#4 The Library: Organizing (& Finding!) Toy Boxes

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#4 The Library: Organizing (& Finding!) Toy Boxes

Postby goofyspaceranger » Tue May 24, 2016 12:15 pm

Glossary post #4 for "A Toy Box Tale: Recapture the Spark!"

The Library
In the story, The Library is the restructured data base of Toy Box Community Content. Up to this point, the organization of Community Content is arguably Disney Infinity's weakest attribute by far. It is difficult to find your own submissions, let alone someone else's. It is a huge differentiation that The Toy Box supports such a variety of game genres, player abilities, iconic themes & character adventures, with weekly challenges to showcase high quality content, yet the database doesn't yet provide the means to readily find them (!). Scrolling through a list of a hundred characters for example to find a character adventure pertaining to a figure that's already on the Infinity base makes little sense :shock:. It's a visual environment, yet the presentation of Community Content begins with huge lists of titles rather than snapshot images of those titles. In the rebooted Disney Infinity menu, there could be rows of Toy Box snapshots akin to YouTube video selections, with lots of different playlist categories to help players find what they want. A new subscriber seeing this menu would quickly realize how powerful the Toy Box engine is, and how talented the Community is. An experienced player could quickly find boxes that interest him/her. Statistics gathered on the most popular games could also provide insight to developers on how to enhance the Toy Box engine in the future. Over time, those same statistics could make Toy Box recommendations on what specific players would enjoy playing. Below is a list of possible Playlist categories, or "Shelves" of "Toy Box Tales" within The Library.

Creations Of My Imagination
This is the list of local builds, encouraging building. The first slot would be reserved to denote "New" so that you could quickly begin building a new box. The order of the list after "New" would most recently updated to least recent.

Caretaker's Toy Box Tales
With a never-ending-story format to unlock virtual toys old & new, this category would display this official set of boxes that provide the game's overall storyline, showcase the Toy Box Engine, explain Creativi-Toy programming, and progressively unlock all of the building toys. The snapshots of this introductory Toy Box sequence would form a kind of "storyboard" kind of progression (with temporary locks layered on top until prerequisite boxes are played through). Toy Box Builders would be encouraged to make their own "Toy Box Tales", extending the storyline from the New Caretaker at various fork points. New unlockable toy content would correspondingly add new introductory Toy Boxes to this shelf. Initially, this would be the ONLY shelf. As various Toy Boxes & toys were unlocked, new Shelves of the Library would also be unlocked (and this would include the transferred boxes from Infinity's three earlier releases). The order of this list would be chronological to the story.

Adventure Shelf
This entire list would change depending on the figure placed on the Infinity base. This would showcase Toy Box storytelling & the variety of characters - finding them from the builder's chosen character filter, characters mentioned in the description, or perhaps even calculated from the theming of the box (see "Destinations" below). This list is part of the value of owning a physical figure; digital-only versions could still access all Toy Boxes, but would not have this "shelf". Simply having a Disney Infinity start-up splash screen that matches the figure(s) on the base would provide benefit & a closer connection at game startup. The order of this list would be highest ranked to lowest ranked, excluding Toy Boxes already played. Ranking would be a combination of total number of Likes, Downloads, & corresponding ranking of the submitting Artist (or Guild, see related post).

Week # <Insert Title> Tournament Winners
Weekly Top 5 with Honorable Mentions - it therefore changes every week, and helps keep this presentation of Library Shelves "fresh". The order of the list would be #1 through #5, followed by the Honorable Mentions. The player also has the option to choose a different week, presenting a list of weeks & Tournament titles. This shelf alone would make it much, much easier for players to find quality content, and for those winning artists to see much greater Like & Download numbers.

Flynn's Arcade
Popular Leaderboard Games & Multi-player games, with signup support for multi-player. The order of the list would be highest ranked to lowest ranked, including Toy Boxes already played, as these competitive games have greater replay value.

Masters' Works
One of the various unlocks of the Caretaker's Toy Box Tales would be to find the Townsperson Avatars of the Master Toy Box Artists (see related post). Once found, each Avatar toy could be used in the player's own builds, and a new Library Shelf would be unlocked. A Master Works Shelf would list all of the Toy Boxes submitted by a given Toy Box Master Artist. It would default to the last avatar unlocked, but similar to the Tournament Shelves, the player could bring up a selection menu to choose another one. So you'd choose one, for example, MightyGitis, and then your main screen would include a playlist titled "Toy Box Master Artist: MightyGitis" with a row of snapshots for all of the Toy Boxes that she's made. The order of this list would be most-recently submitted to least-recently submitted, including boxes the player may have already played.

