Wild Kingdom: The Desert Dome

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Wild Kingdom: The Desert Dome
« on: December 31, 2020, 06:09 AM »
I tried to get into this game when it first came out and couldn't do it, but with last month's release of the aquatic pack I felt like they finally have enough material for me build what I wanted.   After a couple of weeks I think I'm hooked now on the graphics to the point where I'm not sure Planet Coaster can hold my interest anymore.

Anyway, the name of my zoo is a play on the old tv show from the 70's, "Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom."   The show is long defunct but the company is still a major employer here in my home village, and we also have a world class zoo here that I've been borrowing heavily from for architecture and layout.



















The small number of build sets is currently very limiting, but all of the separate sets play very well with each other for very easy mix and matching.  And the photorealism of the graphics is very forgiving to sloppy builders such as myself.  :)



So far I've got an indoor rain forest which is almost finished, an expansive primate pavillion which is almost finished and will contain 8 unique species, the indoor "desert dome" which is still very much under construction on it's interior.  I'm also almost finished with my otter and seal exhibits, which I rushed into the park early because they were attractions that interested me the most about the new expansion.

It's still quite small from the overhead shot, and many necessary and significant exhibits are still missing.   Elephants and giraffes need to be here sooner than later so that children don't go home crying.  We also need to have some lions, tigers, and bears.  Oh my.   I need to get the train track roughed in and plan a large indoor polar complex for some artic life.  So, lots to do if my attention span can hold out for a bit.

And if Frontier doesn't release a oceanic pack next so that I can have an underwater shark viewing I will be greatly disappointed in them.  Much more than my usual level of disappointment with them.

I will hopefully be back with more photos as I finish the interiors of the existing attractions.  I really like what I've done so far, but I've reached a creative stopping point in terms of how I want to go forward... the very next exhibit I build could screw up the entire map and I will suddenly hate everything.   Meanwhile, I hope everyone at SGW is doing well and staying healthy, Happy New Year to you all.

« Last Edit: January 22, 2021, 08:40 AM by JPAlmighT »

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Offline JB

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Re: Wild Kingdom
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2020, 04:22 PM »
Nice, modern looking buildings, JP. But not over-the-top; looks like something you'd see in real life. I used to watch Wild Kingdom all the time back in the day. I think it actually goes back to the mid '60s (?) Nice start. :)

Re: Wild Kingdom
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2021, 04:08 PM »
"Hello, this is Marlin Perkins. I'm going to remain here in the relative safety of the helicopter, while our new apprentice Dave is out on the tundra being mauled by an amorous rhinoceros!"

Did you ever notice that he had new trainees every couple of shows?!?!?

Re: Wild Kingdom
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2021, 08:49 AM »
JB:  Ha, I should've said that I MYSELF wasn't watching until the late 70's, but I figured the show probably predated me by quite awhile.  I was too lazy to do the research but at the time here's the Wiki:   " It was originally produced from 1963 until 1988, and was revived in 2002."    I had no idea about most of that, figured it was just a few years during my childhood.  This also means the original show continued 2 years past Marlin's death.

CT:  I didn't remember that either, Marlin is the only person I remember and I seem to remember him being on ground and hands on.   Did all of his trainees have to wear red shirts?  :P

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Offline hhnman234

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Re: Wild Kingdom
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2021, 09:58 AM »
I love this! Great start.

Re: Wild Kingdom
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2021, 11:18 AM »
JP: I could be wrong, but I always remembered Marlin in the studio, narrating the films.

As for the park, very nice indeed. I think the best compliment I can give is it looks real.

I agree with you about the building aspect of the Zoo game. Here's hoping some or all of the dynamics will transfer into PC2 (if a PC2 even exists, or will exist!!!)

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Offline wabigbear

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Re: Wild Kingdom
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2021, 11:53 AM »
Yeah, Marlin was the distinguished looking gentleman with gray hair and a mustache in the studio and narrating while "Jim" the sidekick was out in the field rasslin' gators or whatever.  Once Marlin kicked the bucket then Jim took over the show if I recall correctly...but then that WAS the 70's/80's and much of what I remember is recalled through a haze (or a thick cloud of smoke depending on how many were partaking...).

