Clockwork Empires: Development Progress

Last update: 2015 November 20

Welcome to the development progress report!
The purpose of this document is to inform you about the current status and ongoing progress of the Clockwork Empires project as a whole. This involves a consideration all the work that goes into completing the game, not just the player-facing game experience. This necessarily results in a high-level perspective on development. If you would like to follow the weekly development blog updates which discusses specific features each week, check out the Gaslamp Games weblog or sign up for the mailing list.

This document evolves as work on Clockwork Empires proceeds and we find better ways to communicate with players. We are committed to updating the project's status on this page for each major public release, once per month, without exception.

Changes to the Development Report this month (October 2015):
It is not easy to come up with a system for expressing the overall state of a project as complex as Clockwork Empires when you're somewhere near the beginning of the process, as we were when this development report document was first created. Now that we're closer to the end of development we have a much better perspective on the project and as such have decided to change our approach to the development report to give it a bit more clarity.

Our previous use of percent-complete status bars may have given a false sense of accuracy, particularly when trying to represent the non-quantitative value of "is this feature set complete?". As satisfying as the percent-complete bars may feel (particularly to gamers raised on the joy of pushing numbers upwards), their scale is locked at the beginning of the project when scope is least understood. Plus it's awkward to declare a feature done, then when reviewing the requirements of the feature two items down the list, to discover that you have to return to feature A and fix it up to work properly with features B and C, which didn't exist yet. Essential work has been done, but this doesn't up the percentage-done. How unsatisfying!

So instead of declaring the status quantitatively, with numbers, let's try doing it qualitatively, with descriptions. This becomes a much more reasonable approach near the end of the project because the final feature list is so much smaller and so can actually be addressed per-item.

A further confusion came from different categories like "Sound", "Engine", and "Human Characters" not being equally labourious undertakings. By a long shot. So one percent on Engine looked like one percent on Sound, but wasn't. Further, it can appear disappointing, even if appropriate to a particular time, to discover that "Sound" hasn't been seriously touched in a few months. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it feels kinda bad. and in the report itself it's just old text getting in the way of reading about new changes.

So instead we shall take a more organic approach to describing monthly development by writing a sort of "annotated changelog". Basically, we shall review the changelog and write plain-text explanation of what it means with trying to fit development into pre-decided categorizations.

(If you would like to read over the old text for the development categories, you can still find them in a section later in this document.)

Got all that? If you didn't, TLDR: less weird numbers and repeat text, more clear description of monthly developments.

Table of Contents

  1. Monthly Blog Roundup
  2. Monthly Annotated Changelog
  3. Project Completion Feature List
  4. Project Milestone Timeline
  5. Overview of Additional Project Work
  6. Cute Animals
  7. Old Project Category Descriptions
  8. Old Monthly Update Notes

Alpha 45 (November 2015) blog roundup:

Yes! We blog each week about development of Clockwork Empires! You can go directly to the blog here.

Alpha 45 (November 2015) Annotated Changelog

(You can read the previous months' update notes and blog post listing at the bottom of this page, here.)

Major player-facing additions this month

If you're in a hurry, that should cover your update needs. If you find yourself with the inexplicable urge for more, then you're in luck; just keep reading.

Begin full Alpha 45 changelog!

Building Quality / Workshops

Yes, building quality is exciting! This blog post really lays out the details, but the short version is that buildings now keep track of the modules they contain, and the ratio of purely "productive" modules (workbenches, ovens, cots) to decoration modules (windows, paintings, spice racks) determines a quality level which will affect the mood of characters working/sleeping in said building. So now there are consequences, both positive and negative, to your interior decoration!

This also presented us with a good opportunity to add in a whole pile of interior decor assets that we've been sitting on for quite some time. There's lots of new little things to decorate with!

Engine & Save/Load

We've ordered a mop-up of that memory leak and whizzled all the cogs in the framboozler. So we're all fine here now, how are you?

(That's about as well as I can do translating the above. Basically, some arcane broken stuff was fixed and this is a very good thing to have done.)

Oh, and there are those small save/load fixes. It's always good to have those.

Lighting & Renderer

Essentially, the engine has been set up to handle dynamic point lights, then dynamic point lights were added. This is really cool, and ticks off that longstanding item off the engine feature TODO list!

We've not yet put lights on everything that will use them, but several decorative lamps have been given light sources so this ties in nicely with the new building decoration system.

Combat AI / Decision Trees

The short changelog list there hides the fact that this is a large and complicated system that even got a visual editor to navigate it.

Oh, right, but what's it do?

The decision tree feature gives character AI the ability to really rigorously interpret a condition tree and choose an appropriate job. The give a very brief example, it might go something like: If I'm on fire, flee in terror, otherwise shoot the closest enemy if there is an enemy to shoot and I have a gun. If I don't have a gun, and there is an enemy, and there's a gun nearby then run and pick up that gun. If there is no enemy and my unit has a rally point, run to that rally point. If there is no rally point, then maybe patrol a bit.

And so on like that, but far more complex. The result of this is that the military really does exactly what it needs to do in the appropriate conditions, and this makes everyone happy. Except for those dastardly Stahlmarkians, amirite?


These are more of a Victorian gothic horror thing than a Lovecraftian horror thing, but they seemed appropriate to the setting. Plus we had these skeleton models (literally) just lying around, so why not do something fun with them?

That's all I'll say on the subject. It's up to you to find out what (terrible) consequences will return from beyond the grave.


We heard our fans say they wanted more madness. So we gave it to them!

There are many new ways to gain madness, madness-causing memories have received some attention and balancing, and madness-sustaining memories have been added so that madness does not fade overly quickly. So there'll be some cool new stuff goingon. This is, as ever, an ongoing process of balance - feel quite free to let us know if you think we're laying it on too thick or too thin and we'll see what we can cook up. Perhaps some madness stew?

Speaking of madness...


So we added a bunch more cult stuff to go along with the madness. (It was important, however, to maintain the idea that cults and madness are not exactly the same thing. Madness is required for cults, but highly maddened non-cultist colonists can get into trouble all their own.)

Much of this was improving how cults interfaced with other systems and adding more consequences and reactions to whatever the environment or player decisions might throw into the mix. In particular, cult shrines (and the destruction thereof) are rather important, as well as the death of cult leaders. You can indeed just smash shrines and Frontier Justice the cult leaders, but that will seriously anger the cultists - which will have consequences. Or you can be a little more gentle about it, creating happy non-maddened conditions (plus a pint or three) to lower the madness of cultists, then have a Vicar bring cultists back to the fold.

