Take on the role of a Junior Bureaucrat (Colonial Grade), sent forth to seek fame, promotions, and natural resources to feed the ravenous maw of Imperial Industry & Commerce. History is yours to seize for fame and fortune, for Science, and for the Queen and the glory of the Clockwork Empires!
User reviews: Mostly Positive (247 reviews) - 72% of the 247 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Aug 15, 2014

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Early Access Game

Get instant access and start playing; get involved with this game as it develops.

Note: This Early Access game is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if the game progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

Why Early Access?

“Early Access is the single most influential tool we can find to receive feedback to improve the game. We've had tremendous success with doing this on smaller scales in the past with Dungeons of Dredmor, but with a larger game, especially a sandbox simulation game, more testing is dramatically more valuable. Early Access will make Clockwork Empires the best game we can possibly make it.

The benefits of Early Access for the players are, of course, early access to the game, and the ability to not only watch the game take shape but to help us shape it with suggestions on how we can improve systems, and be able to log in every month and see notable content additions and systems improvements inspired by your feedback.”

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?

“We have a list of features to complete which we've discussed in detail on our Clockwork Empires: Development Progress site. We'll release the game when these features are done. Current estimate for their completion is about 9 months, but the most important thing for us is that the features we've discussed and wanted to include in the project make it in.

We also provide weekly development progress updates with changlogs on the Gaslamp Games blog and through the Gaslamp Games mailing list.”

How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?

This our giant Development Progress Report page (as mentioned) which we shall keep updated with each major public release of Clockwork Empires.

In terms of how the full version will differ from the current version:

The full version of Clockwork Empires will have more monsters, more character interactions, more vehicles, more events, a much improved user interface (based on feedback), more biome diversity, multiplayer, and ... of course, we will be improving game performance and resolving any crash bugs that are found as we go. (If anyone sees any crashing, please report it to Gaslamp Games for immediate Purging).”

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“Upon loading the game, the player is set to the task of building a thriving colony out of a pile of supplies and handful of characters. Making sure they don't starve and aren't killed by monsters are the most important considerations. Your military will shoot monsters if given access to weaponry, and your non-military characters will get to work building houses and workshops, and tilling farms as the player gives them orders to do so.

If you haven't read the giant Development Progress Report page (which we shall keep updated with each major public release of Clockwork Empires), then we urge you to do so.”

Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?

“No, we are not planning on changing the price. Price changes tend to be confusing for everyone.

Increasing the price upon release is contrary to the long-standing tradition of games getting cheaper as they get older. Decreasing the price upon release effectively makes people pay a premium to participate in early access. While we feel that participating should be valuable to you, we don't want to set that price as something other than what everyone would have to pay anyway.”

How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?

“The scale of community involvement is pretty heavily dependent on the size of the community.

To start, we spend time on our forums as well as right here on the Steam forums trying to answer questions directly, letting people know when we've logged bugs they find or responding to content or design suggestions. We've been doing this with our internal test group for the last few months, and with the Earliest Access players for the last month, which has benefited us a ton. At a some point, though, the community can get too big to guarantee that level of communication, at which point we might use other tools to answer questions. Reddit for direct conversations, strawpolls to gauge interest in different feature implementations, stuff like that which can help us hear everyone as effectively as possible. We're open to experimenting with this process to find out what works best, and we'll definitely listen to suggestions from players about how to better communicate with the community.

We have had a running development blog for Clockwork Empires since before we officially announced the project, and we will be keeping that up to date with our progress and changelogs for new versions. We will also keep our Clockwork Empires Development Progress report up to date with our monthly releases. People who want more information can visit the Clockwork Empires Portal to see the latest updates on our twitter account for the game, @ClockwrkEmpires).”
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Recommended By Curators

"Clockwork Empires is a game where you to start a civilization from the ground up, with a nice tutorial, a wide variety of materials and groovy graphics."
Read the full review here.