I love the "desert dome" that reminds me of a bowler hat...but you need to add gaudy foliage to one side for it to scream "JP", otherwise this park is very realistic looking, and a zoo I'd love to experience. 

Not as a resident, but as a guest.   :glare:

I haven't bought PZ - I have enough trouble just keeping up with PC - so your ability to juggle both games along with your busy social life sleep schedule is amazing.  Kudos!

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Offline Think Creative

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Re: Wild Kingdom
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2021, 11:46 PM »
It's a great start, because it looks great. I am looking forward to what you are going to do in the interior.

Re: Wild Kingdom
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2021, 11:51 AM »
Thanks guys.   I've done a lot of building since that post, mostly at the expense of finishing the stuff I already started.  I guess I'm mostly interested in getting a good layout for everything and making it all fit together.  If interest and framerate remain high I can always go back and fill in the gaps later on.

New this week:  An aviary, flamingo enclosure, a large polar aquarium, and hippo habitat.













The penguins seem to really enjoy teleporting through the glass when I'm off working on other things.  Rumor has it they are in contract negotiations for a magic show in Vegas.



I had some space to fill behind the gorilla habitat, seemed like just enough room for Llama Land.



The hippo habitat is very much WIP...



Finally, here's an interior shot from the Reptarium (probably not a word) so you can see that I'm trying...  It connects to the reptile-filled rain forest building, hence the big windows on the left.  All the daylight from that makes it feel a little less creepy in here than I was hoping to achieve.  I mean, c'mon... snakes.







« Last Edit: January 12, 2021, 12:09 PM by JPAlmighT »

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Offline JB

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Re: Wild Kingdom
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2021, 01:01 PM »
So, animals in PZ somehow teleport through the enclosure walls? I'm sure you recall, RCT3 has sort of the same 'feature' (not a bug, never say bug!) where the peeps somehow end up inside the animal enclosures when you're not looking. Nice to see that Frontier is continuing some of their traditions.

This is all coming together real nice, JP. I like the name Polarplex. How many screens does it have? Any of them IMAX? :P  Seriously though; looking good.

Re: Wild Kingdom
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2021, 01:18 PM »
I googled the word "plex" so that I could stand by my name:  "2 : a building divided into an often specified number of spaces" (in this case, animal habitats, although the online definition specifically suggested movie screens, pffft.

Besides, we already have an IMAX near the entrance.

I was more hoping you would appreciate my movie pun with Llama Land.  :P

Re: Wild Kingdom
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2021, 02:02 PM »
very nice looking zoo

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Offline JB

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Re: Wild Kingdom
« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2021, 03:20 PM »
I really do like the name Polarplex. I always assume that 'plex' is short for 'complex'- an area divided into smaller areas; so the name works here. I was just being (sort of) funny (sort of).

Llama Land? Movie pun?... I don't get it. I guess I'm being especially dense today. [JB thinks some more...] Oh! Unless you mean La La Land? (I didn't see the movie.)

Re: Wild Kingdom
« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2021, 07:15 AM »
Thanks wowman!

JB:  Yeah, rule of thumb is that if JB doesn't get the reference, it was probably dumb in the first place.  I still like the name but it's kind of a boring habitat and may end up getting moved down the road to give my gorillas more space.

We now have elephants and giraffe's, finally!  Here's an overview of everything I added this week, closing off the "north" border of the park (the land to the right of the desert dome in most of my screenshots): 



But first, the hippo's are mostly finished.  They made out pretty well with more water than needed (although they would like some more land.)  I combined the pygmy's with the normal sized hippos because it didn't seem like most zoo's would have separate exhibits, and they seem to be getting along pretty well so far.  This habitat has an underwater viewing section in the middle of the lagoon and a pedestrian bridge over the top.   A rhino habitat was also added adjacent to this one, and the rhino's share their hard shelter building with the hippos (separated by fencing, of course.)



I realized early on that I was not giving most animals the space the game wants them to have, but doing so would have messed up a lot of work I had already done with regards to architecture and layout, etc.  I turned off a lot of the gameplay options because I was tired of dealing with the complaints from both animals and protestors alike.  But now that the core of the zoo is mostly complete and I'm working on the perimeter, there's a lot more land available.

