Developer Journal: Vets and Vet Clinics

Chante Goodman

Community Manager
Frontier
Hello and welcome to our eighth Developer Journal! We use these posts to introduce you to members of the team behind Planet Zoo and highlight features they have been working on behind the scenes. In today’s Developer Journal, we are going to take an in-depth look at Veterinarians and the Vet Clinics they work in.

Please give a big welcome to Senior Animator Fabian Pianzola, Artist Dom Kostriucinas, and Gameplay Lead Programmer James Lockett!
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Hello all! We’re here to share some brand new information on Planet Zoo and we’re thrilled to have the opportunity!

James:
In Planet Zoo, the Veterinarian is there to ensure the safety of your animals. They know the best way to tend to, cure and, if need be, recapture your animals. They can also research information on animal species in their downtime.

Dom:
As in any zoo, the Veterinarian’s primary role is to safeguard the physical well-being and health of your animals, but in Planet Zoo we are taking things a step further. The Vet will also be able to perform research tasks in their labs to learn and improve the efficiency and ways animals can be treated for an illness, ensuring that they are healthy, and most importantly improving your zoo rating.

Fabian:
Veterinarians can transport animals to and from different habitats and to the Vet Clinic. They also visit the animals in the habitats to learn more about them, before conducting in-depth research on their species in the research centre. It is important for your zoo to have a good research rating, so you can unlock access to new animals and enrichment items. A happy Veterinarian is a fast Vet. If your staff member gets paid a good wage and is trained up, they will be fast at healing your animals.

If an animal escapes for whatever reason, the Vet is the only staff member with the right training to tranquilise the animal with a blow dart and capture them, so they can be safely returned to their habitat.

Unfortunately, sometimes an animal dies, be it of old age or low welfare. It is another one of the Vet’s duties to respectfully dispose of dead animals. If left in an enclosure, seeing a perished animal will have a negative effect on guests, before it will turn into a pile of bones and then be sucked up by the MuckSuck.


James:
That's right, you might be able to last some time without the need for a Veterinarian, but they’re the only ones who can help your animals when they come under illness or injury from a fight.

Dom:
While knowing the exact number of Veterinarians you should add to your workforce to ensure the constant well-being of your animals can be tricky to predict, due to the large number of random environmental reasons your animals might fall ill, a good starting point would be to hire at least a couple of them from the beginning and add more as needed when you feel they aren’t able to handle the workload. In general though it could be better to over-hire if you can afford it, because Vets perform valuable research when there are no animals to treat.

The key factor here is that for a Vet to treat an animal, they need to take them to a Vet Clinic, and there’s only room for one at a time! Some illnesses can be treated fairly quickly, while other illnesses may require you to send the animals to a quarantine facility while they wait their turn for the vet. So you want enough that in the case of a habitat-wide illness, you can cure your animals within a reasonable time.

Also, the layout of your zoo is key! Place Vet Clinics near animal habitats to reduce travel time, train your staff members to be more efficient at their work, and don’t forget to make use of staff paths so they don’t bump into large groups of guests wondering about! These small improvements will really build up and improve the workflow of your Vets. As with other staff facilities we have added to Planet Zoo, we are adding more gameplay aspects to your experience with the game. Rather than the Vets just treating your animals right on the spot, there's an extra layer of transporting and treating them in clinics which makes it not only more immersive, but also presents more challenges for you when managing the layout of a zoo.


Fabian:
The Vet Clinic lets you feel like you are really taking care of your beloved animals. It is an elegant solution to treat many different injuries and diseases on all your animals, from the tiniest baby Chimp to the huge male African Elephants. All the staff building interiors in Planet Zoo have been created with great attention to detail, and the Vet Clinic is no exception. It’s good fun watching the vets tap away on their tablets, as they are studying the sick animals.

James:
The biggest challenge for us regarding the Vet Clinic was making sure the animals could fit in them! But they have lots of lovely details hidden inside them, so be sure to check every corner.

Dom:
Another challenge was finding a way to transport and treat different sized animals in the clinics that would still feel believable and not out of place. Animals can spend varying lengths of time in the clinics, depending on factors such as the severity of the illness and the skill of your Vets.


Fabian:
Our community always comes up with ways of using the building blocks we provide in ways we would have never thought of. I am super excited to see all the stunning and creative community creations that are to come.

Dom:
As an Artist, I hope to see people making beautiful and creative habitats for the animals, and implementing gameplay features with the freedom given to decorate each animal dwelling however you want them to!
 
Oh, another great Dev Journal! :love:

I love how the vets work (also the other staff members). I'm very excited how much detail you put into it. I was really worried that money-managment would be the only thing to consider... but it's already so much more!
 
Very well, I liked this absolutely new aspect, and I find it interesting that veterinarians are responsible for the zoo's research. I hope a bug is solved that we could see in a gameplay, where a hippopotamus box was stuck inside the veterinary facility. Thank you for your constant work, which has better and better results, without a doubt. Greetings and thanks for everything.
 
Love this information!
I do wish though, there was a bigger variety of jobs that we could see some of this in Planet Zoo which was more accurate to real zoos.
For example - I think it would be great to have vet nurses to help the vets. It would be cool to have a science team who did the research on the animals for things like diet, behaviour and help with studbooks instead of the vets.
Also if there were zoo educators to chat to guests and interact with them (a bit like entertainers do in Planet Coaster).
I feel this would add to the management of the game but understand might be a lot to ask for!
Im super excited for the game and cant wait to get my hands on it!
 

heatherg23

Volunteer Moderator
I love these journals. A steady roll-out of information is always welcome. The details in this game are amazing! 🦒 Can't wait to see my giraffe's🦒
Thanks: Fabian Pianzola, Dom Kostriucinas, and Gameplay James Lockett!
 
This is fantastic!! Love the deep dive into the veterinary aspect of the game.

I’m a veterinary bioscientist in real life, so it’s exciting to see vet medicine and research implemented so smoothly into the game. I love the way you guys have done it - making it fun and light hearted (and practical for gameplay!) while also having key components of animal care, behavioural and medical research there to watch and interact with. So excited to experience it myself! Thank you team!
 
Ooh I can't wait to see my vets take care of the animals! I love the addition of this staff member instead of being the keeper that does the health issues as well. Great job! Love the Staff houses by the way, great details and awesome aesthetics!
 
I can't believe how psyched I am for all the management features. I was always into designing and building, and then just lightly managing things. But this adds so much more depth to the game.
 

Joël

Volunteer Moderator
Thank you team for another interesting Developer Journal! I love hearing about all the in-depth details and gameplay that you're going to add to Planet Zoo! :D
 
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