On behalf of all of the interested Disney Infinity Fans we asked CCRunner524 some questions.
What is your real name? Country?
My name is Josh Voges, USA Co-create with my wife Michelle Voges
What is the origin story of your Toy Box submission username?
When I was in 7th grade, I started doing cross-country running. At the time, my fastest mile time was 5:24. Hence CCRunner524 was born. My mile time got better over time, but out of sheer laziness I never changed it.
You received a Toy Box Artist of the Year award as one of the Toy Box Artists most likely to be recruited by S.H.I.E.L.D. What do you think that means?
Well, I do know what that means! Unfortunately, I can’t tell you. It’s classified. If you want I can try to put a good word in to Agent Coulson for you.
What made you decide to buy Disney Infinity?
To be honest, my wife was super excited when Disney 1.0 came out. We both loved Disney, but I wasn’t going to run out and buy the game on release. I saw it as an opportunity to actually have my wife play video games with me, so I bought the game.
What is your favorite play set and why?
Lone Ranger play set. Actually I really didn’t think much of this play set when I decided to buy it, but it surprised me so much when I played it. It brought me back to my 5 year old days running around playing cowboys and Indians. I think the ability to bring someone’s imagination back to life makes this play set so fun and engaging. I hope Disney will follow this model when creating future play sets.
Who is your favorite Disney Infinity 2.0 character and why?
Captain America! I have loved Captain America for years. People didn’t even know who Captain America was when I was in high school! I think I’ll love Captain America till the day he dies … well I know he already died, but I’m sure he will come back and die again.
Your Last cowboy Standing toy box was selected as a first prize toy box in the Movie Magic Contest. First prize winners received a Captain America figure. Please give us some Inside the Toy Box details on your Last Cowboy Standing toy box.
For my entry in the Movie Magic Contest, I really wanted to tell a story. The problem was there wasn't any text available yet! I wasn't sure if I could use my voice, so I filmed the toy box and added the dialogue. The idea for the toy box was to have the two cowboys in Disney Infinity battle it out to see who was the best cowboy to protect the town as the sherrif. In the end, they realized that they needed to work together If they wanted to save their town. Even though I wasn't invited to the Toy Box Summit, I did get Captain America who is by far my favorite DI character.
Which character would you like to see included that hasn't already been and why?
Darkwing Duck! Yes 2.0 has power discs and a townsperson, but he will always rank in my top favorite Disney characters of all time.
What is your favorite power disc and why?
I actually really like the Dinosaur Terrain Disc. No reason in particular … I think I just like dinosours.
What is your favorite new toy from 2.0?
The text creator. Does that count as a toy? Text brings our toyboxes to life and helps explain any complicated aspects of the toybox. To me its just as important as using logic gates in a toybox.
What made you want to build toy boxes for challenges?
My wife and I really wanted to be featured just once in the Top 5. We submitted a lot of toyboxes in DI 1.0 and never won. That made us much more eager to get top 5 wins when 2.0 came out.
When you hear of a new challenge, what steps do you take to make your idea for a Toy Box a reality?
1. Brainstorming. Normally we take a day or two arguing what can or cannot be done. Once we get our ideas we do a little research by watching a Disney movie (sometimes we don’t even watch a related Disney movie haha).
2. Building. My wife is good at designing the levels. We build the base of the level together. Then I let her do all the detailing.
3. Logic. While my wife finishes all the details I work on the logic connections. This makes us a good team because we finish the tedious parts of the toybox at the same time.
4. Test Phase. I like to test our levels as many times as it takes till I can run through it 3 times without problems. I believe this takes the longest! Sometimes things work perfectly, and then you connect the level and you have to tweek things to make them work right again.
What do you consider to be your specialty when building Toy Boxes?
The story. My wife and I have different building attributes that help us design our toyboxes. I do the block art and logic toys while she does all the designing. Together we create the story. If we make a toybox where it truly makes the player get immersed into the story, then we succeeded.
What is your favorite block art that you have incorporated into one of your toy boxes?
My stitch block art is by far my favorite block art (end of Experiment 626). I have a few other block art projects that I have been working on behind the scenes that I am super excited about, and I am hoping that they will be featured in upcoming challenges.
What is your favorite Toy Box that someone else has built?
Currently it’s The Lion King, by Timon and Pumbaa by erdadi3. Even though it beat our toybox in that challenge, it was spectacular. That toybox has really inspired my wife and I to push boundaries and try new things in our upcoming toyboxes.
What are some of your classic Toy Boxes that have not been a featured top 5 Toy Box?
I have a multiplayer control map that I created for the power disc challenge. I recreated it for the multiplayer challenge and added additional maps. I think it’s a classic because control (or king of the hill) is in many video games in which you compete in multiplayer. It’s a timeless fun game mode that has been around forever similar to capture the flag.
What is your dream toy Box challenge?
Darkwing Duck challenge! I would love to make a toy box for that challenge.
Share a story of adversity from when you were building one of your Toy Boxes that you had to overcome.
In our Lion King 1 ½ toybox I really wanted to make the townspeople stay in place to use the connected actors text feature. I spent over 6 hours making them stay in place and I finally got it. I started testing my level and it worked. Ran through a 2nd time and one of my actors disappeared! I thought oh maybe it was a bad load. NOPE! He would not load in anymore. I added a different one and that townsperson still wouldn’t load. After pulling out hair, I made it work. I reduced the amount of townspeople to 3 and it decided that that was the magic number for them to all appear and stay in place.
