Disney/Pixar’s Inside Out showcases the five emotions of 11-year-old Riley—Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger, and Disgust—but for the most part, the film is focused Joy and Sadness’ trip through Riley’s mind.
But with Disney Infinity 3.0, which will introduce an Inside Out play set, Fear, Anger, and Disgust get a little more playtime with an entirely new story set in the world of the film. All five emotions will be playable and have the chance to participate in the new story. But in remaining faithful to the film, the team behind Disney Infinity worked closely with Pixar to produce to adaptation, including the film’s co-director Ronnie Del Carmen.
“It was immediately apparent to us that [the film] could translate to video games so well,” Del Carmen said, explaining that bringing their beloved characters to the video game not only let them expand on what was in the film, but explore opportunities they couldn’t in that two-hour window.
One of those chances to expand was to have all five of Riley’s emotions venture out into the far reaches of her mind. Fear, Anger, and Disgust were holed up in Central for the film, but here they’ll journey out with Joy and Sadness. In the game, Riley has just watched a bit of a scary movie, and it leads to Imagination Land being thrown into disarray. Players will be able to control each emotion, who comes with her or her own abilities.
“In the movie we have Joy and Sadness go through that adventure…here you get to actually play all the other emotions,” Del Carmen said. “Because each of them has different expertise and capabilities, each of those partnerships result in different kinds of abilities.
“They created something that’s really special for the game. It requires a lot of partnership from the characters.”
The game will present more than just an opportunity for the main characters to stretch their legs. It also allowed Del Carmen and his team to revisit some of the material cut from the film and let Infinity‘s developers incorporate it into the game.
One such setpiece was the incorporation of music into Riley’s mind. Both Pete Docter and Del Carmen are musicians, and so they incorporated that love of music into Riley’s character.
“So there was a point in the story where Joy and Sadness would enter a place, and all of a sudden their emotions turn into sound and music,” Del Carmen explained. “When they talk, it sounds like musical instruments. but [their words] don’t just show up as notes, they become solid objects.
“They are fun for a little bit, but then they become obstacles and they have got to get out of there,” Del Carmen said. “It was fun to explore, but there was no room for it in the movie. But there it is, it’s in Infinity.”
In the years Del Carmen, Docter and the rest of the team at Pixar spent working on the film, one thing became clear that is pervasive in the final product: the universality of Riley’s emotions. While the film’s protagonist may be an 11-year-old girl, everyone experiences all the emotions she has. And by making those characters controllable for all players in the game, it allows for players to imprint even more of themselves on the characters.
“One of the things I find fascinating is these characters are emotions,” Del Carmen said. “It’s not like a character. If you control a character like Mickey Mouse or Donald, it’s Mickey and it’s Donald. But these being a human’s emotions, this could be your anger or your joy. I felt like that was an interesting aspect of [bringing the characters to a game].
“It was just a vast opportunity, we welcomed it with open arms,” Del Carmen said.
Players will be able to explore Riley’s mind for themselves when Disney Infinity 3.0 releases later this year for the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Wii U, PC, iOS, and Android devices.