Something I've noticed with the animals (Also applies to JW:E)

If you want to sell a zoo game with realistic animals "curved movements" are a must, I don't know how people could be satisfied with the same animal mechanics of ten or twelve years ago, sometimes it really seems like I'm watching Zoo Tycoon 2 with a better design, animals' behavior is pretty much on that level. For sure they were talking about something more.
 
If you want to sell a zoo game with realistic animals "curved movements" are a must, I don't know how people could be satisfied with the same animal mechanics of ten or twelve years ago, sometimes it really seems like I'm watching Zoo Tycoon 2 with a better design, animals' behavior is pretty much on that level. For sure they were talking about something more.
I disagree with this. Until this post, I've never once even thought about this. Functionally, the animals certainly do a lot more than they did in Zoo Tycoon 2. And they are significantly more complicated in both the movements they present and in terms of their demands.

The engine is more complicated too, which goes beyond what the animals can or cannot do. As I understand it, you would also need to factor in how the animal is going to navigate around each object they encounter, etc. How does the animal turn when going up/down a hill versus on flat land? What about turning when climbing? Turning when swimming?

For much of what people want/are asking for, Frontier would need to completely revamp the game engine. I'm not saying it wouldn't be cool, but that it's probably not feasible given the game's current set-up. The fact that it was originally designed for a theme park game rather than a zoo game is probably at least partially to blame for that. I sometimes daydream about what the game would be like if it started as a zoo building game and they went the theme park route after that...
 
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I disagree with this. Until this post, I've never once even thought about this. Functionally, the animals certainly do a lot more than they did in Zoo Tycoon 2. And they are significantly more complicated in both the movements they present and in terms of their demands.

The engine is more complicated too, which goes beyond what the animals can or cannot do. As I understand it, you would also need to factor in how the animal is going to navigate around each object they encounter, etc. How does the animal turn when going up/down a hill versus on flat land? What about turning when climbing? Turning when swimming?

For much of what people want/are asking for, Frontier would need to completely revamp the game engine. I'm not saying it wouldn't be cool, but that it's probably not feasible given the game's current set-up. The fact that it was originally designed for a theme park game rather than a zoo game is probably at least partially to blame for that. I sometimes daydream about what the game would be like if it started as a zoo building game and they went the theme park route after that...
Tell me the truth, let's say you have an exhibit with 10 lions, would you enjoy staying 10 minutes watching them? Would it be interesting/beautiful to watch them living their lives and interact with each other? How much would it take before a lion does somethign completely stupid like changing direction after a walk, start running with no reason and no destination, collapse into another lion, ignore cubs, ignore other lions, drink from a pond without touching the water, make some weird movements ecc?

Let's be honest, building is the only really well made thing of Planet Zoo, animals are not far away from ZT2, of course they look soo much better, but they still can't make you feel like they're living beings. I can't think of the engine, if the game was originally designed for a theme park or whatever, I bought a zoo game in 2019, and animals are pretty much a disappointment.
 
Tell me the truth, let's say you have an exhibit with 10 lions, would you enjoy staying 10 minutes watching them? Would it be interesting/beautiful to watch them living their lives and interact with each other? How much would it take before a lion does somethign completely stupid like changing direction after a walk, start running with no reason and no destination, collapse into another lion, ignore cubs, ignore other lions, drink from a pond without touching the water, make some weird movements ecc?

Let's be honest, building is the only really well made thing of Planet Zoo, animals are not far away from ZT2, of course they look soo much better, but they still can't make you feel like they're living beings. I can't think of the engine, if the game was originally designed for a theme park or whatever, I bought a zoo game in 2019, and animals are pretty much a disappointment.
Yes, I would. Actually, I do. It's great fun looking at my animals.

Last time I checked, I played a Zoo game.
Are you sure you bought the right game?
 
Yes, I would. Actually, I do. It's great fun looking at my animals.

