PopCap Week

Video: our readers' best Peggle shots

Tom Francis at

Last weekend we ran a competition to send in a replay of your best shot in a Peggle game, with a large bounty of Peggle swag for our favourite. We've watched all the shots, recorded our favourites and made them into a quick highlights video. Overall winner after the clip.


The best gardens from our Plants vs Zombies swag giveaway

Tom Francis at

Over the weekend we ran a competition to take a screenshot of the coolest Plants vs Zombies garden you'd made, Zen or otherwise, with a massive haul of PvZ swag for the winner. Here are the best gardens we got, starting with the overall winner.


Win a bundle of Peggle loot: give us your best shot

PC Gamer at

If you've never wanted a tiny plushie Splork of your own, you haven't got that far in Peggle yet. Well, now you can get one of those, a Peggle mug, two Peggle badges, a Peggle mouse mat, a Peggle iPhone skin, Peggle, Peggle Nights, £30 of iTunes vouchers to buy Peggle and anything else on the iPhone, a bumper sticker reading XTRM FVR, and for some reason a bunch of Chuzzles.

All you have to do is save a replay of a great Peggle shot, zip it up, and post it on our forums. It can be Peggle Deluxe, Peggle Nights, or Peggle Extreme, but it probably has to be the PC version. We're not looking for the highest score, just that mix of style, skill and dumb luck that makes Peggle fun. Here's how to submit one.


Show us your garden, win a gargantuan pack of Plants vs Zombies swag

Tom Francis at

A huge wave of zombie loot is approaching! To round out PopCap week, we'd like to give away a few more awesome prizes. If you like Plants vs Zombies as much as we do, take a screenshot of the coolest or most interesting garden you've made and post it on our forums. Our favourite will win this mega-pack of awesome loot, including one of the best gaming T-shirts ever, a zombie figurine, and a goddamn apron. Here's what else you get.


The Making of Peggle

Graham Smith at

PopCap Games are the creators of Bejeweled, Peggle and Plants vs. Zombies, each of them one of the biggest and most lovable games on PC. When casual and social games are reaching ever larger audiences and their developers are getting a bad reputation for poor design practices, how have PopCap managed to find fans amongst gamers and grannies alike? To find out, I visited the studio and interviewed everyone I could find. We're running those interviews each day this week and calling it PopCap Week.

Today I'm speaking to PopCap co-founder Jason Kapalka and the designer of Peggle, Sukhbir Sidhub. It's only now when looking back at the transcript that I realise there are long periods when I don't ask any questions. Jason and Sukhbir have worked together for years, and it shows. They talk away without my intervention, revealing details of PopCap's forgotten first release, a strip poker game called Foxy Poker, and follow it up by going into detail about the many variants of Peggle, including a Thor-themed version called Thunderball, and what would have happened if co-founder John Vechey's mum had been PopCap's accountant.


George Fan and his cat on the making of Plants vs. Zombies

Graham Smith at

PopCap Games are the creators of Bejeweled, Peggle and Plants vs. Zombies, each of them one of the biggest and most lovable games on PC. When casual and social games are reaching ever larger audiences and their developers are getting a bad reputation for poor design practices, how have PopCap managed to find fans amongst gamers and grannies alike? To find out, I visited the studio and interviewed everyone I could find. We're running those interviews each day this week and calling it PopCap Week.

Today I'm speaking to George Fan, the designer of Plants vs. Zombies. Alongside a ton of incredibly early sketches from the game's development, George talks about his time working for Blizzard and PopCap simultaneously, PvZ's origins as a double-decker fish tank, and why he dressed as a zombie for the director of Dawn of the Dead. Also, a few words from his cat.


Sign up to PC Gamer, get one of 10,000 free copies of Bejeweled 2

PC Gamer at

It's PopCap week here on PCGamer.com, kicking off with the first juicy details of Bejeweled 3. And as a special gift to those signed up to our site, we're giving away 10,000 copies of Bejeweled 2 - usually £14.99. All you have to do is be a registered member of our site at around 5pm tomorrow evening GMT (1pm EDT), and be signed up to receive our newsletter. If you've already signed up but aren't sure if you checked that box, you can find out and change your preference at your user control panel. Otherwise, sign up now - it's free.

You'll get an e-mail to the address you signed up with, containing your code and a link for where to use it. You won't need credit card details, just a name and e-mail address. The giveaway will work on a first come, first served basis, so once 10,000 people have snagged their copies, the offer will expire. Right now there's plenty for everyone, but we can't guarantee whether there will be by tomorrow.


Interview: John Vechey on founding PopCap, making Bejeweled

Graham Smith at

PopCap Games are the creators of Bejeweled, Peggle and Plants vs. Zombies, each of them one of the biggest and most lovable games on PC. When casual and social games are reaching ever larger audiences and their developers are getting a bad reputation for poor design practices, how have PopCap managed to find fans amongst gamers and grannies alike? To find out, I visited the studio and interviewed everyone I could find. We're running those interviews each day this week and calling it PopCap Week.

We begin with John Vechey. As one of PopCap's three co-founders, he's been with the company since the beginning and instrumental in growing the studio from three friends working from home, to a massive operation with hundreds of people. He also played a key role in developing the studios biggest game, Bejeweled. I spoke to him about when PopCap was originally named Sexy Action Cool, what he thinks Activision and EA are screwing up, and about where the idea for Bejeweled came from.