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:
Recent:
Mixed (14 reviews) - 50% of the 14 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Mostly Positive (373 reviews) - 73% of the 373 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Aug 15, 2014

Sign in to add this item to your wishlist, follow it, or mark it as not interested

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. 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, 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).”
Read more

Buy Clockwork Empires

 

Recent updates View all (88)

August 26

CLOCKWORK EMPIRES BETA 54: "YES, INSPECTOR"



Beta Build 54 of Clockwork Empires, "Yes, Inspector", is now available on Steam!

MAJOR PLAYER-FACING CHANGES:

  • added a new Mine system
  • improved Naturalist’s Office
  • improved Public House
  • added a Training Academy
  • lights!
  • many UI improvements
  • vast & sweeping Upkeep rebalancing
  • Game Over stats
  • The Larch

FULL CHANGELOG:

Mining
  • Mining interface completely overhauled; depth now unlocks deeper strata which the player may choose from when mining. Different stratum combine with nearby resource points to result in different sets of products when mining. Deep mines may find interesting things.
  • added 3 new Mine modules: Dewatering Pump for mines, Ventilation Unit, and Steam Distributor
  • rewrote ore vein distribution
  • FIXED: button bug with mines
  • FIXED: mine output bug in deeper stratum
  • FIXED: infinite new ore veins in mine
  • FIXED: horrifying infinite loop bug when acquiring 2nd bonus ore vein in mines

Offices
  • added new office type: “Training Academy” (your overseers can learn skills here faster than normal)
  • overhauled Public House (can select booze type to serve, booze type appearance is preserved when serving, colonists can self-serve, pub given larger effect on memories/QoL)
  • Naturalists now can be set to various modes including: Scouting, Hunting, Mineral Surveying
  • a Scouting Naturalist can see extremely far, modified by naturalism skill
  • a Hunting Naturalist will hunt – and will attempt to find game if none is visible (only Naturalists & crew may hunt now)
  • a Mineral Surveying Naturalist surveys minerals in a normal way
  • Pubs will serve tea if they are out of everything else
  • removed Cot from Barracks
  • Naturalist’s Office given better tooltips
  • Pub: Booze Vats now required to increase Pub drink stock capacity
  • added Bureaucrat’s Desk: These can be built in the foreign office as an upgrade over Standing Desks to speed up your diplomacy point acquisition.
  • FIXED: can no longer reset research in lab with fewer points than advertised
  • FIXED: various incorrect utility caps in office jobs leading to unexpected behaviour with certain office workcrews
  • FIXED: science skill display in Laboratory
  • FIXED: header on Laboratory points filled alert
  • FIXED: various issues with Foreign Office jobs not being carried out correctly under some circumstances
  • FIXED: bug with mining techs
  • FIXED: changing research category in Laboratory could mark projects as “already researched”
  • FIXED: lab techs displayed “researched” after switching programs
  • FIXED: error in controlling skill for Foreign Office work
  • FIXED: Public House will no longer be stocked with booze you do not own
  • FIXED: “you need a barracks” warning firing when you already have a barracks

Characters
  • added unique icons to some of the new traits
  • added tech to boost quality of life for outdoor workers
  • foreigners who die inside your colony will now automatically receive burial
  • despairing colonists will cure themselves using Laudanum distributed from the Pub
  • balance: halved the maximum number of characters you can receive from a single immigration wave
  • balance: beds now restricted by character social class
  • balance: Cots and Lower Class Chairs no longer require upkeep
  • balance: killing for the first time gives a harsher emotional impact
  • balance: colonists with over 50 despair will start freaking out and cease to work until their despair is under 20 (If possible they will avail themselves of pub/chapel services to speed up recovery)
  • FIXED: friendship scripterror
  • FIXED: rare resetWeapon scripterror
  • FIXED: scripterror in “get swole” if overseer job was changed rapidly and thus anim name was lost
  • FIXED: eating fishperson pie is no longer considered cannibalism
  • FIXED: added additional check during character damage calc due to scripterror after attempt to damage deleted character
  • FIXED: a bug that was preventing colonists from getting memories sometimes
  • FIXED: unified name of all the variables for despair
  • FIXED: weird one-off script error with pathfinding not aborting correctly
  • FIXED: military morale check was backwards
  • FIXED: female armoured bandit did not have class-based anim defs leading to very rare errors that would freeze colonists in place forever under certain conditions
  • FIXED: military will no longer butcher corpses unless exceptional circumstances prevail

