Clockwork Empires May Update: We Built This Colony With Hugs

Once more, a stack of Clockwork Empires updates appears in a neat pile. We present for 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:

Major Features

  • commodity stacking for maximum logistical efficiency!
  • new Fishpeople faction system + interaction events – make friends! make enemies! or just be confusing!
  • added a ton of social behaviours for colonists covering everything from hugging to throttling!
  • new hunger/tiredness system for colonists with distinct consequences

The Engine

  • autosaves are in, set to autosave every 10 minutes.
  • autosave now alternates between two files (stability improvement)
  • fixed some capitalization issues (linux compatibility)
  • removed water vertical motion (for now, ominously)
  • FIXED: buffer overflow crash in fog of war
  • FIXED: crashes when characters are deleted with emotions
  • FIXED: the invisible shadows of stacked objects will render after saving and loading a game
  • FIXED: construction costs for buildings do not increment after saving and loading a game
  • FIXED: cannot demolish buildings after saving and loading a game
  • FIXED: items occasionally turn blue
  • FIXED: crash bug when occasionally placing a module with SHIFT-CLICK mode

Human Characters

  • added first iteration of a new hunger system aka “the cascading cannibalism decision tree”
  • added new sleep system (day 1: sleep in bed, day 2: sleep on floor, day 3: sleep on ground)
  • balance: altered calculation of colonists’ willingness to take part in cannibalism
  • added new social jobs: “inspect food, inspect body, cower inside building”
  • social jobs have been rebalanced. (Many more are planned, as there is still a relatively small number of available options to characters until buildings are constructed & economy started.)
  • rewrote all friendship and rivalry-ship code to be stored in C++; added new requirements for checking if somebody is a friend or rival before doing something to them (enables lots of new (anti)social behaviours)
  • characters now use walk animations appropriate to their mood
  • added several new social jobs that allow characters to interact with each other (slap someone else, hug, etc)
  • characters can now punch each other and cause tantrum spirals of punching (and this is almost certainly under- or over-tuned)
  • fixed typos in laudanum-themed character history string
  • if really hungry, people will attack animals for their meat
  • if really hungry and mad/has certain traits, people will attack people for their meat
  • frontier justice is now only auto-applied AFTER a murderer hits someone with a weapon, not before
  • added terrible memories for very hungry/starving people
  • eating raw_meat now requires a higher level of hunger than other raw_foods
  • some traits are now restricted to certain social classes
  • fixed some cult prefix string typos
  • fixed minor typo in a hunger memory
  • added “Suck up to superior” job
  • added “Cower inside” job
  • added “Sleep due to sadness” job
  • added “Drink due to sadness” job
  • fixed lots of memory icons
  • minor fixes to Vicar jobs
  • colonists will now drop tools/guns when profession is switched (conscription/deconscription, assignment to laboratory, etc)
  • FIXED: labourers whose models changed cannot be selected (that is to say, they can now be selected)
  • FIXED: some memories not showing up correctly on bandits who joined your colony
  • FIXED some broken cult behaviour
  • FIXED: walk_to_nearest_position throwing a script error when the item being walked to is lost or destroyed
  • FIXED: minor nerve-stapling bug
  • FIXED: an insidious drop_item scripterror
  • FIXED: Corpses still wanted to be buried even after they were chopped up & eaten
  • FIXED: hunger/tiredness values in gossip topic calculation

Scripting System

  • (determinism stuff related to multiplayer, see that section instead)

Combat & Military

  • hooked up new ‘unskilled reload’ animation
  • fishpeople weapons now properly delete themselves when dropped
  • balance: greatly reduced gabion construction time
  • FIXED: long reload anim wasn’t properly set on militia
  • FIXED: a number of military stalling issues and incorrect behaviours

Non-Human Characters (Animals, Monsters, Vehicles)

  • implemented big Fishpeople overhaul + lots of new content for Fishpeople (in-progress)
  • official policy toward fishpeople can be set in response to interaction events/crises
  • fishpeople now spawn in groups with goals/missions that they will attempt to fulfill (lots of infrastructure done for this)
  • fishpeople & colonists can interact in various peaceful ways if policy is friendly (note: this is far from feature complete)
  • colonists can attempt to non-violently intimidate fishpeople (and vice versa)
  • added fishpeople scout mission/event
  • added fishpeople beach patrol mission/event
  • added fishpeople friendly envoy mission/event
  • added fishpeople property destruction policy event
  • added fishpeople hassling crisis event
  • added fishpeople vandalism crisis event
  • added fishpeople assault crisis event
  • fishpeople combat logic improved
  • balance: replaced fishpeople in tropics w/ Deathwurms (note: deathwurm attack anim needs tweaking)
  • balance: boosted hp and aggressiveness of Deathwurms
  • changed armoured hit sound on animals (so it doesn’t sound like metal)

