Fancy taking The Lone Ranger for a spin around Disneyland, slalom skiing with Buzz Lightyear, or engaging in a paintball battle against Mr. Incredible? You need to check out the Toy Boxes for Disney Interactive’s open-world action game Disney Infinity.
The Toy Boxes — stand-alone levels with their own logic and rules — offer a steady stream of fresh in-game content. Some Toy Boxes come straight from the game developers, but the playing community is also creating some incredible content using Disney Infinity’s flexible editing tools.
Getting your Toy Box featured
For a user-made Toy Box to reach the wider community, Disney Interactive must first select it as a “featured” creation. While this stops hundreds of half-baked levels from swamping the game, it also makes getting your design shared a lot trickier.
We reached out to discover exactly how the submissions process works, and Disney Interactive producer Mat Solie laid it out for us:
“Each week, Disney challenges consumers to create and submit themed content, which is submitted to Disney via a player’s Disney ID account. Once a Toy Box is submitted, the company’s Community Manager, along with a team of internal team members, evaluates every submission. The top 10-15, out of thousands, are then presented to a broader group of cross-functional team members, and by committee they choose the best of the best!”
So how do you get a Toy Box to that final stage and beat out thousands of competitors? Solie shared four top tips for getting your Toy Box featured:
1) Watch the developer videos
One of the best things to do is to watch the weekly top five countdown on YouTube. Every week one of the Avalanche developers is on the show to explain how some toys function and how to implement them in a Toy Box. It’s handy to have tips on making Toy Boxes from the guys who made the game.
2) Make a game out of it!
We have seen so many Toy Boxes in the past year, and those that really get our attention are usually the ones that have an objective. This involves the use of creative toys to make a game in Toy Box. We have seen great races, combat missions, and a couple of amazing objective missions.
One of the Toy Boxes made by senior producer Michael Schneider is an amazing “King of the Hill” game built over a lava pit. It actually counts how many times a player is defeated and has multiple ways to save yourself: via platforms, rail grinds, or even manhole covers from Monster University. Maybe one day that will get featured by Disney so everyone can play it.
3) Create an awesome set piece
Besides making a game in your Toy Box, we have seen some amazing set pieces. These are usually a recreation of something from Disney, like we did with Disneyland. My personal favorite was one we featured a few weeks ago called Indiana Jones. It is a recreation of the ride from Disneyland called Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Forbidden Eye. It’s really impressive how a person recreated the ride so faithfully.
4) Check your work!
Just like normal game development, you have to make sure your game works and is possible to complete. There have been several times where we got a Toy Box that was really amazing, but we couldn’t complete it or the logic wasn’t done. In these cases, we couldn’t feature the Toy Box.
The gallery below shows what’s possible when you follow these tips. The twenty-five selected Toy Boxes are mostly user-created, with a few developer efforts sitting alongside. All are available to download in Disney Infinity via the game’s online/multiplayer menu, under “Toy Box Share”.
Full instructions for downloading and submitting Toy Boxes are found at the Disney Infinity website.