Union Update: A toast to Anno 1602

It was 20 years ago, in March 1998, when the Anno series first raised anchors and set sails to conquer the PCs of gamers everywhere. Anno 1602 would go on to have a long lasting impact on strategy fans and the genre, spawning six follow-up titles in the main PC series over the next two decades- not to mention several other adaptions and spin-offs on platforms like the Nintendo DS, Wii, mobile or tablets.

To really take a trip down memory lane, and to make those of you who were with us from day one feel sufficiently old, let’s take a look at the game’s system requirements:

Operating System: Windows 95 / 98
CPU: Pentium 100 Processor
GPU: PCI graphics adapter with 2 MB
Sound Processor: DirectX 6.0 compatible or better
Hard Drive: 160 MB
Drive: 4x CD-ROM

For the younger Anno fans among the audience- yes, that really says 16 megabyte (!) of RAM. The times, they are a-chaning in the Anno world! Another fun anecdote is that at the time of release, both gamers and gaming press alike stylized Anno as the big new challenger to Blue Byte’s beloved Settlers series, which was at the time the benchmark title in the historic city-building genre. Fast forward two decades, and the once fierce rivals are now a happy family united under the Ubisoft Blue Byte banner, with our Düsseldorf studio working on the ever-popular Settlers Online, while we in Mainz develop Anno 1800. It is a small world, after all.

With Anno 1800, we want to go back to our roots while utilizing the knowledge we gained over so many years. From humble beginnings 14 years ago, the team has grown together with the Anno series and our fans but many old veterans are still part of the team, while new additions to the team bring their creative and inspiring visions to the table.

While this week marks the 20th anniversary of the series, we want to celebrate Anno and our communities of fans out there throughout the whole year. Starting this week, we will host a small celebration live-stream this Wednesday at 4pm CET. There is enough space left in our time machine, so join us when we play old classic while probably eating some cake and losing ourselves in memories. There will be probably some talks about CRT monitors. However, keep your expectations in check- this stream will be about the series’ history, and won’t include any Anno 1800 news or footage.

Complete your Anno Collection with the Uplay Spring Sale
Did the nostalgic trip down memory lane make your fingers itch for some old-school Anno? If so, you are in luck- the Uplay Spring Sale is running all week until the end of March, including some great discounts on all the older Anno games and DLC packs. It is the perfect excuse to complete your collection in one go!

Buy your missing Anno games on Uplay

Anno Cast 03 aired last Thursday
Last week, our Anno Cast streaming show finally came out of hibernation. In case you’ve missed it, you can just watch the saved broadcast on our Twitch channel.

Watch AnnoCast 03 – Anno 1800 GameDev show from ubisoftbluebyte on www.twitch.tv

During the show, we answered some questions from our community, chatted a bit about the development process and demonstrated how the trade routes work in our gameplay section. Here are some of the answers from our stream:

OneClickLP: Why is the sun moving together with the camera, resulting in shadows turning with the camera angle?
Answer: When playing the game, you move the camera around a lot while also going through different camera angles. We want that, no matter from which angle you play, you always get the best scenery and lighting, which has been an Anno hallmark since the early days. However, you can choose whether the sun is moving with the camera or should remain fixed in the options menu.

loex1337: Talking about the working conditions, will there be sings for an imminent strike?
Answer: Yes, there will be visual feedback in the game and also context menus which enable you to get insights into the current happiness and developments in your city.

BlueBreath: I wonder if you also implemented an operating costs adjustment for buildings proportional to percentage of filled work spots.
Answer: A factory has not necessarily less operation cost if you are not able to keep your production fully going. However, things like that are in fact more complicated in reality. For Anno 1800, we do not want to overburden the micro-management part, so the operation cost won’t be affected by the working conditions.

Community: Is it possible to get high definition pictures from some of the concept arts and other screenshots you used on the Union? I would love to use them as a wallpaper.
Answer: We are currently working on a big web update and a new community section will be an important part of that. With the new community section, we want to create a space to highlight community creations and fan sites but also provide wallpapers and some other requested assets.