With this, the elephants made out pretty well.   I really like how the elephant house turned out, exterior and interior, especially since I didn't use any real life inspirations.  I wanted a building that looks like it's been here since the beginning, but then probably received a lot of refurbishment over the years due to the massive funding this place receives.



Only real problem is that the giant desert dome is blocking views of the stately entrance plaza, and since neither structure is moving I will have some theming creativity to pull off in order to make it work. (You can see the shadow of the dome for proximity.  It's a somewhat tight squeeze.)



When you first enter you can see the elephants in their hard shelter, and even get a glimpse into the large adjacent room where they sleep.  There's also an indoor viewing balcony to the right that looks out over the rhinoceros pit and gives a better view than you would see from the path below.

This building has restroom facilities and a maintenance exit that leads to the rhino house.  It also has an interior viewing of the entire elephant habitat.





All of my interiors so far are pretty sparse on decor; I'm actually doing that intentionally to keep the focus on the animals.  I also like the clean, modern simplicity of it.  But yeah, some more detail (especially lighting) would probably be nice.

At the end of the main corridor is an exit to breezeway that lets you actually see the elephants up close without glass in the way.   The moat keeps them from coming too close, and most of them have no interest in approaching although the other day I had a little baby come up as close as he could get to see the peeps.  This habitat contains both the African and Indian elephants as once again it didn't seem necessary to separate them.   I try to approach this through the eyes of my 5 year old niece who I took to the zoo last summer, she doesn't care that there are 2 kinds of elephants or where they are from, she just wanted to see elephants.



Continuing past the breezeway is the linear path that takes you through the "Giraffe Encounter" exhibit.  It's actually a very large Savannnah-themed habitat that contains zebras and ostriches in addition to the giraffes.  I'm just avoiding specific geography names and theming in most of these attractions in favor of grouping similar animals from different locations...  the desert dome could be any desert, the rain forest is just a reptile house for any reptile, the primate pavillion combines all the primates in game from their various habitats.



The raised pathway alongside the giraffe habitat is designed to let you feed them up close, if they feel like it.  You won't be able to reach the zebras and ostriches.  The train wraps around this entire exhibit (the track is about half done now).   I added corrugated privacy fencing along the outside of the train track to separate the zoo from whatever city type stuff would be on the other side, either residential of maybe a highway.  This habitat also contains a education area for lectures but I haven't really figured out how that works yet.

The encounter ends (or begins, depending where you enter from) at the giraffe house itself where you can go inside and see them even closer.



That's the end of this path for now, although it will eventually mark the entrance to the jungle cat habitats.  I don't really have a concept for that yet but I imagine it's what I will start working on next.

Before moving to the giraffe habitat, zebras were already in this zoo, near the primate pavillion as you enter the park.   Zebras are happy to share habitats so I had some other grassland type of species in with them.   The other ones died off so I removed all the zebra theming and I will refill this habitat with all the remaining grassland species (I think buffalo, antelope, etc.)



Overhead of everything...



The cats will be to the right of the polar plex, and then the land at the bottom below the aviary will be dedicated to all the bears in this game.   That will only leave a handful of animals to work with, not sure which if any will be included but I'm waiting to see how much land is left.  So far doesn't seem like there will be a dedicated Australian area, and I think the train is the only ride that will be in this zoo.  I didn't care for the other ones, at least not how Frontier did them.  If they would have put in the PlanCo linear chairlifts I would've included that but I don't really want to make a loop for it like this game requires.

Seems none of the new stuff shows up in the entrance skyline...but I think both the cat and bear areas will involve some terrain elevation so there's hope for the future.









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Offline JB

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Re: Wild Kingdom
« Reply #14 on: January 16, 2021, 06:29 PM »
Wow. You've been busy! BIG update. Nice update. I like the look of the elephant house as well. It has that old, classic zoo appearance. Back-in-the-day when that exhibit was new, the elephants probably weren't overly fond of it; probably not much outdoor habitat back then. That's not the case now. I especially like the double archways in the halls.