Or not, it's really up to you!

The Pub, The Barber, and The Chapel (plus minishrines)

Pubs, Barbers, and Chapels are all similar in that they are services. Colonists will come to the office and be tended in some manner. Problems may arise, however: what if there's no tender to do the tending? Well, colonists will now recognize and not waste their time waiting around for a service that will never arrive.

Plus there were some other fiddly details, for example whenever someone went to load more booze into the Pub's booze vat, no one else was allowed to touch the booze vat. So for the entire time the worker went to the stockpile, picked up the beer, and returned it to the booze vat, no one could serve drinks. This has definitely been fixed, and now Pubs are far more efficient at serving beer (though I'm sure we've all been to pubs that felt like the operated on the previous principle).

Oh yes, and as part of the decor additions there are now little minishrines that people can pray at, if so inclined. It's the little thing!


Oh hey, there's a blog post about this feature set! Go there for more detail.

In short, we went over all the cases where people might murder one another as well as the code for creating memories about who murdered who and when to report murder and cleaned everything all up. And what with all the madness going around, also added a couple occult murder methods.

Plus, what better way to increase the chance of Vengeful Spectres than murder?


Well, with all that combat AI revision and random murder going on, it was also important to clean up the act of dying.

The biggest issue with dying at the start of this was some confusion about when and how an agent dropped whatever they were carrying when they died. This has been consolidated and refactored to be much neater and consistant.

With the cleanup, there's also less spamming of burial jobs that can't be fulfilled, and vermin creation is just a touch subtler.

Memories & Character Stuff

Partly due to balancing madness, partly because it had to be done, and partly because we kinda stumbled into it, the creation and content of memories received a huge clean-up pass.

This is one of those situations where implementation of features was ad-hoc until such a mass was built up that it became obvious and necessary to consolidate and standardize the system. And while we were at it, added a bunch of new content!

Oh yes, and there's the start of a "journal" system where colonists record their strongest memories from the previous day and the previous week in the colonist information panel. This is a rough implementation and will be improved, but it's the start on the idea of displaying longer-term histories.

UI Miscellany

A lot of general UI fixing got done, and a lot of UI in support of the building quality feature got done. Oh, and tons of new icons were added to go with all those new decor objects.

The friendship notification was interesting -- we had removed it, but had left in the notification for making enemies. This caused players to believe that their colonists only ever hated one another. Those are some pretty negative vibes, man! So with this back on, you can see people making enemies AND friends.

The removal of workcrew filter buttons for the military will upset people who have been making their soldiers haul, but, honestly, it led to a lot of trouble. When soldiers were not combat-ready due to performing other jobs, we get complaints about the lack of military response to threats. (To say nothing of, in previous verisons, a bunch of confusion having to do with dropping guns to haul commodities.) Well! Now soldiers will attend to their duty, and with the AI improvements they received, they'll do a fine job of it!


I'm just including this section because I was amused by how many entries for fixing typos we had in the changelog. If you report it, we'll fix it.

I hate typos.

Events Miscellany

Yes, we're in the miscellanous section! The mere existance of this and related categories is probably a failure of me to painstakingly organize everything beautifully, but I'm just going to own it. You dealing with it? Deal with it. Good. Let's proceed!

So these are just event-themed fixes for bugs and badly out-of-whack balance issues that we stumbled into and/or were asked to fix.


Again, various fixes and balance corrections that needed to be done but did not fit into some greater scheme of this month.


Future stuff. I'll say no more!

Changelog Conclusion

And that concludes this month's annotated changelog!

So what is upcoming, you ask? I can't say about the particulars, but look in the next section for our high-level goals.

Project Completion Feature List

This is a high-level overview of the features we need to finish to declare Clockwork Empires finished. Well, it's a bit more complex than just that.

It should be stated that all existing features - Colonists, Workshops, User Inteface, and so on - will receive all manner of incremental upgrades which are fairly straightforward. The game-changing stuff that involves a lot of new work is listed below:


Military is basically waiting on some clever behaviour mechanisms, more some sophisticated and higher-level combat mechanics, and the UI/UX to allow the player to not only control their military but understand what state it is in and why - without micromanagement.

(We've also got a bunch of cool guns to add. And fire.)


"Dynamics" is our term for steam pipes, water pipes, and mechanical axles that will be used to drive high-level machinery. In player terms, these will be expensive pieces of late-game infrastructure that allow your industry to really excel. Roads and walls also fall into this category due to similarity of the placement interface and various shared pieces of game logic.


We have a large amount of unimplemented art for a few different biomes. We decided early on that if we're going to put them in the game, it has to mean something - a purple tree on some red dirt isn't particularly interesting if it doesn't have some game effect.

So the important bit is really the data-driven overworld behind the biomes. For a player perspective, you will be able to look at the world map and see what's going on in various tiles. When selecting a colony site, your choice of position will affect what you see in the game, and the results of your colony will in turn affect the world map. Overrun by cultists? You just made that bit of the world map a little weirder.


You should be able to trade commodities you produce for other goods you don't produce. This should allow for colony specialization. Now trade isn't ridiculously difficult in an of itself, but like all good features it will need some solid UI - and it will certainly do interesting things to our economic balancing.


We've already revealed the Steam Knight, so that'll get into the game in a useful way toting some heavy weaponry for Queen & Empire - it also ties nicely in with the Military feature mentioned above. After that we've got a couple more tricks up our sleeves for vehicles which enhance other areas of gameplay but we won't spoil them just yet.


In additional to giving existing horrors (& attendant cultists) some more interesting behaviour, the REDACTED and REDACTED have not yet been implemented. It's going to be such fun to inflict infect drive mad introduce players to these. And then of there's the Great Summoning of REDACTED with the REDACTED!


This one is pretty self-explanatory: Up to four players; cooperate, fight, or just plain mess with your friends in a fantastical steampunk world of city-building, logistics, and cultists.

Project Milestone Timeline

In the broadest strokes, these are the major public-facing milestones of the Clockwork Empires project:

Overview Of Additional Project Work

There is a great deal of work to launching a sucessful commercial project which is not directly related to the development of the game software and art assets. Most of it is invisible to gamers, which is fine, but it is important in this circumstance to acknowledge the hard work and effort involved which is absolutely essential to the game even though it doesn't appear in the game itself. This overview will be necessarily brief and should serve only to give an idea of what has been done and remains to be done.

