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DevBlog: A farmers life

We have been farmers for more than 10,000 years. We think of rice terraces, cereals and livestock, of Nile irrigation, cabbages and beekeeping. If we are here in 10,000 years, there will still be farmers. After all, they endured the century that arguably saw most change.

A typical farmer in 1800 had similar tools at their disposal, as two-hundred years previous. But the new century brought iron ploughs, fertiliser, seed drills, and threshing machines. Though the new yields were huge, life and work were no less hard.
In Anno 1800, farmers epitomise rustic life. The simple things. To work the soil, tend the animals, and breathe fresh air away from the burgeoning smog. After a long day in the fields, a farmer wants to sit by the fire with family, and speak of their strange neighbours in hushed tones.
They don’t have a lot – or need a lot – and quick as hare, they’ll tell you so. Speaking their mind comes ‘natural’, and honesty is important, when you need to gauge feeling.
Yet they are also sympathetic. This business of yours, vast and sprawling as it is, goes far beyond their powers of cognition. Problems are to be expected – heaven forbids a farmer telling you how things ought to be run. And yet, while they are just the foundation on which the vainer elements of your society stack, you will achieve nothing without their love.

Depiction of a rural lifestyle
When you draw a picture of the industrial revolution, the rural population is probably not the first thing that comes to your mind. As the first residential tier, farmers serve as a throwback to old times, you could even say to the other historical titles of the series.
While the tier should depict a lifestyle that defined our society for thousands of years, the life of the farming people changed with the dawning age of technical marvels and urban life.
As workforce is now a factor in Anno 1800, they should have a distinguishable charm and character but also need to fit in a cityscape dominated by other residential tiers, especially in the later stages of the game. When setting the art direction for a residential tier, you always have to think about how their design will work together with all the other elements of the game.


A recent Concept-Art for the farmer residential buildings. During production, many buildings going to several reworks until we find the right look and feel.

Farmers are self-supported, used to their independence from most of the modern amenities. From their clothing, portraits up to their buildings, they are proud and hard-working residents, often overlooked by the evolving society. While architects plan modern housing space, farmer’s property should feel self-build rather than a product of a construction company. Their residential buildings resemble country houses, with wooden boards and small individual decals.
If you watch their buildings closely, they should feel like a postcard from a more calm time, where people minded their own business but also enjoyed a hard but probably simpler life. Naturally, that style should also fit their production buildings.

Backbone of your future empire
If you do some research on the history of any influential city in the 19th century, you notice that there is a significant spike in population. Nevertheless, the rural population had still an important role in society and economy, as farm products supported the growing needs for foods and basic goods for the rising world population.
Most players tend to construct their first buildings near the coastline in order to establish the basic food supply and lay the groundwork for future production. This also creates almost its own small village to support your expansion, as you probably plan the city centre of your future metropolis more land inwards of your island.

The main gameplay purpose of the farmer tier is to produce two kinds of wares: the first goods to fulfil the demands of your residence in order to advance and secondly, the foundation for some of the future production chains in higher tiers. So you not only have to account for the current state of your small settlement, it makes sense to account for the later growth and size of your city. While advancing through the first tier should be easy to achieve, farmers will stay an important part of your population.

You decide if you either go for a big farm village to support your whole island, let the modern city grow around your cottages or if you just create a new tier one residential and production buildings when they are needed. Imagine the picturesque scene when landing at the harbour and taking a ride through beautiful rural outskirts, while your eyes slowly focus on the impressive skyline covered in smoking chimneys on the horizon.
While Schnaps is an early and more simple production chain, the potato farms take part in refining the rural look of your outskirts.

Help us to fill the blanks!
With the next DevBlog in our big residential tier series, we will take you on a trip to the sooth-blackened worker districts, a new class of citizens, which should change our society forever. But before we end today’s blog, we have a special request to all Anno Union members.

We are currently missing a public building, which fits the rural lifestyle of our farmer tier. While we have some interesting ideas, we are curious what ideas the Union could bring to the table.
What do farmers actually do after a hard day working on the field and what would help them to advance to the next level? Maybe there is a specific infrastructure, which every farming village should have? We are looking forward to your suggestions for the missing tier 1 public building!

