Assessing Club Penguin’s Legacy 3 Years On

Three years ago today, the classic version of Club Penguin came to a close. It’s a day documented well here, but this post does not intend to attempt to resurrect previous feelings, no matter how temping it may be; nostalgia is a powerful weapon, after all.

Instead, I want to contemplate the present. Nothing that has happened, nor anything which I reference now, can undermine the benefits (many even tangible) that Club Penguin brought to the world.

One of the coolest stats that I love is the fact there are over 100K kids attending schools today that were built by Club Penguin

-Lane Merrifield, co-founder of Club Penguin (July 2017)

But there’s something that needs to be addressed.


The takeover of Club Penguin’s legacy by current private servers has turned a once delightful virtual world managed by decent people into an industry-like corrupt atmosphere intended to gain personal profits, stoke division, and oust those who question either the negligent ineptitude displayed over recent events, or the morality of them.

The admirable sentiment behind the initial months of these servers was consistent with the genuine desire from the community for an alternative platform for players to continue enjoying Club Penguin. No mandate was given to replace Club Penguin’s values, and certainly no mandate was given for the deception and polarisation that has been perpetuated or performed by the highest authority of several individual servers.

Of course, the deep irony is that Club Penguin was a business; everything about it revolved around profits, including the harsh decisions of lay-offs and the closure of Club Penguin Island. Yet the transparency, accountability and honesty attributed to the classic game is not attributable to those who claim to continue its legacy; the offices around the world and the “army” once cited by Polo Field needed to manage a community has been replaced by a dozen or so individuals.

This is not part of an endeavour to omit or disregard the benevolent actions or intentions of those individuals, nor is it provoked by a specific event attributable to a specific server: it is prevalent throughout. Instead, it is an increasing concern which all of us in the community ought to expel. As for those with that cited authority, all involved should proceed with deep caution with the trust – arguably undeservingly – placed into them by the community, particularly when it comes to their responsibility in minimising corruption.

Part of that involves, regrettably, recovering our skepticism; there is plenty to justify it, and plenty examples of those whose skepticism has been dismissed, including by those who hold a desirable but unrealistic utopian view of that authority, and those who don’t but claim to anyway.

Contrary to what you may imagine, this is not an expression of frustration with profits. Although external complications may arise directly as a result of those, this is about disdain invoked by deception.

Resolution would involve requiring:

  • admission (and apology where appropriate) of whether or not individual servers have been involved in deceit, or at least been conservative with the truth – primarily with finances, revenue and profit, but not solely so; the evidence exists, albeit with most of it currently unpublished
  • reflection that private servers are unofficial, and advertising them as such

I promised that this was not an attempt to omit benevolence: overt criticism, particularly a post dedicated to it, can invoke an impression of desperation and despair. It is a rarity that a community fan-blog can last years after the franchise it revolved around has closed. We ought to be deeply grateful for those who maintain an opportunity to continue that enjoyment.

It is why I have not delved upon dozens of previous cases from varying servers, including those which I no longer post about. This is an issue more systemic than a few individual cases, irrespective of their severity.

We should just be more objective, and more demanding for Club Penguin’s values: transparency and honesty, because we’re not being given them now.

-Torres 126

Club Penguin HQ's Elevator

Hello! For today’s Mountains Monday, where a photo gathered from somewhere on the Internet featuring something in real life is posted, I actually wanted to share something from the Club Penguin HQ.

I’ll probably post HQ photos quite regularly, among other photos! For today though, the two images are both elevators! It might seem bizarre, but they actually have some super pretty designs on them.

Photo taken by Caryn Bailey (left) & Crzypengu (right)

I always do enjoy seeing the contrast between the older and modern art-styles. Along with those two designs, there were a couple more in the Kelowna HQ as well. For example, this elevator design depicted a variety of penguins having a fun time!

Check it out – it’s super pretty!

Photo taken by Chris Gliddon (you may remember him as Polo Field)

Thank you very much for reading, I hope that you enjoyed seeing some of these designs on different lifts!

Waddle on!

-Torres 126

Card Jitsu Cards Giveaway (16/03/20)

Welcome to the third day of the month, and another Mountains Monday! As part of the schedule, today will be a Card Jitsu card giveaway, where you can win six cards.

