October 29, 2012

Club Penguin Documentary: Screenhog Commentary

Filed under: Club Penguin,Video Games — Tags: — Screenhog @ 9:38 am

On October 24, Club Penguin released something that I’ve been anticipating for a long time – a documentary. Or at least, the first part of a documentary. Either way, I was stoked to see the story of Club Penguin put to a video of some kind, and this video does not disappoint. Despite being only a 4 minute video, there are lots of little hidden tidbits about Club Penguin sprinkled throughout the video that you might not realize.

First, if you haven’t already, watch the video! Now!

So awesome. Now for my commentary!

0:01 This is Club Penguin’s hometown of Kelowna, BC.
0:04 “New Horizons” is about the perfect name for a Club Penguin documentary. Club Penguin was originally created by New Horizon Interactive, and when we made Club Penguin, we had to make our own rules about how our virtual world would work, because so few had been made before ours.
0:11 There’s Lane (Billybob). If you look closely on the shelf behind him, there is the super rare plush of the golden Viking Helmet penguin.
0:16 There’s Holly (Happy77). In the original New Horizon Interactive office, Holly and I worked on the first issues of The Penguin Times together.
0:20 There’s me (Screenhog). That room, in my opinion, is the coolest room in the Club Penguin offices. Every time I visit CP, I make a point to check out that room again.
0:27 Nickname1 was the first penguin Lance created for testing Club Penguin. Swampy was also Lance’s penguin.
0:30 There’s Lance (Rsnail). The framed picture is the original Far Side comic that inspired him to use penguins in his chat.
0:34 “massive multiplayer snowball war game” – this would have been called Snow Blasters. I still would love to see how that game would have turned out.
0:41 This was from my first attempt to create an animation model sheet for the penguins. It was not nearly detailed enough, and resulted in the penguins looking very different from one another for the first two years.
0:43 My first possible designs of the Tour Guide Hat (clothing ID# 428). After drawing these up, it was decided not to use the actual word “TOUR” since we were considering taking Club Penguin to other languages, and the question mark hat was used instead. (In Club Penguin, when a tour guide holds up a sign, it’s translated into the proper language).
0:45 I sketched these, but I can’t quite remember why. It might have been for an early Card-Jitsu prototype.
0:48 Here’s Dave. He funded the Club Penguin prototype, and was the third co-founder. Ironically, I don’t think he ever created a penguin on CP.
0:59 This was taken from the SWF file of the original www.newhorizoninteractive.com. I always liked that site design. New Horizon Interactive’s main job until 2005 was video editing and webpage creation. (Side note: There was a company based in the USA somewhere called www.newhorizon.com that also did some kind of web applications. After Club Penguin launched, they actually had to put a disclaimer on their homepage saying that they were not the New Horizon that makes Club Penguin. I feel so sorry for the amount of e-mails they must have received every day asking for a beta hat.)

1:09 The art here appears to be taken from my storyboard drawings for the first Card-Jitsu power card animations. The Ninja is from the Ninja power card, and the faint sketches behind appear to be from the Puffle Roundup card.
1:20 See that construction crane and those girders behind the fence? That was the only art I made specifically for Penguin Chat 3.
1:25 The original Snow Trekker (called the Snow Cat in Penguin Chat 3, renamed in Club Penguin for legal reasons). I think there’s a tiny version of it in a bottle in the Lighthouse.
1:49 “Items and places and minigames”. Penguin Chat 3 had no items (besides the ninja outfit, and briefly, the hard hat). It had no minigames. The Gift Shop existed so that you could buy actual, real T-Shirts and get them sent to you (but hardly anyone did).

2:00 That sketch of the party hat penguin was drawn by the second artist hired for Club Penguin. The song is “I’ve Been Delayed”, which played in the Night Club of Penguin Chat 3.
2:07 The first Club Penguin homepage. Lance was the one who designed it (as well as the New Horizon circle homepage).
2:28 The Beta Test party was a genuinely exciting day for us, if for no other reason than for the fact that the servers didn’t die. That was a big concern for us, but we had over 150 penguins on at one time, and for us, that was HUGE!!! (Fun fact: the original world we used for doing a beta test is now one of the safe chat servers.)
2:34 You know why they keep showing the same room over and over? Because it was the only one decorated. That was the entire Beta Test party. Ah, how times have changed.
2:50 My personal prediction of how big Club Penguin would get was demolished about 8 months after we launched.
2:57 This photo appeared on the front page of a Canadian newspaper, and was the very first appearance of a red puffle (see the bottom left).

3:01 Gin was the original “voice” of Aunt Arctic for the Penguin Times.
3:06 I’m not going to even try to point out details inside the pictures of the Club Penguin offices… I’m sure there are many. The important part is to notice the people. Club Penguin is still being run by an amazing team.
3:16 This was taken from this year’s Anniversary party. Rsnail, Gizmo and I were invited to the office to be special guests for the party. (I can only access my Screenhog penguin from within CP offices, so before you ask, no, I can’t meet you online. It’s locked for a reason.) This is Gizmo’s only appearance in the video, but if the rumors are true that a longer documentary is being made, I’m sure you’ll see him.
3:21 Looks like someone was playing too much New Super Mario Bros 2!
3:26 Man, Club Penguin has some awesome fan art.
3:39 Chris Heatherly, who’s taking over for Lane. EDIT: According to the Club Penguin blog, his penguin name is “Spike Hike”. (Thanks for pointing this out, Trainman1405!)
3:54 Say what you will, but I really like the room redesigns. They are slick. After seven years of growth, Club Penguin’s needed some changes to reflect the new features and games.

That’s it! I’ve heard rumors of a longer documentary coming… I hope they’re true.


