My Swan Song

We have recently spoiled you with countless releases and here is yet another one. Is it all too good to be true?

And indeed, there is a catch. You might have seen it coming?

I am looking back at a decade of modding Zoo Tycoon 2. When I started out back in 2007, people were just beginning to figure out how to edit models, point by point. Much has changed since. I have sought innovation and optimization in every corner of my workflow. Over the years, I have written thousands of lines of code to make ZT2 modding easier. Honestly, I don’t even want to remember how annoying and difficult it was in the beginning, when you had to watch out for so many pitfalls just to get one single project ingame. These days it is so much easier!

I’ve also had the great opportunity to work with many different, highly talented people. Most of my old designing pals have long moved on from the scene: German13, Longisquama, Snowleo, Eryel, Zerosvalmont, TR, Simba, BrownWolf, KH, harlequinz ego, Emilie and probably many more I forgot – those are just off the top of my head.

Due to time constraints and shifting interests, I have decided to join the ever-growing group of retired designers and end my designing career now. Believe me, this was not an easy decision. It was fueled, in part, by the Complete Collection project, as I spent my last two years of designing time almost exclusively polishing up old stuff. I still like modeling, texturing and animating, but I’m tired of the routines and limitations I have to go through to get my assets ingame. Yet I think the Complete Collection was worth it, as Aurora Designs’ whole catalogue really deserved to be up to date and optimized according to the latest standards. This mammoth project surely took its toll on me, but I carried through with the intention of resigning from designing afterwards.

But there were still a few unfinished things in my archives that I wanted to get out, such as the orangutan and the last Crocodylia animals. Those were quick ones.
With the recent release of the Complete Collection, the Radical Remake thylacine became my last remaining big unfinished project. I have never put so much time and energy into one thing. It started life in late 2014, and I recorded most of its creation process as an uncut “tutorial series”. (I’m sure you could learn something from the videos, IF you have the time to sit through hours and hours of it…)
Somewhere along the line, I was looking for resources on thylacine anatomy and eventually teamed up with leading thylacine experts Dr. Stephen Sleightholme and Dr. Cameron Campbell to ensure accuracy in all the details. Some of the animations I made found their way onto the thylacine museum as educational illustrations. Just like the chance of ever spotting a live thylacine are incredibly slim, it looks like you won’t ever see my thylacine animations in Zoo Tycoon 2. Quite fittingly, the museum now is the only place where you can admire my thylacine in its full custom-animations glory.

Render by Yukon & Hendrix

Even though the whole animation set may seem to be mostly done (it is not), I don’t see myself finishing it, dare say putting it ingame. But I still wanted to release the animal – so I decided to go for a compromise: You get the thylacine, but with its original BF animations. It’s better than nothing, but obviously far from perfect and certainly not what I had intended when I started the project.

On this note, one more nod to the late and legendary ZT1 designer taz, whose thylacine mod with beautifully animated sprites inspired me to learn designing and 3D graphics myself. RIP.

Well, now my archives are cleared safe for some embryonic ideas and I have no more unfinished projects left that one could call releaseworthy. I felt the thylacine would make for an ideal swan song, so this is it.

But enough of my lament. It turned out a lot more melancholic than I intended to, but hey, that’s the way it is.
For now, goodbye from myself. The team will carry on the torch and keep working towards the completion of Radical Remake!

43 thoughts on “My Swan Song

  1. Guys thanks for amazing work! This mod is fucking awesome. I want more! 🙂
    BTW: When wille be remake Extinct species?

  2. I can not believe this! Very sorry. Perhaps this is good for the further development of Hendrix himself, but very badly, for those who love his creations, since now there will be no new creatures, and no one will correct mistakes in the old ones. Oh, it’s very selfish of me … Of course: thanks for everything and good luck!

  3. Wooow … your decision is understood HENDRIX, thank you for everything, you are and you will be an icon in all this.

  4. Thank you HENDRIX, for every single contribution you have made to the world of ZT2. Wish you all the best for the future! And if you ever decide to return to designing for whatever project, know that you will be welcomed back with open arms 😉 Also, the thylacine looks breathtakingly beautiful!

  5. It is sad to see you go, but gotta wish you the best of luck, and thank you for the impressive work you’ve made all over this decade.

  6. I remember when you showed us some of the animations you were working on for the thylacine, and I got really excited because the model and animations were gorgeous! I’m sad to hear that you’re retiring, you’ve done some great work over the years. One of my favorite ZT2 downloads ever was your Dracorex. I wish you the best in life.

    I checked out your models on the website. They are still incredibly gorgeous.

  7. Farewell, HENDRIX! Your work is absolutely amazing, and I’m sad to see you go. However, all good things come to an end. You have done great things for the ZT2 community, and I’m sure you’ll go places with your talent, if you haven’t already. Also, one more thing, is the thylacine up for download or is it not? Because I’m not sure where to find the download, and even though it has the old BF animations, I’m still amazed with how beautiful it is, and I wouldn’t mind to have it in my game. I love thylacines!

  8. I never really post on these forums but i just have to say, Hendrix thank you for everything! You’re like a legend for the community and you really made a lot of people happy including myself with your innovative creations. Thanks for everything man wish you the best of luck with your future endeavors.
    Btw the thylacine is sick i been waiting on this forever!

  9. Hendrix, I just want to say “thank you” for all the amazing work you’ve done for this community over the years. You’re an amazingly talented designer and a good person, too, and even though I will be very sad to see you go, I can only wish you the very best in where life will take you from here. You’ve been an inspiration to many over the years and your contributions have touched every corner of the Zoo Tycoon community, and I know that you will be thought of fondly for many years to come.

    I wish you all the best, and take care. So long, and thanks for all the fish~

  10. Such sad days in the ZT2 world. I have loved your creations since the day I stumbled upon them accidentally! I hope this isn’t forever, but if it is please know I appreciate all you have given in the years you have been designing and working to make the games forever better. Good luck in your future ventures and stop by the zookeeper’s building whenever you can 🙂

  11. Hy AD sorry about HENDRIX had to quit but do you know what you should do finds new ZT2 modelers and I jut thought up a new idea you can do it’s called Plastocine and I thought up a list of animals you can do.
    Plastocine Animals:
    *American Lion
    *Columbian Mammoth
    *Woolly Mammoth
    *Irish Elk
    *Cave Bear
    *Giant Beaver
    *Prehistoric Pronghorn
    *Dire Wolf
    *American Cheetah

  12. Hi AD team, just wondering if you are doing all of the animals from EA. If you are, you should have different variants for different environments and create different possibilities of the remakes of animals that do not have a credible visual appearance. People could also vote for which one is best. My apology if this is pestering you all.

  13. It’s really sad to hear that. You were the best zt2 designer ever. No one can ever compare with your skills. Maybe somebody will finish your work one day, but for now I am glad we have beautifull model. I’m hopefull your decision is not final, and you will back to modding one day, but if not, I will still remember your work. Thanks for everything, and wish you all the best with future projects.

  14. Yo sorry about this informal bug report. I’d rather not use wordpress

    Red Kangaroo is bugged out. It doesn’t move at all. I don’t know if its the other mods I installed but the red kangaroo just stand there and starves itself and dies. need help please

  15. is the project dead? ive been missing out and it appears there hasnt been any updates since last time i check when i was waiting for the lion

  16. Wow, I can’t believe this project has been going on for about a decade now. I remember I was still but a kid when I first heard about this! Haha those were the days… Anyways I’m glad people are still showing ZT2 some love. I hope the development of RR goes along smoothly for you guys. Best of luck

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