Clockwork Empires September update: THE TERRIBLE TRUTH

A Clockwork Empires update has been discovered, but at what terrible cost? 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! Let’s try something new this month and include the overview section from the development report in this blog post, like so:

September 2015 update notes:

If I were to sum up this month’s work, it would be that we worked on addressing the question of how a player queries the state of a character then how the player makes decisions which affect that state. (You like that sentence? Chris said it needs another comma, but I told him No!) … Naturally the full story is ridiculously complex.

This month is a story of rabbit holes, of the noble intention of working on a seemingly superficial feature, prying back the cover, and ending up elbow-deep in wires and pipes. Possibly we found Lemarchand’s box holding up a leaking conduit and now We have such pointers to show you. I’ll give a shot at working this into a comprehensible narrative provided we all acknowledge that broad strokes are being painted with here.

First, to follow up on the revised Work Crew UI panel from last month, we set our sights on a revised Character Information panel. Sounds great, natural progression! What goes into this character panel; what is a colonist but a miserable pile of memories? Digging in to memories, ah, looks like this system needs some core operations re-jiggered to work according to our present assumptions. We’ll also roll the madness system back into being attached to memories and put a better display on the character panel. And while we’re at it, we should better visualize the emotional effect of memories. While we’re at that, being able to better visualize memory lets us rebalance the effects of memories – let’s do that. We really ought to check every instance of memory creation in the game while we’re at that; and every social job that is executed based on mood state to change mood state – heck, let’s check every job in the game while we’re there. Oh dear, this’ll need fixing; and this. We’ll also need to provide players better means to address negative moods and madness, so let’s get the “office” type building infrastructure working properly so that we can make, for example, effective chapels that give real feedback about their state (and this follows up nicely on the barracks from last month).

Got all that? Let’s review:

  1. redo character info panel
    1. overhaul memory system
      1. review all memories in database
      2. review all memory creation points in script
      3. add madness to appropriate memories
        1. review all madness-related systems
          1. review cults & fix them to use revised madness
          2. rebalance all madness jobs
      4. implement the Lament Configuration with linked lists
    2. review & balance all social jobs
      1. review & balance all jobs in the game, period.
      2. oh hey, it turns out some jobs worked based on outdated assumptions. Re-do or can them!
    3. properly implement office system
      1. redo Chapel in particular to use new system
      2. meddle with theology, generally
      3. cults again, probably
    4. where we’re going, we won’t need eyes. Or roads. I always get those ones mixed up.
  2. attempt to re-activate the black hole for some reason
  3. release album

And that’s not including the stuff I couldn’t cram into a tangled web of related systems, which would be some optimization & finishing on stockpiles, some /other/ UI, and the whole workshift and time of day system. Plus the review of all jobs fixed a number of outstanding AI errors. And we did more balancing. And … it’s in the changelog and in the sub-categories listed below.

It’s not clean and easy to explain, but we think players will be very pleased with progress from Alpha 42 to Alpha 43. We’ve particularly made an effort to address the divide between player knowledge about characters and what those characters choose to do. Next month should be interesting as well – we hope to focus more on finishing the backend for core system (like offices) and – well, we’ll talk about that next month.

(Read the entire development report at the Development Report.)

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

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Patch Notes for alpha 43:


  • added workshifts & changing light throughout day
  • overhauled memory, emotion, and madness
  • redid character info UI (in progress)
  • new office feature infrastructure implemented