 

30 Comments

  1. Lassalle001 Lassalle001

    Thanks for asking.
    1) I propose a barn. This typical barn i have seen in TN (US). Growing up it can “change” into a certain form of warehouse. In every case a farmer needs a location to store goods and products to deliver the “official” market.
    2) A “farmers inn” to give fun and good mood. Drinking schnaps and beer and eating cakes/bread from a bakery

  2. BaTTaLioN_CHaoS BaTTaLioN_CHaoS

    To me a farmers market comes to mind, here in the Netherlands we have several towns and cities who still celebrate farmers markets (focus depending on the region), you can make it a dynamic building, dependent on which agricultural buildings you placed and/or time of the season.
    It would be even a possibility to have those more eleborate farmers markets as a sort of event, and more ussually there would be less eleborate markets for farmers to sell, buy and/or trade for their daily needs.

  3. Tinkeer Tinkeer

    The veterinarian held a place in rural Europe by the 1800’s. By the 1860’s nearly 1,000 veterinarians had been taught at the College of Veterinary Medicine in Edinburgh alone disbursed throughout the world. Perhaps this could be a support building for agriculture and rural areas.

    Extracted from https://www.canidae.com/blog/2014/11/a-quick-history-of-veterinary-medicine/ ->

    The first veterinary school was founded in Lyon, France in 1761 by Claude Bourgelat, and that’s when the profession of veterinary medicine officially began. The school focused on studying the anatomy and diseases of sheep, horses and cattle in an effort to combat cattle deaths from a plague in France. Cattle plagues were common throughout history, but attempts to learn how to fight microorganisms had to wait until the invention of the microscope sometime in the 1590s. The first vaccinations for cattle were developed in 1712 and used to eradicate a plague in Europe.

    Over the next ten years, veterinary schools were established in Germany, Sweden and Denmark. In 1791, the London Veterinary College was established and developed veterinary science at a professional level dedicated to animal medicine.

  4. pirateame pirateame

    Villagers generally meet at the village halls/community halls (with lot of open area in front) for chit-chat or any Cafe/tavern with a evening booze or sip.

    Actually, I would love to see both the buildings in the game and only one should be sufficient for satisfying the need of the farmers. However selection of the building (village Hall/tavern) should have different effects on the growth. Like placing tavern should give additional tax income but reduce the efficiency of nearby production buildings. And these multiple public buildings should be present in all tiers with different effects on our city.

  5. Sidani_Pi Sidani_Pi

    I think a General Feed Store would be an important building for farmers. Farmers get their seeds, tools, tack, and livestock feed, etc. It’s also a place where the old timers meet up and gossip, maybe play cards, dice, chess, board games.

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  6. Sherratt285 Sherratt285

    A chapel immediately comes to mind, as well as an inn – as other people have suggested.
    Another option could be a post office?

  7. alleria.sb alleria.sb

    Firstly, I love the idea of seeing some animation when a building evolves, mentioned one of the earlier posts. I think that would bring a pretty feature to the game, rather than a new building ‘appearing’ where an old one used to be. Some sort of small transition animation would be lovely.

    Regarding the topic at hand, where I come from there are “cultural houses” (or “community centres”) in villages. They are used for all sorts of assemblies like dances or traditional festivities, can be day-markets, etc. and would have a small square in front of them for outdoor activities.

    An inn or public house would also be nice, since people used to rent space there to organise assemblies. I also like the idea of the small lower class coffee house or little bakery as it adds a bit of refinement to the rural area.

