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DevBlog: “Tourist Season” – The Bus System

Hey Anno Community,


Today we want to give you some first insights into the upcoming DLC “Tourist Season”, specifically: the bus system.

When we presented Season 3 in February of this year, we already gave you a first overview as to what you can expect, we mentioned restaurants, recipes and the aforementioned buses. We want to dedicate a separate blog to this specific feature and give you some development insights since it’s the mechanic connecting all other parts of this DLC.


Buses are a new mechanic which is needed to connect your guests, the Tourists, with their Hotels and all amenities of the city: Restaurants, Bars, Variety Theatres, the Zoo and more.

“The Tourists should not feel like a new working class, they demand more services and need to be more pampered, they won’t walk to the Museum: they expect a transit in style.”

Specifically, you will need to free up some space to build Bus Stops, a 2 by 3 building, on various points of your city in addition to the other new buildings.
Each Bus Stop has a certain radius, displayed by a circle, indicating which public buildings are in reach of each bus stop. Only when a building like a Restaurant or a Zoo is inside this radius does the game consider it being part of your bus network. Your Tourists are not willing to walk too far from the Bus Stop to the Zoo, after all.

The second indicator to keep an eye on is the street range radius. It’s displayed via a green street-overlay, like you’re used to, from public buildings and indicates the reach of each bus stop making up your bus network. The street markings of two Bus Stops have to touch or overlap for the stops to be connected to the overall bus network.

Let’s just visualize this with a simple screenshot, showing the upgraded Public Mooring with a Bus Stop to the left and the Hotel with its dedicated Bus Stop on the right:

Connecting your Hotels on one end of the island to a Museum on the other, however, isn’t optimal, since your Tourists aren’t fans of long bus rides. So, if the distance is too long, the fulfilment of the “Museum need” (in this example) for the respective Hotel can be reduced. More on the topic of needs in the next DevBlog.


By clicking on a Bus Stop, you can see which public buildings are part of your island’s bus network and how good the connection is. Our UI Team made sure to provide you with the necessary information at first glance:  A new icon above buildings will inform you when they are missing a bus connection. Buildings that are frequented by Tourists (for example a restaurant or a theatre) received a little bus marker inside the construction bar.

For improvements like these, the feedback from the testers of the last Diary Study organized by the User Research Lab in Düsseldorf has been a great help.

Additionally, like for “Docklands”, we implemented a Tutorial Panel directly in the game that explains the underlying mechanics for all new “Tourist Season” mechanics – including the bus system. Just select one of the new buildings and click on the “?” icon in the building’s menu.

What made you choose buses over trams, you might ask. Well, as with so many things in game development, it comes down to prioritization.

Cause a first check made it clear for us that creating a second railway system would require a very high development effort combined with an increased risk for issues. Two separate railway systems but both using the same general rules are tricky and can lead to problems – take something as “simple” as crossings for example. Another approach, a street/railway hybrid, on the other hand, has also not been done by us before and would need a lot of initial effort.

So, in this case, the questions were: How many work hours would developing this new feature take? Is it worth spending several weeks on a completely new feature that will only make up a portion of the new DLC? Is there a different solution that provides a similar logistical challenge and fulfils the same gameplay requirements? All the while, of course, there’re still plenty of other features being designed and developed for “Tourist Season” to create the “complete package” that our team has in mind for the DLC.

The decision to not have buses use fuel, however, was an aesthetic one: While requiring you as players to supply your buses with fuel – like the tractors – would be a nice additional challenge, having polluting buildings inside your cities would not quite fit the tourist fantasy we want to present.

Dealing with this new logistical layer adds a new challenge for your city planning skills considering the already packed inner cities. Making sure your Tourists can reach all important spots in your city is a key component to “Tourist Season” next to satisfying your Tourists’ needs with extravagant new products.

“The logistical challenge would have been interesting, of course, but the resulting Fuel Stations next to the parks and Museums did not fit the theme of the DLC.”

Finally, we are happy to announce that “Tourist Season” is already releasing in a little bit more than two weeks – on May 25th at 6PM CEST (12PM EDT). Expect more news, a detailed DevBlog and the full Release Notes in the weeks leading up to the release.

Until then: Stay safe and keep an eye on our channels to not miss any news.

