Let's Build in Planet Zoo with SimplySavannah
Console News

Let's Build in Planet Zoo with SimplySavannah

Hayo Zookeepers!

To celebrate the recent launch of Planet Zoo: Console Edition we've partnered up with a few fantastic Planet Zoo creators and asked them to build some exciting new habitats on consoles!

Over the next 3 weeks we'll be sharing their creations alongside some building tips and recommendations from the creators themselves.

First up is the wonderful SimplySavannah. Savannah's channel focuses on cozy & creative simulation games for animal lovers! Savannah has also worked in the animal welfare industry for almost 10 years, combining her love for both video games and animals together to share with her viewers.

We asked SimplySavanah to build habitats for the spotted hyena, red panda and African elephant, and asked her a few questions about the console experience and where she gets inspiration for her builds.

Spotted Hyena Habitat - Savannah Biome

First off, Savannah built this stunning spotted hyena habitat, recreating a PC habitat in Planet Zoo: Console Edition. Keep an eye out for the creative custom shelters!

How did you find the console experience when building your habitats?

At first I struggled a bit just because of all the new controls. However, I found that after only a couple hours of playing my hands started to naturally press the controls I wanted and building came much smoother. I went through basically the same process when I first started playing Planet Zoo and Planet Coaster on PC; any new game takes some practice!

What was the most important thing for you when designing your habitats?

I love to keep realism in mind. As a keeper myself at an AZA accredited facility its important to me to keep the animal's needs in mind while also trying to balance that with a pretty looking exhibit from the guest perspective! I don't always build completely realistic exhibits, but try to stay "realism inspired". It's a fun challenge like I am actually an exhibit designer!

What do you think your fellow zookeepers will be most excited for in Planet Zoo: Console Edition?

The ability for more players to play! Not everyone has a PC and not everyone has a console! With Planet Zoo being on both, now more players get to enjoy it! I also think console players will enjoy being able to cozy up on their couch and play! (I absolutely built a couple of my console builds cuddled up in a blanket with my controller).

Red Panda Habitat - Taiga Biome

Next up, Savannah created a beautiful red panda habitat along with some handy tips on how to use different rocks and scenery combinations for a visually appealing habitat.

Where did the inspiration for your habitats come from, did you use any real-life zoo/habitats?

Yes! I always use real-life zoo photos as a reference when building. I am lucky enough to live in San Diego with access to the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park! I've also traveled to many zoos around the United States and have collected tons of pictures from all of them!

Out of all the habitats and zoos you have ever built, which is your favourite?

That's a really hard question to answer because I'm not even sure I remember all the habitats I've built because there are so many! One that comes to mind is a habitat I built for the Grey Seal for the launch of the Aquatic Pack. I loved building the little fishing style buildings I used as the backdrop as well as incorporating some underwater viewing for the animals. I don't usually build with a lot of color but for that build I did and I had a ton of fun with it!

Do you have any tips/tricks for those starting their zookeeping journey with Planet Zoo: Console Edition?

Be patient and practice! Sometimes I get comments saying "I could never build like that" or "I'm not as good as you are" and I would love for people to remember that I've played the game since launch, Planet Coaster before that, and have over 1000 hours in the PC game! When I first started building/playing I was bad at it too! So much in fact that the first few videos I ever made aren't even live on my channel because I'm too embarrassed of them! So I would tell any new player not to compare themselves to any content creator and to just keep practicing! Also, reference pictures are your best friend!

African Elephant Habitat - Desert Biome

Finally, Savannah designed the perfect African elephant habitat - complete with its very own swimming pool! 

Which of the habitats out of the 3 you were given was your favourite to build?

The Spotted Hyena habitat was my favorite to build! I love the aesthetic of the savannah/grassland colors mixed with the greens of the landscaping and the blue of the sky! I also had the most fun with it since I went back and tried to recreate a habitat I had built on PC nearly two years ago!

What would you say is your favourite Planet Zoo DLC, and your favourite animal in the game?

My favorite DLC is sort of a tie between the Australia Pack and the Africa Pack. But even typing that out my brain is still saying "but what about the Aquatic Pack?! What about the Europe Pack?!" At this point I use key build pieces from so many packs that its hard to choose a favorite. However, the Australia and Africa pack stand out because I just love the grassland aesthetic so much! Choosing my favorite animal is difficult too. My favorite animal in real life is the African Lion, so I've always given that as my answer when asked!

What's the best thing about being part of the Planet Zoo community?

The people in it, hands down. I know that may sound a little cliche but it's my honest answer! Through Planet Zoo and content creation I've made some of the friends I now talk to on a daily basis. Planet Zoo started my channel and because of it I have an amazing community that joins me in my love for video games and animals!

Thank you once again to SimplySavannah for these beautiful habitats! Pay Savannah's YouTube channel a visit here for even more builds and inspiration in Planet Zoo.

Join us next week as we take a look at some more habitats - this time created by the lovely Aniix.

Planet Zoo: Console Edition is available to buy now on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S.

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