• Union Update

Union Update: Outlook on the new year!

We are back from our winter break; time to roll up our sleeves and to give you a glimpse of the journey ahead.

Upcoming Union Content
We bet that you are curious about our upcoming content. With last month’s logistics blog as our foundation, we will dive deeper into the economic motor of Anno 1800. With more details about the economy revealed and explained, it will allow us to talk about important parts of that machine like the harbor system and trading routes. Features, which are furthermore important if we want to talk about possible functionality and impact of the train feature.
There are plenty of more features we have not shared many details yet. What are your top 5 Anno 1800 features, where you would love to get more information on?

Furthermore, we will continue to bring you behind the scene DevBlogs; next up we will dive into animations for our previously showcased 3D assets. You will get to learn much more about all the brimming details and stories happening in your metropole.
We know that you are also curious about non-visual features, such as the audio design of Anno 1800. As the possibilities are plenty, share your top three wished for behind the scenes topics in the comments below!

There is also new voting coming up and while we cannot lift the curtain right now, we can tell that we want to funnel your creative energy once again. We all know how settling back into work after the Holidays can take some time, so expect the DevBlogs to be back to their regular cadence next week.

Union Website and community creations
As you already noticed, some improvements to the website were made and we will continue to improve the Union in usability and functionality. However, it is not only about moderator flairs or improvements to the comment section; we want to expand the general content on the website for anything that might not fit into the classic blog format, such as a dedicated space for community creations or a media library to save our Twitch streams.

It is great to see how much creative energy went into our story contest and it shows how much room there is to fill the world of Anno with your narration and other fan creations.
With the deadline hitting on Monday 15th there is still a week’s time left to unleash your creativity. Besides some neat prices to win for the contest, we also think that your works deserve to be appropriately spotlighted on the Anno Union page.

We received some great feedback on our last episode of the Anno Cast and with upcoming episodes, you can look forward to more gameplay content. While we know that many of you would love to see Anno 1800 being presented in a lengthy Let’s Play format, we need to save that idea for later as we just hit our Alpha milestone. One thing is for sure though; we will continue to show you more gameplay elements of the game while we give you insights about its ongoing development.
Anniversary Let’s Plays or other special episodes give us a bit more freedom and possibilities for different styles and formats. If you have ideas for specials or other streaming formats or videos outside the regular Anno Cast, feel free to share them with us!

Community roundtable
Since the reveal of Anno 1800, you supported us with thousands of comments on the Union and Anno 1800 forum. Seeing both Anno veterans and new enthusiasts coming together is something truly special for us on the team, and we once again want to thank you all for that. To further this feeling of all coming together at one table, we want to invite you to an Anno Union voice chat session with the Community Team to talk about the Union, the game and its fans. We are sure there will be plenty of questions and ideas, and everyone should feel more than welcome to join our roundtable next week Wednesday, January 17th in a Discord voice chat provided by our Annoverse Community: >Annoverse Discord<

To allow as many of you as possible to participate, we will divide the session into two slots, one in English and one on German. The German session will start at 7.30pm and the English one will follow at 9.00pm CET.

Community QnA

Let’s say a play test is planned for January 23, and I were to be invited. When could I expect to receive an invite, so I would have enough time to check with my boss if I can take the day off? And while we are on the topic, do you have to be a legal adult to be invited?

Basti: We will send the invitations a few weeks in advance, as we also want to have a bit of leeway if we need to find a replacement if someone will not be able to make it. To be of legal age is not a strict requirement but if someone is under age, we will get in contact with the person to discuss the details (regarding the NDA, for example).

Something that would be very helpful in the future would be a basic blog explaining the DNA of the Anno brand, to give us users a better idea of how your decision-making processes work. What makes something Anno, or not? I think having this filter explained for users would allow for discussions that are more meaningful.

Basti: Talking about the brand DNA sounds like a great topic to cover in the Union, I put it on the list and I am sure we can get some really cool background information together. With the Vision Devblog and details we shared in other blogs, we also wanted to give you a chance to learn something about the reality of game development. We usually receive a huge amount of great suggestions and ideas, but they often lack some missing background information why some of these ideas would not work or why they would be too hard or simply not feasible to develop. Designing game features means often a middle ground or taking the quintessential idea and feedback to work with. That is why we want to get a little bit more into details on our decision-making process in future DevBlogs and comments.

I quite liked the entertaining Twitch streams, and look forward to see more of Anno 1800. Perhaps you could show some footage from play tests in the future.

