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 (303 reviews) - 76% of the 303 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 (71)

April 27

ALPHA 50C now on Experimental Branch on Steam

Alpha 50C of Clockwork Empires has now been released on the experimental branch on Steam. Changes:

new alert code framework for events and non-event alerts
close alerts button, history button, both moved to appropriate places, ticker moved to history window
hooked tooltips to stubs for a bit more info on those
bug with choice windows spawning on the other side of the alert and thus out of the game window
madness removed, character state calculations simplified, despair implemented to combine sadness and madness
corrected some typos in the new memory aggregator function
refactoring of emotion names to separate emotion names "anger, fear", from actual moods "angry, afraid" which was making writing things really awkward.
changes to UI layout of emotion window
implemented the first pass on the bricbrac system: Bricabrac can be crafted in most workshops using different resources, and is used to make decor modules. Decor now contributes an amount of quality to buildings based on its bricabrac cost.
removed building quality from all outdoor wall modules because it was exploitable and didn't make a whole lot of sense
added "Quality: X" tooltip to all relevant modules now that module quality is a variable number
added bricabrac as a potential reward in a few events
changed name of "Decent Cabinet" to "Practical Cabinet"
added building fancy names to a few places in the UI
made grapes and prickly pears basic-cookable
re-enabled Planets Align event
military units will not immediately disband after the death of their NCO, but rather some other member of the crew will assume control.
first implementation of fences
clicking the minimap will now move the camera
added sand to the desert
added charred meat
added ability to repair buildings
rather than beating hostiles to death with trade goods, traders will now flee from combat while their guards fight
made bandits far less likely to spawn directly in the middle of the player's town
FIXED: embarking on an area near water will have dramatically more water than indicated by the original map
FIXED: some tiny memory leaks
FIXED: scripterror with food delivery from empire
FIXED: reloading guns is now essential to being able to fire them
FIXED: guns now use reload times per gun type and reloading animations will loop if total reload time exceeds anim length
FIXED: unbuilt building that is somehow destroyed will now unlock its building materials
FIXED: faction relations now cannot exceed 100 on the scale of -100 to +100.
FIXED: in certain rare cases people would attempt to intimidate a fishperson who died while they were running over to the fishperson
FIXED?: stone smelter assembly job took in infinite stone
FIXED: invisible cactus
FIXED: spawning of NPC groups is now much more robust


-- Gaslamp Games

3 comments Read more

April 18


We've pushed another hotfix for Alpha 50 of Clockwork Empires, which fixes various things that the first hotfix didn't fix:

  • FIXED: All perennial crops required 2-3x the intended amount labor to grow
  • FIXED: ALL buildings should now accept bamboo as a timber source in addition to logs
  • FIXED: building destruction would nerve-staple overseer (as far as being re-assigned to a new workshop was concerned)
  • FIXED: scripterror in "Colonists denounce cowardice"
  • FIXED: various small typos
  • FIXED: cabbage field had incorrect description
  • FIXED: starting clay and stone positions follow player start location correctly now
  • FIXED: enemies will no longer attack unfinished buildings
  • FIXED: starving colonists will no longer forage lacquer to eat
  • FIXED: cleaned up despawn calls on non-player agents
  • FIXED: defeated enemies will no longer attack buildings
  • FIXED: saving after fleeing traders will cause the save to corrupt

Kneel before Zod,

-- GG

4 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
    • 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
9 of 13 people (69%) found this review helpful
9.6 hrs on record
Posted: April 16
Early Access Review
I like gaslamp game, and a steampunk dwarf fortress clone is a cool concept, but for 30$? No... I'd rather buy gaslamps other game with its expansions for three of my friends. It would cost about the same. The main issue is that Clockwork Empires is a glacial game in which nothing you want to get done, gets done. A friend of mine told me to not assign lots of tasks all at once, but even with one job that needs to be done, it just doesn't get done. The reason for this, as I see it, is the "work crews" system. None of your colonists will do anything that another work crew has decided it wants to do. If you want them to cut trees, only one crew will do it while the others sit on their thumbs. Building a workshop? No, not if someone else is doing it. The only place where this system works is in the workshops themselves. The work crews will dutifully attempt to fulfill whatever task you set them within the workshop you have assigned them, BUT they won't usually do anything except work within that workshop and even when they are assigned the workshops they tend to do the tasks you set at a fairly casual pace. Another issue with the work crews is the overseer. Each work crew has one. The overseer is basically the leader of each work crew. Even the military squads have overseers (called COs). Why is this an issue? Well, losing one of your workers to a bandit attack is no big deal, except that it will slow the work crew down a little. Losing the overseer though means that the workcrew is immediatly disbanded, leaving all the workers in that workcrew jobless. Workers who are not in a work crew DO NOT WORK. They don't do a single ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ thing when they are not in a work crew. This is especially bad with military work crews. If you have a military squad, and it's CO dies in the middle of a heated battle, the squad disbands and all your fighting men and women revert into jobless workers. Once fierce fighters suddenly become completely helpless, and if you don't have a barracks built, you can't assign a new CO, and you will not recover and your colony will die right then and there. By the way, you can't create new work crews. You need to wait for overseers to immigrate and then they start new work crews. This game would be fine if it weren't for the work crew crap. If every worker had his or her own will and could do tasks independantly of one another, but they can't. In Dwarf Fortress, losing is fun. In clockwork empires, losing is often tedious and frustraiting. Why? If it weren't for the work crew mechanic, you might actually be able to prevent whatever it is that caused you to lose.

The graphics are nice, and the music is appealing. Hell, the controls are way easier than DF or other DF clones. but the workcrew stuff makes Clockwork Empires far too tedious. All the flashy lights, pleasant sounds, and simple controls in the world will not make up for bad gameplay though, and at 30$ you are really better off buying something else. I'll throw this in the bin where I put other massively overpriced games.
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3 of 6 people (50%) found this review helpful
43.8 hrs on record
Posted: April 9
Early Access Review
A bit wonky at the moment, but still very playable. Very good, and the full game will likely be game of the year. Love it. :D
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
54 of 55 people (98%) found this review helpful
23 people found this review funny
534.0 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.
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22 of 23 people (96%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
608.4 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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9 of 9 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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