By Sileka –
A short and hopefully clear explanation on how Optimally Placed Structures and Unoptimized Structures work in “Let’s Build A Zoo”!
In Let’s Build A Zoo, your over all Park Rating is broken down into four categories.
The Facilities category, is where we want to focus our attention. It is broken down further into the following rated sections:
- Score from Shops
- Score from Benches
- Score from Bins
- Score from Restrooms
- Score from Research Hub
- Score from Store Room
- Optimally Placed Structures
- Unoptimized Structures
(Note, hence forth I will be using the term “Non-Optimized” in place of Unoptimized due to my writing program screaming at me about it not being correct.)
Now the game doesn’t actually explain how the optimization is factored. To deal with the elephant in the room (pun intended), Optimally Placed Structure has absolutely nothing to do with where your buildings are placed in relation to each other. You do not have a high non-optimization score because your trash bins are placed on the opposite side of the park from your facilities or a lack of benches.
How Do You Optimally Place Buildings?
Sections For Miles
Where to begin… The game looks at your zoo in sections for several other scoring aspects. Light and decoration, for example, are sectioned out. Each section is roughly 24×24 tiles in size. The easiest way to view your sections is actually looking at the Light and decoration heat map.
It can be hard to see the color difference if you are using a healthy mix of floor, however the overlay is a checkered pattern highlighting each section as you can see above. Both areas are covered in grass (minus the path around the enclosure).
Common Sense Goes Out The Window
Okay, so I said where you place the buildings does not make a lick of difference to the optimized structure rating. The images below show the zoo with a single non-optimally placed structure. The left image shows the normal zoo view while the right image shows the Light Heat Map.
A single inaccessible bench on the left side is the culprit. Yet not because it is inaccessible. It counts as Non-Optimal because there are two benches inside the right plot. (Details under “Scoring”.)
Watch what happens when I move the bench left by one tile:
I suddenly have zero non-optimized structures despite the bench still being inaccessible. While the stats of our guests may suffer (not to mention our profits), not a single “structure” needs to be accessible to be considered optimized. (Let alone these being placed in a way that makes sense. such has having trash bins near each food/drink shop and vending machines.)
There are three general groups when it comes to the Optimal Placement of buildings.
Non-counting: These do not count towards or against your optimization. You can have as many as you want. This category includes all of the Nature, Decoration, Farm, Subway, Factory, Light, Sign and Facility building tabs. Shelters and Water Pumps also fall into this category.
One every 4 plots: These structures count against you if you have more then 1 for every four plots you have unlocked.
One Per Plot: These are structures include benches, restrooms, and trash bins. Each plot of your zoo can have one. Any more then one in a given plot (regardless of how many plots of land you have unlocked total) will count towards your Non-Optimal count.
First, I will try to make this neater and more informative. I was working on this for a few days because I kept hitting the big red trash bin Icon every time I went to load my zoo. That is the primary reason the screen shots are of a new/undeveloped Zoo.
I plan to add a section listing, specially, which structure/item falls into which group in relation to this score. But it will be a few days before I get this zoo back to where it I was when I lemminged up my progress!
It has been brought to my attention that a site dealing with guides has posted this guide, possibly using an automated system. This guide was intended for Steam only. I cannot respond to comments made on 3rd party sites that may reproduce this guide.
“One only” changed to reflect the 1 per 4 plots of land confirmed by Devs early on. (Link provided by WelshPixie in the comments)