Game developers houden er soms rare ideeën op na, de een released een game te vroeg de ander te laat. Weer andere cancelen een game op het laatste moment. Wat is de reden achter het later uitbrengen van Anno 1503 in Nederland? Wij stelde SunFlowers enige vragen omtrent hun nieuwste game, en onze Oosterburen waren zo vriendelijk daar antwoord op te geven. GNL: Hi. Could you please tell us a bit about yourself and what you do at Sunflowers? “Jo”: My name is Jochen “Jo” Bauer and I'm one of the two producers of ANNO 1503 – The New World. I've been working for SUNFLOWERS for 6 years and the latest product I've been working on is ANNO 1503. One of my responsibilities is to facilitate communication between different departments. My role is it to work as the go-between for programmers, graphic artists, designers, QA people and even marketing. GNL:How many people worked on Anno 1503? And during what period of time? “Jo”: All in all, at times the number of people working on ANNO 1503 grew to about 80. There was a core of about 30 people working on the project from start to finish.

Anno 1503 menu VS Anno 1603 menu

GNL: What are the biggest differences between Anno 1602 and Anno 1503? “Jo”: The only thing 1503 has in common with 1602 is the basic principle of the game. We're not talking about an update here, but rather a completely new and independent product. A brand-new graphic engine was developed just for this game. The gameplay has been expanded sensibly and the complexity increased. For example, the combat system has undergone a major expansion: There are over 3x as many different units as in the predecessor with added formation options for both soldiers and ships. Cities now have much greater defensive capabilities: Lockable city gates, mountable city walls and watch and cannon towers provide players with excellent protection for their cities.

ANNO 1503 features six different climatic zones, each with their own different advantages and disadvantages, which in turn affect gameplay. The entire chain of islands is much more alive than in its predecessor and is home to a total of nine different cultures with which players can enter into contact.

GNL: Why does this game take place 99 years before the original 1603? “Jo”: It was simply a more interesting period of radical changes. Both firearms and cutting weapons were in use on the battlefield.

Architecture was changing in the cities. Naturally, this offers a lot of material for a game as lovingly detailed as ANNO 1503.

Europeans were emerging from the Middle Ages into the modern era with all it's wondrous new possibilities, such as letterpress printing, for example. This allowed us to implement many additional interesting ideas in ANNO.