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Old 02-13-2013, 05:48 AM   #16
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The Infinity Cloud
The pricing structure for Disney Infinity may seem similar to that of Skylanders since it's based on the figurines (and the Playsets, and the Power-Ups), but the highest estimate of Play Set game time per Infinity figurine is 10 hours. So its value is very dependent on the Toy Box and associated free content. Comparing it to Little Big Planet is also difficult because the LBP is a one-time charge for the game (albeit with a second charge for the sequel, a third charge for the racing, and a fourth for PS Vita). So the additional possibilities of those figurines, Play Sets and Power-Ups is important too. Infinity does have on edge on LBP in that the latter is specific to the one gaming console, and there's an obvious advantage to playing all those iconic Disney & Pixar characters. But it's a little like comparing iPhones and Droid phones, since it's really about the apps. With Disney Infinity, as with LBP, it's about the ability to create your own mini-games, and the ability to share them with others. The "Infinity Cloud" (or whatever they plan to call this collection/distribution) is critical.

Everything in Moderation?
One point that I find extremely confusing is the mention of Disney Infinity "moderating" content before it can be posted anywhere. This is unlikely to be about ownership or liability - The Disney Legal Team should be able to provide the required verbiage that Disney owns all of the characters before you turn on the game, that you relinquish all rights to your content before you post it anywhere, and that Disney is not liable for any of the content that you might download to play. This issue is very likely to be about brand protection - to attempt to moderate out the nonsense (and has already been conjectured as such in said articles). While it's admirable to have quality controls -this is a 3D virtual world editor with dynamic game mechanics and full control of a virtual camera. Review time is going to be huge. Last August, LBP celebrated the submission of 7 million user-created-levels. How can that much content be internally reviewed at any reasonable pace?

The risk is that user-content will be severely stifled, when it's critical to the pricing structure. And what happens when some embarrassing submission escapes the official Disney Moderators? They will have taken responsibility for the review and could incur an implied responsibility for the miss. Instead, couldn't the Infinity Team design the Infinity Cloud distribution to provide strong moderation interfaces for the user community? Let thousands of Disney Moms & Dads review the content - for free. Let them take the responsibility. Along with game categories, provide review threads and red flags, and cancel out accounts as necessary. Flagged apps could become hidden until Disney Moderators investigate. It would pin-point the need for official reviews. Put parental controls on the downloads. A cautious parent might not let their kids download a user-created game until its positive review count reached 1,000 (and like any other app store, that will bring out the best games anyway).

P.S. This is also a cross-platform issue. What if I want to create the game on a PC, upload it to the Cloud, then play it on the family Wii? What if Joey wants to design a game on his Wii, then bring his figurine over to play his new game on a friend's PS3? What if Sally goes to a tech camp to design a game on an Xbox, but can't bring it home because she has a Wii U? What if John pays for an Epcot tour of Infinity, but they only have PS3s and he has an Xbox at home? It's just as important to have cross-platform compatibility for the Toy Box, and that's through the Infinity Cloud. Maybe I completely misinterpreted the article. But I hope the Infinity Team can find some moderation in their moderation.
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Old 02-14-2013, 05:14 AM   #17
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Hoop-Dee-Doo Review Board
Okay, that WDW reference/pun is probably too corny, and doesn't really fit the Infinity name. Perhaps this too is a job for Space Rangers. Maybe anyone registering their Infinity account with Disney who is 21 or over could have the option of volunteering as an Infinity (Cyber-)Space Ranger. What if every submission to the Infinity Cloud could be flagged as needing Beta testing. The Space Ranger's primary responsibility would be to test for inappropriate content, with a secondary role of finding bugs. He or she would post back with a green/red flag, with optional comments. A single red flag hides the submission externally, alerting the Disney Team to investigate it internally. When some number of green flags are accumulated, the submission is taken out of beta status. This doesn't necessarily prevent a non-Ranger from playing this game, or from posting comments or a popularity rating, but parent controls could optionally restrict an account from playing Beta games. This certainly isn't fool-proof, but provides another volunteer measure of quality control. Editorial comments might ironically take some Infinity monitoring of their own. This does also prompt the question: what happens when an author makes some adjustments and re-submits a game? Answer: back into Beta status.

Statler & Waldorf Awards
Another way to distinguish Infinity submissions would be for the Disney Infinity Team to recommend some of the better ones. They could wait to see which submissions rise in popularity and review some that make it toward the top. This would not be the same level of award as an official contest with real prizes, but could possibly imply it as a candidate. With another Muppet movie coming out in 2014, Infinity versions of the grumpy old men in the booth would provide fun faces for the tagging. "If they like a game, it must be good". And if your game doesn't win this award, it doesn't mean it's a bad game - they're tough to please. Imagine renderings of these guys on the Infinity website, maybe even a "trailer", sitting in the booth with game controllers, laughing it up. Filters could be used here by parents as well, limiting the listed submissions to those formally reviewed & recommended by the Infinity Team. The point is that these filters are optional from the parents' perspective. Any submission originating from the account would be listed, and optionally specific accounts of known friends.

Filters & Playlists
Filtering could really improve the usability of the Infinity Cloud, and not just for parent controls. It could be used to list games by category (e.g. Puzzle, Platformer, Racer) and more importantly, filter out missing prerequisites. If your family doesn't have the Radiator Springs Playset, or the Dumbo power-up, then you probably don't want to see games requiring them. You want to know which games you could download and actually play. Then once you've accumulated a pile of these mini-games from the (free) Infinity "app store", you might want to create playlists of those short-duration, arcade-mode games. Tournament or free-play modes could be selected, with optional Shuffling.

