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Union Update: Streaming and multiplayer Q&A

As the release date of Anno 1800 draws closer, we are in the final sprints to polish and balance the game. Creating the DevBlog takes a lot of time and much of the games content has been highlighted in some shape or form already, the game developer insights will take a short break this week. We brought you dozens of DevBlogs since launch of the Anno Union in 2017 and we still have some articles in our pocket leading up to the launch of the game.

But we won’t be lazy as we will ramp up the amount of Anno 1800 live-streams on our twitch channel with the AnnoAfternoon stream returning this week and the Community Corner coming back in the week ahead with a German episode including a special guest.

Livestream: AnnoAfternoon
It’s time once more for our Community team takes you on another Anno 1800 Twitch adventure! In the next episode of our AnnoAfternoon community stream, we will venture forth into the new world together, when we listen to your suggestions as to how we should build and name our cities.

When: March 8th, 4pm GMT
Where: twitch.tv/ubisoftbluebyte

Annoverse Roundtable recordings
Last week’s Annoverse roundtable was an absolute blast! Over the course of two hours, we made a challenge out of answering as many questions as possible and thanks to the Annoverse team and community member Domo, you can listen to the recorded German and English session here:
Annoverse Anno 1800 Roundtable German
Annoverse Anno 1800 Roundtable English

Last but not least, we have prepared some answers to your most burning multiplayer questions in today’s community Q&A.

FerudaFarstaria
When we add friends from our friends list. Does this include the Steam friend list and Uplay? Or do you have to find your friends in the game, and add them to your friends list? I’d really like to know if this does link to friends lists in Steam, and Uplay.
Answer: Anno lists steam friends as well as your Uplay friends. In case you invite someone from you friend list, Anno does automatically select the right backend (Steam or UPlay) for the invitation and also receive and handle the invitations from both systems.

Mattly
We did find that once we had expanded into the new world we had to give up due to constant desync’s. As we are all on fibre and all in the same country (New Zealand) could this have been caused by the need to communicate with the host server where ever that is located or was it a known issue that has been worked out in these final weeks?
Answer: We identified and fixed many reasons for de-synchs thanks to the great participation of Closed Beta. This also includes many de-syncs related to the South America session. It is not very likely, that your desynch problems as described where caused by network issues, as because Anno tries to keep the connections “as local” as possible. Only if the NATs of the participants are not compatible, we are forced to route the traffic over Ubisoft servers to enable the players to join. But this also can be resolved by players by adding Anno to the exception list of your router.

elmoh1one
I would be interested in a whole Devblog about the topic synchronization. Which kind of data is exactly synchronized? How is the system checking if there are disparities between the different computers and how does that coherent with the simulation of the game?
Answer:
Simply speaking, every single player action will get recorded and synchronized before the system shares all input data of for the simulation with every other participating player (every PC in the session calculates all steps of the simulation for every player in the match).

Drake-1503
Does that mean that saved multiplayer matched can be continued with different players? That would mean it would be possible to create a staged savegame with already established cities instead of an empty map.
Answer: You are able to continue mutliplayer savegames even if the original players are not available anymore. When new players join, they can “overtake” an empire and continue to progress and expand with that game state. While it is technically possible to create scenarios that way, you would need to have a dedicated player for every single party as you cannot take control over two or more empires.

The_Waith_Lord
I would love to see that you could also do a search for players based on language and region to make it easier to communicate with the other players.
Answer: When looking for a player, our matchmaking takes the region as well as language into account. Should the system be unable to find a player after a while, it will expand the search for players with the same language across the globe. If the system is still unable to match you with someone, it will also widen the search to global players with any language.

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Union Update: Winter QnA

While some of us enjoy the snowy surprise and the resulting winter themed skin applied in many parts of Germany, we bring you another round of our Community questions and answers and streams for the cozy winter days.

With this week’s DevBlog: Ornaments, our blog series revolving the development of Anno 1800 returns from its winter hiatus. Next week, we will conquer the winter season with some heat: we hope that you look forward to city incidents such as firestorms, strikes and the season appropriate illness before we raise the curtain for the big feature reveal before our Closed Beta at the end of the month.

