Join the Anno Union for Anno 117: Pax Romana

Hello everyone – and welcome to the Anno Union!

 

We have just revealed our next project: Anno 117: Pax Romana!

Make sure to read our dedicated blog for Anno 117: Pax Romana and watch the reveal trailer to learn more about the game and get some glimpses at what this new entry to the Anno series will feature.

Until the release, we’re looking forward to telling you more about the game, our vision and how we actually go about creating a new Anno game.

All this – and more – will happen here: on the Anno Union! This is your central hub for anything related to Anno 117: Pax Romana, and you can expect DevBlogs, news, trailers, contests and behind-the-scenes content from us over the coming months.

As it was the case for Anno 1800: Our goal with the Anno Union is to not only give you a better understanding of our new game but also give you a better idea of why certain things are done in a specific way, how we make decisions and how many people and teams are involved in bringing such a project to life. In addition, we would love to hear your opinions and comments on the topics we are presenting here – your feedback will serve us as a guideline on if we’re on the right track.

Talking feedback: A very important point will be playtests that are planned (with some having already happened) throughout the whole development phase to receive feedback from various types and groups of players on our game: Is feature X intuitive? How is the balancing at the moment? Is the game doing a good job at onboarding new players? These and many other questions we hope to get answers on to truly make Anno 117: Pax Romana fantastic experience when it ultimately releases.

In terms of community channels, while the Anno Union will serve as the big hub (and has a comment section below every article!), here are the other channels we’ll be posting things on and where we’ll be active on:

We also have a few ideas on how we can immortalise our amazing community in Anno 117: Pax Romana – stay tuned for next week to learn more!

 

We’re looking forward to sharing more news on Anno 117: Pax Romana with you over the coming weeks and months.

All the best from Mainz,

A very excited Anno Team

Union Update: Modder Spotlight – Hier0nimus

Hey Anno Community,

Last week we showcased Taludas’ “New Frontiers” mod for Anno 2205 which adds a whole bunch of new features and content for the game – including Mars as an entirely new region!

 

Today, we’re returning to Anno 1800 with a full spotlight on Hier0nimus who you might know from mods like the “Perfect Specialist & Items Pack” or “Music to my Ears” (a winner of last year’s mod contest!).

Hey Hier0nimus, thank you for taking the time! Before we’re diving into your different projects, how did you actually get into the modding scene for Anno 1800?

I think the trigger to get into modding came from a reference on the normal Anno Discord server. I was interested in the Anno community and what the community made for the game: tools to help with making the best layout for your city, a wiki where you could find a lot of information about the game, etc. One of those things that caught my attention was mods.

 

When I saw the link to the Modding discord in the list of resources, I was triggered and joined that server to find a warm community of people really open and helpful for people who wanted to start modding themselves. Via that server I found a website by Schwubbe with a lot of information that helps beginning modders. That was the starting point for me and the trigger to try out some things myself.

What kind of mods have you worked on so far?

The first mod I started with and that got me into modding was a specialist item mod. I’m a player in Anno 1800 that likes to lose himself in optimizing productions with specialists and items. Specialists are the perfect first thing to learn how to make a mod when you understand the basics of the modding in Anno 1800.

I spent hours and hours with a spreadsheet coming up with names, descriptions, lore and the actual use for all those specialists before even doing any coding or making graphics. The first version was released in November 2021, months after I started to understand the modding process and contained about 50 new specialists for the regions that were available at that time. The mod that was the start of my modding journey now contains 125 specialists and items and still has a special place in my heart.

After I created the specialists mod I wanted to take the next step in my modding journey and create a new production chain with new products. It was around Christmas 2021, and I decided to make a Christmas tree production chain. To this date, this mod still exists. For me, personally, it is not a big mod but it was a mod that was a step in my learning experience and one of the many steps I needed to make to learn new things.

