An absolute MUST HAVE feature needed - animal management policies

A few habitats and guest shops makes the profit from guests steady enough to not need the exhibit breeding profits. I have three habitats and im sitting on more cash than i can spend, selling exhibit animals for cash just isn't worth it by that point. I say stuff some contraceptives down the frogs and get to the fun part instead :)

If you use contraceptives then you're still having to manage animals later on on a massive scale as you have to then purchase the new animals after your contraceptives one die off of old age.

So either way, you're in a never ending loop of micro managing animals instead of building your park. You're either micromanaging breeding or you're micromanaging refilling your habitats and exhibits.

I don't want to play "Planet Caretaker" I want to play Planet Zoo. This animal micromanagement is something my workers should be doing. It's absolutely bonkers and it gets exponentially worse as your zoo gets bigger.
 
A few habitats and guest shops makes the profit from guests steady enough to not need the exhibit breeding profits. I have three habitats and im sitting on more cash than i can spend, selling exhibit animals for cash just isn't worth it by that point. I say stuff some contraceptives down the frogs and get to the fun part instead :)

Whether I use contraceptives or not, I'm still going to be stuck micro managing animals. Either I'm micro managing breeding and selling or I'm micromanaging purchasing more animals as my contraceptive ones die off.

These things should be taken care of by my workers.

I want to play Planet Zoo not Zoo Caretaker.
 
Most heared remark prior to launch:
"Give us more management!!!"

*PZ gets more management

After launch:
"Give us an auto-management option, there is too much management!"

:unsure:

I don't get it, but maybe that's me.
 
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Most heared remark prior to launch:
"Give us more management!!!"

*PZ gets more management

After launch:
"Give us an auto-management option, there is too much management!"

:unsure:

I don't get it, but maybe that's me.
I see this discussion a lot too, and i get it to some degree. I like the management aspect, but I feel like it needs a little bit of tweaking, so it doesn't become constant micro-managing every little thing. Once my zoo reaches a certain number of habitats, it becomes a constant stress of this micro-managing.
I don't think people are really upset about the management, but more of the fact that it feels unrewarding. It's not so much managing in a way that makes the zoo efficient and thriving, but feels more like a constant need to fix the same issues over and over.

I think, in animal managing, this could be solved by giving a lot of the animals less strict population restrictions. Most habitats become fighting grounds the instant a certain born sex matures, which doesn't make sense for most species.
You constantly have to watch the newborns like a hawk, or you get flooded by warnings of parents trying to murder their suddenly grown up children.

It would also be nice with an option to automatically give new born animals contraceptives, to avoid inbreeding as suddenly there's 3 new matured gazelles mating with a parent, because you didn't catch it in time. It makes selective breeding chaotic.

You can easily monitor these things at first, but it becomes stressful to keep an eye on every single newborn animal when you have 10+ species.

TLDR: It's not so much the amount of management, as it's the way of managing. It needs to feel rewarding and meaningful, so you actually manage and not just become a manual caretaker, fixing the same issues in every single habitat over and over.
There should be a feeling that, if you manage the zoo well, it in turns become more stable, giving you breathing room to expand and make new parts of the zoo function as well.
 
Most heared remark prior to launch:
"Give us more management!!!"

*PZ gets more management

After launch:
"Give us an auto-management option, there is too much management!"

:unsure:

I don't get it, but maybe that's me.

Not sure I heard much talk of more management when I took part in the Beta, but perhaps we were chatting in different circles. For me though it's a loose use of the term management. For me management is defining the policy and letting the staff carry out the instruction. So "cans go on shelf A" is a management decision and putting the cans on shelf A is carried out by staff.

So, in turn,
  • Mark current male and female alpha or alphas
  • Mark all Gold rated Warthogs
  • Auto-release all un-marked Warthogs when they become adult

Then the assigned zoo-keeper carries out those instructions

This already exists in the game with cleaning and feeding animals, we don't have to do that ourselves...
 
