Animal food costs

It is quite hard to make a steady income in the game.
Basically there are two main expenses, staff, and animal food.
I recon the amout of money going to animal food is not really in balance.
Lower ther costs of food, it would make the game more accesible and it gives you more freedom to play they way you want.
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Im playing this game wrong. I make money really easily some how.

Big Habitat for flamingos and let people walk through it with donations bins on the path and its easy - once you have abou15 or 20 flamingos they pop out little ones regularly which attracts visitor and lots of babies = good donations as well

Take it slow to begin with and then watch it take of in about 1 evening of play ( by then I have maxed out research - with a 5 star vet and got them on best food as well and making money hand over fist)
Been trying this. I have been playing it slower than slow, but still the financiel overhead kills it eventuely. The game shouldnt be a walk in the park ofc, but its gonna take me ages to get somewhere like this. The food costs could be tweaked a little, that will give you some room to play with.
At first its ok, but once you get further in the game it will start to get messy. I have a medium sized zoo and the overhead is killing it. Oh and it's allready a very efficient zoo. But still those little buggers eat to much. Or it's a bug that they keep eating and the keeper will keep filling it up... i dunno.
I read somewhere cant remember where that for planet coaster

Don't buy a drinks shop till you hit 300 guests
Don't buy a food shop until you hit 500
Don't buy a souvenier shop until you hit 1000

as a rule of thumb it seems to make sense and seems to work

Personally I don't build a habitat until I have 10000 a exhibit until I have 5000. Also don't make your habitats from chain link fences build them from brick and put viewing panels in - it cuts down the fencing costs but also encourages guests to look in in set areas. I have 10 m viewing windows a big screen for education at each side speaker in the middle and and donation bins by each screen - money rolls in
The food costs could be tweaked a little, that will give you some room to play with.
That might solve your problem, but it might also make the game less challenging (and less enjoyable) for those who are already running an efficient project under the current circumstances without going broke. :)

If I suddenly turned out a sizeable profit at the end of every year, that would certainly bore me out of the game sooner rather than later.

Perhaps different difficulty/progress settings are required to make all players happy.
Personally I don't build a habitat until I have 10000 a exhibit until I have 5000

Similar to my approach. 1 habitat (tortoises, hippos etc.) or 4 exhibits of snakes to begin with, and I'm already profitable. After that, I don't expand until my first 4 employees are levelled up to max and the habitat has been fully researched and upgraded.

In general, I find income to be reliably stable. You can see with every addition, upgrade or hire how it affects your balance. You just have to tweak it carefully and expand slowly, I guess.
I got 4,6 million $, had a massive drop of 300k-400k in 2 years....
Went from 200k profit per year to -50k in a short period.

The animal food costs just exploded in 2 years time... But also the more 'expensive' animals were born in that time...
And for no reason visitors dropped from 7k to 5.8k in that period.. (Happiness was still 4,5 stars)
You'll need to balance/tweak that.. Just study the exhibits - they also have a finance/costs tab.

Also have a lot of staff but not cutting down on that -> almost no notifications and some are already a bit overworked..

I had a big enclosure with a lot of American Bison but scaled down on that.. Also after selling/releasing a lot of lions, cash gains were a lot better..
This game starts to get on my nerves... Been working on a zoo for 3 days. a couple of hours ago i had 60k now it's -3k... I bought nothing, added nothing, selling animals that are to much, still losing like crazy... The financial part of this game is way out of balance... Apparantly sandbox is the way to go, and i find that boring... I am doing exactly as everybody here says, but to no affail.
I think you need to add an exhibit every couple of years.. I'm not sure but somewhow I feel that visitors want to see change every couple of years..
How about your ticket prices? Are they good or great (visitors opinion)?

Also maybe exhibit animals like the spiders/snails.. Can be very lucrative. Getting 5k-10k every time you sell offspring.
(does require more attention/micromanagement)

And just like in the beta, tortoises bring in a lot of donations.
The difference between struggling and swimming in money is just the animals you choose to have. Put 1 or 2 high appeal animals in your zoo and you basically can't fail as long as you keep them breeding and in good welfare.
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