After leading our team to win the Disney “Innovation Challenge,” we secured a creative partnership with Disney Interactive to design a premium iOS app. The goal was to design an entertaining game that would open the doors to Disney’s vast database of digital entertainment. The app had to appeal to a broad user-base of fans, reach across several franchises and provide users with a platform for discovering nearly a century's worth of Disney entertainment.
As Creative Director my role was to first help our firm win the Disney Innovation Challenge by developing a concept for the Marvel franchise. My concept was to propose an interactive timeline that would visualize the plot lines of nearly every Marvel character stretching back decades. Users could navigate to the moment their favorite super hero first appeared, all the way through to their appearance in the latest blockbuster movie. Disney liked our ideas so much, they awarded us the contract to move forward with “Disney Journeys” — an interactive app that also uses the timelines concept, but in this case connects Disney characters and plot lines across media - encompassing comics, animations, TV and film.
The Disney Journeys app maps out the storylines of Disney characters downloaded to the App in the form of "collection packs". Packs themed around a specific story show how different characters interact with one another over time. The material spans a range of formats, including movie clips, photos, comic art, and production notes on how the stories came to life. Other packs are themed around character types, such as "Disney Villains" or "Disney Princesses", and show major events in the development of their stories.
The App features two ways of viewing the “Disney Universe”. The simplified 2D view provides players with the big picture, indicating how much of the story has yet to be explored. Transitioning to the 3D view puts players inside a more immersive version of the timeline, placing them on a roller coaster ride that twists and turns its way through the story. Players can jump from one video clip to the next, discover greatest moments, investigate character backstories, and learn how their favorite characters have evolved over the years.
Marvel Comics include many of the best known and beloved characters of the modern age. Their stories are known by kids and adults throughout the world, stretching back to the early sixties when Stan Lee created Captain Marvel to watch over planet Earth.
In 2009 Disney purchased Marvel comics, including the rights to a catalogue that stretches back decades and includes over 7,000 characters. But with so much material, how could fans ever discover the full storylines of their favorite characters? Even the most enthusiastic fan would have trouble tracing the Hulk’s backstory as they traversed plotlines across TV, film and comics - across decades.
Our concept was to unite these dispirite narratives with a connecting thread - or rather a series of connecting threads that visually drew the connections. We proposed an app that enabled users to choose which heroes or villains they wanted to follow, then explore their character’s development by tracing pivotal moments in their story. Users could see how different characters had fought against or worked together over the years, building a deeper appreciation for the rich tapestry of interconnected stories.
As Creative Director on the project, I originated the concept and led the team that produced the competition winning proposal.
Once we were contracted to develop the app, I led our design team to develop the visual design and gameplay - while working in close coordination with our software engineers. I also coordinated with Disney to develop an experience that felt on brand and met their need for a compelling premium app.