Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Why a unified style for Infinity?


I read the comments on the Kotaku article that linked here and there were several wondering why we chose to do a unified style for the game instead of just mixing the styles like Kingdom Hearts did.
The answer is really simple. Pixar and Disney said we couldn't mix their characters as is. John Lasseter told us that the only way we could get approval is to make them all from the same toy line with a unifying aesthetic. This is also why the "Disney stole from Skylanders" thing is silly: we were always doing toys or Infinity would never have left the drawing table for approval reasons. Getting everyone on the same page with the characters' looks and the Infinity style was nothing short of a miracle, not to mention that it was the first time any of us at Avalanche have had to design physical toys (which also created huge obstacles for the style).

I don't know what strings Kingdom Hearts pulled to get all the characters together in their original styles, but that option was off the table for us. And frankly I'm glad. Maybe it's the persnickety artist in me, but even though I like Kingdom Hearts, I find the complete shifts in style jarring.

6 comments:

  1. Reading comments on a gawker site? you are a brave, brave man, Sam. Good post, though- personally I feel like it's easy to see why you guys went the direction you did, and it's easy to see how well you executed it.

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    1. Tyson: I know a basic rule of happiness and keeping faith in the human race is to never read the comments, and yet I can never help myself.

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  2. For a group designing toys for the first time you've done a better job than some designing for decades.

    I do think some of the other characters deserve to have physical toys made of them too if they only serve as fancy powerup discs or even just to complete the set

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    1. Thanks Caitlin! I would love to do toys of some of the other characters. I do not get to decide such things.

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  3. Having worked for the Mouse, I can attest that this is absolutely true. We would be constantly looking for loopholes to get around characters sharing worlds - a rule which, though frustrating, I have to agree with on principle. You guys did an amazing job.

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    1. Thanks Apotherix! Yeah, I think the principle is a good one. It has been reinforced to the point of being ridiculous, but yeah, it makes sense.

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