Completed Tasks

Current & Ongoing Tasks

Upcoming Tasks

Cute Animals

As a reward for anyone who read this far, we present to you a picture of Daniel's kitten:

CEO kitten

For those of you who stuck with us 'til now, here is David's cat in a basket:

Godiva in a basket

You lucky people! September gives you Nicholas' TWO cats just hanging out:

Vining Cats

This month? You get Mr.Hamilton's 'pig:

Hamilton Pig

Hello Margaret Catwood!

Margaret Catwood

Here's David's other cat. No, really, this is a different cat. I can tell which is which. Usually.

Leeloo is tall

We're running out of cats, so here's Daniel's other cat! Note that this is NOT Leeloo from the previous picture, Arya is a totally different cat. You'll pick up on the subtle differences with time. (Arya's paw is shaved because she had to go to the vet.)

Arya the kitten-cat

This month it's Micah's turn, so we present Misha the Cat:


Say "hello" to Scout who Nicholas saved from a life of drugs!


This is Derek's dog who will be assigned a completely random code-name so all identities are protected. Thus: "Mr. Pink".
Or you may use "The Musher". Whichever you prefer.

Secret Dog

Micah again - it turns out he fosters kitties looking for a home (and therefore probably has an endless supply of cat pictures). Meet Moxie aka Eddie. Isn't he nice?


There's a lot going on in this picture from Daniel. I can't explain it. You're on your own.


This is Myspace. Myspace is a cat. Andrew will answer any additional questions.

Myspace the Cat

Here's Leeloo again!


Mr. G, is it you? It is!

Mister G

So I'm all like


Old Project Category Descriptions

As of October 2015 we shall no longer split development descriptions into the old subcategories.
We will however retain record of the old subcategories in this addendum to the development report. The idea behind this change is to make the development updates more readable and relevant to the current state of development. So rather than split the update into a huge list of sub-categories that may or may not have changes, monthly changes will be described more organically as a sort of annotated changelog.

Plus, the relative work involved in each category is not equal so assigning numbers can give a misleading impression.

The Engine

This is the key component that brings every part of the game together. The engine makes sure that mouse and keyboard input is processed, that visuals display, that the game can pull information from the correct space on-disk, that the UI renders and responds correctly to input, that a character is drawn in the right place and is told what to do from the right script. Every part of this infrastructure must be in place in some form before player-visible game content can even be implement. As Nwabudike Morgan put it, "Each interdependent piece must be materialized simultaneously and in perfect working order; otherwise the system will crash out before it ever gets off the ground."

Nowadays most games are built on engines purchased from an outside company so the developer does not have to build their game from the ground-up. Popular examples of such engines are Unity, Unreal, CryEngine, and idTech. This category is easy to underestimate compared to other projects because we've built an engine from scratch. The game engine is hugely complex and, if everything works correctly, the player will not even notice it. The intangibility of the engine needs to be emphasized because it's such a huge portion of the work done on Clockwork Empires during development but it's one of the absolute least visible components to players. In short, it's a huge deal, but you won't be able to tell unless something goes wrong. Much of the work remaining involves making sure things don't go wrong with the wide variety of hardware and operating systems out there.

MacOS Clockwork Empires is out in the wild and Linux shall follow.

Completed Features

Upcoming Features

Human Characters

Simulating human characters is perhaps the cornerstone of Clockwork Empires, and as such it's one of the systems we've spent the most time on. As far as what's visible to the player, it probably appears about half as sophisticated as we intend the final product, but there's a lot of solid back-end code to support much more than what's been done. Now that we have a comprehensive design for characters as well as a completed framework to build that design on, most of the work that remains involves adding new 'jobs' (a job being what our engine calls any unit of a character's physical action eg. chopping down a tree or rubbing their stomach and making hungry, unhappy sounds), new memories, a more sophisticated relationship model, and physiological responses.

Completed Features

Upcoming Features

Scripting System

Like the game engine, the scripting system is somewhat intangible to a player but exceedingly important to development of Clockwork Empires. The scripting system allows us to use a scripting language - Lua is this case - to control game logic without messing with the underlying functionality of the game engine, such as graphical rendering, or keeping assets loaded in memory.

The scripting system is also essentially complete. Almost all of the game object definition, and the interaction of these game objects is handled through Lua. These objects interact with each other by passing messages that are scheduled by the C++ engine code. We need to do a cleanup pass to make sure that all the strings for localization are out of C++ land, and we need to clean up leftover code used for various tests, but we're very pleased with the state of things.

As far as the player is concerned, this system is effectively done. A lot more content remains to be scripted, but the infrastructure to allow this to happen is all in place and works very well. Any error that occurs here would almost certainly an issue with an individual game object's script rather than the scripting system itself.

Completed Features

Upcoming Features

Combat & Military

The combat system currently works pretty solidly as a base upon which to build deeper features: soldiers will defend the colonists who call for help, colonists tasked with hunting will shoot animals with slightly alarming zeal (even peppering the already dead bodies with an extra bullet or two, depending on their traits), and everyone from bandits to fishpeople to your colonists can be wounded, take afflictions, and be killed.

Now the lovely system of military control that we painstakingly designed while the project was still quagmired in engine code is beginning to be implemented! We needed to allow for the characters themselves to be sufficiently complex that they would be affected by military service (this is done), for the job system to allow interrupts (also done), and for additional sophistication and UI support for work crews in general (getting there). We also needed enemies to be sufficiently complex that military controls are necessary (working on it). So the characters are able to do everything needed, and the scripting of complex, interesting enemies is starting to show off what it can do (though pretty much all of the art assets are done, as mentioned in the "Non-Human Characters" section).

There's a lot still to come. We want to allow the player to build barracks to base troops out of and act as a control panel for more interesting control over soldier behaviour and loadout. Additional tactical options are being considered as well; patrol points, at the very least, seem essential, and more options for constructed fortifications.

Completed Features

Upcoming Features

Non-Human Characters (Animals, Monsters, Vehicles)

All of the character (human and otherwise) in Clockwork Empires are based on very similar code with different amounts of complexity added on. Various categories of NHCs (non-human characters) have been created and integrated nto gameplay but this code, aside from the animals, hasn't been generalized sufficiently that adding new monsters and non-colonist humans is quite as trivial as it should be. This isn't difficult per se but it hasn't been the most important task yet versus our priority on getting human colonist character behaviour feeling really good, plus all the supporting UI/UX features involved in allowing the player know WHY characters are doing what they do. It is only natural that the player focus on their own colonists, so that had to be our starting place. We're getting to the point where that structure is very solidly in place so we're starting to flesh out the other beings of the world/other worlds.