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  8. DawnofGaming DawnofGaming

    The centrepoint of Anno 1800 is the industrial revolution, which in modern historiography was preceeded by three major developments;

    -The agricultural revolution, in this the land was organised into bigger estates, which had better crops and techniques, better and stronger tools and a semi-landless argrarian labour force.
    -Public building in this sense could be like a manor from where the agrarian
    production was centred on

    -The consumer revolution where introduction of new crop commodities (cocoa, thea, tabacco etc) saw people change their lifestyle and economic activity to aquire this. At the same times sailors, who had aquired luxery goods from all over the world, where starting to instill the idea of fashion into lower classes.
    -Coffee houses were lower class salons where people could freely
    discuss politics (it was a new kind of public sphere open to everybody)and consume new
    commodities
    -a warf or sailors quater that would represent the growing interest in
    new goods and a place where people could listen to the wonderfull
    sailor stories together

    – The industrious revolution,where people started to produce more non foods for a market so they could buy other non foods. This was organised in the so called “putting out system”, in this systems merchants provided wage and raw resources and outsourced the labour to the rural cottages.
    – A communal warehouse could be used to represent this interaction
    between cottagers and merchants. And also be the place where people
    could spend their new wage together on a feast (as wages where paid
    on a quasi seasonal basis)

  9. matt.9305 matt.9305

    Great post! For a small town/village a chapel was the social place for excellence (we are talking of 1800’s) were people gather and make socials. Many suggest a fountain, a square or a farmer market, that are also really good options but if this game is similar as others Anno tittles, a marketplace (or bazar) was always the first building needed to begin a city, so I thinks that this options are already included there.

  10. matvey_pryanik matvey_pryanik

    I think it should be a pub, church, hospital, passenger railway station, bank or an exotic pier for farmers working on other islands (you can show little boats sailing between islands as in ANNO 2205 without the player’s control)

  11. Boldzmann Boldzmann

    Public building of the 1st level could be a tavern. The tavern is visited by representatives of the lower class. In addition, representatives of the 2 nd level can also visit the tavern. But for them it is not the main place of entertainment. Probably it could be an additional place. The main one could be a racetrack. Representatives of a higher level of civilization of the 3rd or 4th are the elite, the aristocracy. They had fun in the theater.

  12. Johnnymac34 Johnnymac34

    I remember reading Little House on the Prairie as a kid and I think its time period and setting is perfect.

    Small towns always had that one building that acted as the school, town hall / public meetings, special events like Christmas parties and dances. As life was so disconnected social interaction was key to being happy and knowing what was going on.

    So a building that perhaps at different times changes its looks from school days to being decorated up for Christmas would be really cool to see.

    Other than that something like a saloon or they did public activities outdoors like a horse race track or a makeshift baseball field.

    Loving the sound of this game more and more every time I read the next blog. Seems like Anno with so much more to it now!

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  13. SirDavidFirst SirDavidFirst

    The missing tier 1 public building

    In a small village, you have a town hall where the mayor live, church, village hall, market place, post office, inn/pub and the main thing is the village green with cottage shops around it border. To me that’s what makes up a village community. Please don’t forget the village monument/fountain.

  14. Swimming-Paul Swimming-Paul

    The new concept art it’s too beautiful, I’m speechless! And i’m more and more confident that you’re making the best anno game ever! I remember in Anno 1404 (which i loved) i never really enjoyed building the 1st tier of houses because they deliberately looked a bit dirty and too modest. But after this post i think its going to be lovely to create farmers neighborhoods and villages, cause they are going to look great! You have nailed it once again!! 🙂

    It’s very nice that you ask the community for ideas for a 1st tier public building!! I think a public fountain would be perfect, because water was a basic need for farming, animals and the house. I imagine a very romantic spot with a large fountain, open area for gathering, some flowers and a tree, and maybe a couple of small buildings for decoration, like a small store and tavern. The whole thing could be 3×4 size, or something like that.

    I also like the ideas from other union members very much, like a farmer’s market or an inn/tavern.

  15. Daniel4anno Daniel4anno

    In the netherlands but also other parts of the world i guess. Farmers go to “special warehouses” wich serves as a market. To try to sell there goods in large quantities(whole sale). They usually try to sell these products to the highest bidder so you could call it an action house or trade/import/export office. I think an auction house or trade/import/export office in anno 1800 could serve as a tool to stimulate online gameplay. For example: player A has struck a good deal at the auction house to buy 100 kilo of grain at Island 1. And is now trying to sell the grain at his own auction house. Another example: player B is desperatly in need for cotton but he has too much coffee beans so he is looking for islands to. Please keep in mind that trading in goods/stock was a very common thing in the 1800’s. But also one thing I like to add, if a principle like this would be introduced in Anno 1800 it would also make the sea life more dynamic, because the ships on trade missions could sink because of the weather or can be attacked by pirates or hostile countries. Wich makes a principle like this risky, so to reduce the risk you would need to arm the crew on the ships or even train them for combat. This new trade principle gives anno 1809 atleast 4 new game mechanic impulses and ofcourse a new historic accurate building! I hope I could be of any help.