 

After that Christmas mod, I discovered another drive inside me, which was writing tutorials and helping people who wanted to walk the same path I walked and get into modding. I found a lot of joy in helping people with the basic knowledge I myself learned from others and smacking my face to the ground multiple times. I took up the goal to help people in their modding journey and found it really enjoyable to see people grow and make amazing things.

 

In 2023, the Anno team announced a modding contest with prizes that triggered my attention. I started way too late and only one week before the contest ended, I started creating the first assets. I had an idea lying around for a while to add musical instruments to the game, but it had to have some extras, so I added the Music Hall as a building to buff surrounding residences. Which is also not the craziest, but it adds some extra flavor.

During the development of that mod, I again had way too many ideas but because of the limited time, I had to make some hard choices. It would have been nice to have the music hall be a monument and to add new music to the game as well. But those would have been things I totally did not know anything about and with only a week totally not realistic. Crunching that week to get my mod out was a really enjoyable period with again the community helping out where I got stuck or giving me ideas or improvements. In my opinion every mod I created is in some way an achievement of the whole community and not only of myself. And then the contest was over, and I was one of the winners! Hurray! A big thank you again to the Anno team for organizing this amazing event and the whole Modding community for participating and helping out!

Did you have any prior modding knowledge or specific skills (programming, 3D art, …) when starting to mod Anno?

Playing a game for me has always been a way of expressing myself. I like to play games that build / create stuff where you accomplish something towards a goal. It is a part of me and how I’m wired. Anno in that way is the perfect game for that and modding ties so well into that. Modding gives me the power to feel more connected with the game I love. When having certain skills that help build something, like creating graphics, writing code it makes it easier to feel that connection. I have a background in Web Design, graphic design and frontend development which gave me the advantage of finding that extra connection with a game a bit easier. It even gave me the ability to spread the enthusiasm for modding faster when helping people.

 

What would you advise someone who wanted to get into modding Anno?

Take your time, do not put pressure on yourself, read the documentation, start small, dive in face first, smack your face into a wall and make mistakes, learn, grow, ask questions and most importantly: enjoy the ride.

Join the modding discord and be part of the community of people that help eachother grow.

Take on small projects and do it step by step. Eventually, you will combine everything you learned into a big mod when you are ready for it.

You are about to release the “Military Attention” mod. Can you give us an overview of this mod, its goals and what inspired you to create it?

Military Attention is a mod that has a size I could not even think about when I started modding. Military Attention contains new soldier population tiers for every region, new military products, additional requirements of building ships, new monument, ornaments, etc. Way too much to put a list here.

The idea is to add an extra military aspect to the game. Originally, I would have added a lot more changes to AI, new ships, etc. but during the past years a lot of other modders already added so many military things that I skipped a lot of those. I would rather be compatible with them and be a piece of the Military puzzle and make a complete puzzle together with those other mods.

So, I focus on the logistics part of the military. If you want to have a more challenging AI or more ships, there are so many other mods already that have even done a better job than what I could probably would ever have done. At the moment I released it as a BETA to give people the opportunity to test it out, find bugs, check compatibility with mods I would maybe never use but I want to be compatible with, etc. A lot of feedback was already given which I really appreciate! Big thank you to everyone! I hope to release it as soon as possible. At the moment I’m polishing the last steps so it should be ready before the summer! After that I will probably dive back into the Arctic mod again!

Are there any other mod projects you’re currently working on and that you already want to tease?

Again during those last years I worked on a lot of things, but 2 bigger things are still the two things ranked 1 and 2 (sometimes pushed to 2 and 3). Years ago, I started to work on an Arctic mod. We all want the Arctic to get some extra love. I created new population tiers, new buildings, new production chains, new mechanics, ect. It is looking so good already. It even will have new skinned islands and already has a new Arctic session!

Then a topic came up on the modding discord about soldiers in Anno 1800. I was triggered by it. That is now the mod I put my full attention to (well, most of the time until I got sidetracked by something like almost 100 Hot Air Balloons, helping people, writing tutorials,…).