The benefit of having the human characters essentially done is that every other active entity (animal, horror, vehicle) in the world is a version of human characters with simpler behaviour, so they're relatively easy to create in comparison. This process is being done gradually, in thematic groupings, as development proceeds.

Completed Features

Upcoming Features

Buildings & Building Creation

This section includes everything the player can build: workshops, machine modules, dynamics (pipes), and zones (farms, stockpiles, graveyards) as well as any game mechanics that employ these structures.

... Not anymore! We've added a new "Economy & Logistics" section for anything to do with the economy: workshop functionality (not visuals), machine modules, dynamics (pipes), and zones (farms, stockpiles, graveyards), etc. This section will now be just about actual building of buildings and their visual display.

Let's talk about buildings. Procedural building geometry is pretty solid unless you cram a lot of modules together in a particular way or manage to find certain edge cases in blueprint placing rules. With this more or less working, we're focusing on improving the UI for placing buildings and modules as well as the gameplay mechanics that use constructions generally. (The last major features required for building geometry proper is support for more varied building styles including gabled roofs and more exciting decorations, but this is all visual polish, so gameplay comes first.)

Again, everything else to do with buildings has been moved into the next section. Bear with me.

Completed Features

Upcoming Features

Economy & Logistics

We've gone too long without this category. 'Til now matters of economy and logistics have been awkwardly stuffed into the "Buildings & Building" creation category. No longer!

So what's this about? Harvesting resources, exactly how work crews accomplish said harvesting of resource, how commodities are moved from one place to another, how commodities are stored, how commodities are transformed via labour and machine modules into different commodities, how the rate of commodity production is balanced versus commodity consumption and what this means to the colony. Karl Marx will have something to say about coats if you stick around.

In terms of specific game objects, this'll all be to do with resources, workshops, stockpiles, jobs, work crews, and commodities.

Completed Features

Upcoming Features

Biomes & Terrain

We currently have two biomes: "Temperate Colorado" and "Tropical Jungle". Each has unique flora and fauna, and the tropical biome is much more difficult to play due to dangerous... things.

The terrain generator is capable of much more than is currently shown to the player, both on a small and large scale, and taking advantage of these abilities would tie into overworld development.

We've also got a lot of completed assets that aren't being shown yet. As perceptive readers may recall, we have generated desert and swamp biomes, and the art exists to support these and many more. So we have most of the technical capacity to expand the biome numbers, but we want to ensure that they really play differently from one another instead of just doing quick, superficial implementation of art. And besides, this requires a more fully developed economic system for biome-unique products well as more monster & animal content for unique challenges in each area. With all that in mind, new biomes will be rolled out over time in thematically appropriate chunks with accompanying economic and animal assets as development on the game proceeds.

Completed Features

Upcoming Features

Seemingly Random Aside

Events, Metagame, and The Overworld

We've decided to roll game events into this section. Well, they sorta were before but we're going to make it explicit by writing "EVENTS" in the title.
Reasoning: 1. Events form a bridge between the simulation level of the game to abstracted game concepts like Empire Prestige, what biome you're on (stored as an abstract variable which can affect things quite apart from the actual content of the game map), and what day bandits last attacked. The metagame is all about abstracted game concepts, so events are the obvious method to making them matter to the simulation. 2. We worked on a lot of event stuff this last month and there really wasn't any other obvious category to put them in. Onward!

This category includes events now, plus from before the world map itself, the ability for a player to found a new colony in different conditions based on where they choose to settle on the world map, tracking player progress through different settlements, interaction with different factions, and having in-game events tie in to what the player sees in their colony.

This is one of the less developed systems, but also one of the simplest with the fewest unknown variables because it interacts with the core character/colony simulation only sporadically and largely at the beginning and end of a game to provide context and consequences for actions taken in the body of the game. So far in development there's little point in having a meta-game without a strong core of the colony simulation game itself, so while we had a great time designing all the systems involved for the metagame and are eager to implement them, it's not going to get done until it's the best way to improve the game experience.

Completed Features

Upcoming Features


Networked simultaneous multiplayer has been planned for Clockwork Empires from the start - and such a feature must be planned from the very start for any modern game because it requires that the game engine and gameplay mechanics operate based on architecture which enables multiple instances of the game to coordinate events. It should suffice to say that this is a significant investment of time, but as any fan of multiplayer games knows, the reward is great. The underlying system architecture of Clockwork Empires has been built from the ground-up to support networking, using a deterministic lockstep architecture. Most of the required code investment is already done, and we have successfully run networking code on our internal LAN. We simply need to take the last few steps for completion, give the system a nice frosting of user-interface and usability features, then undergo testing, optimization, and "hardening" against poor connectivity and Interfering Firewalls. We also wish to have a better concept of what a multiplayer "game" of what Clockwork Empires looks like, and will write additional gameplay code to support this.

We also plan to offer support for non-simultaneous "multiplayer" games of Clockwork Empires; in these "succession" games, you play a game for a period of time then hand the save file off to a friend to play. They may hand the save file back to you, or possibly to some random person on the internet. This is fairly straightforward compared to networked multiplayer, mostly requiring game saving & loading plus ease-of-use features. It will also require some design iteration as we discover the most interesting ways to convey the concept of "succession"; this will in turn require some unique interface features.

Completed Features

Upcoming Features

Music & Sound

This category encompasses all of the audio assets, sound and music, heard in the game. The dynamic music system mixes up to six tracks of different moods together based on events in the game; for example, during combat more martial-feeliing music will play, and if weird monsters from another dimension show up, the music will get very strange indeed.

The dynamic music system was finished shockingly early, is implemented, and works. Not all of the events that should alter the mood of the music are set up to do so, however. This will require a series of housekeeping passes to go through all relevant events in the game and paste the one line of controlling script plus appropriate variables wherever needed. It's not difficult, it just needs to be done in a lot of places as development proceeds. In terms of sound effects, we need to tweak a few sounds, flesh out some more variety in assets, implement support for ambient and cleanly looping sound effects, and replace the placeholder character vocalizations. (Right now the character's are all voiced by Matthew Steele, whose voice you may recall as the announcer from Dungeons of Dredmor, though rest assured that he sounds nothing like that in Clockwork Empires).

All in all we're very happy with the way music and sound has come together so quickly.

Completed Features

Upcoming Features


UI/UX is really important and deserves its own category! In terms of project assets this category includes the art for icons, art for UI elements (every window, every button), the illustrations for events and backgrounds, and any other visual effects used to signal the player about what is going on in the game that isn't a part of the game-world itself. Behind the art, there is an xml layer which controls UI layouts -- what goes where and controls what -- as well as how the art is applied to these layouts. Behind the xml is the engine's UI rendering system to draw the art to screen according to xml as well as the code to send player commands through UI layouts into the game itself.

