Clockwork Empires: PC Gamer Interview, minor FAQ, & other such foolishness

(If you haven’t seen it yet, get yourself up to steam on the scuttlebutt surrounding Clockwork Empires with the PC Gamer preview: Clockwork Empires: a preview of Gaslamp Games’ Lovecraft-laden steampunk city-builder).


The good people at PC Gamer were also brave enough to interview the Gaslamp partners on the subject of Clockwork Empires: Interview: Gaslamp Games’ mad, incredible vision for Clockwork Empires

Various developers have been spotted on Clockwork Empires threads on the Bay 12 forums, Quarter to Three forums, and the SomethingAwful forums to answer your Burning Questions. Delighted minds are encouraged to round up the best responses and post them somewhere so we don’t have to.


Q. When is it coming out?

A. Not for a while yet. 2013 should be a good year.

Q. Will Clockwork Empires be released for Windows, Mac, and Linux?

A. Yes.

Q. Are those real screenshots of the game on PC Gamer?

A. No. Those are renders built from game assets we have already created but they are not being displayed in the game engine for those images. The final game engine is going to look similar to that; we’ve built a fairly standard deferred renderer, with PCF shadows, screenspace ambient occlusion, dynamic lighting, and [technical words] to bring things to life!

We’ll have screenshots as soon as we feel happy having screenshots. We’re pretty close, but we went with renders in order to hit PC Gamer’s print deadline.

Q. You’re doomed! Doomed, I say! How will you ever hope to survive?

A. That’s not a question.

Q. How far along are you in the programming side of things?

A. Pretty good, actually. (And that IS a question.) We’ve got most of the rendering done, most of the backend stuff done, a first version of the netcode, and an AI layer that is busy running around the map harvesting berries and gathering plants. The procedural building stuff works, although we’re still debugging the odd case where a roof suddenly decides to explode for no good reason. (Still, at least it’s consistent.) The focus at this point, moving forward, is two-fold: integrating the stuff from the multicore CPU people, and attacking the hideous mound of gameplay and AI.

Q. Can we Pre-order/Kickstart/Throw money at you?

A. We have no plans to do pre-orders or crowdsource funding or anything like that. The plan is to make the game, then sell it to people.

If you really really want to, you could always purchase Dungeons of Dredmor (and its numerous expansions — for a friend, perhaps?), or buy a t-shirt and stickers.

Q. How much will Clockwork Empires cost?

A. More than Dungeons of Dredmor.

Q. Does that lady soldier have a beard?

A. In this case, no, that isn’t a lady. But one shouldn’t discount the possibility of false beards making a fashion come-back! Anyway, every character type in Clockwork Empires is egalitarian.

Except the Queen.

Q. Quad-core CPU, are you insane?

A. Yes, but not for this reason. Somewhat. But hear us out: we’re not targeting today’s machines, we’re targeting what will hopefully be the norm in late 2013. This is in keeping with what is generally perceived to be the flow of computer hardware; we’re moving away from faster single-core machines as we smack into Moore’s Law, and are now hitting a new era where CPU manufacturers will start competing by putting more and more CPU cores on a single die.

Because we’re running a very complex simulation, we want to avoid the problem that Other Simulation Games have where the action chokes down; to do this, we’re trying to be forward-looking. Hence, our collaboration with the good folks at Simon Fraser University. Expect to see a lot more of this in the PC space as the next generation of consoles comes out, and the major manufacturers start shipping consoles with quad-core CPUs.

Theoretically, the game will limp along on dual cores just fine, but you may suffer a “Sub-Optimal Experience.”

Other Foolishness

Oh, I suppose we could show just a little bit more. But you have to promise to be good.

So long as we’re showing off uninformative renders of art assets, have some test-scaffolding, a bit of a steam-car, a building encrusted with lovely brick, and Trees: “Nature’s charcoal”.

This character lineup shows some a few possible variation of outfits, hats, and props with just one head model per gender. Don’t worry — There will be more than two heads / head-analogous body structures in Clockwork Empires.

Now that we’ve announced this thing we’re very much looking forward to being able to talk openly about development of Clockwork Empires on our blog. Expect things to start picking up, especially after we’re done with all the PAX madness.

Oh, yeah. By the way, we’ll be at PAX in the Indie Megabooth. Come by, say hello, and play some Dungeons of Dredmor!

Posted in Clockwork Empires, Interviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

16 Responses to “Clockwork Empires: PC Gamer Interview, minor FAQ, & other such foolishness”

  1. Borodin says:

    So: sometime in 2013. That sounds reasonable. Take your time; do it right. Q3 or Q4 makes sense.

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  2. József Nagypál says:

    Just don’t forget to make a promo hat for Team Fortress 2 when the time comes.

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  3. OmniNegro says:

    Where is the mention of squid-deer?

    Nothing to see here. Move along and feed the trolls.

    WTF is with this catcha mess?

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  4. EspeciallyGaijin says:

    Looking amazing! Can’t wait until it comes out!!

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  5. Anon says:

    Damn, quad-core. I’ll be waiting a while before getting it then.

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  6. OmniNegro says:

    Captcha is usually easy. But I tried multiple times before I managed to get it right. I did not know it could be told to Go Rogue. 😀

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  7. Borodin says:

    A very good dual-core can work better than a poor quad-core, Anon. You just have to remember to invoke air utilizing the greater hexagram ritual at midnight under a full moon, and be utterly, completely sure to include a copy of The Temple of Apshai in your sacrifice alongside the three virgins. Saves on defragmenting the drive.

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  8. Arron Syaoran says:

    I hope my Early 2008 Dual Core would be enough.(for maybe lower/lowest settings)

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  9. Haldurson says:

    I’m curious about how multiplayer will work — multiple cities in one world, or one city with shared responsibilities or what?

    Regardless, I’m totally filled with impatience to see more. I’m usually a very patient person, but I have to admit that my self control is failing me right now.

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    • Kazeto says:

      Well, we know there’s a mode in which they pretty much take turns to control one city (or just control it simultaneously), but more than that, we’ll see.

      And oh well, I can wait for that game. I’ve been planning to buy a new machine for myself next year, so the release date is convenient for me.

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  10. Roundhouse Kitty says:

    Got any plans for more Dredmory business, Gaslamp? 😀

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  11. JonNik says:

    Very excited about this! (oldtime dwarf fortress, Lovecraft and Steampunk devotee here. You guys have covered all the bases for me 🙂 )

    I don’t game that much these days but I am sure I will make time for this one…

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  12. Digger says:

    Yay I am oh so happy I bought my new pc I gots 8cores so I’m safe yay!

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  13. Leonard says:

    Is this the fabled Project Odin? I just came back from being deep in the mountains of Arkansas for two weeks and am in a daze.

    A little bummed about the Quad-core reqs. *sigh*

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