Zoo Tycoon

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Community

     The community for this game has been one of the friendliest I have seen. To me, these traits are what keep the game alive and allow the community itself to flourish.

People

     One thing that has always struck me amazing was the amount of times forums and site were reinstalled and/or wiped clean. This is why there are very few traces of the community's history, and what remains is missing pieces or incomplete.

     As I mentioned before, part of what drew me in was the great design community. Unfortunately, when I arrived, most of the community's older members have already left. There were a few that really stood out from what I can recall: Markbell, Casey, Pixigger.

     Markbell was not really active, in a way already gone when I had arrived. However, he wrote one of the few building creation tutorials, which if it weren't for him, many buildings would probably have never been made. A building in Zoo Tycoon actually required some programming with .dll files, something which very few in the community knew how to do.

     Casey was one of the few who were actual programmers in real life. He, in a way, picked up where Markbell left off and was often the one to refer to for help with buildings, scenarios, and other more complicated projects. He slowly started distancing from the community after an unfortunate car accident. At the time of this writing, I do not think he has left yet, but he does not seem to visit the community as often now.

     Pixigger arguably achieved the furthest in designing and was one of the most helpful in the community. I do not recall anything he could not create for Zoo Tycoon, and he and Casey were the only two to understand fully how to create custom scenarios. During his leave, he unfortunately became caught up in the Zoo Admin vs. Zoo Tek feud and his reputation suffered somewhat a decline. It is rather sad that the last mentions of him would be of a flame war, rather than that of his countless achievements.

     I myself got caught up in that same flame war that marked the end of Pixigger's career; arguably it also marked my leave out of the community and onto Age of Mythology. At some point, it became known that I was only 12 years old, and accusations started that I must have been stealing code from the best of Zoo Tek, as no 12 year old could not have created all the things I did or come up with all the tricks/hacks that others previously thought impossible in the game. The smears got pretty crazy, some going as far as saying, "imagine what a ---ing terrible person that kid will become if he's already such a stealing and lying piece of --- at 12."

Fun Stuff

     Alot of interesting things cropped up during my time in the community. Much of it perhaps was not Zoo Tycoon related at all, but it is great to look back at these. Fortunately I archived a number of these, for much if it no longer exists online.

Links

  • Major Sites:
    • Zoo Admin - One of the oldest Zoo Tycoon fansites and one of the most popular as well. This was the site I associated with and designed for. The site is no longer up, but you can find it on the Wayback Machine, which ironically I found out about from the Zoo Admin community.
    • ZooTek - Although once an 'enemy' of Zoo Admin, it seems to be getting along quite fine now and is also one of the most popular and oldest fansites.
    • Pixigger's Encyclopaedia of Zoo Tycoon - Pixigger's site containing not only his works but much useful information and resources as well.
    • Markbell's Site - Markbell's site, often linked to for his information and guides on creating buildings.
    • Wisco's Zoo Tycoon - A database of information and statistics relating to the game. Extremely useful reference site.
    • Zoo Tycoon Community Downloads Directory - A collection of all known downloads for Zoo Tycoon. Was created late towards when I left and ogresnet version of Zoo Admin was beginning to fold.
  • Smaller Fansites:
    • Savahna Secrets - Not an actual site for Zoo Tycoon, but it was a fun site created by a number of the Zoo Tycoon community and was quite active at one point.
    • Zoo People - A now-dead site. At one point it was somewhat active.