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 (209 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 (32)

July 24


Revision 41A has now been pushed to the default AND experimental branches as a hotfix for Thursday's Revision 41 release. Sometimes this is necessary. Things can go wrong. The Frontier is a dangerous place. There is much that we were not meant to know. That which is not dead cannot et cetera, et cetera, and in strange knowings even thingies may whatsit.


added higher priority version of beetle-squishing for farmers
moved numerical information on world map over to binary files inside save packet; makes saves faster/better
FIXED: crash caused by runaway iterator in AI preference code
FIXED: infinite loop cancelling assignment jobs
FIXED: foraging requires day to do now
FIXED: soldiers will now actually shoot back against hostile foreigners
FIXED: a bunch of events didn't push hostility/neutrality/friendly states correctly
FIXED: fishpeople group will be tagged hostile upon choosing to "shoot them all"
FIXED: increased ravenous herd hunger so they dont have to get hungrier before eating your crops
FIXED: animals should be tagged with proper hostility flags
FIXED: bandit plundering
FIXED: various issues with bandit gang retreating
FIXED: rare scripterror in Fishperson Butchery Crisis

Yours in unending despair when faced with the meaninglessness of our existence before a vast, malignant cosmos filled with horrors and alien intelligences, that the human mind can barely comprehend,

-- Gaslamp Games

PS. Have a nice weekend!

1 comments Read more

July 23

July Update Now Live for Clockwork Empires: "Sir, Where's Our Colony?"

Our July Update, "Sir, Where's Our Colony?" is now on Steam! Notable changes include:

  • Starting loadouts!
  • First implementation of character desires and personal property
  • Very Serious economic balancing in-action
  • Started implementation of overworld
  • UI framework overhaul rollout

Typically our full changelog doesn't fit on these announcements. Indeed, we have come to expect it of ourselves! So it doesn't fit this time either, but this is why we give you the condensed version above! It's like the free chapter on a kindle book, but if it was I think people would have underlined and shared "desires" a bunch. 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. We made David swear a binding blood pact with our promise to keep you exhaustively updated. He regrets it to this day, but thankfully our incantations are still holding.

Feel free to discuss the update right here, over on the Steam discussion page, on our official forums, or in the comments of the latest blog post!

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
46 of 72 people (64%) 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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8 of 11 people (73%) found this review helpful
46.6 hrs on record
Posted: July 4
Early Access Review
First of all, I want to say thank you to the developers; and to avoid boring everyone with my praise, I will leave it at this: Clockwork Empires brings me great joy and I constantly look to the gamelapse to see if new content and articles are written.
Now to the suggestions:
I am not a tech guy, in fact I am taking the BAR soon, so my line of expertise is so far from game development that I wouldn’t dare scrutinize things I cannot understand. Instead, I want to limit my input to conceptual matters based on my love for H.P. and the macabre in general.
1. RNG: One of the best parts of this game is the RNG, or as I understand it, inability to break the game (not terribly) by exploiting. My main suggestion on this matter is to expand SUBSTANTIALLY is this department.
a. Add more variables to the variables. You are all on the right track, by implementing things like “should we kill the crybaby who doesn’t want to keep the suspicious goods” or “only teach the fishpeople not to damage crops.” However, it seems as though there needs to be more choices and more random occurrences/events within the colony (we can call them pop-ups for now). Even something so, seemingly mundane as “Jon Smith has been harassing Jake Doe by waking Jake up to try and get him to leave the cot. Usually Jon proceeds to harass until Jake gives up the cot in favor of trying to fall asleep on the floor unmolested rather than in a cot being constantly berated.” (Sorry that was a longer description than needed, but I hope you see my point.)
b. We also need more difficulty in the game…I am not entirely sure how or even where to increase the difficulty—but I definitely am NOT suggesting that it become more difficult to gather resources or take longer to turn nodes into bricks. Instead, I mean there should be more difficulty in what events occur. As some others have mentioned, I can currently get way too far in the game without anything bad really happening. Even the Obelisks only killed two of my people before leaving, never to be seen again. It’s not that I feel having a totally random event kill your entire village in a frequent manner is a good idea, but I try to think in terms of the entire premise of H.P. Lovecraft’s mythos and world. This is a world of doom and the never ending struggle against the ancient ones (and more as you all know). It just doesn’t seem like the game is difficult at the moment. As a last point of clarification on this issue, I DO want more difficulty, in part, as a result of RNG; but in a form akin to Call of Cthulhu tabletop games. I suggest that the developers act more like GameMasters of CoC and don’t allow players to go 30 or more days without consequence and little decision making (that likely leads to consequences).

P.S.: Yes, this is a copy and paste of my discussion. I did this in hopes of Developers and other players will read it and chime in.
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8 of 11 people (73%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
26.3 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
6 of 8 people (75%) found this review helpful
0.5 hrs on record
Posted: June 27
Early Access Review
I will recommend Clockwork Empires only to the people that know what beta testing is like. I like this game but it can clearly be seen that this is an incomplete and unfinished game. I noticed immediately that there are only 2 video resolutions to choose from and no ability to configure the preset keyboard and mouse controls. Game play and saving are slow. Graphically it's got a nice art style and I look forward to seeing the interface and visuals improve. Like others have said this has tons of potential but buy in its current state only if you're prepared to be a paying game tester.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
6.2 hrs on record
Posted: June 29
Early Access Review
It's off to a great start, it's basically a city builder with a Lovecraftian twist. Now when I say I reccomend it, I do not mean now. It's more just a show of good faith in the direction it is going. Needs much fine tuning (obviously because it's Early Access) as well as it needs a touch more content. I hope for more variation in possible starts (currently only two option avaiable) and I hope for more spooky content. All in all I just want more reasons for me to dread every night and day. It has the Lovecraftian elements but I don't quiet feel much of it other than the obvious things. I would suggest that weird things happen more often as well. Buy it when it's ready unless you want to contribute to it's development then get it now.
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