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Toontown Online

Posted Tuesday, May 11, 2004

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ONLY YOU CAN SAVE TOONTOWN! Disney unveils first ever massively multiplayer online PC game for children – Disney's Toontown Online

From May 24th, Disney invites you to join a host of Toons in their struggle to save Toontown in the world's first 3D massively multiplayer online PC game designed especially for kids and their families. (www.disney.co.uk/toontown).

Unlike standard computer games, where players take-on the computer or a couple of their friends, massively multiplayer online games (MMOGs) use the connectivity of the Internet to enable you to simultaneously play with thousands of other people. In this way, MMOGs have introduced a whole new depth to the gaming experience in terms of collaboration and community.

The Toontown online game builds upon the strengths of MMOGs to offer a truly unique gaming experience. Toontown is under siege from a band of uptight business robots called the Cogs. An unsuspecting Scrooge McDuck accidentally unleashed the robots upon Toontown, and they are determined to turn its fun-filled and colorful landscape into a bleak, grey metropolis of bland skyscrapers and businesses. Players - who appear in the game as 3D personalised Toon characters - have to take-on the Cogs to help rescue their town.

Toons can challenge the Cogs alone, or with a group of Toon friends, using cartoon props and gags such as custard pies and squirty flowers. Cogs can retaliate with the weapons in their arsenal, which include tying Toons up in Red Tape, arranging boring meetings for them, or clipping on fake ties!

Toontown consists of six neighbourhoods - Toontown Central, Donald's Dock, Minnie's Melodyland, Daisy Gardens, Dreamland, and The Brrrgh. Players navigate through them using the map in their online Schticker Book, which also contains a "gag" inventory sheet, a record of accomplishments and a game options menu.

In addition to the hundreds of quests that must be completed for players to progress through Toontown, the game features a host of mini-games in each neighbourhood - including Lucky Number, Underwater Ring, Boom-A-Toon, Toon Tag, Match Minnie, Dodge-a-Cog, Tug-O-War and Catching Game. Mini-games earn players jelly beans, which can be used to buy battle props in Goofy's Gag Shop. And what do gags do? Help you defeat those pesky Cogs!

Disney's Toontown Online first launched in the U.S. in June 2003, where it was met with rave reviews and has been hailed as a non-violent gaming alternative. The game has been recognized with numerous industry awards for both game-play and safety, including : Game industry News' 'Family Game of the Year' 2003; Computer Gaming World's 'MMPOG of the year' 2003; the 2003 Webby Award as the 'People's Voice' winner in the kids category; and the 'All Star Software Award' from Children's Software Revue magazine.

Internet Safety

Because MMOGs involve player interaction and collaboration, communication with other participants is critical to game play. To enable this and yet maintain a safe environment for children, Disney has specifically designed two unique innovations for Toontown. SpeedChat is a menu-based tool which lets players choose from pre-written phrases to form sentences. The restricted nature of SpeedChat makes it a safe and easy communication tool within the game for younger children.

Secret Friends allows two players who know each other outside the game to chat freely within the game environment. By exchanging a time-sensitive secret password - generated by the game and exchanged with parental permission via an external (not in-game) form of communication - two players can chat freely with one another. These chat messages are filtered for obscenities between friends, and are incomprehensible to other Toons in the vicinity. The Secret Friends option can also be disabled by parents, who are given a unique password on registration.

Toontown launches in the UK on May 24th. The product is accessible to broadband internet users at www.disney.co.uk/toontown. All visitors to the UK Toontown homepage will be able to access a free three day trial. Subscriptions cost £6.99 for one month, £34.99 for six months and £59.99 for an annual subscription. Members will receive a monthly off-line newsletter and unique Toontown merchandise.

Minimum technical specifications:

 

  • You must have a Windows PC - Toontown does not run on Macintosh computers or on Netscape browsers.

     

  • Additional requirements :

    - Microsoft Windows 98, ME, 2000, or XP 233 MHz or faster CPU
    - 128MB RAM memory (256MB Recommended)
    - 100MB free space on your \Program Files hard drive (most likely C:)
    - A video card with 3-D acceleration, at least 8MB (32MB/AGP card is recommended)
    - A broadband connection
    - Microsoft DirectX 7.0 (or newer)
    - Microsoft Internet Explorer v. 5.01 (or newer)

     
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