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An analysis of game balance / ramping in a video game/ Plants Vs. Zombies

This is my analysis of game balance for the game Plants Vs. Zombies
  1. An analysis of game balance / ramping in a video game/ Plants Vs. Zombies

 

Gameplay Successes:

  • When you first start playing the game, they start you off with a limited amount of area where you could play. This allows the player not to feel overwhelmed when they first start. As you progress in the game they add more gameplay area making it more challenging.
  • Every time you beat a level you are given a new item that can help you defeat the enemies in some way. This stops you from having all the power at first and have to work for the items you get.
  • As the level progress, they introduce different types of zombies. This makes the game more challenge because you have to think of which way is the best way to setup to attack the type of zombies that are going to be coming.
  • The higher the level the more zombies will come to attack you. Throughout the game more and more zombie’s come during the round, they also have a part where huge waves of zombies come. As you get to the higher rounds, you will see more huge waves also. This can catch the player off guard and changes they way they have to play.

 

Gameplay Failures:

  • After playing the game, you understand the basic setup you need to do in the game. This allows you to easily progress to the next level without actually having to do much work or thinking.
  • The start of the game is too easy and can get boring fast for someone who has seen or played the game before somewhere. This make the players not want to play.
  • They tried to change the levels a little by making some of it over water. The problem was the same concept was used and you just had to use the water type plant instead of the land. This really did not change the way the game would be played.
  • The difficulty never gets too hard. As the game gets harder, you get items to defeat the harder enemies. The skill and resources grow together balanced which then takes away from the difficulty.

 

Thoughts:

  • The game idea is crazy, but somehow it works because of the way the set it up. It makes for a fun game that most people can play without trouble.
  • It is exciting for the player to get new plants and to see the new zombies. I like the fact that they have an almanac where you can research the plants and zombies.
  • Not sure why or how they came up with idea of using the roof as a level. It really does not make sense why they would be on the roof. It seems like they were just looking for some way to use the house more.
  • It does get boring throughout the game because no matter what level you play, you have the same setup. They could have really made the game a lot better or worse by changing the setup approach the player could take.

 

Would Likes/Fixes:

  • As the game progressed they could have not gave the player a well balanced resource compared to the zombie that they will now be facing. This would have made the game harder since the player would not have the ying of the yang or vice versa.
  • They could have changed the levels a little more throughout the game. Playing in the same type of level too much makes the game feel boring and not new. They could have added different items into the level that could have changed the game.
  • When you start the game, you are basically going through a tutorial. You should be able to skip this step if you have played the game before because this can become boring and make you stop playing. This would also allow the player to advance in the game quicker making it more challenging for them.
  • The setup for each level is the same. You plant the sunflowers in the back row and the cheaper plant, to the most expensive plant. They could have changed the structure of the level or added items to block where you could put plants to add a challenge.

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