Basti: We will show more gameplay in upcoming episodes of the AnnoCast and over time, it will further allow us to share more gameplay material in the Anno Union in general. Playtests will be the big topic this year, and we will cover some of the playtests and share content from them in the Union.

How big was the island in the stream? Small, medium or a big one? It didn’t seem much larger than main islands in Anno 1404. Will there be enough space to build a metropolis? Or can buildings house more citizens than in the past?

Basti: The Island from the stream is a big one, but not the largest in the game. In fact the Island shown in during the stream has more grids than the large Isle in 1404 and with that, more buildings space available. It is important for us that you will have enough place to create breathtaking cities. Residential houses have the same dimensions as in previous titles but some of the public or production buildings can take up more space. Having a bit more realistic proportions for a steel factory as an example is a great way to bring that extra bit of realism to the series. Again, it is all about the right balance: we want vast cityscapes but also provide a puzzle challenge, as clever planning of the available construction space is also part of the challenge and fun.

Will it be possible to freely rotate the buildings?

Basti: Construction space in Anno is partitioned into a grid-based system (like e checkerboard) and as in previous games, you will be able to rotate and place buildings freely on the grid.

The carts and carriages will be sent by the production facilities, which sounds like a good decision. I assume that required gods will also be picked up if they are not being delivered- and this is where things get a bit unclear for me. Would the coal producer deliver his goods to the steel factory, or would the steel factory send someone to pick up the coal. Or maybe both happens, but how would the game decide that?

Christian: The rule of thumb is that production buildings always send goods to other production facilities. While production facilities cannot request goods from another production building, they can get resources stored in the warehouse if needed. The warehouse itself has no own transport units, so the carts always come from the production building to pick up or deliver goods from the warehouse. The facility decides on its own if it is more effective to wait for the delivery from a different production building or to get the needed resources from a warehouse instead. As travel distance on streets is the deciding factor for that, players can have an impact with clever city planning. With that, it allows you to create optimized economic districts.

Will sea-based trading have an AI to pick the most efficient route based on wind?

Christian: Trading routes will not consider wind (which can also change). You will however be able to create your own routes with manual waypoints to improve its efficiency and to avoid hostile ships.

Hearing that all warehouses will have mirrored storage has me a bit worried. I would prefer if you could manually assign which wares individual warehouses should accept or block. My other question would be whether the mirrored goods affect the overall storage capacity of the warehouses.

In fact, every single Anno title had mirrored storages, so it is a part of the classic as well as newer Anno experience. The return of physical goods will bring some management complexity back into the game. We have experimented with different scenarios, but not mirroring the wares just resulted in an extremely high need to constantly micromanage that dominated gameplay and drew the player’s attention away from other aspects of the game. Things like storage capacity are an ongoing balancing topic and we need to see if it would hurt or benefit the game flow if additional warehouses would also ramp up the storage limit. In the current version of the game, this is only the case with the kontor and the depot.

I really like that you are going back to the physical goods, similar to older games such as Anno 1404.
I have just one question: Will you always need a road connection? Or do some parts also work without road connection? For example, in Anno 2070 upgraded warehouses and depots had a flying unit that could pick up goods without a road connection.

Basti: All buildings will require a road connection. As we stated in our logistics blog, streets will have a bigger impact on your logistics than before and as such planning the ideal street layout will be important when planning your perfect metropolis.




  1. b banan1996.1996 January 24, 2018

    Top features:
    – items system (it was mentioned it’s going to be a bit different)
    – AIs behaviour and diversity, diplomacy and interactions with AIs (I feel like those areas could always have been improved)
    – population stages and needs
    – ornamental buildings (I hope for lots of them and I loved unlockable ornamentals in Anno 1404, just don’t make them too hard to obtain; I hope they can also have a function like making people living close to them happier and pay higher taxes)

    I think that basically those features which are different or new from previous Annos are worth a discussion. So everything that’s being heavily changed needs a separate devblog.

    Behind the scenes topics:
    – sound effects and music
    – discovering and dealing with bugs

  2. n neoiq5719 January 17, 2018

    After the way anno 2205 started, is it possible to disclose what you have learnt in order not to do or do in this new Anno?

