The movement behind mixing video games and actual figurines is turning into a booming industry. The Skylanders series of games and figures has seen massive success, and so much so, Disney chimed in and began doing the same thing. With Disney Infinity, there were packs released for legendary characters released deriving from movies Pirates of the Caribbean, Toy Story, and even The Nightmare Before Christmas. Now with the upcoming Disney Infinity 2.0, Disney is flexing its muscle by including Marvel Comics characters. We sat down with a play through at E3 2014 with Senior Producer Ryan Rothenburger as he answered some questions for us about the upcoming title.
There will be three Playsets, each with their own story. The Avengers, Spider-Man, and the Guardians of the Galaxy will be the three playable sets. The Avengers will focus around Loki and MODOK, Spider-Man will center around Green Goblin, Doctor Octopus, and Mysterio, and the Guardians will be heavily inspired by the movie. According to Rothenburger, each Playset will have at least six playable characters, but there will be more Disney and Marvel characters to announce in the future. Each set will run for either $12.99 or $14.99, depending on the retail outlet, and these are comparable to the previous sets.
The individual stories are a great thing to include for Marvel fans. Including Marvel characters can really expand on the customer base. The meat and potatoes of the game will ultimately come from the Toy Box. Included in the first game, the Toy Box allows for user-created worlds where friends can play together and share their creations. This time around, Marvel and Disney characters can work side-by-side. This is what Rothenburger had to say about the Toy Box in Disney Infinity 2.0:
“Where all the characters mix is inside the toy box. When you’re playing through an experience like Spider-man and The Avengers the Playset, it’s an exclusive property experience, a 7 or 8 hour piece of gameplay, and is written just for that product. Spider-man just uses the Spiderman character and same with the Avengers. But in the Toy Box, it’s like playing on your parent’s living room floor, you have all your toys out, everyone is playing together. The idea there is that anything is really possible. Not only can you create these great worlds inside the toy box, but you get to use all the vehicles and get to see Spiderman with Mr. Incredible.”
Infinity 2.0 will literally be on all consoles, even some portables. The Wii U version will be the most intriguing as it will use the Tablet Controller to create Toy Box’s with the touchpad setup. Even the iOS will get a version, along with a PlayStation Vita version eventually, each will use the touchpad interface as well. The portable platforms, along with the PC platform, will be all digital. There will be no physical figurines, and more importantly all the versions are console agnostic. This means that all Toy Box saves can be uploaded to the cloud and downloaded on different systems. Rothenburger explains the setup further:
“Infinity 2.0 is going to be on Wii U, PS3, 360, Xbox One, and PS4. The PC version is actually an all-digital platform and free to download. It doesn’t use a reader right out of the box, it has a virtual reader. In order to change characters, you would point and click, all the characters and transactions are digital. What’s cool about the iOS and PC version is that for every toy that you buy, it comes with a code and you can unlock that character for both versions.”
The idea for using the touchpad interface for the Toy Box’s is very intriguing. When asked about the option for including the Smartglass tablet feature for Xbox or the Vita interface for the PS4, Rothenburger confirmed the eventual Vita version. While stating there’s no advantage to the Wii U version, he did state it will have its own slew of options. When asked what system he would recommend, Rothenburger had this to say:
“Honestly it’s great across the board. Any of the console versions are awesome. I think Xbox 360 and PlayStation, both have their advantages. Like I said, the Wii U has the DRC with the controller, so there is something in there for you. It’s really great across the board. I’m a little personal to the PC. I think the building with the keyboard and mouse is exceptional. One of the great things is the fact that when you’re building the toy box, it is console agnostic. If I start building on my PC or 360, I can save it to the cloud, and pick up on my iOS version and build on the train on the way home. We have a patent on the cross-platforming of content.”
As mentioned earlier, the community portion of the Toy Box will be expanded. In comparison to just a few Toy Box’s available for download per month, Disney will be approving up to a hundred daily. What this ultimately means is that after the first month of release, there will be over a thousand Toy Box’s to download. This promises an unprecedented amount of replayability. All of this will be at 60 frames per second across the board. Lastly, this is what Rothenburger had to say about the community sharing options, and stay tuned for more information involving Disney Infinity 2.0:
“Yes. In 1.0, we have a really great user generated content feature. We allow users to submit Toy Box’s to Disney, and we feature the five best every week. With 2.0, we’re not only going to have that feature, but every toybox submitted we are going to curate, we will begin approving 100 a day. Within the first month, there’s going to be over 1000 for people to download right away, directly from us and Disney that are created by people on any console b/c the Toy Box are console agnostic. We also will have a feature for friend sharing. Say you create a Toy Box, you make it sharable with certain people, and Disney doesn’t have to curate since it’s considered private. Friends can download it and modify it.”