PopCap’s Kyle Duncan talks about the new war between Plants and Zombies.
Yes, PopCap’s Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 – the sequel to the highly successful first person/third person shooter hybrid which debuted last year on consoles – could have had a much better introduction. Despite EA doing its best to screw things up with a man dressed up as Superbrains at E3 2015, Garden Warfare 2 looks compelling enough for nothing else but it’s twisting of the winning formula into something new. Players will be taking on the role of the zombies this time around with the plants as the attackers and there are plenty of new facets to the gameplay to reflect this.
GamingBolt’s Leonid Melikhov spoke to producer Kyle Duncan about Garden Warfare 2 including the deal with micro-transactions, the number of classes and much more. Note: This interview was conducted during E3.
"We have micro transactions in the game and we will continue to have micro transactions in the game. We’ve done them in a very friendly way where you decide what your time is worth and where you invest in the game. Anyways, it’s all about to keeping the community and the fans together."
Leonid Melikhov: One of the most interesting things you have announced was the fact that all the future DLC is going to be free and knowing EA they usually like to have season passes and all of that. How did you guys get that done? Will there still be micro-transactions, what’s the money maker here and why did you decide to do free DLC?
Kyle Duncan: We came up with the idea that it was really important to keep our community together. So, when we looked at shooters and other things out there, one of the things that hinder them as they grow is as they add DLC their community becomes segmented and we didn’t want to do that with Garden Warfare 2.
Popcap already has strong relationships with its fans when they build their games, so we wanted to make sure we maintain that relationship as we built it out. We wanted to make sure to evolve that journey with our fans so the way to do that was with free content updates, it was extremely important.
We have micro transactions in the game and we will continue to have micro transactions in the game. We’ve done them in a very friendly way where you decide what your time is worth and where you invest in the game. Anyways, it’s all about to keeping the community and the fans together.
Leonid Melikhov: So you guys had no issues with the publisher, they approved it?
Kyle Duncan: Yep.
Leonid Melikhov: I am still assuming you have the old classes from the original game and + 6 additional?
Kyle Duncan: Yes, a total of 14 classes.
"The things that our fans told us that they really love are the customization, the maps and the characters. We will probably do character variant updates, but you know we haven’t decided to be honest yet."
Leonid Melikhov: Did you reveal all of them or is there anything else in particular?
Kyle Duncan: There are going to be over 100 playable characters at launch. The old classes are getting some new variants. If you’ve seen the announcement trailer you might have seen a sneak peek on a few of them. I think we saw a Tennis All-Star in there and the Zoologist was in the demo, that’s our new scientist. And then our new characters are also going to have their own variants just like Garden Warfare 1. Although, you’ve seen Captain Deadbeard there will also be other variants on Captain Deadbeard as well.
Leonid Melikhov: Do you guys still have the original maps?
Kyle Duncan: Nope, we got new worlds that we’re going to take you in. 12 New Maps.
Leonid Melikhov: What kind of future content can we expect? New classes or new maps?
Kyle Duncan: The things that our fans told us that they really love are the customization, the maps and the characters. We will probably do character variant updates, but you know we haven’t decided to be honest yet.
Leonid Melikhov: The staple of the game is its beautiful cartoony graphics. Is the game running 1080/60 fps on Xbox One?
Kyle Duncan: We’re still early in development right now that hasn’t been locked down yet, we will get it to where it needs to be by launch.
"It’s not just one-on-one battles. We could still play full 24 player AI matches and get that full experience with just the two of us in Couch Play."
Leonid Melikhov: The game will launch on all platforms at the same time?
Kyle Duncan: Absolutely. It will be available on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on Day 1.
Leonid Melikhov: What are you mostly excited for in PvZ GW 2?
Kyle Duncan: I am mostly excited by the idea of solo play. I’ve got my own kids and I really found that experience in Garden Warfare 1 where we could play split-screen together in one mode. The idea that we could play every mode together and the depth that brings to the game. I am super excited about that.
Leonid Melikhov: I think that’s a great idea to have a old-school feeling of having friends over and playing together.
Kyle Duncan: Yes, I am really excited about that and even the fact that we can now go head-to-head as well. He can take a Zombie, I can take a Plant and we can go ahead and have AI play around us too. It’s not just one-on-one battles. We could still play full 24 player AI matches and get that full experience with just the two of us in Couch Play.
Leonid Melikhov: Garden Ops returns and also what about the original/old bosses?
Kyle Duncan: We’re not really ready to talk about that mode yet, but you will see some familiar faces and new faces, there will be a couple of surprises.
"We’re not talking about Solo Play yet and we have some other surprises in store. By the end of the summer I think there will be other secrets that we will talk about."
Leonid Melikhov: When did you guys start developing the game? It seems that’s coming out pretty soon.
Kyle Duncan: We launched the first one in February 2014 so it’s going to be a full 2 years soon and we were a smaller team back then and some of the platforms came on a bit later. It’s a full 2 years and we feel that’s about right. Our fans are clamoring for a new experience so we’re excited about that.
Leonid Melikhov: Any other exciting features besides Solo Play? Is there anything else you’re not really talking about yet?
Kyle Duncan: We’re not talking about Solo Play yet and we have some other surprises in store. By the end of the summer I think there will be other secrets that we will talk about.
Leonid Melikhov: Any off-screen device experience?
Kyle Duncan: We’re continuing support with different SmartGlass Applications
Leonid Melikhov: Can you guys talk about achievements/trophies what can we expect?
Kyle Duncan: We haven’t fully gotten into that yet.
Leonid Melikhov: Thanks for your time.
Kyle Duncan: Thank you.