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 (212 reviews)
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 (34)

July 31


Revision 41D has now hit the experimental build, containing a pile of tweaks and bugfixes to make your weekend just that much better. In particular, we have fixed a few persistent issues that have plagued the game for awhile, and if you see them after this please let us know ASAP.


- improved tooltips for workshops
- balance: Naturalist's office no longer requires iron plates, Laboratory uses copper plates instead of iron
- balance: overseer acquisition rate has been rebalanced based on player data
- FIXED: people getting stuck returning to civilization
- FIXED: kitchen gets stuck on an assignment
- FIXED: very small, fairly unlikely crash building buildings and then loading them afterwards
- FIXED: scripterror caused by vermin
- FIXED: dormant obeliskian hostility toggling
- FIXED: dead things very specifically can't become hostile now even if they try
- FIXED: favour redcoats won't be demoted to militia anymore
- FIXED: gabion deconstruction (and gabion deconstruction progress bar)
- FIXED: logs/bricks recovered from airshipmast & gabions now properly set to owned by player
- FIXED: planks were being calculated at 1/4 their intended economy value, slowing overseer acquisition

Enjoy your weekend (a long weekend, if you're Canadian),

-- Gaslamp Games

3 comments Read more

July 30


Revision 41C of Clockwork Empires has now been posted to the experimental branch on Steam. A reminder: since 41A and 41B were, in fact, hotfixes, they will remain in the stable branch; 41C will be posted to the experimental as it is (very) experimental. The Consolidated Changelog:

items may now be forbidden and claimed using the click-drag interface; forbidden items turn red
balance: Naturalists will prioritize player-ordered Mineralogical Surveying over player-ordered Exploration Beacons
balance: crops now output 1 item, dropped immediately to ground
farm field max dimensions doubled
stockpile max dimensions limited to 7x7 (in anticipation of stockpile mechanics improvements)
added military skill to replace "Military Training" trait (more work coming on this)
tooltips now offset to account for cursor size when set to follow the cursor
overhauled work crew window to remove unnecessary information, increase readability, oppress the lower class (in-progress)
edited faction and commodity window sizes
colonists will abort hugging more accurately
added a small pile of new desires for colonists
the "no' option will now be the first option for the "criminal goods" event
removed NCO/Overseer option from middle class immigration
ai_agent missions that target civilization will now aim closer to civilization
added "Idle Suspiciously" job for foreigners
added "mysterious figures" icon to mysterious situations
added Prisoner backgrounds
added Barracks (assign workcrew to conscript them)
added concept of training to barracks: assigned NCO will order militia soldiers to "get swole" so they become proper redcoats
assignment beacons now correctly display the work crew name and subtasks
tooltip over assignment beacon now tells you the name of the job, the work crew doing the job, and the # of tasks remaining in the job
FIXED: non-player ai agents will now correctly delete their carried weapons or items when despawned
FIXED: various issues with Bandit attacks not finding their target
FIXED: corpses thinking they weren't in the world and thus messing up burial jobs
FIXED: non-colonist ai_agents did not interrupt jobs correctly
FIXED: issues with bandits fleeing back to their camp
FIXED: bandit gang defeat scripterror
FIXED: bandit hostility state toggles for ALL bandits on the map whenever a decision is made about them
FIXED: if a tag can be filled by multiple objects with the same utility, we now pick one at random rather than just the last one. (This mainly shows up in the distribution of where people sleep, as well as other issues which hopefully won't stick in loops.)
FIXED: slowdown in work party menu with > 100 colonists
FIXED: item ownership for lots of items
FIXED: items will only stack with other items if they have a common owner (for now)

For Science,

-- Gaslamp Games

6 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
59 of 91 people (65%) found this review helpful
47.9 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
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9 of 14 people (64%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
26.5 hrs on record
Posted: July 19
Early Access Review
My colony is full of racists that wants to kill fish people.

I love this game.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.5 hrs on record
Posted: July 25
Early Access Review
The idea for this game is incredible, the features are there that should make a great game, and the development team isnt afraid to innovate. The problem though is that the optimization isn't there. I played for less than a half hour and experianced constant frame rate spikes and crashes, and the game completley crashed at both auto-save points. Though this game SHOULD be great when the development team fixes the current bugs and optimizes gameplay, it currently is not and is a long way off.

Good luck to the development team, when these issues are fixed I will gladly re-buy the game and change my review, but as for now the game is unplayable.
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54 of 63 people (86%) found this review helpful
16.2 hrs on record
Posted: April 7
Early Access Review
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.

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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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.
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31 of 35 people (89%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
105.3 hrs on record
Posted: March 1
Early Access Review
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.
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