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DevBlog: Welcome to the world fair!

A city can only call itself a true metropolis if it has memorable architecture, standing as a testament of time and the progress of society and technology. Monuments have been an exciting building project in Anno games for a long time now, but they are more than just impressive structures to display the beauty of your flourishing city. Today Natacha Hentzien from our Game Design Team will give you some insights into our Monument and the new Exhibition feature that comes alongside with it.

Since Anno Union started, we have been following community feedback with interest, longing to share more of Anno 1800’s new features with you. Since I often read queries regarding the monument, I am glad to have the opportunity today to explain a little about our master building and its new functionality.

When we started the conception phase, the monument was one of the traditional Anno features that we decided to bring back into the game. We wanted to keep the core of the feature: a multi-staged construction building crowning a well-developed city, with an additional, powerful effect. We did a lot of research on the 19th century: general historical research, on city landmarks, photo collages, and much else. Many ideas about what the monument should be flew around the department, but we ultimately decided on the World Fair (as seen in the header picture in a an early stage of development), for its direct correlation to the industrial era, and as an expression of the scientific and historical curiosity in the 19th century.   Building on beloved features of the previous Anno titles is as important for us as finding new ways to improve and expand the gameplay of the series. When designing the monument feature for Anno 1800, our first idea was to give the building an island wide buff effect, similar to the way they work in Anno 1404. Since it was also one of our priorities to improve features with Anno 1800, we decided instead to create a new event system, giving players the freedom of choice based on their cities current needs and preferences. We wanted to have direct player interaction rather than a passive effect on your settlement, especially since the World Fair was the perfect occasion to introduce such gameplay with exhibitions.

Gameplay
The 19th century was an era of huge technological breakthroughs and new ideas, such as steel beams, which allowed for unprecedented constructions. We want this industrious pioneering spirit reflected in the game, from the Monument’s first foundation to the finished building. That’ why a construction of the Monument will be a challenging task, requiring players to complete several construction phases and to manage complex production pipelines. Once all of the required steel beams, concrete and tons of glass are assembled, it is time to celebrate: You just opened the doors to your very own World Fair!

But the World Fair is not just an impressive building in its own right, it also represents the dawn of the modern era- an age of technology as well as of discovery and exploration. Beyond being an eye-catcher and the new pride and joy of your capital city, it also gives you access to an all-new gameplay system: exhibition events. These exhibitions are special events that are hosted in your new World Fair, and will task players with organizing a variety of themed events for their citizens.

So how does it work?
Your first step will be to decide which kind of exhibition you want to bring to your World Fair. After you picked the theme for your next exhibition, it is time to start the preparations. The preparations will take some time to finish, but you will have some options to speed that process up by investing in your event.

While the exhibition is active in your city, it is important for us that players can feel and participate in the excitement created by such a festive event. Making Anno 1800 feel like a living, breathing world is one of our core goals for the game. Who knows, maybe such an event would even draw visitors from beyond your own city? Of course, after putting in all this effort to stage the exhibition, players have earned some rewards. Once it has ended, the gracious host will be able to keep a few of the exhibited items for themselves.

Events hosted in your World Fair will grant you exotic and rare items. While there will be other ways to get items in Anno 1800 (this being a topic for another day), some of these exhibition items will be among the rarest in the game, or may even be obtainable exclusively through these events. For example, you could earn an exotic new animal for your zoo, or a new technological invention that may boost one of your factories’ productivity.

Exhibitions!
We are currently planning to have three of these exhibitions at launch, covering the major topics of the era. There will of course be the industrially themed fair, bringing the technological wonders of the industrialization to your city. The second event we are planning will be all about the wonders of the past, and the strange. One of the aspects that makes the 19th century so fascinating is that for all the scientific progress, people were still deeply fascinated by the romantic and inexplicable. This exhibition could cover topics such as dinosaurs or mysterious ancient artefacts.