Not sure I heard much talk of more management when I took part in the Beta, but perhaps we were chatting in different circles. For me though it's a loose use of the term management. For me management is defining the policy and letting the staff carry out the instruction. So "cans go on shelf A" is a management decision and putting the cans on shelf A is carried out by staff.

So, in turn,
  • Mark current male and female alpha or alphas
  • Mark all Gold rated Warthogs
  • Auto-release all un-marked Warthogs when they become adult
Then the assigned zoo-keeper carries out those instructions

This already exists in the game with cleaning and feeding animals, we don't have to do that ourselves...
I see this discussion a lot too, and i get it to some degree. I like the management aspect, but I feel like it needs a little bit of tweaking, so it doesn't become constant micro-managing every little thing. Once my zoo reaches a certain number of habitats, it becomes a constant stress of this micro-managing.
I don't think people are really upset about the management, but more of the fact that it feels unrewarding. It's not so much managing in a way that makes the zoo efficient and thriving, but feels more like a constant need to fix the same issues over and over.

I think, in animal managing, this could be solved by giving a lot of the animals less strict population restrictions. Most habitats become fighting grounds the instant a certain born sex matures, which doesn't make sense for most species.
You constantly have to watch the newborns like a hawk, or you get flooded by warnings of parents trying to murder their suddenly grown up children.

It would also be nice with an option to automatically give new born animals contraceptives, to avoid inbreeding as suddenly there's 3 new matured gazelles mating with a parent, because you didn't catch it in time. It makes selective breeding chaotic.

You can easily monitor these things at first, but it becomes stressful to keep an eye on every single newborn animal when you have 10+ species.

TLDR: It's not so much the amount of management, as it's the way of managing. It needs to feel rewarding and meaningful, so you actually manage and not just become a manual caretaker, fixing the same issues in every single habitat over and over.
There should be a feeling that, if you manage the zoo well, it in turns become more stable, giving you breathing room to expand and make new parts of the zoo function as well.
I exaggerated a lot there (y), but running around the forum a lot of the feedback is contradictive to each other.

But prior to beta a lot of the comments where about having "more management" in Planet Zoo compared to Planet Coaster. People wanted a zoo manager, and that is exactly what they got. Now the complains are that it is too much of (micro)management. While for me it was pretty clear that was what we where gonna get.
 
I think the issue is that many of the management decisions aren't actually meaningful choices. How many animals to keep in a specific habitat is meaningful, but given the animals have very little individuality (especially the exhibit animals), I don't really care which ones stay or go. This could be fixed with better animal behaviors to make me care more, slower timescale so I'm telling the game I want the same thing less frequently, or management policies so I don't have to tell the game the same thing over and over in the first place. Managing a zoo doesn't need to involve telling the game to release endangered frogs over and over and over again. I dislike contraception as a solution to the issue, as part of the point of zoo is to breed endangered animals - if I'm running a successful breeding program, I should be able to tell my keepers/habitats to release the animals when they hit maturity, and I shouldn't need to do it for every single animal I breed.
 
You can not allow the game to automatically sell your animals. The game doesn't know which genes you want to keep, which ones get rid of. If you managed to get a golden offspring and the game sells it, that would be a big loss to your zoo.
 
If you're going to have a park that wants to have any animals that breed fast (here's looking at you frogs) then nearly all your time is going to be spent constantly selling your animals that you'll almost never get to actually build. All I have in my park are 3 frog exhibits and already half my time is spent selling off my frogs to make money and to keep group sizes under control.

I'm shocked this game doesn't have a way to set up a policy so that animal handlers automatically sell animals after they reach a certain limit. For example, I should be able to set a policy that sells off my Giant Frogs anytime my population reaches 3 or more and also able to set up policy that keeps 1 male and 1 female. Because I can't have my staff do these things for me, I'm stuck doing them to the point where I want to just not have the exhibit.

In fact, this is recommended by many people here - don't have exhibits. If making my park and play experience better means I have to NOT use certain things the game is designed to have, isn't that a giant red flag something is wrong?