Economy/Workshops
  • new module: Advanced Workbench; allows creation of upkeep trunks, bricabrac, boxed modules in bulk
  • characters picking up a stack of m things from a stack of n items no longer play their animation m times; they play the animation once and pick up the entire stack, all at once
  • minor tag updates to a few commodities/foods
  • animal butchery now returns stacks of meat, like other resource-exploitation jobs
  • meat from when animals ‘butcher’ a corpse inside civilization will automatically be claimed by player
  • added The Larch (to research and then grow for a source of timber)
  • Workshop upkeep jobs are now handled by the workshop work crew, if a workshop work crew is available
  • booze commodities are now crates when not being drunk
  • balance: military modules now require upkeep
  • balance: reduced upkeep costs across the board, but especially for low end modules
  • balance: further upkeep nerfing (deal with it)
  • balance: nerfed upkeep costs EVEN MORE
  • balance: animal meat output increased
  • balance: failed upkeep now makes work take ~8x as long rather than completely shutting down workshops
  • FIXED: not saving/loading workshop module attached to a job between saves would cause production menu to occasionally not update when a job was complete
  • FIXED: commodities disappearing from stockpile when two containers are merged (again!)
  • FIXED: all instances of gathering materials for construction now require that you own said materials
  • FIXED: uncommon scripterror upon shiftchange for unfinished building when left unfinished for a very long time
  • FIXED: logic error in upkeep job creation causes building with exactly 1 upkeep cost to not perform upkeep correctly
  • FIXED: weird occasional scripterror when creating something in a workshop
  • FIXED: some module costs
  • FIXED: can no longer hit demolition many times on a building and cause errors
  • FIXED: beetles wouldn’t drop lacquer

Trade
  • if traders are already in your colony, additional traders will no longer appear until the existing traders have left
  • requesting traders via Foreign Office requires that no traders be on the map already
  • balance: traders will now always have some repair trunks and basic materials on them
  • balance: added opium to traders
  • FIXED: you can un-designate trade goods and the green outline will disappear
  • FIXED: Boxed rare paintings are now tradable
  • FIXED: traders will no longer appear w/o trade goods in their hands
  • FIXED: crash when opening trade office menu
  • FIXED: trade goods in stacks now correctly un-designate too
  • FIXED: subtle errors in Foreign Office to do with missions that involve requesting traders

Events
  • added a first pass at game over screen
  • added an Occult Inspector event
  • added Rogue Artist event
  • “singing terrain” event arc effect increased
  • Sunny Day now starts during the day (because it’s weird to start this at night)
  • made rogue stahlmarkian starting position more random
  • event arcs made smarter about pushing information to ticker history
  • Novorus Logging Moratorium and Stahlmark Smithing Prowess foreign office events are now tracked using the event arc system
  • balance: cultist murderer option now easier to access
  • FIXED: more instances of empty-handed traders
  • FIXED: alert for angering bandits appearing when no bandit witnessed your desecration of their foul tents
  • FIXED: bug in “Stahlmark Smithing Prowess” event where it failed to track how many iron bars you had made
  • FIXED: scripterror in rogue artist event
  • FIXED: scripterror in Rogue Stahlmarkian if rare conditions occur
  • FIXED: broken icon in alert for favour_redcoats
  • FIXED: broken fishperson job loop under certain circumstances
  • FIXED: math error in disturbance points that made them higher than intended

UI/UX
  • the building commands menu is now split into more subcategories
  • assignment beacons are now grayed out when their assignments are disabled
  • rewrote a number of building descriptions to make their usage more clear
  • foreign relation state changes now handled as FYI-style alerts
  • tooltips can now be anchored to screen position
  • added wrapped text overload constructor to cut down on illusion code lines
  • object tooltips now show how many of a thing are owned, show tags
  • character tooltips are now anchored to bottom right, and are starting to show useful information
  • upgraded some core building icons to be more visually distinct
  • camera tutorial now mentions that spacebar pauses the game
  • character tooltip info now visible in the work crew screen and the population list UI elements, because we all wanted them there in the first place
  • added Quality of Life ratings from 1 to 5 (& more info in the pipe)
  • added more functionality to the character tooltip (more to come): Will show more information about why a character is not doing something useful and what to do about it
  • Quality of Life attributes for characters are more closely attached to specific emotional states in order to make it easier to provide clear solution steps via the UI for a character’s state
  • added a little icon for whether characters are currently on-shift to the tooltip
  • population list window has been edited to show more information, the filters have been temporarily removed
  • FIXED: title of “aristocratic manor” command no longer says “A”
  • FIXED: typography on j and other characters
  • FIXED: tooltip info persists across save/load
  • FIXED: an issue where for initial pause tooltips for characters were broken
  • FIXED: Work crew panel now displays the name of a workshop/assigned zone if there is one (instead of “No Assignment”)
  • FIXED: workcrew UI for farms no longer forgets that a work crew is assigned to a farm unless they’re currently farming.
  • FIXED: some bad widget deletions causing Bad Things
  • FIXED: some memory handling issue with UI elements

