CPAC Exclusive: Disney Talks Armies

If you’ve spent any time at all playing Club Penguin, you’ll probably have noticed more than a few curiously coincidental concessions to the army culture built into the game itself.  It stands to reason that such a widespread movement could not possibly be overlooked by the staff of Club Penguin, so a curious question is posed–just how much consideration really goes into army gameplay when making design or policy choices? Are there any army-related secrets in the game?

We’ve reached out to Club Penguin for comment, and the results may surprise you…

With a little time, you may already have discovered something cool about the chat interface. After the Club Penguin Improvement Project of 2007,  the chat box received a functional upgrade that shoehorned in a dictionary of popular phrases to auto-complete typed messages.

They range from the mundane to the zany (“Send me a postcard”, “Jam likes to boogie!”), and make communication a little easier for those with less-advanced typing skills or simply those with a penchant for proper placement of punctuation. During the many, many battles since this system was applied, you may have noticed that entering common army bywords brings up a prompt for the auto-complete function. Follow it and you’ll see things like “ACP is Army of Club Penguin!”, “Nachos to the snow forts!” and so on.

Club Penguin remains optimistic

These are not random phrases or algorithms, these are intentional shout-outs to the army community. It’s little touches like these that show how well the game designers know their userbase. From this alone, one could surmise that Club Penguin is at least aware of the army movement. However, a Club Penguin employee had this to say:

We are definitely aware of this type of activity that occurs on the island.  How could I forget the beginning stages of the Nacho Army and seeing so many sombreros in one room!  That was a sight to see.  The presence of player-formed armies is definitely felt on the island, as players love forming large groups and working together.  Throughout the years, many penguins have formed various types of ‘armies’ on the island and we are fully aware of their activity.

There’s no hiding it, the secret is out! They are most certainly aware, but how do the creators of the wildly successful MMO feel about the subject? What of the ‘conspiracies’ to shut out well-known armies through filtering of certain chat phrases? How about the rumored spate of bannings for wearing ACP colors? As it turns out, these incidents were entirely circumstantial or exaggerated in cases. Testimony from a Disney fan-service representative paints a glowing picture of army – community relations:

In regards to the activity of ‘armies’ on the island, we monitor the chat and actions of these specific groups, just like we monitor penguins waddling around the island on a day-to-day basis.  We want to encourage positive role-play, and as long as ‘armies’ or groups of penguins are not breaking the Club Penguin rules, no action will be taken.

Moving forward, we’ve seen some really neat role-play and positive actions come from ‘armies’ on Club Penguin!   For example, during the Underwater Expedition event there were many penguins who struggled with successfully finding the finish line to the maze.  While painfully making my way through the maze I was assisted by some members of a random Club Penguin ‘army’!  They situated themselves in each section of the maze and directed defeated penguins in the correct way.  This was a really neat gesture; I was overly thankful.

Army troops taking a break to party!

A little army courtesy can really make an impression. For every heated battle over a server, there are friendly meetings and spontaneous dance-off competitions between rival armies, promoting the zany fun and friendship Club Penguin was built for. But how has the inclusion of armies affected development decisions? Have certain items and rooms been modeled in such a way to promote or compliment army use? As a matter of fact, they have:

As far as added concessions go, we have added specific items to somewhat encourage a sense of chivalrous acts from penguin ‘army’ enthusiasts.  Just from taking a look through my inventory I was able to see an old-fashioned Roman army helmet!  This item basically looks like a normal helmet with the brush end of a broom on top of it.  It is quite humorous.  Other items could include the Viking Helmets, Knight’s Armour, and even newer types of ‘armour’, such as Elite Penguin Force apparel.  This could include stealth items, communication items (computers, mini-satellites, etc), and much more! When adding new rooms and features on the island we definitely focus on adding items that encourage positive role-play, even role-play that is player-versus-player oriented.

The future of warfare has many pockets

With the restructuring of the dojo for Card Jitsu use, many feared that the way of army conflict would be stunted without room to maneuver. Thankfully, Club Penguin was on hand to raise the player cap of many high-traffic rooms during the CPIP renovation, ostensibly to make room for grander parties. Old rooms like the snow forts got a makeover and have been put to good use since, becoming partygoing centers of activity and hubs of travel with the addition of branching paths. But was the possibility of PvP considered? One response seems to point to this as a probability. Our contact had this to say on the matter:

One of the oldest PvP experience on the island would have to be the Snow Forts.  Since Club Penguin’s origin, penguins have enjoyed a good snowball fight at the Snow Forts.  Both forts that have been implemented give penguins a chance to choose which side they want to ‘throw’ for, as well as some shelter from oncoming snowballs.

