This past Wednesday, I was able to head on down to the Disney Consumer Products’ Holiday Showcase, a yearly event where Disney shows off the upcoming holiday offerings for their retail brands. Later this weekend, I will share pictures from the floor of the Holiday Showcase itself, but today I wanted to focus on the main reason I was there… Disney Infinity 2.0.
First off, for any of you skeptics out there, figure out a way to spend just ten minutes with John Vignocchi (JV), the Executive Producer of Disney Infinity, and from that time alone you will love the game. He brings an jovial excitement to demoing the game, teaching you the old and new intricacies of the game, and making it sound like you are the first person he is showing this great new thing to, even though you know that he has done this hundreds of times before. He has been globe-trotting the past few months every week, getting the word out about Disney Infinity 2.0, and the special addition of the Marvel Super Heroes.
Now, I will apologize up front: I have no video or audio from out meeting. Seems that whenever JV and I get together, our meetings turn out to be very much informal. Has been since I first met him back at the Taste of Chicago almost a year ago now. I go in with the best of intentions, including a list of questions and the camera ready for video, and before you know it our time is almost done. At least this time I remembered the questions, so while we explored the Spider-Man Play Set and Toy Box 2.0, I did get some more information for you all, as well as some fun tidbits that I was not expecting. Shall we?
From Abe’s E3 coverage, we know that there now will be four different colors of Sparks. They are:
- GREEN SPARKS: They regenerate your health bar.
- BLUE SPARKS: These sparks are your new economy.
- PURPLE SPARKS: These regenerate your special ability bar.
- ORANGE SPARKS: They build experience to level your character.
With the economy sparks, some improvements to the Toy Box make them even more valuable. For instance, Toy Box builders can insert treasure chests into their creations that, once opened, will award sparks, and the builder can regulate the amount of sparks. Killing enemies inside Toy Box creations can also yield economy sparks, and those too can be regulated. In addition, artists can insert new Storefronts inside their creations where players can purchase certain toys, chosen by the artist. JV gave the example of a Storefront having the ability to have the Atlas Sword, Bullseye the Horse, and the Toy Story Midway Mania Blaster inside of a Toy Box level. In order to purchase those toys, probably to advance in the game, one would need to kill enemies or find some way to earn those economy sparks.
A little more about skill trees in 2.0:
~ All characters, including all of the ones from the first game, will get full skill trees. Since skill tree points are based off character level, if you bring in a character of a certain level into 2.0 from the first game, it will carry the skill tree points that a character of that level should have. For example: a Level 10 Elsa brought in to 2.0 for the first time will carry along the corresponding skill tree points of a 2.0 Level 10 character.
~ Each character has 40 skill tree attributes to unlock, and no character can unlock all 40 at the same time. Players can fully re-spec their characters two times each, but only two times. After that, in order to change attributes, the player would need to start the character fresh from square one, losing all levels.
~ In the Toy Box, there is automatic regeneration when a player’s character dies, unless inside of a Toy Box made where it is set to another option.
~ In Play Sets, when a character dies, the player has the option of either putting another character on the Infinity Base, or resetting back to the beginning of the last mission started. However, while playing multi-player, some characters can revive dead characters to keep them inside the game. There are settings in the skill trees that strengthen this attribute.
~ We took a look at the Nick Fury character. JV was excited to reiterate that Samuel L. Jackson, who played Director Fury in the movies, voiced the character in Disney Infinity 2.0: Marvel Super Heroes. In the past, Jackson has said how much he is intertwined with the character of Nick Fury, so JV said it was not hard to get Jackson to sign on to do the voice.
~ While playing with Nick Fury in the Spider-Man Play Set, JV showed me Fury’s “decoy” ability. Once activated, a decoy of Fury is launched, while the original Fury goes invisible. The player still has control of the original Fury, but the decoy will run away from the original as well as attack enemies out there to fight.