Muppets ...Again!
I don't know to what extent the Infinity Team plans to promote new Disney movies, but it would be cool to get a muppet collection. Kermit, Fozzie, Gonzo, & Miss Piggy are iconic in their own right. Miss Piggy's karate chops would make for entertaining fight scenes with any Disney villain. Fozzie could compete with Monsters in a Toy Box Laugh Floor game, or on the stage in front of Statler & Waldorf. Muppets could race in the bear's natural habitat - the Studebaker. How about helping Bunsen & Beaker in some lab experiment game? These figurines could be prominently displayed in the shop near Muppet Vision 3D at Hollywood Studios. I must admit however that I'm not a huge fan of Waldo. He provides a great vehicle for 3D effects, but he just doesn't look like a muppet. What are the chances of the comedic talents of Tina Fey providing a new Vision version of this attraction? While some might consider this over-the-top merchandising, what if the 3D was provided by the Infinity Muppets? These toys could arrive as some muppet's birthday present that run amok. Or the muppets could be experimenting with virtual reality and encounter these cyber-space alter-egos. It could be that Bunsen & Beaker transition from a chemistry lab to a computer lab - and Beaker as usual makes a mess of things and the alter-egos take on minds of their own - and Infinity Sweetums is not happy (he would make a great muppet Infinity boss, by the way). Statler & Waldorf might actually like a portion of the show - their own Infinity versions of course.
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Old 02-15-2013, 06:45 AM   #18
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Magic Cabinet Clarifications
Consider MAME (Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator), where you place a Windows laptop into a traditional arcade cabinet with traditional controls. The Read Only Memory (ROM) data from the original arcade games are then downloaded and this machine can play any number of games (at least, the ones whose copyright holders have released those ROMs free of charge to the public). A "Magic Cabinet" would be similar, housing the hardware necessary to play multiple Infinity Games.

Initially I thought each cabinet should include a specific Infinity figurine - but in practice it would be difficult to design it in such a way that the figurine displayed well without being prone to breakage or theft. Instead each arcade at the parks could have a display case that showed a full collection of the figurines. The cabinets could be designed to work without them. Since all of the figurine, Playset, and power-up information is on each disc, that provides a simple differentiation for the Magic Cabinet: the player can try out any character in the collection. So this makes the Disney execs happy - not only is this a draw to the arcades, but it helps sell figurines. And it makes the resort guest happy - for say 50 cents they get to to play absolutely anybody they want.

Like MAME there could be lots of game choices as well (although certainly not every game on the Infinity Cloud). With some 2D graphics to complement the selection process, these are the arcade-style games created by Infinity developers themselves and the contest winners. They mash any number of Playsets and power-ups together and offer 3-4 minutes of solid game play for the resort guest coinage. And the resort gift shop is only a short walk away.

The cabinets themselves could have any number of Infinity artwork designs on the sides, with a backlit marquee displaying the red IN logo. The controls would include traditional buttons & joystick for the retro feel. The cabinets could have the new RFID readers to accept payment. Many kids wouldn't be able to charge off their MagicBands, but there could be a separate RFID reader initially used by a parent, with a separate swipe for kids to "load up" their MagicBands with virtual coins. This would fit well with the resorts' current arcade pricing to pay more up front in order to be able to play more games.

The MagicBand would also allow the game to welcome the player by name, and Leaderboards could be available on the MyMagic+ app, synched across all of the resorts (plus Epcot Innoventions & DisneyQuest). They could maintain high scores by the hour, by the day, and by the week. Players could enjoy a friendly competition for the "highest score in the World". Each game on MyMagic+ could list entries in the form of "Joey from Port Orleans Riverside scored 10,234 as Mr. Incredible at 10:00 AM" (or the day, in case of the weekly high score). Racing cabinets would instead post fastest times. And there could be randomly chosen winners, several per day per resort, of virtual MyMagic+ FastPasses that would be good for at least a day. The cabinet synching could also allow different selections of games to be distributed throughout the parks from one central point of control (and even to make adjustments in playing time if necessary).

These Magic Cabinets could bring a whole new sense of immersion, fusing together the buzz of Infinity Games with the technology of MagicBands, promoting a new sense of collectibles, all with a consistent Disney theme.
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Old 02-16-2013, 06:35 AM   #19
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The New Nintendo, The New iTunes
Does anyone else think that Disney Infinity is going to be bigger than LittleBigPlanet, Minecraft, and Skylanders put together? Granted, Disney Interactive hasn't always had a great track record, but this is a bold move. This is a huge investment in programming, artistry, and merchandising. All of these household name Disney & Pixar characters are being brought together into a gaming world in "toy" form that will comprise a cast more fun and family-friendly than that of Nintendo. Talk of mini-games, racing like Mario Karts, even Smash Bros - are all Nintendo comparisons, not Spyro ones. Spyro is arguably the only recognizable character in Skylanders, and it's strictly a ready-made platformer game. With Disney Infinity, kids (young & old) can be creative, designing their own virtual worlds and games from Play Set pieces that relate back to their favorite Disney movies where those characters originated. They will be able to share these worlds and games - for free. Disney Infinity will provide free publishing & distribution of these games cross-platform, which will later include smartphones & tablets. This is a Disney-style iTunes store. It may not be selling songs or books or movies - but it is definitely "selling" apps. Disney was struggling with the competition on the various platforms so they made their own platform, with its own pricing model, based on new Disney collectibles. Merchandising genius.

Toy Box, Tool Box
The graphics are jaw-droppingly amazing. One can hardly imagine what virtual worlds a kid could make out of the various Play Sets. But once you've had the tour around the latest virtual Disney toy home, what do you do next? You want to play a game. You want to play lots of them. And since you are essentially the creator of these games, the big question is - how many different kinds of games can you make? Yes, the design needs to be simple and straightforward so that kids aren't overwhelmed. But this is an apps competition. The game editor also needs depth. What about those game mechanics? Can it support a Classic mode, Arcade mode, and Quest story-lines? What kind of "intelligence" can you build into the minions & bosses regarding their movement and other tactics? How do you incorporate the special abilities of the various characters? How are the physics handled? What Play Sets lend themselves to better games?