It sounds like there was certainly some consideration given to the matter before implementation, and it seems that the company is heavily invested in providing their players with the best possible gaming experience, armies and all. It was mentioned that there are “not currently any hidden ‘secrets’ in Club Penguin that pertain to specific armies”, but with the ever-growing influence that the army community has on the playerbase, such things are certainly not out of the question. For now, consider the ongoing conflict between the Red and Blue teams to be a semi-official nod to the army culture, as they bear many similarities to the point of parody.

Disney Interactive staff were very helpful in providing this insider information, and would like to add that their fan department is always open for further questions on gameplay and community. Drop them a line and share your thanks for the work they do to maintain a fun and army-friendly experience!

Know of any secrets that have been missed? Want to hear more from Club Penguin? Comment with YOUR opinion!

Delcrux

32 Responses

  1. They also made a sword. Im just all ” lol”

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  2. 1rst?!!!!! and nice post

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  3. This is awesome.

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  4. nice post! but its not really anything exclusive xD

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  5. Interesting.

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  6. Needs more roman helmet returning.

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  7. nice post,
    i’m happy to hear that clubpenguin are aware of our activity, and i’m pretty sure that they realise we intend no harm to the child-friendly community. maybe eventually they’ll release some new items that actually put an extent to the army existence. it’s good to know that they haven’t got that much agains’t us ;L

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  8. Nice post!

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  9. I said this a while back already. While browsing CP’s beta archive (when they were still available) I came across a very old post on which someone said ‘So when will ninjas be coming out?’ This indicates that the idea of ninjas far precedes the armies. Billybob (who back then was simply called ‘admin’) stated that ninjas would not be out until all the bugs were squashed.

    Screenhog once stated that CP was released unfinished. The dojo was always going to be a headquarters for ninjas, they’d planned it from the beginning.

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  10. I wonder if CP would come out with a gun and artillery catalog…..Ah the possibilities

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  11. thats cool that theyve noticed, but we really have to watch the things we type on CP if were battling you know?

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  12. I remember when Air Force battled LT about a year and a half ago. And Cp kicked all the Light Troops players and everyone in LT had to relogin and so did Air Force. What do you think disney thought of that?

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  13. Honestly, Great post. I was truly impressed. And this should be a message to armies that have virtually no rules that maybe if we truly maintained a kid friendly zone, we could even branch into working with CP. Never know…

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  14. you guy’s need to update your Header and stufff

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  15. Ah, Viewing CPAC for the first time since I have retired… Well, it is nice to see a post such as this. I knew Club Penguin was aware of CP Army existence, and that they’d have no problem with it. You attract new players, and keep Club Penguin exciting. Nice post.

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  16. Where did you get this?

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  17. I love it how the CP Employee knows Nacho Army *wary*

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  18. I’m missing the “exclusive” part of this. Is it hidden?

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    • Do you see this information anywhere else? Then, by the nature of the definition, this post is exclusive.

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      • By the nature of its definition, exclusive means that the access to this information was exclusive to this news site, in a way such that no other was permitted to receive it. (ie A CNN exclusive interview with the President means he isn’t offering such an interview to other news companies).

        This information, however, could have been given to anyone, regardless of the inquisitor. The questions were asked and the employee openly replied. There was nothing exclusive about it. (In fact, someone asking the same question at a different time will probably get nearly the exact same response.)

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  19. Same thing when I emailed them.

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    • @Delcrux This is exactly what I mean :3

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      • Fine. I understand where you’re coming from, so I guess I’ll have to go back and ask for some inspid detail on the nature of puffles or something and impress upon them that this information is never to be revealed to the public again.

        I’m reasonably sure they’d oblige.

        However, the purpose of this post was to be fun and informative and maybe answer some questions that players hadn’t thought to ask. I know I was deeply curious about such matters when I actively played the game.

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        • It was for the noobs that think CP hates us.

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          • Noobs?Hah, CP is using us. We make money for them because the cooler uniforms in the armies which everyone wants to wear require memberships. Once the uniforms become fully for nonmembers CP will cast us away. And make it as impossible as they can for us to recruit. :/

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  20. No, I like the post. I just question its exclusiveness. I understand, and I’ve posted similar stuff when I worked at CPAE.

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  21. Great post!!! I had been wondering what cp thought about armies. 🙂

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  22. You are wrong about the auto complete. It wasn’t done back in 2007. When I first joined armies in 2009 or something it wasn’t there. It was done a year or two ago. Not 2007.

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  23. what is your club penguin username? 1tink95 have you had any previous experience in battles? no if so with who,what position and for how long? what server do you go on? ice berg most of the time i go on low ones like rocky road,and altitude.

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