Last time I checked, I played a Zoo game.
Are you sure you bought the right game?
Oh trust me, I really don't know if we bought the same game..most of the time I think we didn't...🤭

"It's great fun looking at my animals." well I guess everyone has his own idea of great fun.
 
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"It's great fun looking at my animals." well I guess everyone has his own idea of great fun.
Yep, that is what they call personal opinions.
Thank god not everybody thinks the same. Would be quite boring wouldn't it?
 
Tell me the truth, let's say you have an exhibit with 10 lions, would you enjoy staying 10 minutes watching them? Would it be interesting/beautiful to watch them living their lives and interact with each other? How much would it take before a lion does somethign completely stupid like changing direction after a walk, start running with no reason and no destination, collapse into another lion, ignore cubs, ignore other lions, drink from a pond without touching the water, make some weird movements ecc?

Let's be honest, building is the only really well made thing of Planet Zoo, animals are not far away from ZT2, of course they look soo much better, but they still can't make you feel like they're living beings. I can't think of the engine, if the game was originally designed for a theme park or whatever, I bought a zoo game in 2019, and animals are pretty much a disappointment.
I'm not sure we're looking at the same game. My animals interact with their surroundings, as well as other animals, on a fairly consistent basis. And I find it pretty interesting to watch and see the different patterns... I've also been to a number of zoos, and frankly, lions spend more time sleeping than not. So... If you want to go the realism route, I don't know that that would make for a very compelling game. Most of the animals would be sleeping 75% of the in-game play time.

Building really is the game's strongest suit, but I can't help but wonder what people were expecting? I don't know that any game would be able to pull off what people are wanting in terms of AI for the animals. I can agree that the developers probably overplayed their hand in their description of the animals as being truly unique, etc. But I also remember reading that when it was first announced and basically saying "Oh yeah, okay suuuuure." I didn't believe it because it seemed infeasible.

For a game where you really get to connect with the animals in the way they described, you really ought to be playing some sort of zoo keeper simulator rather than a zoo management program. I would have bought into the hype around that a little more if the game had a "zookeeper" mode or whatever.
 
I'm not sure we're looking at the same game. My animals interact with their surroundings, as well as other animals, on a fairly consistent basis. And I find it pretty interesting to watch and see the different patterns... I've also been to a number of zoos, and frankly, lions spend more time sleeping than not. So... If you want to go the realism route, I don't know that that would make for a very compelling game. Most of the animals would be sleeping 75% of the in-game play time.
So what I described is not the behavior of your lions? "changing direction after a walk, start running with no reason and no destination, collapse into another lion, ignore cubs, ignore other lions, drink from a pond without touching the water, make some weird movements " really?
I never saw a lioness licking her cubs, a lion staring or sniffing at something, a lying lion interacting with a standing one, but it would be already something if they could go wherever they want to go without having to stop and then turn, wich is pretty bad to watch.

I know that lions sleeps 18/24 hours, well, if they had more sleeping positions, and time in game would be slower, I would not mind more sleepy lions. But well, now if a lion sleeps for 10 minutes is like 2 moth in the game.
 
So what I described is not the behavior of your lions? "changing direction after a walk, start running with no reason and no destination, collapse into another lion, ignore cubs, ignore other lions, drink from a pond without touching the water, make some weird movements " really?
I never saw a lioness licking her cubs, a lion staring or sniffing at something, a lying lion interacting with a standing one, but it would be already something if they could go wherever they want to go without having to stop and then turn, wich is pretty bad to watch.

I know that lions sleeps 18/24 hours, well, if they had more sleeping positions, and time in game would be slower, I would not mind more sleepy lions. But well, now if a lion sleeps for 10 minutes is like 2 moth in the game.
What you described happens sometimes. But I see interactions between the animals pretty frequently. Maybe I don't get to see the mother lick her cubs, pull them up by the scruff of their necks, etc... But if I want to see that, I can just watch a nature documentary. What we have is enough for me. I'm not saying I wouldn't be enthusiastic about adding these things into the game; if Frontier could pull it off that would be cool. I just don't think it's feasible, at least not in a way that would satisfy people.

