Hey Anno Group,

Final month we introduced the discharge of the Anno Historical past Assortment arriving June 25, which is able to replace the beloved first 4 video games within the Anno sequence to take higher benefit of recent PCs, whereas sustaining the gameplay everyone knows and love. As promised on the announcement, we could have a separate weblog submit for every of the video games to not solely speak concerning the new enhancements, but in addition concerning the video games and their place in Anno historical past themselves. As that is the primary weblog, we are going to take this chance to speak a bit concerning the Historical past Assortment generally, earlier than diving proper into Anno 1602 Historical past Version!

Our targets for the Historical past Assortment

The primary query that got here to many minds upon our announcement was in fact “why?”, so allow us to begin with that. As , Anno 1800 has been an enormous success for the workforce, changing into the fastest-selling Anno sport proper out of the gate, and attracting greater than 1,000,000 gamers inside its first 9 months in the marketplace. Many of those gamers have been discovering the Anno sequence for the primary time with 1800, and we have now been seeing increasingly questions concerning the older video games. After all, it is usually potential that lots of our worldwide gamers have performed an Anno sport up to now, and easily didn’t notice! You see, the video games business was fairly completely different one or 20 years in the past.

Within the case of Anno, the historical past in non-German-speaking markets has been a curious one. The primary 4 video games which can be a part of the gathering all had completely different publishers and distribution companions in numerous international locations, which additionally resulted in all of them having completely different names in varied areas! Seems that the 1602 A.D. or Daybreak of Discovery video games you performed in your youth had been Anno video games! Actually, it was not till the sequence took a visit into the longer term with Anno 2070 that the sequence’ title can be used globally. On this sense, the gathering presents a great way to get our total neighborhood on the identical web page. You might have additionally seen that the artworks for the Historical past Editions of the video games have new logos which can be nearer in fashion to Anno 1800’s, unifying the branding of the sequence going ahead to just remember to will instantly acknowledge something Anno once you see it  (don’t worry- we went with the basic logos contained in the video games for nostalgia’s sake!).


A typical Anno 1602 metropolis (low UI scaling)

After all, that’s solely a part of our reasoning- the far more necessary side is enabling gamers to get pleasure from these video games with out points and tinkering on their fashionable PCs and working methods. Each the gaming business and know-how have undergone some large adjustments since these video games first noticed the sunshine of day (remember that even Anno 1404 as the latest of those titles is greater than a decade outdated), which have led to a few of these video games being more durable to play on present PCs and their multiplayer changing into inaccessible. So, once we began discussing the opportunity of releasing such a set, we outlined three key targets:

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  1. Make them simple to run nicely on fashionable PCs. No extra fidgeting with legacy Home windows settings or combating hard- and software program incompatibilities!
  2. Deliver again multiplayer and make it simple to make use of. Every of the outdated video games used a unique multiplayer setup, utilizing both deprecated inner options or middleware that now not exists corresponding to Gamespy.
  3. Above all else, we needed to take care of the gameplay the neighborhood loves, whereas seeing if we will make some smaller high quality of life adjustments that make taking part in these video games a smoother expertise.

Allow us to undergo these step-by-step!

Porting all video games to 64-bit

On condition that they had been launched between 11 and 22 years in the past, all of the older Anno video games had been launched as 32-bit software program (whereas Anno 2205 or 1800 are 64-bit software program solely). Whereas that was regular on the time (with 64-bit working methods and processors solely changing into extensively used a lot later), it additionally comes with some inherent issues that the video games share with all 32-bit software program. The obvious being the truth that 32-bit software program can solely handle 4GB of RAM in your system, on account of a tough restrict on the variety of RAM bytes the software program can handle. In different words- irrespective of how a lot RAM you might have in your fashionable PC, these outdated video games can solely use lower than 4GB of it.

With this in thoughts, it was a precedence for us to port the video games to 64-bit, to ensure your rising empires could make full use of all of your obtainable sources. Additionally, you will notice different basic enhancements to efficiency and stability, making taking part in these classics all-around a lot smoother (that is very true for the oldest video games, Anno 1602 and 1503).

The opposite massive subject on the tech aspect was in fact the graphics, seeing how a decision of 1024×768 would have already been opulent past perception when Anno 1602 first got here out. Right here we once more need to strike a steadiness between preserving beloved video games and making taking part in them a clean expertise in 2020 and past. That’s the reason we have now stored all the unique sport belongings intact however have modified the video games to correctly help widescreen codecs and resolutions all the best way as much as 4k. And sure, full 4k help in fact signifies that the UI will scale with the upper decision to just remember to can comfortably play the sport! Within the case of Anno 1602, you should have the choice to freely select between three completely different UI sizes at any time through the sport.

