Epic Mickey Round Table Interview with Warren Spector


posted 11/22/2010 by Tina Amini
other articles by Tina Amini
One Page Platforms: Wii
Last Thursday Gaming Nexus got to sit in on a conference call with General Manager and Creative Director of Disney Interactive Studios' Junction Point, the famed Warren Spector, to talk about the upcoming action-adventure/platformer Disney Epic Mickey. Read on for Warren’s introduction of the game and then the question/answer session that follows.

Warren Spector’s introduction: We are going to talk about Disney Epic Mickey. We're rapidly approaching the release date. We've been waiting a while for this moment, but we're releasing in North America on November 30th and exclusively on the Wii. I suspect that most of you know something about the game, but in case you don't, it's Mickey's first appearance in a video game in a while. He is the hero of our story and the player's avatar.

In this game Mickey finds himself trapped in a world called Wasteland, a world of eighty years of forgotten creativity. In that world, he uses a new ability. We're reminding him he's a cartoon character, and cartoon characters are made of paint and ink, so we allow the player to dynamically change the world by drawing and erasing. You can remove pretty much anything painted from the game: characters, objects, walls, floors, you name it, and then restore them using the power of paint. So that's kind of the core of the gameplay. I guess you have a lot of questions, so maybe I'll be quiet and we'll just get right to them.

Where did the idea for Disney Epic Mickey come from?
You know, it's an interesting story. The idea actually originated at Disney. I was an independent developer at Junction Point as an independent, and I was out pitching publishers on a bunch of game ideas: a science fiction game and a fantasy game. One of the publishers I pitched was Disney, and they weren't interested in what I was pitching, but they asked if I was interested in hearing their pitch for a Mickey game. Of course, I was.

As a Disney fan, and as a guy sitting there thinking, "My God, they're offering me the opportunity to work with a character as popular, as successful and recognizable as Mickey Mouse - yeah, I wanna hear that.” They had three or four core ideas that are still in the game today.

The idea of Wasteland started with Disney. The idea of bringing Oswald the Lucky Rabbit back started with Disney. Even the idea of Mickey being kidnapped by the Phantom Blot started at Disney. So, some of those foundation elements were there right at the beginning. They said, "You don't have to use any of these ideas," but I said, "Man, there's no way I'm not - they're genius. No one's gonna make that game but me and my team." So that was kinda how it started.
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