Recent updates View all (42)

October 7


A new experimental build of Clockwork Empires has been posted to the Experimental Branch! It has things in it. These things are:

- performed more cleanup of character information panel layout & implemented some new UI art
- added "Basic Brew" recipe to breweries (will auto-brew valid ingredients)
- added some more names
- added more response options to Fishperson Vandalism event
- fishpeople made much more likely to run when hassled by military, though there's a chance they will become enraged & attack
- added Fishpeople egg collection mission & event
- if Fishpeople see humans near their eggs, they will attempt to scare them away
- colonist choosing to commit murder decision making made more sophisticated
- added Egg Collection mission for Fishpeople
- added an alert the first time someone sleeps on the ground to inform you that you should build beds
- implemented "short term memory" functionality: most recent memory will always contribute to emotional state even if less important than others
- workshop recipes can now be grayed out or hidden based on whether required modules are present in the workshop. Tooltip changes to reflect what is needed. (roll-out to other workshops in-progress)
- made fishperson crisis events slightly more willing to pile up (to avoid lost crisis events)
- night has been made lighter (so you can actually see anything)
- bandit corpse policy event can have "no answer" selected & will fire no more than once per day
- colonist corpses should no longer try to initiate burial job there are still hostiles nearby (note: if hostiles leave and come back, you've still got a problem)
- overriding auto-burial of a corpse with manual controls will make corpse will only respond to manual orders for burial/dumping from that point forward
- balance: performed significant rebalance to the values of most of the memories in the game
- balance: made small tweaks to how long it takes to cook things
- balance: changed one overseer to a labourer in all loadouts
- balance: farming made very slightly easier
- FIXED: some memory related bugs
- FIXED: people will stop trying to find closer crops to haul to stockpiles once they check their first stockpile
- FIXED: selections in the quick menu sometimes not appearing after click-drag
- FIXED: characters with renamed names using old names in some events (and other bits of game logic)
- FIXED: enormously wide tooltips for workshop names
- FIXED: draw building shadow when mousing over it during the construction mode
- FIXED: dark and red portraits for characters (gamma correction)
- FIXED: people trying to shoo vermin beetles (again)
- FIXED: errors in a number of memories that caused them to display the wrong character name
- FIXED: performed overhaul of handling of all jobs that affect the corpses of all types of characters (burial, dumping, butchery, dissection, etc)
- FIXED: some desires were unfulfillable & used incorrect icons
- FIXED: corrected scripterrors in certain cases for Naturalist dissection of horror events
- FIXED: items dropped by non-colonist agents as part of mission should properly set ownership to player if dropped near your colony
- FIXED: dead and/or fleeing colonists can no longer raise objections to your policies concerning Fishpeople
- FIXED: soldiers should no longer hassle fishpeople who are already fleeing
- FIXED (43A): bread not being able to be baked
- FIXED (43A): crash when accepting bandit into colony

Please enjoy more sophisticated murder,

-- Gaslamp Games

2 comments Read more

September 16

September Update Now Live for Clockwork Empires! "The Terrible Truth"

Our September Update, "The Terrible Truth" is now on Steam! Notable changes include:

  • Added workshifts & changing light throughout the day
  • Overhauled memory, emotion, and madness
  • redid character info UI (more to go)
  • new office feature infrastructure

Lots of standout work here in the Character and Economics portions of the game, so I'll put the economics section of our full changelog here, but you should check out the full changelog below!

Economy & Logistics
  • colonists now can be assigned workshifts, and players can now force them to work overnight, which makes them very unhappy
  • stockpile logic adjustment: when a character is free to do a hauling job, they will first check all stockpiles for mismatched filter objects, removing them; then objects in the same stockpile which can be combined, combining them; then filling any empty space with an object that can fill the space which doesn't currently correspond to a stack in the stockpile space.
  • stockpiles: characters now assess the closest stockpile to them at all times
  • stockpiles: if a character can merge an incoming item with a container already in a stockpile, they will do so rather than dropping and doing it en route (as it were)
  • added new “Basic Food” recipe to kitchens that merges stew, meat, and many other recipes into a single button (and removed recipes now made extraneous by Basic Food)
  • crops will now reach their “mature” model one stage earlier so you can actually admire them for a bit
  • crops will sparkle when harvestable
  • workshops: a character will now do the next available workshop job to them at all times, rather than waiting for the current product type to complete; this also strictly obeys the workshop job order on the production list
  • added warning when burial job cannot complete due to full graveyard (a common problem)
  • balance: slowed down growth/spoilage rate of, and reduced labor required to grow, cabbages and chillies
  • FIXED: containers would forget to go back in a stockpile after being removed from a stockpile
  • FIXED: animal carcass meat output, when butchered by a player-owned colonist, is now reported as being owned by the player. (And is forbidden otherwise – player must manually ‘claim’ to have colonists stockpile the meat.)
  • FIXED: you can click directly on a mine survey point OR drag a box around it to order a survey done (also gave the job a proper icon)
  • FIXED: The Fleshcube is now a valid ingredient
  • FIXED: optimized stockpile code when you have a lot of goods that need to be stockpiled
  • FIXED: bricks will now be stacked

These and the rest of the full change log can be found over on our development blog!

