Spring has sprung and with it comes a new Planet Zoo update! Free Update 1.13 will be making its way to you on 4 April - take a look below for more info on what you can expect to see...
A new animal interaction mechanic is making its way to Planet Zoo - introducing Animal Sociality! This feature aims to bring a more life-like approach to the introduction of new animals into your existing habitats, and to provide clarity when and why overcrowding issues happen. This will not change how you manage your animals but is instead an overhaul in how we communicate this to you, and how the animals engage within their group relationships.
All animals will now have an additional definition in their Zoopedia entry; solitary, matrilineal, patrilineal, or gregarious. This will let you know how they engage with their offspring. New animals that are introduced to a habitat (and juveniles that mature) will be marked as Outsiders if they exceed the gender or population limits of a habitat, if they are rejected due to their relationship with the group Alpha (i.e. a male in a matrilineal group), or if their parents are present when they are a solitary species. This will maintain a more stable existing population and reduce infighting amongst existing animals, instead having them group together to target the new outlier and continue to fight until they are removed (or the situation causing them to be deemed an Outsider is improved). Outsiders will also be rejected and unable to partake in group dynamics such as mating, social interaction, and playing, thus creating a more realistic experience and helping stop further overpopulation issues (so if you forget to pause and go grab a snack, you won't come back to 30+ unintentional new offspring!).
However, some groups where coexisting wouldn't have been possible without aggression (such as habitats with an unbalanced gender ratio) may now be able to be formed if the members have developed a bond prior to maturing. Sociality will show you which animals have become bonded. Bonded animals will never fight their Alpha or their bonded partners, and can become bonded through spending time together, or by being juveniles born from the same two parents. It is unlikely that all animals in a large group will be bonded but, for example, it can allow for more than one male to remain in a matrilineal society (i.e. the alpha lion's brother being able to remain within the pride). Furthermore, in some species, the alpha male or female tends to lead the group but doesn't claim exclusive mating rights. These leaders will be marked with a crown in the info panel (replacing the alpha symbol) so that, whatever claim they have, it is clear who they are within the group and so that players can be aware of their reproductive role.
The Outsider relationship can be lost once an animal is removed from the habitat and time has passed allowing the relationships to decay. After this, an animal can be reintroduced to a group as if they have never met before, but unless the habitat has changed (i.e. the gender ratio is now balanced), the animal may still be rejected and become an Outsider once more. However, if all conditions that are causing an animal to be deemed an Outsider become invalid, it will enter an "integration" period, after which it will be fully integrated and accepted by the existing group. This can happen if the gender and population limits are balanced again, or if the animal is no longer impacted by the alpha of the group. The type of Outsider an animal is will be displayed within the info panel, so you will know the cause and be able to take appropriate managerial steps from there. This panel will also display the time left in the integration period, should your animal enter one.
Animal Sociality will add all of this information under the Social tab. All sociality dynamics will also be labelled appropriate per species, whether that be as a pride, pack, herd, clan, or similar.
Ever wanted to have a hidden or completely natural path, or to style your own via decorative items? We know you have, and now you can! Introducing Null Paths!
Disabling the "Kerbs on Ground Path" toggle on any Natural Path will now create a Null Path - an "invisible" path that allows guests and zoo staff to walk across a seemingly unmarked terrain. These paths will function the same as any other path meaning that terrain cannot be deformed around them, nor can facilities or similar be placed on them, but they will only show an outline when selected for building purposes and can be customised beyond that to your heart's content.
Similar to Null Barriers, any build mode will now have a settings dropdown to "Highlight Hidden Paths". This is enabled by default but can be toggled as necessary for those who really go in-depth with their building!
Another improvement coming for all of our builders is an addition to your Advanced Movement options - multi-axis movement!
Until now, when moving objects you have had to pan it across each axis individually to reach the exact placement you want. Now, when you are in building mode, an additional handle has been added between each of the axis arrows. These handles can be selected to move any asset freely across two axes at once, i.e. forward/back and left/right, whilst remaining locked in position up/down. This should make building easier than ever!
Ever created a build that you're really happy with but then you unpause and - oh no! - some of your assets are climbable and now your animals keep escaping? This is no longer an issue with the introduction of the Climbable Asset Toggle!
Any object that is climbable can now have its climbing function toggled on/off. This selection is also available for groups and multi-selections, allowing you to toggle large amounts of assets at once. This will allow you to customise what animals are able to climb on, therefore restricting what they can scale - and stopping them from being able to escape from undesired areas!
When looking at the animals' traversable area, disabled climbing assets will be highlighted in black whereas enabled climbable assets will be highlighted in green. This will be particularly useful for things like custom barriers, or for creating more comprehensive climbing frames in which sections of it are maintained as purely decorative without disrupting the rest of the frame.
As always, these exciting new features will come alongside a range of fixes and quality-of-life improvements, which you can read in the patch notes after release.
There's more news coming for you soon but, for now, join us later today for a special livestream where we'll be taking a closer look at everything coming your way in Free Update 1.13. Catch us on Twitch and Youtube at 17:00 GMT - see you there!
Slip into a super comfortable Paws and Leaves sweatshirt, sip from an exclusive habitat mug, or grab a deskpad branded with gorgeous art from the game. Pick your favourite animal and show your love for Planet Zoo and nature with these cute and colourful designs and products.Visit store
Stay up to date and be the first to hear about exclusive news & updates about Planet Zoo.