Planting A Seed: PvZ 2 Dave Developer Diary

By Jim Rossignol on July 29th, 2013 at 2:00 pm.


Plants Vs Zombies 2 looks pretty fantastic. Admittedly, I’m basing that on it being shown off by PopCap, who seem to know exactly what to do – check out that subtitle – in a video describing what’s going on the new game. But I think it’s fair to say that if the zombie-apocalypse genre ever needed a representative in the puzzle-game department, this should probably be it.

Don’t they seem like lovely folk, too? Aw.

Trivia: I mistype this as ‘Planets Vs Zombies’ every time. Which would be a rather different game.

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41 Comments »

  1. NaN says:

    I smell EA money…..

  2. Moraven says:

    Has the puzzle mobile style world map…bleh. Give us something different.

    They took way to long to develop this. They could have went the Rovio route and Merchandise, Merchandise, Merchandise! (They eventually did, but only this past year. Chinese unofficial products filled the market the past few years.) Maybe they would not have sold to EA then… EA already made them waste their time with the stupid Facebook game.

    As long as I can play the game like I can now, without spending more than $10-$20, I will be happy. But generally do not like the F2P since they are made to trick/force you into purchasing more than a full game would.

  3. Kollega says:

    Plants vs. Zombies 2? Eh… i just wish that PopCap were reaping the fruit of their efforts, not EA.

  4. Beernut says:

    I don’t understand the business-model. On the one hand, they’re talking about not wanting to gate stuff with money or social stuff and making everything you see reachable via ingame efforts. On the other hand, they talk about giving you tons of content which you are then supposed to “grab”, if you like it. I’m assuming that the latter means “buying”, but that wouldn’t be coherent with the first approach. Are they planning to sell us experience-boosters? Because they can’t be talking about additional plants, levels and cosmetic addons if everything is supposed to be available via gameplay.

    • TormDK says:

      Prehaps they plan on selling us stuffed teddy “bear-plants”? Similar to what Rovio is doing.

      Who knows, I for one will wait and see – if it’s free and not gated, then EA can do as they wish. Gameplay wise it looks like there’s more stuff to do.

  5. Engonge says:

    free? *Running away*

    • starclaws says:

      Free is a word of fear and dread in the consumer world now-a-days. With promised free plans being just mere introductions while extra things are raised at ridiculous costs for content that would normally come if the original product was priced reasonably.

      This will work better if they run it on Steam. Sell those cards and buy some PvZ2 DLC or something. But too bad they will likely put it on Origin.

    • Zogtee says:

      Yeah, there’s no chance of EA letting this appear on Steam. It’s would be nice if they offered a No Bullshit-version, where you paid your 15-20 credits and got everything you was supposed to get. They don’t make a game “free” just to be nice and generous.

  6. yeastcapp says:

    They had me till F2P

  7. Premium User Badge

    jrodman says:

    Is it still a shooter?

    • bleeters says:

      That’s Garden Warfare, which as far as I’m aware is a different game altogether.

      • Premium User Badge

        jrodman says:

        So they’re making a 2 and a .. not-2 at the same time. I see.

  8. aliksy says:

    Meh. It’s EA, I’m sure it’ll have plenty of awful.

  9. brooklyn67 says:

    Thank goodness tons of time and money was spent on the CGI cutscenes which sold me on the first game.
    Obviously I can’t judge it and am hoping for the best, but this video was, for me, anti-marketing.

    • Ninja Foodstuff says:

      For me the worst thing in the video was the cutscene showing the zombie picking up a traffic cone and putting it on its head.

      That they feel the need to show this happening, as if the playerbase wouldn’t comprehend how that might have happened (or, you know, use a shred of imagination), has given me no confidence in the game. They are going to force feed you the game, and monetise the shit out of every part.

  10. Remnant says:

    As an Australian, I’ve had PvZ2 for several weeks now. My girlfriend is hooked on it too, though she’s too panicky for a fun little game.

    Few points: seems like some of the plants aren’t unlockable without paying. I’ve finished the three “worlds” and unlocked all the plants I can from there. While a bit discouraging, the base plants give you enough to do.

    Also, I haven’t checked, but there seem to be fewer plants. It feels like they cut back to core ones, and added new ones with a bit more variety (a short-range fire plant that attacks three rows; a “bonk choy” that punches in front of it; a peashooter that can be upgraded with a new shooter to a total of five). What they did was to also theme the zombies. The Egyptian level has slow walking sarcopho-zombies, while the pirates have zombie launching cannons.

