page knowing this:

Together we can build an island, make a community, change the world…and even tip an iceberg. Waddle on.

-Torres 126

My Review on Club Penguin Island

So far, we’ve all described Club Penguin Island as a great game. Other than reporting a few glitches and bugs, beta-testers haven’t really criticised the game too much. I’m going to give my honest thoughts on issues which have been bothering me about the game. I’m going to look at Club Penguin Island from a different view, think about the future and mention minor and major changes that need to happen.

I just want to say that these thoughts aren’t structured…I’ll probably jump from Daily Challenges to money to rooms. I’m first going to begin with changes that I think should be made along with concerns that I have. Hopefully they help the team!

Finance Issues:

UPDATE: Please read this post on more complaints about this

Let’s start with finance. The game is on the route to failure.

In staff’s own words, the game is being started from scratch. That means everything, including the game’s values, is starting from scratch. In Billybob’s own words, Club Penguin never became a success because the team was more creative or because they could draw better. It’s because they started “with the heart of the parent and not the heart of business”.

So, I asked players on social media to decide that if Club Penguin Island is starting out with “the heart of business”. Unfortunately out of 30 people, 66% believe it has and that’s not good at all.
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Non-members need more, yes, however I just want to think about membership. If you’ve never heard of Club Penguin, why would you want to buy membership? Why would you want to spend $7 a month when there are literally free games out there which offer just as good, if not, better content. The problem with the team is that they think the way to encourage players to buy membership is to make more features around for non-members. That’s wrong, and popularity is something I want to discuss later.

Screenhog is a person who helped work on Club Penguin and Club Penguin Island. He believes that the game needs to support all players. Interacting with other people is a key part of the game which is available for all players but I don’t think that is enough.

The game has been put into mobile where there is just so much competition. Will $7 monthly subscriptions be enough to justify having an entire three-floor building (with a gym below it) owned just to maintain the game? However, the joy about mobile is that in just one tap, you could easily be pledging lots of money to a game monthly. The problem is that not many players are making at one top.

The solution? Advertising and expanding. At the moment, loyal supporters (such as myself – or at least I like to think that) will happily spend membership on money. However, all we have been promised that it will be “more and more worth it”. To be honest, I’m surprised they even went down the membership route altogether. It’s unusual to see that on mobile.

The good news is that Megg told me not to worry and that there will be sufficient advertising. I just thought I should include this in the post.

“I think the fact it’s a virtual world at your fingertips makes it unique.” -Megg

Popularity Concerns:

I think that the Club Penguin Island team have really failed to successfully estimate how many players there are going to be in the geo-beta and when the game launches. It’s safe to say that the game isn’t going to reach 200 million registered accounts like the classic version did. My evidence for this is Daily Challenges.

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Eleven minutes left and we’ve not even completed 10% of the Daily Challenges. This makes me think that the team failed to predict how many people would buy memberships. The geo-beta has less players than the closed beta and that is concerning. A lot of the players who said they would return when Project Super Secret revealed haven’t and I’m sure that there’s a lot of those players.

Furthermore, when they are not underestimating, they’re overestimating! Some community challenges are completed within an hour of them being out and I’m talking these “difficult” ones. It would be interesting to hear just how many players have pre-registered. Maybe they could include a counter on their website? Not only would it fulfil our curiosity but it would also encourage others to join that number of players.

I go back to my original point that if they can’t even get players, how can they get players to invest money each month?

Daily Challenges:

Having just mentioned these challenges, let me give you my opinion on Daily Challenges and character adventures. They are the most important thing to the game. Without Daily Challenges, there wouldn’t be much reason to log on every morning. The sad thing is that the team are not taking advantage of this and challenges only take about 10 minutes to complete.

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Do you remember Thirsty Jack’s Riddle? I really liked that because it meant we had to ask for lots of help which lead to us being on for a longer period of time. It also wasn’t impossible for non-members to complete however they had to get help from members. Ever since that challenge has come out, I’ve waited and waited for another riddle.

We need a daily riddle. In my opinion, the game needs to have difficulty levels for each challenge. There should be 2 easy ones, 1 hard one (the riddle) and the community one which should be a medium difficulty. They don’t need to even display their difficulty, it just needs to feel like that. This change would make the game better for both younger and older players to the point where I’m surprised that this isn’t even in the game already!