The development progress page has also been updated, with exhaustive notes on the status of the project, as well as even more details on the stuff we included above. There was no cat picture this month because, well, we've run out of cats to add. We thought about getting some more just to keep it going, but we decided by committee that this was not a Smart Choice.

Feel free to discuss the update right here, over on the Steam discussion page, on or on our official forums!

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“Victorian Steampunk at its finest”

“I have a feeling it’s going to be something rather special”

“Clockwork Empires makes me uncomfortable”
PC World

About This Game

Take on the role of a Junior Bureaucrat (Colonial Grade), sent forth to seek fame, promotions, and natural resources to feed the ravenous maw of Imperial Industry & Commerce. Build a prosperous colony, fill it with magnificent factories worked by oppressed labourers, and harness the awesome power of steam through fearsome machines invented by determined men and women of Science! History is yours to seize for fame and fortune, for Science, and for the Queen and the glory of the Clockwork Empires!

  • Colonists are simulated with individual personalities, memories, and will be happy or miserable depending on your management.
  • Free-form building: Design your own floorplans & arrange machines, furniture, and decorations as you see fit. (Or stuff everyone into bunkhouses.)
  • Mine ore, chop trees, farm cabbage, brew beer, tin weird caviar and try to keep your people from eating one another!
  • Weird horrible things: Menacing Fishpeople, cults, cannibalism, and more await your colonists.

System Requirements

Mac OS X
    • OS: Windows 7, Operating System of The Lower Classes
    • Processor: Intel i5 Processor or Equivalent ("The Little Scrapper" model)
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA or AMD card capable of supporting OpenGL 3.2 Core or Above. INTEL HD3000 AND HD4000 GRAPHICS CARDS ARE NOT SUPPORTED.
    • DirectX: Version 9.0
    • Hard Drive: 4 GB available space
    • Sound Card: Lord Palmerstoke's Sound-Reproducing "Old-Timey" Wax Cylinder Driver
    • Additional Notes: INTEL HD3000 AND HD4000 GRAPHICS CARDS ARE NOT SUPPORTED. The Ministry for Video Game Drivers would like to remind you: true Patriots of the Empire always install their latest Graphics Card Drivers before Enjoying A Bracing Video Game, lest the Blackness Consume Us All.
    • OS: Windows 7, 64-Bit Version (By Appointment to Her Majesty)
    • Processor: Intel i7 or above, fashioned of Stout Empire Tin and Burnished of Solid Pewter
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
    • Graphics: A Big, Shiny NVIDIA or AMD Graphics Card With Lots of Fans Stuck to It. (Remember: More Fans Means More Steampunk!)
    • DirectX: Version 9.0
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Hard Drive: 8 GB available space
    • Sound Card: "His Masters' Voice" Novorusian All-Wailing Gramaphone Module and Borscht Dispensary
    • Additional Notes: The Ministry for Growth and Monitoring encourages you to buy a Really Big Monitor.
    • OS: OS X 10.9 ("Mavericks") or above
    • Processor: 2013 Generation Macbook Pro or iMac or Mac Pro
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
    • Graphics: We're still trying to figure this out. Stay tuned.
    • OS: OS X 10.... what number *is* Yosemite anyway?
    • Processor: 2014 Generation Macbook Pro or iMac or Mac Pro
    • Memory: 16 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA or AMD Integrated Graphics Parts
    • Additional Notes: Note: some GeForce cards (700m series) are currently experiencing peculiar slowdowns. We are trying to figure this out. Stay tuned!
Helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
9.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 11
Early Access Review
Can't recommend at the minute, game has potential but it's just too damn buggy to really enjoy as of yet. GLG really need to lock down what's already in game before adding more content,
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
37.4 hrs on record
Posted: September 17
Early Access Review
I have supported the game from the beggining watching it grow, watching the bugs getting ironed out, seeing and enjoying newly implemented features. So far the game is becoming amazing, from a concept to actual implementation it has come a long way. The dev team works hard and communicates in great deal with the community. So far it has the potential to be one of the greatest games I have ever played, and I play a ton of games!
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114 of 182 people (63%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
56.8 hrs on record
Posted: July 18
Early Access Review
Greetings fellow gamers

I have purchased CE around 8-10 months ago. The game offers an excellent game play idea, you are supposed to be the one that guides the lifes of your collonists, tasking them on what to do, defending from bandits, fishpersons and other foes, making friends with some of them in case you want a different approach, etc. As time passed, the content of the game has vastly improved since the day I purchased it. The idea behind it is very nice.