Engine & Others
  • added ability to attach lights to static props (& tool support for this)
  • added lights to a number of existing modules
  • you can now build lampposts
  • horror corpses can now be destroyed by damage
  • steppe biome now uses lower hill generator
  • added more terrain softening between alpine clearing and temperate swamp
  • added new acceleration code for closest lambda queries (optimization!)
  • FIXED: combat music cues should only fire for combat involving your colonists
  • FIXED: depressingly complicated scene graph loading bug causing crashing on save games
  • FIXED: another, different, save game crash
  • FIXED: loading the save game you just saved causes colonists to re-appear twice in the colonists list
  • FIXED: large, complicated race condition
  • FIXED: game locks up suspending or closing a job where a job is being cancelled, but the FSM hasn’t picked it up yet
  • FIXED: weird crash loading save games where you have a beacon with an interactive object with no message receiver, and no I don’t know how this happens either but we handle it now
  • FIXED: crash when clicking on module button rapidly

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. And pictures of our pets. You know you want to see cute animals.

Let us know what you think! We may not respond to everything but we DO read everything. Feel free to discuss the update right here, over on the Steam discussion page, or on our official forums!

Always remember to cooperate with Local Purging Authorities,

-- Gaslamp Games

5 comments Read more

August 25

BETA 53C NOW ON EXPERIMENTAL BRANCH

Beta 53C of Clockwork Empires is now on the experimental branch on Steam! On a... Thursday. Hmm. This is basically a release candidate for a Full Release tomorrow, so please bludgeon it to death and send us those bug reports.

Changes:

  • meat from when animals 'butcher' a corpse inside civilization will automatically be claimed by player
  • Naturalist's Office given better tooltips
  • event arcs made smarter about pushing information to ticker history
  • added Quality of Life ratings (& more info in the pipe)
  • added more functionality to the character tooltip (more to come): Will show more information about why a character is not doing something useful and what to do about it. This will be improved for the subsequent patch. Also shows some info about their Quality of Life, and this will be more quantified and clear in the next update.
  • Quality of Life attributes for characters are more closely attached to specific emotional states in order to make it easier to provide clear solution steps via the UI for a character's state.
  • added a little icon for whether characters are currently on-shift to the tooltip
  • character tooltip info now visible in the work crew screen and the population list UI elements, because we all wanted them there in the first place.
  • population list window has been edited to show more information, the filters have been temporarily removed (but will likely be back once we have some more testing of the default state).
  • added Bureaucrat's Desk: These can be built in the foreign office as an upgrade over Standing Desks to speed up your diplomacy point acquisition.
    Novorus Logging Moratorium and Stahlmark Smithing Prowess foreign office
  • events are now tracked using the event arc system
  • added new acceleration code for closest lambda queries (optimization!)
  • added more terrain softening between alpine clearing and temperate swamp
  • balance: cultist murderer option now easier to access
  • balance: halved the maximum number of characters you can receive from a single immigration wave
  • balance: failed upkeep now makes work take ~8x as long rather than completely shutting down workshops
  • FIXED: workcrew UI for farms no longer forgets that a work crew is assigned to a farm unless they're currently farming.
  • FIXED: some bad widget deletions causing Bad Things.
  • FIXED: military morale check was backwards
  • FIXED: crash when clicking on module button rapidly
  • FIXED: some memory handling issue with UI elements
  • FIXED: some module costs
  • FIXED: horrifying infinite loop bug when acquiring 2nd bonus ore vein in mines
  • FIXED: scripterror in rogue artist event
  • FIXED: female armoured bandit did not have class-based anim defs leading to very rare errors that would freeze colonists in place forever under certain conditions
  • FIXED: scripterror in Rogue Stahlmarkian if rare conditions occur
  • FIXED: can no longer hit demolition many times on a building and cause errors
  • FIXED (53B): skill values (with strong practical applications to Laboratory)
  • FIXED: stacks not un-trade designating
  • FIXED: subtle errors in Foreign Office to do with missions that involve requesting traders
  • FIXED: beetles wouldn't drop lacquer
  • FIXED: broken icon in alert for favour_redcoats
  • FIXED: broken fishperson job loop under certain circumstances
  • FIXED: math error in disturbance points that made them higher than intended
  • FIXED: military won't butcher corpses unless exceptional circumstances prevail

-- Gaslamp Games

1 comments Read more
See all discussions

Report bugs and leave feedback for this game on the discussion boards

Reviews

“Victorian Steampunk at its finest”
GameRanx

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

“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!

Features
  • 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

Windows
Mac OS X
    Minimum:
    • 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
    • Storage: 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.
    Recommended:
    • 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
    • Storage: 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.
    Minimum:
    • 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.
    Recommended:
    • 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!
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Recent:
Mixed (14 reviews)
Overall:
Mostly Positive (373 reviews)
Recently Posted
Joshy
30.3 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: August 27
really good game dose still have its moints were it will crash or you will load a game and parts will be there but will not show on map end of day is good fun and can kill some time,
Helpful? Yes No Funny
ExplorerRowan
0.8 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: August 24
Mac version still SUPER buggy and unstable. Not recommended it you're planning to play on Mac.