Oh, if you skip a challenge, you skip a challenge. There should not be any repeats of old challenges. New challenges for the win! Since beta progress is saved, I also believe that Daily Challenges in geo-beta should not repeat to make it fairer for everyone. Beta-testers will know how to complete it and they’ll probably lose interest with repeating challenges.

Character Adventures:

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Along with Daily Challenges, this is my favourite part of the game. It’s just a shame that there’s less than 15 episodes for you to complete. I’m hoping that each update adds to this but with a new adventure. For example, Aunt Arctic’s current quests are on about saving the island. Once you’ve done this (which the vast majority of players will within just a few days of playing the game) then there should be another plot for you to investigate and complete.

I go back to the fact that there needs to be different levels of difficulty. I’d quite like to see Rockhopper as easy adventures to complete, Aunt Arctic as medium and a new mascot as hard. The first mascot that comes to mind is Gary just because there’s been so many games based on him in the past. Add Gary and you’ve got the ability to make a whole new type of adventure with things to build and problems to solve.

As the game progresses more into the future, maybe we could have multiple adventures for each difficulty. All I’m saying is that you need to change it so daily challenges and adventures have different levels of difficulty.

Earning Coins & Fishing:

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One thing that is annoying is that it’s actually really difficult to save up a decent amount of coins. The Exchange just doesn’t quite do it and when I tried to buy party supplies for our party, I couldn’t get very far before having to go get coins. Earning coins is simple in classic Club Penguin because there’s lots of mini-games. However, there’s nothing like that in Club Penguin Island but there’s more opportunity to spend coins.

The solution? Increase the rewards for catching fish. On average, you are estimated to get 133 coins fishing each day before your bait runs out. That’s barely enough to buy a tree costume but it’s where a large bulk of your coins come from. If the rewards are increased then that means more coins for members. Increasing coins for members prevents a repeat of where non-members complain that they have so many coins but can’t do anything with them.

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If the rumours are true that you will be able to purchase more bait with real money, it currently doesn’t make much sense to as you’re likely to get around 133 coins for an extra 10 pieces of bait. However, if you up the rewards, it will no longer seem like such a big gamble. This will mean more people are likely to buy bait but it also means if you don’t want to buy bait, you can still be able to afford things.

Currently, there’s just not enough ways to earn coins but fishing is a great way to change that.

Levelling up & Cheating:

I’ve just talked about how difficult it is to earn coins but now I’m going to talk about how easy it is to level up! In my opinion, it’s just too easy to do so. It doesn’t help that some players are using a bug in-game to max their level. I’ve emailed support about this but those people should have their progress reset to where everyone else should be! There should also be an option to report cheating.

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The solution? Just add some levels so that no-one (except staff) reaches level 35 or something for at least a few months. This can be balanced with the addition of new character adventures, like I mentioned previously.

List of bugs:

  • Able to cheat and redo Daily Challenges for extra XP – this immediately needs to be fixed and those who cheated should have their progress reset to where everyone else is in geo-beta (NOTE: This has now been fixed)
  • Some Daily Challenges literally don’t work until Kelowna (in Canada) wakes up. The solution to this is changing the Daily Challenge reset time to when the team is awake
  • Unable to jump to friends whilst underwater – you just go under the island and you’re forced to restart the game (see here)
  • Unable to jump to friends who are in a different area to you – the app usually crashes
  • Some (but not all) Android users are sometimes forced to buy membership if they want to play the game at all
  • The login system isn’t great at sometimes people get an “Unknown Error”. Other times their accounts are locked out for over 24 hours
  • Rockhopper’s Adventures is not reliable – the app crashes for some users when they try to equip a sword to fight dummies in Episode 3
  • It takes far too long to buy party supplies
  • License Credits do not load
  • There are many glitches but you’re unlikely to run into them. As such, I hope that they are not fixed. It gives something for older players to do when they are bored and I’ve certainly spent a lot of time exploring glitches (see here)

Final Review:

Club Penguin Island is no doubt a great game and I think the wait for Project Super Secret is definitely worth it. I made this post mainly to show some of the negative things and some of the things that truly need to change but don’t let you put that off from downloading it. After all, the game is so much fun and there is so much to do!