 

 

That’s it for today’s modder spotlight – thank you once more, Hier0nimus for taking the time to give us insights into your modding journey!

Everyone else: Check out Hier0nimus‘ mods on mod.io or search for his mods directly in the ingame mod browser.

Union Update: Anno Dev Talk recap, mods, and more

Hey Anno Community,

Let’s have one more round of updates before the weekend!

Starting with a reminder about the livestream we did on Wednesday: Community Developer Oliver was joined by Brand Director Haye, Creative Director Manuel and Executive Producer Stephane for one hour of Anno Dev Talk:

We talked about the scope of their jobs and how they all entered the video games industry, as well as their motivation to get out of the bed every morning to work on video games.

Together with the chat, we discussed what makes an Anno game actually “Anno” – and all four revealed which games they are playing right now.

If you’ve missed the stream, you can watch the VOD here on Twitch.

Anno 2205: New Frontiers mod

On the very same day (22.05), Anno modder Taludas released his “New Frontiers” mod for Anno 2205 (excellently chosen date, we have to admit). You can watch the trailer below:

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The mod does not only add Mars as a new sector to explore and settle, but also includes many changes to the existing regions and their production chains, as well as a new population tier for the Arctic region: Geniuses.

A great opportunity to dive (back) into Anno 2205 and check out all the changes Taludas added to the base game. There are so many, actually, that we heavily recommend checking out the “Features” section on his GitHub page.

Very impressive work, we certainly did not expect an Anno 2205 mod this year.

Modding Spotlight: Hier0nimus

More modding news! In next week’s Union Update we’re welcoming Hier0nimus, creator of the “Perfect Specialist & Items Pack” mod as well as “Music to my Ears” – a winner of last year’s modding contest!

In the interview, you’ll learn more about his journey into modding Anno 1800 and the projects he has been and currently is working on. Including the “Military Attention” mod.

Union Update: It’s Steampunk Pack release day!

Hey Anno Community,

It’s May 14th and we have to let off some steam – with the Steampunk Pack Cosmetic DLC releasing today!

Find out more about this latest bundle of ornaments and building skins in our DevBlog. Watch researchers test an experimental dragonfly-suit, give your Investor residences a steampunky new look or build dreamy plazas with the celestial ground tiles.

The Steampunk Pack is available on all platforms for the price of 4,99€ or your regional equivalent.

In addition to the new Cosmetic DLC, we also released a few bug fixes. You can find the Release Notes here on the Anno Union, both for PC as well as for Console.

Friendship Ornament

We’ve mentioned it about a month ago at Anno 1800’s birthday: To celebrate both said birthday as well as the incredible milestone of 4 million players, we’re adding a free ornament for everyone – the Friendship Ornament. We’re sure you’ll find a great spot in your cities to place it.

Thank you for your support!

Board game livestream

We have another livestream coming up this week as well: on Thursday, May 16th, we’ll be playing the Anno 1800 board game and its soon-to-be-released (German) expansion live on Twitch. Join us from 5PM UTC+2 onwards!

Anno Leadership Team Livestream

And one more livestream coming up: As part of our ongoing mission to give you more glimpses behind the scenes and the different people and teams involved in creating the worlds of Anno, next week’s livestream will look at the daily work of the heads of our team. With recurring guest Manuel (Creative Director), as well as Haye (Brand Director) and Stephane (Executive Producer) we’ll be talking about topics like their way into gaming, the scope of their work and what kind of games they like to play to relax.

Join us on Twitch – next Wednesday, May 22nd, at 5PM CEST.

Happy Birthday Anno 1800!

Grab a piece of the birthday cake, Anno 1800 is turning 5 today!

Half a decade of Anno 1800 (and even longer for anyone who’s been following the game since its reveal in 2017) is quite some time and a lot has happened since the release back in April 2019. Let’s go on a little nostalgia trip together:

Five years really are a long time for any game, and we wouldn’t have been able to work on Anno 1800 for such a time without YOUR support. It was also your support that enabled us to reach

 

over 4 million players!

