Anno 1800 console release brings new accessibility features

Marijn / ActiveB1t2 minute read

In time for the upcoming console release of the city builder originally released in 2019, Ubisoft has shared an accessibility spotlight about Anno 1800. The spotlight details the improvements made to the game and its accessibility features. Nicolas Magnier, senior game designer at Ubisoft Mainz, talks about the challenges they faced bringing a PC game to consoles.

An understandable UI

For a game originally developed for PC this involved changes to the UI and control scheme. Changes that automatically affect accessibility. Unsurprisingly, to accommodate players sitting further away from their screens, UI elements and text needed to be larger. Aside from size, aspects such as contrast between text and backgrounds have also been improved. Settings allow players to remove italic formatting from the text, and change text to a sans-serif font to make it easier to read. The islands on the minimap are color-coded to make it easier to see and identify them.

Settings and in-game menus have been overhauled where needed. By doing this the team created a more guided experience that is less likely to overwhelm the player. Players can turn off categories of notifications if needed, making them less overwhelming.

Subtitles come with adjustable size and background, and volume is adjustable in several categories. Difficulty and speed of the game are customizable as well.

Most of the changes are specific to the console edition, while some features have been available in the PC version. The color coded minimap and improved menu structure are coming to the PC version of Anno 1800, improving its accessibility.

Staying in control

Aside from the UI, the game’s controls also needed a rework. With a lot of actions available to the player, it took work to make them work with limited inputs. Remapping of controls is available to help adjust the controls to a player’s preference or ability. The cursor is wider and allows for less precise selection to compensate for the loss of accuracy that a mouse would provide.

The console edition implements radial menus to improve navigation with a controller. Ubisoft’s accessibility team provided guidance to optimize these for clarity and ease of control. This includes options to reduce the number of items in a menu and to avoid long stick presses.

Other options allow for customizing deadzones, sensitivity, scroll speed, and vibration intensity. Players can also replace button holds with two taps, one to start an action and one to end it.

Anno 1800 will be releases on Xbox series X/S and PlayStation 5 on March 16. For the full interview and details about Anno 1800’s improvements and accessibility, read the entire accessibility spotlight!

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(ActiveB1t)Website operationsHe/They

CIPT's resident one-person IT crew responsible for the looks, functionality, and accessibility of the site. Inclusion and accessibility troublemaker and creator of the Alt Or Not browser plugin for Twitter. Child of the 80's without an intention of growing up.

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