This is a zoo simulator. Not an animal simulator. The animals are a critical part of the game, and truly do drive most of the decisions that you make as a player. But... It was never meant to be a catch-all for every animal interaction or concern. For that to happen you would need to have a game with a much smaller scope and more limited creativity. With the freedom Planet Zoo allows, there are limitations with what you can present as far as the animal behaviors go.

There's little tweaks they could make here or there that could make things more fun, but part of me wonders if that would be enough for people? Adding additional sniffing animations, for example, when animals are hungry. Or randomly giving individual animals "traits" such as really loving a particular enrichment item (preferring one over the other) or parts of an exhibit (e.g., preferring to sleep on a particular rock). That would add another dimension that could make things more interesting within the current scope. We'd need to hear from the devs on this, but I would imagine it's a lot more complicated to add new "interactions" for animals at this stage in development.

But getting back to the original point: The "turning" thing. It doesn't look great, but with every decision I would imagine the devs were weighing the PCU cost versus how much it would add to the overall user experience. I'd imagine the number of people craving that level of detail is much smaller than those who are happy with what we have. And while it would be technically possible, they'd have to consider how it would "interact" with everything else they already have in play.
 
I just don't think it's feasible, at least not in a way that would satisfy people.
I mostly agree with you, but in regards to this statement I don't think that's true. More and different interaction between animals, particularly between parents and offspring, has been highly requested for a long time (this is the most in-depth a thread about it has gotten, however), so I wouldn't write it off as a possibility. Doubtless creating new animations for existing animals is tricky business, but they added some parent-child interaction with the koala and kangaroo (and not just the birthing animations).

I don't have any issue with the game currently either - just like you I do enjoy watching my animals (the lemurs in particular are always entertaining) and I totally agree with your point about realism and how little animals in real life actually do (and not just in zoos, either) - but I wouldn't say it's unfeasible that Frontier might look at this again in the future. A lot of people thought adding colour variations was 'unfeasible' as well, after all, and Frontier came through (though, you are right to say "in a way that would satisfy people" - the same people who loudly and often requested colour variation complained loudly and often about what we got in the end).
 
Building really is the game's strongest suit, but I can't help but wonder what people were expecting? I don't know that any game would be able to pull off what people are wanting in terms of AI for the animals. I can agree that the developers probably overplayed their hand in their description of the animals as being truly unique, etc. But I also remember reading that when it was first announced and basically saying "Oh yeah, okay suuuuure." I didn't believe it because it seemed infeasible.
Same here, never took it seriously. That being said, they could've picked their words better.
I mentioned it multiple times but there are differences: back in december one of my female hyenas refused to mate (got a notification for that), some male animals don't fight and some fight constantly. Maybe some prefer to climb and others don't. Not the in-depth uniqueness some people were expecting, but still different.

This is a zoo simulator. Not an animal simulator. The animals are a critical part of the game, and truly do drive most of the decisions that you make as a player. But... It was never meant to be a catch-all for every animal interaction or concern. For that to happen you would need to have a game with a much smaller scope and more limited creativity. With the freedom Planet Zoo allows, there are limitations with what you can present as far as the animal behaviors go.
I think they went the middle-road for some features to have all features in the game. Maybe if they included only 25 animals in the base-game that would've been an option to have detailed personalities/interactions. I think for some people this will be the only zoo game that will come close to their preferred zoo-game, so requesting for these features isn't that strange - but in the end it won't be detailed enough for some people.