Guilds' Faires
The Renaissance of Toy Box building would encourage collaboration. Once a player joins a Guild, it would unlock this shelf to show all Toy Boxes submitted by that Guild. In addition, there would be an option to add any Guild that the player chooses to follow - it could be any number of Guilds containing Toy Box Master Artists, other Guilds involved in friendly competitions, or simply Guilds whose collaborations the player admires. The order of each list would be most-recently submitted to least-recently submitted, including boxes the player may have already played.

Genre Shelves
This lists of lists would provide a filter to find Toy Boxes designed for a particular game genre. Each shelf would be unlocked as the player completed the corresponding Puzzle Box that explains how to build them. The default would be to list the one most recently unlocked, but could be changed by the player. The order would be by ranking, excluding Toy Boxes already played. Some possibilities include...
Racers
Shooters
Platformers
Puzzles < includes in-game tutorials on Creativi-Toys, plus "traditional" Puzzle games >
Scavenger Hunts < Collectibles >
Takeovers < i.e. "dungeon crawler", utilizing Sidekicks >
Tower Defenses
Pinball Games
ESPN Sports

Ability Shelves
This list of lists would provide a filter to find Toy Boxes designed for a particular Skill Tree Ability. Each shelf would be unlocked as the player completed the corresponding introductory Toy Box that showcased that ability. The default would be to list the most recently unlocked, but could be changed by the player. The order would be by ranking, excluding Toy Boxes already played. Some possibilities include...
Melee
Flight
Wall Crawl
Ranged
Super Jump
Super Strength
Web Sling
Tech Focus
This would really leverage the Skill Tree - it's much more fun to see what special Toy Box Games that you can play as a web-slinger for example, than to see a game that you CAN'T play when you're NOT a web-slinger. The current menu doesn't leverage the variety - & the "Villain" could be dropped as an ability & instead be grouped into Character Adventure filtering.

Destination Shelves
Sometimes a Player may not have a strong preference as to the game genre, a character's abilities, or even who the character is - it could be a selection of where the player wants the character to go. Disney Infinity theming is nearly as iconic as the characters of those themes. A player could choose from this list of predominant themes, and the Library would then list The Toy Boxes containing a large percentage of that theme. This calculation would be stored in Toy Boxes based on Sky, Terrain, sometimes Simple Blocks, Race Track, Decorations, even special structures, based on rough 3D volumes with fudge factors for Sky & the thinness of Tracks. This is just another example where a differentiation in The Engine can be called out in The Library so that players can readily appreciate it. The list order would be by ranking, excluding games already played.

Most Downloaded/Most Liked
These simple lists could remain as before, and can feed into overall priority of lists for the other categories above to help place quality Toy Boxes near the top.

Replay Shelf
This would be the ever-growing list of Toy Boxes played & "completed" by the player. New Creativi-Toy support for a game designer to provide a completion event would help prevent a partially played Toy Box from moving to this Replay Shelf prematurely. "Liked" Toy Boxes would be prioritized on this shelf ahead of Toy Boxes that were not Liked. It would keep the other Shelves dynamic, as many of them would be ordered by ranking to help bring quality boxes to the front, where previously played boxes would move here. On a related note, this overall set of proposed Library Shelves would not need to be mutually exclusive - there could for example be a web-slinging, scavenger hunt tailored for Spider-Man themed with the Grid with a Leaderboard that was a challenge winning box from a Toy Box Master artist that could therefore appear on no less than 7 shelves; it's just that different players are likely to look at different shelves, and a Replay Shelf would prevent many other shelves from looking stagnant.

Immersive Toy Box Experience
It's also possible that for the Masters' Works, the Guilds' Faires, the Genre, Ability, & Destination Shelves, that the Library would allow multiple lists of each type, making the presentation even more dynamic. This is all about showcasing the Toy Box Engine and the Community with account-specific tailoring to maximize each player's personal experience. The new Library would significantly strengthen the subscription-based pricing model.

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