Wonderland
Consider Disney's "Alice in Wonderland" (the 1951 cartoon version, not the one with Mad Hatter Depp). This isn't a current movie or the most memorable, but it does have a park tie-in and could provide some good Play Set pieces. The Queen of Hearts, Tweedle Dee & Dum would provide good villains, the Cheshire Cat would fit right into this unreal Toy Box too. The White Rabbit's pocket watch could highlight game timers, and spinning Tea Cups could make entertaining vehicles for racing. Both roses & mushrooms could be useful world decorations. Regarding the Caterpillar - it's probably best to keep the Toy Box a no-smoking zone - but lose the hookah and it could be used to create a game like Centipede. The doorknob character would definitely be useful for platform levels, even if the Alice reference wasn't recognized. Most of all it would be nice to get a Disney-style deck of cards for making card games. The backs could be some all-new Mickey-icon filled design, but the card soldiers would make a nice effect in using the game editor to make card games. The face-cards could be different too - maybe with Mickey, Minney, & a nephew (and Goofy as the joker of course). The Queen of Hearts makes a better villain than a real card. You could imagine arcade-style card games too where you needed to knock over the right combination of card soldiers. Or you could imagine the toy characters playing the card games.

Side-note: PC Toy Box Beta Testing
It seems like the PC version of the game editor might be easier to use than its game console counterparts, and certainly easier to keep up-to-date. There could be bugs/features that could be resolved on the editor end without being incompatible with the game disc. This would be helpful to avoid waiting a whole year in between disc distributions. It's also possible that Beta testing could be available for some subsets of registrants to try out enhancements that are not compatible. They would only be able to be played on the PC of course (good-bye compatibility in the short term), but could still be distributed on the Disney Cloud with a separate flag (separate from the earlier append's game Beta suggestion). This way the content could be shared and discussed among Toy Box Beta testers.
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Old 02-17-2013, 05:10 PM   #20
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California Dreamin
The hopes of incorporating Disney Infinity Gaming at the parks are not limited to the Walt Disney World parks (I've just never been to the other ones and don't know much about them). In Disneyland for example, the same leaderboard synching could be put in place for the Disneyland Hotel, the Grand Californian, and the Paradise Pier. Don't know if they all have arcades today, but these general-purpose cabinets' ability to play any of the available games for any character in the collection, for a set amount of time, means that one or two could even be placed in various locations (including say, a gift shop, akin to a pressed penny machine) without affecting foot traffic too much. Placing a bunch together however, including some sit-down racer boxes, could really improve an existing arcade, such as the Starcade, or maybe even bring about the re-opening of Flynn's.

Avatar Friends
Leadership boards could be a big hit for Disney Infinity Gaming at home as well. To a certain extent it's a form of social networking that has helped make Facebook apps so popular - especially with high scores that reset every week. It's an ongoing friendly competition that helps keep the games interesting. Disney Infinity needs to be more careful with identities due to the potentially younger age of the kids of course - the avatars need to be unique & anonymous. But if you know friends & family in the real world with Infinity avatars, parental controls on the game could be used to create a list of "Infinity Avatar Friends". Entering into Toy Box mode could identify online friends for group games (competitive or co-op), list them out in the leaderboard for any number of shared games, and provide a "safe list" of those creating content. Connecting with friends and family has been considered a big part of Wizard101's success, including grandparents that live far away from their grand-kids, and even veteran parents who have been deployed overseas. The ability to share Disney Infinity online with friends and family could be a big part of its success as well.

Friendship Worlds
One of the Infinity articles mentioned that two players can be creating a world at the same time, that the collection of changes will all be saved together. That's how a real toy box would work and it's a really neat idea. I wonder if Infinity would allow posted content to be an online collaboration. I wonder if they might even support version control, potentially treating content like a wiki. A kid could start up a world, post it online, a grandparent in some other town or state could load it, modify it, post the new version, and then their grand-kid could take another "turn". They could be geographically disperse, even in different time zones, yet build Infinity stories, games, and worlds together. Content could be marked "update pending" rather than require Infinity to resolve conflicts from multiple changes against the same version. It doesn't mean that all content would need to be collaborative either. The original author could post it as "singular/exclusive" (not to be modified), a "friendly collaboration" (modifiable by avatar friends), or as a completely "open collaboration" (modifiable by anyone - an option that could be disabled by parent controls). This could enable friends & family to be creative together, regardless of their geographic location.
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Old 02-23-2013, 05:22 AM   #21
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Top Vacation Destinations... For Infinity Toys
Part of the fun in staying at a Walt Disney World resort is that the theming is so great, you feel like you're escaping to another place before you even get to a park. If you visit the World multiple times, you can stay at different resorts for different experiences. In some respects, the same is true for video games. Once the general mechanics are determined, characters are chosen, obstacles, power-ups, and villains are decided, there's the matter of location. Location, location, location. This virtual real estate can create variety and bring all of the other elements of the game together.

With Infinity, these locations come in the form of Play Sets. They will be an important part of the Infinity deliverable because it's not only about creating mini-games, it's also about creating worlds. The more varied the terrain, the more imaginative the worlds can be. Disney's library provides lots of options, where kids have yet another way to relate back to their favorite movies, and possibly their favorite Walt Disney World resort. A Lilo & Stitch Play Set could include Polynesian buildings and a volcano. A Princess & the Frog Play Set could include references to the Port Orleans resorts, including Mardi Gras, a bayou, riverboat, and alligators. A Lion King Play Set could include buildings like those in the Animal Kingdom Lodge along with its African savannah, and trucks from Kilimanjaro Safaris. Disney Infinity has shown to already include the park symbols of Spaceship Earth (thankfully without the wand) and Cinderella's Castle, so maybe resort references could be in the works as well (Caribbean Beach is already covered). Imagine playing a video game at a WDW resort featuring Disney characters in a setting that matches the theming of that resort. The cross-referencing would add a little more magic.

