DevBlog: This belongs in a museum!
Today, we will wrap up our deep dive debrief of the new features unveiled at gamescom 2018 with a trip to the museum, and a look at the new blueprint mode.
The Museum – Curiosity in an age of adventure and science
Franklin, Livingstone, von Humboldt… the 19th century was an age of intrepid explorers setting out to discover unknown frontiers and to uncover the mysteries of the world’s most remote locations. For the vast majority of people however, such travel was impossible, leaving them to satisfy their curiosity with travel reports or newspaper articles. Soon however, all this talk of travel and far-away lands lead to a hunger for “the real thing”, with people flocking to zoos, museums and botanical gardens to catch a first-hand glimpse of all the wonders they had read about. In keeping in this spirit of curiosity, you will be able to build your very own extensive museum in Anno 1800, offering you a second major tourist attraction to build alongside your zoo.
At first glance, the museum works quite similarly to the zoo. Unlocked at residential tier 3 (the Artisans), you start your project by constructing the main entrance/ building of the museum, after which you can start placing modules to slot your various exhibits into. Modules only need to be connected by a single tile, which gives you a lot of freedom when it comes to finding your perfect layout for the museum. During this time, it was not uncommon to display priceless antique statues in playful pleasure gardens. We try to embrace this mindset, so all the larger artifacts you can acquire will be displayed as actual 3d models in the open air, allowing you the best possible view of your collected treasures.
While the eye-catching elements of the zoo make heavy use of animated animals, the museum will have a large set of structures, such as temple ruins, antique mosaics or even dinosaur skeletons. Lower tier items such as amulets, old swords or other smaller artifacts will be displayed in special houses, which vary thematically, while still having their own unique 2d artwork. At launch, we hope to have around 80 possible artifacts to display in your museum, which will be organized into thematic sets like “dinosaur skeletons” or “proto-historical”.
Anno 1800 archaeologists and history enthusiasts can look forward to nine different sets in total, a perfect opportunity for us to hide some Easter Eggs and Anno throwbacks.
There is a lot to collect on our archaeological expeditions but we do not want spoil all the different themes and sets quite yet.
Blueprint Mode – Plan your architectural masterpiece
Working on a layout for a new industrial district or a nice artisan quarter is one thing, but if you start large scale projects such as the zoo or want to create a stunning avenue around your world fair, things can get complicated. The new blueprint mode is the perfect tool for aspiring architects, as it allows you to plan street layouts, districts or even whole cities in advance before laying down the first stones.
The blueprint mode is a rather simple but nevertheless extremely powerful tool. Once activated via your toolbar, all buildings placed will only show as ghostly silhouettes, indicating the spot for your future residence or factory. You can now take your time to work on a small layout for a few new production buildings or continue to work on your large park around the city center you always dreamed of. As soon as you are happy with your layout, or if you managed to gather the previously missing material, you can just go ahead and start constructing.
But you don’t have to click on each silhouette manually; the new upgrade tool comes in handy as it allows you to construct every single blueprint building with one click or even via drag and drop. Especially in the early game or in resource-constrained times, it can happen that you want to place a building but realize that you do not have the needed materials. In that case, the blueprint mode will automatically place a silhouette indicating that you are currently short on resources.
Placing buildings in blueprint mode will not cost you any resources or money and they will not start operating before you complete their actual construction.
The mind game when planning an efficient city layout is an integral element of the Anno experience, as construction space is as much of a resource as materials. Keep in mind that you will only be able to place buildings which have been unlocked by natural progression but that won’t prevent you from reworking your city later on of course. Of course, should you not be a fan of this feature, you will be able to disable it altogether.
What do you think about the large-scale projects like the museum and the zoo as well as new city building tools such as the blueprint mode? Are you someone who can sink hundreds of hours to create the most stunning city or is efficiency key when establishing a real power economy?