Buildings & Building Creation

  • Added deletion of individual models
  • Moving a module to an invalid location (say, taking a door and dragging it off into space) will now snap the module back to its original location and parent and not move it.
  • FIXED: handful of memory corruption bugs when moving modules
  • FIXED: cannot demolish the same house multiple times
  • FIXED: script error on building demolition (multiple script errors, really)
  • FIXED painting scripterror

Economy & Logistics

  • containers and stacking: stacks can now be created, and colonists will attempt to move things into stacks and then organize their stacks in stockpiles. Colonists w ll now also produce stacks of goods as the output of some workshop processes
  • stacked commodities now respect stockpile filters
  • moved a bunch of container and stack code to C++ from Lua (perfomance should be improved)
  • containers and stacks can now be merged by characters
  • balance: doubled output for cooked food based on farmed or foraged ingredients
  • balance: tripled output for cooked food based on hunted ingredients
  • balance: brick-making should actually make a bunch of bricks because wow, did we ever need a lot of them.
  • surface mining jobs are now a single job that selects the correct tool rather than two jobs, one for each tool
  • rewrote the code for handling jobs in assignments: we now actually store the jobs that are being done on an assignment on the assignment object, rather than just trying to add or subtract them. Consequently, this means that the bookkeeping of such jobs is accurate. The hope is that this fixes the bug where people will get stuck in an assignment, but we’ll see. (At the very least, it should give us more information.)
  • FIXED: “remove spoiled crops” now correctly given lower priority than “tend crops”.
  • FIXED: crash saving game after aborting a job targeting a stockpile object or container due to item being lost or misplaced

Biomes & Terrain

  • Vexing plateaus should no longer cut off player’s colonists from the rest of the world. Usually.

Events, Metagame, and The Overworld

  • FIXED: Incredibly generous bandits have been taught how to be greedy and will no longer give you their stuff every 8 seconds
  • FIXED error in “bandit wants to join colony”
  • Communists are now upset by upper class sympathy
  • New Prestige Favor: “Airship overflight”
    Fixed bug with “ominous dreams” event
    fixed typos in Bandit spawn event & tutorial
  • FIXED: memory leaks in events
  • FIXED: error in upper class sympathy event
  • FIXED: errors in ministry investigation event tree
  • accepting criminal goods may trigger an investigation
  • “Doomed” characters now much more doomed
  • added some defensive checks to avoid crashy bandit events if bandits are killed before the dialog is triggered by the player


  • networking: restored engine determinism (with determinism safe script math)
  • networking: fixed cross platform world building (Mac and PC)
  • networking: fixed maximum message size problem when using Steam
  • networking: introduced command buffering to hide networking latency (and allowed clients that were behind to speed up slightly to catch up)

Music & Sound

  • day-night music transition will now start when the visual transition starts instead of when it ends
  • music now fades out Discovery/Productivity Tracks at night (Battle, Tragedy and Insanity are still things that can happen at night.)


  • FIXED: removal of factions from UI now works
  • UI: added highlight showing currently displayed faction to Factions Menu
  • Options menu is back, but the options which weren’t being used/tested properly have been removed. Currently only allows on/off for music and for autosaves.
  • emotes for conversations are back, but are now limited based on zoom level. (We’ll probably put in a keyboard command to disable all of these for screenshots)
  • FIXED: size of work crew portraits in work party UI now has no blank space
  • FIXED: selection of trees and other static props is now triangle-accurate
  • Clicking a module in the module placer mode now brings up a choice: move the module, or delete it. Modules that are built cannot be moved, and can only be deleted.
  • added “need_sleep” and “explosion” icons, redrew “propeller” icon.
  • selected objects in an assignment beacon now tint blue, highlight
  • mood icon now correctly displays character’s mood in character info panel
  • added “morale” and “sanity” icons to character info panel
  • (deep overhaul of fundamental UI system in-progress)


Have fun and let us know through our mysterious portal or forum if anything goes wrong!

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11 Responses to “Clockwork Empires May Update: We Built This Colony With Hugs”

  1. MailersMate says:

    FIXED: Corpses still wanted to be buried even after they were chopped up & eaten
    added “Suck up to superior” job
    FIXED: Incredibly generous bandits have been taught how to be greedy and will no longer give you their stuff every 8 seconds

    Well we’ll be seeing this post turn up on the strange log 🙂

    Awesome as ever guys!

