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 (285 reviews) - 74% of the 285 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, 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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Recent updates View all (57)

February 5


Alpha 47B of Clockwork Empires has now been uploaded to Steam. Most notably, it features an entire rewrite of the building and module placer. Some things are known to be broken; some things will get ironed out as fast as we can, but we decided it was a good place to get some feedback. Consequently, this build puts the Experimental back in Experimental.

I have a feeling we will regret releasing alpha 47B on Friday afternoon on a long weekend. But what the heck.

Major Changes

Building & module placement system has been completely rewritten. Disclaimer:

"flatten terrain" has been temporarily deactivated
various cosmetic issues are known, ie. doors not punching holes and things being generally ugly.
There are some other known bugs with zones and things moving outside of the window.

Added Chapel doctrines that have different effects on your colonists
Bandits & related events have been overhauled

Full Changelog for Alpha 47B

performed complete rewrite of module and building placer
added chapel doctrines, along with accompanying UI. Players may now choose a chapel doctrine in the building's interface, which will influence what effect their vicars' sermons have.
re-enabled module animations and particle effects on a number of modules.
performed refactoring of Bandit events to fit revised faction code; you will notice that some events have slightly different options
added "Bandits Visit Town" event
added "Ministry Investigates Stolen Goods" event
added "Bandit Ties Investigated" event
added "Bandits Guard Town" foreign office missions & hook to foreign invasion event
trade missions now spawn with guards
rubbish left lying around may now spawn vermin
fixed up faction descriptions on Foreign Office buttons
removed old references to "Seminary Training"; it is generally replaced with "Spiritually Inclined" trait.
added first set of metallurgy/mining techs
re-enabled pickup_animation for modules. This may cause some visual oddness until a related bug is fixed.
all remaining jobs that allowed a worker to leave while they were in progress (i.e. smelting) have been changed to require worker presence.
added an event that recommends a player build a barracks if they haven't done so by day 4
added "?" box tutorials for the following windows: Foreign Office, Chapel, Laboratory, Mine, Trade Office.
FIXED: stained glass windows were not being built
FIXED: Iron scraps are now able to be smelted into bars like ore
FIXED: costs for a number of modules with incorrect costs
FIXED: various typos
FIXED: zones are designated per-vertex and not per-tile
FIXED: module placement crash when SHIFT-clicking multiple modules or placing modules rapidly and in succession
FIXED: various issues with snapping modules not working correctly at all
FIXED: extruded blueprint for an exterior model extends one unit behind the actual module (or more, depending on the interior height)
FIXED: ghost chalkboard is not longer valid too for performing research
FIXED: Iron Smelting Crucible consumed one too few bricks
FIXED: people no longer stick their heads into ovens/workbenches when dropping off materials. Usually.
FIXED: colonists will drop goods when retreating (fixes possible instances of objects attached to hands)
FIXED 47A: fishperson steak ownership incorrectly assigned
FIXED: civilians weren't correctly dropping firearms
FIXED: scripterror when attempting to do Foreign Office action on Bandits when none are on map
TEST: locked cabbage at start

Enjoy your weekend,

-- Gaslamp Games

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January 26


Alpha 47A of Clockwork Empires has now been posted to the Experimental Branch on Steam.

Major Changes:

We've added a first verison of the new Laboratory system! Build a lab, and scientists will use chalkboards to research new science – well, it's exclusively agricultural science at this point. But we'll be adding more, as you can see by the additional unimplemented fields of study in the laboratory's UI.

Full Changelog:

