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Zoo Admin

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'Zoo Admin', or ZA was one of the first ever Zoo Tycoon fansites, first appearing before the game was ever released on Tripod before moving to the Ogresnet community in 2001 and for the first five years it was online, it was the undisputed premiere community for both Zoo Tycoon and Zoo Tycoon 2. After a costly serve move and extended downtime, it rapidly lost activity and kept only a few dedicated, active members. It went offline briefly in August 2014, and permanently in February 2016, after fifteen years online.

It is affiliated with the Zoo Tycoon Community Downloads Directory and Zoo Tycoon 2 Designing Centre, both of which remain online.

Overview

The most familiar incarnation of the site (2001 - 2006) was hosted on Ogresnet and integrated the expensive vBulletin forum software with a main site that featured a wealth of information for Zoo Tycoon and Zoo Tycoon 2, as well as funny pictures, contests, and an integrated download database system. The home page had a small area of recently updated forum topics, usually the most recent five, over a dedicated newsfeed that included exclusive information from Blue Fang Games. The forums featured four sections traditionally for each game (General, Tips and Tricks, Show and Tell, & Current Projects)

The most recent incarnation was divided into four sections, each an SMF-For-Free forum: the original forum converted to the software with much the same layout, a forum for ZT1 downloads sorted by type, a forum for ZT2 downloads also sorted by type, an the Zoo Admin Archives of the former ZA on Vacation Site. It's affiliates ZT1 Designers' Guild and the Zoo Tycoon Community Downloads Directory are also hosted similarly.

The original Zoo Admin on Tripod was a fairly generic, small site with information on the then only just releasedZoo Tycoon and a news section featuring reviews of the game, and a couple small zoo downloads.

Downtime

In 2006, shortly after the release of Zoo Tycoon 2: Marine Mania, the owner of Ogresnet announced the network would be shutting down, and many of the other websites on the network had become inactive, and the vBulletin licenses and servers were all very costly to run. The administrators of Zoo Admin purchased the Ogresnet servers and began the long, difficult process of moving the old site information and also converting it to a new format. The "Zoo Admin on Vacation" website was set up to keep users busy in the meantime and to discuss Zoo Tycoon 2: Extinct Animals, which was due to come out in a few months. Confirmations by Blue Fang Games and general discussion went on as usual until 2008, when administrators announced that ZA would be coming back soon. Unfortunately in the nearly two-year hiatus many users had lost interest in the site, including some staff members.

In August 2014, it briefly went offline, but returned until February 2016, when it went offline permanently.

Staff

The site's staff were made up of legal adults, mostly from North America, and included Eagle_One and Quivaz, who later split to found the short-lived Zoo Tycoon Empire fansite, as well as Aussie Koala and RedNotDead, known for their strictness, and Texgnome1 and moderators such as Penguinman, Mikaboshi and ShenTirag, who later founded Zoo Tycoon 2 Designing Centre. The longest-serving staff member and current owner/webmistress was Yellowrose, a longtime staff member from Ontario, Canada.

Fern, a member of the community since it's inception, was also staff there, and one of the only staff members still active in the community, at Zoo Tek Phoenix.

Downloads

The site was the first to create downloads for Zoo Tycoon 1 and 2 and as by far the largest amount of downloads available, with nearly 3,000 files in total. For ZT2 alone, Zoo Admin contains nearly 800, far surpassing the next highest site. Zoo Admins downloads are tested for high quality, including donations/gifts, and are available to all without registering or requiring a post count. Zoo Admin is home to hundreds of downloads, and was the second website to discover Zoo Tycoon 2 downloads were possible, with SilesianTomcat's Somalian Wild Ass as the first ZT2 release. Later, after the release of Marine Mania, a group named Artifex, which had formed on ZA among talented designers like Penguinman, Mikaboshi and SilesianTomcat set out to create user-made expansion packs, split off from the main ZA site for their own website, which would later become the inspiration for similar groups like Mysterious Map Marvels.

ZT1 files were still tested regularly by Fern and Jay for compatibility and .UCA issues until it's closure. These downloads will be migrated to Zoo Tek Phoenix.

Criticism

Zoo Admin was at one point heavily criticized by another site, ZTV, which hosted several members who had been banned from ZA. Some staff members were especially strict, and bans were common, such as Fennec Nichov and beluga for their claims of being non-human, and Zooasaurus Rex being banned for accidentally posting another's download, without getting a chance to explain himself.

Previously Zoo Admin, under the administration of Aussie Koala, also banned several of the more prominent members of Zoo Tek, although under the new site owners the relationship has stabilized.

External Links

Zoo Admin

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