“… we tried to get this ‘once upon a time’ feeling… “
Set in the 19th century during the industrial revolution, Anno 1800 gives players the opportunity to build their empire in whatever way they see fit.
“The Anno series is a typical building-strategy game,” said Dirk Reigert, Anno 1800′s senior creative director. “Emotion is something that is not really connected that much to the core game principles, so that’s why we feel it’s super important to orchestrate the emotions of the player and the music is a very good tool for that.”
Lead composer Tilman Sillescu spoke about creating a certain kind of mood for the soundtrack while finding a balance between a film-like score and sense of history.
“For Anno 1800, we tried to get this ‘once upon a time’ feeling a little bit, so we tried to find a good mixture between film music and historical structures of music,” Sillescu said.
The developers also made use of the game’s diegetic sounds to help complement the soundtrack and atmosphere. For example, the percussive sounds of machinery creates a clockwork feeling, which ultimately signifies a sense of time passing by.
There are different settlements that can be developed in Anno 1800 and depending on the continent, the game’s music serves to accentuate the characteristics of that locale.
“For the South American compositions we tried to build in folkloristic elements like [the] bandoneon and South American guitars,” Sillescu explained. “And for the European settings, we related more to the European western classical compositions of the last century.”
Development studio Ubisoft Blue Byte enlisted the help of symphony orchestra Brandenburgische Staatsorchester Frankfurt and conductor Bernd Ruf to score the game, preferring live musicians over sample-based compositions.
Fans looking to purchase the game’s soundtrack on physical media can buy it on vinyl from Black Screen Records.
This double-vinyl release is limited to 1,800 copies and comes with a download code for the digital soundtrack which includes an additional 25 tracks.
Anno 1800 is available now for PC through Ubisoft Uplay and the Epic Games Store.