Play Sets Providing Mechanics
Play Sets that provide different mechanics along with those famous Disney settings could really enhance the Toy Box as well. A Tarzan or Jungle Book Play Set could provide the variety of a jungle background while adding the option of those Infinity Toys swinging from vine to vine. A Play Set based on the upcoming Frozen movie could provide a snowy landscape and a very popular game mechanic: slippery ice. Throw in some snowmen, trolls, and reindeer mounts, and this could be a top candidate for 2014 (maybe it could even throw in a few references to Blizzard Beach).

Under The Sea
Underwater adventures are more difficult to program into 3D (then again, this is Disney, and the rowboat clip in the Infinity trailer looks amazing). If you had to choose, would you go with fish or mermaids? Nemo's probably more popular, but the Little Mermaid provides a princess, and the fact that she has hands makes it easier to include her in more mini-games. It does beg the question whether certain games' locations might restrict which characters can be used. Or maybe it's simply the matter of a trading-card-power-up. If you can catch a magic carpet ride to fly in Agrabah, you can get a scuba suit or magical air bubble to swim underwater. Mash-ups would be fun - build your castles, roads, etc. at the bottom of the ocean, and throw in a coral reef and some barnacles for scenery. And this mashes with the pirates as well (without the mermaids being carnivorous).
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Old 02-25-2013, 05:13 AM   #22
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Choose Your Own Adventure... An Epcot Attraction
Captain EO was groundbreaking in 1986, and has been a good temporary replacement for "Honey I Shrunk The Kids", but the Imagineers must be wondering what could be done with this 3D Epcot theater. This attraction could receive a refurb incorporating elements from two popular, if unlikely, attractions: American Idol and Star Tours. For the latter, its own refurb made a great attraction even better - splicing random scenes together to create dozens of possible 3D experiences. It added elements from all of the Star Wars locations and continues to make park guests want to ride it over and over again. Now consider American Idol, specifically its chairs. What if, instead of water-squirting, scent-wafting chairs, this Epcot theater received new seating with those armrest keypads that enable audience participation, that allow them to vote. Imagine a "Choose Your Own Adventure" attraction using Disney Infinity characters.

The guests take their seats, and John Lasseter is their taped pre-show host, explaining that their help is needed to tell a story. A Disney cast member is there to help with coordination. This is a toy story of sorts - a Disney Infinity toy story. 2D Infinity graphics are used to present storyboards, and at various spots the audience is asked to vote on the main toy character's choices. There could be some Mad Lib elements as well - choose 1 of 4 villains, 1 of 4 locations, 1 of 4 minions, 1 of 4 vehicles, etc. The result of each vote is shown with bar graphs on the screen - the audience is in charge here. The 2D storyboards provide a simplified overview of events, except for the ending scene. When the voting is done, everyone dons their 3D glasses, and the 3D Infinity animation is shown. Guests could enjoy this attraction over and over - the story might never be the same twice. It would also highlight the mash-up qualities of the Toy Box. Imagine that Tinker Bell mashup with Caribbean pirates, with Neverland lost boys in a Bayou of princely frogs and jazz-playing alligators, dodging Syndrome bots and confronting that mermaid "kraken", Ursula. Imagine any number of combinations of Infinity toys from this year or the next. There could even be a story-telling contest for kids to submit a new one - an attraction that already has much replay value could be redesigned by Disney fans.

Disney Infinity Movies on YouTube
Walkthroughs of a video game can be found on YouTube literally days after a game's release. This shows another reason why moderating Disney Infinity user-content is so problematic. Anything created locally on a PC can be broadcast to the Internet almost instantly. Parents ultimately must be the moderators of Internet content for young kids - always have and always will be. Disney Infinity provides a Disney printing press, and hopefully kids are given the ability to publish.

In addition to creating worlds, and video games, and perhaps 2D storyboards, what if Disney Infinity allowed kids to make their own Infinity Toy movies? When you think about how little kids play, dressing up in costumes to pretend they are their favorite movie characters, they often put on a show. The game of pretend is not a competition; it's a play. With Infinity, you have collectible sets that you can rearrange, unlockable props, supporting cast, and you have control of a virtual camera. There could be 2D text bubbles, perhaps with Disney soundtracks in the background. Disney Infinity could allow older kids to make their own 3D cartoons. They could create their own title screens, roll their own set of credits, and tell stories. Disney Infinity could allow them to post them to the Infinity Cloud or straight to YouTube. Once again the Disney Infinity Team would show that this is not-just-another-video-game. It's a design platform. It's a way for kids to be creative, encouraging "out-of-the-Toy-Box" thinking, with collectible, iconic Disney characters. And it's best highlighted at a Walt Disney World park.
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Old 02-26-2013, 08:31 PM   #23
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Senior Wilderness Explorer's Choose-Your-Own-Adventure
He may not have any super-powers, but little Russell from Pixar's "Up" would be an excellent Infinity Toy for a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure attraction at Epcot. He's a chatty, determined optimist, a curious explorer, and is always eager to help - a natural storyteller and sidekick. This 3D Epcot attraction might be much closer to a Madlib game than a true choose-your-own-ending story, as the latter tends to have a half-dozen unhappy endings and only one good one. Every Disney attraction needs to have a happy ending. With American-Idol-Experience chairs, the audience could pick the hero (say Mr. Incredible, Mrs. Incredible, Sully, or Buzz), the villain (Syndrome, Davy Jones, Emperor Zurg, or any others available), and a pirate (plenty Infinity toys to choose from there). They could choose a weapon (Space Ranger blaster, toilet-paper launcher, frying pan, or bouncy ball), a flying power-up (Buzz wings, Aladdin's carpet, or Dumbo), two cars (lots to choose from there too), and a steed. All these choices are nouns, but this isn't a grammar exercise. It's an attraction to come up with a wacky Infinity cartoon.