This needs to be implemented or else the micromanagement of the game will become unbearable.

Here's hoping you take this into consideration.
I have the Brazilian Salmon Pink Tarantula as my only exhibit and thanks to them they stopped me from being bankrupt. Because they breed like mad and even if you sell the babies as soon as they're born you can get alot of money for them depending on their stats. I've gotten over 3k for about 10 I think. At first I made sure their breeding was controlled. But after a while of constantly having to check with them bcuz they breed like rabbits I eventually just said f*ck it and let them do what they want. Because you can't release them or trade them anyway you're just selling them so in a way it doesn't really matter if they inbreed (although I still feel kinda bad for doing it....). What I do now is because I keep forgetting about them I just wait for the notification to tell me that their social welfare need is low and then I get to selling them. It takes me about 30 seconds to do so as I look at their ages on the Zoo tab and keep the older ones that are the breeding machines (one male and two female - more babies more moneyyy).

ANYWAY. I'd say keep one of your Frog exhibits and get rid of the rest. They're just causing problems clearly. Keep one exhibit, get two Habitats (I had Peafowl and Tortoise for like 5 years), meet your guests needs but most importantly DON'T BUILD TOO FAST. I think that's why my current zoo which is my 12th attempt...Is so successful. I'm on year 20 and have around 230k. Because I took it slow. Like really slow. Alot of the time I was just sitting there chilling watching my Peafowl...I did all this yesterday and spent around 8 hours all together I think. It's a long time but it goes by quickly (in-game too, LOL). Now I have my Wild Dogs, Bengal Tigers and Komodo Dragons and bought some Tapir waiting int he Trade Centre. ;)

I agree with you though. If we don't care about the animals being Gold or whatever just give us a button to sell them automatically.
 
The thing is, that there's not only a lot of micromanaging to do - but it is made very tedious for us.

Instead of showing us our gold/silver and bronze anmials in our Animal-Zoo list, we have to click on each of them.

Instead of highlighting good breeding partners when clicking on an animal in the List, we have to check them individually to avoid inbreeding.

I really do not mind micromanaging. But I want it to be less of an effort. There really is no need for it to be so tedious.
 
I personally don't have a problem pausing and selling off animals that have bred ( I usually pause intermittently anyway due to other zoo tasks that interrupt my building rofl.) When I don't want to be disturbed I use pause ... build my stuff then unpause to play the game through and handle issues.

But ..

The suggestion to use the zoo keeper training to give them more responsibilities make sense especially if a fully trained zoo keeper can be giving automative rules with a macro style statement .. if habitat cleanliness less than 60% clean it, if habitat food set up is less than 50% add more.. etc


As to exhibit management ..

I found that 4 is a managable number .. enough offspring to provide money when you need it. I periodically check my animals for overbreeding and trade out any animals I don't need anymore ( usually parents to the babies that have just grown up ). I leave them in the trade storage area until I either run out of space and need to get rid of to which I choose cash or CC whichever is more useful at the time, or when I need more cash ( sell for cash ) or CC ( sell for CC ) . I only have a single pair so that I don't have to rush every few seconds/minutes as the exhibits can house multiple animals for a reasonable time frame before they start complaining about space and cleanliness ... when I do check on them I have between 4 or 12 additionals to sort out.
 
I personally don't have a problem pausing and selling off animals that have bred ( I usually pause intermittently anyway due to other zoo tasks that interrupt my building rofl.) When I don't want to be disturbed I use pause ... build my stuff then unpause to play the game through and handle issues.

But ..

The suggestion to use the zoo keeper training to give them more responsibilities make sense especially if a fully trained zoo keeper can be giving automative rules with a macro style statement .. if habitat cleanliness less than 60% clean it, if habitat food set up is less than 50% add more.. etc


As to exhibit management ..

