- Union Update
Union Update: Like busy bees
In today’s Union Update blog, we want to give you a brief Anno 1800 production update and provide some additional answers to questions inspired by some of our recent blogs. Later this week, you can look forward to a DevBlog on some of the game’s customization options for sandbox games. Let’s get to it, shall we?
As our February 26 release date looms large and inches ever so closer, we have been busy little bees and made some great progress. We recently finished another milestone, so let us check in with our Production Team to get an update on was has been happening these past few weeks. Keep in mind that these are just two notable highlights, but by no means a comprehensive list of everything we have worked on, as all the disciplines and teams (like Art, Game Design, Game Programming etc.) have their own separate goals for each milestone.
- All Guns blazing
We know that many of you are very curious – or should I say burning – to learn more about our naval combat. Which is why we want to make sure that when we show it to you, it will all be live and in action inside the game, rather than with a lot of text and mock-up images. Which is why you will be happy to hear that we have made great progress with the polishing of the naval battles during the last milestone, laying the foundation we need for an in-depth look in the future.
- Sights, meet the sounds
We are also right in the middle of our localization and audio efforts for the game. During the month of September, we recorded all the English voice acting for the various AI characters and the cast of our story-based campaign. At the same time, with all the game text now largely finalized, we are also busy working with the respective teams to translate it into all the other languages we will support (some of which will have localized voice recordings as well). We are happy to say that we will be supporting localized text in more languages than ever before in an Anno game, giving all new audiences the opportunity to immerse themselves in the 19th century in the language of their choice.
We are also analyzing the feedback from the recently concluded playtest to see which items need to be addressed. Given this late stage of development, we have to always consider what changes are feasible, and how they may affect development of other features to make sure that we make the best use of our remaining time. With that said, the feedback from our play testers is still highly valuable for us, especially as we will focus more and more on nailing the game’s balancing. This is also where the data from our upcoming larger-scale test will come in handy to give us insights from a big group of players.
Reminder: Our Expedition Contest ends next week
A reminder for all you writers and expedition event designer out there: the expedition contest submission deadline ends next week on October 22.10 so make sure that you hand in your event ideas until next Monday. And if you have any questions regarding the contest, we will try to answer them in the comment section of today’s update.
You can find the contest details here.
Vienna calling: Play Anno 1800 at Game City Vienna
For any of you who live in or visit Vienna this week, our game will be playable at the Game City event in the city hall. You can find all (German language) information here: http://www.game-city.at/
Community Questions and Answers
I like that products from the old world will be required in the new world, so my ships won’t have to make the return trip with empty loading bays. Talking of which, the production chains shown in the blog include wood. Could this also be imported from the old world?
Answer: Yes, you will be able to just import goods from your Old World to use them in your production chains in the second session and vice versa.
Will it be possible to save blueprints for future use, for example to save entire production chains as templates, which could then be quickly placed in the future?
Answer: It won’t be possible to save whole layouts as this would require a lot of work on UI and UX, as we would need to develop a whole interface for that feature including menus, possibilities to save and to sort your layouts. However, we like that feature and closely watch how players will make use of the blueprint mode and how much feedback we get regarding that feature after launch.
You mentioned a botanical garden in the blog. I already suggested this when you first revealed the zoo, so I was wondering if there is still a chance to see such a garden in the game?
Answer: At release, Anno 1800 will come with the Zoo and the Museum as large building projects supporting the new city attractiveness feature. Both projects come with a huge amount of assets, from modules, animations and dozens of items each. As always, we will watch feedback closely and see what the post-release future may hold for Anno 1800.
So the small stuff in your exhibition you can only see as icons, isn’t there some form of a magnifying glass to show you what is inside? Like when you click the building , the roof get’s stripped off and you could see what’s inside but magnified a bit?
Answer: Small items will all have their own artwork for their actual icon but with the huge amount of museum items alone in mind, this would mean that we would have to model 80 3D assets just for the museum alone and also find ways to display small pieces like a necklace inside a building. We just implemented a nice overview window accessible from the zoo or museum entrance that will allow you to check how many items from which set you own.
The museum wing buildings in combination with the amount of huge open-air exhibition pieces will nonetheless offer a lot of visual variety to express your inner museum curator to your heart’s content.
Will I always get the same results when I do an expedition again and pick the same option, or is there a random numbers generator at work behind the scenes that will allow for different results? And will there be rewards for nice and beneficial decisions, or only if you act mercilessly and reckless?
Answer: Every decision you make has a chance of success based on a general difficulty and the skill ratings of the items and characters you brought along. In addition, some items will offer unique additional decision options on specific events and some combinations even guarantee a success. If an event fails, there are various outcomes for the story to progress. As you might have seen during the various instances of our Love Island presentations (RIP Captain, Comedian and Bishop).
The type of decisions you make won’t have an influence on the final reward pool of items during an expedition, even though special decisions and events can reward you with items from the event pool.