- added new Laboratory system
- Opium Poppy, Bamboo, and Coconut Palm are now locked by research at start of game
- added some generic agricultural labour upgrade technologies
- added grass, shrubbery, and flower planting for gardening enthusiasts
- added boxed module recipes for the following: Chemistry Workbench, Fancy Bookshelf, Hanging pots, Stone Altar, Large Stone Altar, Wood Altar
- added progress bar to Do Diplomatic Paperwork
- updated the following tutorials to match current art/gameplay: Cooking, Job Filters, Staying Alive, Using Military
- updated costs for constructing ceramics and chemistry workbenches
- tables are now "Table and Chair Sets". You can't sit in them right now. This will be Improved.
- Trade goods and forbidden items now have bright red/green outlines as well as their standard tinting.
- NCOs of higher skill will now train militia footsoldiers significantly faster
- balance: adjusted utility of burial so it (hopefully) doesn't conflict w/ farming duties
- balance: increased baseline training time of militia to redcoats to encourage use of skilled NCOs
- balance: assigning a soldier away from their barracks will reset their training points to zero; if you want trained soldiers, you must maintain a standing army
- FIXED: Fishperson Steak and Long Pork are no longer cooked by the Basic Food recipe
- FIXED: glass panes no longer built instantly
- FIXED (probably): possible infinite loops when studying fishpeople/obeliskians
- FIXED: forageables would rotate slightly when a job to interact with them was cancelled in a certain way
- FIXED: Fishpeople envoys will never show up before first contact
- FIXED: starting loadout airdrop crates will no longer land on each others' goods and possibly causing explosions, fire, and death
- FIXED: triggering frontier justice via ministry investigation events will now correctly place frontier justice icons on target
- FIXED: when soldiers are ordered to beat someone, they won't be frontier justiced due to hurting another colonist
- FIXED: when colonists talk while holding very large items, they'll no longer swing them around crazily while gesticulating
- FIXED: redcoats assigned away from a barracks can now be re-trained
- FIXED: relations with various factions would be totally reset by incidental events that should have modified relations slightly
- FIXED: possible infinite loop in foreign_office.go

We're Blinding You with Science!,

-- Gaslamp Games

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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
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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
11 of 12 people (92%) found this review helpful
7 people found this review funny
457.0 hrs on record
Posted: January 19
Early Access Review
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
5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
14.7 hrs on record
Posted: January 22
Early Access Review
It's a great game, it's rather slow and methodical but it has a ton of charm and getting a big colony going is really satisfying. It's been in early access a while, but the developers are great and make frequent updates with at least one major update every month. This isn't their first game, so you can trust they won't abandon this.

Thirty dollars is pretty steep for the game in its current form, but soon it will have enough content to be worth that and more.
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20 of 20 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
568.0 hrs on record
Posted: January 5
Early Access Review
ALPHA 46 revision review: (TL:DR Still a little buggy, still needs more content/gameplay tweaks, but I like it and feel like I got my money's worth of entertainment)

This game is still not done, so please keep this in mind.

If you like other, similar games in this genre (e.g. Dwarf Fortress, Banished, Stronghold, SimCity, etc), then you will find gameplay elements in this game to enjoy: stockpiles, resource management, supply chain management, town building, base defense, etc.

If you like to play early access games and find bugs or OP stuff to break the gameplay, then you'll have fun doing that in this game.

If you like games with a bit of a learning curve before you figure out how to min/max everything, then you'll probably enjoy doing that in this game's alpha state.

If you don't like bugs and the occasional crash, then those will annoy you in the game's current state (although it has improved leaps and bounds very quickly, and I can only see it improving even more in the future)

If you think the graphics suck, then I can't really help you there.

If you get easily frustrated when things don't turn out OK, then this might not be for you.

Should you buy it? It depends how disposable 30 bucks is to you. I feel it was worth it, but again, you are basically playing to beta test a game. I, however, find elements of that to be entertaining. Some of you will not. Make sure what kind of person you are before buying.

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18 of 22 people (82%) found this review helpful
38.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 19, 2015
Early Access Review
A really deep Town sim.

Only found 2 bugs where soldiers got stuck, its definetivly worth the price.

Everything about this game just really feeds my managing sim needs,
pluss you have many types of enemies and cults to kill, and if you do really bad your entire colony might end up eating each-other and joining dark cults.

Remember that its a slow game and there is no fast forward button.
Sit down relax and watch your colony grow .

9/10 even if its in alpah its still feels big, and will only get better from here.
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8 of 9 people (89%) found this review helpful
20.3 hrs on record
Posted: December 3, 2015
Early Access Review
Colony management, building, fighting
Day 60+ it gets a little bit hard for my relaxed play style, but still it´s a great game.

- No invasions please ( toggle ) ??
- Bigger maps ?

Great game, love it !
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