The Anno Team




  1. i iznano4nik May 11, 2021

    This DLC looking good!

    Hope DLC #3 give us new region with new production chains

    • R RahTheSunGoddes May 11, 2021

      They already stated this season they won’t add a new area. I hope they give us some sort of Asian theme next DLC season though.

  2. B Bowdiddly May 11, 2021

    Could you just not require the busses to need electricity? They had electric vehicles back then. That way they still need fuel but you’ve supplied it with the electric you already have. Maybe have it use more oil or gas per bus station. That would avoid needing a tram line with rails. Plus it would add the realism of needing to supply these and they could shut down if yr power goes out. That would be interesting.

  3. K Kaizen_1985 May 11, 2021

    Definitely looking forward to this. Keep up the fantastic work!

  4. J Janneman_2020 May 10, 2021

    This not a games,
    This is ANNO 1800 ?

    •   Ubi-Thorlof May 10, 2021

      That’s a great, atmospheric video – thank you for sharing 🙂

  5. B Bzhydack May 8, 2021

    I’m very excited! This DLC seems to bring new chalanges to the game. Cities would need dramatic redesign and this is very good thing.

    And about buses need of Fuel…

    Why you don’t add Bus Central Station? IT would work similar to Oil Harbour, with limited amount of Buses, and would be only Building with Fuel need.
    Also, one Bus would carry only limited number of Tourists, so with increasing number of Visitors would also rise need for more Buses.

  6. s screg95 May 8, 2021

    Bonjour superbe 2eme partie du dlc, mais je trouve énorme l ‘arrêt de bus 2 x 3 sa aurai pu être 1 x 3 ou 1 x 2 va avoir du Tetris dans l ‘air

  7. D Dravidos May 8, 2021

    Thanks to the entire Anno 1800 team! Two years of guaranteed entertainment with this excellent game and I hope there will be many more.

    I’m waiting impatiently for the new DLC and for tourists to arrive on my islands although, like ScheibelD., I was hoping that this year we could visit Asia (maybe in 2022, right?).
    I also share Yuchenpan’s idea about perfume and tobacco for tourists and interconnecting the DLCs. I understand that some of the players do not have all the DLC but perhaps they could solve this problem if they could buy in the Old World or in the New World the products of the regions that they do not have, and the faithful Anno 1800 players that we have all acquired the DLC (including cosmetics) we could enjoy a more complete experience.

    Thanks again to the best team of video game developers!

    • t thekingkupo May 9, 2021

      Yes! would love to see a China/Japan/India DLC and have my little china town on the old world.

  8. K Kaizen_1985 May 7, 2021

    I’m definitely ready for this! Can’t wait!

  9. w wobarchlp May 7, 2021

    total klasse! Es wäre aber echt toll, wenn es doch eine Treibstoffversorgungsmöglichkeit gäbe… z.b. Optional als Button bei Spielerstellung oder Addon-Aktivierung. Ggf auch einfach mit Kohle, dann hätte man eine weitere Abwägung der Kohleproduktion ohne es zu stark zu verkomplizieren. Würde es aber irgendwie realistischer machen mit dem “upkeep”

  10. S Sycend May 7, 2021

    A nice addition would be a busstaion in the optic of a trainstation. So it would look like that the trains could be also be used for the tourists 😀

  11. y yuchenpan May 7, 2021

    this is what I thought about DLC of tourist season.

    I think that they should add two more production for hotel and higher class normal consumption: perfume, cigarette. Both of them could evoke the resource usage of Enbesa.
    Perfume should take flowers from Enbesa as material.
    Cigarette should take the tobacco from new world and paper from Enbesa as material.

    or maybe more consumption type such as Empire Cuisine, Ice cream,

    I really wish that they could do those two stuff because they match with the history and they were the fashion back to that time period.

    Anyway, can’t tell you how much I love this game. 2 years 800+ hours.

    • M Misiek_1991 May 7, 2021

      Unfortunately, there will not be goods from Enbesa or Arctic, because they are DLCs as well. Some people can use Tourist Season, but without Land of Lions or Passage. It would be nice to add one more production chain for Land of Lions owners – like a bonus when you have got other DLCs 🙂

  12. o olblf May 7, 2021

    This dlc really sounds promising! I think all the decisions you’ve made about the buses are fair. I personally, as a beauty builder, like that the buses won’t need fuel. I’ve seen a few designs of the buses so far, so I’m guessing they will have a variety of looks?