It's still in Early Access, and I like the premise of this game, so I will happily update if this improves.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Night-Sky
53.6 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: August 22
love it.. in overal its a great game.. it got more depth and story then any other games of this kind i know :)

i dunno where the bugs are.. besides the ones crawling on the ground destroying crops !!

what i did found that it is hard.. i always get over run by some aliens or fish ppl aafter 1,5 hr playing.

so im hoping for a sandbox option :D


Helpful? Yes No Funny
G.dot
46.6 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: August 20
Good game, getting better and better slowly as things progress.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
dominic.saltarelli
43.5 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: August 19
Had promise, now it's in a death spiral. The developers have incorporated an unkeep mechanic into the game such that one has to continually produce a series of 'repair trunks' and then make sure enough overseers are available to perform building maintenance using these trunks. This particular mechanic simply does not mesh with all of the other aspects of the game and throws a wrench into the entire operation. The sad part is that the developers are clearly devoted to maintaining this aspect for some reason, and as such are going to sabatoge the entire game with it.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Zap Rowsdower
8.0 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: August 19
Just not a fun game. Very boring and slow paced and I love games in this genre.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Dan the Conquerer
38.9 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: August 15
ok this game has promise BUT currently as it is there does not seem to be any point to it, resources dont allow you to develop anything, and the trading does not let you pick up resource you are sorely missing. The population cap stops you from doing anything significant to try and grow your colony and the fact you can NEVER EVER feed who you have ensures failure. Currently the game consistantly crashes, but that is the least of my problems with it the biggest issue being that you get the feeling the developers have no idea what they want the game to be. A further indicator is the lack of current updates which gives me the feeling even the devs have given up on it.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Cibron
59.8 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: August 14
Same style as evil genius / dungeon keeper. Still lacks the final polish but this is definitely a good game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
DeadAnt
7.7 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: August 12
Not quite sure what they are trying to make here. The building and worker controls are VERY confusing. There seems to be no way to directly control your people? You have "supervisors" and they command workers under them? You gather resources, build things and get attacked by fish people. I've tried playing it twice now and didn't enjoy it.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Mahtamori
146.3 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: July 29
I've had this game in my library for 2 years now and have spent hours in the hundreds on it so far and... it's starting to have actual gameplay! It's always been funny and engaging (especially the patch note quips on Twitter), but now it's starting to be challenging from gameplay rather than bugs.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
10 of 15 people (67%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
38.9 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: August 15
ok this game has promise BUT currently as it is there does not seem to be any point to it, resources dont allow you to develop anything, and the trading does not let you pick up resource you are sorely missing. The population cap stops you from doing anything significant to try and grow your colony and the fact you can NEVER EVER feed who you have ensures failure. Currently the game consistantly crashes, but that is the least of my problems with it the biggest issue being that you get the feeling the developers have no idea what they want the game to be. A further indicator is the lack of current updates which gives me the feeling even the devs have given up on it.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
5 of 8 people (63%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
43.5 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: August 19
Had promise, now it's in a death spiral. The developers have incorporated an unkeep mechanic into the game such that one has to continually produce a series of 'repair trunks' and then make sure enough overseers are available to perform building maintenance using these trunks. This particular mechanic simply does not mesh with all of the other aspects of the game and throws a wrench into the entire operation. The sad part is that the developers are clearly devoted to maintaining this aspect for some reason, and as such are going to sabatoge the entire game with it.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
248 of 288 people (86%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
128.3 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: August 15, 2014
*edit* January 2015: So I first wrote this way back in August 2014. I've stuck with the game, and it's development has interested me enough to hold my attention to the present day, January 2015. I've even gone and made a bunch of YouTube videos, which I'll link - those should give interested parties a good idea what actual gameplay is like.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-txpuYpTUyo

August 2014: My Hours Played don't reflect my actual play time; I've been loading this game directly from the .exe (which is a thing you can do, and which more Steam games ought to do, I'm looking at you, Skyrim). Also, sessions that crash apparently don't get added to your Hours Played. Expect crashes, this thing isn't even in Beta.

*edit* Apparently they do count!

This Early Access offering is a good example of the way Early Access should be done - the game itself is only nominally functional - there is currently no save function, for instance, there are still many bugs and crashes, and the interface is undergoing constant revision. Many planned features have yet to be implemented, and the game itself could stand some optimization.

*edit* I'm testing the 'internaltest-' build which has, among other things, a save function. It crashes more than it saves, but still.

The value of an Early Access game is the opportunity to participate in feedback that will shape the direction of the game. Submit suggestions, tweaks, typos, bugs and playability experiences to the Devs. They've shown themselves to be very responsive, and actively solicit player feedback (on the Gaslamp Games forums), and the whole development process has been the model of transparency, with weekly Dev Blog updates and a Twitter presence.