The Tinker Bell Effect
Here's an example of how an "Infinity Short" might go - Russell has gone exploring, and stumbles across Pixie Hollow & Tinker Bell. She's as patient as one might expect, with lots of bell ringing. Russell is excited to meet her but must then head back home. He draws up a map as he goes to make sure he can find his way back. Upon his return to a port town, he then stumbles upon a pirate who he mistakes as a sailor. The pirate in return mistakes the map to be a buried treasure map. He fools Russell into guiding him back, ends up capturing Tinker Bell, runs back to his ship and sets sail. Russell needs a hero. He cries for help, and blows his bugle. The hero arrives, dons the flying gear, and sets off in pursuit. Russell has somehow acquired some pixie dust from his visit with Tinker Bell. He focuses on a happy thought, and flies off to help the hero. The pirate ship is anchored and the rowboat is heading for the villain's island where the pirate intends to sell Tinker Bell. Russell runs out of pixie dust, crash lands, and the hero stops to help. The pirate jumps in a nearby vehicle and speeds off. The hero jumps in another car and a race ensues. Underage Russell finds a native animal (maybe even Kevin) and follows after them. There are henchmen for the hero to battle, with Russell helping with a weapon pulled from his backpack. The pirate complains of the faerie's bell ringing sound as he reaches the villain but the villain hears none of it. The pirate tries to barter for gold. The hero bursts in to battle the villain and Russell frees Tinker Bell. The pirate shows redeeming qualities... the villain goes to attack Russell and the pirate exclaims, "Not the boy!" and blocks the attack. The hero steps in and finishes the fight. Just as the villain falls, defeated, he yells "I don't believe in faeries!" From a toy, this apparently has the same effect as coming from a child. Tinker Bell falls stricken, and Russell appeals to the audience to clap their hands to save her. Tinker Bell is revived, spreads pixie dust everywhere so that they all fly away, even the pirate, but excluding the main villain, who grumbles, "I don't have any happy thoughts." Credits roll.

There are all kinds of funny stories possible in mixing up the Disney characters, and since they're virtual toys, the crossovers can be as silly as you dream them to be. Star Tours splicing and American Idol Experience choices could make for a fun attraction. Different combinations of characters and gear would provide a lot of variety in the 3D footage. Guests could enjoy an attraction like this many times.

Voice-Overs
There could be even further inclusion if a few members of the audience could provide voice-overs for the hero, the pirate, and the villain. A few short quotes could go a long way: a pirate's "Arr!", a hero's "To Infinity and Beyond!" (Buzz or no), a villain's "Bwa ha ha", and just a few other lines would sound great coming from a 3D visualization of Infinity Toy characters. Russell is doing most of the talking to minimize the difficulty of inserting the sound bytes. The voice-over volunteers could then have the added bonus of being pictured in the rolling credits.

Magic-Band Credits
In fact the entire audience could be included in the credits, since they all played a part in the Madlib choices. The Magic Bands have their names and their resort info, if they chose to share them. The credits could be organized by resort name as a heading, with the names listed in paragraph form. Those park guests that didn't stay on site but still provided their names could be in the "Out of this World" heading. The Infinity logo could finish off the credits. This would be another opportunity for the combined investments of Magic Band technology and Infinity Gaming to create a unique experience for Walt Disney World guests.
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Last edited by goofyspaceranger; 02-27-2013 at 05:22 AM. Reason: added the pirate's redeeming quality
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Old 02-27-2013, 05:16 AM   #24
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Segways & Segues
It's unfortunate that the Epcot Segway tours have recently been cancelled. Perhaps we could start a rumor that the closing of Segway Central is making way for a Disney Infinity expansion in Innoventions West, especially since the video playground is so close by Regardless, it would be fun to see virtual segways make their way as "vehicles" into Disney Infinity, including helmets for all of the characters. The resulting races would look hilarious.

What's even more interesting to imagine for Disney Infinity however are the segues, the transitions for the various games of the Toy Box. How does a character shift from a virtual world tour into one of various mini-games? Reviewing thoughts from earlier posts, might there be Playlists of mini-games? Might they be shuffled? Might there be a user-defined quest in the virtual world that links a series of games together? What if... the mini-games were part of a board game?

Party Time
The comparisons with Nintendo are unavoidable (and not necessarily a bad thing either). Disney Infinity could provide its own versions of toon sports titles, kart racing, and even "Smash Bros". But with an "Infinity Party", kids can not only choose/create their list of mini-games, they can design their own game boards. Throw down some translucent tiling, add virtual dice or a spinner, include some temporary power-up mechanics for movement changes (don't forget those Mickey coins), and now any virtual Infinity world can become one big game. Placement of the tiles and camera could provide an interesting tour of kids' creations.

The Infinity Cloud's Reigning Apps
We could also start a rumor that in the not-so-distant future, nearly all mobile apps from Disney will be free. It's centered around the fact that pricing is based on the collectible figurines. It also relates back to the cross-platform nature of Infinity. There may be differences with touch controls and screen sizes, but many mini-games designed on the console could be straight ports to mobile phones. You might not have an Infinity base with you when you play an Infinity app on your iPhone, but you'll have an account - logging in, Infinity will know all of the figurines, Play Sets, and even Power-Ups that you've purchased ("registration" would have been done earlier on the Infinity base). This increases the value of your figurine. Design once, play anywhere. The Infinity Cloud could host its own "app store" that keeps track of those apps' figurine/Play-Set/Power-up dependencies and distributes them for free. There's the added benefit that these mobile games might have been designed by kids.
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Old 03-02-2013, 05:10 AM   #25
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Mouse Gear
If there's to be any park-exclusive Infinity content, I think it should be directly related to Mickey Mouse & friends. Many have wondered if/when Mickey makes his way to the Infinity cast. I'm wondering how many, and I'm hoping for just one. One of my favorite Disney T-shirt designs has the image of Mickey drawing Mickey drawing Mickey, etc. Steamboat Willie might not be a good fit for Infinity gaming, but the Brave Little Tailor would, as well as the Sorcerer's Apprentice, and hopefully Jedi Mickey is a given. Instead of separate figurines for all of these Mickeys, what if there was special Power-Up gear? There could be a set of collectibles that only applied to a subset of Infinity characters: Mickey, Minney, Goofy, & Donald. These Mickey Power-Ups might only be purchased at Disney parks, or at least be very rare among Power-Up packs yet specifically purchased at park stores like Mouse Gear.

