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CGDC: Plants vs. Zombies to Add Online Version But NOT MMO

At this year's China Game Developers Conference, PopCap's CEO (Asia/Pacific) James Gwertzman talked about the creation process of their popular game Plants vs. Zombies, Plants vs. Zombies – A Tour Through PopCap's Development Process. He shared a lot of details about this brilliant game such as the inspiration source, more than two hundred names for Plants vs. Zombies, and so on.



James told us that the original inspiration of Plants vs. Zombies was from War 3 Tower Defense and other popular farming games. In the past four years, Plants vs. Zombies has changed a lot, not only the gameplay but also the art style. The sunflower you see now is totally different from its first one.

The online server of Plants vs. Zombies for co-operation model and competitive model where two players are allowed to play together has been added into the latest version. They really want to create an online universe for both the game and players. However, when I asked James whether the MMO version for Plants vs. Zombies would be close, "There are a lot of rumors, but we have announced nothing." he responded.



Plants vs. Zombies has been sold 150, 000, 000 copies throughout the world. It is now PopCap's fastest selling game and takes the world by storm. The success of Plants vs. Zombies told us that a successful game was made by not only gorgeous graphics but also brilliant innovations. Of course, the originalities cannot emerge out of the void. James Gwertzman, CEO (Asia/Pacific) of PopCap, shared 10 pieces of experience in their development process at China Game Developers Conference 2010 recently held in Shanghai, China. He showed us how the four-person team spent four years creating this one of the funniest games in the world.

• Be inspired by other games, but innovate in it. Plants vs. Zombies is inspired by War 3 Tower Defense and farming games, but they have transformed the towers into plants and added Zombies to your yard.

• Prototype your ideals.

• Add fun, remove frustration. Every Garden game allows you to plant. However, how to make your game different form so many Garden games out there? PopCap's answer is ZOMBIES!

• Don't be afraid to be creative. There are too many kingdom games. There are too many Bloom and Doom. So PopCap chooses the model Farm with zombies.

• Team is important: choosing the artist who suits your team best. Good artists and programmers can help each other and focus on creating the best game as possible as they can, instead of dodging their responsibilities.

• Share creation ownership with the team.

• Test early, test often and encourage feedback. To make full use of your game's BBS, for fans are the warmest testers and bug-finders.

• Prevent players from making bad choices. Most players are causal gamers who are very different from hardcore gamers. You should help them make the right choice to reduce the learning cost.

• Measure. Study your fans' behavior such as the time they spend on every level, and make the proper changes that cater to gamers.

• Have Fun!

About CGDC
China Game Developers Conference (CGDC) is one of the world’s leading game development conferences. Each year, CGDC attracts over 3,000 professionals in the game development field to attend and learn. Over 70 global top-notch game designers and developers deliver speeches there and share their experience in the 3-day event.
http://en.chinagdc.com.cn/

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