And the third? Well, we have many ideas already- but we also have an Anno Union community full of creative and clever members such as yourself. Before we give you the opportunity to vote on the third exhibition in the future, we first want to give you a chance to let us know what you would like to see in the comments. What would be a cool theme for the exhibition? What kind of items could players earn through this feature? We are very curious to see if you are thinking along the same lines as our team, or maybe come up with something completely different that none of us had on their radar.

We hope to see plenty of your suggestions in the days to come!

Until next time,

Natacha

 

37 Comments

  1. danielf2001

    That DOES look interesting 🙂

  2. DrDreaparN

    Reading about this i just come to think about something you simply must have for this anno game. A big bad ass University, Oxford style, as a big research center. This will add so much to the game. And just like described for the World Fair it would be awesome to have Events or research opportunities on the University. It could be focused research on a specific production line or a new and bigger trading vessel. The options are limitless. Instead of just be given a new fancy trading ship (using it as example again, can be applied to anything) i would add so much more tot the game it the player can get involved in the acquisition of this new ship, Contribute with resources to the university to hurry up the process. Anyway i think that would be really awesome.

  3. SirGusatv

    Hey loved the idea of the world faire.
    One thing I realy hope is that the event dont give a imperialistic view. Something like how tribal africa or idiginous people live wouldnt be nice nor apropriate.
    Maybe something tied to the other empires in the map, like oppening the faire for the others to come and show their empires.

    • GalaXionZer0

      Actually it would be entirely appropriate and immersive considering the time period. Certainly not the only or most common exhibits, but you could easily have an exhibit about wildlife and tribal communities of African savannas. They don’t necessarily have to include them, but I genuinely hope that if they don’t it’s not because of this disgusting “politically correct” attitude. Any fair that’s not about technology would’ve and should have an imperialistic undertone. Zoos with far east Asian animals, museums with Egyptian artifacts, all these are products of imperialism. You can not truly do the time period justice by washing away imperialism. Not to mention the gameplay of Anno has always been rather imperialstic. You have you central core city/ies and many islands are mostly for plantations or mines, they’re essentially colonies to bring exotic goods to your people.

  4. Clausfrisk

    this development of the momument is something i think will be a brilliant part of the goals and regular gameplay with these exhibits!
    for the third monument i am thinking in the lines of a museum with the function to be made into different themes of museums. art, history, biology/geography.
    an argument to do this is that the basegame reminds me of east-american cities and of London and Paris where there were a very high interest in africa(pointed out above by someone else), especially egyptian history and artifacts for their museums. which is still about today. for the botanical garden which was also sugested above by someone else, the arguments is that the british and french had the worlds most diverse collection of plants from both the congo and brazillian rainforest.
    the idea of making it possible to choose between different types of museums can give the player a strong sense of ownership to ones city, since people have different tastes and interests. it could also serve as re-playability if only one type can be present in a game save.
    as a side-note: more decorations! i am not a let-this-game-be-maxed kind of player. i love to make my cities beautiful and with a thought through cityplanning that makes it organic and dynamic as a real city would be. so a few rewards towards decorations from the monuments would be the best! 🙂

    • Mendahor

      This idea of choosing from different types of museums sounds good to me. And I’m with you about your request for more decorations. Even if you implements this as a (free or cheap) DLC

  5. Arkenophas

    Maybe something about the beggining of the cinema. Yes, it appears at the end of the 19th century, but maybe it can be interesting 🙂

    • Mendahor

      I was thinking about cinema too, with a Lumiere Brothers exhibition, but I don’t see what item could be a good reward.
      Access for a cinema building reducing the amount of one good within its area ? Can’t be repeated, except if we get only 1 building at a time. A new projection technic, upgrading an existing cinema building ?

      • Arkenophas

        Or maybe a buff who increase tax ? I think more to an area effect or a buff than a good or something like that.

