The Let's Play Archive

Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis

by Zorak

Part 1

While, usually, I'd say that the "Park" type game format doesn't lend itself well to the format, this particular game has enough options that it's possible. I was digging through my CD case when I found this one sitting there. I thought about how fun the game was, and how it'd be fun to play it again. So I figure, what the hell, it's worth a shot to try doing a thread about it.

Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis is a PC/Console game released in 2003. It's a fairly basic Park-Sim in its fundamental nature. You build paths, enclosures, and amenity stations for the various park goers. What makes it different is the fact that it is, as said, Jurassic Park. You spend time controlling various dig-teams to harvest unlockable digs for dinosaur fossils and amber-encased mosquitos. Your scientists, after acquiring a certain amount of DNA from the fossils, can clone Dinosaurs for you to put in enclosures. As you gain more DNA, you can make longer-living and more genetically stable Dinosaurs. There are research bits and some micromanagement as well.

Not alot of people have played or even heard of the game, so this should be interesting. Of course, there's the occasional... "incidents" where violent Dinosaurs get out, or park rides go wrong and you're forced to take action . Park goers can die, Velociraptors can cause havoc, and all those fun things that make us like Jurassic Park. You can even create balloon and car-safari rides that you can ride in (with the Safari car ride, you can get off the tracks and hunt your dinosaurs if you want even ) The amount of ways things can go wrong due to disasters makes the game somewhat random. Perhaps with your guidance we can get through this endeavor alive and with some money in our pockets, eh?

John Hammond, the owner of the company we're now employed in, InGen, greets us in audio, welcoming us to Jurassic Park. Our job: To create a park, create Dinosaurs, entertain visitors, and make money. John Hammond is part of the "board of directors" that rides our rear end throughout the game about our park's star rating and basically are really obnoxious bastards. "In the end, success of the island however comes down to you." Thanks John, we really appreciate it. Don't you die in the book to compys a broken and psychotic man? Yeah that's what I thought.

In any case, you see four sliders and a "next island" button. The sliders generally have a few basic positions, and they're fairly self-explanatory in nature.
- When the shape slider is at full, we have one solid island. Having separate islands can be good in terms of safety and limiting dinosaur movement, but it also results in a difficulty of layout, which a full-single island can allow. There are four basic positions.
- When the trees slider is at full, we have a lot of trees. Trees can serve as a source of food for our herbivores, add to the atmosphere of the island (increasing visitor satisfaction), as well as just make the island look somewhat more natural to us. They really don't get in the way too much with construction. There are three basic positions.
- When the rivers slider is at full, we generally have more rivers going through the island. Rivers serve as natural barriers to prevent dinosaur movement, as well as sources of water for the dinosaurs to drink from without us having to put in lakes. On the other hand, they do get in the way of construction sometimes. There are five basic positions.
- When the mountains slider is at full, we have more mountains then usual. Mountains are mainly for adding to the atmosphere; they make customers happier. Unfortunately they are complete barriers to any sort of construction at all without massive amounts of bulldozing, and are really annoying. Having A LOT of mountains makes for A LOT of trouble. There are five basic positions.
- The next island button basically gives us a general different island shape, be it boxy, circular, somewhat of a star shape etc. There is no real difference between them other then player aesthetics and the amount of land given.

So first off, we need to decide and island shape, and the various variables to define our island. I'm planning on maximizing your understanding and control of the park through me by making a sort of grid top view of the island, and keep an updated placement of buildings and enclosures so you guys can choose what dinosaurs you want where and such. If you want, you can give a general shape (or draw it in MS Paint and I'll hit the "next park" button until there's a general equivalent, just don't expect anything too much diverging from a box or a circle) and to get specific with the sliders, give their number positions. Once we have an island chosen, we can start building.

It's worth noting that this game is fairly simplistic in its variables; it is incredibly easily modded to remove money limits, maximum-park goer limits, dinosaur-limits, minimum amount of dig sites you can buy in the game, remove the "five star = game over", and so forth. Do you want to play the game "pure", or do you want me to remove some of these? Havin the game without a dinosaur limit or minimum amount of dig sites would allow us to put in a lot more dinosaurs of more types, and having over the maximum amount of park goers allows us to rake in cash more often and make a truly sprawling park (since technically you can have a rather small park and still beat the game). There are some cool mods too that give rather crazy dinosaur variations or make it so some of the more docile dinosaurs are more dangerous.

I'm leaving out the details on the specific dinosaurs because I think it's more fun for us to come upon them randomly when we're doing digs. I will say however that there are five large carnivores, four small carnivores, ten large herbivores, and six small herbivores. There are some other dinosaurs included in the code but not actually used in the game, but can be added thanks to mods that we can put in.