But, there is a big issue, an issue that most of the time, in my case all of the time in terms of playing CE, damages the usage of the game. Since the day I bought it, and until now, I have never achieved playing for more than a couple of hours until the game breaks. The only viable choice you have is to roll back a few saves, and try again. Yet very soon, your game will crash again, and the last saves will again be corrupted so you have to roll back.

I waited for time to pass, and came back after 1,2, 3 months, hoping that I can use what I have bought. The end is similar. I give up on this, waiting for the final version of the game, whenver this might be.

I highly recommend the game, but not in this phase, unless you just want to support the developers.

To be honest, I do not understand how one can purchase a broken product, and the product is still available in the shop. I understand what Early Access is, but if it costs money, you either deliver a working product with limited options, or you don't ask for money. For support, there are websites like Kickstarter.

Sorry for the bitter words, I most probably am annoyed, but I think it's understandable. I have a high end machine, system and drivers all updated because I do it regularly since I work on it, but the issues are the same. Game crashes. I don't have the time and the patience to write tickets, since I payed for something and I expect it to work.

Early Access should be all about a game with limited options, but a game that works.

EDIT: I will delete any comments that contain insults or attacks. Be polite please. Cheers

EDIT2: There is something that I really do not like. Beside the above review which stands up. I noticed posts on the forum where people like me state their negative opinions are flamed by other people, and then locked. NEGATIVE OPINIONS SHOULD STAND UP, AND FLAMERS SHOULD BE BANNED INSTEAD.

EDIT3: Way overpriced for what it offers and what other games of this size offer. At most 15 euros/usd.
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66 of 113 people (58%) found this review helpful
669.7 hrs on record
Posted: April 24
Early Access Review
This game is far, FAR from finished. While I was initially very excited about its potential, it's just not materializing. I like the concept, but attempting to actually play this game is an exercise in futility.

It will lag, it will crash. Sometimes completely, sometimes you'll get a script error that will merely disable a critical part of the game, such as your colonists ability to eat food.

Your colonists will ignore cooked food and eat the raw sitting next to it, and then be unhappy about it.

Your soldiers will decide mid-battle that now is the appropriate time for a nap and wander towards a bed while being killed the whole way there.

Your manufacturers will ignore the stockpile next to their factory and take their finished goods to the other side of the map.

Your citizens will wander into enemy territory to collect goods. This might make sense if you'd cleared that territory, or they were starving and the only food was there. For a stack of lumber when you already have 100, and 2 guys just died over there?

They'll fix a bug and then it'll regress. I can only assume they have no QA budget. If there IS someone responsible for QA, shame on you. Shame I say.
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13 of 16 people (81%) found this review helpful
38.3 hrs on record
Posted: August 6
Early Access Review
Ok, straight off let me say I really really like this game. I love the concept, love the art, just really love this game. What i don't love is the game breaking bugs and glitches, however there is great news, its in Early Access, so these will eventually get ironed out.

Now this isn't my first Early Access rodeo, I've gotten burned by some games on here, and I've found some real gems as well. This I really believe will end up being a big hit for the type of game that it is. They just need to get past the usual issues that come with developing a game. And considering the regualr updates I've seen this team roll out, I can say that this won't be one of those cut and run type titles we all have heard about or worse. So know that if you are considering investing in Clockwork Empires you won't be wasting your money.

Other than that I'm sure you have already looked at other reviews, pics and vids, and already have a good idea of what kind of game this is. What you may not have gathered is the awesome sense of humor and just the odd otherworldly attitude that this game offers. Which, if its indictive of the story, will just be awesome. Even if your not sure about purchasing it yet, put it in your wish list and keep an eye on it. I have a feeling that this will be a must have game in the near future.
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