Infrastructure, Strategic Direction, & Sustainability

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Infrastructure, Strategic Direction, & Sustainability

Postby goofyspaceranger » Thu Mar 31, 2016 12:19 pm

Over the past three weeks, our P-Tech Toy Box Club has met twice (i.e. spring break) and both times the Disney Infinity servers were down. We're running 2.0 on the PC due to the laptop hardware; don't know if servers allocated to 2.0 accounts are any different than those for 3.0. We have confirmed that we can upgrade hardware to make the 3.0 move but are still waiting on Disney Infinity's statement of direction. We can move to mobile as well (and if that is Disney's chosen direction, we hope that all of our character & customization purchases can be migrated to preserve the thousands of dollars of investment).

Connectivity is back this morning (for both 2.0 & 3.0) and I really hope it's available through the weekend, as we'll be hosting our first Toy Box Club on a college campus - an event open to the community for middle & high school students. I'll be teaching the Toy Box interface to comp sci majors tomorrow night and then these college students will teach the event on Saturday.

Our local library system is starting up its 3rd-consecutive program with the Innovation Isles for elementary school kids next week. They are anxious to upgrade to 3.0 so that they can use the Programming Plateaus tutorial (and the soon-to-be-developed Holocron Heuristics box). But they too are waiting on Disney's statement of direction. They have funds to upgrade their hardware now. But they need to know whether the PC version is going to be supported, or whether they should move to mobile.

Within IBM, we have a crowdfunding experiment going on throughout the entire company. It's not real dollars; every employee has $2,000 of pretend money to invest in various Bluemix/Watson mobile apps. There are thousands to choose from. Our team of mainframe volunteers coincidentally were already designing an app to make Toy Box building easier. I had approached Sheriff Woody & other fans here first, and when they did not have the resources, I realized - why not extend our corporate citizenship activity kit with one? And this way, we can provide some cool open source of IBM tech when students are ready for formal programming languages. The pretend dollars are a way to bring visibility to the kit so that IBM volunteers around the world can become aware of it, and utilize it in their respective communities (and in their homes with their kids). I do hope that Disney Infinity publicly leverages the educational value of the Toy Box with their decision on the PC.

I don't talk shop on these forums much about my day job. But occasionally they intersect. I really enjoy designing Creativi-Toys, brainstorming about game mechanics & gameboards, about DB queries & social media options. I am delighted to see a few of them pop up in these Infinity releases - that perhaps the ideas are in synch with the Avalanche Team's ideas to expand their franchise. This is what I believe - it's the characters, the themes, the genres, and the overall creativity that make Disney Infinity great. Sustainability however demands dependable infrastructure & a service agreement. It's those boring aspects of the business that are invisible yet expected. At the end of the day, this product is a sandbox. It needs scalability, reliability, performance, & a manageable Database. Wherever they find their IT solution, whatever they choose for their set of supported platforms, I hope the Disney Infinity Team decides & resolves them soon.

Because, on a lighter note, it's a Jungle Out There ;)
Use the Force in Holocron Heuristics to program with more Creativi-Toys!
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