tangled&tron, Disney Infinity Toy Box Artist

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tangled&tron, Disney Infinity Toy Box Artist

Postby PirateSteven » Fri Feb 21, 2014 11:21 pm

His Toy Boxes earned first place for two consecutive weeks in the very popular Pirates and Tangled challenges.

On behalf of all of the interested Disney Infinity Fans we asked tangled&tron some questions.

What is the origin story of your Toy Box submission username?

My top 3 favorite Disney movies of all time are Tron, The Little Mermaid and Tangled. I think that most would agree that tangled&tron has a nicer ring to it than does TheLitteMermaid&Tron. LOL.

What made you decide to buy Disney Infinity?

I needed something for my nephews and niece to play whenever they came over. There are not too many good kids games out there nowadays IMO, especially with local 2 player splitscreen… mostly just the Lego games and the Toy Story 3 game. Skylanders has zero appeal to me… so DI arrived at the perfect time.

What is your favorite play set and why?

Probably Pirates. The Lone Ranger is the best one overall, but Pirates was more fun to me just for the ship to ship battles.

Who is your favorite Disney Infinity character and why?

Rapunzel, mostly because I think Tangled is an absolutely perfect movie from beginning to end. I just smiled through that whole movie.

Which character would you like to see included that hasn't already been and why?

EVE (from WALL-E). I cannot think of any Disney or Pixar character who is more cool or more adorable than EVE.

When you hear of a new challenge, what steps do you take to make your idea for a Toy Box a reality?

I never plan anything which is probably why I take so long to make a toy box. I will just keep trying different things until I see something I like. But when I hit on something I know it instantly. Like my Tangled toy box started off as a generic city race track, then like 5 hours later I built the mountain waterfall section. Once I saw how pretty the waterfall looked I knew I couldn't waste it on a race track and decided to build my entire Tangled Kingdom around it.

That’s how I am though. I’m not good at visualization, so the only way I will know if something will work or not is to actually build it. I will often take hours just to build an entire section of my map only to erase it all when I decide later on that it just doesn't look or feel quite right.

But that also means that I am very rarely satisfied, and I am always looking for a better way to do something. For EpicPirateCombat I actually used rails at first to go from ship to ship, the Super Cannons were a last minute audible which completely changed the feel of that entire map.

Every toy box I make always starts off the same, as a single object placed on terrain piece in an empty toy box. Then mostly by sheer determination and constant trial and error does it slowly evolve into something greater. Which is why sometimes I will stop building and just take a look around my toy box and wonder, "How in the world did I do this?" Like my EpicPirateCombat map I still can’t believe I made that and if you were to ask me to do it again I couldn't.

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How long did each of your featured Toy Boxes take to build?

I easily hit triple digits on both.

What do you consider to be your specialty when building Toy Boxes?

Level design. It is something I have always been conscious of. Ever since I first saw that the Toy Box Challenge winners got their own 30 second video with that famous Disney Infinity music playing in the background and then they do that cool shot in which the camera spins around your entire map, that’s when I knew my entire toy box had to look pretty from every angle. I am kinda OCD in that way. I will go over every single inch of my map making sure that everything looks perfect.

I think my level design was what actually put me over the top for the Tangled Challenge. I think MightyGitis actually had a cooler idea and made much better use of the Tangled theme than my Tangled combat map did. When you think about it, my Tangled map really isn’t a Tangled map at all. The only thing that makes it a Tangled map are the fact that it has some Tangled guards, Rapunzel’s Tower, and that you are probably using Rapunzel to play it… that’s it. Without those three things you would never guess that it was a Tangled map, especially once the robots start attacking. But like I said, the level design and how pretty my map looked was probably enough to overcome that fact.

That’s why I will always sacrifice having more logic or more enemies just to have more memory available to make my map look prettier. It was always my goal from the very beginning to make a map so pretty that for a second you forgot that you were in the toy box. Because of the building limitations involved, with 99.99% of the Toy Boxes out, you can immediately tell you are inside of the toy box and that feeling never really goes away. IMHO when playing EpicPirateCombat there are moments in which you totally forget.

What is your favorite Toy Box that you have built?

My Tangled map, no question. My Pirate map might be better but I built that one specifically to try and get my first featured toy box. My Tangled map was built pretty much just for myself. Like I think I actually might be the only person out there who wants to fight Call of Duty style with Rapunzel. Which is why my Tangled map was also a multiplayer battlemap at first, I only changed it to single player to fit the challenge.

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What is your favorite Toy Box that someone else has built?

XShadow246’s Frozen Adventure, I just like how ambitious it was. The way he tried to do the whole movie and the way he fearlessly used logic all along the way, he totally went for it. So cool.

What are some of your classic Toy Boxes that have not been a featured top 5 Toy Box?

I have only ever worked on 2 toy boxes. My very first one which was a Pirate town multiplayer battlemap which got rejected for the Disney Movies Challenge and which I then later on turned into EpicPirateCombat and went on to win the Pirates Adventure Challenge.

My 2nd toy box which started off as a race track then evolved into my Tangled Kingdom map. This got rejected for the Heroes vs. Villains Challenge. I then tweaked it to somehow win the Tangled Challenge.

I’m very proud that I successfully avenged both of my rejected maps. LOL.

What is your dream Toy Box challenge?

It already happened, the Tangled Challenge The only thing I knew for sure when I started to get serious about the toy box was that I was gonna make a Tangled map. I did and it somehow won.

Even though my Pirate map won too, I am most happy about my Tangled map winning.

Do you place any hidden tributes in your winning Toy Boxes?