I like the idea of combining different species in one habitat. If I were in charge of a zoo, that's how I would do it. Gives it more of a natural safari feel.

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Offline wabigbear

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Re: Wild Kingdom
« Reply #15 on: January 17, 2021, 04:24 AM »
Gorgeous work!  But you know what caught my eye?  The rip-rap along the canal in the 3rd from the last photo - along the primate area?  I don't have ZT, but is that just a ploppable or did you create it stone by stone, because that's such a very realistic detail.  It's the simple things like that that set this apart...


I presume the area dedicated to bears will include a hot tub and a buffet line???  Perhaps a spot to corral all the autograph seekers would be a good idea too...

Re: Wild Kingdom
« Reply #16 on: January 22, 2021, 08:26 AM »
Thanks JB.  The game will tell you which species will cohabitate together, but turns out there's a lot more that will.   There's also some that definitely won't; I put two breeds of wolf in the same enclosure and they all killed each other.  Fun times.

Thanks Wagi -- the game has several options for rock clusters, kind of like Planco.  There's some rubble piles and some that are just rocks.  I agree it's a great way to outline a water feature.

Yes, I suspect our bears will be extremely pampered in this park.  Particularly the South American Big Bears. ;)

-----------------------------------------

Lots of stuff happening all over the zoo, but mostly the completion of the desert dome.   First some housekeeping; I saw a picture of this clock tower and wanted to re-create it for my entrance plaza.   I liked that it was mostly see-through and wouldn't block any sightlines, kind of important for an entrance area.





The clocktower replaces the big concrete ball fountain, which has been kept and relocated to the front of the desert dome, replacing a boring planter that looked just like the one next to it.



Last week I mentioned how the desert dome was blocking visibility to Elephant Hall and how I would have to do some theming between them to bridge the two...



Having the elephant sculpture jut out from the sidewalk a bit makes it more visible to peeps down the path, telling them there's something to see in this direction.  And adding another entrance/exit onto the desert dome in this location will lure some additional traffic and give peeps exiting the dome the view of Elephant Hall as it was originally meant to be seen back in the 60's or 70's or whenever.  The brick path between the two is meant to imply some original pathwork that survived through the years.



Since it's raining, let's duck back into Elephant Hall briefly to see some minor renovations added since the last update...  planters, lighting, wall decor, new seating... very subtle but at least it's not as stark as it used to be.  Also, I would like to point out the new AlmightyTouch 2000 stainless steel touch screens that have been added to every habitat throughout the zoo, courtesy of AlmightyTech Industries.  Patent pending.



The main event this week is the desert dome.  Had to make some significant improvements on the exterior, the roof over the base was very jagged and had to be replaced with something non-gridded.   While out there I added some trim and pulled back on my over-the-top desert landscaping that would be inappropriate for this region.   There's plenty of opportunity for desert vegetation inside.

This is based off of a similar dome at the Henry Doorly zoo in Omaha.  Mine has three habitats that run along the perimeter with some additional exhibits in a central cave, 7 species in the entire building.  The challenge for me was not to make this feel like one big giant open room that you walk into and see everything all at once; in this case sightlines needed to be blocked so that you would see something new around each corner and feel like you were exploring.



The first habitat was formerly occupied by the dingos.   But since they all ignored our very strict no-violence clause in the HR handout and all killed each other, they are not being replaced at this time.  Their habitat has been given to the African Wild Dogs, who seem to be much less wild.



Next, we have the camels.  We had to include them because there is a camel on the sign over both entrances.



Barely worth showing but I'll show it anyway, here's the 3 exhibits inside the central cave.



I originally wanted 4 habitats, but since all of the animals were complaining about enclosure sizes I dropped down to 3 and increased the other 2 enclosure sizes.   To make up for that, the third habitat is combining the Springbok's and the Gemsbok's.  Not just because both their names end with "bok" but because they are both from desert biomes and I didn't have any other animals left.



There are also some dead spaces not part of any habitat where I just landscaped with biome-appropriate foliage; it's part of the desert experience.   Lots of cacti.