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Anno 1602 Historical past Version in all its 4k glory, with excessive UI scaling

Bringing again and bettering multiplayer performance

As talked about above, time has not been type to the multiplayer performance of the basic Anno video games, forcing lots of them offline on account of their beforehand used infrastructure and middleware changing into outdated and even deprecated. To make sure which you could relive your recollections of previous battles and can have the ability to play all 4 video games for years to return, we have now ported all of their multiplayer performance to Uplay, with a function set just like what we use for Anno 1800. Relating to graphics, we’re guaranteeing that each one the beforehand obtainable gameplay choices and options keep the identical, however are along with customized lobbies, together with matchmaking for quickmatches. Within the case of a de-sync (sport state of purchasers differs), we have now launched a cushty restoration to cut back the affect of such incidents to a minimal (aside from 1602 because it makes use of a unique synchronization method).

With the technical jargon out of the best way, let’s speak Anno 1602!

Inserting the cornerstone with Anno 1602

The query what makes Anno 1602 particular is in fact a straightforward one to reply: Being the primary sport within the sequence, there would haven’t been an Anno 1503, 1404 or 1800 if Anno 1602 had not been an on the spot hit, and gone on to grow to be one of the profitable PC video games ever in Germany. Initially launched in Spring 1998 by Austrian developer MAX Design and German writer Sunflowers, the sport instantly grew to become a significant contender within the then-crowded city-building style. Even then, all of the hallmarks of Anno had been already in proof: players loved extremely detailed 2D graphics as they tried to fulfill their residents’ rising calls for, unlocking ever extra complicated manufacturing chains within the course of.

As with all basic Anno video games, 1602 would ultimately get an growth known as “New Islands, New Adventures”, which not solely added dozens of latest situations and islands, but in addition enhancements to the core gameplay. All this content material is in fact additionally a part of the Historical past Version launch.

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Constructing upon a basic

As talked about, it was essential for us to protect this basic gameplay, so new gamers can see how Anno began out. To this finish, we’re introducing just a few quality-of-life enhancements, that are solely non-obligatory (so if you wish to play with only one mouse button, be our visitor!). These enhancements are:


  • Trendy controls: Anno 1602 used a really retro management scheme, using simply the left mouse button for all actions. We’ve got carried out the choice to change to fashionable Anno controls, utilizing the precise mouse button for navigation and to order your ships.
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  • To go alongside that, there may be additionally a brand new mouse cursor to interchange the basic Home windows-esque look
  • Now you can use the mouse wheel for zooming (this one is a everlasting change). Enjoyable fact- again then, many mice didn’t even have mouse wheels!
  • Borderless window mode, making each streaming and task-switching to lookup your favourite guides extra handy. That is in fact along with full-screen and windowed modes.
  • Given their extraordinarily low decision, now you can decide to have the beloved cutscenes that play once you discover a new useful resource and many others. present within the minimap window as an alternative, permitting you to maintain constructing whilst you indulge within the nostalgia

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We’ve got additionally carried out a brand new in-game menu the place you may change these settings at any time and added a brand new overview display of all of the keyboard shortcuts.

One other particularly necessary function is save sport compatibility, permitting you to take your outdated saves from earlier variations of the sport, and to maintain constructing these empires on this Historical past Version! Even higher, this help additionally extends to user-generated content material! Not solely have we up to date the Anno 1602 Editor to work with the brand new enhancements, however additionally, you will have the ability to load up any beforehand generated person situations!

Lastly, we have to handle languages, with the Anno 1602 Historical past Version supporting the next languages: English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, and Polish.

With these enhancements, we hope to strike a really perfect steadiness between presenting basic gameplay because it was meant by its unique developer, whereas giving gamers some non-obligatory enhancements to make taking part in Anno 1602 simpler than ever for a contemporary viewers.

Bonus Content material

Lastly, we need to throw in some extra goodies to thanks all on your help of Anno over time. To this finish, we have now requested our associates at Dynamedion (the masterminds behind Anno 1800’s orchestral soundtrack) to rearrange a brand new Historical past Assortment Suite combining parts of all 4 video games’ important themes, which has been added to the sport’s playlist. Different digital bonus content material consists of the Anno 1602 soundtrack, a particular new wallpaper commemorating the sport, and a brand new 1602-themed firm emblem to be used in Anno 1800. Tell us in case you have any extra questions concerning the Anno 1602 Historical past Version and see you quickly for a take a look at Anno 1701!

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