~ JV’s favorite character so far announced for 2.0, Venom combines Spider-Man’s movement abilities with the strength attributes of Hulk. Venom’s look, as well as all of the other released characters in Disney Infinity, are inspired by previous artwork for the character (in the Spider-Man Play Set it’s the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon, and in the Avengers it’s the Avengers Assemble cartoon), they all have their own Disney Infinity flare.
~ YES! Crystal Sorcerer’s Apprentice Mickey IS coming. He will look exactly like the Sorcerer’s Apprentice Mickey from the first Disney Infinity game, and it looks like he will part of the 2.0 platform. The reason for the delay was that the figure had a delay in the paint department for the figure sculpt.
~ Recently it has been confirmed that all of the Disney characters from last year’s game, and the new Disney characters in 2.0, will fall under the category “Disney Originals”. JV and I talked about why they chose “Originals”. He mentioned that they threw around a few different ideas, but in the end, they couldn’t use a term already coined by another division, or property, of Disney.
~ While in the Spider-Man Play Set, JV showed me what the character unlock tokens looked like for Iron man, and confirmed that Hulk would also be a cross-over character. I showed concern, but JV said that it’s written to make sense. Case in point: the Spider-Man Manhattan does not have Stark Tower in it, and JV told me that it’s because the Play Sets take place in different parts of the timeline. That is a very awesome attention to detail.
Power Disc Information
More information on the Power Discs:
~ Duplicate Bonus confirmation: the experience bonus for duplicate power discs are once per power disc… per account. So, if players trade discs, the bonus is still available on another account.
~ Repeat of a “Series Set”: Some people are hankering for the release of a full set of discs together, instead of blind bags (similar to the Target Series 2 set that came with the exclusive album). Unfortunately, we will not see that again, according to JV. Makes sense to me, because sales of the Series 2 discs dropped considerably, and then some customers got upset when Series 3 was not released similarly. It will mainly be blind bags down the road, with possibly open window packs containing character specific discs, but not a full set.
~ TRU Exclusives: it does not sound like Toys ‘R’ us will be getting any more Power Disc Exclusives. However, it sounds like the (6) Power Discs that have yet to be released outside of the TRU packs will remain TRU exclusives, and not released in the future. According to JV, the plan was to have (5) of the discs appear in Series 2 and (5) of the discs appear in Series 3. Also, each of the series were planned to be comprised of (20) discs. Obviously, that did not happen, as best laid plans… you get the idea. So, if you are holding out for future series to get those remaining TRU discs, I wouldn’t. Track them down before they are gone forever.
~ Marvel Power Discs: JV confirmed that one of the discs that was revealed in the packs given out at E3 is the skydome of “Dinosaur World”, and stated that each skydome is paired with a corresponding texture disc. That confirms my hunches made on the Marvel Power Disc set list… and the known number at 37 of the 40 discs.
~ Older Discs Having Value: Without getting in to specifics, JV said that there is value of having the Power Discs from the first game for 2.0, so do not get rid of them. He is actually still trying to complete his set of Series 3.
~ Mr. Toad’s Motorcar will be an upcoming toy in the Toy Box, as was stated by Abe earlier this week. I got the impression that it was a Power Disc, but I am not 100% sure it was specifically said.
Toy Box Game Discs
~ Unlocking “Skirmish Mode”: People were confused about what that meant inside the Toy Box Game Discs. Here is the example JV showed me. The “Tower Defense” disc that comes with the Marvel Starter Pack is meant to be used with a Marvel character. JV used Hulk. Now, once Hulk encountered a Wave in the game (another term would be level), immediately that Wave would be unlocked in skirmish mode for ANY character, Marvel or Disney. It did not have to be beaten, just encountered. During our session, JV got up to Wave 4 with Hulk, meaning that any other character could now play in Waves 1-4. Waves 5 and up would still be locked until he encountered said waves with a Marvel character.
~ Team Up Discs are very valuable inside the Toy Box Game Discs, especially in the harder levels. Also, since you are able to use up to two Team Ups per player, that can lead to some serious strength when playing Multi-Player.