Clockwork Empires has a lovely aesthetic, and great potential, but it's nowhere near finished. Wait for full release (projected to be ~9 months) if you want it feature-complete and polished. I'm in it because the Development Blogs are great, the Devs are active, and I enjoy contributing my 2 cents worth.

This is a game on the same shelf as Dwarf Fortress, Gnomoria, Spacebase DF-9, et al. It's a city builder sim; there's no direct control of your citizens, who you direct largely by creating jobs and juggling priorities. The setting is a sort Victorian-era English colony; your soldiers wear red coats and wield muskets, your menfolk sport glorious handlebar moustaches, and your colonists (literally) gossip about things like the Monarchy. It's brass, elbow grease, laudanum, dodos, and cabbages everywhere. You already know if this stuff appeals to you or not.

Also appearing: fishmen, dark cults, insanity and ritual murder. Still in the works, tentacled horrors, secret geometry, and Lovecraftian modules for your Lumber Mill (!).

If you do get this game, get involved in the Dev side or you're missing a great opportunity; check out the blogs, read the forums, share hilarious stories about mass starvation and game-breaking bugs.

p.s. I forgot to mention cannibalism. Cannibalism is always hilarious. I don't know if fishmen count as cannibalism, but I'm pretty sure your fellow colonists do.

p.p.s Read the system requirements.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
85 of 88 people (97%) found this review helpful
28 people found this review funny
Recommended
561.5 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: January 19
At 439 hours played I have to say that this is my favourite game on steam. I just love it. Yep it is not finished. Yep major bits are not yet working, yep there is still quite a way to go.

But it is funny, charming and bonkers. It has lovely animations and background flavour text, cubes of flesh and sausages. I am 51 and should really be getting on with my life but keep clicking the damn play button even though I have seen everything in the game many times. Some eldritch facination keeps drawing me in like a dumb cultist to some sleeping horror bemeath the waves. I have watched the game grow from something that barely works at all to something that sometimes works a bit.

But beware my review as I thought Towns was really good.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
87 of 104 people (84%) found this review helpful
Recommended
77.8 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: August 17, 2014
UPDATED REV 42E: The Devs have been focusing on bug fixing and mainly changes within the User Interface and Farming area of the game. The U.I has had an overhaul in terms of the character selection menu and information panels. They tell you more about each character, their mood, emotion and progress towards desires. Each character's current effects now show bars as to how it affects their mood within these panels.

The Farming and Kitchen has been addressed in a sense that instead of mass lists of recipes, the vast majority of standard food you can find, gain from hunting and farming has been condensed into a simple "Make food" job where the colonists will use any standard type of food they can find. I much prefer this because it is at the end of the day what you order anyway, all food you can.

Militarily, the barracks function and NCO has been fixed so they now properly train into Regular troops from militia.

Overall, not a bad update at all however as I have previously stated, the game is very much playable and more of the game "content" in that regard, new items, clothing etc, should be coming in the near future because it would seem most systems are now functioning as intended and have been fixed.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
UPDATED REV 41D: Constantly changing and evolving, CE is more stable than ever. So many changes in the latest builds from REV 38. The majority of issues have been addressed to the state that you can pretty much play for however long you like. Once you start getting larger populations however you may still encounter the odd bug or issue. On that note the Devs are reaching what I call the last loose ends. Fixing the remaining issues that people encounter and adding in the systems left.

The UI has been updated massively and there are various new systems in place such as the events which are now much more refined. There is a starting property ownership system in place which is going to be built on to eventually include owning clothing, various objects and so on. The workshops have been overhauled and recently just added in is the new Military Barracks which replaces the old system of training. You assign a Military Officer or Militia NCO to the Barracks and he/she will start to train troops into Regulars.

The favour system has also been recently amended. For example you can now recieve a prisoner work group which will assist your colony doing various tasks for 3 days. Many now have a time frame. The squad of Regulars led by an NCO also assist for 3 days (or is it 5?) for example.

All in all a lot has changed to list, including minor changes but the game has made substancial progress certainly.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

UPDATED REV38 : So much has changed since my last update. This is now Clockwork Empires in the Official stable gameplay stage now. You can play without any major issues, no crashes or that. They have added removal of buildings, planning changes, new User Interface elements and refined Combat mechanisms and A.I for colonists and elements alike. If you were following this previously, then now is a pretty good time to join in the fun and development of Clockwork Empires.

The team is constanly updating it, each update bringing much better features and now that all the bug bashing has really been done, it is content that is being brought in. Cults have been revamped, basic diplomacy is now functioning with minor factions like bandits and so on bringing all sorts of events that your decisions can affect your colony and how long it survives. Far too much to list but the future of CE is very bright indeed!