Club Penguin Island has just been built in a way which makes it seem like it can’t last forever. The thing is, mobile games never do but I just can’t imagine this game on desktop computers. This really depends on how successful the game is. My guess is that the game will last 5 years, give or take, before interest dies out. But it is essential that the game starts off well for it to even live that long.

Here’s the thing I really want to talk about though. Users are constantly going to be comparing the new game to the old game and asking if it was worth the 2 year wait. At the moment, there’s more to do on classic Club Penguin but the new game has so much potential. That’s good and I completely understand that the game isn’t even out worldwide yet and that everything needs to be created from scratch. The problem is that I don’t think everyone will be so understanding about that.

It’s fair to say that you the team what they are doing (hopefully). When it was announced that the game would be mobile only, everyone was outraged but whilst playing it now, I understand why this couldn’t be brought to a desktop computer. So now I’m going to give my score for the game.

8.5/10

UPDATE: I have since reduced the score to 6/10 for this reason. I then changed it to 7/10 for the level of interaction we are getting from the Club Penguin team.

Three Pros:

  • So much potential!
  • Ability to throw your own parties wherever and have fun.
  • An unwavering commitment to safety and security.

Three Cons:

  • Too little places to explore and too little things to do – what next after you finish the Daily Challenges and all of the character adventures?
  • Too little players online – there seems to be less players than the closed beta and that means you can’t “waddle around and meet new friends”
  • Too many bugs (granted, game is in beta so I didn’t take this off the score)

As a geo-beta tester, those are my thoughts for Club Penguin Island! I’ll be emailing this to the team and possibly sending them a physical copy so that they can read it. You can do so too by emailing them! I’m sure that they are finding all feedback helpful.

Other posts made purely to express my opinion on the new game (excludes beta testing – you don’t need my opinion to know that was a mess):

I hope you enjoyed this post! Wow, that was long! Over 2300 words! Thank you for reading!

Waddle on!

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Club Penguin Island at NIGHT Leaked and SECRET Path

We have got an exclusive image posted by the Club Penguin Island team! In fact, our island is going to probably have a nighttime mode but now we have a small preview as to how this could look. There’s also something awesome I’ve spotted! If you’ve not seen it, here’s the image which was posted on their Twitter account.

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I think that this looks absolutely amazing! It would just be great to be able to play Club Penguin Island at night without the daylight stressing your eyes, so this is a really necessary addition to the game! I would not be surprised if it only will be in the game when it launches worldwide. Everything about that image is just so awesome! I really hope the team adds it in to the game!

The chances are that they will. In fact, this image from my good friend Dj Stores on his blog PengFeed shows an image he found in the site files. 

However, that’s not all. There are two secret paths which could give even more evidence to prove the rumours that the next area will be a Mountains one. Take a look!

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Yes, that’s right! There’s a cave as well as a tunnel in the mountains. Perhaps that could be tunnel where we go Sled Racing (which has been confirmed) and who knows what lies in that cave? Only time will tell!

What do you think lies in the tunnel and the caves? Would you like a night mode in the game? Let me know! Also email anything you might want to say to “support@clubpenguinisland.com” as they might be looking for ideas and feedback on this!

Waddle on!

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Club Penguin Island Commercial Review & Marketing

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With the launch of the official Club Penguin Island website, we’ve seen an official advert. In this post, I’m going to give me thoughts on this and what I think the team will do when it comes to marketing the new game. I’m sure that we’ll see this advert on TV and online. In case you’ve not seen it, here is the commercial!

I think that this commercial is absolutely fantastic! It shares some of the many things which you’ll be able to do on Club Penguin Island! However, the interesting question is whether or not Disney will be satisfied with the audience they currently have on Club Penguin or if they will try to expand that audience. I really hope that they try to expand that audience and I think that they will.

It doesn’t make sense to invest so much time in Project Super Secret if Disney are going to ignore it. However, they’re not ignoring it. I don’t think that many of us would have expected them to create a pre-registration page, but they did! Not only that, but they’ve put Club Penguin Island as a separate topic on Disney Help rather than regarding it as just another app. However, how much money will they put into advertising?

A few years ago, I remember seeing a Club Penguin advert on Disney Channel. There have been a large number of Club Penguin adverts on there and now it’s been completely revamped. I can’t imagine Disney ignoring the opportunity to advertise the game! Not only that, however the team have made some smaller adverts.