The next episode of our AnnoCast and Anno Afternoon
Save the date as our Twitch devstream will return next week Wednesday January 23rd. This time with Narrative Designer Marie who will demonstrate us how we applied some fresh paint to the quest system in Anno 1800. Nevertheless, that is not all as next week Friday, January 25th, Chris and John will be back with their aspiring Anno 2070 utopia.

Annocast: Quests and Expeditions – January 23th at 5pm MEZ
AnnoAfternoon – January 25th at 5pm MEZ

Watch it live on twitch.tv/ubisoftbluebyteand follow our channel if you never want to miss a show!

iyamaShiro
Will it be possible to change specific sound slider, such as voice, music and effects? I love to tune up the effects and dial down the rest of the game audio.
Answer: You will be able to change the following audio levels individually: Master Volume, Menu Sounds, Voice Volume, Music Volume and SFX Volume. Enjoy!

Ceib0
Will we only be able to exhibit artefacts in the museum or also art pieces such as statues or paintings?
Answer:Exhibits will mainly include cultural artefacts and sets will include statues. Bigger exhibits are displayed in open-air modules and come with their own unique asset while smaller artifacts will be showcased in museum wing modules. By the way: You will be able to place ornaments between your zoo and museum modules freely, which will allow you to create beautiful vistas with statues, fountains or other ornamental structures.

adriankowaty
Will there be a statistic overview like in 2205 which allows us to see how many units of a certain good we produce at a time?
Answer: We won’t have a statistic feature such as the one in Anno 2070 at launch of the game. But we are aware that many of you wish to see a comprehensive overview and statistics of your production, especially when reaching the end-game. We will keep continue to keep an eye on such feedback after the launch of the game.
The tooltip of each production building allows you to see how long it takes to finish one good and you will be further able to change the production speed with things like the working condition slider. If you compare the time it takes to create a good compared to the production time of the production of the needed resources, you can easily calculated the most effective rate of production and resource buildings.
Furthermore, you can check the overall amount of goods and if their stock is currently rising or declining in the kontor and warehouses.

g4mer901
Will it be possible to build sole production islands or will I need to create a new settlement with each island expansion?
Answer:
Reaching the fourth residential tier unlocks a new building: the commuter harbor. This new building allows you to connect different islands, which also have a commuter harbor and once linked; islands will share their workforce as one global pool. This means that you will not need to create settlements to support your production islands. But beware: an economy which mainly relies on a commuter network is an easy target during war, as one well-directed blow to your commuter harbors can cripple your whole production pipeline.

prgbrowne
I have read reviews on Anno 1800 where one of the downsides is the small size of land masses to build your empire. Is that a valid concern? It probably would be nice to have the choice of the size of the land mass you get to colonise, much like Civilization I guess. I don’t really want to see small islands close together. Varied terrain type options would also be good.
Answer: Anno 1800 will not only have the biggest maps in the history of the series, but also islands with vastest construction space. In the custom game options, you will be able to change the type of island world (which affects the arrangement of islands, such as atolls and archipelagos) and how frequents large islands are on your map. As naval exploration was always an essential game pillar of the Anno series, we further expanded on the ocean space to give you more room for trading networks or open water battlefields for tense ship fights on the high sea.

denNes_
Is a return of the research planned for the game? I loved it in 2070 and 1701 and would like if it celebrates a comeback to the series.
Answer:
We currently have no planes for a self-contained research feature in Anno 1800. We followed many community discussions revolving research closely and want to provide a few insides how Anno 1800 will cover that topic. In previous Anno titles, research served as an item generator and further allowed you to customize your playstyle with various perks and special abilities. Anno 1800 covers said options with several new features and as player freedom is important for us, we decided against a classic and often restricting “RTS” style research tree.
There are many different ways how to acquire items. In addition to quests or trading, you will be able to generate items with the new city attractiveness, the variety of expeditions or the world fair monument.
When on a zoological expedition, you will not only be able to acquire animals for your zoo, you can also get your hands on some cultural items or even hire specialists during events, which come with abilities which might not be related to the zoo at all. As an example, a specialist might join you who is able to boost one of your battleships with a special ability. If you want to focus on your fleet of warships, you can run naval themed exhibitions in your world fair or do bounty-hunt expeditions, which will reward you with naval related items such as weaponry or combat savvy specialists.
If you prefer to use the power of science to benefit your society, get marvelous new machines from the world fair, which you can slot in your guild houses to boost your factories with various effects.
Furthermore, you can make use of the influence system to get bonuses which suit your custom playstyle which are, in contrast to a research tree, are reversible at any time.
Add more elements such as electricity; Anno 1800 adds various layers, which allow you to optimize or to get experimental with your own unique playstyle.

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Union Update: Union Fan Initiative

Union Fan Initiative
Many of our fans have been travelling with us on the Anno journey for the past 20 years. And as the Union has clearly shown, our communities are not only amazing at providing impressive amounts of invaluable feedback, but they also run many cool projects like fan sites or Discord channels, or create entertaining videos, fan art or whole short stories.

No matter what you do, the Union Fan Initiative is here to support fan creations with spotlights on our upcoming Anno Union fan creation list, streamer and Youtube highlights as well as offering general support for projects through visibility on Anno Union and on our social media channels, hosting for Anno streams on Twitch and much more.

Interested? Everyone who creates frequent Anno related content can apply for the initiative. You can find further details in our dedicated Union Fan Initiative thread here: >LINK<

You missed AnnoCast05? The VoD is now available!
Got held up in the office or were lost on an expedition in uncharted waters? Do not worry; the VoD of last week’s AnnoCast is now available:

After the big gamescom reveal, we are considering bringing you these developer streams more frequently. What do you think about that and are there other formats on our Twitch channel which you would like to see?

Livestream from Eurogamer Expo next week
You want another chance to see more of Anno 1800 on Twitch? Then we have good news, as some members of our team will be travelling to Birmingham next week to present Anno 1800 at the Eurogamer Expo. If you can’t make it, the presentation will be live streamed on September 20th at 2pm CEST/ 8am EST/ 5am PST at https://www.twitch.tv/egx

Report: Star Player at gamescom
We have another small throwback to this year’s gamescom for you. Here is a small personal report from our Anno Star Player and avid Union member Swimming-Paul, who was invited by Ubisoft to enjoy gamescom 2018 and to celebrate the games with us!

I have been playing Anno for over a decade now and an active member of different community platforms, but I would have never imagined that my love for this franchise would get me invited to join Ubisoft´s Starplayer Program or to visit Gamescom last August.

One of the biggest highlights was of course to try the new demo of Anno 1800. Any other fan out there will agree with me when I say that 20 minutes is a ridiculously small amount of time to test a game like Anno, but believe me: it was a satisfying and rewarding experience. If I´m completely honest with you, I was so thrilled to see that rivers are coming back to Anno that I spent a considerable amount of time building bridges everywhere! But I also reached the 2nd population level, created a small industrial district, and admired the extreme beauty of this new title. I can promise you that Anno has never looked any better!

It was also very special to witness the official presentation of Anno 1800 in the Gamescom´s main stage. I don´t really speak German, so I couldn´t understand much, but that didn´t stop me from being the proudest fan in the crowd, enjoying the impressive new trailer and watching Bastian doing his thing.

Finally, the Anno Union dinner was probably the best moment of the week for me. I would have never thought that awkward glances or uncomfortable silences are an option if you put together a bunch of Anno fans, and I was 100% right. After five minutes the conversations were bustling, the glasses were rising in a toast to the Best PC Game Award, and you could feel a shared passion and excitement in the air.

It was a beautiful experience and I will never forget the people I got to know during my time in Germany. We do have many reasons to celebrate Anno 1800!

Our Ubisoft StarPlayers gfrew, Swimming-Paul and Freeway enjoying Anno 1800 at out big gamescom booth.

This week’s DevBlog and upcoming content

Of course, we have more planned than just supporting fan projects and content creators: you can also look forward to the first Anno 1800 wallpaper and more material for fans in the weeks to come. This week’s upcoming DevBlog “The New World” will answer many of your questions about the second session, and we are already curious about your thoughts.

The focus of next week’s Union Update will be a bigger Community Q&A panel, which will cover questions from the Union, our communities, the stream and what might come up during next week’s DevBlog.

And as always, give us all your feedback, wishes, suggestions or just good Anno vibes in the comments below.

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Union Update: Livestream week

This week, it’s all about the upcoming next episode of our Anno 1800 development live-stream. AnnoCast 04 will be the most ambitious episode as of yet, as we not only show the latest state of the development but also present the city attractiveness system in action.

Our first guest, UI Designer Khajag Jabaghchourian, will demonstrate our big UI overhaul, as also provide insights about the importance of a well thought UI design for Anno 1800. A perfect chance for Anno enthusiasts and future game developer to learn something about intricate UI designs for complex management and city building games.
Our second guest might be familiar from our Monument and City Attractiveness blog. Game Designer Natacha Hentzien will take you to a small trip to our island paradise, when we follow our tourists through our panoramic city including a nice trip to the zoo but also not ignoring the smoking dark side of your modern industry.

As always, you will be able to watch the stream on our twitch channel twitch.tv/ubisoftbluebyte as well as on our Anno Union website. We will make the blog including the video player available by Thursday noon, to give you enough time to share your questions in the comment function.

AnnoCast Episode 04 – A trip to the zoo
Thursday May 17th at 5pm CEST / 1 AM ET / 8 AM PT
Follow us on: twitch.tv/ubisoftbluebyte

Other than that, it will be the first time we use our new streaming room. Expect a new look while we will continue to improve decoration and a few other elements in the upcoming episodes.
As there is another bank holiday coming up, we will do a short break from our regular Union Updates, which will not affect next week’s DevBlog.

But before we leave it to this week’s community Q&A part, we have another small announcement to make. Our Ubisoft community team taking care of Anno, among them some familiar names such as O5ighter and Seraxia, will host a new streaming show on our channel. Join them this Sunday, when they dive into old classic Anno games in our new Anno Afternoon Community stream. Feel free to watch and comment – backseat gaming is welcome!

AnnoAfternoon #01 – Anno 1404: Maiden Voyage
Sunday May 20th at 5pm CEST / 1 AM ET / 8 AM PT
Also on: twitch.tv/ubisoftbluebyte

Community Question and Answer

loex1337
Is it possible to merge different enclosures to larger modules into each other, so that I can create a big elephant enclosure if I connect two of them?
Answer: Allowing the enclosures to merge into bigger compounds leads to different issues to tackle, such as what happens if you unequipped one of two elephant items or how do you expand visual feedback, as animals and visitors heavily rely on pathfinding. One solution would be to develop preset modules in different sizes, but that would also ramp up the workload to create said assets. The various different and free to place enclosures offer many customization options for your zoo project. As it is a vast feature already, we think that we are doing the zoo a favor if we invest that development time into quality and variety of the different animals.

Revadan
Will Anno 1800 have a mobile companion app like Anno 2205?
Answer: There are currently no plans for an companion app for Anno 1800.

banan1996.1996
In the devblog about artisans glass was produced by workers and here it is produced by artisans. Did you change your mind about it or is it a mistake?
Answer: During development, we continuously work on the balancing, from small bits and pieces up to the re-work of whole production chains. Just recently, we reworked some of the production chains, which are one of the biggest balancing points for an Anno game. Rebalancing, as well as minor and major changes to the game, will continue for a while, often fueled by feedback gathered by the Anno Union blogs and especially playtests.

HarroLP
How much impact had the last playtest, did you made any major changes based on player feedback?
Answer: The playtest gave us a lot of important feedback on the current state on the game. Every feature has its own “player stories” note in our development plan. The “Player Stories” are insights and findings we gathered from blog and forum comments as well as from our playtest groups. That feedback will be gathered in reports, which are then being discussed in the team. The last playtest lead to a lot of smaller and even some minor changes to the game, from pure balancing to altering content. We are looking forward to the next test, which is planned to start in June. From that on, we will run further focus playtests throughout the year.

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Union Update: First focus-test has concluded

This week in the Anno Union, we return to the life of your factory workers and explain how your power over their working conditions can not only impact the productivity of your economy, but also the happiness of your residents. More residential tier DevBlog’s are on the way in the future, accompanied by more details about Anno 1800’s feature set as it opens up during your gameplay progress.