    { reply }
  2. Seriously Mike says:

    “Drink due to sadness”? Sounds very Novyrus…

    { reply }
  3. Seriously Mike says:

    But seriously now, what the hell is with the bloodworms? Day 1, I start building a kitchen and other basic workshops, and bloodworms eat half of my colonists. At the starting point.

    Something’s wrong here, people.

    { reply }
    • AdminDavid Baumgart says:

      The tropical biome is deliberately set to be “hard mode”. (We should probably make that more clear in the embark screen, maybe with skulls?)

      If you have trouble fighting off the first wave of enemies, conscript a couple of your starting overseers into the militia. You are guaranteed to start with at least two extra muskets so they’ll always be able to arm themselves.

      It’s also *really* important to give your people some positive memories to bolster their morale rating. If all they see is death and pain, they run from combat much more quickly. If they get a nice drink and chat with their friend, they’ll stand up in a fight for longer.

      { reply }
      • Seriously Mike says:

        Now that explains things.

        Also, I stumbled upon a bizarre bug in the temperate biome. My colonists were standing in a full food stockpile, bread, lingonberry jam, cabbage, pumpkins, enough to feed them for a week, and standing, and standing… And getting hungry, and standing… And starving, and standing… And then they started murdering each other, despite a full stockpile of delicious food!
        Worse yet: if I deleted that stockpile and tried to build a new one, the game crashed. Now what.

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  4. Emerson Lei says:

    There is a bug that is so frustrating. This bug occasionally causes colonists to be stuck in modules, mostly notably cots and beds. They will just starve to the point they have to kill and then somehow escape the bug. This is generally triggered when bandit or fishpeople attack that cause panic and colonists flee in all directions. Most of the time I have to replay the save file a day ago just to hope they don’t stuck again.

    { reply }
    • Seriously Mike says:

      Are you sure it’s exclusive to modules? To me, it happened not only in modules, but also stockpiles and open terrain. But now that you mention it, it DID happen after a bandit raid (but I just shrugged and said in my best Novyrus accent “U nas etova mnoga”).

      { reply }
  5. Emerson Lei says:

    Error: [string “item|Create”]:69: attempt to call global ‘ScriptError’ (a nil value) [ Crea… | item ]
    Error: [string “item|HandModelQueryRequest”]:664: attempt to index field ‘parent’ (a …l value) [ scriptMessage | item ]
    Error: [string “FSM Support”]:92: FSM.stateError hit [ Update | citizen ]

    Keep in mind the “…” triple dots were referring to the screen I couldn’t read as it was blocked by the scroll bar.

    { reply }
    • If you can send the console.txt generated with that error in to us at contact ‘at’ gaslampgames dot com that would be fantastic, and we can track down what’s going on.

      { reply }
      • Seriously Mike says:

        I often get the following error, multiple times:
        “[ScriptError] wrong number of parameters sent to hearExclamation|ai_agent (expected 3, sent 2)
        [ScriptError] wrong number of parameters sent to hearExclamation|citizen (expected 3, sent 2)
        [ScriptError] wrong number of parameters sent to hearExclamation|ai_agent (expected 3, sent 2)
        [ScriptError] wrong number of parameters sent to hearExclamation|citizen (expected 3, sent 2)
        [ScriptError] wrong number of parameters sent to hearExclamation|ai_agent (expected 3, sent 2)
        [ScriptError] wrong number of parameters sent to hearExclamation|citizen (expected 3, sent 2)”
        That one comes from my 64 MB “console.txt” file.
        Along with a bug similar to Emerson’s:
        “[ScriptError] XXX: [string “item|GroundModelQueryRequest”]:658: attempt to index field ‘parent’ (a nil value)
        [ScriptError] [string “item|GroundModelQueryRequest”]:658: attempt to index field ‘parent’ (a nil value)
        [ScriptError] stack traceback:
        [ScriptError] [string “item|GroundModelQueryRequest”]: in function
        [ScriptError] GameObject: 44858282
        [ScriptError] Error: [string “item|GroundModelQueryRequest”]:658: attempt to index field ‘parent’ (a nil value) [ scriptMessage | item ]
        [item] drop_item error! Something is terribly wrong!
        [FSM] FSM: Attempting to abort job Drop Item!
        [FSM] FSM index: 2
        [Job Cancellations] Job Drop Item cancelled! []
        [MISC] Job Drop Carried Item unlocking a tagged object w/ID 44858282.”

        { reply }
  6. joe ernst says:

    you need to give speed options. the game is way to slow. Since the last update I get errors constantly. Every 5 minutes i get the same error. I would send it but I can’t copy and paste it.

    { reply }

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