Clockwork Empires March Update: Don’t Tell The Ministry

Once more, a Clockwork Empires appears, but be sure that you –


This update will go live to every Clockwork Empires player via Steam!

We have also updated our Clockwork Empires: Development Progress report!

(Don’t own the game? Clockwork Empires can be purchased on via Humble or from Steam.)

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Patch Notes:

Clockwork Empires v37

Major Features

  • lots of engine, rendering, and AI optimizations
  • new character skill system (& character models set by highest skill)
  • revamped resource harvesting UI
  • lots of new cult & bandit events
  • icon added for single bottle of rum

The Engine

  • optimization: removed unnecessary matrix calculations from renderer backend
  • optimization: Rewrote all code for handling of static props to use flat arrays for cache efficiency
  • FIXED: zone decals (farms, graveyards, roads, ???) now correctly render in screen space as volumetric decals

Human Characters

  • Added middle-class character skills:
    • resource collection
    • carpentry
    • smithing
    • cooking
    • science
    • farming
    • construction & repair
  • added a skill progression system (though job time reduction based on skill level is not yet fully implemented – it’s on workshop jobs, resource collection, and construction & repair so far.)
  • related: a whole mess of profession-specific character models have been hooked up (these change based on workcrew overseer’s primary skill)
  • optimization: characters won’t attempt to fulfill dependencies they don’t need (stowing tools when they don’t need to, fleeing from monsters when none are around, etc.)
  • FIXED: invite to cult feedback said it was trying to form a new cult (+ made text description more informative)
  • cults: if a cult doesn’t have a shrine and has >= 3 members, it will attempt to build a shrine
  • colonists will now be woken up by gunshots, melee fighting, and explosions based on distance from source of sound (rather than damage target)
  • “embrace eldritch visions” action now plays a variety of animations
  • weighted down the appeal of “admire painting/fine machinery/implements of science” jobs
  • medicinals (Laudanum, Sulphur Tonic) have a chance to remove the desire to form a cult from maddened colonists
  • FIXED: colonists inspired to start a cult already in a cult won’t start a new cult
  • cults: cult will select most hardcore member to be a new leader if their old leader dies
  • cults: a cult will end if all members are dead
  • cults: cultists will attempt to worship at cult shrines each night
  • cults: non-cultists witnessing cult worship will become upset; cultists witnessing cult worship will become happy
  • cults: cultists will become irrationally happy if they do any sort of cult things
  • cults: a colonist’s religion description string will update if they join a cult (as minion or leader)
  • cults: occult murder re-activated; occult murderers won’t flee from justice (they serve a higher law)
  • cults: a cult will request permission to build a shrine the first time, allowing player to tolerate or persecute cult shrines
  • cults: shrines can be destroyed by any damage source & cultists will be angered if their shrine is destroyed (by any means)
  • added more character names (call me Ishmael)
  • FIXED: stockpile hauling jobs utility would tank due to distance calculation

Combat & Military 

  • optimization: improved speed of time soldiers spend checking alarm queries
  • optimization: improved speed of time spent checking for hostiles
  • balance: doubled reload time for characters w/o military training
  • made fishguns unusable by humans (because they’re both terrible and would ruin the gun economy)
  • soldiers will attack cult shrines if policy is set to persecute cults

Non-Human Characters (Animals, Monsters, Vehicles)

  • overhaul of bandits in-progress (and yes, bandits technically fall under the “monsters” category)
    • improved feedback for various decisions made by bandits (setting up camp, attacking player)
    • bandits will form gangs (like workcrews, but for crime!); bandit gangs get their own names
  • bandit combat behaviour improved (won’t ignore gunfire to steal stuff, usually; entire gang will retreat if > 50% of squad is fleeing, etc.)
  • balance: made fishpeople less excited about attacking gabions
  • polished minor issues with fox pack-hunting behaviour

Buildings & Building Creation

  • colonists using a stockpile will now always prefer the closet stockpile square
  • FIXED: characters would drop tools in any old stockpile
  • FIXED: game would crash sometimes when cancelling an assignment, cancelling jobs, and picking up a job that was cancelled on the same frame
  • balance: increased interrupt value of “repair module” and “gather building materials for repairing module”
  • balance: doubled output of farms, halved hunger/starvation time
  • added correct description to Chicha (an alcoholic beverage brewed from maize!)
  • FIXED: chalkboards now have a 1×3 footprint
  • the macroscope is no longer backwards
  • FIXED: modules not individually selectable after save/load
  • FIXED: modules sometimes not getting correct tooltips selected and still always displaying module costs
  • FIXED: modules not having correct bounding box set in object grid after save/load
  • FIXED: misspelling of “fibrous” in Flax Straw description
  • combined the Refinery, Arsenal, and Metalworks into the Metalworks building
  • added “Upgrade Musket To Carbine” job; basic single-shot weapons (musket, pistol) can now be upgraded to multi-shot weapons