I found that 4 is a managable number .. enough offspring to provide money when you need it. I periodically check my animals for overbreeding and trade out any animals I don't need anymore ( usually parents to the babies that have just grown up ). I leave them in the trade storage area until I either run out of space and need to get rid of to which I choose cash or CC whichever is more useful at the time, or when I need more cash ( sell for cash ) or CC ( sell for CC ) . I only have a single pair so that I don't have to rush every few seconds/minutes as the exhibits can house multiple animals for a reasonable time frame before they start complaining about space and cleanliness ... when I do check on them I have between 4 or 12 additionals to sort out.

4 might be manageable...but what kind of realistic zoo only has 4 exhibits because it's manageable? If I want to run a zoo full of exhibits I should be able to do so without being micro managed to death.

If you're pausing every 5 seconds to spend 10 minutes worth of micro managing, are you really even playing the game or just spending most game time doing the micro managing?
 
The thing is, that there's not only a lot of micromanaging to do - but it is made very tedious for us.

Instead of showing us our gold/silver and bronze anmials in our Animal-Zoo list, we have to click on each of them.

Instead of highlighting good breeding partners when clicking on an animal in the List, we have to check them individually to avoid inbreeding.

I really do not mind micromanaging. But I want it to be less of an effort. There really is no need for it to be so tedious.
I like these sorts of posts, coming up with a solution to a clearly defined problem. Put this idea as its own feature request post. I think the Animal List in the Zoo overview and in the enclosure details needs tweaking to improve things, but these things are to be expected in games of this nature and Frontier always update and tweak their games based on feedback. The lists should show the Genetic advantages and Alpha Male status so you can sort or filter by that.

I must admit I did fantasise about an auto "release to the wild"/"instant sale" option when my Peafowl population went into overdrive, quite fulfiling getting those token credits even when it wasnt even needed to maintain a profit and I liked the risk of getting rid of too many adults and leaving you with an infertile couple (is the chance of inferitlity a mechanic in this game?). Such an auto release option triggered by age or population size could be combined with a filter ie non-alpha males, only bronze level or under etc.
However this is a game! It is meant to challenge and push you to explore the game mechanics to try and optimise. It uses procedural generation to attempt to generate almost unlimited nuance and where wider design impacts the outcome. A lot of stuff going on. So you need to think about how you could bring in "cheat" mechanics such as auto options so that it also joins in rather than corrupts the wider game.

One easy way would be to make an "Auto release option" return fewer credits, or cash only, or no credit at all, or even having to pay to release if there is a global over-supply (that could be quite interesting!), this would reward those who chose to be more involved in their animals.
The other way is to incur a cost when automation is chosen, so it needs to be worthwhile, this could be in terms of a researchable item that takes time or in terms of real cash to implement or both. This is quite a nice mechanic for management games as it feeds into the wider game management. In the beginning the cost would be prohibitive so you would chose the manual route, as the park expands in theory generates more revenue then the cost of "automation" becomes attractive or practical. There could be a new building required for the auto sale or auto release of animals or a new member of staff, the broker or accountant, plus it would have to take up a work task for the Keepers to perform therefore costing more money in terms of staffing. I like this idea.

The other issue is end game challenges. A lot of people expect to be able to smoothly expand forever just by plonking animals and buildings down but this is a) not gameplay either (hint play the sandbox mode with management turned off) b) unrealistic in the real world. Size should present unique challenges and you can argue that population size is the ultimate challenge! but I agree that too much repetition has negative impact.
 
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You can not allow the game to automatically sell your animals. The game doesn't know which genes you want to keep, which ones get rid of. If you managed to get a golden offspring and the game sells it, that would be a big loss to your zoo.
If the game allowed it, yes I could!

I already suggested that you could restrict (mark) the sale of animals if they met a certain criteria and even if they did sell a gold rated offspring so what? Some animals breed so often I'd have another 50 by tomorrow
 
The thing is, that there's not only a lot of micromanaging to do - but it is made very tedious for us.

Instead of showing us our gold/silver and bronze anmials in our Animal-Zoo list, we have to click on each of them.

Instead of highlighting good breeding partners when clicking on an animal in the List, we have to check them individually to avoid inbreeding.