I should note that these cards are physical ones, meaning they’ll be posted to your address. All of them are from Series 3 indicated by a yellow penguin, and for this week, they are:

  • Card-Jitsu
  • Treasure Hunt Game
  • Telescope
  • Rockhopper’s Key
  • Surfing with the Sharks
  • Dojo Sketch (power card)

Condition: all cards in excellent condition! They’ll come loose.

The giveaway has now ended. The winner will be result soon!

Best of luck with the wordsearch! The necessity of answering it correctly is rooted in the fact that the emphasis for these giveaways is on the ‘bonus’ question.

The giveaway will close on Tuesday 17th March at 5:30pm GMT, and the winner will be announced by the end of Wednesday. So not a very long one!

Best of luck!

-Torres 126

Club Penguin’s Sushi Drop

Lots of mini-games are memorable for a variety of reasons, but there is one game which often gets forgotten as it was removed two years after it released, despite people initially being very excited for it when it was included in 2013 as part of the My Penguin app.

You may remember the game I’m talking about: Sushi Drop! 🍣 It was a very simple game, but perhaps this advert will remind you of it.

The game’s concept was quite simple. Everyday, you would open the My Penguin app and play a quick round of Sushi Drop, where you’d use your finger to drag a bit of sushi into the ocean. It would then travel downwards.

After a few seconds, one of the oysters would eat the sushi. The idea was to get it in the bigger oyster’s mouth, though there would be fishes and rocks to push the sushi off-course.

This became a very simple way to earn coins, though there were prizes too, varying from the Sailor Hat and Shell Necklace to three different backgrounds. As such, many played it frequently, and it became an iconic part of the app.

Sadly though, I suspect that not many people remember it well! In such a case, I hope that you enjoyed this Mountains Monday post. Thank you for reading, waddle on!

-Torres 126

Perapin on Running the Pizza Parlor

Roleplaying has always been a prevalent form of entertainment on Club Penguin, from acting in the Stage to the Penguins at Work jobs enabling a variety of fun. However, currently, the main form of roleplay is running establishments. So, I spoke to the person behind it all!

You might recognise his name: Perapin. You’ll frequently find him at the Pizza Parlor serving dishes with great aroma to customers, and he joins me for this week’s interview, with all his vision and wit!

When I met with him to conduct this interview, he was swarmed by penguins! Running an establishment and consistently roleplaying definitely seems like a strenuous job, and isn’t something many penguins consider when they enter the Pizza Parlor.

It’s a busy job but I enjoy it when our employees work as a team to get the job done. We’re constantly being challenged; we have to deal with penguins causing a scene. But our security has gotten better and better, and we’re able to deal with them swiftly to ensure a great atmosphere in the Pizza Parlor.

I was curious about the “security guard” concept. As you’re likely aware, the island isn’t immune to people wishing to cause havoc, so Perapin developed a tactic of blocking messages with chat bubbles.

In fact, he invites you to come and try it out, and tells me that it’s an easy way to get involved with the roleplaying business on the island!

Well, we’re always looking for security guards, and we have multiple security guards that have been with us for a long time. They’re willing to show the ropes to new players.

[Working here] requires creativity, empathy, integrity, and you have to know how to be quick at your job. Our pizzas are made fresh. The chefs make the dough [but] we don’t reveal secret formulas, otherwise they wouldn’t be a secret!

The thing which fascinates me about Perapin though is simply how long he’s been running the Pizza Parlor! Being in control of it for years, keeping logs on staff and customers…that does sound like tricky work. But I wondered if things were the same across the years.

Roleplaying definitely evolves over the years. One of the biggest changes I noticed last year was that cars were introduced, so naturally, we had some drive-through shifts.

So, what’s the future of the Pizza Parlor? Perapin told me about his aspirations for expansion, with the ideal vision of the ability to delivery pizzas directly to igloos, which sounds like quite a cool idea; imagine seeing all the wonderful designs whilst delivering pizza!

Several roles have existed throughout the Pizza Parlor’s time, so deliveries are definitely feasible.

I think the Pizza Parlor will stay a dominant force for employment. We’ve created several new jobs such as delivery drivers and car cleaners! We even had a traffic controller job for managing the drive-through queues.

[The future is] one where you can interact on the island and deliver pizzas to igloos. We want to encourage making friends! A delivery game would be great for increasing interaction.

In a humorous ending, I was wondering why Perapin hadn’t considered expanding to other establishments, such as serving customers in the Coffee Shop and the Gift Shop. He gave me a smile, and told me.