Palemale53: Will I need to satisfy the needs of my inhabitants separately on each island?
Answer: All buildings unlock globally but if you establish a second island, you will need to fulfill your residents’ needs in order to level them up to higher tiers or to keep them happy.

banan1996.1996: How does transferring workforce between island work? Will ships be needed for that?
Answer: You won’t need to build or use your existing ships to transfer your workforce. However, there will be a proper visual representation for workforce being moved to other islands. The system will have some similarities to the energy transfer from Anno 2070, but we will share more details at a later stage.

XGrindYourMindX: Will there be unemployment or is workforce overhead just waiting quietly?
Answer: We tried many things during the early conception phase but we do not think that managing the employment of your residents would do the game any favor. With other resource, operation cost and especially construction management (not talking about trading and other economic aspects), the game can get already pretty complex and deep if you want to make use of all features.

zelsphere: My guess is all these beautiful buildings must be using 2k resolutions textures, with diffuse, spec/gloss, and normal how are you you able to run the game so smoothly with all these buildings utilize such high texture maps?

Dawnreaver: Would it be possible to go into more detail on the technical aspects? I know that previous versions of the engines worked with LODs, but do they also batch the textures?
Answer: Indeed we can’t keep all the textures in memory. We dynamically load them depending on the current camera location in the game. Textures that haven’t been used for a long time are kicked out of memory. One challenge for a strategy game is the highly dynamic camera, e.g. sudden camera jumps via the minimap: If a building’s texture is suddenly needed but isn’t loaded yet, we usually have at least a low-resolution version in memory. In the meantime the high-res version starts loading in the background. With that said, a buildings’ texture size actually depends on its grid size, so a 3×3 building has smaller textures than a large factory. Finally, our buildings usually have albedo, normal, gloss, metallicity and ambient occlusion textures, all BC7-compressed. Some of them are packed into other ones (e.g. normal and gloss are a single texture map)

We are looking forward to the stream this Wednesday and hope that many of you join to share their own Anno anecdotes with us. As the Easter weekend is coming up, there won’t be a DevBlog this week, and no Union Update next Monday.


DevBlog: Working Conditions

Across the long rows, your employees are a picture of focus. They are shuddering, and their breath condenses against the metal, for it is February and the pipes have frozen. The shed is so vast that they may as well be outside.

Then a whisper develops – they say you are visiting in person. Will this be the much-hoped-for closure?

The warehouse door is swung open for you. Tentatively you poke the long silver-tip of your cane over the threshold, then your white spats follow. You take your position on the prescribed rostrum.

“Fifteen percent, production has dropped. Fifteen!” you rap your cane sharply against the thin tin wall. “It is cold every winter, that’s the season! Get used to it. You will work night-after-night until the work is done, or I will tear this worthless shack down!”

With a crack of the whip, your black cab is gone again. Yes. You are a scumbag.

Workforce in detail
We briefly talked about it before in our residential introduction and this time, we want to share some more details about our workforce feature. As you already know, every residential tier in Anno 1800 provides its own workforce type. However, workforce tiers are not just allocated to production lines of said tier; instead, labor of your different residential tiers will be used for specific types of production buildings.
Agricultural buildings as an example will always require farmers to get their production going but you will unlock more of that type of production buildings in later tiers. As every workforce tier is dedicated to a specific type of production, you won’t be able to use your higher tier workforce, such as workers, in a lower tier agricultural buildings.

Every workforce tier supports a specific type of production building, which are not limited to the residential tier of your workforce.

With our new system, lower tier workforce never becomes obsolete and that increases the challenge and complexity when advancing through the tiers.
Your workforce is calculated for each isle separately, which leaves you with the option to either build small settlements to support your production, or to transfer workforce from one isle to another.
If you don’t have sufficient workforce of a given type available to keep your factories going, productivity will get partially reduced based on the percentage of workers missing.
Getting rid of the old way of progressing linearly through the tiers adds complexity and believability while it also provides more strategic freedom for the player.
But there is more to it than just providing the required amount of workforce- we also give you the option to impact the working conditions of your residents in order to influence your productivity.

Here an example for a level two production chain, including not only two types of workforce as also two types of production buildings from two tiers.