Play Set/ Toy Box 2.0 Observations
~ In the Spider-Man Play Set, JV gave me a bird’s eye view of Manhattan, and it looks amazing. JV said it took some time to get the rights to include some of those iconic buildings in the game, but he was glad they turned out so well. He took Venom over to the Statue of Liberty, and I thought that to be especially great, watching Venom crawl on Lady Liberty.
~ Also in the Spider-Man Play Set, JV showed me the new details they added to the scarring of the buildings when damaged, saying he feels we would appreciate it, as there are varying degrees of damage that the buildings show, depending on what is done to them. Don’t worry, however… all the scarring eventually resets itself, so you can go back and destroy your favorite places again and again.
~ In the Toy Box 2.0, I personally saw terrain textures for both Gravity Falls and Atlantis. JV could not confirm if those were in game unlocks or Power Disc attributes. Still pretty cool either way, especially when he confirmed that every skydome has a terrain.
~ In the Toy Box 2.0, JV showed me the new Volcano build-able, which I thought was just a single piece. It is not, but rather like a castle in the first game, where you can make it as large as you want.
~ I got a closer look at a few of the “special builders” in Toy Box 2.0. JV placed some of them down and they went to work… Eve building her forest, Mr. Gibbs building his pirate town, the Sultan building his Agrabah marketplace, and Terk building her rail system. I do not think JV placed down the Lost Boy or the Grand Duke… perhaps they are still being worked on. It was funny with Terk, because at one point the others stopped and JV and I were checking out other things when we realized Terk was still building a rail system… it got pretty big.
~ I got my first look at the costume changes for both Captain America and Iron Man. Love them.
~ Even though he said it was still glitchy, JV let me play the intro level to the Spider-Man Play Set, which normally doesn’t happen. It’s a trippy Mysterio filled level that teaches you the basic moves of the characters, like jumping, climbing, etc. Sure enough, it glitched during it, but it looked really good up until that point.
~ JV said that the game build will be finishing up in the next month, and then be set off for testing. He is very excited that soon we all will be able to experience the next chapter in Disney Infinity soon. However, his job is not done, as they will still be working on more future projects.
~ JV wanted to stress that stuff like Gravity Falls (and previously stated Darkwing Duck) were included strictly based on customer request. He stated that soon there will be a new poll posted by Disney Infinity (sounded like most likely on their website, asking for people’s ideas for future characters. If you want you voice heard, keep an eye out for that poll. Future installments of the game will draw ideas from that poll.
~ When asked, JV did confirm that there will be theme park tie-ins to Disney Infinity 2.0. He could not comment on if anything will involve the Magic Bands, like the Dragon Gate did in the first game.
~ In regards to the special things that are happening with SONY, including the Collector’s Edition for PS3 and PS4 and the PS3 Bundle, JV did say that Microsoft was approached about doing similar things, but that nothing was finalized. For me, it makes some sense, as Microsoft has a lot invested on the popularity of another major Disney Interactive title, Fantasia: Music Evolved, which is exclusive to the Xbox systems and their Kinect.
It was about that time when JV had to move on, but not before signing a Crystal Agent P. that I brought to give away to one of our Facebook group members. Be on the lookout the beginning of next week for the giveaway.
I would like to thank both JV and Sunny, Disney Infinity’s press guru, who helped me get in to the Showcase to begin with, and then spent time with me showing off the awesomeness that is Disney Infinity 2.0. It was much appreciated.
Looking forward to more Disney Infinity news? I am happy to report that I will be attending an event for bloggers called “Blogger Bash” in NYC in mid-July, where John will be there showcasing some new stuff for Disney Infinity 2.0, and at the end of July, Disney Infinity will be at San Diego Comic Con, and we are working on getting our West Coast guy Abe down there for some of the Disney Infinity fun. So stay tuned to Infinity and Beyond and Vinylmation Kingdom for all of the happenings in the world of Disney Infinity.
Want a great place to talk about Disney Infinity, trade power discs, and keep up on all the fun stuff? Join our Facebook group Infinity and Beyond. We will be doing special giveaways this summer leading up to the release of 2.0. The more members we get, the more prizes we give away. So, invite your friends and family as well! Click on the logo below to get to the group.