UPDATED: REV33: By far the best update that has been implemented. Now with complete re-designed mechanics and Graphics, the game runs certainly, much smoother and MAC support is now in the works with basic features working. The game has came a long way from the past 2 builds and with new features such as bandits, new animals, refined combat and economics and UI the game is definitely coming together. Again I would still be waiting a couple more before buying but in terms of my level of "playablility", that stage has almost been reached.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Original Review:

While this is Early Access.......very very early. I have to say that this game has huge potential. The developers are keen and very open and the game itself is the perfect management game for those who loved traditional city builder games crossed with a bit more things to do such as combat, defence etc.

It is based during the Colonial-Early Industrial period and already the developers have nice features set out. The game itself does have a sense of humor thrown in and the like such as having to fight off Fish people and all sorts of creatures. In future they plan to add bandits and all manners of factions and allow you to ally, trade and conduct diplomacy for your newly starting colony. There is also a map set out what looks like it will be a sort of campaign style base in which you choose where you would like to set out your next adventure for the Empire and start to form new colonies.

The artstyle in my view fits perfectly along with the current mechanics which are currently implemented it really does look and function well. If you play it you will see just exactly what this game could offer in the near future and even now.

The game is one of a kind and unique in so many ways. If you don't mind investing in such games then by all means take it into account but if you want a finished product then you will have to wait. I would say another month or so and this game will get better and better......hopefully :) It really is up to yourself but I can say this certainly. If you decide to invest your money in this EA game.
You will not loose out. The Devs are like PA Devs in that sense but even better. They are constanly interacting with community to fix things, release experimental build updates pretty much from 2 days-1 week. Really are making significant progress and fast.

EDIT: And I was correct when i said a month or 2. Saves are practically on the table with loading now as are basic defences. Many fixes and performance improvements to allow smooth running of the game and ruled out majority of crashes. Now they can finally give it a few weeks, start working on the games mechanics and content more rather than bug fixing. For now anyway :D

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

On that note: The team plan to adopt a monthly update schedule which will release major build updates to the public. If you would like to assist in testing or just mess around with it early then they have an opt in "experimental branch" which as it suggests is "experimental" but enough to keep you playing. I can see the team relating to Prison Architect in that sense as they always keep the community interested and up to date and these guys are constantly fixing and addressing issues with their game so very active :D

As I am constanly testing the Experimental builds which are updated regularly with new things to check out and suggest, I will be updating this throughout each build, or when I can :)
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
62 of 73 people (85%) found this review helpful
Recommended
16.2 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: April 7, 2015
As a fan of games that allow the player to start a civilization from a small group of people, it felt like a no-brainer to keep an eye on Clockwork Empires, and when I was given the opportunity to review it, I gladly accepted the challenge.

Without any further delay, I present to you my review of Clockwork Empires.

Gameplay
From the moment you start the game, you'll know that something is being done right. From the well-designed menu, to its enjoyable graphics, Clockwork Empires is a gem in the making. Your job is to start a colony, and to do so, you're given a certain amount of colonists and some materials.
The wonderfully written tutorials will also provide you the necessary knowledge to build according to your colony’s needs. While building, you'll also have to keep your colonists happy and well fed, as well as safe from all hostile units, such as the dreadful fishpeople.
The graphics are really enjoyable, and the scaling used on certain objects/units will certainly create a laugh or two.
To accompany all of the above, some nice music is put to good use, leaving the player relaxed and ready to build a new empire. Or get his whole colony destroyed by the fishpeople.

Pros
  • Excellent tutorial, with some humor to it;
  • Wide variety of materials;
  • Groovy graphics;
  • Enjoyable soundtrack;
  • Well designed crew micromanagement;
  • Large maps with plenty of resources;
  • Detailed tabs with resources available, current jobs/actions being performed, and even an event log.

I've decided to add a "Neutral" category, as they aren't gamebreakers, but could improve the gameplay if polished.

Neutral
  • Sudden change of background music can sometimes be annoying;
  • Could use a couple more tooltips, mostly to tell the player where to get whatever is missing in the city;
  • Once in-game, the only way to go back to the main menu is by closing the game and restarting it;
  • Could use a delete option on the saved games, considering the files are somewhat big and you can't overwrite them;
  • The characters don't stop moving when you pause the game;
  • The AI could be improved, since characters don't stop moving while hauling/exploring, even if they're being attacked, and they also seem to choose a random table/place to go drop something.

Keep in mind the game is still in Early Access (EA), and the "Cons" mentioned below will, certainly, be tweaked and/or polished as the game gets more and more updates.

Cons
  • Excessive amount of hostile units from the very start, although sometimes it's bearable;
  • Lack of "Game Speed" function makes the game boring at times;
  • Inability to remove/cancel pretty much everything.

Verdict
I'd give it a 7/10 Considering its EA status and it has an active development team, the game is bursting with life, and you can expect it to be a lot more polished by the time it gets its full release.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
70 of 89 people (79%) found this review helpful
Recommended
37.6 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: August 15, 2014
The world's finest cabbage farming simulator.

