Spike Hike has officially left Disney as of last week. He will be starting a brand new adventure at NBC in the upcoming days. I was lucky enough to catch him for one more interview, and Spike generously took the time to answer seven questions. These inquiries include topics such as why he left, information on Project Super Secret, and much more.
Q1: Your departure was a shock to us all. Why did you decide to leave Disney?
Spike Hike – I’ve been a Disney for 14 wonderful years and at some point you have to move on. It was important to me to make sure CP was taken care of and I think PSS is in great shape and you will see the beta very soon. An opportunity came along to work with some friends on something new. I’m sure you will hear about it soon. But no drama – I love Disney and CP!
Q2: You first spoke of the new game back in 2013 as “CPNext”. Was the direction of the new game changed a few times? It seems like there was something made, but then it was scraped? Any insight on what happened, or how long it has been in development?
Spike Hike – Yes we changed direction. The tech behind CP Next was just too complicated but also it is welded to old school Flash CP which is over a decade old and just way out of date now. At some point, we realized we needed to make a new, modern CP on new tech and that trying to maintain backwards compatibility was holding us back from making the best product we could. There are also lots of weird things in the design of what we call “CP Classic” that are a consequence of 2d and Flash. Like all those hub rooms. You don’t need them and not many people go to them, but you have go have them to get around because of the 2d design.
Q3: A lot of players are concerned over the platforms of the new game. As plans are right now, is it for mobile only? Unity is designed for cross platform as far as I know.
Spike Hike – It’s Unity so it can technically go anywhere. Even console. I would like to see that! But it’s going to start on mobile and make it popular there first.
Q4: Was the classic CP, and its features considered when making this new game? CP was always about exploring, and chatting, discovering secrets, etc.
Spike Hike – I know people are worried about the change but let me just tell you – Lane and I have talked for years about “what if we start over”. And what we always wanted to do was do something really social and much more in the spirit of CP than ever before. And that’s what PSS is. I was very involved in the kick off and I always kept Lane in the loop but we both took the constraints off the team and said “make CP for today and tomorrow”. I think once people accept that this is different but different better they are going to love it! Yes the essence of CP is the same. Even more so. Chatting, discovery, secrets are all the core. Don’t expect a lot of single player games though. This is really social and community based.
Q5: Were there any other big plans for the Flash version of CP, but couldn’t get pushed out due to restrictions?
Spike Hike – You would be shocked if you looked at all the designs and prototypes for great ideas we wanted to do but couldn’t do in Classic. And it probably takes half the team’s time keeping it safe and secure. We needed a new start technically.
Q6: Will there be parties, and other IP’s like Card Jitsu and EPF? I would imagine it would take double the work making monthly parties in 3D.
Spike Hike – Yes, but it will be different.
Q7: I remember years ago you talked about this huge 3D revamp of Card Jitsu. Was that ported over to the new game?
Spike Hike – Sigh. We did almost all the animations and it looked amazing but it was tied to cp next so it sort of got shelved. Then they changed the penguin 3D model for PSS so so we couldn’t reuse the animations. Too bad. We had such plans! I hope they get back to them one day. But right now they gotta focus on PSS.
There you have it! We now know that the new Club Penguin is based on social and community gameplay rather than single player experiences. We also know that the new game will still be intact with what the orginal Club Penguin was. Exploring, chatting, secrets, etc. We also know that parties, Card Jitsu, AND the EPF will all be in the new game. Finally, we were told that the original “CPNext” was ditched and the team started over.
I would like to thank Spike Hike for taking the time out of his day for answering these questions. 🙂
Are YOU a little more excited about Project: Super Secret now? How do you think parties will be incorporated into the new game? Leave a comment below, and let me know!