It should be emphasized that the current state of the UI is not set in stone and we fully intend to continually iterate UI/UX based on player feedback throughout the course of development. Again, it's really important because the UI is what stands between the player and the game; it should have a facilitating, not frustrating, effect.

Completed Features

Upcoming Features

Old Monthly Update Notes

October 2015 update notes:

Alpha 44 (October 2015) blog roundup:

Yes! We blog each week about development of Clockwork Empires! You can go directly to the blog here.

Alpha 44 (October 2015) Annotated Changelog

Major player-facing additions this month

If you're in a hurry, that should cover your update needs. If you find yourself with the inexplicable urge for more, then you're in luck; just keep reading.

Begin full Alpha 44 changelog!


Our use of "offices" refers to workshops that don't take in commodities to produce other commodities. Rather, they're building that a work crew is assigned to so that it may carry out a specialized task. Offices include the Barracks, Pub, Barber, Naturalist, Chapel, Mine, and Laboratory.

This month, we implemented a ton of backend code in support of more complex behaviour from workcrews assigned to these types of buildings as well as support for more complex interfaces to control their behaviour and get information about their state. A simple example is how the Pub will display how many pints it has stored; more complex (and forthcoming) is the ability to control soldier weapon loadouts through the Barracks UI. Major game-facing additions include the Pub which serves booze to workers to make them happy and the Barber who can heal colonists of afflictions.


We made a big push here on giving the player the information required to make important decisions. Of note, buildings will display what is required for construction and we have the ability to make workshop recipes grayed out until their requirements can be fulfilled. This bakes in to the UI answers to questions about "what do I need to do this".

(And finally killed the corner-module making buildings disappear bug. It was a pain, and a pain to fix, but it seems like one of those problems that every new player runs directly in to.)

Finally, stockpiles. I'm just going to paste in a block of text that appeared on our changelog but is not appropriate for a bullet point:

In the old version, we searched by stockpile, and it might end up happening that a far away good would end up in the closest stockpile to the colonist, causing colonists to put things in odd stockpiles. In the new system, we consider the closest good in each filter category to the colonist, and perform a breadth-first search versus all stockpiles looking for the hauling routine that minimizes total walking distance for the colonist (i.e. "distance from colonist to good" and then "distance from good to stockpile.") This means that, for instance, if you put a stockpile next to a pile of far away resources, and a stockpile in your home base, colonists will attempt to fill the far away stockpile with the far away resources before trying to lug them all home.

Farms & Food

The idea with these changes is to make the food economy simpler to manage, more efficient overall, and just a touch less punishing. The real big change is the fact that you must assign workcrews to farm fields directly rather than being left to the mercy of whichever random work crew happens to pick up the assignment -- now players can really control the skill of the overseer and number of workers assigned to a particular field.

Colonist Memories & Related UI

This month follows up nicely on last month's start on overhauling the character info window. The idea here is to display memories, their effect on overall mood, how long they'll last, and perhaps hint at what the player can do to resolve the problems of colonists who are having a really bad time on the Frontier. (Or not, depending on what you're going for.)

Night-time, Socialization, & Work Scheduling

With the effects of colonists' memories on their mood clarified both in game effects and UI, we're now giving them more time to carry out actions caused by their moods in off-work hours. (Plus if all you did was watch people sleep at night it'd be kinda boring.)


Corpse handling was a bit messy. Now it's been cleaned up - bodies will be disposed of in exactly the manner the player orders, every time. And various policies can be set, and they will be respected unless manually overridden. The unending tide of vermin from corpses has also been halted - it's still a problem, but not a Plague of Egypt level problem. (Tangent: Just got an idea for an eldritch event, just going to write this down real quick ... )

Characters, misc

This is a catch-all category; changes of note are a cleanup of scripts to handle colonist renaming more consistently, some tangential bugfixes from character memory balance/development, and making sure strange event cases create the correct consequences.


This all adds up to essentially a more sophisticated re-introduction of good ol' Exotic Caviar ("Tip top!") using the agent group mission mechanics. Before, caviar was a rather contextless placeholder. Now it fits into dynamic systems.

Factions Miscellany

Another catch-all, aside from fixes and balance, the goal of these changes is to allow for a bit more interaction between factions that would previously ignore one another.

UI, misc

A collection of miscellaneous UI fixes. Foremost, perhaps, is the push to make the lower-left command buttons include tooltips describing what all the buildings actually do.


They know.

Events, misc

Most interesting here is the revamp of the immigration event. It's been given a lot more narrative flavour and occurs more often because in testing we found that people would tend to have a ton of overseers with rather few underlings. No longer!

Engine/Scripting/Infrastructure Fun

In this section we've cleverly hidden a bunch of behind-the-scenes infrastructure stuff. Things to do with error reporting and compiling optimization just makes development itself smoother. Much of the rest is setting up the pipes that will hook into future features, so even if they don't sound interesting in a player-facing sense, they will certainly pay off in future updates.

Almost forget: Of particular importance is the decision tree feature being developed to mature implementation of certain complex behaviour sets, notably to do with finishing military features & attendant barracks controls. None of this is player-facing yet but will do huge things in the near future.


Supremely minor, but had to put these somewhere!

September 2015 update notes:

If I were to sum up this month's work, it would be that we worked on addressing the question of how a player queries the state of a character then how the player makes decisions which affect that state. (You like that sentence? Chris said it needs another comma, but I told him No!) ... Naturally the full story is ridiculously complex.

This month is a story of rabbit holes, of the noble intention of working on a seemingly superficial feature, prying back the cover, and ending up elbow-deep in wires and pipes. Possibly we found Lemarchand's box holding up a leaking conduit and now We have such pointers to show you. I'll give a shot at working this into a comprehensible narrative provided we all acknowledge that broad strokes are being painted with here.

First, to follow up on the revised Work Crew UI panel from last month, we set our sights on a revised Character Information panel. Sounds great, natural progression! What goes into this character panel; what is a colonist but a miserable pile of memories? Digging in to memories, ah, looks like this system needs some core operations re-jiggered to work according to our present assumptions. We'll also roll the madness system back into being attached to memories and put a better display on the character panel. And while we're at it, we should better visualize the emotional effect of memories. While we're at that, being able to better visualize memory lets us rebalance the effects of memories - let's do that. We really ought to check every instance of memory creation in the game while we're at that; and every social job that is executed based on mood state to change mood state - heck, let's check every job in the game while we're there. Oh dear, this'll need fixing; and this. We'll also need to provide players better means to address negative moods and madness, so let's get the "office" type building infrastructure working properly so that we can make, for example, effective chapels that give real feedback about their state (and this follows up nicely on the barracks from last month).