        PS: Are you one of the devs or just a random follower ? ^^

        • Mendahor

          When I said “the amount of one good” I was thinking about reducing the amount of one good required by the houses within the area of effect of the building

          Yes I’m a dev, but not an Ubisoft, Blue Byte or a concurrent one 🙂 I played all Anno’s (since Anno 1602), so I well know the Anno mechanics (except multiplayer), but appart of those 2 things, I’m just a random follower.

  6. Simrius

    Maybe something with Jules Verne or Camille Flammarion, because of the new worlds admiration. In the 19th, a lot of peoples were interested about space, exploration, and thought that others species lived on space. It can be a good idea that one exhibition talk about Space, exploration, and ideas of new species, but with the scientific vision of this century.

  7. Twidlledee

    I think a fun exhibit would be a circus. Or an orchestra/concert

  8. Twidlledee

    I think a fun exhibit would be a circus.

    • CorsairUplay

      possibly. But the World Fair is more a huge museum than a circus, so it would work better in another structure

  9. sbeiti

    Will you consider adding day-night cycle and will you add DLCs ?

  10. Arkenophas

    Will there be an event like a Universal Exposition ? A huge event who gather all of the player of the map, everybody choose a monument and try to finish it before the deadline (or maybe an other conduct ^^ )

  11. Mattrelia

    I’m very happy that there will finally be a possibility of interaction with the public buildings!! Nice. I hope this will be for every building and not only zoo and fair.
    Gathering relics for churchs, artefacts for the fair, artworks or poems for theatre or museum and so on would make the colonialization and social development a great experience.
    I just hope it will be possible to carry over the items to new games. In anno 1404 there were sooo cool items that you could only get when you are already the mightiest person in the game and you finally didn’t need them. Or on the other hand the items are such mighty or give you new content that the late gameplay is enhanced a lot.
    Good ideas for the fair are already posted but aircraft, military and exotic food and clothes seems nice.
    Greetings to the team!!

  12. BlueBreath

    third one could an Anno history exhibition, you could gain different stuff from a Ramirez statue 😀 to a rose park with an ornamental Noria .

  13. banan1996.1996

    I really like the idea of another function of a monument 🙂 The third exhibition could be about agriculture or art. Agriculture exhibition could provide some exotic types of food or items boosting our farms’ productivity, maybe also new type of animals for the zoo. The art exhibition may unlock some new ornamental buildings or something…
    The idea of unlocking some unique public or service buildings has been mentioned in the comments, I personally don’t like it, I don’t want to be forced to make those exhibitions to obtain important buildings and I think that it doesn’t suit whole World Fair idea.
    A fair about industrialization could provide items boosting the productivity of our factories or improving our steamships.

    After reading this devblog I am a bit concerned – will it be the only one monument in the game? I really hope for at least 2 or 3 monuments, the other ones don’t have to have such specific features. I would love to see at least a huge storehouse as a monument – like historic warehouse from Anno 1404, I really loved that monument. And in both Anno 1404 and 2070 we had three monuments available so one monument is definitely not enough!

    • Soulridder

      I’m also wondering if there will only be one monument or if we are going to see more monuments (maybe not at release, but later)?
      Maybe you could also get the special items from quests or other features in the Game, who knows. Thought I’m not really against having to build a monument to gain access to them as that’s what I always do.

      I quite like the idea of an agriculture exhibition as agriculture was an important part of the 19th century. Without advanced machines no upgrades to agriculture, thus we wouldn’t have so many humans on earth today. I mean, agriculture was one of the starting points for the industrialisation, so it would be really nice to see an exhibition about agriculture.
      In my opinion the agriculture exhibition shouldn’t give you new types of animals as I don’t see how those two relate to each other, but I could think about a boost for the production of farms and such stuff. 😉
      Think about all the new technologies related to farming which might be shown there and how the people would adopt them to produce more and more food for you. 🙂
      I guess giant cities will rise!