 

To celebrate both this milestone and the birthday, we’ll be adding a special monument to the game for everyone in our update in May:

CDLC 14 – The Steampunk Pack

This evening, we also held our birthday livestream with special guests Laura (Prop Artist) and Manuel (Creative Director). Not only did we celebrate Anno 1800 turning 5, however, we also had – as announced – a first look at the upcoming “Steampunk” Pack Cosmetic DLC for Anno 1800!

If you missed the livestream and want to know more: You can find the full VOD here.

Alternatively, at the end of April we’ll release a blog – as usual – with all information on the Steampunk Pack and its content.

Anno 1800 birthday giveaways

To further celebrate this anniversary, we have two little giveaways for you: We’re teaming up with Art4Fans to produce several Anno 1800 art prints that would surely look absolutely fantastic on your walls at home.

You’ll be able to buy them starting today!

A few lucky ones among you will be able to get your hands on one of those prints via our little contest over on Twitter starting tomorrow (17th)!

You will have to quote-retweet our post (to be posted tomorrow evening) and with the hashtag #AnnoGiveaway – and maybe tell us a bit about your time with Anno 1800!

Amongst all valid entries we will randomly select 5 winners.

On Wednesday (18th) we’ll also be giving away keys for both the PC as well as the Console version of Anno 1800 over on the Anno Subreddit.

Keep an eye out for our post there on Thursday afternoon. Here, as well, we want to hear about your favourite moment in or memory of Anno 1800 to celebrate its birthday. Among all participants we’ll randomly select 10 winners who can pick their prize.

Union Update: Art Livestream & Community Spotlight

Hey Anno Community,

Greetings from Mainz, we hope you’re all doing well!

We know things are a bit quieter on the communication side this year, but we want to at least give you a look at what’s happening in the coming weeks.

Cosmetic DLC 14 is planned to release in May, but we will drop the occasional teaser before that (like we’ve done last week) and there will be, as usual, a DevBlog closer to release with all details. Expect more news in April.

Also: there’s Anno 1800’s 5th birthday coming up on April 16th.

Livestream

And what better time than Anno 1800’s birthday to hold our next livestream:

On April 16th at 5PM CEST we’ll welcome a special guest from our Art Team: Laura will join us to not only talk about the work of an artist in the Anno team but also present you the upcoming Cosmetic DLC: the Steampunk Pack!

As usual, we’ll be streaming on twitch.tv/ubisoftbluebyte

Community Spotlight

Lastly, of course we want to end this Union Update with a Community Spotlight!

Let’s first have a look at this dreamy sunset behind the Skyline and Iron Towers: can you imagine how stunning the view must be from up there? Great shot, Dosé (Annoverse Discord)!

“This city is a magnet for genius!” says the voice in this clip – and we couldn’t agree more (are we implying that we are genius? We’ll never know). This aerial shot by AnnoEffect (Annoverse Discord) is so relaxing and beautiful and captures very well the cold and chill we’re still feeling these days. Spring, where are you?

We’re always happy to see some satisfying patterns in your Anno screenshots, and these cotton plantations in this screenshot by Beny (Annoverse Discord) hit all the right spot. So vast and tidy, we love it!

What better way to end this Community Spotlight than going for a promenade in this city by Duke_Irony (Reddit)? Or maybe a relaxing walk by the river? We couldn’t choose, so here are two lovely screenshots – but we recommend having a look at the full collection on Reddit, you won’t regret it!

The header image for today’s blog is courtesy of NumberNegative from the Annoverse Discord.

Union Update: Game Music in Concert

Hey Anno Community,

We do have one more piece of news this month for fans of video game soundtracks:

On Sunday, January 28th, the Augsburg Philharmonic Orchestra will perform pieces from several video game soundtracks including TES V: Skyrim, Civilization 6 and: Anno 1404!

