Dear researchers of the future and builder of worlds,
after a time that feels like aeons Karrenschieber alias Dirk Riegert is reporting back to you.
Some of you may remember me from 1404-times, when I was answering community questions regarding the progress of game development from time to time. Within Related Designs I am responsible for the Anno game series as a creative director. While I was not able to personally feed you with information during the development of 2070 due to time restrictions, I am very happy that I will be able to provide you with first-hand insights into the development of the Anno series again.

The whole Anno team is working at great pace and with lots of enthusiasm on the new AddOn, till "Anno 2070 - Deep Ocean" will finally be released in autumn this year. This thread is supposed to work as a dev blog and offer you some exclusive details and background information on the AddOn.

So enough of the preambles, let's get started!

The secrets of the Ebashi trench

While ongoing world events shed light on a more than dangerous confrontation, in the shadows of that distressing development scientist Hiro Ebashi will make a trailblaizing breakthrough at the bottom of the trench named after himself that will alter the course of the Anno 2070 world for good.

Hiro Ebashi has a revolutionary breakthrough at the Ebashi trench.

All scenarios, features and events of the AddOn will be based on this discovery by Ebashi-san. The roles of the fractions will shift, tech organisation E.T.O ans S.A.A:T will gain significant importance and development of the deep sea will become an ever more important factor in the global strife for power and dominance. The latter will have strong influences on the basic game play of 2070, especially in long-lasting games.

To further max out the potential of the underwater world

During conception phase of the AddOn we soon realised that we wanted to do something different than in the expansions of 1701 and 1404. While "curse of the dragon" and "Venice" were most prominently focused on single gameplay modi like campaign or multiplayer, "Deep Ocean" is taking a step further and will be the most extensive and most complex Anno AddOn up-to-date.

For the first time in the history of the Anno series a completely new civilisation class will be included in an AddOn- the tech geniuses. Innovations and production chains of the geniuses will be most prominantly located under water. With that, we follow the two most widely asked for community wishes from the online survey of Anno 2070; i.e. the wish for additional production chains and the demand for further under water features.

To add a new civilisation class to the game via an AddOn is not as trivial as it sounds. Even in 1404 we were considering an additional civilisation class, but if you do not include this extension of most basic game principles right from the first concept stages, it is really hard to implement it later on in a fitting manner. Therefore, right in the conceptional phase of 2070 we included the possibility to later extend the Tech fraction in a possible AddOn.

A seemingly understandable, but long-lasting result of the enhanced meaningfulness of the under water world for production chains and special buildings of the geniuses is the rising need for building space on under water plateaus. Where formerly only single production facilities were located, large indutrial complexes will now be situated. To meet this new challagnes, we redesigned all under water plateaus in a manner, so that they will provide more building space, but still not make it easy to simply fill them with buildings.

Underwater world in the "deep ocean" AddOn. on the left: new buildings, on the right: redesigned buildings from the basic game. überarbeitete Basisspiel-Gebäude.

Futher important optimisations of the underwater world affected the look of the underwater buildings. To get a believable and atmospheric look of the deep sea underwater effects limit the colours of the buildings. Everything is bathed in a mystic blue shading. This has side effects rendering it critically difficult to distinguish underwater buildings. As the AddOn will add numerous new production facilities, we optimised effects, animations and light settings for new and old production facilities to make them easier to distinguinsh and identify them as related production chains.

New underwater trade routes

With the exploitation of numerous important goods now being under water (e.g. lithium) scientists and engineers of S.A.A.T and E.T.O also took effort in evolving the transportation of those goods from the deep sea and developed prototypes of the new "sisyphos" class of submarines, dedicated to recover large amounts of goods from great depths.

To that end, the new underwater trade routes prove to be very helpful. By a mouse cklick every route and every route type can be classified as an underwater trade route. On normal trade routes, all ships (including submarines) will transport there goods above the water surface. If you mark a trade route as an underwater trade route, all submarines will maneuvre underwater as far as this is possible. If traderoute points only include underwater depots, the submarines will remain submerged continually. If they are approaching a depot on land they will only emerge from the sea in the harbour area. This new functionality has some strategic implications regarding disturbance of trade routes eg. in multiplayer (for example making patroling submarines necessary) or protection of the own fleet (from pirates or enemies).

Primary designs for transportation submarines of the new "sisyphos" class.

That's it for today. I hope something interesting was there for you and that your curiosity for "Anno 2070 - Deep Ocean" has been improved. Maybe we will "read again" in the future, as there are yet plenty of secrets and details around the development of the AddOn to discover.

So long
your Karrenschieber Dirk