  3. A Arkenophas January 16, 2018

    Hum, I think :
    – political aspect could be interesting. What are the different strategy of NPC, wich action could we do toward them (for example, buying island actions like in ANNO 2070,…)
    – the different buildings we will be able to build, and their effects on the population
    – about the production buildings, what we will be able to do with them. I mean, I really liked the ANNO 2205 system, with the possibility to add some extensions on a production building to increase their production and others, the possibility to move them without destroying,…
    – I don’t know what I can add for the moment ^^

  4. r ruuti0 January 12, 2018

    Second, “What are your top 5 Anno 1800 features, where you would love to get more information on?”

    1. More about how war work on 1800! This has been my favorite action in Anno series along with building great cities (Empiries)!

    2. Is Anno scene finally getting chat (or even voice-chat) to multiplayer games?
    Almost every single multiplayer game got it already at 2018, I hope that
    Anno would finally join to this. It would make Anno multiplayer scene surely bigger (=more people buying game)
    and people who already love Anno multiplayer games would surely love it like I would.

    3. I want to know more about the NPCs. Hopefully we see more new NPCs than ever before!
    And can we interact more with NPCs than before?

    4. I would love to know what kind of regions you got in 1800, more = better in my opinion.
    Could be from dessert style to even antarctic.

    5. Are you bringing something like Ark Storage in 2070 to 1800? It would be super great!

    Thank you for developing my favorite gaming series! It seems that 1800 is going to right direction!
    Remember that you really are doing of work that matter for people!

  5. G Gawdelpus January 10, 2018

    I’d love to hear more of the AI and how you go about creating a challenging AI without too much cheats, which I imagine must be quite a difficult task because of game’s complexity.

    Also I’m curious about the strategy aspects around conquering opponents since in my opinion that is an important part of why Anno games are so very enjoyable (although city building should have the main focus)

    Thanks for the interesting articles and best of luck with developing the game!

  6. V Velerios1 January 9, 2018

    It is indeed really heartwarming to behold such a dedicated team during the game development, bolstered by the fans’ feedback- I can easily imagine the upcoming Anno 1800 to be the best of the series, aspecially after returning to the historical setting. Frankly, I skipped the futuristic Anno games- so my knowledge can only relate to the “classic” titles; and because of that I’d mostly be interested in, and would love to hear some news in the future about:

    (from “behind the scenes” dimension)
    I. Music/Soundtrack creation- I was always amazed just by how vivid and excellent-sounding Anno music was- aspecially considering the feel it always delivered in terms of historical accuracy. Adding to that the potential the 19th century music yields, I’d say it would be marvellous to receive a taste of what’s to come.
    II. Hints(some poll maybe?) regarding physical release- I know it is probably too early to talk about the exact contents the finished version would come with, but as a reference- as an “echo from the past”; would you consider adding physical manual and/or artwork book including some creations/visions?

    (from the game aspects)
    1. Civillisation levels and their needs- I can only imagine that well established gentlemen will require even more sophisticated services and goods 🙂
    2. End-game ‘decorations’- by that I’d like to imagine some monuments comparable to Anno 1701 and 1404 Venice’s palaces- allowing to beautify the city after incomes start skyrocketing

    Regardless of what you choose to write about next, I’ll definitely be there to hear the news- Thank you a lot for allowing us to see the shaping of the upcoming title.

  7. S Soulridder January 8, 2018

    First of all: Happy new year! 😉

    My top three Anno 1800 features (I tried to not put in features from other Anno games):
    – As some of you might have guessed: the returning of physical goods
    – Wind!!! How long did it took to get this feature in? xD
    – Larger Islands. I always thought

    My top 5 features I would like to get more information on:
    – What AI types will be available in the Game? (neutral, aggressive etc.)
    – Will Anno 1800 have biomes or maybe even seasons, for example it’s winter outside, so why not let it snow in Anno 1800 as well?
    – Ship functionalities like items and the trading system
    – Will we be able to choose from different civilisations at the start of the Game like it was back in Anno 2070?
    – Economical war

    My top 3 for wishes for behind the scenes:
    – Engine Development (Maybe give us some information about what programming languages are used to create such a engines and if your engine is data-driven in terms of all the game related data is stored in for example JSON files… How many people are working on the Engine? What software is used to create the Engine? As there is so much which could be written here, I leave the rest to you or someone from the engines team. 😉 )
    – Game Design (Does your engine also have those editors like Blueprints in UE4 or Flowgraph from CryENGINE V?)
    – Audio design (including sound effect and soundtrack creation)

