If there is a new IP that has captured rapt interest on concept art alone, it is the strange new trip the Disney oeuvre is taking with the still tentatively titled “Epic Mickey.” Warren Spector, the man behind the game (and cult favorite Deus Ex), sat down with Game Informer to dish about the mature take on one of the king characters of children’s entertainment, and offer details on what gamers can expect to be up against in this darker Disney world.
The central game play mechanic of Disney Epic Mickey is paint and thinner. It’s basically drawing and erasing; it’s making the world whole, or making it go away. And that’s part of a – over the last five or ten years I’ve been feeling really constrained by the fact that game designers – we build sets. We build things where if you scratch an inch below the surface, there’s nothing there; if you peek behind the walls you see that they’re flats held up with 2x4s,” said Spector. “And so this whole paint and thinner mechanic really plays into that because you can dynamically change the world to suit your needs. So dynamically changing the environment to solve problems is kind of what it’s about.”
“The Mickey game is set in the world called the Wasteland, which is a land of forgotten and rejected Disney creativity,” he continued. “The backstory fiction is Walt Disney couldn’t throw anything away – the archives are evidence of that – and if he couldn’t throw like a piece of paper away, how could he bear for the fruits of his imagination and his animators’ imaginations, and the Imagineers’ imaginations – how could he bear to see that just lost forever?”
When asked about the rumored console exclusivity of the project, Spector was especially candid. “Well, think about it. Would you really want to tackle convincing Halo or Grand Theft Auto players that they want to be Mickey Mouse? Would you really want to do that? In terms of finding a congenial audience, let’s go for a platform that’s known for Mario and Link and now Sonic. Come on. Honestly, with the unit sales on the hardware, it was kind of a lucky happenstance. We made the call to go to the Wii long before it was clear that the Wii was going to be, at least for now, the best-selling platform.”
Think Warren Spector’s got the console consumer’s mindset right, with the only guaranteed hit on both “hardcore” systems being shooters and old franchises? Or is there some room on the market that sold millions of Kingdom Hearts copies last generation? Give your two sense below, we’ll make sure to take it directly to Warren Spector, we promise.