If you’re living nearby, you can still buy tickets via their website, alternatively you can also just simply get comfortable at home and watch their Twitch live stream of the whole concert.

It’s starting at 6 PM CET (5 PM UTC) on https://www.twitch.tv/staatstheateraugsburg

 

The two pieces from Anno 1404’s soundtrack – composed by Dynamedion – are “Monumental Cathedral” and “Money Counters”. Enjoy the show!

Union Update: Happy New Year & Community Spotlight

Hey Anno Community,

A happy New Year from the Anno team – we hope you all had a great start into 2024!

 

We’re back at work after our holiday break, time to let you know what’s coming up in the next months.
First of all: expect a slower start in terms of news and blogs from us this year.

In early Spring we’ll have more information on the next Cosmetic DLC (including a livestream with our artist Laura), the theme of which may or may not have been “leaked” at the end of last year.

The boardgame enthusiasts among you can also look forward to an expansion to the Anno 1800 boardgame, also coming in Spring 2024. We’ll keep you updated on any news our friends at Kosmos have on this.

On the Twitch side of things, we would also love to continue some of the (multiplayer) savegames – for example for 2070 and 1800 – from last year. Let us know what you’d like to see from us on Twitch!

Finally, we still want to continue featuring anything YOU are creating, so, there will be Community Spotlights on specific mods, screenshots and videos shared by you and any other type of player created content.

In this spirit, here’s the first spotlight of 2024:

Community Spotlight

Let’s start with some mods recently uploaded to mod.io:

First, the “Balanced responders” by NumberNegative. A small mod in itself, but likely useful for fans of Muggenstuermer’s Fire Station, Police Station and Hospital. It rebalances the automatic responder units of those building.

For a little bit of additional British-ness, jje1000 has a new church skin for you: Wibblesock’s Parish gives you yet more visual variety – and you’re likely making Willie very happy!

For owners and fans of the “Land of Lions” DLC, the “Safari to Old Enbesa” mod by Lion053 has already been a go-to mod for a while. Reason enough to highlight it again now that it’s on mod.io – together with the “Enbesa Tourism” mod by the same author.

Over on Reddit, wannabegansta123 shared impressions from several of their cities, all with a unique twist and style. We decided to feature the one titled “Engineer’s Respite” here today, but make sure to check the post on Reddit for more examples.

And last but not least, we loved this cute little “potato island” that Nikolai Dante shared on Discord. As you know, potatoes are extremely versatile: you can boil them, mash them, put them in a stew…

The header image for today’s blog is courtesy of Chris92 from the Annoverse Discord.

Union Update: Happy Holidays 2023

Hey Anno Community,

This is it, our last Anno Union blog for 2023. It has been quite a year for us (even though mostly behind the scenes) and for Anno – which celebrated its 25th birthday this year! And we had Anno’s first full console release, as well as a big Annoversary update and mod support for our loyal PC players – together with Anno’s first ever modding contest.

From Anno 1602 to Anno 1800, Anno players could travel through history into the future; and to celebrate the end of this Annoversary and take a laaarge dose of nostalgia, we have a special trailer to commemorate the occasion:

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Throughout the year, we have also covered all Anno games in dedicated livestreams with various guests from the team on our Twitch channel. The latest happened just a few days ago, on Tuesday, when we had Jannika (Game Writer) and Christian and Rico (UI Programmers) live on stream to talk about Anno and their work on Anno 1800 specifically. If you missed it, you can watch the VOD here.

2023 also marked the year for another milestone: Over 3 million players have joined the ranks of the Annoholics across PC and Console for Anno 1800 now! By popular request and for tradition’s sake, we have summarized some the achievements (and some incredible numbers!) in the image below:

Last but not least: Wallpapers! As usual, we’ll have all of this year’s artworks bundled together for you as a download. Just follow this link.