The first Anno Union focus-test has concluded
Over the course of the last two weeks, we gave a dozen Union Members the chance to test the development version of Anno 1800. The dedication and effort all of our Union testers put into their reports and detailed observations was astounding, providing dozens of pages with valuable data for our team.
But it’s not only about additional learnings for the game’s improvements; knowing when a feature works as intended and if the gameplay flow feels rewarding and satisfying is easily as important to us as new ideas. In theory, you can develop a game for decades, continuously improving and adding features and as a result, never getting the product ready for the release. For that reason, positive feedback helps us to know if we are on the right track with the game and its existing list of features.

So what is next? The first thing we need to do is to create an aggregated report, combining all the feedback from the playtest, which then needs to get discussed to identify action points to further improve or develop.
The success of the first test demonstrated that the combination of feedback collected via the Union, events and playtests creates an effective synergy of data to work with.
As it was only the beginning, we will continue to leverage the knowledge from our community with future Anno Union focus tests. As always, we will keep you in the loop and updated as soon as we are about to open the second focus test group.

Anno Cast 03 this week Thursday, March 22nd, 4.30pm CET
Anno Cast 03 goes live this week, break a leg! This Thursday, we will discuss some current and past development of the game, how the Union feedback helps us in all stages of development and of course, show you Anno 1800 in action again. As with previous episodes, we will also answer some questions, some of them previously gathered in the comments (so keep asking) and others during the actual show.

As always, we will publish a blog this Thursday to watch the stream live on the Anno Union.

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Union Update: AnnoCast Summary

Last Friday was the kick off of our first livestreaming format: The AnnoCast

Despite airing on a superstitious friday the 13th, our show went really well and we hope that you had as much fun watching the stream as we had being on the show.
A big thank you to everyone who joined the stream, it was great to see so many Annoholics watching, listening and engaging in the chat. And let’s not forget our operator and Senior Game Designer Christian, who spent his birthday evening to ensure that everything is running as well as our moderators Freeway and O5ighter for helping out with the chat!

The AnnoCast is our relaxed “after work” LiveCast, where I invite various developers to talk about their work, the current state of the game and to answer your community questions. While the show itself is a podcast with a live camera, we plan several show formats on our new Twitch channel. From the re-occurring AnnoCast, to Let’s Play sessions of older Anno titles and DevBlog supporting shows where we will be able to show you parts of Anno 1800 and where our developers can show how they work and ask you questions live!

And with that, we can already announce our next livestream. As some of you might now, next week marks the anniversary of Anno 1701, a perfect opportunity to start our first Let’s Play! And what could be more entertaining than watching some of the original developers of the game playing and to walk down memory lane. So prepare for some interesting anecdotes, insights how 1701 inspired Anno 1800 and probably horrible city building.

As always, we are curious about your feedback regarding the show. Let us know what you would like to see in future, how we can improve the stream or share your crazy ideas in the comments below!

Summary of the show:

Streaming Room and Community Creations
You remember that we asked for your screenshots and other community creations to decorate the streaming room? Many of you answered the call but we have to find a way to present them in a proper and worthy fashion. We have some cool ideas how to display your creations, so expect some changes to the arrangement of the room in upcoming shows.

Developer tools and hardware we use for development
A lot of you are interested in insights about or work and with that, what kind of hardware and tools we are using. We mostly use workstations, which have different requirements depending on the various disciplines. That means a lots of RAM (you might not need it for gaming, but 64gig is common) and good CPU’s to compile, render and to run the various demanding applications. We need a lot of processing power but rarely beefy gaming cards. For all things art related, we use Wacom graphic tables in various form and sizes, which are industry standard.

Pirates in Anno 1800
The classic idea of swashbuckling pirates became a tale of old times in the 19th century. But we all know that Pirates are a fundamental part of the Anno series. So rest assured that in Anno 1800, Pirates will be represented in one form or another. How exactly will be a tale of a future DevBlog.

Details about the Campaign
With the reveal, we promised a rich and detailed campaign to get immersed in the 19th century setting. But the campaign, which will be embed in the sandbox gameplay, requires many of the building blocks of the games foundation, which we are currently building. While we surely started to write and work on the campaign, you will have to wait until next year to get more details about its nature and story.

