Disney Infinity‘s Designer Tells Us What 3.0 Has in Store for Female Fans
"I'll be honest, I don't understand why there's not more attention given to the Gamoras and The Black Widows."
In anticipation of Disney Infinity 3.0‘s release, we once again got to talk to the lovely Jeff Bunker about what goes into designing the game’s many awesome female characters.
Bunker, who is in charge of figure designs, told us when we spoke to him in May that one of the best parts of his job is finding surprising ways for Disney’s ladies to kick butt. When asked how that manifests in 3.0, Bunker explained,
The good news is that that kind of naturally happens with Star Wars in general. You look at those characters, and from the very first female you see come on the screen, with Princess Leia, she’s not a pushover in the slightest, she’s a very powerful woman so we get to take advantage of that. Ahsoka, not only is she a fun, powerful woman personality-wise but she kicks some major butt in the game. Just the mechanics she has, she’s the only major character that has the two lightsabers. It’s a funny trend that we have within our studio, its not uncommon at all for the male developers within our studio to be playing as Ahsoka. And that typically doesn’t happen, typically the women pick the women characters and the guys pick the guy characters, but that’s not been the case with Ahsoka. She’s pretty popular across the board.
It was gratifying to hear Bunker talking about characters like Ahsoka; due to the overall lack of merchandise for female characters, Disney Infinity may be the first time young fans can actually play as Ahsoka, Black Widow, or Princess Leia. Says Bunker,
It’s a shame that it is that, way, but I’ll be honest, within Infinity, we’re happy that they’re finding these characters with us. We love to do them. In a lot of respects, those women characters have deeper personalities, there’s maybe more there than there is with their male counterparts. I’ll be honest, I don’t understand why there’s not more attention given to the Gamoras and The Black Widows, because I just think they’re great characters, and we’re finding that they’re getting played a lot in our game.
In his role at Disney, Bunker has designed characters for everyone from Minnie Mouse to Inside Out‘s Joy. He talked us through what that creative process is like, and how he works with filmmakers to bring new additions to Infinity:
First thing is a lot of research. We watch the film that character’s in as much as possible, it’s very challenging if we’re doing a movie where that character’s not out yet. A lot of times we’re kind of working in the dark, in almost every respect we start out artistically, we just try to come up with a pose that we think looks good from a lot of different angles. But then we send it to the filmmaker, and they say “well, that looks good but it’s not correct for our character, so you need to do this, this, and this.” And then we’ll react to that feedback and we’ll send back what we think we heard from them, and it’s just this nice give and take. We tell them what we’re trying to capture in the Infinity style, and they’ll tell us if they think we’re going too far, or if something’s missing to make it their character.
For any fimmaker, anybody that’s made up that character, that character is one of their babies. There’s always somebody that owns and loves tha tcharacter that we’re working with taht we’ve got to make happy, and I don’t have a problem with making them happy! If we’re making them happy, we’re going to make the fans of that character happy.
I also talked to Bunker about what 3.0 players have to look forward to from Toy Box mode. Bunker likened Toy Box’s appeal to “a kid playing on their bedroom floor, that they might have a Barbie or a G.I. Joe, and maybe they started out playing with that character in character or with other characters appropriate to that property, but it doesn’t take too long for them to start making up their own stories.”
3.0 will see the arrival of a whole slew of new villains. When I mentioned how satisfying it can be to play as a Big Baddie, Bunker agreed: “I kind of tend to like the bad guys. I think the filmmakers have more freedom to go overboard in their designs a little bit. Darth Vader, you know, there’s nothing subtle about him.”
Too true, too true.
Disney Infinity 3.0 comes out this Sunday, August 30th and will be available to play on PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and Wii U.
—Please make note of The Mary Sue’s general comment policy.—
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]