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Plants vs. Zombies turns 10, creator shows original designs

George Fan created Plants vs. Zombies 10 years ago. To celebrate that anniversary, he’s been showing off his original design documents and sketches on Twitter. As you can see from his notes, originally the enemies were supposed to be aliens rather than zombies—specifically the aliens from his previous game, Insaniquarium, which he was planning to make a sequel to. Once he drew his first zombie he changed his mind, and that original sketch bears a strong resemblance to the undead who eventually made it into the game. George [email protected]  · May 6, 2019  

Happy 10th Birthday, Plants vs. Zombies! I had no idea when scribbling this on paper over 10 years ago just how much it’d change my life!   George [email protected]  

It’s only when I drew this zombie that the game truly became Plants vs. Zombies. Before this you were fighting the aliens from Insaniquarium   492 12:47 AM – May 6, 2019 Twitter Ads info and privacy     70 people are talking about this    

Another element that wasn’t in the original design were the sunflowers. Initially there were tubers who had to be watered and then uprooted to earn currency. The sunflowers, who produce energy on their own, seem like a definite improvement. RECOMMENDED VIDEOS FOR YOU…      

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You can also see that at one point Plants vs. Zombies would have had six lanes rather than five, and before that there were no lanes at all with more traditional tower defense mazing instead. Somewhat ahead of its time given how common it is now, there was even a deckbuilding mechanic.

For more on the history of Plants vs. Zombies, here’s our story on How PopCap conquered casual gaming.

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