We’re not interested in the Coffee Shop. For example, throwing anvils at employees, unloading the beans…we don’t support that.

So, there you have it, the words of the most well-known pizza-manager on the Club Penguin island! I’d like to give a huge thank you to Perapin for answering my questions, and I wish him the best for what’s to come!

Thank you very much for reading, waddle on!

-Torres 126

Club Penguin at Times Square

Happy Monday! Last month, as part of Mountains Monday, I featured a couple of photos of the game at Ski Resorts. As a reminder, on the fourth Monday of the month, I intend to just show some random in real life photos.

This week, as it’s the anniversary of CP Rewritten this month, I thought I’d feature the game at Times Square, located in New York, with three different photos!

Photo taken by 360kid

There’s something which I find really interesting about Club Penguin at Times Square. It’s the stark contrast between the event in 2008 and the one just under a decade later, in 2017.

The link regarding the anniversary is that Club Penguin celebrated their third anniversary there, on October 24th 2008. As part of the event, Lane Merrifield (who you may know as Billybob, one of the founders of the game) was on stage.

I should note that there was another event in December 2011, where someone dressed up as Rockhopper, though I couldn’t find any photos of this event. This was a charity event, intended to collect coats for the winter.

The other event was on April 25th 2017, intended to celebrate World Penguin Day. There were advertisements, but no big crowd nor stage – just a few penguins, including Megg!

Thank you for reading, I hope you enjoyed these random photos of the game at the Times Square!

Waddle on!

-Torres 126

Card Jitsu Cards Giveaway Winner (17/02/20)

I just wanted to make a quick post to share the winner of yesterday’s Card Jitsu giveaway! As you may remember, the entry question was a riddle.

Hover over my photo, and something shady shall show. Who am I though?

There were a lot of different answers, with “ninja” being a recurring one, but the answer is actually Aunt Arctic (The Director was fine too). Whilst “shady” denotes something dark, I thought it also worked nicely as it related to shades/glasses.

If you hover over Aunt Arctic in the newspaper, her glasses will turn shady.

Not many people entered compared to usual (I can only assume the riddle was quite difficult) so those who answered correctly stood a good chance of winning! The winner is…Tacocat54893! [screenshot]

Congratulations, I’ve sent you an email! To everyone else who entered, don’t worry, there’ll be another Card Jitsu giveaway next month, so good luck then!

-Torres 126

Card Jitsu Cards Giveaway (17/02/20)

Welcome to the third day of the month, and another Mountains Monday! As part of the schedule, today will be a Card Jitsu card giveaway, where you can win six cards.

I should note that these cards are physical ones, meaning they’ll be posted to your address. All of them are from the Fire/fourth series, and for this week, they are:

  • Outdoor Igloo
  • Rocking Horse
  • Beacon
  • O Berry Bush
  • Elite Penguin Force
  • Medieval Party (power card)

Condition: all cards in excellent condition! They’ll come loose.

The giveaway has closed – the winner can be found here!

Best of luck with the riddle! The necessity of answering it correctly is rooted in the fact that the emphasis for these giveaways is on the ‘bonus’ question.

The giveaway will close on Tuesday 18th February at 10am GMT, and the winner will be announced by the end of Wednesday. So not a very long one!

Best of luck!

-Torres 126

Exploring the Puffle Wilds

The Puffle Wilds are a fascinating aspect of Club Penguin, simply because of how they evolved. It started with a simple app in 2014, but it wasn’t a great success; it never launched on Android, and was ended a year later.

I thought it was quite unfair that it never reached the success or attention which other Club Penguin apps, such as Sled Racer, did. It was a regular “match 3” puzzle game, but some of the artwork in it was spectacular.

Taken from Emily Mullock’s portfolio

The unique element to the app was that as levels were completed, it became possible to unlock puffles, which could then be adopted in the actual online game. It sounds like a cool concept!

In reality, it sadly wasn’t as popular at the time; a lot of people didn’t favour the new “types” of puffles which the game brought. They introduced a variety of puffles, including the deer, rabbit and raccoon puffles. Many just preferred the usual colour puffles.

Taken from Craig Voight’s portfolio

A few months after the app, the Puffle Wild appeared on the island itself as a room. It allowed people to adopt puffle creatures, and a quest was involved, in which penguins learnt more about a new mascot: Sam the Sasquatch.

Sam went on to make numerous visits on the island, and even got a background.