  14. Olinater

    A military or transport exhibition would be nice.

  15. Carlctrl

    I second the idea of a colonial / exotic cultural exhibition.

    Another possibility would be a transportation exhibit. This might allow the player the ability to build a massive ship (Titanic), Railroads, and or an Airship!

  16. Mr_Boatyface

    Could there be a possiblilty for a colonial exhibition? Indeed, in the 1800’s European powers started to drastically speed up their rate of claiming land on foreign continents during the era of ‘modern imperialism’. The reward for organising such an exhibiton could consist of all sorts of objects taken from Africa and Asia, such as architecture and building that have a certain benefit to a settlement.

    Perhaps a more interesting idea is the possibility to introduce unique production chains that relate to the unknown continents. A silk industry if talking about Asia, or tropical fruit farms when talking about Africa. These goods may be sold at high prices to other players, or can be used to increase taxes on the population by giving them acces to these luxeries.

    If that is not enough, we could also throw in the military aspect of colonisation (only if the tropical architecture and goods provide not enough content). This gives the possibility of rewarding players with military bonusses. I personally think about advantages such as extra HP or combat power for military camps as in anno 1404, but also ships may be affected.

  17. Prince_Diego

    I think it would be really interesting to have a cultural/social exhibition that would give you interesting/unique diplomacy perks. Perhaps more influence on NPCs, percentage bonuses to trade, or bonuses to citizens happiness. The cultural/society exhibition could also have an effect on the labor movements/revolutions that have been mentioned as a new facet of game play.

    I agree that I am a little disappointed that there might only be 1 monument. I would really like to see other complex projects that can be undertaken, even if they don’t have the same flexibility as the world fair.

    • Swimming-Paul

      Yes, I agree with Prince_Diego. I don´t mind if other monuments don´t have such complex functionality, but please we need more than 1 monument. It cannot be SOOOO hard from a development point of view, and it would give the game a huge amount of play-time and interest, and beauty and diversity to the cities. Pleeeease :_(

  18. Swimming-Paul

    I really like the idea of this monument having such an specific function. I think another great idea for the 3rd kind of exhibition would be a botanical exhibition, where tropical or exotic plants are displayed, and that new types of parks can be obtained this way as a reward (I would say big parks, like 3×3 or bigger, with different and beautiful shapes).

    I´m a bit concerned about the way the World Fair is being mentioned as THE monument. Does this mean there are not going to be other monuments in Anno 1800? I think a lot of us are expecting more than this. In Anno 1404 there were 3 monuments available (4 if you consider the modular Imperial Palace). In Anno 2070 there were also 3 monuments available, one for each faction. Can we please have even more than these previous titles? Please please please!!!

  19. Arkenophas

    Damn son ! It promise to be really great ! I thought to maybe Art exposition, who can give a certain decoration, as a statue. And why not an exhibition about Africa and countries of the South ? At the era of colonisation, it could be interesting. For the reward for this exhibition, I don’t know, maybe a rare resource from this countries, or a decoration… I don’t know :/

  20. palemale53

    This was also an age of empire, and these fairs offered a chance to show the exotic wonders of the world.

  21. palemale53

    London’s Crystal Palace and the Eiffel Tower are great monuments to that era. A great choice for the culminating challenge in the new game.

  22. iruet

    hehehe games are only fun if ya can shoot other peeps right? 😛

    It is an great idea though, maybe as advantage that your militry will become stronger

    • iruet

      This was meant to be replied under Com-mu-nism’s post

  23. RotS-Targe

    I agree completely with Lioti, let’s have unique building models and ascetic items! One of my biggest joys in these games is making my city /mine/, and one of the best ways for that is to have a different model for a building, and having to work for them makes it so much more rewarding to see them once you finally have them. I also like the idea of unlocking specialty service buildings, that combine features, since this would free up space in the older city for a park or something, which usually isn’t planned for in the early stages, at least in my games. I love the thought of a super advanced port building in your capital’s primary harbor, one that requires real effort to get.

