Yesterday, we posted a story talking about the launch of Marvel Battle Lines, a new strategic card game from Nexon for iOS and Android. It's a free-to-play game structured with all sorts of heroes and villains from the universe, including Thanos, Squirrel Girl, Venom, Spider-Man and Captain America among others.
But it also has the skill of Marvel writer Alex Irvine, who put together an original story for the game -- and that's worth its weight in gold right there. Before you jump into battle, however, you'll want to check out this interview with Irvine, in which we discuss the finer points of making a story for a game of this nature, as well as what could be coming next for it!
Digging Into the Story
First off, congrats on working with Marvel Battle Lines on an original story. How excited are you to put this together?
Thanks! It's always a blast to put together a new Marvel story.
What would you say is the biggest difference between putting together a story for a comic book and putting together a story for a video game?
Storytelling in a video game has to adapt to the gameplay. That's the biggest difference. Comics have a settled format, and although creators are always experimenting, the fundamental units of page and panel are always there. In a game, the interaction between story and gameplay sets the parameters for how you can tell the story. That's different in every game, which makes each game project a new set of possibilities and challenges.
Can you give us an idea of what the story in Marvel Battle Lines will be about, and who it will involve? We know there's hundreds of characters to choose from.
It starts off with a bang, literally. During a fight between Captain America and the Red Skull, the Cosmic Cube explodes, showering Earth with millions of shards. Cap and the Red Skull disappear in the explosion. You, the player, observe some of these shards as you're walking down the street. You pick one up and discover that each shard contains part of the essence of a person—and if that person is a superhero or a villain, the shard contains some of their power. You also discover that you have the ability to use those powers, and that gets S.H.I.E.L.D. interested. So Iron Man takes you to the Helicarrier, and you become part of the global effort to prevent bad guys from getting the shards.
The explosion of the Cube has also activated all six of the Wands of Watoomb, and caused them to create portals between different points on Earth and other dimensions. So while you're searching for Captain America, you also have to find the Wands and try to stop enemies from coming through those portals. Who are those enemies, you ask? They include Hydra, the hostile gods of the Asgardian realms, Dormammu and various demonic entities…and that's just the beginning. Along the way you'll fight alongside the Avengers, the Guardians of the Galaxy, the Defenders…it's a big, sweeping story with a huge cast of characters.prevnext
Possible Comic Book Adaptation and More...
Is it possible we'll see an adaptation of the story in a comic book in the future? We've seen that happen in the past.
Wouldn't that be great? It was pretty cool to see Iso-8 enter the comic book universe after we invented it for Marvel: Avengers Alliance, and I would totally be up for telling the Battle Lines story in a comic series.
Would you like to see more interaction like this, with a medium between comic books and video games that works almost seamlessly?
Absolutely. Much of the storytelling in Battle Lines is comic-style as it is, and I think it makes a lot of sense to create interactions between different forms of storytelling within the same universe. Hybrid comic/game/prose storytelling is also a fun frontier to explore.prevnext
What's Coming Next For Battle Lines?
Have you played the game yourself? If so, what do you think of it?
I sure have, from the first builds to the launch version. One of the coolest things about working on a game is watching it evolve through the development process, and Battle Lines is really firing on all cylinders. The combination of card collecting, battlefield tactics, and (of course) the story is pretty unlike other games that I've seen. I hope everyone who plays it enjoys it as much as I have.
Finally, if this story is a success, could you see yourself coming back to write more?
I'm already writing more! If you thought the launch story was cool, wait until you see where it goes next. I don't want to spoil anything, but players are in for some awesome treats.prev