The Toy Story world contained explorable locations from all four movies as well as the shorts, and are all explorable within the same world, whilst ensuring that the requirements of Disney and Pixar were met.
The goal with the pack was to create a world which made the player feel like a toy from the movie, which resulted in scale being changed drastically when it came to designing the map.
This presented unique challenges to the Level Design process, given the limitations of Minecraft in regards to world height, performance, and loading distances on various platforms.
I was tasked with leading the build team, and working across all of the map to ensure everything was keeping to a consistent scale, and used consistent techniques. I was to look at design changes needed, in order for the map to be well lit, while maintaining the large interior spaces. Mobs within the game spawn from dark areas, meaning it was imperative that that this was done right.
Lighting within Minecraft works on a purely vertical basis, so any cube will block the light directly below it. Various requirements needed to be met to light up the map, including lamp blocks under carpet and hollow roof sections to allow natural sunlight to enter the building. Buildings with multiple floors were all very specifically designed to allow light to pass through to the bottom floor.
The player character being at such a small scale forced different requirements with scaling and navigating the map. The player character is two blocks high, and can jump just over one block high, which meant a lot of platforming elements were used, with objects being placed in specific locations to allow for the player to access hard to reach areas.
With a strong look on iconic locations, small puzzles and games were designed for the player to find. The goal was to give experiences to the player that would make sense to them within the Toy Story universe, and they would be rewarded with one of thirteen music discs.
Quality Assurance and finalising
We worked alongside Pixar to ensure our world matched the standards required. It was also important to find and resolve any problems throughout the map which would disrupt the players ability to play.
Areas where players could become trapped needed to be resolved.
areas which were required to be accessible were tested to ensure it wasn't too difficult or impossible to complete.
Lighting and shadow issues were found resolved
The map was tested and solutions were made to overcome any performance related issues.