Teaching at the Clubhouse
That leaves the question of what Play Set that Mickey & friends apply. What about the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse? This preschoolers show has been very popular and already presents them in 3D. The Infinity variety would simply be the toy version. What if the Clubhouse provided gaming versions of the various school lessons? Imagine a separate tie-in for Disney to leverage Infinity to provide educational content that could be significantly augmented by the user community? It wouldn't need to be limited to preschoolers either. There are a fair number of educational apps available today that cover a variety of age groups. How might Disney Infinity differentiate itself?

Lectures by Ludwig
In addition to apps, some specific concepts (often mathematics) are taught by way of YouTube. Educators videotape short talks while drawing on a whiteboard. They provide an alternative explanation to kids' schoolwork - if they can find one that matches their specific topic. A hierarchy of topics, a filtering mechanism for categories & sub-categories, is not always available. Imagine this being provided through Disney Infinity. If the Infinity Team did provide a 2D Storyboard editor, that same Choose-Your-Own-Adventure programming could be used to create organized lecture material with multiple-choice feedback. This would take a significant investment in educators' time to create, but that's the whole point of appealing to a user community. And for those who might not want to be lectured by Mickey Mouse on Geometry or Physics, consider this potential Infinity character: Ludwig Von Drake. You might remember his lectures from the Wonderful World of Disney TV shows, or you may have seen him as a guest at the Clubhouse. The storyboard would be like a PowerPoint presentation with 3D Ludwig's voice balloons taking you through the topic, then quizzing you afterwards. There could be sets of animations provided, having Ludwig draw on the board, erase from it, have different reactions to questions and answers. He could have different props for different categories. Imagine dozens of short topics on any given subject, easily queried from Infinity Cloud category filters. The Clubhouse storyboard(s) could include a blackboard, whiteboard, world map, US map, or even a periodic table (although you might consider Bunsen Honeydew for the Chemistry). Disney could really leverage this from an educational perspective. For those who'd argue kids would just use the platform for video games, they deal with this already studying on their laptop or tablet (and eventually, hopefully, Ludwig's lectures would make their way to a tablet). Also - the multiple choice questions could be stored separately like a set of mini-games - virtual world board games could be made of mathematical topics for example, or Ludwig might be the host of a Jeapardy-style trivia game, where the Infinity user-community provides all of the categories. Imagine your favorite Infinity characters standing at a virtual podium (co-op or online), punching virtual (and physical) buttons to answer trivia questions worth some number of Mickey coins. Maybe Ludwig could unlock this Jeapardy stage from the Infinity Clubhouse too. Imagine hosting this kind of educational resource at Epcot's Innoventions as part of the Infinity Showcasing - it would be a great fit.

Star Tours
But what about those Power-Ups? Take for example a Star Tours Play Set. This may be a polarizing statement, but perhaps the Star Wars characters don't fit within the Disney Infinity "universe". Maybe only the Mickey-mashed versions do. And as cool as all these figurines look, perhaps folks don't want to purchase half a dozen versions of Mickey Mouse. Imagine a Star Tours Play Set that didn't come with figurines, but instead it came with specialized Power-Ups for Mickey & Friends. "Friends" in this case could also include Stitch from a Polynesian Play Set. Consider three types of Power-Ups: blue lightsaber, red lightsaber, and blaster. Different characters get different roles from them. The blue lightsaber "unlocks" Jedi characters including Jedi Mickey and Stitch Yoda. The red unlocks the Sith, including Goofy Darth Vader, Duck Maul, and Emperor Stitch. The blaster unlocks Mickey Solo, Goofy Chewbacca, Princess Minney, and the Duck Stormtrooper. A role could be created for every combination of these five figurines. Hmm.. this Play Set would probably be really popular - perhaps not the best choice for park-exclusive content.

The same method could be used for different Mickey Power-Ups though, including the tailor & friends, as well as "That Hat", which Donald already tried once or twice at Philharmagic
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Last edited by goofyspaceranger; 03-02-2013 at 05:16 AM. Reason: nits
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Old 03-04-2013, 05:18 AM   #26
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Universally Marvel
The recent announcement regarding Marvel superheroes coming to Hong Kong Disneyland included the reminder that Disney is not allowed to bring Marvel to Walt Disney World. It's unfortunate, but an understandable clause in the Marvel purchase. You could have easily imagined a lot of Marvel in Hollywood Studios, whether it was a coaster, a dark ride, or even an update to The Great Movie Ride. The X-Men fits Disney theming with its superhero message of accepting people for who they are, and one wonders if Spiderman's Broadway show could translate into a park show. Hong Kong will be happy, and perhaps Marvel will eventually make it to every Disney park location but Florida.

Mickey Marvels
Will Marvel come to Disney Infinity? Like Star Wars, it's a different brand and has its own huge cast of characters. There have been lots of posts hoping for both brands to make their way to the Infinity platform. Perhaps the "toy" aspect of Infinity will make the transition easier. The pirates have their own distinct toy look. It would also make it possible for all "Mouse Gear Power Discs" to be in random, trade-able packs. Star Wars and Marvel Play Sets could come with a pair of toy figurines, and the Mickey-mashes would be separate add-ons. Imagine a Fantastic Four Mouse Disc for Mickey Fantastic, the Invisible Mouse, Duck Thing, and the Goofy Torch (as well as Doom Stitch). Imagine an X-Men Disc for Xavier Mouse, Minnie Storm, Goofy Cyclops, and Ice Duck (as well as Wolverine Stitch). A red-X-Men Disc could translate to Mickey-mash villains Magneto Mouse, Phoenix Mouse, Goofy Nightcrawler, and Pyro Duck (with Stitch Sabretooth). An Avengers Disc could translate to Iron Mouse, Widow Mouse, Goofy Captain, and Duck Hulk (with alien Thor Stitch). There could be other Marvel heroes whose Mouse Gear Power Disc would translate the same for Mickey & friends: what about Spider-man or the Silver Surfer? Incidentally a Mouse Gear Power Disc for pirates would be fun, too. This type of disc might even allow Mickey & friends to enter the corresponding Play Set for extra Mickey-mashed unlockables. On a side-note, perhaps there could be a Star Command Mouse Gear Power Disc? Yes, that's a Goofy Space Ranger request
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Last edited by goofyspaceranger; 03-06-2013 at 04:45 AM. Reason: removed DC reference
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Old 03-05-2013, 05:18 AM   #27
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It was cool to see a soccer ball in the early Infinity images, and to read of a fully-functional soccer field for the Toy Box. But it was also a little confusing too. It makes one wonder how Infinity sports games will go in general...