You hold the whip, working conditions
Steel beams, mass fabricated glass and modern manufacturing progresses such as the conveyer belt allowed cities to massively expand in size and height. However, while modern factories pushed productions to a level never seen before, the era became also known for its working conditions: days often longer than 12 hours under (for our modern understanding) harshest conditions.
We want to give you the freedom of choice regarding the working conditions in your company, if it is a temporary boost of your steel factories to keep up in an arms race, becoming a modern socialist rewarding your residents with short working days or even pushing your industry and your workforce to its absolute limit. Just like your manufactured modern steel, everything has its own breaking point.
We give you the tools to affect the working conditions on each of your islands. Simply speaking, you can decide to let your residents work longer and harder to compensate workforce shortage by increasing productivity or boosting your economy in general. We do not only enable you to change the working conditions for each type of workforce, you will also be able to change the conditions for each type of production building. You have a shortage of iron ore, which slows down your weapon manufacturing? Just push the working conditions of your iron miners, which will only increase the productivity of all your iron mines on that island.

Workers became a prideful new class of citizen, welded together by hard labor and a sense of community.
Pushing your working conditions at the cost of your residents has consequences, as it affects the happiness of your people negatively. It has a negative impact on the morale of the affected workforce type, while the system will also take into account if you change the conditions only for a specific production building. In the case of the boosted iron mines, it will have an impact on the happiness of all your workers based on the percentage of your workforce working in your mineshafts.
Always keep an eye on your people and interpret the signs of times early enough if you want to take appropriate actions. Your working folks will bend only that much and if you pass that mark, they might put down their tools and mobilize for a strike.

On the contrary, if you are a modernist implementing good working conditions in your factories or on your farms, your residents will show you their gratitude.
The working conditions are only one factor which impacts the happiness of your residents. The happier your residents, the better the mood in the city. A clever economist can find the right balance between bending your working conditions while pleasing your residents with other concessions while a ruthless or desperate ruler can rely on their police forces to keep things in order.

Happiness and player freedom
There are many ways how you can have an impact on the happiness of your residents and how their mood affects the gameplay. While a topic on it’s own for a future blog, we are curious to know how you see the new possibilities playing around with the working conditions. Are you already thinking about all the ways to micromanage your power economy? Are you an altruist who likes to give something back and keep your folk happy or do you just love the freedom of choice and all the small stories, which the system might tell?

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.

DevBlog: The Rise of the Working Class

The 19th century worker. Downtrodden, disillusioned and outspoken. Each a dormant volcano ready to spout its hot lava of protest, to unite a single luminous trickle with the molten flow – a flow of discontent that threatens to devour all in its path until it becomes the nigh-unstoppable fire-tide of revolution!

However, thankfully in ANNO 1800, it doesn’t always have to be like that.

The industrial revolution brought horrific working conditions – endless days (and nights), clogged lungs and limb-inhaling machines – woes enough to make anyone violent. But perhaps you happen to be the one employer enlightened enough to lift the burden, to be the humanitarian, the progressive.

Or perhaps, preferring to play the role of an unscrupulous taskmaster, you will indulge the worker’s proclivity for vice. Feed their demon, and they’re likely to forget any complaint right there and then. A greasy bit of grub unwrapped, a bottle unstoppered – anything to numb them to the miseries of the working day. Your reward for conferring such iniquitous mercies? The kind of loyalty not easily come by, your name celebrated by market hawkers and urchins alike.

Depiction of the working class
Previous historical Anno games had their distinctive art style but it was the advent of the working class which changed the urban life drastically. While the hard work in modern factories was demanding and exhausting, it also enabled families a safe income.
There was also a need to accommodate the thousands of new workers in your city and so new suburbs were born. On the one hand, you had small and crowded flats in large apartment buildings as a reality of that time. On the other hand, suburban worker districts attracted country folk to the city, giving the second residential tier a distinctive look and feel.

As you can see in the picture, the housing plots allow us to add many small details to tell their inhabitants stories, from various objects, textures up to animations and visual feedback. Compared to the romantic cottages of the countryside, these buildings are full of pep and fighting spirit, much like the workers themselves.

And hard labour it was, working long days in steel factories while being exposed to the heat from glowing smelters, we should not forget that it was their commitment and dedication which would form our modern society. While their fuliginous clothes are functional, the workers should still transmit that sense of solidarity and pride. Workers have a chirpy and fun-loving nature – they are an outgoing and outspoken bunch, with a sense of solidarity, pride and dignity that is truly remarkable given the circumstances.

