Clockwork Empires May Update: Frontier Living In Interesting Times

(Or: The Beta Begins.) In which we explore –


This update will go live to every Clockwork Empires player via Steam! We’ve also prepared a lovely video to help set the tone:

(There’s a German version for our good Stahlmarkian friends, check it out here. We apologize for missing umlaute.)

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. Our top bureaucrats assure us that the stars are right and we must use the correct number so: Clockwork Empires is on sale via Steam for exactly 34% off on May 21st only. Not until great Quag’gorath awakens is it going to get better than this.

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We are moving from Alpha 50 to Beta 51.

What does this mean for you?
It starts with us: this is a shift in development. We have essentially finished all of the backend code required to complete the game. We can now switch entirely to mechanics integration, content implementation, UI/UX improvement, optimization, and stability. This also means that the countdown to release can be counted in months. This is an exciting threshold for us!

(There is a downside: the changelogs are going to get even longer, ugh. Stay strong, team! We can do this.)

Major player-facing additions this month

  • New Workshop order system: jobs are queued per work module (it’s super easy!)
  • New Event Arc system to chain interesting events together to produce Interesting Times
  • Colonists can now carry stacks of ingredients to workshop jobs that require lots of materials – much more efficient!
  • Tons of subtle UI usability improvements to make your life easier
  • Colonist Quality of Life system: good colonies produce happy, productive overseers

If you’re in a hurry, that should cover it. But if you find yourself with the inexplicable urge for more, you’re in luck, we’ve got the full changelog posted below — or the extra special annotated changelog in the Clockwork Empires Development Report.

Begin the full Beta 51 changelog!


  • all workshop code rewritten to queue jobs per module rather than per workshop
  • added carpet to recommended modules for carpentry workshop
  • added building upgrade ability: create the required modules per building, and upgrade your building
  • added ability to repair buildings
  • FIXED: colonists will no longer attempt to use services of offices w/o assigned overseer or w/ off-shift overseer
  • FIXED: pub wouldn’t serve booze
  • FIXED: can’t spam missions in Foreign Office by mashing button


  • added event director system
  • added The Fishy Idol event arc
  • added Foreign Invasion event arc
  • added Meteor Shower event arc
  • added Event Lighting system
  • made new alert code framework for events and non-event alerts
  • redid the entire tutorial from scratch using the Event Arc system, it should be MUCH more intuitive now
  • did event_director scripting for office points accrual event arc mechanics (required so that ie. a Laboratory can do work to advance study of an eldritch artifact to trigger different event states based on how much study is done)
  • made bandits far less likely to spawn directly in the middle of the player’s town
  • added bricabrac as a potential reward in a few events
  • replaced outdated/nonexistent Stone Charcoal Kiln in the smithing loadout with a mineshaft module
  • FIXED: scripterror in immigration event
  • FIXED: Planets Align event scripterror and re-enabled event
  • FIXED: broken art in “find artifact” event
  • FIXED: bandits_amnesty scripterror
  • FIXED: report spectre scripterror
  • FIXED: scripterror with food delivery from empire
  • FIXED: scripterror in “Colonists denounce cowardice”


  • module materials are also now handled as a multistack
  • added note to stone ceramics kiln that brick ceramics kiln is required to produce glass
  • added advanced machine modules to relevant buildings (costs/recipes are heavily WIP)
  • added “Quality: X” tooltip to all relevant modules now that module quality is a variable number
  • implemented the first pass on the bricbrac system: Bricabrac can be crafted in most workshops using different resources, and is used to make decor modules. Decor now contributes an amount of quality to buildings based on its bricabrac cost.
  • changed name of “Decent Cabinet” to “Practical Cabinet”
  • balance: removed building quality from all outdoor wall modules because it was exploitable and didn’t make a whole lot of sense
  • FIXED: game crash manually switching to module placement mode after creating a building


  • added ability to pause and unpause assignments via the assignment beacons
  • added ability for characters doing certain workshop jobs to pick up stacks of materials as opposed to dragging logs to their workshop one at a time (currently only Power Saw, Iron Charcoal Kiln)
  • a bunch of workshop jobs can now haul stacks of things if they are being requested by a batching module
  • building materials now are picked up as a multistack
  • updated all building recipes to work with the new recipe system
  • made grapes and prickly pears basic-cookable
  • balance: made a few concessions for ease of food in the early game til we figure out how long it takes people to get through it in current version- improved yield from foraged food sources, and increased the food you get in the starter loadout
  • balance: all mines will produce some stone
  • FIXED: multistack code would occasionally not find available building materials
  • FIXED: gameSimAssignment::CancelAssignmentInternal crash when assignment is already cancelled or invalid
  • FIXED: grapes couldn’t be made into stew
  • FIXED: mine in mineshaft item drop logic made great again
  • FIXED: stone smelter assembly job took in infinite stone
  • FIXED: ALL buildings should now accept bamboo as a timber source in addition to logs