  1. Chris Heatherly’s penguin name is Spike Hike, he posted about it on Club Penguin’s blog a few days ago.

    Comment by Trainman1405 — October 29, 2012 @ 9:45 am

  2. Thank you Chris! You’ve answered a lot of the questions that popped up in my mind when I first watch this. Honestly, I can’t wait for a full-length documentary, and I hope that its in the works.

    Comment by Zaan — October 29, 2012 @ 9:56 am

  3. Oops! Forgot the -ed in ‘watched’ from my last comment.

    Comment by Zaan — October 29, 2012 @ 10:05 am

  4. Hey Chris!
    Why do you like that room (that you were sitting in) so much? What’s so good about it..?

    Comment by Ikk200 — October 29, 2012 @ 10:17 am

  5. That room in the CP offices is called “The Stage”. It’s a theater that can seat over 50 people, and has some great wall art in it of Club Penguin characters.

    Comment by Screenhog — October 29, 2012 @ 11:05 am

  6. Hey Screenhog! Thanks for your commentary! You answered a lot of questions I had! I can’t wait for the longer documentary! Will you do commentary for it, too?

    Comment by Wwerocks88 — October 29, 2012 @ 12:04 pm

  7. Hey Screenhog, just a note. I created the New Horizon Website, and the first Club Penguin Website. I was a professional website designer before Club Penguin design/code/waddler.

    Comment by rsnail — October 29, 2012 @ 12:14 pm

  8. Thanks! Really helpful ;)

    Comment by Shurow — October 29, 2012 @ 6:26 pm

  9. Awesome Chris (or Screenhog) that was an amazing bit of info in that video! I can only hope that someday I’m sitting in those offices, I’ve just turned 18 and am going to do everything I can do become a Club Penguin employee!

    Comment by Marchofthepe — October 30, 2012 @ 9:48 am

  10. It’s amazing, I’ve played for 4 years and I’ve seen a lot of changes, but I still think that Disney’s interactions on 2012 were THE WORST THING ever in C.P. Sure, I liked the Marvel Party, but it was WAY out of context; or the Music Jam 2012, probably one of the worst parties I’ve seen (Although this introduced some videos, but…). It’s so bad that Billybob, Rsnail, Happy77 and you quited, for things shall not be the same


    Comment by Vicyorus — October 30, 2012 @ 1:32 pm

  11. Funny, I made a typo. The sign should be “Vicyorus”, which is funny because Vicyorus IS a typo already (There should be a T instead of a Y, e.g: Victorus)

    Comment by Vicyorus — October 30, 2012 @ 1:35 pm

  12. Vicyours,

    I have to desagree with ya. The Ultimate Jam was the BEST Music Jam and the BEST party ever!

    If you r talking about Shake it Up’s appearences in this Ultimate Jam I agree with you. Many people didn’t like it but look: Shake it Up didn’t interfere in any things. Cadence still being the focus!

    And this Halloween Party is being the BEST too! I think Ultimate Jam & Halloween Party 2012 are the BEST CP parties EVER! So yeah Disney’s interactions are so great! ;)

    -Grande Yoda

    Comment by Grande Yoda (@GrandeYoda) — October 31, 2012 @ 8:23 am

  13. You forgot another hidden tidbit Screenhog! Go to 0:31 and look at Lance’s table. The penguin in the table is like his penguin Rsnail in CP!!

    -Grande Yoda

    Comment by Grande Yoda (@GrandeYoda) — October 31, 2012 @ 8:54 am

  14. Mr. Screenhog, will you log in for next years anniversary party? I got back from school too late to meet you and the rest of the famous moderators/Ex mods.

    Comment by 123kitten1 — November 1, 2012 @ 3:37 pm

  15. Thanks for the extra commentary, Screenhog. The full-length documentary is on our To Do List right now, as we’re working on a few other videos and taking a bit of vacation time, too!

    I have to work on the screenplay to give it some structure before we do any more work on it. ;)

    Comment by Polo Field — November 2, 2012 @ 8:43 am

  16. Can’t wait Polo! In the next part of the documentary will you talk about how did you have the idea about creating the CP mascots and how did you decide their characteristics? I’d love to know that! =D

    -Grande Yoda

    Comment by Grande Yoda (@GrandeYoda) — November 5, 2012 @ 5:57 pm

  17. Screenhog please log in next anniversary party! I forgot all about it please reply :D . P.S it’s awesome you work for rsnail on his site http://www.rocketsnail.com/ anyways bye. cool video and commentary by the way :D .

    Comment by Screenhog Fan — November 18, 2012 @ 11:11 am

  18. SCREENHOG PLEASE READ. club penguin had a REALLY good run from 05 to 07. but after disney bought club penguin it just became terrible. Is that why you guys left? That is why i quit.

    Comment by phipboy — November 21, 2012 @ 1:28 am

  19. The creative people working on Club Penguin before Disney purchased it were the same people working on Club Penguin afterward. However, Club Penguin evolved, as all worlds do.

    I did not leave because Disney purchased Club Penguin.

    Comment by Screenhog — November 21, 2012 @ 11:08 am

  20. Thanks Screenhog for this commentary! (:

    ~Perapin (:

    Comment by Perapin — February 1, 2013 @ 8:35 pm

  21. I joined around january of 02 and I loved all the music and club penguin was my childhood. But as CP changed i noticed things that werent too good. When i lost my membership it felt like there wasnt much to do so i decided to stop playing… I still go on from time to time to check whats going on but i still miss old club penguin…. Thanks for the commentary though :D

    Comment by EddIe_Ko — March 16, 2013 @ 6:15 am

  22. The winter luau party thing was my first party i think… That music is so nostalgic ;_;

    Comment by EddIe_Ko — March 16, 2013 @ 6:17 am

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