Disney’s Toontown Online: An MMO for Families and Kids of all ages
Added on 19 June 2015
in Featured Projects
One of my all time favorite projects, Toontown was the first massively multiplayer online game for kids and families, and one of the most successful ones, which lasted more than 10 years.
Toontown, for which I was first Art Director and then Creative Director, is the perfect example of a game that uses a mix of art, fun, story and community-building to create a great experience for both kids and parents.
Combining art, fun, story, and community to create a long lasting experience.
The art was humorous and drew you in, the fun game mechanics simple and addictive and kept you entertained, the story -the battle between play and work- was something that we can all relate to and started unfolding from the first moment and kept you coming back for a while, and finally the feeling of community that made big emphasis in making the players feel part of one big community that needed to work together to defend Toontown. A sense of being part of a larger community is what kept players coming back to Toontown for years.
Work vs Play: A Strong Theme Helps Everything.
The art made the game resonate and feel fun from the start.
Play at its essence is about fun. You can have goals, but fun trumps any other goal. This was reflected in all the environments: fun gags instead of weapons, buildings and props with personalities, hats and accessories, silly metaphors to represent business archetypes.
Complementing the art and fun with story.
We always found that adding story based on the main theme, gave a lot of ammunition to do better art and make things much more fun.
The picture below represents the place where Legal Eagles, one of the higher level cogs, lived. Legal Eagles tried to take all the fun out of the world by suing everybody and adding meaningless paperwork and documentation, so we designed their home as a canyon where everything is built out of cabinets, office supplies and piles of documents.
Below you can also see concepts for the Loan Shark.
Creative Direction by Felipe Lara
Art and Game Design by Toontown Online Creative Team.
All images are the property of the Walt Disney Company.