A future forged out of thousand fires
With the first workers moving into your settlement, you will get access to numerous new production chains. Ring the bell of the industrial revolution, when you dig deep into the earth to excavate needed resources to build your first factories. Reaching residential tier II will feel like the push into a new century, as the first rather simple productions unfold more and more to complex chains. This groundwork, such as from molten iron manufactured steel-beams, will be an important material for many other future production chains from higher residential tiers. That way, no matter how much you advance, workers will stay as important to supply your industry as farmers providing food and other rural goods.

While factories forge modern marvels, their size and smoking chimneys might not be the beautiful vista for visitors and residents who want to enjoy the beauty of your city. It marks also the turning point of your first city expansion when you have to decide where to construct your production districts and where you want to place your worker suburbs. Just placing a few factories for your basic needs won’t be enough anymore, when you thrive for a bigger city and start to engage other factions in trade contracts or conquer new territory.

Here the Anno 1800 gameplay will open up: alongside factories, further production chains and expanding demands will add complexity and the shipyard will allow you to explore, expand and engage the world around you. Naturally fitting with growing needs and the capability to expand your territory, fertilities will start to have an impact on your overall strategy. Workers will always play an important part during that expansion and it will be up to you to decide how your world will remember you: are you willing to exploit your people to leave the competition behind or do you refuse to build an empire on the back of your workers?

You decide how your society evolves
However you decide to run your empire, we want that you have all strategic options at hand while the world should react to your actions. Changing your working conditions selfishly or even to your residents favour will have different benefits and drawbacks. As an important part in the history of the working class, we will explore the working conditions in the next part of this DevBlog series, when we show you how your decisions can elevate your empire or push your people to the limit.

Are you looking forward to build huge industrial districts in the outskirts or do you see smelting furnaces and factories as a part of your cityscape which grows together with your living quarters and economy?

Union Update: A postcard from the world fair

Welcome to our latest Community Update! Before we move over to this week’s content, do not forget to vote for the community island in the voting box to the right. Many of you are curious about the size difference between each island but do not worry, we saved a spot among the larger island no matter which one makes first place.

This weeks DevBlog: Residential Tier II – workers
With our next DevBlog, we will leave our charming farming village and take a cab to the brick stone city suburbs, where the working folks find some rest after a long day in our smouldering factories. More and more pieces coming together and the second residential tier is the big first step into the industrial revolution.

Anno Cast 03 will air next Thursday, 22nd of March at 4.30pm CET on: twitch.tv/ubisoftbluebyte
Due to sickness, we sadly have to postpone the third episode of our AnnoCast livestream by a week. It will be a great chance for us to show you a few of the previously tackled topics in detail and to answer questions from our community. If you won’t be able to make it to the live-stream, feel free to drop questions in the comment section below or in the live-stream blog, which will go up shortly before the stream starts next Thursday.

But before we end todays update, we want to share something with you. Inspired by your great entries to the story contest and previous Union votes, here comes a letter from a visitor of the monumental world fair and admirer of the “Architectural Wonders” exhibition:

Dear, beloved committee,

It is no exaggeration to say your exhibition “Architectural Wonders” was for my friends and I, not merely a great exhibition, but a life-altering one!
Upon hearing a World’s Fair was come to Bright Sands, we booked our cruises, and jammed our portmanteaus to the gills with the finest hats and dresses. A long and expensive trip it was sure to be, but as we would discover, one thoroughly worthwhile.
As our ship puffed into the bay, there was considerable excitement – we tourists are not altogether so hard to please – for the city that unfolded before us was mesmerising! A beautiful bustling skyline that would grace any postal card. Already in high spirits, we wondered what scintillations must await us at the World’s Fair itself.

“A miscellany of modern farming equipment?” someone suggested. “Oh what a dreary thought!” we all laughed. “I heard it might be ship fixings…” said another, “…and I think we have seen quite enough of those!” This of course, tickled us so greatly, it all became rather embarrassing!
But when we saw the city turned out in their best clothes, chests bursting with pride, we soon struck the crinkles from our crinoline. After all, we were the honoured guests, participants in a global celebration of the age. This was something we may never chance to see again in our lifetimes.