Share a funny story from when you were building one of your Toy Boxes.
For some reason with our Aladdin submission after we saved it, all the items in this one portion kept getting moved forward. Buildings. Trees, blocks, terrain. I spent an hour trying different variations to see what it was. Come to find out, there is a limit to how far you can build in the toybox! We built right on the edge and it didn’t like it. Everything that was against that edge would be moved slightly off the edge when it reloaded. Now I know to stay away from edges...haha.
Do you have any advice for aspiring Toy Box Artists?
Find what makes you passionate about the game. Is it platforming, puzzles, block art? Take that and let it run wild. Using what you enjoy the most often helps the creative process and is an excellent starting point for all toyboxes.
Your Foolish Mortals toy box was selected as a featured toy box in the Haunted Mansion Challenge. Please give us some Inside the Toy Box details on your Foolish Mortals toy box.
This was my first toy box that was ever featured. I was still getting the hang of the logic toys at this point and had quite a few glitches at the time that I had no idea how to fix. It has some collecting and puzzles. In the interior (which didn’t keep the wall or ground textures) it featured a Rune combination in which you had to find all the Runes and place them in the correct order to continue on. It was unique at the time and fun to make. Thinking about it now, the puzzle may be difficult for the younger players.
Your Chernabog's Assault toy box was selected as a featured toy box in the Fantasia Challenge. Please give us some Inside the Toy Box details on your Chernabog's Assault toy box.
I really wanted to participate in the Fantasia challenge. The ‘challenge’ was to find a story to go along with multiple scenes from Fantasia. The right of spring proved to be the most challenging of the toyboxes to make. I wanted the person to play the role of Mother Nature and plant seeds in the damaged forest. Just putting rocks in an area didn’t seem like enough gameplay so I added enemies to fight as well. Setting the conditions to require you to defeat an enemy while keeping the stone on the pressure plate was more work than I anticipated. I was still new to logic gates at the time and finally figured out how to get it to work correctly. Once you plant the seed and defeat the enemies the burned up forest disappears and regrows. Getting the replayers to work right took a few hours but I was happy with the results.
Your Animal Kingdom toy box was selected as a featured toy box in the Disney Parks 3 Challenge. Please give us some Inside the Toy Box details on your Animal Kingdom toy box.
Animal Kingdom is my wife’s favorite park. She had been itching to design a toybox with every ride we could make. When we started, it was going to be all in one toybox … then we realized that we were running out of space. If I remember right it has a total of 7 toyboxes attached to it! We did festival of the lion king, Finding Nemo, Dinosaur, Kilimanjaro Safari, It’s tough to be a bug, Expedition Everest, and Kali River Rapids.
Your Experiment 626 toy box was selected as a featured toy box in the Stitch Challenge. Please give us some Inside the Toy Box details on your Experiment 626 toy box.
This toybox was unique because it has two endings. You can actually choose to be a naughty or nice stitch which changes the ending. It also has an optional side mission to free Rocket Raccoon and Starlord. If you free them, they will show up later in a toy box. We have tried to steer clear of interiors since the glitch of not loading the wall and ground textures was a big problem at DI 2.0 launch. They fixed the problem and we thought it was time to try our hand again at an interior. We began this toy box in the interiors, and I was able to hide every logic toy but two… the door you start off with in the interior (our fault for starting with that piece) and the shield piece with the enemies wave generator. It was so frustrating when we finished everything, and I realized I couldn’t get rid of those. Lesson learned!
Your Lion King 1 1/2 toy box was selected as a featured toy box in the Lion King Challenge. Please give us some Inside the Toy Box details on your Lion King 1 1/2 toy box.
This toybox came from the heart. Lion King is such a great story that it deserves to have toy boxes that will give it justice. . I wanted to capture the essence and humor of Timon and Pumbaa from the Lion King 1 ½. With every toybox we make, we try to push our own limits and the limits of what has not been featured before. We have a level dedicated to red light, green light where you have to dodge pumpaa’s gas, and yes its deadly! Our ending level if played right will let you drop 30 enemy units into lava at once. It’s so satisfying to seem them all get destroyed.
I enjoyed this interview. Thanks for the opportunity to get to know you more, CCRunner! I especially appreciated the stories behind your Animal Kingdom, Lion King (finicky design features can be super frustrating, even painful), and Experiment 626 (hiding toys in an Interior? I didn't think it possible...without a great deal of trial and error!) Toy Boxes. And I'm totally with you on Darkwing Duck -- he'd make a wicked addition to the cast.
Hope to learn more from and be inspired by your work in the future.
Thanks guys! Yeah, I wish you could drag the crativitoys out of the room. Like JaysUsername you have to have a separate room for it. So fun running back and forth connecting things ... not lol. Worth it though.
One thing I've started doing is using some elevator rooms to create a lower floor just for Creativitoys. Drop a teleporter down there and on the main floor and you can quickly go back and forth. This came in extremely handy for my AoS box as it ended up with about 12 rooms of creativitoys to keep them organized.
I figured it would need to be a separate room, but what I had in mind was to have a bending hallway right before it so the toys are out of sight, and keep it locked. But erasing the hallway altogether is a great idea! I didn't think it was doable since everything needs to be connected.
Romulus, that's another great idea, but since the toys are difficult to extract from the room they were placed in, I take it you placed them downstairs to begin with, rather than rearranging them all after the fact?