Hi there! Long time lurking on ZooChat but I now have a reason to post! I figured this would be the most accurate forum to post on, as this is essentially creating a fantasy zoo. Background: So to preface, I am the current president of the Aggie Behavior Network. An organization at Texas A&M devoted to professional development of those involved in Animal Behavior and the related fields. I noticed that the majority of the students are interested in going on to be zookeepers and the like. I wanted to create a program/activity to teach them real skills about zoo management and controversies surrounding zoos, that you can’t entirely get from volunteering as a zookeeper or playing zoo tycoon. So I've been creating a "Semi-automatic" zoo simulation "game" called SYBAZ (So You Bought a Zoo) for the organization. If it works I want to flesh it out into a distributable software or put it on a website but currently it is housed entirely on excel and needs to be run via a dungeon master sort of roll (I call him or her the Zoo Curator or ZC). Gameplay: So the way the game works is you (You refers to the group. I like to think of them as upper level zoo officials or even a board of directors for the zoo) start by buying a zoo. I give 5 premade options of various attributes (rural, urban, large, small, "random" animals etc.) and $1,000,000 of bankroll to spend. The first decision they make is deciding how much they want to spend. They place their down payment, figure out the mortgage and go from there. Past that phase each turn plays out with 3 months passing by. During that time animals can die or get sick, resources are exchanged, and a scenario is introduced. Outcomes of the scenario are decided by the groups actions or by a PR event that I will judge (unbiased as possible). Past that its rinse and repeat until we hit a predetermined milestone or the zoo closes. So on the backend of things it has a lot more complexity to it. Resources: Resources are equated to money. However, they are carefully researched values that are more all encompassing. This is to allow an easier time playing the game and less spent worrying about the "WHY?" a certain animal costs so much, and more about "Oh the animal costs this much per month". Resources in are comprised of admission price, concessions, donations, city appointed budgets, grants, and then resources out include animal care, advertising, salary, the mortgage, extra vet bills and then research and conservation efforts. Many of these values are affected by multiple things and many can affect other values (advertising brings in more people etc.) The various resource values were researched using financial reports from zoos, and estimates for animal costs based on typical diets and difficulty for a vet to diagnose the animal. Staff: Staff is also intensely simplified. Staff only (at the moment) consists of Keepers, Directors, and Volunteers. The current salary is based on the average in the US. Every animal has a proposed number of keepers needed, and you need to keep that minimum number or else the survival rate begins to drop. However, volunteers can be substituted for keepers at a cost. I created a keeper to volunteer ratio that also affects survival rates. Directors are assigned as 1 for every 10 staff needed, however directors do not count as animal related staff. Animals: Animals have a column for category, species, name, gender age, total Resource out, total Resources in, attraction rating, minimum keepers needed, and survivability. The animal categories are for simplified adding of new species to the current zoo such that I can have 1 set of values for "Big cats" that generally equates to lions, tigers, Jaguars, mountains lions etc. Values can be changed based on species. Survivability is the most complex thing on the animals tab however. Survivability is based upon the average, in captivity, life span of these animals. Since the game is played month-to-month the survivability is usually something to the tune of .9991 per month chance to survive. This value ensures that on average an animal with a 20 year life span, lives 20 years (Tested over numerous chances). However this value does change with age making a right skewed bell curve if plotted. Lower chance to survive during 1st year, highest chance during reproductive years and then consistent drop off after the average life span. the per month basis is calculated by a random number and if it is above the number then the animal is dead. If it is close (within 10%), then the animal gets sick. However Survivability is also affected by the zoo keeper number and volunteer to keeper ratio. naturally if you have too few keepers then you will have a noticeable decline in survivability ( in this case a change of -.01 makes a huge difference). The keeper to Volunteer ratio additionally creates lower survive rates if the volunteers vastly outnumber the keepers. A change of about -.004 is what I have it at now with 8 keepers and 20 volunteers. This means that for every 250 months an extra animal dies. Yes 20 years is a long time, however that multiplied across, potentially hundreds of animals, it adds up. Scenarios: The scenarios range from "Pablo Escobar has finally been captured and they need a place for his personal pet Tigers" to "Your Koala, Reggie, has escaped his enclosure again. What do you do?" to "A zoo patron has fallen into your polar bear exhibit. You have 5 minutes to figure out what to do.". My goal is to keep the scenarios an even mix of lighthearted and funny (yet plausible) events all the way to defining points in a zoos career. The group's outcome of the zoos decision is decided by a press release. They do not have to be long, but they need to explain the zoos actions. There are many scenarios where even the "right" decision is marred by negative consequences. This is probably the hardest role. I, as zoo curator, will try to be unbiased, and I will be researching as much as I possibly can on what happened In real life for each of these scenarios. Sometimes however I will literally be flipping a coin on the consequences. Scenarios have effect by changing attributes of the zoo. Typically they effect Attraction, Approval Rating, Donations received, Survival Rate, or Money flowing in. Values affecting the zoo: Approval Rating: Approval rating is sort of a ranking of how good or bad your zoo is seen by the public. It is affected by Attraction, Number of animals, Admission Price, and Survival Rate Change. Admissions per month: It is what is is. It is affected by Approval Rating, Zoo Admission Price, and Zoo Attraction Value. Zoo Attraction: Zoo Attraction is essetially a value that effects how attractive your zoo is. It is affected by the sum of the animals attraction values and the approval rating of your zoo. IRL application Regardless of opinion I will be utilizing this within the organization. Additionally the students will be creating their zoo in person via Legos. I wanted something for the tactile learners to mess around with, and by taking pictures throughout the course of this "experiment" the group can see exactly what progress and how their zoo is evolving. As this is not the only thing the organization does, I will be tying in scenarios to topics we discussed or recent events in the surrounding community/zoo world. My plan is to blog the entire experience, and possibly live stream the meetings. I know i'm not including the hardcore values or a model of the spreadsheet. Honestly on the back end it's chaotic unless you built it. I've done a few trial runs and everything seems to be at a point that its runable. I was just wondering if ZooChat had any considerations or food-for-thought regarding SYBAZ? I'm planning on running it with a few friends before getting it finalized. I know over the next year it is going to go through several reiterations and changes, but for now I'm incredibly happy that its running and fairly accurate. Thoughts or questions on values I'm using?