The Engine

  • gave some shaders a stern look

Human Characters

  • all farming actions now increase a work crew’s farming skill
  • added additional desires to Colonists
  • overseer immigrants will occasionally have random skills that aren’t terrible
  • clear terrain, clear stumps now considered a “construction” job + “Clear Stump” and “Clear Sapling” jobs are now part of “Clear Terrain”
  • characters now have a maximum total name length (fixes potential UI overflow)
  • began changes to workcrew naming (this step fixes potential UI overflow)
  • colonists who are happy/drunk will occasionally dance
  • occult murder added to death cults
  • colonists will be comforted by seeing soldiers do impressive-looking soldier things
  • added Prisoner trait for prisoners
  • prisoners have been given hats
  • prisoner overseers will now be identified as such
  • added holy book to some Vicar animations
  • colonists will now show up looking for a sermon if a chair is available for them to sit in at the chapel
  • colonists will also look for confessions if a vicar is in a chapel to hear them (note: confession mechanism currently uses the Cult Deprogramming code.)
  • cultists may use unoccupied chapels to do interesting things
  • added case for eating “starvation food” (to make a clear hierarchy of food colonists are willing to eat at various levels of hunger)
  • balance: massive madness balance done to fit with madness system revisions (madness attached to memories)
  • FIXED: weird tool handling with surface node mining is now not weird
  • FIXED: aristocrats will no longer attempt to order around sleeping workers
  • FIXED: Militia NCOs that earn Redcoat NCO status while assigned to barracks will correctly transform into an NCO
  • FIXED: unassigning a crew from a barracks will no longer leave the labourers acting like militia
  • FIXED: cults will no longer decide to build two cult shrines in rare cases
  • FIXED: despawned temp characters correctly remove their weapons & drop held commodities
  • FIXED: people no longer get unique memories for killing just beetles (why beetles!)
  • FIXED: epicurean colonists will no longer try to butcher fishpeople to admire their meat (and cause an error in doing so)
  • FIXED: error when a cult leader drinks laudanum and decides to leave their cult
  • FIXED: colonists should no longer get memories for killing vermin
  • FIXED: colonists will no longer attempt to interact in various ways with fishpeople meat as if it were a fishperson
  • FIXED: miners mining in mineshafts will no long leave a floating pickaxe by the door
  • FIXED: characters hunting an animal will attack it until it is killed rather than taking just one shot
  • FIXED: ranged attack would always send out a gunshot alert to sleeping characters upon completion even if a gun wasn’t fired
  • FIXED: building name change spam when mad & overseer switched
  • FIXED: characters occasionally being unable to do new work after they no longer belong to a workshop
  • FIXED: a bunch of weird business going on deep inside the vaguely Jungian collective memory system
  • FIXED: various issues w/ retreat jobs getting stuck (in short: now they shouldn’t.)
  • FIXED: people will actually listen to sermons that aren’t somebody preaching about the end times

Combat & Military

  • a number of military jobs have been flagged as military jobs so soldiers won’t appear idle when training/patrolling
  • soldiers will now stow rather than drop their weapons to train
  • hunting will no longer display character combat info panel
  • balance: civilians no longer pull out knives & sabres when engaged in melee combat (only soldiers will do this)
  • balance: militia requires more training
  • FIXED: if you build gabions with your military, they won’t try to collect more than one gun on their back, creating some kind of Ur-gun
  • FIXED: scripterror in some cases when an agent attempts to drop an item due to death
  • FIXED: if starting NCO was assigned to a barracks, soldiers wouldn’t train

Non-Human Characters (Animals, Monsters, Vehicles)

  • added “Dissect Obeliskian” job (for naturalists to perform)
  • added “Dissect Fishpersom” job (for naturalists to perform)
  • added Obeliskian gibs
  • added Fishpeople Organs commodity
  • when a rampaging animal hurts a colonist, it will be marked as a military attack target
  • corpses left to rot will attract vermin
  • vermin will now make a nice “squish” sound when stomped
  • weapons dropped by non-colonist characters outside of town have to be ‘claimed’ by player before they will be used (aka ‘fix to the Dwarf Sock Problem’)
  • FIXED: foreign troops leaving map no longer subtract their guns from your weapon count
  • FIXED: if an assignment targeting an obeliskian is cancelled, it can be recreated
  • FIXED: a ghost bandit is not longer left behind after a bandit joins your colony
  • FIXED: in some cases, non-colonist agents would be unable to path to edge of map
  • FIXED: error when Fishperson would attempt to talk to a piece of human flesh
  • FIXED: foreign troops will properly interrupt going to mission goals to fight enemies (or friends, if they’re hostile)
  • FIXED: all factions will now properly update their UI description string to reflect whether you’re shooting them or not
  • FIXED: Bandits will now fight back when attacked by rampaging Aurochs/Beetles
  • FIXED: Foreigners won’t die again from splash damage after already dead
  • FIXED: fishpeople no longer attempt to intimidate or otherwise interact with human meat unless it’s to eat it

Buildings & Building Creation

  • gabions are now built using assignments
  • added “office jobs” that will be done by the office crew assigned to an office & office job UI display to chapel (with backend done, will be implemented on other offices)
  • clicking on a building under construction pulls up an assignment beacon; the building construction can be cancelled by clicking on that beacon
  • gravestones now use random models
  • balance: graveyards now pack in graves a little more efficiently
  • balance: the time it takes to construct a building is now based on its area
  • balance: reduced the time it takes to build modules
  • balance: changed material requirements to lots of modules and buildings
  • FIXED: aborting a Finish Production job, or an assignment with “Finish Production” in it, will no longer cause the module in the production state to be permanently unusable.
  • FIXED: cancelling a building assignment now removes the blueprint