Finally, and we'll have to go back out to the rain for this, a new structure was added outside of the zoo that changes the skyline.   It's the Perkins Learning Center, which I assume to be mostly classrooms for both high school and college level future zookeepers.  Or maybe just people who like animals.  As long as they pay the tuition we really don't care what they do.





What I like about this building is that I didn't have any real world influences, just a rough idea of the size I wanted.  From there it was just lots of editing with the adding and subtracting of elements until it felt like something that might exist.  I also took this as an opportunity to play with some of the few lighting options this game has.



The back of that building isn't finished yet; I want to add some additional parking and some sort of garden back there that connects all the way up with that dead-end path between the elephant and desert dome buildings.

No overhead this week; there's lots of spoilery stuff happening throughout the park and our marketing people didn't want any of that leaked to the public.  I'm afraid if I don't comply they'll just get rid of me like they did with the dingos.

credit:  The glass dome section of the Desert Dome is from the workshop, I wasn't about to make that myself.  Played with a few workshop options but this one seemed to be the right size and didn't have any other theming to get rid of, making it easy for me to customize to my needs.  Looks like I'll be doing something similar with the aviary; the one I built is a big mess.



« Last Edit: January 22, 2021, 08:41 AM by JPAlmighT »

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Offline wabigbear

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Re: Wild Kingdom: The Desert Dome
« Reply #17 on: January 22, 2021, 11:09 AM »
Thanks, I now have Tina Turner warbling in my head...

I love the rainy shots...so realistic!  The new AlmightyTouch 2000 stainless steel touch screens are snazzy and sticky-finger resistant!  Love the clock...post-modern but with a Arts & Craft feel...I likes.  As I do with the Learning Center (not that I needs me any learnin'...), especially the raised entrance and stairs on the corner...great look!

I know all about spoilery stuff happening...you should see my frig.  The local market people don't want me publicly leaking either strangely...
« Last Edit: January 22, 2021, 11:12 AM by wabigbear »

Re: Wild Kingdom: The Desert Dome
« Reply #18 on: January 22, 2021, 01:02 PM »
Haha, totally forgot that song.  She didn't need another hero.  I'm still waiting for the first one to come along.

Yes, sticky fingers were foremost on our mind, what with melty ice cream cones and all the neon Gulpee flavors.  A little windex will get that right off.

The weather in the game is pretty cool, another thing I wish Planco had.  Cloudy days make for some great mood shots, would work really well for spooky attractions.  I can make it snow too but I'm waiting for the next blizzard to hit town and then I'll log on and take it out on my zoo.  :D


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Offline JB

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Re: Wild Kingdom: The Desert Dome
« Reply #19 on: January 22, 2021, 10:07 PM »
The outside of the dome looks great in the misty rain. Although, inside the dome I was having a hard time getting in a desert-y mood with the dingy dampness. (BTW, a dingy is closely related to a dingo, but with darker fur.) Sounds like one can have hours of malevolent fun placing incompatible species in the same enclosure... sort of like peep-bowling in RCT3.

The tapestries add a lot of appeal to the elephant hall. I like the African-motif posts, columns, and street lamps. I'm trying to figure out what everybody is looking at in that glass enclosure in the desert dome cave. It appears to be that glowing purple dot; an extra-terrestrial species? Probably just a snake or a kangaroo rat.

And what does that Springbok (Gemsbok?) have on its head? Looks like a blue ball stuck to its horns. I bet all the other 'boks' laugh and call him names. Boks can be cruel jerks at times.

The (Marlin) Perkins Learning Center is a handsome structure. In the nighttime image, it doubles as a color-blindness test: The colored dots of light look like a dollar sign to those with normal vision. But to someone with red/green color blindness, it's just a bunch of random dots.

Nice update, JP. :)

Re: Wild Kingdom: The Desert Dome
« Reply #20 on: January 23, 2021, 04:26 AM »
I love how much you study the pictures, I hadn't even seen the dollar sign before and I'm the one who built it  :P  (subliminal marketing from the AlmightyCorp bastards, perhaps?)

I think that BOK is playing with one of his pull toys.  What I lack in giving my animals square footage I make up for in enrichment items.