Got all that? Let's review:

  1. redo character info panel
    1. overhaul memory system
      1. review all memories in database
      2. review all memory creation points in script
      3. add madness to appropriate memories
        1. review all madness-related systems
          1. review cults & fix them to use revised madness
          2. rebalance all madness jobs
      4. implement the Lament Configuration with linked lists
    2. review & balance all social jobs
      1. review & balance all jobs in the game, period.
      2. oh hey, it turns out some jobs worked based on outdated assumptions. Re-do or can them!
    3. properly implement office system
      1. redo Chapel in particular to use new system
      2. meddle with theology, generally
      3. cults again, probably
    4. where we're going, we won't need eyes. Or roads. I always get those ones mixed up.
  2. attempt to re-activate the black hole for some reason
  3. release album

And that's not including the stuff I couldn't cram into a tangled web of related systems, which would be some optimization & finishing on stockpiles, some /other/ UI, and the whole workshift and time of day system. Plus the review of all jobs fixed a number of outstanding AI errors. And we did more balancing. And ... it's in the changelog and in the sub-categories listed below.

It's not clean and easy to explain, but we think players will be very pleased with progress from Alpha 42 to Alpha 43. We've particularly made an effort to address the divide between player knowledge about characters and what those characters choose to do. Next month should be interesting as well - we hope to focus more on finishing the backend for core system (like offices) and - well, we'll talk about that next month.

And here are our development blog posts from late August to the middle of September:

August 2015 update notes:

This was a short month! Last month when we were planning for August we decided to do a shorter work period to get us back on to the mid-month patch release schedule. (We had slipped to releasing in the 3rd week of the month or so since getting thrown off by the 2015 holidays.) As such, we decided not to try to rush a giant feature but to really attack small but numerous, well-distributed bugs, UX handups, and some balancing. In other words, we decided to focus on tightening up what we've got rather than adding a sexy new future. We figure it's something current players will appreciate even if there isn't a big shiny thing to point at.

A bit more on this point: not focusing on a big new feature is a somewhat tough proposition because that's what fuels blog posts and monthly update promotion. It is few people who want to read about how we painstakingly reproduced and nailed down an obscure crash or refactored a section of code -- but this stuff is the execution of a game, the most important part. Anyone can come up with cool ideas, the real question is how they are implemented.

With all that said we did in fact slip in a few features to point at and say "oooh, shiny and new!". Of note:

Apart from that, there are lots of little things done which will be discussed in the categories below plus an especially large number of fixes, crash fixes, and some optimizations done to improve player experience.

As ever, adventurous players should opt-in to the "experimental" build of the game using the properties>betas option in Steam. You can see the new content we're working on plus receive specific technical fixes that don't affect enough players to require hotfixing into the public build.

And here are our development blog posts from late July to the middle of August:

July 2015 update notes:

The major development themes this month were:

First, the UI refactoring was finally pushed to public branches. The underlying system is now much more reliable from a standpoint of the final result looking like the XML put into it, and it does so faster than before. Perceptive players will notice that things may look a little different in places - that means it's working. There's still much to be done in terms of implementation of course, and a few processing-hog spots remain which need to be cleaned up, but we're getting there!

We now let the player select their starting characters and goods. This was an obvious move once we realized how terrifically easy it'd be to do, plus it lets players opt in to their desired level of difficulty. This also ties in to a beginning of implementation of the Overworld. A map generation system has been built, we can show off the results, now it just needs to connect meaningfully with all of the systems at play in the game proper. This will take some time to fully implement but we've now got the foundation laid.

Speaking of foundational features, colonists received a few of their own which now enable us implement a ton of interesting character content. Colonists now have a concept of claiming property (just beds right now), a concept of desires (now mostly just "Claim a Bed", "Join a Cult", and "Murder"), and they can drink booze to forget painful memories. Which can be pretty important considering how rough life on the Frontier can be.

Lastly, a lot of work was done on figuring out how to measure a player's economic progress then how to control (say) immigration based on those numbers. This is that bit of game design that involves analytics and spreadsheets - and it's really pretty fascinating once you get into it, trust us. Iteration upon the results of these first tests will lead to a better balance of challenge versus reward and rate of interesting-things-over-time.

In broad strokes this was more of a feature development month than a content implementation month. The fruits of this progress will become all the more sweet over the next few updates, if you'll allow this painfully indulgent metaphor.

As ever, adventurous players should opt-in to the "experimental" build of the game using the properties>betas option in Steam. You can see the new content we're working on plus receive specific technical fixes that don't affect enough players to require hotfixing into the public build.

And here are our development blog posts from late June to the middle of July:

June 2015 update notes:

There were three- no, four!- major initiatives this month:

  1. Ensure game stability when saving & loading.
  2. Overhaul jobs/assignments/workshops for stability & optimization.
  3. Overhaul UI for consistency & optimization (and stability again)
  4. Implement new game content enabled by recently completed system.

Game stability is obviously of utmost importance. This has been a problem, particularly as we develop a meaningful mid-game which can't be accessed unless the game itself is stable, so we made a dedicated effort to improve the situation. This involved tracking down lots of crashes and finding what fiddly thing exploded to cause the game to crash. Some game systems were known to be problem areas and required particular attention to ensure stability, which brings us to #2...

Jobs, assignments, and workshop handling of jobs & assignments were totally re-written. It's all much better now! The primary aim of this effort was, as stated, stability but we got a number of workshop UI improvements slipped in because it was a convenient place in the code.

As mentioned last month, we've also taken apart and put together the entire UI rendering system to find all the long-standing errors, enable a few new features, and ultimately allow ourselves to use the UI system to do more with more confidence. This also has the benefit of optimizing computation pitfalls which existed in certain fringe cases, notably the "Work Crews" window. This task is essentially complete, but in the interest of maintaining a stable public release we're delaying widespread roll-out of the new UI until the first experimental patch after the public revision 40 is released - be sure to check out 40A when it hits experimental release.

Finally, we're continuing to implement new game content that's been unblocked by the past few months work. It's particularly rewarding to be able to see art in game that was completed over a year ago finally becoming a part of player's game experiences! More on the details in the appropriate categories below.