 As we stepped into the hall, great gasps rose to the glass-iron canopy. Never in our lives had we seen such innovation, such bewildering and copious inspiration. Ornaments of modern form and style, hitherto inconceivable, bedecked the galleries and walkways. Master masons and sculptors chiselled expertly in pure white stone. From a soapbox, the esteemed Mr Burnett declaimed his genius, demonstrating precisely how the modern bridge might be engineered and erected. Vast books of plans and patterns fascinated with their particulars.

Before long we were quite spent, and so were our purses! We all spent more than ever we had planned, but such an unforgettable visit merited every shiny penny. We all agreed to return at the drop of a hat, should another such exhibition ever take place in Bright Sands, which I’m certain you, as the organisers, will be most delighted to hear.

Ever yours,

Your glowing admirers.

Vote: Community Island

Annoholics have discussed the art of island design since the dawn of the Anno series. With our Anno Union island contest, we put your knowledge, design skills and creativity to the test to create a truly community-shaped island for Anno 1800. You impressed us with almost 100 entries to the contest, ranging from well thought gameplay concepts to the craziest playgrounds.

It was far from easy for us to make the final selection. Over the last weeks, our team went through every single entry and finally, we have a list for the five islands competing in the next Anno Union vote.

And the finalists are:

We liked VulcanixFR’s entry especially because of the well thought out mix between bigger and smaller construction spaces. With its opposing beaches, this island offers an iconic vista to build an interesting harbor installation.

The natural form of this island convinced our team. Hills, beaches and rivers are well placed and come together in a harmonious overall concept. The arrangement of the construction site and the fascinating landslide in the south create an interesting hotspot.

This islands got our attention because of its unique shape. The narrow parts of the island offer a great challenge for city builder and the jagged hills surrounding the bay add an adventurous element to it.

The crazy idea to use the hat from the Anno 1602 cover was creative and humorous, while the nice curves and long cliffs offer a great challenge for Annoholics.

We liked this isle for its simple form, providing ample space for huge cities. The high plateau in the north allows you to play around with the new uneven terrain of Anno 1800, which creates a great gameplay twist on a simple concept.

It’s now up to you, the members of the Anno Union, to decide which entry will make it into the game, as the first community created Anno island. We will further provide frequent updates about the state of the community island, including its creation up to all the final details. Keep in mind that we might need to change a few things, though we will be faithful to the general concept, feel and shape of the winning island.

Thanks to every single participating in the contest, putting so much effort and thought into all these glorious creations. If you want to browse through all great community entries again, you can do so here:
Island Contest entries international 
Island Contest entries German

Union Update: A message to our community

In this week’s Community Update, we want to appreciate the driving force behind the Anno Union: You, our Fans and Union members who give us valuable feedback, support us and – not to forget – share your creative energy with us.

We were blown away by not only the amount of entries, but also by the many different creative takes on the contest such as letters, newspapers, stage plays and many more.
You might imagine that it was not easy for us to pick our three favorites out of so many great entries. And for that reason, we decided to honor five entries for the third and two entries for the second place. Our big “thanks” to everyone who participated and we hope that you enjoyed writing these entries as much as we enjoyed reading them.

Without further ado, congratulation to all the winners:

1st Place – Velerios1 1701 Collector’s Edition signed by the team
2nd Place – Aleera_Gorvan, Sermo2010 – Not exactly a surprise 1701 Goodiebag J
3nd Place– DiruKamachi, alleria.sb, Chris.666, Bellasinya, RayoOyar – A signed copy of a previous Anno game (we let you know between which games you can choose)
As mentioned, we will get in contact with you to sort out all the details.

And there is more to come this week: the next stage of our island contest, plus some mail from a visitor of our world fair exhibition.

Focus Test:
The first group of testers have been invited, so you can expect small updates about the playtests in the weeks to come. If you did not make it into the first test, no worries: we will have several tests throughout the year and will let the Union know when we are about to open new focus groups.

Anno Cast is returning March 15th
Our stream will finally return in 2018 with its first episode airing March 15th 4:30pm. As ongoing construction work in our studio forced us to move the streaming room temporarily, the scenery might look a little bit different. We will share more details about the show next week Monday!