I never have enough memory to do hidden tributes, not a proper one anyway. For my Tangled map I was literally searching around for blocks to delete just to free up more memory. I also prefer to leave about a centimeter left on my toy box meter just for the sake of stability and to give any logic connections some room to breathe.

Share a story of adversity from when you were building one of your Toy Boxes that you had to overcome.

I remember I was under the gun for the Pirate Adventure challenge. I was almost completely done with my map, I just needed the Super Cannons to work properly when you jumped from ship to ship. But sometimes the Super Cannons would glitch and the player wouldn't shoot forward when they went inside.

It was super frustrating because I couldn’t figure out why it would seemingly randomly glitch and I wasn't gonna submit my map if I couldn't get the Super Cannons to work 100% of the time. If the Super Cannons glitched just once during gameplay it was enough to ruin the whole flow of the map. It was such a disparaging thought that no one would ever see this map just because I couldn't figure out how to make the Super Cannons function properly.

I was about to discard the whole Super Cannon idea and go back to using rails to get from ship to ship, but then I realized the problem was I was placing the Super Cannons directly over ground so when the player walked into the cannons at a certain angle. I think sometimes the cannons couldn’t handle the sudden transition from walking to shooting forward, so the player would just get stuck. So I just had to place the Super Cannons far enough away that the player was forced to jump into the Super Cannons, after that they always worked. When I finally figured it out it was just such a tremendous sense of relief.

It was all totally worth it because I won.

You were the first place featured toy box in two back to back challenges (Pirates and Tangled). Did you have a different reaction the 2nd time you won?

I was actually kind of proud that I had won two weeks in a row. I started to think like you know it was a feat that would never be topped! Then of course crazybynick comes along and totally steals my thunder by getting two toy boxes featured at the top of the same challenge. Suddenly the legend of tangled&tron is yesterday's news and crazybynick is the new toy box rock star now. Ahahahaha, that’s just the way it goes sometimes I guess. LOL.

What advice do you have for someone that is trying to make it into the weekly Top 5 featured Toy Boxes?

Just don’t even think about the challenges just build what you want. Just start on your Dream Toy Box Challenge right now and if you don’t have a dream challenge than just start building what you like to build. Just build for fun, the rest will take care of itself, and if it doesn't at least you had fun.

Building a toy box should be like reading a good book, you don’t want to rush through it. Often times you actually want to read slower just to prolong the experience or even re-read certain parts over and over again. It should be the same way with your toy box. You spend a couple hours whenever you can just messing around in it, lingering, trying out new ideas. You have a goal in mind, but are in no particular hurry to get there. When you call it a night and leave that world you are always left looking forward to your next toy box session whenever that may be.
 
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Re: tangled&tron, Disney Infinity Toy Box Artist

Postby altiareagle » Sat Feb 22, 2014 12:17 am

Wow, great interview.
Thanks for doing these PirateSteven. I'm going to catch up on his maps! So, who's next?
Kinda tired.
Chat with me If you're tired too.
 
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Re: tangled&tron, Disney Infinity Toy Box Artist

Postby Randall Boggs » Sat Feb 22, 2014 12:22 am

That was interesting advice...
Don't plan, don't visualize...
SSB Mewtwo Launch Party!
Click the globe icon to join!
 
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Re: tangled&tron, Disney Infinity Toy Box Artist

Postby Jack Frost » Sat Feb 22, 2014 12:27 am

I loved reading this. It's great getting to see what goes on behind the scenes.
 
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Re: tangled&tron, Disney Infinity Toy Box Artist

Postby Chewbacca » Sat Feb 22, 2014 1:01 am

Awesome. This interviews are awesome.
Chewie is best character
 
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Re: tangled&tron, Disney Infinity Toy Box Artist

Postby tangled&tron » Sat Feb 22, 2014 8:41 am

LOL. IMO whomever was the editor for this piece deserves a medal... my interview questionnaire was like a 2 page barely coherent rambling session I think. :lol: Plus, I probably originally came off as a bit pompous and irreverent too (lol)... but this totally reads like a proper interview now. 8-) LOL.

And also... whoever takes the pics did an awesome job as well. I absolutely love those Tangled pics. That first pic with Woody looking over my entire Tangled Kingdom is just pure win... that shot right there is what made the entire map worth it for me and why I went through so much trouble to force the player to start up there to begin with. Also... you can see my distrust for replayers in that shot... if I had faith in replayers I would have started my map with the forcefields turned off and just let the replayers turn them on later when the player reached that section... but yah, I have zero faith in replayers so I just left them in the "on" position just in case. :lol: Kinda ruins the view though... but oh well.
 
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Re: tangled&tron, Disney Infinity Toy Box Artist

Postby Daan » Sun May 04, 2014 7:09 pm

Nice interview, i missed your little lol's tho.
 
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Re: tangled&tron, Disney Infinity Toy Box Artist

Postby tangled&tron » Sun May 04, 2014 9:43 pm

^ Yes, it's true... my LOLs practice the ancient art of ninjitsu... therefore they are quite hard to see. =D

The most frustrating thing for me however is even though I won two challenges... what I believe to be my greatest creation ever... keeps getting rejected. LOL. IMHO I am such a better and more confident builder than I was when I made my Pirate and Tangled map... and yet my latest two toy boxes are not finding the same success that my earlier ones did despite (imo) being better toy boxes. X_X
 
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Re: tangled&tron, Disney Infinity Toy Box Artist

Postby Daan » Wed May 07, 2014 6:16 am

Perhaps their standards ( <- how do you write that? :0 ) are getting higher and higher since the community is still growing and they realised what all those smart toys are capable of... I might even join a contest but it's going to be hard..
 
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