I'll say up front that at this time (8/15/14) it is still rather bare as a game and there are still engine bugs to be worked out. If you are wanting a polished full featured game hold off on buying this. However I've been involved since closed testing and have seen wonderful improvements and the foundation laid for many exciting game features over the last several months. The developers are passionate, experienced, and active in the community. Getting in now will let you help shape this fabulous game, and of course let you enjoy it now.

Many games hype what they hope they will be and have to scale back often leaving fans disappointed and skeptical about any games previews. Gaslamp Games have been hyping what already exists in Clockwork Empires. Many of the features are rough around the edges and a number are not included in the current public build (8/15/14) because they are not yet ready for prime time but they do exist. The talk of colonists having personalities and memories isn't smoke and mirrors. Once all the pieces are polished and come together Clockwork Empires will delight and horrify you.

It is a gem, rough and unpolished now but full of promise. And the developers release rapidly and responsively so you will not be waiting months for news. One week in closed tested we had 7 days that saw three full new versions (with significant changes) as features came together and they responded to tester feedback. While that was a very busy week they have a track record of consistent and fast updates.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
79 of 106 people (75%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
37.1 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: May 22
Alright Iv thrown about 30 hours in now over a few weeks and I think I can give a fair opinion on it.. the game is alright, it has the essential qualities it needs to be this style of sandboxy-sim buildy-strategy game but it has a few big issues,

1 : the game has no grapics settings or ways to modify the settings without knowledge of manipulating the games hidden files and documents,

2: the tutorial is borderline worthless (((The new tutorial is better but I (since I know how to play) can't get a feel for how much more useful it is but it is at least improved on the original)))

3: The game is quite buggy

4: Removed. **Crashing has been made more stable and one of the causes of crashes, the trade office, has been fixed so I have removed the complaint of instability**

5: The game comes with alot of issues of game design, flattening terrain is essential but is so slow and time consuming that you'll be stunted and possible lose the game because of it, enemies are very tough and as of the current patch you cant equip new weapons, so invasion forces, bandits.. fish-people attacks, they will face you using basic pistols and likely wreck you because of it, production lines are slow and not well explained, leading to wasted resources or a lack of basic items needed to collect more basic items (stone.. where are you in my hour of need? )

6 (the big one) : the price.. now they have added a price cut for the duration of the beta-branch being launched but I paid full price for the early access version (which I am fine with) but the price is still far too high in my opinion for something that was in alpha, when its finished I can say the price would be reasonable but as it stands with the issues above, I can't reccomend it.


TL/DR The game has the basics down, has the heart and soul of a good game and has a Dev team commited to making it better but right now, the price, the issues listed and the over all feel of the game.. as much as I badly want it to finish, to work out and be great, I couldn't recommend it to a friend for fear they'd be wasting their money... as it stands, I can't recommend it right -now- but I will be editing this review over the coming weeks and hoping my opinion changes.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
37 of 42 people (88%) found this review helpful
7 people found this review funny
Recommended
111.6 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: March 1, 2015
A game that puts you in charge of establishing a colony for a steampunk British Empire in a world full of Lovecraftian horrors? Despite my first thought of "Mwahahaha! Thank you, Great Cthulhu! Take my money!," I decided to show a little restraint and kept an eye on Clockwork Empires for a while before making another Early Access impulse buy. At $30.00 I found it rather pricey for an Early Access game as other reviews have commented, but I finally decided to give it a try. Clockwork Empires is still very much a work in progress, it's features a mix of the impressively well done (production chains function far more smoothly than in games from bigger developers, yes, Tropico franchise, I'm looking at you) and desperatly in need of attention (the Load function appears to be a placeholder and it's just plain ugly). One thing I found particularly interesting is the colonists personality traits and observing how they influence behavior. Those with the "Morbid" trait, for example, seem more likely to eat "Long Pork" (it's people, yes, your colonitsts can engage in cannibalism) even if there is other food available. Based on the regular update history and developer responsiveness in the forums, I believe that this game will get finished - although it may take some time given the features that haven't been implemented yet - and when it does it will be a great game. It is most definatley playable in it's current state, which I'd estimate at about 40% if the developer ultimately implements all the features they've hinted at. A lot of the other 60% is going to be polish. If you're interested and can afford it, I'd go make the $30.00 investment in supporting developement. The game as it stands is already capable of providing hours of delightfully twisted fun, but then again I'm the kind of person who laughts while I watch the local wildlife maul my colonists.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
42 of 51 people (82%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
8.1 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: May 22
I purchased Clockwork Empires back in July of 2014 on their website for $30 and I got a steam key too. I knew that the game was nowhere near finished, but I was excited to try it anyways. After all their previous creation, Dungeons of Dredmor, was a pretty decent game -- so I had faith that they'd do a reasonable job on this one. A cozy Steampunk-Themed Citybuilder/Survival game with Dwarf Fortress inspirations, that's right up my alley! However the game was absolutely riddled with problems, and I don't mean glitches/crashes/bugs (which it had hundreds of), I mean core, fundamental problems. The interface is extremely clunky and nothing felt intuitive. No hotkeys for building modules or foundations, no quality of life features. The camera moves at a snails pace vertically, but warp-speed horizontally. Escape and Right-Click never act as you expect them to in a city-builder-esque game. Guess what the module-rotation hotkey is (Hint: It's not R). Guess what the foundation cancel hotkey is (Hint: It's not Escape).

