Last month Disney announced Infinity their upcoming platform where players take real world toys of established Disney characters and bring them together into one game. We got through the madness and excitement that surrounded the initial announcement and had some questions answered by Avalanche Software Producer, John Day.
How is the Disney atmosphere held together with the multiple-universe character interactions?
Disney infinity is a game where everything you see from characters, to vehicles, to buildings, are toys. We’ve carefully styled these toys to look like they come from a single set, while keeping them very true to their own universes. The result is an experience that feels very unified, but still allows the player to experience the uniqueness of each universe individually as well.
Are there any voice-overs used for the characters? If so are they the original actors/actresses or someone new?
All of our characters are voiced – in fact, it’s more voice than we’ve ever had in any previous Disney Interactive product. All these voices are handled by Disney Character Voice – the same organization that does it for the films. Additionally, these characters will be voiced in every language in which Disney Infinity will be available. That’s over 20 languages!
What type of criteria is used when selecting characters?
This is never easy. Disney has no many rich characters to choose from, and we all have our own favorites. Ultimately, Infinity is a platform we can use to support other events within the company, so upcoming films like Monsters University made a lot of sense. We also want to make sure that we’re bringing a wide variety of gameplay to infinity, so we look to characters that bring in new and exciting ways to play. We had such a tough time choosing, we have over 20 characters available at launch.
Are there any characters or paths which are currently consider to be off limits?
Definitely not. Disney Infinity is a high quality product, and we’re very careful about how we treat these iconic characters and their rich universes. While I can’t say anything definite about what we’ll be doing moving forward, nothing is off the table and that’s really exciting for us.
How will additional playsets work? Will they come with a new playset figure? Will the content already be on the starter pack disc, will the content come on a new disc or will the content require an internet download to play?
As we release new playsets, simply by having the right playset piece the player is granted access to the content. We want the user experience to be as simple and seamless as possible, so nobody needs to download anything.
How robust are the content creation tools, will we see players designing bizarre game modes which weren’t necessarily thought about when the game launched?
I sure hope so. We’ve provided the users with dozens of toys that affect the behavior of the game – we call these logic toys. I’m excited to see just what people can put together with the tools available. Our own people have already built some pretty complex stuff, like retro arcade games or huge Rube Goldberg machines, and we’ve developed even more logic toys since then.
How is the content handled? Do players load individual levels or are they within sections of the ‘toy box’ mode? Will the user created content be accessible across multiple platforms. For example: if a level is created on Xbox 360 will the players on PS3 be able to access it?
So the game is split into two big chunks: Playsets and the Toybox. The player accesses any playset by placing its playset piece on the Infinity base, and loads into that universe. Additionally, the player can go into the Toy Box, which is its own world. From here, the player can build, create, and play any way they wish – And if you want a more structured experience, we have a number of Adventures you can open in the Toy Box. Adventures are experiences that are already built, and are often tailored specifically to the character you are currently playing. Users will be able to share their creations – not only by inviting others to play with them in their worlds, but by submitting it to Disney. After passing through our moderators, our goal is to publish the content and allow others to download it – on any game console.
Disney Infinity will be launching this June with playsets for Monsters University, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Incredibles on Wii, Wii U, PS3, Xbox 360 and 3DS.
Special thanks to Brett Gold and John Day for spending the time to ensure our questions were answered.