Anno Online

Platform: Browser

Studio: Ubisoft Blue Byte

Released: 2013

Anno Online is an award-winning medieval free-to-play strategy simulation game for the browser that lets the player develop and manage big medieval cities sustained by a complex economy.

 

It subsequently got ported to the iPad, where it was named: Anno: Build an Empire.

Launch Trailer

Essentially in a joint-lead design role, I was responsible for designing various parts of the game's core mechanics, including setting up and balancing the game's economy and player progress. Other components I designed include the game's multiple island (generation) system, the storage and distribution system, notification system, avatar creator, player level system and the strategic Lumberjack and Fisherman systems.

 

I represented the design department in official meetings with the headquarters and presentations to the press. I was also involved with the recruitment and mentoring of our content designers.

 

The game went live in the form of a closed beta in Germany in October 2012, with the UK version following shortly after in early 2013. Initial reception has been positive, and the game has since gone on to win various awards that are considered prestigious in the world of German browser games.

As the game progresses, the player is required to sustain a range of population classes, each more fussy than the previous. Much of the early gameplay revolves around setting up production chains to satisfy the needs of these population classes. The challenge comes from gaining enough income from selling the goods to cover the production upkeep costs of the various production chains, eventually making a profit.

 

Later in the game the player is required to expand their empire by building ships and exploring and colonising new islands offering different fertilities and resources. As players will be required to specialize in specific productions, transportation of goods between their own islands and trade with other players becomes an important part of the game.