But getting back to the original point: The "turning" thing. It doesn't look great, but with every decision I would imagine the devs were weighing the PCU cost versus how much it would add to the overall user experience. I'd imagine the number of people craving that level of detail is much smaller than those who are happy with what we have. And while it would be technically possible, they'd have to consider how it would "interact" with everything else they already have in play.
It looks weird but als looking at the "less active animals" comment, I really think more animations to get rid of the robotic look of the animals could help.
Don't know how much CPU this would take - but if the game should perform less if they should add it, not a supporter of that.
 
This is a zoo simulator. Not an animal simulator.
Well ... I usually go to zoos to see the animals, and players who want to design things have many alternative softwares. I love desinig my zoo, but it take so much effort, sometimes I would love to enjoy what I created, I would like to see animals "living" in the places I created, and most of the time is just frustrating.

People often say "it would be too difficoult", "it would be a big effort for the CPU", "the engine can't handle this"; but as a player who doesn't ask for the moon I don't like to hear this excuses, I didn't announce realist animals, different personalities etc ... my role was to give them money, and I did it everytime I could, but I feel like they didn't give me what they said. I'm not expecting miracles, but improvments, and a bigger care for those kind of things. For example, this animation is cute, too bad that the lioness mouch disappear inside her shoulder. Or every time and african elephant change direction, the ear disappear inside the body.

Immagine 2020-10-16 014459.png
 
People shouldn't take comments like "realistic animals, different personalities" that literally. :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:
Something that still really amuses me.
 
Well ... I usually go to zoos to see the animals, and players who want to design things have many alternative softwares. I love desinig my zoo, but it take so much effort, sometimes I would love to enjoy what I created, I would like to see animals "living" in the places I created, and most of the time is just frustrating.

People often say "it would be too difficoult", "it would be a big effort for the CPU", "the engine can't handle this"; but as a player who doesn't ask for the moon I don't like to hear this excuses, I didn't announce realist animals, different personalities etc ... my role was to give them money, and I did it everytime I could, but I feel like they didn't give me what they said. I'm not expecting miracles, but improvments, and a bigger care for those kind of things. For example, this animation is cute, too bad that the lioness mouch disappear inside her shoulder. Or every time and african elephant change direction, the ear disappear inside the body.

View attachment 191536
At this point, we aren't talking about what the game likely can or cannot do and what it is that we want out of the game.

Planet Zoo is designed to be a bunch of different things but has a very heavy focus on management and design. The animals inform the way habitats get designed. And when you add the animals in... They move around. They play. They sleep. They approach each other. They nuzzle. They swim. They do quite a bit. And while I think the animals could be a bit more unique in terms of appearance, I'm really not sure just how different people expected them to be or how they would like those differences to be represented. I got exactly what I paid for, IMO.

And yes, compared to any other zoo game that I've played? These animals do feel way more unique. There could be more details, sure... But I really don't find it hugely problematic. Whether or not the animals "turn" properly just doesn't feel like it would be a meaningful change.

And I'm still not convinced that it wouldn't take quite a bit of extra CPU to achieve it unless you limited it to occurring in wide open spaces (because the animal would be constantly calculating whether or not it could wrap around any objects surrounding it--and when you add that up across an entire zoo I could see that slowing things down).

People shouldn't take comments like "realistic animals, different personalities" that literally. :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:
Something that still really amuses me.
I mean, there are differences between the animals as somebody else pointed out. Subtle. But they are there. There's some in-game fixes that could be made to highlight these differences a bit more, I think. Like adding some "bonuses" to their welfare for certain things. Like, giving individual animals an affinity for a certain enrichment item or food dispenser, or wanting to nap/sleep in certain locations -- or even liking the attention of guests watching them! You could then have formulated descriptions that say "Lion A enjoys playing with [enrichment item type] and spending time with Lion B. She really enjoys showing off for the guests!" Therefore, if you put an enrichment item of that type for this particular lion right by a guest viewing area? They would become even happier.