DevBlog: A farmers life

We have been farmers for more than 10,000 years. We think of rice terraces, cereals and livestock, of Nile irrigation, cabbages and beekeeping. If we are here in 10,000 years, there will still be farmers. After all, they endured the century that arguably saw most change.

A typical farmer in 1800 had similar tools at their disposal, as two-hundred years previous. But the new century brought iron ploughs, fertiliser, seed drills, and threshing machines. Though the new yields were huge, life and work were no less hard.
In Anno 1800, farmers epitomise rustic life. The simple things. To work the soil, tend the animals, and breathe fresh air away from the burgeoning smog. After a long day in the fields, a farmer wants to sit by the fire with family, and speak of their strange neighbours in hushed tones.
They don’t have a lot – or need a lot – and quick as hare, they’ll tell you so. Speaking their mind comes ‘natural’, and honesty is important, when you need to gauge feeling.
Yet they are also sympathetic. This business of yours, vast and sprawling as it is, goes far beyond their powers of cognition. Problems are to be expected – heaven forbids a farmer telling you how things ought to be run. And yet, while they are just the foundation on which the vainer elements of your society stack, you will achieve nothing without their love.

Depiction of a rural lifestyle
When you draw a picture of the industrial revolution, the rural population is probably not the first thing that comes to your mind. As the first residential tier, farmers serve as a throwback to old times, you could even say to the other historical titles of the series.
While the tier should depict a lifestyle that defined our society for thousands of years, the life of the farming people changed with the dawning age of technical marvels and urban life.
As workforce is now a factor in Anno 1800, they should have a distinguishable charm and character but also need to fit in a cityscape dominated by other residential tiers, especially in the later stages of the game. When setting the art direction for a residential tier, you always have to think about how their design will work together with all the other elements of the game.

A recent Concept-Art for the farmer residential buildings. During production, many buildings going to several reworks until we find the right look and feel.

Farmers are self-supported, used to their independence from most of the modern amenities. From their clothing, portraits up to their buildings, they are proud and hard-working residents, often overlooked by the evolving society. While architects plan modern housing space, farmer’s property should feel self-build rather than a product of a construction company. Their residential buildings resemble country houses, with wooden boards and small individual decals.
If you watch their buildings closely, they should feel like a postcard from a more calm time, where people minded their own business but also enjoyed a hard but probably simpler life. Naturally, that style should also fit their production buildings.

Backbone of your future empire
If you do some research on the history of any influential city in the 19th century, you notice that there is a significant spike in population. Nevertheless, the rural population had still an important role in society and economy, as farm products supported the growing needs for foods and basic goods for the rising world population.
Most players tend to construct their first buildings near the coastline in order to establish the basic food supply and lay the groundwork for future production. This also creates almost its own small village to support your expansion, as you probably plan the city centre of your future metropolis more land inwards of your island.

The main gameplay purpose of the farmer tier is to produce two kinds of wares: the first goods to fulfil the demands of your residence in order to advance and secondly, the foundation for some of the future production chains in higher tiers. So you not only have to account for the current state of your small settlement, it makes sense to account for the later growth and size of your city. While advancing through the first tier should be easy to achieve, farmers will stay an important part of your population.

You decide if you either go for a big farm village to support your whole island, let the modern city grow around your cottages or if you just create a new tier one residential and production buildings when they are needed. Imagine the picturesque scene when landing at the harbour and taking a ride through beautiful rural outskirts, while your eyes slowly focus on the impressive skyline covered in smoking chimneys on the horizon.
While Schnaps is an early and more simple production chain, the potato farms take part in refining the rural look of your outskirts.

Help us to fill the blanks!
With the next DevBlog in our big residential tier series, we will take you on a trip to the sooth-blackened worker districts, a new class of citizens, which should change our society forever. But before we end today’s blog, we have a special request to all Anno Union members.

We are currently missing a public building, which fits the rural lifestyle of our farmer tier. While we have some interesting ideas, we are curious what ideas the Union could bring to the table.
What do farmers actually do after a hard day working on the field and what would help them to advance to the next level? Maybe there is a specific infrastructure, which every farming village should have? We are looking forward to your suggestions for the missing tier 1 public building!