    I’m excited to hear what benefits tourists will bring to your city. Of course they will bring you income, but it would be boring if that was all. I hope for influence (like investors), because I always use up mine way too quick. Maybe there’s going to be some sort of new “tourist points” that’s going to work in a similar way to research points in some way? Don’t know, but sure am eager to hear more.

  13. t thekingkupo May 7, 2021

    I am down bad waiting for this DLC release and the cosmetics. I know you all working hard. But my excitement is killing me hahaha

  14. R Rastfarian May 7, 2021

    Yay! I’m so, SO looking forward to this. I haven’t played Anno for ages just waiting for this DLC…my cities are at THAT point…I need to have the space ready!

  15. r robhold May 7, 2021

    take all my money! I’m all in for this

    PS: Dont get all the confused comments below, this is really fun and a great way to spice up the traditional resource strategies. Yay!

    • t thekingkupo May 7, 2021

      Amen! I am excited on seeing my tourist needs fulfilled

  16. J Jerry_Key_Smith May 7, 2021

    Are you serious? 2×3 bus stop? This is a really serious problem. How many played in city simulators and never saw such a bad solution. A bus station could still possibly occupy 2×3 cells, but not a bus stop. This is just nonsense. In Simcity 4, Simcity 2013, City Life, Cities Skylines, Cities XXL, bus stops were either located directly on the sidewalk, or occupied one cell. You’d better fix that, because it would look absurd. Even if 1×2 will occupy, it is still possible to correctly build a transport network. Or it turns out that the DLC Tourist Season is the most useless addon. Well, in any case, I am disappointed with such an illiterate DLC and regret buying it as part of the season pass 3. I did not quite understand about the location of the hotels. If I build a hotel on the other side of the island near restaurants, churches and connect it to a common bus network, will it not be properly provided? Or as I correctly understood, that it is impossible to locate hotels far from the sights of the city. Am I right?”

    I understand that my opinion of course may not coincide with yours, but really look at how the bus system is implemented in any other game. I hope that you will still correct this flaw. If you are interested, I can post a screenshot with an example of planning 1×1 or 1×2 bus stops and what the streets next to them would look like.

    • t thekingkupo May 7, 2021

      Last time I checked this was Anno 1800. I’m pretty sure they know what they’re doing. But hey if you have those games you mentioned then maybe just maybe. Load em up then play.

      • J Jerry_Key_Smith May 7, 2021

        Thank you for your advice, I also play them. I just thought that here, as it were, they listen to the advice of experienced players, especially those who have been with UBi for a long time and are a fan of the Anno series for many years. And in my opinion, so far everything that their team did was quite logical and acceptable in this game, but this situation worries me extremely.

        • t thekingkupo May 8, 2021

          I feel like there is nothing to worry about as this will add to new gameplay. I think its gives a challenge on beautifying your city and having purpose on having the tourist pier.

          • J Jerry_Key_Smith May 8, 2021

            With such huge bus stops, this is unlikely to work. It was necessary to make a 6×6 in general, like a bus palace))) The new gameplay should somehow fit into the existing game. Although I can see that no one cares, but it’s a pity.

        •   Ubi-Thorlof May 10, 2021

          While we do take feedback into account regarding new features, we’re not planning to do any changes here (aside from it being too late anyway, so close to release). The system works well, fits to the rest of Anno 1800’s mechanics and our last playtest did not highlight any issues with this system either. Should we receive overwhelming feedback after release that the system is causing issues, we can take another look, but right now everything points towards this being a great addition to the game, making you think about how to best (re-)design your cities to fit in the features of the new DLC.

          • J Jerry_Key_Smith May 10, 2021

            The DLC will be released then and we’ll see what happened in the end. Maybe I was upset too soon, but so far I have more questions than answers.

    • t thekingkupo May 9, 2021

      But alas there was no bus stop during the 1800’s, items/objects/buildings werent so compact back then. Its not that no one cares. Its just that 2×3 cell for a station is not really something worth to call it illiterate. It doesnt make sense to put a 1×1 stop and unload 30-40 tourist out of a bus no? main point is that its called tourist DLC not improved city transport.