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These adverts are 19 seconds long, so it wouldn’t be as expensive to advertise them. I think that the reason why they chose to just split up the main advert into many different smaller videos is because they want to advertise the smaller versions. I can think of no other reason why they would do this unless this was the case.

The interesting thing is what is Club Penguin Island’s budget because Club Penguin’s one wasn’t very high. If it is high, which it seems like it is, then Disney must have really good hopes for the new game. Is that a good thing? Absolutely!

Make sure to stay tuned to Club Penguin Mountains for the latest CP Island news!

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Introducing Club Penguin Special Offers and Paid Items

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Club Penguin is a business and that is going bust. We’ve had two lay-offs over the past two years and if Club Penguin doesn’t make some more profit quickly, who’s to say that a third lay-off isn’t on its way? The membership system is great, but its not producing enough revenue to fund this massive world. Fortunately, Project Super Secret presents a new opportunity to change, well, pretty much everything about our game. That includes money, which gave me an idea.

Mobile games commonly use a system called “value packs”. You may have seen these in one of the games which you play, such as Clash Royale or Clash of Clans. The fact is, it’s effective and Club Penguin is going mobile-only when the new game comes out. So what’s stopping Club Penguin from adding special offers instead of increasing membership prices?

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Let me explain how this works. A Club Penguin one month membership is about £4.99 in the UK. For that five pounds, let’s say that Club Penguin offer 2500 coins and an exclusive Club Penguin item. Virtual coins literally are worth no money in real-life, so including them into this pack is not a financial loss for the game. 2500 is a number which would be enough to make people want to buy it but not make those who can’t buy it angry and think that Disney just wants money.

The exclusive item literally took me five seconds to make. I just took an item which already exists and changed the colour from blue to red. It’s that simple, but the word “exclusive” will make people want to get it. Once again, it’s not worth any money. It’s just a valueless virtual item which the team doesn’t need to manufacture. It’s basically like buying a membership and getting these two virtual items for free.

So what’s the financial advantage?

It’s surprisingly large if this is executed correctly. For example, many people will want this and persuade their parents to buy it and that will probably include those who have never had a membership in the past. It’s £5, so it’s not ridiculously expensive. The important thing is that this does not affect membership sales.

Think of it as a trial.

“Look, you’ve never had a membership, so we’re going to let you become a member for a month for a pack which offers more value. Enjoyed being a member? Then purchase a membership.”

However, Club Penguin cannot keep including memberships in these packs, which brings me nicely onto my next point.

What other paid items will there be?

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I think that Club Penguin could easily sell items at cheap prices, along with their special offer packs. Perhaps every week or so, a new pack can be bought. Maybe when there’s a new party, a special, more expensive item could be sold. It shouldn’t take too long to design, but think about it. If 1,000 people buy the item above (and bare in mind that there are millions of players) along with 8 other packs, that’s over £30,000 which is enough to pay a salary. You hire one person to work on the weekly items and value packs (and you don’t even need to do that. You could literally just make an artist work on it for a few hours), you could pay their salary.

So if more than 8,000 packs are bought in a year, which is easy considering there are millions of players who play, assuming this person’s salary is about £30,000, you’re already making profit. Logically, there’s bound to be one item you see which you go “Oh! I really like that and I want it!”. You see?

Where will you be able to buy paid items, including membership subscriptions?

The Fun Hut. However, this is debatable because there is one main positive reason and one main negative reason. You’re a kid, you tap on the Fun Hut, you see the item and you buy it, without your parent’s permission. The solution? Add some sort of question which adults would get but not kids. Maybe a CAPTCHA would be ideal.

However the reason why I insist this must be added to the Fun Hut is because it’s probably going to be one of the first things you see when you log on. If you see something you like, you are guaranteed to ask your parents. Parents aren’t just going to check the Fun Hut everyday to see if there’s a new item. But kids will. That’s why it needs to be in a room which is going to be visited a lot.

Is this a replacement to the membership system which we have known since Club Penguin began?

No, it is not. This is an addition to the membership system to help make more money. It’s completely optional to buy and you still can do everything else with a membership.

On a separate note, I’d just like to apologise for the lack of posts for the past week or so. I’ve got two BIG posts coming out this month and then I’m also working hard on the November Club Penguin Mountains update.

Waddle on!

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