Anno 1701 demo out

http://www.3dgamers.com/dlselect/games/anno1701/anno_1701_demo_eng.zip.html

I just went through the tutorial for this, and man does it look promising.

The graphics and art direction are incredible. As far as I can tell, it looks like it’s a straight city/empire builder. Unlike the previous versions, the military aspect seems to have been removed. EDIT: Woops, I was wrong… there is a military component, but it wasn’t explained in the tutorial.

There are simply a ridiculous amount of fantastic games out right now. This is turning out to be one of the best holiday release seasons in years. And it’s not even November yet!

I just played the demo map for about an hour. From that brief time, I’m thinking that this game could potentially be a classic. One of the great tycoon/builder games. It is so streamlined and easy to get into, yet offers very complex gameplay under the surface. The graphics engine is also a lot more optimized than Caesar 4’s. The game is just gorgeous…

I tried to get into the previous incarnation of the Anno series, but it was way too fiddley. The developers seemed to have learned from a lot of past mistakes. The interface is very friendly, with lots of cool little touches. For instance, if you want to create more of a certain type of building that already exists, they have the “copy sample” tube like in Photoshop (I totally mindblanked on what it’s actually called Edit: eyedropper!). You click on it or press “n”, and your cursor turns into an eyedropper. You then pick what you want to duplicate, then click again where you want to put it.

The economic model is a bit more forgiving that Caesar’s. All product producing buildings must be connected by a road to a warehouse. All other buildings can be free standing anywhere (such as houses) or free standing whithin a radius of the production building that needs it (sheep fields, etc). In order for your population to use a good, it must be in a warehouse. These warehouses can be placed anywhere on your island.

The game really seems to boil down to empire expansion, as there are many different islands on the map that can produce different goods. Setting up trade routes between these islands is very friendly and intuitive as well, using a large strategic map and sliders to decide which goods go where, how much is taken and dropped off, and by which ship. This was one of the fiddley aspects I didn’t like in the other Anno game I played, but here it is simplified greatly through this new interface.

Give this thing a try!

Great to hear! I have been waiting for the English demo. Now all we need is a N.A. release date.

EBgames.com shows 10/30 as the ship date.

Lorini

I remember that the economy model in anno 1603 was very unforgiving. Has it changed much?

I feel that it is a lot more managable in this game from what I played so far. They’ve streamlined almost everything, but there is still depth to it.

Seriously, download the demo and try it out. You won’t be disappointed.

Due to the nature of things I could already play the game a while ago and also know some of the people working on this project. First of all, 1701 is being developed by Related Designs (No Man’s Land, Castle Strike) whereas the first two titles in the series were made by Max Design.

They indeed did a lot to streamline the game and they listened to the feedback 1503 got. 1503 wasn’t as well received as its predecessor (1602 AD) - many considered it too complicated, not that accessible and ‘dry’, the extended military part didn’t exactly went well with everyone either. Another problem - mentioned above already - was that you could quickly end up in dead-end situation where you had screwed your economy early beyond repair. RD did their best to make 1701 as customizable as possible, and the fact that the AI players know have personalities instead of being anonymous entities certainly factors in on the atmosphere side of things. Another problem 1503 had was the point that they started working on the multiplayer part too late in the development and weren’t able to incorporate it properly.

-Julian

Wow, it’s by that developer? Given their past work, it’s quite amazing how far they’ve come from what I’ve seen in the 1701 demo.

Wow, this is fun! I was a fan of the series before but the very beginning was always my favorite part. After that it seemed to get too convoluted with all the different types of goods and buildings and I would forget how to do things and give up.

This one seems to completely sidestep that problem. Anytime I had an issue I always understood exactly why it was happening and what I needed to do to fix it. There are still a few interface issues, like inconsistent use of the right mouse button to cancel things, but overall it’s very polished.

I started it up just to take a quick look at the graphics before dinner. I ended up going through all four tutorials and eating dinner at the PC as I played a full game. An early visit from the beer wagon upgraded my people before I was ready, and they got pissed off when I didn’t have a steady beer supply. I had just taken care of the booze when a fire broke out (coincidence?) and then I hit the 90 minute limit on that session (that’s 90 minutes not counting the tutorials) and the demo ended. This wasn’t even on my radar before but it’s definitely a day one purchase now.

The same thing happened to me. I’ve already played the demo map to it’s 90 minute limit twice. Seriously, the only game to surprise me this much recently was Company of Heroes. (Surprising in the respect that I don’t like RTS games, and I played CoH’s various demos and betas nightly until release)

This was my island. It looked so peaceful before I showed up.

I had an assignment to deliver some wool to the free trader in exchange for gold and some much-needed tools. But I was too slow and the timer ran out while my ship was enroute. On its way back to the island the cargo ship picked up a pair of pirates. There were no survivors.

This is when a band of travelling minstrels paid me a visit.

This is someone else’s island. I was jealous because it was nicer than mine.

The other shots were taken with the special screenshot mode, which turns off the interface and lowers the camera closer to the horizon than normally allowed. This last one is a straight ingame shot. The lightning bolts are my citizens pissed off that I ran out of beer. Mass evictions followed.

This is too weird, I was just looking for a city builder to buy. I was reading up and Caesar 4 and CivCity Rome and they looked ok, Caesar 4 looks better IMO. But then I run across this thread and WOW Anno 1701 looks amazing, the screen shots are incredible and the gameplay sounds like a blast. Can’t wait to try out the demo!!!

Thanks for posting this flyinj!!!

I had never even heard of this game before today. As soon as I finish moving and unpack my PC, I’m going to download this demo first thing. Sounds like a great game.

I echo the above sentiments. Very well put-together demo. I’ll be in line for this one, money clenched tightly in my fist.

Also, the graphics are tits.

Sounds promising. I finally did check out the CoH Demo and ended up buying the game.

I don’t know anything about the past Anno games, are these games sold in the U.S at normal retailers like Best Buy or is it online only purchases?

They are sold in US retailers. As a matter of fact, the last Anno game, 1503 I believe, was published by EA in the states.

Yes, the previous one was published by EA. The “Anno” name may not ring a bell for some though because it was used in Europe only. The UK/US titles were called 1602 A.D. and 1503 A.D. respectively.

-Julian

Finally got to install and play the demo today. First thing I thought, “those cheap bastards didn’t update the desktop shortcut icon”. Oh well, who cares. I fire the thing up and some moron had downloaded and installed the 1503 demo. Nice, huh.

Anyone have lines through their text and interface when playing this demo?

I read there were some 3D accelerator problems with certain video cards including mine the Geforce 7900 chipset.

Does anyone know if there is a fix for this problem?

So far the demo is great, I’m still in the tutorial but I’m really digging it!