      • J Jerry_Key_Smith May 10, 2021

        I will not argue with this, perhaps you are right. In any case, we are waiting for the release, and then I will understand whether I will use this add-on or just forget about it and about the money spent.

  17. E Eyyee May 7, 2021

    You didn’t say why would I even bother with having tourists? What benefits they give? New cosmetics? Don’t think they give inventions like scholars do?

  18. S ScheibelD. May 6, 2021

    Freue mich schon auf den nächsten Abschnitt des Season Passes. Bin echt gespannt wie sich das in die bisherige Welt integriert. Besonders interessant finde ich die Idee mit den Bussen.

    Allerdings hoffe ich immer noch, dass irgendwie noch (evtl. 2022) noch ein DLC mit einer asiatischen Erweiterung auch gern mit Kampagne kommt, besonders in Hinblick wegen “Reisezeit” und ich mir das gut ins Konzept vorstellen kann.

    Ansonsten bleibt mir nur noch eins zu sagen, bin wieder mal gehypt und freu mich auf den Release.

    • S ScheibelD. May 7, 2021

      Muss mir selber schnell kommentieren weil mein Handy, was meine Wortwahl und meinen Satzbau betrifft anderer Meinung ist. (ein Hoch auf die Autokorrektur)

      Freue mich schon auf dem nächsten Abschnitt des Season Passes. Bin echt gespannt wie sich das in die bisherige Welt integrieren lässt. Besonders interessant finde ich die Idee mit den Bussen.

      Aber ich hoffe immer noch, dass irgendwie doch noch (evtl. 2022) ein DLC mit einer asiatischen Erweiterung, auch gern mit einer spannenden Kampagne kommt, besonders wegen “Reisezeit” da ich mir das als Gesamtkonzept gut vorstellen kann.

      Ansonsten bleibt mir nur noch eins zu sagen, bin wieder mal gehypt und freu mich auf den Release.

  19. L LuxSum May 6, 2021

    Could you please help us color blind folks by offering another color for the area of effect for buildings? Green over gray or tan streets is hard to see. A deep blue (navy) would be so much easier.

  20. B Bogoethe May 6, 2021

    I understand correctly that you will add a new class of residents – tourists? So we can upgrade the house from the “Investors” class to the “Tourists” class?

    So, in theory, I can create a city entirely made up of tourists? If so, it’s intriguing.

    •   Ubi-Thorlof May 6, 2021

      Not quite: We will add a new residential tier, yes, but it’s not an upgrade to Investors.
      Like the Scholars we introduced with “Land of Lions”, it’s a separate one housing in Hotels.

      You can of course still attempt to place Hotels all over your city, but fulfilling the needs of several dozen of them is gonna be quite the challenge 😉

      • r robhold May 7, 2021

        sweet!! I like that more tourists = more challenging

  21. A Anton63000 May 6, 2021

    Hello ubi, I don’t know if the reference “take something as“ simple ”as crossings for example. Another approach, a street / railway hybrid, on the other hand, has also not been done by us before and would need a lot of initial effort “refers to my creation for my mod with the tram, but if so, thank you for the preview promotion of the mod including the tram

  22. M Misiek_1991 May 6, 2021

    I would love to see the bus depot… with the need of fuel of course!

    • F FHackner May 6, 2021

      Their explanation for choosing against fuel is indeed pretty weird.
      1 fuel stations are part of another season DLC.
      2 if they really were thinking of reusing another DLC Asset, they have such a ginourmous range of delivery that you wouldnt have to place fuel station on the middle of the city, right?
      3 yeah, why not just make a bus depot that is what need the fuel, and balance it im a way that it can be far from the bus stops, and the fuel station even farther.

      Anyway, im okay with busses not needing fuel.

      • r robhold May 7, 2021

        To me their decisions make full sense. I hate having the fuel stations in the city with the smoking chimneys. I always try to hide them with the most trees I can. Needing buses to refuel would imply having more of those kind of buildings. I like that they made a creative choice

  23. b biwesty May 6, 2021

    I was always thinking that a cosmetic change of the roads with the model of the tram could suffice, but I’m totally fine with the buses! I really like this idea, and thanks for having no need for fuel, putting the bus stations on my old files will already be some challenge… Excited!


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