Team Mickey & the ESPN Wide World of Sports
The Team Mickey Athletic Store in Downtown Disney has some great sports apparel and knick-knacks featuring Mickey & friends. Even the signage and the store decorations feature them in a variety of sports gear. On a side-note, it also features Daisy, Chip & Dale - perhaps these characters should get Infinity toys added to the Clubhouse (applicable to all Mouse Gear). Consider Disney's Wide World of Sports state-of-the-art sports complex. Consider the ESPN brand. All of these elements would be great - more examples where not only can you bring Infinity to the parks, but you can bring the parks to Infinity. There have been lots of video games released for sports. Competing with the gameplay of EA Sports titles would certainly be an uphill climb. Reviewing the Nintendo sport titles is a probably better avenue for the Infinity toys. It would be challenging to come up with something novel - perhaps a sports bundle? Would it be released as a Play Set with no figurines? Or would it be released as part of the Power Disc set, with a separate disc for football, basketball, baseball, soccer, tennis, & golf? This would be another example where the gear makes the in-game Infinity toy look different than the actual figurine. Would it be exclusive to Mouse Gear or would it be open to nearly any Infinity toy (at least those with both hands & feet)? Hopefully it will be the latter. The resulting uniforms could be especially funny on the pirates and the monsters. But what are the teams?

Friendly Competition Among the Parks
There could be Olympic teams with representation from the World Showcase pavilions, the teams could be simply divided by their respective Play Sets (Pirates!), or there could be arbitrary color-coding. But if you're going to the trouble of designing separate outfits for these Infinity characters and allow any combination of toys to be on the same team, why not have the teams represent the Disney Parks? The resulting team names could be fun, and they'd offer a closer connection between Disney gaming and Disney theme parks. The icons of the WDW parks could be the logos on the uniforms. The international parks are trickier because the park names are based on location, but you could use the Eiffel tower for Paris and elements of the flags for Hong Kong & Tokyo:
- Magic Kingdom Royals
- Epcot Imagineers
- Hollywood Studios Magic-Makers
- Animal Kingdom Expedition
- Californian Adventurers
- Disneyland Originals
- Parisian Towers
- Hong Kong Stars
- Tokyo Suns

Golf, Anyone?
Although not much of a team sport (then again, neither is tennis), golf might be the best sport for Infinity gaming. Just as it seems the Cars Play Set can make the entire Toy Box world into one big race, Infinity golf could make the entire Toy Box world into one big golf course. There could be arrows directing the golfers to the next flag (the same arrow that would direct an adventurer to their next quest). This could offer a new "tour of the world" that kids have designed. There might be a mini-golf option that allows scaled-down versions of Infinity world structures and Mario-pipe-style holes that shoot the golf balls out to different parts of the green. This would offer a whole new category of Disney Infinity game design contest. All sorts of Play Set unlockables could be thrown into the design of each golf course design. Beware the sand traps of Agrabah!
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Old 03-05-2013, 08:41 PM   #28
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The Inevitability of Many Mickeys
In all truthfulness, the roll-out of multiple Mickey Mouse figurines is probably inevitable, especially for the parks. Outside of Star Tours, you can already purchase many Star Wars Mickey mash-up action figures, and that's without any RFIDs or video game counterparts. The same is true for Mickey pirates outside of the Pirates ride at the Magic Kingdom. There is bound to be demand for these. A Sorcerer's Apprentice would not be able stay in stock at Hollywood Studios, and Marvel-based figurines would fare the same (without a Florida tie-in, or apparently a Tokyo one either). We can only hope that Disney Infinity offers something comparable to Mouse Gear Power Discs as well. There is only so much shelf space, and family budgets are not Disney Infinite. Mouse Gear Power Discs would provide an exclusive Infinity trading option for the Disney parks, and would still entail plenty of purchases. Mickey & friends would essentially be "actor toys" for many Play Sets, and it would encourage the purchase of more "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse" characters because of the replay value. Folks might still purchase an additional favorite Mickey or two, which could still use the Mouse Gear (if for no other reason for a Mickey vs. Mickey game or Mickey co-op). Does Infinity allow multiple instances of the same character in a given game (at least if the characters are wearing different gear)? In the case of Star Wars, it could be an attack of the clones

More Miscellaneous Mickey Mash-Ups
Regardless of delivery device or dollar figure, here are a few more Mouse mix possibilities:
- Incredible Mickeys: mix up the super-powers pre-Marvel - Incredible Mickey dashes, Incredible Minnie vanishes, Incredibly Goofy stretches, and Incredible Donald bashes (his temper lends toward the strength attribute). Chip & Dale could emulate the Frozone & Gazerbeam heroes (will they make Infinity on their own?). There could be Daisy Mirage and Syndrome Stitch.
- Cowboy Mickeys: Who knows how the Lone Ranger film may be received? Plus, Toy Story already provides a cowboy, cowgirl, and a horse. Mickey & friends could go western, maybe assisting Star Command in a zany Toy Box version of Cowboys and Aliens.
- Tron: Uprising: ironically I learned about the Tron: Uprising TV show from reading Infinity articles. Thought the merchandising was supposed to go the other way around . If Tron: Legacy received too much hype, perhaps Uprising received too little. Regardless, Tron is a more natural fit for Disney Infinity than Wreck-It Ralph (and that's saying something). And who wouldn't want to try Tron Mickey on a Light Cycle? The set of classic Tron games with an Infinity spin on an Uprising upload would sell a lot of Play Sets.
- Star Wars update: can't forget the dogfights. In the case of Mouse Gear Power Discs, there could be one for a Rebel Pilot and one for an Empire Pilot. Or there could be a disc for each type of fighter, as they changed over the course of the movies.