 

And… was there a teaser in our livestream on Tuesday? Maybe…

Could it lead to a page here on the Anno Union – when added to the URL – with some hints to the first Cosmetic DLC theme of 2024? Maybe…

Let’s just put this random video clip here:

Well, that was 2023! We’ll now be taking some time off over the holidays to recharge our batteries and wishing you all a great end of the year, happy holidays and a fantastic start into the new year.

See you in 2024, and thank you for being an awesome community!

All the best from Mainz,

The Anno Team

The winners of the Anno 1800 modding contest

Hey Anno Community!

In April and August this year we did our two mod support updates, and in late October we launched Anno 1800’s first ever modding contest. Today, we’re excited to announce the five winning entries!

They are not in any particular order and all participants will receive the same prize: The Clutch GM51 Lightweight Wireless Mouse and the Agility GD72 Gleam Edition Mousepad which MSI graciously sponsored us for this contest.

And now, without further ado: The winners! Congratulations to all of you!

Tisogno’s “Maya Treasures”

A mid-game mod that lets you “discover the remnants of ancient Maya culture” and “experience the enriching effects of traditional wisdom and bizarre myth”. Making good use of the Hacienda mechanic from “Seeds of Change”, multiple modules can be attached to the Mayan temple, both ornamental ones as well as ones with gameplay functions. Use them to craft goods like “Love Powder” or “Rejuvenation Essence” (with its very own sets of new input goods) to fulfill new Lifestyle needs.

Add to that special temple policies and a silver production chain if you want to want to fill your coffers with some extra cash and you’ll certainly have a great bundle of new production chains to discover.

The mod is now also available on mod.io for the ingame mod browser.

Flatlex’ and Finchen’s “Gnome Pottery”

We’re sure you missed some good old garden gnomes in Anno 1800 – that’s changing now! The ornamental mod adds “Harry’s Pottery”, the New World’s first gnome pottery and painting company. Appropriately outfitted with sombreros, we’re sure these garden gnomes will be a great success for Harry.

The mod is now also available on mod.io for the ingame mod browser.

HerrTurTur’s “Jungle Expedition Ornaments”

Likely inspired by some of the ornaments of the “National Park” Pack, HerrTurTur delivers you all you need for your very own jungle expedition scenery: A wild jungle path with dangerous events along the way including wild animals and a mysterious skull-shaped rock, but also a full expedition camp and resting places. On top of that, the lake system was revamped into a swamp system, complete with mangrove trees. Plus, there are some ruins for you to place.

The mod is now also available on mod.io for the ingame mod browser.

Taludas’ “Colossus of the New World: Finding Mayabeque”

Probably the most colossal (hah!) of the creations we were sent, this mod adds a whole new region that you will first need to discover, with a new mega-island (a total New World conversion of Crown Falls) as well as a new monument and a quest chain to tie things together. This mod will surely please everyone among you who wants to build yet another massive New World settlement – and enjoy a good story along the way. There are also some “airship-only” islands in this world with their very own bonuses – and don’t forget to finish the monument!

The mod is now also available on mod.io for the ingame mod browser.

Hier0nimus’ “Music to my ears”

Last but not least, this one is all about music: It adds several instruments and their dedicated production chains to the game – from simple flutes over banjos to harps – that serve as new happiness needs. They’re not exclusive to the New World, but each region (including DLC regions) received their own instruments and population needs.

This all culminates in the New World with a building that brings all these things together: The Music Hall! If you transport instruments from all across your empire towards your cities in the New World, you can hold great concerts – not only fulfilling a Need for your population, but also providing buffs to all residences in its area.

The mod is now also available on mod.io for the ingame mod browser.

Big thanks from the whole team to all of you for participating in Anno’s first ever modding contest! We’re happy to both have such an active modding community, and so many players now using and discovering mods for their playthroughs.

The five winners and everyone else who participated is of course free to provide their mods to the public via mod.io, Nexus, GitHub or any other platform of their choice.

Congratulations to you once again – we’ll be reaching out to you via e-mail in order to send you your prizes!