I really do not mind micromanaging. But I want it to be less of an effort. There really is no need for it to be so tedious.
Yes another alternative to policy management would be to give us better management tools to become more effective.

Also, rather than animals fighting as soon as they reach adulthood, perhaps a forced game mechanic to allow 3 months. The game could then auto-prompt re new adults every quarter so you know to go and sell sell sell. Once a quarter with good tools to make decisions would be fine
 
I must admit I did fantasise about an auto "release to the wild"/"instant sale" option when my Peafowl population went into overdrive, quite fulfiling getting those token credits even when it wasnt even needed to maintain a profit and I liked the risk of getting rid of too many adults and leaving you with an infertile couple (is the chance of inferitlity a mechanic in this game?). Such an auto release option triggered by age or population size could be combined with a filter ie non-alpha males, only bronze level or under etc.
Yes, read my earlier post (about 6 hours ago)

However this is a game! It is meant to challenge and push you to explore the game mechanics to try and optimise. It uses procedural generation to attempt to generate almost unlimited nuance and where wider design impacts the outcome. A lot of stuff going on. So you need to think about how you could bring in "cheat" mechanics such as auto options so that it also joins in rather than corrupts the wider game.
You've lost me, the player decides how to interact with the game and I think this is just complicating a simple suggestion to enable release of animals.

One easy way would be to make an "Auto release option" return fewer credits, or cash only, or no credit at all, or even having to pay to release if there is a global over-supply (that could be quite interesting!), this would reward those who chose to be more involved in their animals.
The other way is to incur a cost when automation is chosen, so it needs to be worthwhile, this could be in terms of a researchable item that takes time or in terms of real cash to implement or both. This is quite a nice mechanic for management games as it feeds into the wider game management. In the beginning the cost would be prohibitive so you would chose the manual route, as the park expands in theory generates more revenue then the cost of "automation" becomes attractive or practical. There could be a new building required for the auto sale or auto release of animals or a new member of staff, the broker or accountant, plus it would have to take up a work task for the Keepers to perform therefore costing more money in terms of staffing. I like this idea.
Why overcomplicate this? It isn't really "auto-release" it is having a staff member do it on behalf of the Zoo. You don't need a special building to do this because it isn't automated (from our perspective yes, but from the game the Zookeeper is doing it). Also why penalise for this option? It's no different to doing it yourself, albeit with the expense of the ZooKeeper. The penalty is they need to be trained and it will cost them time (which is money)



If we keep the ask simple, there is more chance of it happening.
 
If the game allowed it, yes I could!

I already suggested that you could restrict (mark) the sale of animals if they met a certain criteria and even if they did sell a gold rated offspring so what? Some animals breed so often I'd have another 50 by tomorrow
That is a time pace and a breeding rate being out of balance, not the need of some new instruments, trying to bandage deeper problems in the game.
 
That is a time pace and a breeding rate being out of balance, not the need of some new instruments, trying to bandage deeper problems in the game.
You've completely missed the point. Not everyone cares about keeping gold rated offspring... Personally I sell them
 
You've lost me, the player decides how to interact with the game and I think this is just complicating a simple suggestion to enable release of animals.
Yes so play the sandbox game with management turned off? I was talking about implementing an automation in the challenge mode of the Franchise model which is meant to be competitive. There has to be some sort of downside or decision making in using an automation.

150627
 
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Below is example design of automatic selling that I would be very happy with:
A new tab is added to habitat/exhibit management panels for "Policies".
In Policies, you are able to set up some basic conditionals which tells the game which animals you want to sell/release when.
You can implement a habitat/exhibit policy which states animals meeting <condition(s)> are to be transported to trade center upon <condition> and <player choice: released to wild, automatic sell for <price>>. Caretakers who are assigned to the location or have no assignment will now begin transporting animals meeting your conditions to the trade center for your chosen method of banishment. Transport takes in game time and is not instantaneous, but your animals are no longer overcrowded and fighting constantly, and you don't have to manually sell frogs every five minutes.
 
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