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 (244 reviews) - 72% of the 244 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 (41)

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!

12 comments Read more

September 11


A new Alpha of Clockwork Empires appears on the experimental branch on Steam. (This includes a new Mac build! We have beaten Steve Jobs' howling ghost back to the infernal cave where he lingers, dormant, until the next iPhone is released.)


game now remembers the game window location on restart
made a bunch of character info panel changes to expose more of the character state
character window: emotions and madness now shown on a scale
character window: mousing over a memory will show information about how that memory affects the character's state
character window: memories now shown with more detail, image fades as they are forgotten
(character window: lots to go still with this, but it's functional enough to push it to experimental)
colonists who are happy or drunk will occasionally dance
deer will now appear in the New Antipodia biome
colonists will generally be made happier by the presence of local military in the colony.
added new "Quick-start" loadout
added new "Basic Food" recipe to kitchens that merges stew, meat, and many other recipes into a single button
removed recipes now made extraneous by Basic Food
crops will now reach their "mature" model one stage earlier, so you can actually see it for a bit
crops will let out a sparkle when harvestable
scholar Praise Event will now show how much prestige you earned
colonists Denounce Bandit Cowardice event now has an additional possible response
upper class immigrants have been removed from regular immigration.
upper class immigrants will now emigrate at a rate of 1 per available upper class house.
prisoner overseers will now be identified as such
fixed grammar and typos in several events
fixed prestige cost for food favour
added new desire: "Kill some wild game"
added progress bars to workshop jobs
reduced madness from being attacked by fishpeople
added Fishperson dissection job for Naturalists
added Fishy Look Report
"Clear Stump" and "Clear Sapling" jobs are now part of "Clear Terrain"
gravestones are now randomized
prisoners given hats
added Fishpeople Organs
madness overhaul & rebalance performed (rather in-progress)
soldiers will now stow rather than drop their weapons to train
added holy book to some Vicar animations
hunting will no longer display character combat info panel
split buildings into "workshops", "offices" and "housing"; added support for subcategories to the module placer.
split military operations into commands and constructions
a great deal of office code was written to procedurally define offices, and their UI elements
added "office jobs" that will be done by the office crew assigned to an office
added office job UI display widget for chapels
supplicants will now show up looking for preaching if a chair is available for them to sit in at the church
supplicants will also look for confessions if a vicar is around to hear them (confession mechanism currently uses the Cult Deprogramming code.)
balance: removed 21-person start. Because it was just way too good.
balance: throttled back beginning time & strength various attack events (bandits, fishpeople, foreigners)
balance: Tweaked costs of several modules
balance: graveyards now pack in graves a little more efficiently
balance: increased starting exploration radius
FIXED: colonists should no longer get memories for killing vermin
FIXED: foreign troops will proper interrupt going to mission goals to fight enemies (or friends, if they're hostile)
FIXED: saskatoonberries & lingonberries counted as same item in commodities screen
FIXED: colonists will no longer attempt to interact in various ways with fishpeople meat as if it were a fishperson
FIXED: miners mining in mineshafts will no long leave a floating pickaxe by the door
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: all factions will now properly update their UI description string to reflect whether you're shooting them or not
FIXED: Bandits will now fight back when attacked by rampaging Aurochs
FIXED: The Fleshcube is now a valid ingredient
FIXED: Foreigners won't die again from splash damage after already dead
FIXED: characters hunting an animal will attack it until it is killed rather than taking just one shot
FIXED: ranged attack would always send out a gunshot alert to sleeping characters upon completion even if a gun wasn't fired
FIXED: building name change spam when mad & overseer switched (but needs to be tested; can't 'til madness works again)
FIXED: Ominous Dreams event was never firing
FIXED: Broken memory icon for recruited bandits
FIXED: fishperson assault crisis scripterror
FIXED: added bounds checking for corePooledList (and warning messages instructing anybody encountering out of bounds list reads to e-mail us)
FIXED: optimized stockpile code when you have a lot of goods that need to be stockpiled
FIXED: characters occasionally being unable to do new work after they no longer belong to a workshop
FIXED: crash setting filters or information on a deleted work party
FIXED: various issues w/ retreat jobs getting stuck
FIXED: bricks will now be stacked
FIXED: Tooltips showing the wrong name for stacks after items had been removed from them

As always, we value your feedback - either here, or on the Gaslamp Games official forums.

-- Gaslamp Games

5 comments Read more
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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
8 of 8 people (100%) found this review helpful
24.7 hrs on record
Posted: September 12
Early Access Review
Fantastic little game that offers A LOT of fun for the money! The state of the game wasnt the best but constant updates make it better every week or two.

If it stays the way it is with just a bit more polish and maybe a little smarter workforce it´s already well worth the money but I am sure it will become even better with time.

I don´t give a thumbs up for many games but this one truly deserves it.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
236.9 hrs on record
Posted: September 11
Early Access Review
short version...

buy it.
by the cog, you have to buy it.

long version.
1) addictive.
2) Fun
3)is an ALPHA, i read some of the bad reviews, and to me are a nonsense, in 0.5 hours is not enough, not even to do nothing in this game 10 hours is the minimum to have an idea.
I've 186 hrs of playing and a lot of things to discover... so...

4) is an ALPHA so there's bugs (some), there's crash (yep but the autosave is working).

5) develpers are working hard, the concept is good, the game is fun, too much fun...

i mentioned is an ALPHA? But this alpha put in shame a lot of released games.

i suggest to all to stay in expermental branch, the changes are a lot from the stable.

version in my language.

Da comprare, e' peggio della nutella, non lo molli piu!

E' in alpha quindi da aspettarsi bug di ogni tipo (nemmeno molti a dire il vero), crash (quelli si ma c'e' l'autosave), detto fra noi e' meglio sta alpha che molti giochi rilasciati....

Gli sviluppatori ci stanno dietro per bene, e ogni release porta una qualche novita' interessante.
Ad ora e' veramente divertente.

Superate le 20 persone diventa complesso gestire decentemente tutto, e iniziano i guai, come se non bastasse la fame, le strane creature, i banditi.... i mostri...
a 100 persone e' delirio.

una pecca e' la musica di fondo un po' tanto noiosa, e i suoni ma conto vengano migliorati man mano.
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1 of 1 people (100%) 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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109 of 175 people (62%) 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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65 of 110 people (59%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
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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