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Union Update: That was 2017!

Looking back on our journey, the last four month were an incredibly exciting and sometimes tense journey. The Anno Union started with a vision and like the great explorers of old, we always believed in our idea but nobody could foresee where the journey would lead us along the way.
The Anno Union is still sailing strong and we are confident that our fleet is on the right track, thanks to all the amazing support from our Anno fans.

We want to close the first chapter of the Anno union and the year 2017 with a short recap of everything that has happened so far. This was just the beginning, and we hope that you are as excited for 2018 as we are!  We will be back with new content for you all in January, and however you spend the festive season, we hope you will have a great time!

The great Gamescom Announcement
How would it turn out? We were confident that our fans would enjoy the 19th century setting of our new game, but the Anno Union was still a big experiment for us. And yes, I can tell you that seeing the positive reactions to the surprise announcements of Anno 1800 and the Union were quite the rush for all of us. However, it was only the opening salvo, and over the following weeks and months, we worked with you all to shape the Anno union into what it is today.

The spirit of the Union
To start things off, we had a lot of ground work to cover. Game development is a complex science, and even game ideas that are great on their own ill not necessarily result in a great game when combines with hundreds of others. Reacting to your questions, feedback and even skepticism was our answer and helped us to improve the program. It is an ongoing journey, where we listen and improve, while you react and inspire. As we are getting closer to our release, let us all push the Union forward together to become a great community hub even beyond the launch of Anno 1800.

DevBlogs – a look behind the curtain
Having exclusive looks behind the scenes is surely exciting but that was not our only intent. Game development is a complex task and an Anno title is a collaborative effort of a big development team. We have seen countless great ideas from our community but adding all of them to a game would end up in a development process, which would probably never end. So we decided to give you insights, explain how we set up our development roadmap, how we evaluate your feedback and even gave you a detailed look on the production processes.
From concept art to logistics, we will continue to give you more artistic and informative insights into Anno 1800 and its features. Of course, this important foundation will also give you the needed knowledge to impact development and it enables us to ask you, true Anno experts and veterans, for very specific feedback on certain game elements.

Alpha Cake! We got to treat ourselves sometimes, right?

Votes, Feedback and Improvements
With the Anno Union, we promised to give you exclusive insights in the development process while your feedback should help us to shape the game during development.
Not surprisingly, you definitely knew how to deliver on your end. In the first week alone, we received countless comments and feedback on our game direction and the Union. But how would your feedback actually improve the game?
With our first Vote, we had you decide about the last AI character in the game, while additional development votes would be our weapon of choice to let you have the final word on specific aspects of the game. As such, the first Union vote was only the kick-off, as we soon after decided to let you have more creative impact with the voting for the world fair event.
So Mr. Gasparov was first and it is safe to say that the visionary architect appreciates that you decided that the Urbanism Exhibition will be the fourth event for our world fair monument!

In the future, we want to mix things up further, ranging from votes where you help us decide on certain content to having an impact and influence on future votings.
With our blogs, you gave us constant quality feedback in our comments and started further discussions in our forums. Since then, that feedback has fueled our development meetings, from the production team discussing your ideas up to Union sentiment becoming constant topic in our big milestone and other team meetings.
While the Union greatly benefited the game from the get go, we will utilize that power in our communities even further with upcoming playtests and future improvements to the Union program.

The first stream
The idea for a stream was born in the early days of the Union but building the streaming room, working on a concept and finding ideas how we can talk about the development and show you the game was not always an easy task. There is one thing I have learned over the years: no matter how many times you setup a streaming room and prepare a show, something can and probably will go wrong.
But break a leg, the first AnnoCast was a well-received success and we knew that there is potential to talk about the state of the development and to show you the progress we made. This year was a test-run and with the latest reveal of gameplay, we look forward to upcoming episodes and further production updates. Besides the AnnoCast, we will also continue to celebrate anniversaries of a game series, which will already turn 20 in the upcoming year. There might be the one or another idea for a special episode?


Did you miss our big gameplay reveal stream? We got you covered!

Alpha and Union Playtest
Showing the state of the game is one thing but to let you actually play the game allows us to get pinpoint feedback on the game experience. And as we just achieved Alpha status with the game, we are ready to use that feedback to its full potential. Over the course of the next year, we will continue to utilize community feedback via the Union, forum, votes or surveys but the Alpha is also the time when feedback from Union playtests matter. So keep an eye on the Union for future updates about upcoming playtests and other events.

More to come…
The year 2017 already felt like a tour de force but things will get even more exciting next year, as every month will bring us closer to the long awaited launch. Beside continuous DevBlogs, streams and playtests, we want to improve existing formats and bring you new content to the Union. More support for fan projects, more ways for you to interact with us and to let your creative energy loose. The great entries to our story contest alone shows us that there is so much potential for great creations in the Union.

And in the spirit in the Union, where we all work together to create a true Anno game for the fans, what are your wishes and ideas for the Union in 2018? What was your favorite Union moment, what would you like to see us doing more or is there something we could improve or even which is currently missing? Share your thoughts about the start of our journey and things to come with us and we cannot wait to come back to you after the holiday season!

Happy Holidays,
Your Anno Team

 

 

 

7 Comments

  1. ruuti0 ruuti0

    Thank you for developing my favorite game series and good new year for you all (and merry christmas)!

    I think that getting more community votes for different options is good idea!

    So far it looks that Anno 1800 is going to really good direction and it is really nice that you also listen community!

