Interview with the Dev Team Behind Planet ZooJul 7, 2022 | 1 Votes by Aethyna 10 rate Learn more about the Conservation Pack DLC and how the team comes up with these must-have packs for Planet Zoo!
We are honored to be able to interview the Frontier team behind Planet Zoo about their latest DLC, the Conservation Pack, and learn more about the processes they go through to come up with some of the most incredible DLCs for the game.
1. The Conservation Pack DLC has been fun and educational even for us. However, this begets the question – why release a Conservation Pack DLC and at this point in time (just wanted to point out that the World Wildlife Conservation Day is on December 4th)?
Conservation is an important aspect of gameplay in Planet Zoo, and with the Conservation Pack, we wanted to highlight this even further. Zoos undertake really valuable work for species preservation and conservation. It’s something that’s important all year round, so we felt this release was the right time for us to explore conservation themes with a dedicated pack and accompanying free base game update.
2. Among the animals in the pack, the Siamang stands out thanks to the fact that it is the first gibbon species in the game, and that it has a unique brachiating and chorusing behaviour. However, this brachiating behaviour is only restricted to the climbing frames. Will the Siamang eventually be able to branchiate through the canopy of trees we place in its enclosure as well?
While it would look amazing to see Siamangs swing through trees, the foliage in game cannot feasibly support this in a way that looks natural or that would be intuitive for players to use. The brachiation system is really complex, and in order to ensure animations line up correctly and look as believable as possible, the new set of climbing frames gives us the most control over the animal’s behaviour while remaining modular so that they can be used in players’ amazing creations.
3. Talking about the animals, how does your team come up with the list of animals to include in each DLC? Is there an animal wishlist available for players to vote for their favorite animals? If there isn’t one, why not?
When choosing the animals for a pack we look at multiple factors, such as the species’ conservation status, how common they are within zoos, any behaviours that make them unique, and overall popularity. Our wonderful community of players are very knowledgeable and we always enjoy reading through their feedback on our official forums – this is something we into account when compiling a list of animals for a given pack.
There is no ‘official’ wishlist as such, since there are so many animals to choose from and so sadly we can’t guarantee bringing every request to the game, however we do of course take the requests of our lovely community into consideration since they often create their own lists!
4. As some players have pointed out as well, we love the shift from regional animal packs to a more diverse one. Is this a trend that will continue for future animal packs? If not, why not?
While we don’t have anything to share regarding future packs right now, we have very much enjoyed focusing our packs on particular regions, habitat types and animal themes to date – they’ve all enabled us to explore many different aspects of modern zookeeping!
5. We understand that charity shouldn’t be forced, but it does seem like it’d be a great way for Frontier to donate part of its profits in the sale of this specific DLC to prominent wildlife conservation organizations, like the WWF or the IUCN, to help in the conservation efforts of these very endangered animals and more. Is this something that Frontier is considering?
Fundraising in various forms is definitely important to us and we’re always looking at different ways that we can contribute. We’ve directly collaborated with a range of organisations that are engaged in some amazing conservation efforts in order to raise funds to support their work, for example with our recent ‘Capycam’ livestream in support of Shepreth Wildlife Conservation Charity. This is something we are looking to do more of in the future.
We also work very closely with zoos and conservation experts during development to ensure accuracy and authenticity wherever possible.
6. Planet Zoo has one of the most avid and invested communities, and it can be hard to ensure that most of them are happy with the updates and DLCs (along with the frequency of those updates and DLCs) you roll out. Regardless of what you do, there will always be a group of players who hated the changes or think the DLC should have been a part of the base game or a previous DLC. How do you handle all of this?
We love hearing from our community of players. One of the benefits of such longstanding post-launch support (the game will be three years old this November!) is the chance to react to player feedback and add new animals and features to the game over time. Everyone has their favourite animal, and while we would love to include them all, unfortunately that’s not always possible.
That said, we put lots of careful research into our choices for DLCs so usually receive great feedback from players, which is really rewarding.
7. This is probably one of the most secured secrets at Frontier, but we’re sure our readers would love to get an idea of what the next Planet Zoo DLC would be. Any hints? 😉
Unfortunately, we don’t have anything further to share. The team are currently supporting the launch of the Conservation Pack.
8. We’re sure you’re already expecting this question at some point so let’s not beat around the bush any longer… will Planet Zoo have flying birds eventually?
We have nothing to announce regarding birds in Planet Zoo.
Thank you so much for the answers and we look forward to talking to the team about Planet Zoo in the future!
We've also reviewed the latest Conservation Pack DLC on WWGDB, so if you'd like to read more about what we think about the pack, you can check it out here: Save Endangered Animal Species in Planet Zoo's Latest Conservation Pack DLC.