In this Planet Zoo guide, we will go over one of the basic mechanics present in the game: the construction of barriers, and staff/guests paths. This is a key mechanic as it allows you to control the flow of traffic, bifurcating the various groups and allowing for easy traversal. You don’t want your staff to be unable to get to their posts, nor do you want visitors straying from their designated paths and going into areas that’ll reduce their ‘Happiness’. This guide will help you understand the simple mechanics behind it all.
Planet Zoo Staff Path and Guest Path Tips
When constructing these paths, what you’re aiming for is a way of traversing the zoo that makes it easy for visitors to go to and fro, allows them to see everything the zoo has to offer, and looks visually pleasing – you don’t want the zoo to become cluttered, or the paths to form a cluster that confuses the guests and has them finding themselves in a sort of loop.
You desire an aesthetically pleasing and easy to traverse path that’ll maximize guests’ happiness.
First of all, on the bottom right corner is where you’ll find the ‘Paths’ option. Click on it and select the kind of path you want to create. Creating a path costs money, the longer it is the more it’ll cost.
You can increase or decrease the length of any path with the ‘+’ or ‘-‘ keys that are present on your keyboard.
When creating these pathways, you can angle them only slightly. If you press and hold the ‘space’ button, then you can bend and curve the path as much as you like, however it can be quite the hassle to properly curve and align the path along with something else.
The method written above is an efficient way of creating a path that is straight, but for a curved path – meant to curve around an enclosure or exhibit – it may not be the most suitable.
When creating a curved pathway, the former method requires to constantly realign and alter the pathway to run parallel with the exhibit.
The following method will prove to be far more appropriate:
Begin by selecting the ‘Paths’ Option and click on the gear icon that can be seen on the right side. A large list will appear before you; scroll down and look for the ‘Snap Alongside Barriers’ option, it’ll be close to the bottom of the list.
Now, when increasing the length of a pathway, it will automatically run parallel to the exhibit barrier, creating a more visually pleasing pathway that runs as close to the exhibit as possible.
Sometimes the exhibit is shaped in a way that the pathway can’t properly curve around it. This is usually the case for when there’s a straight and sharp barrier edge.
To compensate for that, select the ‘Kerb on Ground Path’ option, and that will not only complete the pathway, but will move past any possible obstructions in the way.
The width of the pathway can also be adjusted. This isn’t of much use if you’re only drawing in a small crowd. But as more and more people begin to frequent your establishment, the wider the paths will need to be in order to facilitate all the visitors.
When creating another pathway, the game is designed to automatically connect the two paths if they’re in close proximity to one another. This can be a useful mechanic if you plan on connecting the two paths, but can be quite annoying if you don’t intend for such a connection.
In the case of the latter, hold down the ‘Ctrl’ key on your keyboard while creating the second pathway. This will prevent the two paths from crossing.
It’s also possible for you to create paths that move upwards or downwards. If you’ve created an exhibit or building with multiple stories, you can create an easily accessible pathway.
Use the ‘U’ or ‘J’ keys on your keyboard to make that happen, and it’s another tool that will aid you tremendously when creating your ideal zoo. These paths can also be curved.
To make sure the visitors don’t veer from the determined path, you can install railings. You can set them up as a default addition when creating a pathway, or you can add them in later manually via the ‘Paths’ option.
If you feel like a pathway you’ve constructed isn’t up to scratch, delete it and start over! You’ll get your money back so it’ll be like you never did anything in the first place.
Staff and Guest Paths
There’s a clear distinction between visitor paths and staff paths. The latter is only to be accessed by the zoo staff, whereas the former can be used by both visitors and staff members. The purpose of distinguishing the two is primarily to supplement the staff.
To be able to reach their destinations or designated offices in time, the staff members will need to be able to cut past all the visiting guests; a bit hard to do if they’re blocked by the copious amounts of people ogling at the exhibits.
The best way to do this is to build a staff path and a visitor path parallel to one another – the visitor path be slightly wider than the staff pathway. This way, the staff can go anywhere the guests are in a hurry and be able to solve any issue that arises.
Another thing to note is that staff buildings and other infrastructure relating to the management and upkeep of the zoo, is something the guests aren’t really willing to see. The sight of something like that can potentially lower their happiness.
Therefore, a way to prevent them from meandering into an area where such buildings can be seen is to have only the staff pathways lead to them.
If the guests never get on the staff’s pathway, then they’re never likely to find themselves in the presence of a staff building.
You can select what kind of path you want to create by clicking on the ‘Paths’ option.
On the left most side of the window you’ll see the various kinds of paths available to you, including ‘Guest’ and ‘Staff’ paths.
A key thing to note: guests aren’t willing to get too close to the exhibits of more deadly or terrifying animals.
Therefore, you’re advised to build visitor paths a bit away from the enclosures that exhibit such creatures. If you build it too close to the exhibit, then they’re happiness is liable to decrease and they’re less likely to donate to the zoo.
When it comes to more harmless animals, you’re encouraged to have the path be as close to the exhibit as possible.
The guests want a clear and transparent view of the animals, and the first step in giving them that is by creating a pathway that lets them get as close as comfortably possible.
That’s all there is to it. Not a whole lot to it but definitely a mechanic that players should try to develop a solid understanding of.
Players familiar with ‘Planet Coaster’ will definitely have an easier time with it as that game had similar mechanics