As I mentioned in my last Disney Infinity post, Game Informer seems to have a specific plan for rolling out more Star Wars Disney Infinity information and they are hitting a grand slam with their coverage. Yesterday they released a new video going behind the scenes on designing the look and feel of Disney Infinity toys, including the Star Wars figures.
I found the video incredibly fascinating. The level of attention, detail and… frankly, love that Avalanche puts into the process is impressive. Jeff Bunker, the VP of Artistic Development of Avalanche Software, the company responsible for developing this game and characters, talks about the genesis of Disney Infinity and how they were inspired by the opening scene of Toy Story 3. Anyone who’s seen that movie (and if you haven’t you need to finish this article, punch yourself in the face, and go watch the movie) knows that that opening scene is absolutely spectacular.
Regarding Star Wars, Bunker talks about how they actually rendered some Star Wars characters before Disney even bought the franchise. The video goes into not just the artistic design of the process, but their approach thematically and the input they received from Lucasfilm. It was interesting that they noted how similar their look ended up being to The Clone Wars and how that was purely coincidental. You get to see just how faithful they were to the characters, but also the balance between authenticity and practicality. For example, with Darth Maul, it was important to Lucasfilm that Maul has 10 horns on his head. But when Avalanche did the rendering, it looked a bit too much with 10 horns so they sent LFL two versions: one with 10 horns and a better-looking version with eight horns. Lucasfilm accepted the eight-horned version of our favorite Zabrak. With Han Solo, Bunker talks about how difficult the character was because he is so expressive. They even went as far as making sure Han had a scar on his face, which was important to Lucasfilm.
Particularly interesting to me was their design process with Princess Leia. After yesterday’s absurdity regarding people who clearly don’t get the character, it was refreshing to hear how much detail went into creating Leia for Disney Infinity. Jeff Bunker says that they had a difficult time stylizing Leia and sought out feedback from Lucasfilm. Bunker says that according to Lucasfilm:
She’s a feminist. She’s powerful in that universe. She ends up being the head of government in that situation. She’s taking command through most of those movies. So it was important that she doesn’t look sultry or sexy in any way. That she looks in command and she’s in control.
John Diesta, the Lead Artist at Avalanche, took those cues into her design:
So we were trying to develop this look that was both…stern, for lack of a better word, but still very pretty.
Clearly they actually cared about getting the character right. They recognized her importance and value to the franchise and its fans. The results, as you can see, are fantastic.
Today Game Informer released a gallery of actual figure photos and packaging. These look awesome. I love the fun, animated designs. Below are a few of the images from their gallery but be sure to head over to Game Informer for more great pictures.