A Scheduling Change

We have spent an intense few weeks considering our plans for the next few months, and as a result, we’ve decided to push back early access of Clockwork Empires to the summer. It’s a short delay from our original release window for early access, but a delay nonetheless.

Almost everyone who has played the current version of Clockwork Empires can see the promise of what we want the game to be when it’s done. The message that we keep hearing is “don’t force this game out the door until it’s ready, because it will be really special when it is”, and we want it to be there when you play it.  In the spirit of transparency, starting early access this spring would not allow us to give you that – close, but not quite hitting the mark yet.

In the meantime, recruitment of pre-alpha testers continues apace. We’re sorting out some compatibility issues with graphics cards, spending time figuring out which UI decisions are correct and which need work, and generally putting in more content to flesh out the game.

So that’s our game development blog post for today. We realize this may come as a disappointment to some of you, but we only get one shot at this and we want to do it right.

I'm not even going to attempt to caption this one. Readers, over to you!

You’ve got to bake the bread the right amount even if there’s a man wearing a fez passed out in your doorway and another standing in the field, staring and angry. Because that bread is worth it and it’s going to be delicious. Unless you have Celiac Disease, in which case we’ve probably got a teff or quinoa based bread that’ll work just as well.

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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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The Fishman

THE FISHMAN

[set, roughly, to the meter of Edgar Allen Poe's "The Raven"]

bedOnce upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary,
having just returned from GDC a couple days before,
lying in my bed with con flu, none too happily sorting through
the impressions of the journalists who visited before.
“They struggled with the game,” I muttered, “having never played before.
These struggles I do so deplore.”

clickingAh, distinctly, I remember, it was in my warmest sweater,
as each JIRA ticket crashed like waves upon the ocean shore.
Eagerly I watched the replays, studying hard and searching for ways
to improve the user’s gateway into CE’s dreadful lore.
The mouse clicks were not working, as they once had worked before,
for putting things onto the floor.

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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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So That Happened.

GDC happened! And with it, some exciting announcements that we have been selfishly hoarding for people who deal in the trafficking of humans (to their websites).

Why hello there.

Steam Knight of Her Majesty’s 1st Armoured Guards Regiment reporting for duty.

First, we announced that we will be releasing Clockwork Empires in some sort of paid early access model this spring, with more details to come soon. We decided to run it this way a couple of months ago, but we’ve been discussing it internally for a long time. Clockwork Empires is just a good fit for the process. It’ll be a new experience every time you play it, and we can use the way that people are playing the game to inform our design priorities. Also we can sneak in stuff so if you pull up your game after an update some new and weird things can surprise you, and that’s awesome.

More importantly, we announced the Steam Knight, cleverly hidden in plain sight this whole time, who may be armed with a grenade launcher or one (or two) of a number of other gigantic weapons! There are turrets as well: the Minum Gun Turret (“what we have and what the fishpeople do not”), which can be deployed to protect yourself from waves of Eldritch horrors, crudely armoured bandits in the Grand Australian Tradition, as well as The Stahlmarkian Menace. There are some issues with them so we disabled them for the press build (take THAT press!), but we will soon fix the bug that allows every character in your settlement to sit in the same turret seat and never leave. Ever.

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How To PR: The Gaslamp Way

We are at GDC! More specifically, we are in a Hotel, which we are not allowed to leave. If we leave the Hotel, our PR person will shoot us. What we are doing at GDC is we are demoing Clockwork Empires for Members of the Press, so that they remember that we are alive. So far, the press response has been overwhelmingly positive.

Evan Lahti from PC Gamer got the first hands-on look at Clockwork Empires before GDC; we think he’s some kind of Space Pirate or something. You can find Mr. Lahti’s preview here. Inside you will find many of the secret things we have been working on revealed, including Steam Knights, Cultists, Eldritch Modules, and more. Behold its deadly secrets and quake in wonder. You will also find, revealed therein, that the game will be available – thanks to the dreaded manipulations of Early Access, the Wonder of the Scientific Age – soon for those of you brave enough to help us in the development process. We will be discussing this in further detail later.

Since Evan has already kindly written about our game this week, I’m not going to. Instead, here are some notes on the PR process of showing the game to forty different journalists in a five day span.

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March Technical Status Update: HRRRRRRRNGH Edition

We will be at GDC next week, showing Clockwork Empires to people. How does this impact your life, you ask? First, there will be a Flurry of Exciting Things for you to read. Second, next week’s blog post will probably be more pictures of Sean drinking beet juice or something. Third, we are hard at work adding polish and spit to various parts of the game in order to get it ready to the press. This spit will eventually be transferred to you, the customers. Fourth, this is a terrible metaphor.

This is the paradoxical nature of game development: trying to finish a game, while making your PR department happy. One of the reasons why we have been writing about fungus, querns, and whatever the heck else people are writing about is because we have promised that the Rites of Revelation can be performed by various Reporter-Type Entities from Beyond the Stars. Once things are Revealed, according to the Cosmic Prophecies, we will let you know where you may find these revelations! In the mean time, we shall repeat the ancient chant of our people: “Man, PR is weird.”

There are, however, some exciting Things that have shown up on the programming side of the world. We can tell you about these things! We are now at Revision 12 of pre-alpha testing, for instance, and the game has improved substantially. Some milestones on this front include having in-office testers playing the game, seeing where they get stuck, and fixing these things; and, as of today, expanding our tester pool from our main six testers to a supporting cast consisting of other developers and friends. Next stop: random people from the Internet.

We haven’t actually done a technical status update since December, I guess? So it’s been awhile. Let’s look at some stuff.

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