- Union Update
Union Update: outlook for this month
In our last few DevBlogs, we tackled some big new feature additions to Anno 1800, but that was just a glimpse at what’s to come. This week, it is time to take the next progressive step with the fourth residential tier.
But there is of course more to come this month: The next Episode of the AnnoCast will air Thursday the 17th of May, 5pm CEST!
In our fourth episode, we will show you some visual improvements of the game (we mentioned the UI overhaul, didn’t we?) and use the chance to show you our visitor and zoo features live and in action!
As always, we will share a blog with the embed livestream before it goes live and you can leave your questions for the Q&A part of the stream below.
Feel free to follow to our twitch channel, where we stream development updates about Anno 1800, celebrate anniversaries of older Anno titles and have plans for some additional upcoming shows: twitch.tv/ubisoftbluebyte
The Union feedback on these big features such as city attractiveness and projects like the zoo was once again incredibly valuable for us. It gives us a first indicator whether we are going into the right direction and additionally helps us to make changes based on your thoughts.
But there is only so much you can do with a blog or a live stream, and that is where our Anno Union playtests come into play. We are currently making the final preparations for the next round of the tests, where Anno Union members get the chance to play and provide detailed feedback for the development team.
We will share some details soon but one reminder for you all: If you have applied in the past but have updated your hardware setup, please send us an update (best would be a response to your initial application to email@example.com) of your rig, including your Uplay/Union display name.
If you haven’t applied for the focus tests yet or even never heard about our Union tester program, you can check out all the details here: https://www.anno-union.com/playtest/
Will it be possible to catch animals on your island just by clicking on them?
Answer: There are many different ways to acquire animals and other items. Catching animals will be one option but it will be more than just clicking on wildlife grazing on your island. We are still working on a few details but can say that some specialists will offer their wildlife-related skills to you.
Oh boy, the kitties surely had a bit too much in their food bowl. A bit less food and it wouldn’t be less obvious that the enclosers for zoo animals are a tad too small ;D
Answer: Thankfully, our feline predators seem to prosper even in captivity! The size of the zoo animals is not final and we are still working on the right proportions. As you know, the proportions in Anno are adjusted to the bird’s eye view, which is what player’s spend most of their playtime in.
Is there a maximum limit for modules or will I be able to expand my zoo as much as I like?
Answer: There won’t be a maximum limitation for zoo modules. Construction space is an important resource in Anno and that alone is a well thought investment if you expand your zoo. Hey, maybe marvelous outsourced zoo islands become a thing in Anno 1800?
The entrance seem to the anchor point for all modules, which sounds for me that they don’t need a street connection on their own. Does that mean that we can design the form of our zoo freely and do not need to stick to the square form as shown in the video?
Answer: Zoo modules need to connect by one tile, which leaves you a lot of freedom to create a zoo layout of your liking and to leave construction space for ornaments. We placed a few ornamental objects in the zoo for our video example.
Will the game have some sort of hotel system to house the tourists that come to the island, or will they come to see the island and then leave?
Tourists surely bring financial benefits but will they have their own needs such as hunger or craving for luxury items etc.?
Answer: Tourist will land with a ferry, travel around the island and leave after a while with the same ship. With the city attractiveness, we introduce a complex new feature to the series. We tried to add some deeper management layers to the visitors but figured out that the micromanagement aspects gets easily out of hand, especially considering all other management aspects of Anno in the larger picture. As visitors are a crucial, but by no means only, part of the city attractiveness feature, we decided to go for a working albeit a bit simpler implementation. As usual, the Anno Union gave us a lot of interesting feedback and we are open for the idea to enhance the feature if we find a concept, which is not falling into the same complexity trap and which is not too time consuming for us to develop.
I really like that beauty building is now meaningful, that part was always missing in previous titles. Will the city attractiveness have actual impact on the reputation of the player?
Answer: Your city attractiveness level, the positive or negative rating of some of your attractiveness criteria as well as the different ornaments and attractiveness relevant buildings will have an influence on your standing with other characters. If you build a zoo, there will be certain AI characters who will react to that very excited and friendly while others might think that you do not have the necessary edge to lead a big company, as you are just toying around in a kid’s sandbox. If and how they care about such things like your parks or the pollution on your island will depend on each characters distinctive nature and backstory. We can’t wait to share more details about the illustrious cast of Anno 1800 second and third party characters. Who knows, maybe one of the next big topics in the Anno Union?
You described that there are basically three buildings which can slot items. How big is the influence radius of each building? How many items will they be able to slot?
Answer: The three buildings (town hall, guild house and harbor office) will be able to carry more than one item, but we are still playing around with the exact number of slots. When it comes to the size of the influence radius, balancing plays a big role. We want that you can specialize your districts and for that, we need to make sure that things like overlapping radii won’t cause an issue.