Disney Infinity's most over-looked feature could save families money, help children get creative and may even open the door to a new career in game development.
Imagine how video-games are made and large teams of highly talented individuals spring to mind. Making a game used to be something teenagers would do in their bedrooms, but now the feeling is they are made in office blocks.
Disney Infinity is one of a number of games that wants to change this by putting simple accessible game creation tools in the hands of everybody. Their new title is well known for using physical toys to access in-game characters in the Play Set adventures but less well known for its Toy Box game development mode.
For families this not only opens the door to new creativity but also increases the value on offer in Disney's latest game. Take those toy characters into the Toy Box mode and you can change everything about the world from the way the sky looks to the terrain on the ground and number of buildings on the horizon.
Most interesting, perhaps, is the ability to make simple connections to trigger "game logic". This is the ability of players to make things happen while they explore the world. Perhaps picking up a block will cause an avalanche, kicking a ball into a goal will increase their score or falling into a trap will spawn a slew of enemies to attack.
The problem here is that it takes time to learn how this all works, and the more exciting parts of the Toy Box have to be earned as you play making first impressions more limited. However, with a little time and attention this aspect of Disney Infinity, like Media Molecule's LittleBigPlanet and EA's Create, can really start to deliver something new.
To that end, with the help of Disney, I've set-up some "guinea pig" families to try this out and will be filming the results. In what I hope will become a comprehensive beginners guide to the Toy Box game creation mode, families will offer first hand advice on how to get the most out of it.
As you can see here in the video, getting started isn't as hard as you might imagine and you can quickly create a world and challenge for the family to enjoy. Equally this is easy enough to put together for younger family members to get involved.
Perhaps, rather than buying new games this Christmas a good present would be to pledge your children time spent together making your own games in the Toy Box.