The general gist is that the vast majority of foreseeable Infinity Play Sets could mix with Mickey & friends. Whether it's through figurines or power discs, or both, it could make for some great park-exclusive content.
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Old 03-06-2013, 05:29 AM   #29
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Would Ludwig be Open or Closed Minded?
It would be possible for Disney's educational division to handle "Ludwig Lectures" internally, and there would be some advantages to that. There could be a separately purchase-able "Ludwig Power Disc" of each curriculum (e.g. Algebra, Geometry, Trig, etc.). Wouldn't recommend putting them in random trade-able packs The pricing would be tricky to compete with books and apps that are already available, but it would help ensure that each curriculum was organized and complete. Someone could methodically go through chapter by chapter, concept by concept in a progression, or have the option to search for a particular concept. They could follow AP curriculum for example since it's standard across the country.

However that wouldn't utilize the resources of the user community. It wouldn't encourage creating something new like the rest of the Toy Box. There's no telling what set of interesting lecture topics someone might submit via Disney's most knowledgeable duck. There's also something to be said for lots of examples. Even if a curriculum is complete, even if each concept is easily found from this huge compilation of data, one example may not be enough. If a student is struggling with a particular concept, he or she might want test out their newly acquired knowledge multiple times to make sure they "got it".

It may boil down to how Infinity compiles submitted data in general. It's the same organizational problem of a virtual world board game that uses multiple mini-games after each turn, a trivia contest with multiple categories of questions, or a quest world that segues to multiple mini-games at specific destinations. They're compilations where each piece might be independently used in another assortment somewhere else. The ability to post and query submissions independently from Infinity could significantly enhance the possibilities of user-created content.

Return of the Hoop-Dee-Doo Review Board
If Disney Infinity would choose this educational avenue, that's a whole other level of review. It would not just be brand protection, but accuracy, completeness, organization, and clarity. Perhaps the compromise between the open and closed models is a separate review board from the user community. There could be applications sent to Disney with educators' credentials where they would offering their expertise to ensure the quality of the content.

Scrolling Chalkboard
In mathematical problems it's important to show all of your work. That's especially important in trying to explain a solution. PowerPoint-style presentations don't lend themselves to this without becoming an eye test chart. Imagine Ludwig with a scrolling chalkboard, a virtual web page within his Clubhouse classroom. Then imagine a blank chalkboard available on the tablet version for a student to work out their answer with a stylus. Then imagine two chalkboards side-by-side for the student to compare the work with the answer key. It could help determine specific missteps in case the student got the answer wrong. Imagine lots and lots of example questions covering query-able topics for any curriculum that the user community takes the time to create. Ludwig could provide a common framework for some useful reference material.

The Educator's Style-us
A tablet version of Ludwig's role in the Toy Box could be useful for the creators of this content too. A crisp font goes a long way toward readability, but the free-hand use of a stylus allows an educator to underline or circle spots of emphasis in a pseudo-animated sequence, and also to provide free-form diagrams. There could be imported pictures and sounds as well - whatever works. That level of creative license brings in the brand protection again, making a review board that much more important. But the resulting product would provide greater value.
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Last edited by goofyspaceranger; 03-06-2013 at 06:51 AM. Reason: added supporting ideas
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Old 03-08-2013, 04:59 AM   #30
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PhilharMagic Mickey
Disney has always had a great appreciation for music. Soundtracks for Disney movies are nearly as well-known as the animations themselves. Hopefully lots of soundtrack material will be unlocked with each Infinity Play Set to be used as background music in game design. But what if there's more than that. Imagine how music appreciation might be incorporated into Disney Infinity via another park-exclusive Mickey. Imagine what a PhilharMagic Mickey might be able to do.

What if a baton-wielding Mickey Mouse in formal concert attire also unlocked the musical scores? There are already lots of sheet music reader apps for tablets today. They provide a useful alternative to hardcopy folders and they simplify page turns. What might an Infinity version provide? Clearly it could access Disney's massive library of copyrighted music. What if Mickey himself was the metronome? Each score could have a default tempo which could be adjusted, and virtual PhilharMagic Mickey could wave his baton according the tempo and the time signature. Instead of a page-turn button, the musical score could scroll horizontally according to that tempo. It could be a video game where you shoot some randomly highlighted notes (while helping young ones to learn them by name). It could be a name-that-tune trivia question based on a few bars. It could be a sing-a-long with a bouncing ball over the lyrics. It could be sheet music for any number of instruments, with the key signature adjusted as appropriate. The chosen PhilharMagic instrument could be seen floating on the screen, showing appropriate strings and finger positions. It could be a trumpet or trombone, flute or clarinet, violin, cello, whatever. There could be a practice mode that focuses on a few bars at a time. There could be a performance mode that includes a piano accompaniment. A tablet version could be used to provide the scores for the piano. There could be simplified scores for novices and full scores for experienced pianists. And since the Toy Box is all about creativity, there could be a composer mode too. There could be a PhilharMagic Mouse Gear Power Disc to allow Mickey's friends to try out their conducting skills (even Donald). Or you could purchase your PhilharMagic Mickey figurine right outside Mickey's PhilharMagic attraction. Imagine young musicians using their Wii, PS3, or Xbox360 to practice their musical instruments, playing Disney tunes. PhilharMagic. No sorcerer's hat required.
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