  • work on determinism
  • work on tools to debug determinism

Events, Metagame, & The Overworld

  • balance: criminal favour gives random 1-3 criminals rather than always 3
  • balance: redcoats favour gives one fewer soldiers
  • added a number of new events based on population and traits, as well as a fun bonus one for mining
  • allowing too many cult shrines to be built may trigger an investigation
  • added “how to use a workshop” contextual tutorial
  • “Research Family Tree” event now has consequences
  • “Lord Palmerstoke’s Science Crate” event has been completely revamped and is ridiculous
  • “Ominous Dreams” event now actually fires and adds madness to its victim
  • FIXED: events w/o consequences (ie. many new memories made in response to player decisions)
  • balance: made supply drop really rare & take a long time


  • added icon for bottle of rum
  • added descriptive text of madness level to character info panel
  • shortened tutorial tooltips (they were overflowing their background)
  • added game website to title menu just because
  • added sound effects to a lot of UI elements
  • added line placer for clicking and dragging out gabions and other rows of elements
  • added feedback for building demolition orders (clicking the button now closes the UI, reopening it shows an alert that it’s slated for removal)
  • added new assignment beacon system for resource collection jobs
  • added “assignment zones “drawn around new assignment beacon areas when their control icon is moused over
  • added contact note on launcher
  • revised some icons to show ceramics kilns vs. smelter modules
  • finished the graveyard icon, finally

Have fun and let us (but not the Ministry) know through our portal or forum if anything goes wrong!


Oh hey, there’s a hotfix on Steam as of March 20, it does this:

  • FIXED: error in jobs/assignments which could break jobs system
  • FIXED: game crash when saving a job system thus broken

These are good things to have fixed. Carry on!

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6 Responses to “Clockwork Empires March Update: Don’t Tell The Ministry”

  1. Sapphire Crook says:

    I hope that, one day, some goofball takes all these movie posters and makes trailers for them.
    And then everyone storms the site demanding “When’s the movie being released!?”

    And then GLG’s becomes Hollywood’s next rival!

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  2. Alephred says:

    [*]work on determinism
    [*]work on tools to debug determinism

    This was inevitable.

    { reply }
  3. Scott [REDACTED] says:

    “Colonists using a stockpile will now always prefer the closet stockpile square”

    Closet Stockpiles: the Latest Trend from London!

    In all seriousness though, being able to compactly store relevant items *inside* the relevant buildings would be amazing (examples include a pantry in the kitchen, weapons cabinet in the armoury, and a Laudanum cabinet in the building where you store cultists when they’re not in use.

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  4. Mike H says:

    Version 37 has very noticeable performance improvements on my Mac – thanks, and – good work!.

    Anyway: just some silly ideas for The Endgame:
    **”Colonist Steam-Powered Brass Bands”**.
    After all, once subsistence and safety is achieved, it’s time to get Some Entertainment going. Featuring….

    i) steam-powered Tubas (emitting steam, of course)
    ii) cog/belt-driven Trombones
    [these and sundry other instruments manufactured in the Metalworks. From brass plates]
    iii) a ‘Band workcrew’ lead by an aristocrat Conductor/Drill-master.
    iv) bandstand/parade-ground options in ‘Zones and Constructions’.

    ….I reckon a good blast of ‘Cog Save The King!’ by 4 trumpets, 2 trombones, a horn [from Republique Mechanique] and a tuba would really let the Fishpeople know that the British have arrived.

    i) bugles for NCOs increase effectiveness
    ii) bandits can have guitars, I guess. Or banjos maybe.
    iii) steam/pipe-organs for the church

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  5. lanceros says:

    Woohoo! finally bought the game after lurking for like a year, couldn’t resist any longer. Love the game so far, definitely buggy (to be expected) the atmosphere and lovecraftian feel is awesome, great sense of humor as well. I noticed though, when i started a new game often times a crate of supplies would land on one of my characters heads and they would have the permanent debuff saying something like “He was hit hard in the head, he will never be the same” makes me laugh every time. Please keep the updates coming! <3

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