    The best part is definitely the diversity of levels. The West has movable trains, for instance, so you can plant once and use that plant to cover several rows. There are levels where you have to guard a line, or only use certain plants, or never lose plants, etc. Fun, variety. The leaf power-ups are useful and can really turn the tide if used wisely; the other powers, that cost coins, are cheat ways to save a fledging garden.

    The mini games are gone though. That’s a shame.

    • Moraven says:

      I never saw the point of cheat power ups. It takes away the success of getting that perfect score and you are basically paying the game to beat it for you.

      The Theme levels look great and is what they needed to add to expand the game.

      The mini games were the best part of the original. That is sad. But they had stripped them out of most of the mobile re-releases.

      I am on the fence if I want to try this or not. Wish they would let me pay $15 to get access to everything plus cheats.

  11. alex_v says:

    “We start Plants Vs Zombies 2 immediately after the events of Plants Vs Zombies 1″

    Fascinating.

    The game didn’t need a sequel. Which is presumably what George Fan thought too. Credit to him for creating the original game, and having little to do with the latest cash-ins.

    • Premium User Badge

      jrodman says:

      Plants vs Zombies had “events” ? Was that me watering my zen garden and clicking on my sleepy snail?

    • Moraven says:

      It needed a sequel, 2 years ago. PopCap is king of sequels for their casual fun games. But the hold of EA caused to to develop nothing for a year or so and they ended up firing 50+ people and going for F2P and Social games only now.

      They worked as a casual game maker that included trials in all their games. EA has forced their new direction digital strategy and I have a feeling it won’t last. They take to many shortcuts with game design to make it more profitable F2P than a everlasting fun game.

  12. Premium User Badge

    Vesuvius says:

    “at launch we’ve got three worlds”
    “we want to have new and more content coming out all the time”
    “what about plant food? we give them these one-offs with little special powers”

    ..so much monetization

  13. Tei says:

    Days passed as Ahab stalked the “odour” of the white whale. Then sounded “a gull-like cry in the air, ‘there she blows! – there she blows! A hump like a snowhill! It is Moby Dick!”‘ The voice was that of Ahab himself, whose eyes were dim but whose passion was aflame. The boats were lowered – with Ahab, harpoon in hand, in the lead. Then, just as the captain was about to sink his harpoon into the majestic body of the whale, it dived under the boat, splitting it to pieces. Ahab and his men were rescued- only Fedallah had disappeared beneath the waves. The hunt continued. Harpoons were lost and boats were destroyed, all for the annihilation of a beast by a madman.

  14. Premium User Badge

    Hodge says:

    What’s George Fan doing these days?

  15. sadtowel says:

    This is great, I dunno what people are whinging about.

    F2P does not mean shit when it is good F2P.

    • Chalky says:

      Exactly, just look at…. erm… I mean for example… erm… I’m sure you can point to lots of… erm… help me out here?

      • Nick says:

        planetside 2

      • Dominare says:

        Team Fortress 2 and Dota 2 as well. The problem with single player games is that the proven best route to monetization – cosmetic items – only really works when people have the ability to show off their fancy duds to other players.

  16. CcDohl says:

    Isn’t this IOS only?

  17. Psihomodo says:

    Dog darn it, god frack it, and all that, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

  18. pilouuuu says:

    Has this been announced for PC? I really don’t mind if it is F2P, as long as I can still have fun while ignoring all the nonsense microtransactions.

  19. FuzzyPuffin says:

    I made a NZ iTunes account to play this (since I never intend to buy any IAPs.)

    It is surprisingly quite enjoyable. The same great gameplay is there, and they freshen it up with new stuff to keep it interesting.

    The prices are of course ridiculous, although to be fair, they are in NZ currency and they are still tweaking it before the full release. But even so, to pay even the minimum .99 (they are NZ $2.99) for 1 plant would be absurd. I never felt crippled for not buying anything–they don’t put any essential plants behind a paywall. Paying just makes the game easier.

    I would have preferred the previous pricing model, but I can say that EA has not ruined this franchise quite yet.

  20. rockman29 says:

    These candid videos about developers…

    You know, I can semi-believe that when it’s these indie developers going and making their own game, or Kickstarter projects really passionate about their work, or sometimes though less often the larger developers making big PC and console games….

    I can semi-believe they are so passionate about what they do….

    But PvZ2? Like seriously? The amount of BS they are probably eschewing from their mouths… ugh. It makes me sick to see marketing like this for some reason, not quite sure what it is that bothers me… but it irks me lol.