As ever, adventurous players should opt-in to the "experimental" build of the game using the properties>betas option in Steam. You can see the new content we're working on plus receive specific technical fixes that don't affect enough players to require hotfixing into the public build.

And here are our development blog posts from late May to the middle of June:

May 2015 update notes:

The big development themes this month are stackable commodities (plus some of the economic implications thereof), colonist social job overhaul (hugs!), new fishpeople faction/interaction system, lots of UI work, and (as ever) lots of fixes and additional bits of content sprinkled tastefully throughout.

Let's get a bit more into how this update furthers said key aspects of Clockwork Empires. First, commodity stacking advances economic gameplay by offering a solution to the logistical crunch of stockpile sprawl and ever-increasing hauling cost (in terms of worker-time) by allowing stacked commodities and allowing stacks to be moved. On the colonist AI front, a swath of social jobs have been created & artfully rebalanced to allow colonists which are in a particular negative state to attempt to relieve themselves of that negative state by means appropriate to their situation and unique traits - for example, both hugging and hitting other people are valid options and Brutish colonists will of course tend toward the latter. The new Fishpeople faction/group system lays down both the design groundwork and script framework for player interaction with other factions, mundane and eldritch, and serves as a model for the player establishing faction policy based on events that arise out of the simulation (rather than triggering from a pre-determined path or tree). There are also very important UI upgrades, an autosave feature, combat behaviour fixes, and a whole pile of other good stuff going in which will be described in more detail below.

As ever, adventurous players should opt-in to the "experimental" build of the game using the properties>betas option in Steam. You can see the new content we're working on plus receive specific technical fixes that don't affect enough players to require hotfixing into the public build.

And here are our development blog posts from late April to the middle of May:

April 2015 update notes:

Upon starting Clockwork Empires the first thing you may notice is that you now start with just seven rather than fourteen colonists. This is a tuning of both player experience and economic progression. You will soon notice a number of new UI elements: progress bars for jobs and a "Factions" window. As you continue, you'll find lots of new little pieces put together in the game, many new events, new character behaviours, and more feedback about what's going on.

The focus of the more directed developments this month center around giving players better control over and feedback from characters doing work in game. This is essentially "making the economy interesting" and "making it be a thing the player is interested in meaningfully playing with". Thus: progress bars, work crew panel iteration, tweaks to feedback given to player, a radical re-balancing of the gamestart, more UI stuff, and polishing some details of how characters carry out jobs.

There are also a number of parallel development streams based on different themes such as fleshing out the concept of factions generally, adding more events to bring out character traits (and player choices), tightening up combat behaviour, and more. Then there's a bunch of random stuff that seemed fun or convenient to do such as adding the 'making out' animation which led to some very interesting discussions about how character relationships ought to work.

Greater detail about making out and everything else shall be revealed in the report below! We've also decided to add a new category to the dev report: "Economy & Logistics". It's a rather important subject that 'til now we've been trying to cram into the "Buildings" section.

As ever, adventurous players should opt-in to the "experimental" build of the game using the properties>betas option in Steam. You can see the new content we're working on plus receive specific technical fixes that don't affect enough players to require hotfixing into the public build.

And here are our development blog posts from late March to the middle of April:

March 2015 update notes:
Our focus this month was on UI, performance optimization, characters, cults & bandits, and events.

Let's start with UI: We've been honing in for a while on better unifying how the player queries & orders workcrews to do their jobs. We've come up with a system for unifying jobs which were previously scattered over the map into a single control handle, an "assignment beacon" so that, for example, if you order a bunch of trees chopped you'll be able to click on one icon in the center of that area. This will open a window with workshop-like controls, allowing you to see sub-tasks, cancel the assignment, and un- or re-assign workcrews. This will also show the map area covered by the assignment, which will tie into a revamped area selection tool - but that'll be for another month. To sum up, we want to give players clear, consistent, and powerful tools to control what workcrews are doing. But do note that this implementation is in-progress, of course, and shall coalesce (before your eyes!) in upcoming weeks/months.

In character-land, we've added character skills! A workcrew leader with higher skills will allow their workcrew to finish jobs more quickly, the higher skillm the faster they work. This suddenly makes individual characters matter a lot more and serves to distinguish your lumberjack overseer quite distinctly from your metalworking artisan. Additionally, both the overseers and their labourers will now get special uniforms based on their highest skill. So lumberjacks get lovely flannel shirts, farmers have overalls, and metalworkers get heavy leather gloves and aprons. It's all quite adorable.

Meanwhile, random events have received lots of attention. Weird stuff happens based on the people and happenings in your colony, and in many cases you can decide to react to these events in different ways! Lord Palmerstoke's Science Crate is particularly devious.

Just so you don't think we're going to let you off easy, cults and bandits have gotten a lot more sophisticated. Cults will form, ask you to allow shrines (which you may accept or reject), hold creepy rituals that make them happy and other people creeped out, and if their shrine is destroyed (by, say, a stray airdrop crate) they will be greatly angered. Bandits now form gangs with unique names, and when they're in a gang, they're in all the way / from their first cigarette / to their last dyin' day. (There's a lot of framework behind bandits to enable more complex behaviour in upcoming patches, including overworld tie-ins, so that'll be fun).

Oh, and a ton of stuff has been optimized, from rendering to AI. Performance should be noticably improved.

As ever, adventurous players should opt-in to the "experimental" build of the game using the properties>betas option in Steam. You can see the new content we're working on plus receive specific technical fixes that don't affect enough players to require hotfixing into the public build.

And here are our development blog posts from late February to the middle of March:

February 2015 update notes:
This month our development goals were to get in fog of war, overhaul character jobs, finish some loose ends for economic progression, and roll in some cool events. And that's what we did.

Details? Sure: the job overhaul involved Daniel making a giant spreadsheet of every job and looking at exactly what affected everything. This revealed lots of balance issues, a number of bugs and typos; basically the sort of stuff you expect to find when doing what amounts to an audit. So that got some cleaning. We got a system for proportional utility so that a job can be added to a set where it is chosen randomly from a set based on it's value rather than simply always choosing the highest value - this lets social behaviours have more interesting variety. Combat jobs also got their logic tightened way up so that soldiers carry out their duties more according to player expectations.

Work on events including tying them to traits possessed by particular characters (who got a nametag option so you can see who people are on the map) as well as tying them to groups of character, in particular cult groups. Cults got an overhaul from the start so they form according to specific causes, have given names (which the player is actually told about), and follow strict night-time recruitment practices (as is only appropriate). Tutorials also use the event system so we hooked up a handful of new contextual tutorials and reduced the length of the infodump upon gamestart.