That's one way it could be achieved. But beyond that, it feels like what people want is something like that old computer game Dogz or what you see on docuseries about animals in zoos. "Yeah, y'know, he wasn't happy in his enclosure until we brought a second female in for Benny. And now all they do is run around and play all day. But Benny and the older female just don't get along. They never touch each other; she's kinda grouchy and would just rather hang by herself."

I feel like that's what people want. But I really feel like that level of detail is truly challenging for a game like this with so many different moving parts. There's changes one could make to achieve it (like making the time slower and having fewer guests in the zoo) but that would require an overhaul/re-balancing of many of the game's core features.
 
Ome thing that PZ does better than JW:E is that the animations from animal to animal are much more unique. I hope that if we get JW:E2, the dinosaurs get this care.

Also, I'm still adamant on wanting animals to turn while in motion. I also bought up JPOG because despite being on a different engine, it can be done in a much more primitive game.
 
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I feel like that's what people want. But I really feel like that level of detail is truly challenging for a game like this with so many different moving parts. There's changes one could make to achieve it (like making the time slower and having fewer guests in the zoo) but that would require an overhaul/re-balancing of many of the game's core features.
I think it should be possible to include simplistic personality traits, a bit like in The Sims.

Say there's a list of traits;

- Solitary
- Playful
- Shy
- Lazy
- Outgoing
- Clingy

Assign these at random to animals in the market. Solitary animals still need the welfare boost from being in a group, but don't interact as often with other animals and are more difficult to breed. Playful animals don't get bored with enrichment items. Shy animals prefer areas of low visibility. Clingy animals always stick close to other animals. Outgoing animals never get stressed by guests.

Basically, you'd be applying buffs to animals based on personality traits, and maximising certain behavioural/animation cues based on whatever value the trait is assigned in the animal's AI.
 
I think it should be possible to include simplistic personality traits, a bit like in The Sims.

Say there's a list of traits;

  • Solitary
  • Playful
  • Shy
  • Lazy
  • Outgoing
  • Clingy

Assign these at random to animals in the market. Solitary animals still need the welfare boost from being in a group, but don't interact as often with other animals and are more difficult to breed. Playful animals don't get bored with enrichment items. Shy animals prefer areas of low visibility. Clingy animals always stick close to other animals. Outgoing animals never get stressed by guests.

Basically, you'd be applying buffs to animals based on personality traits, and maximising certain behavioural/animation cues based on whatever value the trait is assigned in the animal's AI.
This would feel like a perfect resolution to me. I still think it would be fun if they had a preference for certain enrichment items, part of the habitat, or even another animal living with them within the current habitat. It would be simple, and add another dimension...

But I'm still not convinced that would give people what they want hah.
 
I think it should be possible to include simplistic personality traits, a bit like in The Sims.

Say there's a list of traits;

  • Solitary
  • Playful
  • Shy
  • Lazy
  • Outgoing
  • Clingy

Assign these at random to animals in the market. Solitary animals still need the welfare boost from being in a group, but don't interact as often with other animals and are more difficult to breed. Playful animals don't get bored with enrichment items. Shy animals prefer areas of low visibility. Clingy animals always stick close to other animals. Outgoing animals never get stressed by guests.

Basically, you'd be applying buffs to animals based on personality traits, and maximising certain behavioural/animation cues based on whatever value the trait is assigned in the animal's AI.
This was more or less what I was thinking about and would totally be enough. If they would/could implement animal-guest interaction at least to some animals (apes, monkeys, elephants, llamas and camels ), outgoing animals could also interact with guests more often, raising their interest points (forgot the real term).
 
I think it should be possible to include simplistic personality traits, a bit like in The Sims.

Say there's a list of traits;

  • Solitary
  • Playful
  • Shy
  • Lazy
  • Outgoing
  • Clingy
I could be incorrect about this, but I'm pretty sure not long after the 1.3 update went live in August, someone did a datamine of PZ and found hidden, inactive values for traits similar to what you have described. I remember seeing this on the PZ reddit. so perhaps it's something they've been working on?
 
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