So that’s a brief story of the Puffle Wilds and their impact! It started with an app, and ended up with a mysterious Sasquatch. It’s a shame it never was so popular though – I’d recommend checking out some of the artwork online, it’s quite beautiful!

Waddle on!

-Torres 126

Babycrier and Llama on Designing Igloos

Igloo designing is one of the most creative parts of Club Penguin, and one which contains a thriving community; you can find a huge variety of igloo designs online, and people advertising their own designs in-game.

One of the most talented and well-known designers on the island is Babycrier, who you’ll frequently see on the island advertising his igloo. In this interview, he joins me, along with Llama, who is working alongside him as part of an igloo project, to discuss everything about igloos.

Perhaps the thing you’ll notice is Babycrier’s ability to turn a set of random furniture items and change it into something much greater. Indeed, that is his advice on how to build a perfect igloo.

Making an interesting igloo requires certain furniture that gives the attention and “theme” to your idea. Every furniture can be useful, without a doubt. It can also depend on the visuals that captures the idea that you are working on.

-Babycrier

So just how does Babycrier do that? He kindly provided me with a couple of examples on how to transform some seemingly random items into something which can be a significant part of your igloo. Check it out!

It’s the “creativity” that appeals to the visitors and makes them want to visit.

-Babycrier

But despite everything about building igloos, you wouldn’t be wrong in noting that it just doesn’t seem like there’s a big demand for igloos. There used to be blogs for igloos featuring designs on the classic game, and loads of different designs!

The memories I have are friends creating their igloos, and a vast igloo community at the town with creative igloos. The Igloo Community back in Club Penguin was huge. It would be great to see everyone build more igloos for the community together.

-Babycrier

So if the previous memories of igloo building are still around, and it’s still possible to use furniture to design some beautiful igloos, why has there been such a sharp decline in the igloo community? And more importantly, what can be done to combat it?

Well, in many ways, it’s complicated. However, Babycrier and Llama have come up with ways for the community and the team to help.

I believe the igloo community is full of passion and love and there needed to be a platform for this love to expressed on.

-Llama

One of the projects which they’re developing is The Drawer, intended to be a site to find igloo designing tips and tools. As a full disclaimer, I’m helping them with this project, however there is genuine hope that it can bring some joy back to the igloo community.

In fact, they invite you to visit your igloo and start designing!

There has been cause for concern a little while now in the igloo community that there has been a decline of interest. I would encourage our community to spread the word of The Drawer, the igloo community still has a lease of life for creativity and to make new friends. I can see The Drawer bringing all igloo-lovers together, resolving division and resparking peoples interest. We are a very kind loving community who open anyone with open-flippers.

-Llama

Each make a few suggestions on ways the team can improve igloo designing on the game too, something which they’ve expressed interest in doing:

  1. Introduce the new igloo interface from 2012
  2. Allow people to “Like” igloos
  3. Ensure the catalog items are more relevant to ongoing events
  4. A page of permanent furniture items to kick-start people’s ability to design igloos
  5. More custom furniture items

I think it’s time we encourage the Rewritten team to do what they’re meant to be doing. It’s not Club Penguin Nostalgia; it’s Club Penguin Rewritten and that they should be introducing new features, not dwelling entirely on the past.

-Llama

But amid all the potential for change, there is a risk of changing too fast. Perhaps the thing which makes igloo designing so special is the simplicity. I wondered if Club Penguin Island, the mobile game, took that away, which removed the charm of igloos.

Club Penguin Island’s igloo designer was a whole new perspective. But, I’m not really much of a “complicated” igloo maker. The new system introduced glitches. The Classic system was just more simple.

-Babycrier

The best way to enlarge the igloo community though is to start designing some igloos! There may not be an ongoing contest, but it can be a lot of fun. And as Llama says…

People getting together, having fun and creating fond memories that will be in our minds for the rest of our lives. We have all had a good experience and favourable igloos we remember, if we made them or one of our friends made them. Igloos are truly a beautiful thing, as we are able to express our creativeness and make others happy.

I think this is a message everyone should take and be re-encouraged to get back into igloo building, I think it is a positive thing for the community and will help us come back together and heal some of the division over the last few months.

-Llama

I’d like to give a big thank you to Babycrier and Llama for joining me, and a big thank you to you for reading this second Mountains Monday interview on a slightly more light-hearted topic than before, but still a fun one!

Waddle on!

-Torres 126