Micromanagement of your colonists is fairly tedious too. These people somehow lived full lives without your help, but now without your orders they will literally stand around until they go insane from hunger and eat each other. They won't even try to go hunt wild animals for food without your precise guidance. Colonists work in crews, under an overseer, which is sort of a higher class citizen than your generic worker. You need to make sure your workers don't bite off more than they can chew in terms of jobs by isolating what each work crew is allowed to do. For instance, you want to make sure they don't cut down 50 trees and run out of food while they do it; you want them to only chop down a few trees and then immediately put that lumber to use. Otherwise you'll have a giant stockpile of lumber and no food. ( I guess you could theorhetically use it to make coffins for all your soon-to-be-dead colonists? )

Overseers randomly pick a task for his crew to do, based on what he's allowed to do, but you can't tell an overseer "I need you to do exactly this". He'll just arbitrarily pick something to do, which is why you must constantly manage what jobs are available to make sure they don't overdo one job and ignore another (like cutting down 50 trees). If work crews are stationed in a particular building, they will only do jobs associated with that one building... and if there are not enough jobs in that building and too many workers, you'll have a lot of idle time. This is honestly just the tip of the iceberg. For better or for worse, Clockwork Empires has a lot of depth when it comes to managing your men.

In a game like this, there's two ways to do it properly. Option A: allow you to control every little aspect as much as you'd like. Give direct orders: move here, do that, build this, kill that. Micromanage each individual exactly how you please and they will obey commands like a robot. Or, Option B: focus on macromanagement. You're like the Queen Ant and you tell the workers what do. I want a house here, a farm there, and I want these trees chopped. Well unfortunately Clockwork Empires doesn't operate like either of these, instead it's more like Option C: manage an insane asylum of murderous cannibals.

Well it's been about 2 years since then. Here's the part where I tell you "but all of that is all fixed now, and the game is great!", right?

Actually, everything I wrote in those paragraphs above still applies today. It's a bit better now, but still riddled with fundamental issues. I actually just played right before writing this review and the game crashed on me. Sure, the game has more features and things to build (I think), sure it's a little more polished around the edges, and dozens of game-breaking bugs have been fixed... but the game is still cumbersome and unintuitive at it's core. It still crashes (A lot). The game still doesn't have hotkeys for buildings or modules, which are extremely important. Why are they putting this off for so long? The game would be a lot more playable if it had proper controls, I think that goes without saying! The config.xml file allows you to change the few hotkeys that do exist, but when I tried to change WASD to arrow keys, they didn't work at all. (The developers said they're working on fixing this keybinding problem, but it's been 2 years since I mentioned it so... who knows).

Another issue, and this one really worries me, is that the game takes a very long time to save and load. For a game that crashes non-stop, you really want to auto-save every couple of minutes, but because saves take a long time to complete... it's quite a dilemma. To make matters worse, you cannot select how often the game auto-saves (I checked the config.xml file to be sure, there's no option for auto-save interval), I think it's like 10 or 15 minutes by default, not sure... but losing even 10 minutes in a game like this makes you want to quit entirely. Since auto-saves are essentially a pop-up window with no warning, it's very easy to accidentally crash the game by trying to do something while the game saves. I've learned to take my hands off the keyboard and mouse entirely whenever I see the save window appear. Maybe I'm just being impatient, but I feel that optimizing save times should be a priority for the development team right now.

The last thing I'll mention briefly are the games visuals, sound and overall theme. They're fantastic. This game has a lot of style and you can really see that they had a clear artistic vision when creating this game.

So, ultimately, is Clockwork Empires worth buying? Maybe some day, but not right now, and not anytime in the near future. Time cures all wounds, so I'm sure that if the developers keep at it this will be a fantastic game one day... but it's also possible that they will grow weary of the project and try to get it as bug-free as possible, then move onto something else. A lot of these issues I've described seem to be issues with it's foundation, problems with the way the game's code was written, and might not ever be able to be fixed. That worries me, mostly because I WANT Clockwork Empires to be an incredible game, because I love these type of city-builder/resource-manager/survival-horror/dwarf fortress-style games.

Rating: N/A, game needs a lot of work
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny