Wakanda is a hidden African nation governed by a sacred Vibranium mineral that powers its advanced technology, and to explore and find more resources, the Wakandan king T’Chaka secretly orchestrated an arms race between his country and the rest of the world. Using powerful weapons and superior technology, the Wakandans were able to achieve full-spectrum dominance over the world for almost a century, but after their king’s death, they lost the edge and in the present day, Wakanda is now fighting back to reclaim its rightful place as the ultimate superpower, leading a movement to end the injustice of the world’s arms race once and for all.

Marvel’s Black Panther is one of the first superhero films in years to successfully engage the multiple cultures of the African continent. The stories behind each region of the Black Panther universe are as varied as the characters themselves. So, with that in mind, we asked senior designer and writer Jessica Chavez (Black Panther) and senior writer Travis Jones (Black Panther) about the role of Wakanda in the bigger Marvel Cinematic Universe, the importance of black culture and technology in the film, and how writers like them pull off a new type of cinematic worldbuilding.

Black Panther is a character without a country. He is an outsider in his own world. So when Black Panther: The Album was released, it could have been very easy for Marvel to write him off as a lone wolf, a lone wolf who has no place to call his own. But that is not the case at all. In Black Panther: The Album we learn more about this unique hero, his family and his place in the Marvel Universe.. Read more about avengers game 2021 and let us know what you think.

The War for Wakanda addition, which will be released on August 17 almost a year after Marvel’s Avengers was released, promises to nearly quadruple the amount of narrative material in Crystal Dynamics and Square Enix’s live service game. Given how vast the comic book source material for Black Panther is — not to mention the Oscar-winning billion-dollar film that has been ingrained in the public consciousness — it was a difficult job for the creators. However, Crystal Dynamics set out to create its own versions of King T’Challa and the afrofuturistic Wakanda that would blend seamlessly into the Marvel universe.

Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics gave us roughly an hour of video from War for Wakanda’s first two campaign missions. We also got the chance to talk with Crystal Dynamics’ writer Hannah MacLeod and senior designer Scott Walters about their creative process and influences.

T’Challa has already been the Black Panther and the King of Wakanda for a long time when we meet him in War for Wakanda, and he has had prior encounters with the Avengers. T’Challa sealed Wakanda off from the rest of the world after the events of “A-Day,” as portrayed in the basic game’s introduction. In the current day, Wakanda is under attack from A.I.M., while Black Panther adversary Ulysses Klaue and Marvel staple villain Crossbones corrupt the country’s valuable Vibranium and unleash mercenaries and supercharged “Bruisers,” a new enemy type, on the jungle.

Square Enix provided this image.

The expansion’s first mission is a solo mission in which the player controls T’Challa as the Black Panther. We get a decent feel of the game’s new biome, the Wakandan jungle, which is rich and vast. “The Wakanda area has a lot more nooks and crannies to explore,” Walters remarked, describing how Wakanda differed from prior settings. Strongboxes, supply bins, and enemy turrets were all redesigned to appear unique to Wakanda, further solidifying the difference. While other playable heroes can fly, grapple, and double leap their way across the jungle and city, the wall-running Black Panther has the unique ability to cling to walls and even strike from them.

Meanwhile, the region around Birnin Zana, which acts as a new outpost, is especially beautiful. The art and architecture are very detailed, which the creators believe emphasizes the Wakandan mix of nature and technology. Aside from the aesthetics, the mythology aspect of Wakanda being an unconquered country for 10,000 years had a role in the gameplay. “In Wakanda, you’ll see a lot more puzzle mechanics than you’ve seen in prior Avengers films,” MacLeod added. “So we figured [Wakanda] would have a variety of ways to keep invaders out and defend their country, and puzzles seemed like the most natural extension of that.”

T’Challa stands on pressure pads in one problem in the first campaign objective, and paintings on the wall light up to inform the player about the Black Panther mantle’s history. These pads also include symbols that correspond to switches that the player must hurl Vibranium daggers at in order to unlock a big door, all of which combine narrative with some puzzle-solving. “Tying more narrative into puzzle mechanics and other kinds of new features allows us to gently guide players along the tale of Wakanda rather than forcing it on them,” MacLeod added.

Avengers War for Wakanda Klaue fightSquare Enix provided this image.

MacLeod was thrilled and ready to explain the game’s version of Black Panther and how T’Challa fit into this current universe, which mostly focuses on late-career Avengers like Tony Stark and Steve Rogers. While T’Challa in the MCU is fresh to the role of king, T’Challa in the comics has a lot more experience, and Crystal Dynamics wanted to explore a T’Challa who is “fixed in his ways.” 

“Doing research on the character, I discovered that the T’Challa of the comics has a little of arrogance to him that we don’t really see in the MCU — and he’s sort of earned the right to be arrogant,” MacLeod said. “He’s a brilliant young man. In his own right, he’s a scientist. He’s ready for whatever that comes his way. He even prepares for the possibility of battling his buddies if they ever become adversaries.”

Crystal Dynamics used Kamala Khan, the definitive heroine of the basic game, as a point of reference while investigating the relationship between the Avengers and Black Panther. “We built together this family tree,” MacLeod said. “As a result, whenever we introduce a new character, the first thing we do is find out who they are in relation to Kamala. So we had Bruce as a mother figure, Cap as a father figure, and for T’Challa, we envisioned him as her best friend’s father — you know, the one you always wish was your dad because he’s just so cool.”

Avengers War for Wakanda CrossbonesSquare Enix provided this image.

Despite the many changes between the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Crystal Dynamics versions of Black Panther, there was some crossover in behind-the-scenes creatives. Crystal Dynamics enlisted dialect coach Beth McGuire, who also worked on the 2018 Black Panther film, to help capture some cultural realism. Similarly, stunt double Gui DaSilva, who also worked on the film, performed motion capture and supplied visual references for T’Challa’s fighting animations. 

“[DaSilva] came in and conducted a recording session to capture a lot of the movements that we wanted to portray on-screen with Black Panther being extremely acrobatic and having a certain fighting style — we wanted to make sure it was there and represented in his melee combat,” Walters said.

As a result, Black Panther as a playable character has a beautiful aspect to his motions, with some savagery thrown in for good measure. T’Challa’s finishing techniques include acrobatic exploits before he brutally slashes at opponents. His attack heroic ability allows him to hurl a Vibranium spear, and his ranged Vibranium daggers are based on actual African ceremonial and tribal weapons, according to Walters.

Marvel's Avengers War for Wakanda Birnin Zana OutpostSquare Enix provided this image.

Overall, War for Wakanda seems to be delivering on its promise of fidelity to the source material, the MCU, and real-life parallels, with Crystal Dynamics also appointing Evan Narcisse, the writer of Rise of the Black Panther, as a narrative design consultant. 

Despite Wakanda’s seeming unity, Narcisse would remind the team that Wakanda is a collection of groups, each with their own ideas on how the country should be run. “We really wanted to explore the idea that Wakanda isn’t just one thing — it represents a lot of different things to various people,” MacLeod added. “That includes the Avengers,” says the narrator.

But, following such a tremendous growth, what happens next? For one thing, there’ll be yet another Omega-Level Threat assignment as endgame content, which Walters says will be “the most difficult piece of material that we’ll have released.” As a result, and in light of comments from the first OLT, the Wakanda OLT will not debut with the rest of the War for Wakanda content on day one.

Marvel's AvengersSquare Enix provided this image.

While Walters and MacLeod did not reveal anything new beyond the already announced content plan, they did indicate a preference for introducing new characters and material “story-first.” Future characters will eventually have to fit into the game’s continuing storylines, particularly the battle against A.I.M. and the approaching Kree menace. 

When asked when we’ll see images of Spider-Man, Walters stated the team was “still working on Spider-Man” and that “we’re aiming to debut him in 2021.” So everything is still on track.” “That list is gigantic,” Crystal Dynamics says of the Marvel characters it wants to tackle. And, you know, we have to prioritize,” Walters said. “He’s not joking – it’s gigantic,” MacLeod said emphatically.

Marvel’s Avengers: War for Wakanda – Senior designer and writer talk Black Panther’s arc and building a bold new biome. Watch Marvel’s Avengers: War for Wakanda here: https://www.netflix.com/watch/7009179 .. Read more about avengers content roadmap and let us know what you think.

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