    I like both the agricultural and military ideas for the third exhibition, although by the time you are getting to the world’s fair, who would really be threatening you? ^^; But maybe have that be a way to unlock an ironclad or something similar. Agricultural sounds like it would be a great way to get huge boosts to your farms, but I have an idea of some exotic foods that act like a bonus luxury good. So they aren’t one of the required goods, so your citizens won’t get upset if you don’t have any, but if you do supply them, their happiness will be boosted even further. It feels like that would be best under an agricultural fair.

    • Lioti_67

      Indeed, I’ve always been quite frustrated to only be allowed to switch between 6 (next 3 for straight roads and 3 for corners) building models for each housing level But I’m wondering now if it really fits the theme of a world fair. Earning unique ones based on the exhibition could do the trick, but I’d rather see at least 5-6 to choose from in the base game if the idea seems a bit too farfetched.

      I like the idea of a Maritime exhibition, where you could get those rare blueprints to build unique ships I mentioned, as well as other perks related to naval warfare and trade. I’m hoping to see lots of elements to customize the city harbor – don’t forget to add an imposing and spectacular lighthouse, it could be a good idea for another monument.

      I honestly feel that the World Fair alone is not enough in terms of big construction projects, especially to satisfy those who have played Anno 1404 and 2070: we want to build ! Believe me, even after settling and arrenging my own private islands in 1404, both in the Orient and the Occident, with both monuments built, and countless Imperial Cathedrals and Sultan’s Mosques on my islands with nobles and envoys, and even with the Venetian Palace thanks to the add-on, I wish there were more monuments to build

  24. Lioti_67

    One could obtain:

    – Unique construction blueprints to build:

    * More sumptuous ornaments, flags, trees, plazas, roads, parks, etc.
    * Rare and unique production buildings, which could be valuable and/ or be used as substitutes for ongoing production chains (needing less resources to produce, being more productive, taking up less land, having a wider radius, etc.)
    * Rare and unique blueprints for the shipyard to build more advanced steam-powered ships, which would take greater time to build, faster vessels and frigates such as clippers, etc.
    * New building models to allow for a richer customization and decoration when playing (and would definitely drastically increase the playing time of some hardcore players, craving replayability !)
    * Variants of public buildings (some combining 2, others taking more space but covering a wider range – for instance have some kind of University (bigger with other perks) and/or Academy (smaller but more effective) providing the same need)

    – Of course, exquisite goods:
    * A certain amount of resources coming from the region left unsettled by the players, being pricier to sell in the settled region
    * Unique building material which can used as substitutes for others, and available for the construction of special (maybe hidden) buildings
    * Rare items which could be only used to enhance the effects of exhibitions, placed in a limited number of sockets (a bit like for the warehouses in Anno 1404 and Anno 2070) coming in a variety of different ways (extending the period of the exhibitions, reducing cooldowns between exhbitions, doubling chances of rare rewards, etc.)

    – The third exhibition could promote agriculture, and have a global boost on farms, barns, and increase the income from lower class residents. Anyhow, I couldn’t be more enthusiastic reading what the team is coming up with ! This game really is going to be something quite amazing !

    • CorsairUplay

      I think an agricultural exhibition is a good idea; the 19th century also saw huge improvements in farming.

  25. iruet

    It would be nice to earn buildings from such a fair, like the Eiffel tower or the Atomium, which for example, will boost your total amount of inhabitants 🙂
    Furthermore, special abilities, like if you start this fair your cartmen will run twice as fast, or maybe ships become stronger, or ships sail faster

    What would be nice to have as choice for the fair? I’ve been searching, and I don’t really know what I would love to see there: Maybe a midwifes fair? (how to clean, cook, etc.)

  26. Com-mu-nism

    My input as the third exhibition: Military!

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