Economy & Logistics

  • colonists now can be assigned workshifts, and players can now force them to work overnight, which makes them very unhappy
  • stockpile logic adjustment: when a character is free to do a hauling job, they will first check all stockpiles for
    • mismatched filter objects, removing them;
    • objects in the same stockpile which can be combined into a stack, freeing a square;
    • filling any empty square in the stockpile with an object that can fill the square, which does not currently correspond to a stack in the stockpile square
  • stockpiles: characters now assess the closest stockpile to them at all times
  • stockpiles: if a character can merge an incoming item with a container already in a stockpile, they will do so rather than dropping and doing it en route (as it were)
  • added new “Basic Food” recipe to kitchens that merges stew, meat, and many other recipes into a single button (and removed recipes now made extraneous by Basic Food)
  • crops will now reach their “mature” model one stage earlier so you can actually admire them for a bit
  • crops will sparkle when harvestable
  • workshops: a character will now do the next available workshop job to them at all times, rather than waiting for the current product type to complete; this also strictly obeys the workshop job order on the production list
  • added warning when burial job cannot complete due to full graveyard (a common problem)
  • balance: slowed down growth/spoilage rate of, and reduced labor required to grow, cabbages and chillies
  • FIXED: containers would forget to go back in a stockpile after being removed from a stockpile
  • FIXED: animal carcass meat output, when butchered by a player-owned colonist, is now reported as being owned by the player. (And is forbidden otherwise – player must manually ‘claim’ to have colonists stockpile the meat.)
  • FIXED: you can click directly on a mine survey point OR drag a box around it to order a survey done (also gave the job a proper icon)
  • FIXED: The Fleshcube is now a valid ingredient
  • FIXED: optimized stockpile code when you have a lot of goods that need to be stockpiled
  • FIXED: bricks will now be stacked

Biomes & Terrain

  • deer will now appear in the New Antipodia biome
  • balance: increased starting exploration radius

Events, Metagame, and The Overworld

  • rewrote day/night cycle code to allow for different lighting options throughout the day
  • added a randomized welcome event for those with the tutorial disabled
  • “Call Favour” will only fire if you have 2 or more prestige, the minimum required to call a favour
  • added new “Quick-start” loadout
  • scholar Praise Event will now show how much prestige you earned
  • colonists Denounce Bandit Cowardice event now has an additional possible response
  • upper class immigrants have been removed from regular immigration.
  • upper class immigrants will now emigrate at a rate of 1 per available upper class house.
  • balance: fixed prestige cost for food favour
  • balance: throttled back beginning time & strength various attack events (bandits, fishpeople, foreigners)
  • balance: removed 21-colonist start. Because it was just way too good.
  • balance: Foreign Intervention event has slightly more stringent requirements (so you won’t get attacked super early)
  • FIXED: scripterror case in bandit_plunder_major event
  • FIXED: scripterror case in cultist_preach job
  • FIXED: airship overflights will now travel in the direction they claim to
  • FIXED: fishperson assault crisis scripterror


  • game now remembers the game window location on restart
  • completely overhauled character information panel to better display colonists’ rich inner life  (note that this element is still in-progress)
    • character window: emotions and madness now shown on a scale
    • character window: mousing over a memory will show information about how that memory affects the character’s state
    • character window: memories now shown with more detail, image fades as they are forgotten
  • split buildings into “workshops”, “offices” and “housing”; added support for subcategories to the module placer.
  • added ticker text when militia trains to soldier
  • workshop warnings are now zoom independent
  • added progress bars to workshop jobs
  • work crew display now correctly displays only the # of idle overseers. Idle artisans are moved to their own counter.
  • updated a number of tutorials to reflect the current state of the game.
  • FIXED: objects would occasionally correctly highlight themselves, but would not actually let you click on them or select them (or produce a tooltip)
  • FIXED: various typoes/grammatical inconsistencies/spelling errors fixed
  • FIXED: assignment beacons now disappear when an assignment is cancelled from the jobs menu
  • FIXED: assignment beacon “cancel assignment” X now works
  • FIXED: Broken memory icon for recruited bandits
  • FIXED: Tooltips showing the wrong name for stacks after items had been removed from them
  • FIXED: lingonberry pie icon was misaligned by 2 pixels and it was really important to fix this because otherwise it looked slightly off compared to the other pies

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

Posted in Clockwork Empires | Tagged , , , ,

7 Responses to “Clockwork Empires September update: THE TERRIBLE TRUTH”

  1. Bropocalypse says:

    Stalin attempts to invent nuclear power himself

    { reply }
  2. BTAxis says:

    Sorry, but it does need another comma.

    { reply }
  3. Stefan Bauer says:

    On the same lines as the ‘Cook Basic Food’ simplification, could we possibly see a slightly less ridiculous metalworking job orders? I’d appreciate having just ‘Make Weapons’ and ‘Make Advanced Weapons’, rather than separately making pistols, muskets, revolvers, carbines, and blunderbusses (or is it blunderbi?). Anyway, please do simplification on the stuff that obviously goes together, as it’s good.

    { reply }
  4. Terrenus says:

    Discord is at work.

    { reply }
  5. Stefan says:

    What is meant by “3. release album” ?
    What kind of album did you release?
    just curious!


    { reply }

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