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  16. anno607 anno607

    a bakery is a good idea. it is essential for a farmer.

    grocer, Butcher, livestock market, car maker

    And farmers are living where the work, on a farm and not in a smal city. in a smal city there are workers housing.

  17. MMateos19 MMateos19

    In the Spain of the XIX century there was this very specific christian festivity, “romería” or pilgrimage, which wasn’t really a pilgrimage, since it was a visit to the closest local sanctuary walking, by horse or carriage. The sanctuary was usually in a mountain and the festivity had a duration of an evening. Since the villages were really small, everyone were like a family and reunited together to had lunch or dinner at the sanctuary, which I think is a good excuse to reunite the farmers of the city right? First they get together, go walk in a festive atmosphere (it’s really nice in my opinion to see families together in the game since this gives a good point of realism) and then they have a good time in a building near the sanctuary. It may even not be near a sanctuary, just a place to hang out in a really fancy place near the sea or in a mountain. Maybe the most common place is a tavern, a really big one.
    I really would like to know if there is going to be some kind of animation when a tier goes to the next tier, like if the farmers are improving the building, instead of the past Annos, that the house model suddenly appeared better when going from a tier to a better one. I think a good animation, like if the farmers are bringing wood to improve their house is really cool, or if there is going to be a different system, a system in which the houses do not get improved, but you have to build different houses for the different tiers, since I’ve read you want the farmers to be in the coast instead on the center of the island. Does that mean the houses are not going to get self improved from, lets say, the farmer tier to the medium class tier?
    Best regards 🙂

  18. MadAssassinA MadAssassinA

    In Canada, we use to have a social building where Farmers would dance and party after a successful harvest while the women would make pies and such. This is more of a French Canadian thing from the 19th century. The English side was all about the city life.

  19. Show answers to the comment
  20. Velerios1 Velerios1

    Aside from what would be typically expected; namely chapel and/or pub/inn, while also staying relatively historically accurate:

    -a magician’s/fortune teller’s tent/building- as a more affordable alternative to the circus, which would probably rather show up in a big city
    -bare-knuckle boxing club; considered shady business in bigger towns, would fit the outskirts more- providing opportunities for some gambling or even participation- for those brave and skilled enough
    -a cozy local bakery- allowing for a more ‘controlled’ social environment, as opposed to a pub; maybe to satisfy women and children?

    However, I wouldn’t name those ideas obligatory; more as a pretentious touch than an every village requirement.

  21. BlueBreath BlueBreath

    Typical, to villages in my area is the place where people meet and socialize mostly young people dance and find their pair. It can be outside.

  22. Nepherenthan Nepherenthan

    first of all… great posts. i might not comment on all of them but i do read all of them ^^
    i love the fact that you guys have chosen for different residents like farmers/workers/scholars etc etc

    for the tier 1 public farming resident buildings i would suggest the following:

    1. Tavern ( i expect this to be in already )
    2. church/chapel ( i expect this to be in already )
    3. a local blacksmith to provide them with farming tools ( every tool they can buy will increase their yield or speed.
    4. a certain lvl of roads.( example: a farm needs to be close enough to a place where it can store its goods. lets say the farm is 10 road tiles away from a warehouse or market. every dirt road tile is 10 distance points. every gravel road tile is 8 distance points and a stone road tile is 6 distance points. the connection must be under a certain amount of distance point to be able to reach next civ level.

    those are my ideas so far, you guys keep up the good work and i cant wait for the next post 🙂

    cheers!

  23. Fatuna Fatuna

    Nice post! First thing that comes to mind for a public building would be a church, but that has been done a lot in previous Anno games. Maybe a farmers market would make a cool new addition?

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