Is there a Jorgensen hiding somewhere?
Can you even imagine an Anno game without a Jorgensen? We surely can’t but also like to keep a few things mysterious.
Dirk gave some details about the beginning of the Jorgensen family with Anno 1701 and how the idea of the Jorgensen is rooted in the old TV series “Babapapa”. No worries, I had to look it up online myself as well.

Camera options to get up close with your citizen
We can confirm that Anno 1800 will have the familiar zoom level but also a free camera option which will allow you to get up close to your citizen or to let your creativity go wild when creating beautiful screenshots.

Sail versus steam ships!
You will be able to build sailing ships as well as steam powered naval units. Both ship types will have features, which will distinguish them in their functionality. Old as new technology will have their own advantages and downsides, which we will discover in future development blogs.

The comeback of our item system
The item system was missing in 2205 and we realized, that it was a feature which many Anno players had grown fond of in the past. We gave you a glimpse on the returning item system with the monument blog and some footage of the zoo. The new system will be an evolution of the old feature, so expect a more complex system, which will give you interesting options how items can affect your gameplay.

The beautiful harbor from our announcement trailer
You were curious about the variety of buildings you have seen in the harbor scene from the announcement trailer. While the footage shown in the trailer is an early version of the game, our goal is that players have a variety of constructions available to create a functional but also beautiful harbor.

How many housing buildings do fit in one Anno game?
A hot topic as of late, many of you want to know how many different assets by tier we will use for housing. The reality: It has not been set in stone yet. Rather than deciding on a fix number, we usually observe how the various tiers feel in a cityscape to decide how many are needed in order to achieve the best possible and feasible variety. That means that buildings might be altered and added in the upcoming milestones. As always: Pre-Alpha or later footage you might see on the Union is not representative for the final game.

Any news about the military system?
Military is an important but also complex topic. As time to answer community questions is limited during the AnnoCast, we could at least say that this topic deserves its own dedicated DevBlog on the union.

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Union Update: Here comes the AnnoCast!

Welcome back to our Anno Union Community Update after the short bank holiday break last week. As some of you may know, October 3rd is the German national Holiday as we celebrate the German reunification, and this year, the official ceremonial act took place in our home city of Mainz. That is why we at Ubisoft Blue Byte also took part, with a small exhibition of some of the prettiest concept art from Anno 1404, 2205, The Settlers, Champions of Anteria and Assassin’s Creed identity. In addition, we had one of our Senior Concept Artists, Ramón, do live demos where he drew some concept art for visitors to watch on a big screen. Good times were had, and we greatly enjoyed the chance to tell attendees of the event more about our work and the art of game development.

Moving on, with a short update about the next big Anno Union vote: With our Monument blog, we asked the Union for ideas about World Fair Exhibitions and you clearly know how to deliver. Our team is currently going through all your great ideas and we will be able to kick off the next vote soon.

Time for the first AnnoCast!

The next agenda point is an announcement many of you waited for: The first AnnoCast will air this Friday, 5pm CEST on twitch.tv/ubisoftbluebyte

The AnnoCast will be our new Anno Union Live Podcast on Twitch and we plan to add more formats such as developer streams and Let’s Play sessions to the channel in the future. In our first episode, Creative Director Dirk Riegert and Int. Brand Manager Marcel Hatam will join Community Developer Bastian Thun to discuss the Anno Union and answer your questions. We hope that many Anno Union members join us during our show.

If you have questions for the QnA part of upcoming podcast, feel free to drop them in the comment section below.
But please keep the questions spot on and brief, as we have to read them out loud during the show!

Community Spotlight

Finally yet importantly, we have another shout out for our Anno communities out there: The Anno Subreddit!

And with that, we hand over keyboard to Logon, admin of /r/Anno:
I started the /r/anno community because all the Anno subreddits where game specific, and this would cause the community to splinter between games. The subreddit started when Anno 2070 was about to be released but I still mostly played Anno 1404 which meant that I could not use the Anno 2070 subreddit due to it being off topic at the time. Now the subreddit is one of the main Anno subreddits which gamespecific ones always popping up with each new release. Hopefully Anno 1800 will continue to grow the Anno community and with the help all the other Anno communities and BlueByte we can grow both the game series and community in a positive way!

And don’t forget: We happily give your community project or creations a spot in the limelight. We created an own topic in the Ubisoft forum to make it easier to reach out to us and will see if we can add a fan section on the Union in future: Moving Pictures: we are looking for your creative content!