On the economic side, buildings cost a lot more and it generally takes longer to get together the materials required to advance. And there are a few more important reasons to advance, such as upgrading weapons (we got gun reloading, so six-shooters are much more effective than pistols now) and medicinal products that can keep madness and therefore cults at bay. Plus bricks are cool. (At least I think so.)

Fog of war is just creepy. Enjoy!

As ever, adventurous players should opt-in to the "experimental" build of the game using the properties>betas option in Steam. You can see the new content we're working on plus receive specific technical fixes that don't affect enough players to require hotfixing into the public build.

And here are our development blog posts from late of January to the middle of February (which is an absurdly short month, isn't it).

January 2015 update notes:
This month our development goals were more about stability, usability, and cleaning up a lot of smaller features that will build toward a sense of gameplay progression for the player who runs a successful colony from early to mid-game. The December holiday season is necessarily a somewhat short work-month punctuated by all varieties of festivity and plague, so it lends itself better to completing smaller tasks than doing one big feature.

Lots of little things got done: tech fixes and optimization, new UI pieces, more control over small systems, lots of small gameplay bugs squashed, problems with jobs hashed out, re-balancing here and there, graphical polish on things we've been putting off for a while, and even some more work building up to the multiplayer back-end. So rather than continuing to list small things we improved, let's shuffle you along to the sub-sections to learn more about the details of what we got done - the UI/UX section is particularly beefy.

As ever, adventurous players should opt-in to the "experimental" build of the game using the properties>betas option in Steam. You can see the new content we're working on plus receive specific technical fixes that don't affect enough players to require hotfixing into the public build.

And here are our development blog posts from the middle of December to the middle of January (the holidays forced us to do the obligatory holiday post, and there's a vegan-themed homage to that awful TNG season 1 clip show episode with Riker; you know the one).

December 2014 update notes:
This month saw a few parallel streams of development. Perhaps most important was the continuation of developing economic gameplay with the ability to order dismantling of modules, buildings, and zones. These don't feel at first glance feel like "positive" feature developments, but what they do is introduce the essential element of iteration. Now a player can build a colony, tear it down, then re-build as a better, faster, more effective colony. Alongside this we wanted to introduce some fun themed gameplay elements, so we've fleshed out the behaviour of Naturalist characters, added the Laboratory along with Scientists and Laboratory Assistants to work in them, and sprinkled the world with Strange Artifacts to discover, study for prestige, and possibly (probably) make things go Terribly Wrong with. As usual there are also a ton of small changes and improvements which will be discussed in the appropriate sections below.

Oh, and we moved into a new office in the last month! The new place is rather nice, though we're still not sure about this "sun" that keeps shining through "windows"; it's all rather alarming and if anyone can explain what's going on, please do.

As ever, adventurous players should opt-in to the "experimental" build of the game using the properties>betas option in Steam. You can see the new content we're working on plus receive specific technical fixes that don't affect enough players to require hotfixing into the public build.

Here are our development blog posts from the middle of November to the middle of December (which appear slightly fewer than usual due to how the Wednesdays line up, but hopefully the title length makes up for it):

November 2014 update notes:
So, this ended up being a weird month. Our plan was to go in and crank out a pile of economic features and UI in support thereof, but our MacOS/Linux build ended up requiring a two-week+ rewrite of the entire renderer to work with OpenGL 3.2 standards which took most core coder time away from economic feature development. That said though, there are indeed a few important features snuck in, details below. While held up on the big features required for the economy-focused work, a lot of secondary coding and implementation got done on other parts of that game which did not depend on the planned features. So this is all good stuff, just not quite the good stuff we expected this month to be about, and much of what we wanted to accomplish has had to be pushed back due to unanticipated complexity in getting the MacOS and Linux ports working.

As ever, adventurous players should opt-in to the "experimental" build of the game using the properties>betas option in Steam. You can see the new content we're working on plus receive specific technical fixes that don't affect enough players to require hotfixing into the public build.

Here are our development blog posts from the middle of October to the middle of November:

October 2014 update notes:
This month we've focused less on big showy things and more on the player experience. We've made existing gameplay smoother, fixed as many little broken things as possible, and have otherwise started putting together the infrastructure for really getting the game economy working. In this update, notably, the module construction and workshop system have received attention to set us up for further economic features. With the foundation set by this month, we will be able to implement much stronger economic gameplay in the following month (with details revealed as we implement them). Meanwhile, we've also put time into making the save/load system more stable, reduced combat micromanagement with AI improvements, and added an ammunition system to tie combat to the economy.

As ever, particularly adventurous players should opt-in to the "experimental" build of the game using the properties>betas option in Steam. You can see the new content we're working on plus receive specific technical fixes that don't affect enough players to require hotfixing into the public build.

Here are our development blog posts from the middle of September to the middle of October:

September 2014 update notes:
This is our second month in the public eye and our first on Steam as an "Early Access" title. It's an intense experience for all of here at Gaslamp to be putting the game out in the public on Steam. The feedback has proven incredibly valuable and we hope it shows in how far we've brought the game in the last four weeks. Our big features are new Cult actions, an entire new biome to play in (with new flora, fauna, crops, and cooking products), improved Fishpeople behaviour, conscription of militia soldier and better squad control, improved farming, and lots of general UI and stability fixes. All the details will be described in the categories below.

Here are our development blog posts from the middle of August to the middle of September:

August 2014 update notes:
Our first month of the public playing Clockwork Empires had generated a tremendous amount of feedback and a great deal of work has been done as a result. As expected, much of the initial technical was necessarily focused on getting the game to run at all on the huge variety in hardware and software setups that gamers own. Apart from that, the range of perspectives vastly increased which gave us a huge amount of user interface and "user experience" feedback concerning how the game is controlled and how information is presented to the player. Upon reviewing our changelogs from mid-July to mid-August, we realized that we did not include a UI/UX category on this page even though it's an essential component of Clockwork Empires. So we added a new category to track UI/UX progress! You will find it below.

More details about the month's work will be added to each section below. In the meantime, here are the development blog posts from the last month:

July 2014 update notes:
The overall status of the project is, as one would expect, quite far along. We've hit the point (as of July 2014) where the game is getting very visibly better with each update we send to testers, and the experience is becoming less about basic functionality as it is about playing the game itself. Hitting this tipping point was the most important criterion for us for any form of early access and we're at the point where people who want to participate will be able to watch the project take shape, submit bugs, help us prioritize features, suggest how to resolve design issues, and play the game largely crash-free.