Yeah, most of the exhibits in this game really have to be studied up close to see the animal inside.  Other than some of the large snakes in my reptarum you have to zoom on the glass to see that it's just a frog or snapping turtle, or in this case probably some kind of very tiny desert scorpion.  (Also, seems like most exhibit animals like to hide under rocks.)  The purple light reflecting off the ceiling was my attempt to give the cave a black light feeling; I always felt those exhibit rooms should feel a little bit creepy.  While the ambient lighting and shadows in this game are improved over Planco, they still haven't mastered how to block light with scenery pieces, so most interior shots really need to be taken at night.  And since most zoos wouldn't be open after dark, that is a difficult illusion to achieve in a building made almost entirely of glass :(

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Offline JB

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Re: Wild Kingdom: The Desert Dome
« Reply #21 on: January 23, 2021, 02:46 PM »
Ah. You're right. After copying the (cave) image, pasting it into my photo editor, and enlarging the heck out of it, I can see a scorpion sitting on that rock to the left. Actually, I see two of them; one near the front as well. I still like the glowing purple alien idea though. :P

About the cave lighting during the daytime: Unless I'm mistaken (and I probably am; I don't have either of these games) in Planet Coaster the caves that are carved out of the terrain are dark inside, even during the day, right? Does that apply to Planet Zoo as well? If so, I'm thinking you could make an actual cave (by raising the terrain and carving it out) inside the desert dome, and have it be dark inside while the rest of the dome is brightly lit. Would that work?

Re: Wild Kingdom: The Desert Dome
« Reply #22 on: January 23, 2021, 05:10 PM »
It's an excellent suggestion, and from my understanding terrain WILL block light much more effectively than scenery pieces.  Much of that cave is made from terrain, but the nearby path pieces made it difficult to build up enough terrain to make an entire cave.  Also, the two cave entrances at either end were going to let the daylight in anyway. 

Worth noting:  Underneath the desert dome of the Omaha zoo is a "creatures of the night" exhibit, I think they even have some crocs and gators down there.  That would have been a good way to go but it wasn't worth making an entire basement just for my 3 little exhibits. 

Re: Wild Kingdom: The Desert Dome
« Reply #23 on: Yesterday at 04:59 PM »
Today I tried to play with JB's suggestion of enclosing the desert habitats under terrain:  I was able to get a terrain roof over my cave and thicken the terrain walls that are hidden behind rocks.  I also added some more rocks to each entrance to make the opening narrower in hopes of darkening the interior. 



Didn't do much.  So I guess lights out is the closest this room will look to how I wanted it (minus all the random floating purple dots)



Added some handrails to try and prevent kids from smudging the glass, wanted to give the habitat information screens the AlmightyTouch 2000 treatment but couldn't find any steel pieces small enough for those. 

Meanwhile, as requested here's a dome shot with the clouds out of the way to try and give it more of a desert feel.



And for Wagi, this is just a shot I took of the different smaller rock/debris formations in the game.  I wish the temple debris was colorable though to make it match better.



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Offline JB

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Re: Wild Kingdom: The Desert Dome
« Reply #24 on: Yesterday at 07:09 PM »
About the cave lighting: Oh well, it was worth a try. The caves do look nice. For a few seconds I thought there was a roller coaster running through the cave (the 'track' on the left). I thought, "Hey, PZ doesn't have coasters. What the heck?" Then I figured out they were railings in front of the habitats; the anti-kid-smudge devices that you deployed.

That's a great overhead (sunny!) shot of the inside of the dome. I like how the path passes under that rock arch.

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Offline wabigbear

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Re: Wild Kingdom: The Desert Dome
« Reply #25 on: Today at 02:14 AM »
I'm in love with that dome (in a purely platonic way of course...much like your love life, huh JP?) 

The rock piles are great, very natural looking.  While I'm sure that's partly because of their design, it's also in large part because of placement, so nice job!

The cave exhibits now include fireflies!  Great job on rock placement covering the cave terrain, again very natural looking, and that not always easy to do.

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Offline Think Creative

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Re: Wild Kingdom: The Desert Dome
« Reply #26 on: Today at 09:14 AM »
Good job. It is certainly a beautiful dome. I especially like the wall.