Community Q&A

Let’s move on to our QnA session

ecofuture:
I would love it as a gamer if we could enjoy your work up close and personal- not just zooming in, but moving at eye level through my city to see my inhabitants. 

Basti: Experiencing the vivid world of Anno in first person surely sounds exciting but implementing such a feature is not as easy as it sounds. The game is simply not optimized for a first person camera mode. As an example, buildings are created with the specific isometric Anno view in mind, from the shape to the displayed angle. Implementing a first person cam would mean we would have to spent a lot of work creating the camera system itself, its movement, improving buildings and structures so they look good from a FPS angle to optimizing various assets. Creating all assets that would look great in a first person camera would also mean that we would likely have to go with smaller maps, and higher system requirements. And to be frank here, spending so many development resources for a feature that wouldn’t add real value to the game would be better spent working on more important features.

Brosicore:
I hope that Anno 1800’s buildings will have the same attention to detail so players are tempted to spend some time just looking at them.

Basti: There is a lot of work put into the game to ensure that you are immersed in the lively world of Anno. How many bits and pieces we create might be worth to highlighting in a future DevBlog. The Union can let us know if you are interested that 😉 In the meanwhile, this short clip should speak for itself:

(Clip is from a work-in-progress pre-alpha version)

Arkenophas (From the DevBlog: Concept Art):
Wich software do ou use for this render ? Photoshop ? In the little animation, there is a 3D mock-up you talked about, no ? Is it not to hard to imagine a building only with photos ? I mean, I suppose we can’t see everything of a building with photos, so, do you need to imagine the unseen part, as you have less than three bricks on a photo ^^ ? And yes, I forgot something ^^ How do you begin your work ? 

André: The first sketches are done completely in Photoshop. 3d mock-ups are done in 3ds Max and sometimes edited with in-house tool. Overpainting the mockup is then again done in PS sometimes using photo textures.
Working with old references can be challenging at times, especially as some of these older illustrations can be hard to read. Sometimes we just pick ideas from several different sources (e.g. the materials from picture 1, the roof structure from pic 2 etc.). I did a lot of experimentation with different drawing techniques to find a way to efficiently draw detailed-looking buildings. During this process, you also nurture a keener eye for the era you are working on. If I see a brick stone factory these days, I will automatically take a closer look. In addition, there are of course films and tv series from the era that help you build up a mental library of ideas and references.

In the end, the most important aspect is what people associate with the 19th century, like big smoke stacks or bricked buildings. We have to consider these expectations to successfully transport players to this era.

droggelcreeper:
I love the idea of using the exhibitions as an active gameplay elements, and that you can earn items through it (so will you just select one of them that you get to keep?). Do you think it may be possible to add further exhibitions later on, for example through DLC?

Natacha: With the world fair, you can choose the event you want to prepare, but one event at a time! Once the event has ended, you can make another choice. First and foremost, our focus is on the release version, but since events are subject to an unlock during the late game, adding content should be simple for this feature.

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.

Natacha: We also believe that placing a building should not be an end in itself, and that providing interactivity with buildings adds a lot of strategic gameplay. Yet, buildings have different functions, and we will implement this interactivity where it can truly add value. Who knows, maybe the items could play a role here as well? J

denksteichich (from the forums):
Will there be natural catastrophes like earthquakes or erupting volcanoes? Will there be environmental pollution through the factories?

Basti: Natural disasters won’t be in the release version of the game. However, factories will be something you have to look out for, as they are a possible fire hazard for your metropolis. While we don’t want that pollution has a big impact on the game, as it was even a main theme in 2070, you might imagine that your citizen might not be that font of the idea to have a big industrial factory district in front of their courtyard.

Fireseed (from the forums):
Will there be a companion app again?

Basti: We are fully focused on delivering a great PC game with Anno 1800, so there are no plans for a companion app.

nico_Darmstadt:
Will there be churches or religion in Anno 1800? I couldn’t see any church towers in the trailer, but in the older Annos religion was always a need you had to fulfill, and the churches helped to create prettier cities.

Basti:
Rest assured, our churches won’t just be a decorative building for beauty builders.

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