    For a specials or other streaming formats or videos outside the regular Anno Cast, let me think….
    What about having for example a format or special where developers of 1800 (including you @Basti) play against the community or maybe try to build one city (the feature of Anno 2070 for example where one open slot could be used by multiply players). Guess it would be quite enjoyable and interesting who is better. Maybe even combine this with this idea: Match starts at 4pm and the stream starts at 5pm or 4:30pm or something like this so we have a more progressed match. 😉
    You could also have for example an event every friday where you play against the community after the release for a few weeks/months or so (without streaming or with streaming it??) like the developers of Ashes of the Singularity did.
    There are many possibilities for such an event, like having an moderator so that the players can play the Game without beeing interrupted so we get to know which mistakes are caused by interruptions and which aren’t. ^^

    Another format could possibly be a tour through the entire studio with commentary or maybe a video format showing how a Game Designer creates a specific feature from the beginning to the end (*) or a video format in which you show how game and engine bugs are resolved (*). 😉

    (*) Well, I guess those would be video formats which wouldn’t be that easy to handle because of legal reason as to which internal tec might be able to be shown and which not.

    •   Bastian Thun January 9, 2018

      It might be a bit tricky to get such a potentially long stream running from the office but there might be possibilities to play with the community team. I will wrap my mind around it 🙂

      We thought about a video series in the past and would love to do a few YouTube developer videos. The downside is that it takes a lot of production time of an already packed schedule but the idea is totally not off the table.

      • S Soulridder January 15, 2018

        Yeah, time is always a problem but maybe you can find a way, but using the time to develop a great game like Anno 1800 has always priority. 😉
        Looking forward to play Anno 1800.

  8. C CorsairUplay January 8, 2018

    First of all, i really like the thumbnail for this blog. That’s an extremely detailed victorian era city there.

    Second, “What are your top 5 Anno 1800 features, where you would love to get more information on?”
    1. I want to know more about the NPCs. Will we have neutral powers like in anno 1404? What do the different computer players represent? what are their strategies?

    2. I want to know about the soundtrack/music to the game, and if possible hear some more of it. Anno never fails to produce an excellent sound track and that’s one of my favourite things about all anno games.
    So far i know of 4 tracks from the game: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL6ClRy89WUx3C5PsruMK2RcjacVP1mH9e

    3. I’d like to know about population levels and needs. Will public buildings have the traditional radius, or a system like in anno 2205 (which i honestly thought was better)?
    Is the zoo a public building, or will it generate honour/licenses like the anno 1404 tournament arena?

    4. Ornamental Buildings? Will we get lots of Parks and trees to heal our cities of the industrial fog?

    5. last but definitely not least, I want you all to know what a brilliant job you’re doing for Anno 1800.

  9. Y Y0urF4te January 8, 2018

    First of all, I hope you all had some nice Christmas and enjoyed your time off! 🙂

    for the Information part:

    I am realy curious about the “out of game” progression. Will there be archivements like in 1404 maby even something extremly hard like the golden ship? What about account progression, will there be accounts with characters, colors and some ornaments to unlock like we know from 1404? Even if those features do not have an influence on the gameplay itself I always thought they are nice to have .

    Also whats about win conditions? Will there be options like reaching a certain amount of money, inhibitants, sunk ships, s.o ? I really think that this was an awesome feature, particularly for multiplayer matches!

    For behind the scenes i am very interested in the soundtrack but also just at some sound effects, like how do you do the sound for all the people on the streets or the big factories!

    wish u all a great Werk!

    • Y Y0urF4te January 8, 2018

      is there a way to edit a comment? anyways last sentence was ment to be: wish you all a great week 😀

  10. i iruet January 8, 2018

    My top 3:
    *What does the community team do? (For instance Chris, show us around the work of a support agent or CM/GM/CR/MOD)
    *What happens when a bug gets reported? (please show the entire route a bug has to take)
    *Which dilima’s do u meet? And what decision to take when u come across one?

  11. N Nox_29 January 8, 2018

    Top 5 information:

    1. Different regions/biomes?
    2. Ships & ship functionalities (like docking system, trading, upgrades/items,…)
    3. Economical war
    4. AI, neutral AI (like Northburgh) & neutral powers
    5. Civilization levels & civilization needs

    Top 3 behind the scenes:

    1. Music production
    2. In-game sounds
    3. Let’s hear something about the coders!

  12. S Swimming-Paul January 8, 2018

    Hallooo! Thanks for all the info! I hope you enjoyed the holidays very much. I would personally like to get more info on ornamental buildings in the new Anno 1800. Also I would like to know if there are going to be rivers and lakes in the islands. I always loved the river buildings in Anno 1404 and 2070, and the possibility to build bridges!


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