Author Archives: David

How To Set People On Fire

Or another day of learning how to do Lua scripting with artists. (It’s easier than you think.)

It's simple, really.

Just click the button. You monster.

I’ve been excited about the possibilities for our scripting system to handle fire and fire propagation for some time and finally made the chance to start working on it this last week while I was delving into some combat scripting (and that with regard to making The Troubles With Fish People more aesthetically pleasing).

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Thaddeus Bronzewhistle, Loyal Subject of The Queen

Bureaucracy is of utmost importance to The Empire.

Bureaucracy is of utmost importance to The Empire.

My name is Thaddeus Bronzewhistle and I was born in the 49th year of the reign of The Queen. I left civilization to promote the ideas and ethics of Science. I worship at the altar of celestial order, as is right and proper for a Subject of The Queen. My barber has commented that I am a fine specimen of my Class, with a stance neither above nor below my correct Station in life: The Middle Class.

I'm really awfully glad I'm a Middle Class.

I’m really awfully glad I’m a Middle Class.

 I hold it not against the Creator that I have been placed thus in life, for my Station is the logical result of the Machinations of Fate. But were I born an Aristocrat I would be able to fully devote myself to the Noble Calling of Science, though I shall not indulge in thoughts which are against the Natural Order of the Universe for such thoughts lead to Madness, as well we all know from the terrible stories one may read in back pages of The Empire Times.

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GASLAMP VR: The Future Of Indie Gaming

April 1st, 2014 — Gaslamp Games, Inc., independant game developers and makers of the critically acclaimed Dungeons of Dredmor, formerly deep in production on Clockwork Empiresare pleased to announce an exciting new direction for the studio. ”The future of gaming is here,” said Gaslamp Games Technical Director Nicholas Vining, pausing a moment to pull a slug of whiskey. ”We’re going to build VR the indie way.”

Look into the face of the FUTURE OF GAMING. Do you see it yet? Keep looking! KEEP LOOKING UNTIL YOU SEE IT.

Look into the face of the FUTURE OF GAMING. Do you see it yet? Keep looking! KEEP LOOKING UNTIL YOU SEE IT.

Fully embracing cross-platform compatibility, the GASLAMP VR development prototype rig is carefully constructed from three iPhones and an Android. “The Busted Up Old iPad Taped To Your Arm peripheral is a feature we’ve been exploring for the so-called ‘power-users’ I’ve been hearing so much about on the ‘information superhighway’ ” explained Gaslamp Games CEO / Studio Director Daniel “Burning Hand” Jacobsen as he stroked a perfectly white Persian cat. ”We decided that market disruption required a radical pivot to synergizing our core competencies with partners in cloud space,” he continued, addressing a corner of the office filled with stacks of shipping foam and a sad-looking umbrella.

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Pickle That Fungus

We know what you really want: An excruciatingly detailed fungus pickling simulator. And I’m going to show you how it’s done. “What, more logistics simulation?” you gasp, somewhat overwhelmed with emotions you can not identify, will not identify. Yes, I answer, because if I’m going to be forced to write this thing two weeks in a row it’s either this or more Bizarre Literary Experiments and we all know how that turns out. (Of course we could always mix the two – a bizarre literary industrial logistics simulation experiment, but then I might be treading on China Mieville’s turf and that guy could totally beat me up.)

Let’s call it a two-part series if that makes you feel better.  Remember that episode of TNG where Riker said “Fire!” and it cut to the end of the season? It’s like that but without the cliffhanger. Or Riker. But we’ll make it work because we’ve got fungus and the luminous mycelium interfacing with the base of our neck, suggesting that this is a good idea after all and why don’t we continue discussing the laudable qualities of fungi.

The elusive black cup fungus - a delicacy, I hear.

Shhh. See there? It is the elusive black cup fungus – a delicacy, I hear.

So let’s walk through the process of adding a harvestable resource to the game and go into a bit more detail about creating a production chain from start to finish. All meat free!

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They’re Made Out Of Meat

Here at Gaslamp Games we each have our “particular enthusiasm” and as previously established, mine is the industrial logistics simulation. Let’s talk a bit more about how that works.

The Many Fleshes

The Observerator Reports: Each entity is of a flesh / Each flesh will be harvested for Study.

Most everything on the game map can have resources harvested from it in one way or another (and we really mean another). Trees, rocks, crops, animals, people, Other Things. You combine these to make other things. The natural environment of your settlement determines what resources are abundant and what resources are not. If you settle on the Black Dunes of Whispering, expect anything to do with resources tagged “timber” to be a lot more relatively expensive. But look on the bright side, I’m sure there are advantages to living on the Black Dunes of Whispering. For example, lots of whispering. And bones.

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A Very Clockwork Valentine’s

We here at Gaslamp Games wish all of our dear readers to have a very happy Valentine’s day and, as such, have created some cards to assist you in your courtship rituals with the ends of finding the love of the man / woman / boiler / fishperson / infinite black abyss that most fulfills you.

(We also did some actual work on various things, so stick around for that too. I’ve cleverly mixed in development discussion with the silly pictures, and in at least one case they’re slightly related. Mostly they’re not.)

#1. A Very Special Knock On Your Door


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The Power Of Names

Pictured: Smugly Working, arch-criminal mastermind, ne'er-do-well, and blaggard of the Frontier.

Smugly Working; arch-criminal mastermind, general ne’er-do-well, and all-around blaggard of the Empire’s Colonial Frontier.

As we learned in the You Have To Name The Expansion Pack expansion pack to Dredmor which you had to name, names have power. Characters in Clockwork Empires, like Dredmor expansion packs, have names. So what names ought to be given to these people? And how? As fun as it’d be to make up hundreds of Victorian Steampunk names by hand, we have the technology to make robots do the work for us using the power of procedural content generation.

Mind you, procedural content is not a magical solution to all problems. It may indeed involve actual design work to fit interestingly, much less well, into a hypothetical game. So, naming: the care we put into the raw feedstock of the the Hypno-Pneumatic Name-o-Tron very much determines the quality of its denotative extrusions. And here at Gaslamp Games, we intend to provide only the finest extrusions, thick with nuance, speckled by nodules of intertextuality, and offset by an effervescence of whimsy.

The extruder.

An extrusion unit.

This raw name-feedstock creates flavour, theme, & narrative for Clockwork Empires. What’s all this then, story in a procedurally generated sandbox game? – Well, sure! Even though, as usual, we’re just making it up as we go along, there are certain vaguely insinuated guidelines to respect. A bit of structure can be put in place to support a certain range of narratives, if you will, which can be quite enabling to players. We give you a delightful setting and a nudge on the back, you make the game your own from there on out.

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And a Happy New Year


Run little dodo, run! (Mr. Triolo was having fun animating this guy before he left for the holidays, as you can see.)

.. Hello? Anyone here? No?

Then I guess it’s just me on the job today. Everyone else is still on vacation.

I suppose I could be persuaded to share a couple tidbits in a short post. You guys have been terribly patient over the holidays so I guess you’ve earned it.

(And this is what I get for falling to The Plague and taking weirdly offset vacation time. On the up side, I used a pitcher of week-old coffee to  anoint myself lead programmer and used my new-found sense of intellectual invincibility to write some absolutely fascinating Lua script to convert our Lua entity definitions to XML readable by the UI system so that we can display commodities in UI widgets. I’m hyperventilating just writing about that one.)

(No, but seriously: Regular expressions! Oh man.)

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