  2. FeiXiangDEQiYu FeiXiangDEQiYu

    嗨,伙计们!
    很高兴再次见到你们!节日快乐,虽然圣诞节已经结束!
    嗯,从哪里说起呢?
    那么,就从一次可爱的谈话来说起吧!虽然,这次谈话的过程有一些小插曲。
    我很抱歉,我的本意是给一座城市留下一座辉煌的建筑!我的希望是,在未来的10-1000的时间里,还能看到我喜欢的开发商!(曾经有一份真挚的爱情摆在我的面前,我没有珍惜。如果可以重来的话,并且给这份爱情加上一个期限的话,我希望是一万年!)ANNO2205的设计………………我决定为了喜爱的开发商,贡献自己一些微小的力量!
    现在,我真诚的回答一些话题吧!
    是的,我在以前确实是玩的盗版。
    1701沉睡之龙 1404威尼斯 2070深海
    但是,这次的1800,我会补票的。嗯,我这次要买一个限量珍藏版!黄金封面,黄金cd的那种!(能原谅我这个贫穷的自私者吗?)
    我在这里很庄重的来说明,原因有几点:
    ANNO的作品,我最喜爱的作品!我担心错误的指引,带来毁灭性的灾难!我并不是吝啬我的创意。
    我们中国有一句很古老的话!如果,要帮助一个人,不是给他财富,应该教授给他创造财富的方法!只有这样才是真正的帮助!
    海上的雾,我只有一些感觉,并不能确定是否正确。最后,我选择保守,伤害了别人,并且给带来灾难,是我不愿意看到的!(我更不会帮助这个,去伤害那个!)在当时,我的想法是要给落井下石者,一些教训!
    我无意参加宫廷政治,因为那不是我的道路,这不符合人的良知!(在当时,我已经决定,不会帮助其中的任何一方)
    我要说一个事实,你们计划的大多数想法,都是不现实的!
    只是,我不是你们想的那样。我不表达我的态度,也是保护自己,更是保护自己的良知!
    如果,这个党派纷争是真的,我会成为什么人?我会变成什么样子呢?我又怎么面对我伤害的人呢?我不想冒这个险!
    我在经历一次重度打击,(我所精心维护的社区,竟然是一个谎言。一种莫名的悲哀,不断涌向我的内心。所谓的成员,所谓的社区都是烟花)
    再次,事情不断向恶化的方向发展。当你们全部渡过桥的时候,桥塌了。只留下我一个人在寒风中,看着你们在对面欢庆!在当时,我的内心已经有了伤痕。
    当你们告诉我,我的创意给你们造成了巨大损失时。我经过内心的挣扎!决定,放下心中哀伤,帮助你们排除所有的地雷。我决定,排除所有的地雷,退出社区!
    事实证明,桥梁再一次塌了,一场没有希望的路途!我累了。
    到这时,我只想静静的待着,不做任何事情!有时间来看看社区的成长和发展!
    人的内心是一个很奇妙的东西…………………….
    一辆失去控制的马车,飞速的向前奔驰。没有人能看清前面的道路是什么,毁灭,希望,欺骗,还是别的什么东西?…………..
    有人在大声的疾呼,停车,停车……… 但是,没有注意到这渺小的呐喊!汹涌的海浪拍打着堤坝。如同海啸一般。吞噬所有靠近所有的生灵!
    失去理性的野马,在旷野中,放肆的飞奔!……………..我谨慎的放出我的猫,观察着这一切。
    直到一个声音的出现,荣誉,胜利,能带来什么。剩下的废墟?
    这就是你的理想?
    我带着失落,离开这片旷野……..
    故乡的月亮,还是像我离开家乡的时候那样圆!
    我只是想简单认真的完成一个事情,为何这么难?………
    到最后我的挚友,沉没在江河之中。多少个凄风惨雨的日子里,我亲爱的挚友陪伴着我。当我直到我的挚友,已经病入膏肓的时候。我的挚友离开我……….
    远方的一个声音,不停的告诉我。你还有一件没有完成的事情没有完成的时候!
    我决定放下这一切恩怨。来完成这件事情….
    我亲爱的朋友们,我不能在陪伴你们了!
    愿你们在以后的日子里,幸福快乐!

    你永远的伙伴,真诚的D!

  3. Johnnymac34 Johnnymac34

    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!!

    I look forward to more of the same for 2018 and just seeing the game progress. It was an absolute thrill to watch the live stream on December 14th.

    I like reading all the articles about the development behind the scenes. Still makes me realize how fun it would be to design.

    Looking forward to hopefully being part of a beta and trying the game out first hand.

    Keep up the great work, all of us Anno fans appreciate being included in such a manner.

    Cheers,

    John Macdonald

  4. Knurr_ Knurr_

    Have a great Holiday! Can’t wait to see what you guys have to show us in 2018!

  5. banan1996.1996 banan1996.1996

    I wish you happy holidays as well! Have some good rest, you’ll need it to create the best Anno ever 😀

    About the Union: I really like the idea of streams and seeing how you guys play (I have to admit though – so far you played awfully xD). I hope to see Bastian in front of the keyboard at least once! ^^

    I am really looking forward to more Anno 1800 streams, I really can’t wait to play the game – so hyped.

    I definately would like to see more examples of how our feedback helps you creating the game. I just want to know things like: we read about this idea of our Anno fans, we discussed it with the whole team and it’s awesome, we’ll add this to the game or we won’t because it wouldn’t be Anno. So I am not talking about votings or things which you ask us about in blogs. I would like to know more about you considering community’s ideas and what comes out of it.

    When you started the Anno Union I was afraid that we would be asked of one or two things and that would be all. But you post two entries every week, I really see your devotion and willingness to cooperate with your fans. I must say I was positively surprised!

    Keep up the good work! 🙂

  6. palemale53 palemale53

    Merry Christmas, peeps. Recharge those batteries. You have a busy year ahead!

  7. AmpeImann AmpeImann

    Can’t wait to watch the community and the game develop in 2018!

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