  • standardized job menu icons with work crew icons
  • added icon for dark grimoire
  • did first pass of UI for module based recipe selection
  • character info panel now has images for skills and skill levels
  • character health now represented in the character info panel as hearts because who doesn’t love hearts
  • tooltips now have an actual style applied to them
  • scroll speed controls exposed to the config file for internal testing reasons, but players can now mess with this too if they want (100 is default, 50 for half, 200 for 2x, etc.)
  • removed redundant or unused code from lower class character info panels
  • close alerts button, history button, both moved to appropriate places, ticker moved to history window
  • hooked tooltips to stubs for a bit more info on those
  • did changes to UI layout of emotion window
  • added building fancy names to a few places in the UI
  • clicking the minimap will now move the camera to that map position
  • added render-side framework for Quality of Life system
  • FIXED: skillup wouldn’t update skill level display in character info panel
  • FIXED: combo box overflow in new workshop
  • FIXED: afternoon icon was very slightly misaligned
  • FIXED: tooltip text on crop destruction alert
  • FIXED: expand buttons for individual work crews weren’t responsive when the entire work crew UI window was short enough that it wouldn’t scroll
  • FIXED: FYI and choice alert windows inside event arcs wouldn’t expand properly
  • FIXED: bug with choice windows spawning on the other side of the alert and thus out of the game window
  • FIXED: various other typos


  • added UI-side framework for Quality of Life system
  • added sleep, crowdedness, safety, hunger, and working conditions to Quality of Life system
  • madness state combined with sadness and renamed “despair” (this makes madness more clearly linked to an emotional state, and makes sadness not boring); character state calculations simplified
  • refactored emotion names to separate emotion names “anger, fear”, from actual moods “angry, afraid” which was making writing things really awkward.
  • balance: rebalanced sleep job requirements & effects
  • balance: minor emotion balance edits
  • balance: middle class characters now start with one level of a random skill because it’s just more fun.
  • FIXED: corrected some typos in the new memory aggregator function
  • FIXED: characters spawning in the colony did not have the ? alerts above their heads
  • FIXED: “reverant” -> “reverent”
  • FIXED: raw cabbage will no longer be treated as a cooked meal when eaten
  • FIXED: several bugs with preaching
  • FIXED: people getting stuck trying to talk to fishpeople
  • FIXED: people will no longer pray at unbuilt wall shrines
  • FIXED: rare error when agent attempts to drop stuff
  • FIXED: added protections against scripterror in drop_item_for_trade_mission
  • FIXED: in certain rare cases people would attempt to intimidate a fishperson who died while they were running over to the fishperson. Now they don’t.
  • FIXED: building destruction would nerve-staple overseer (as far as being re-assigned to a new workshop was concerned)
  • FIXED: starving colonists will no longer forage lacquer to eat


  • military units will not immediately disband after the death of their NCO, but rather some other member of the crew will assume control.
  • rather than beating hostiles to death with trade goods, traders will now flee from combat while their guards fight
  • beatings handled slightly more elegantly, ie. tag is removed upon death
  • FIXED: scripterror when bandits (or any agent) attacks buildings w/o a weapon
  • FIXED: another rare error when selenians die
  • FIXED: reloading guns is now essential to being able to fire them
  • FIXED: guns now use reload times per gun type and reloading animations will loop if total reload time exceeds anim length
  • FIXED: unbuilt building that is somehow destroyed will now unlock its building materials
  • FIXED: enemies will no longer attack unfinished buildings
  • FIXED: defeated enemies will no longer attack buildings


  • FIXED: glow shader
  • FIXED: a few crash bugs
  • FIXED: some tiny memory leaks


  • added sand to the desert
  • added charred meat
  • cleaned up some “harvest” scripts on non-player human agents
  • FIXED: embarking on an area near water will no longer have dramatically more water than indicated by the original map
  • FIXED: faction relations now cannot exceed 100 on the scale of -100 to +100.
  • FIXED: invisible cactus
  • FIXED: spawning of NPC groups is now much more robust
  • FIXED: starting clay and stone positions follow player start location correctly now
  • FIXED: cleaned up despawn calls on non-player agents
  • FIXED: All perennial crops required 2-3x the intended amount labor to grow
  • FIXED: lingonberry crop scripterror
  • FIXED: cabbage field had incorrect description

Want the full annotated changelog? Read it in the Development Report!

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

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2 Responses to “Clockwork Empires May Update: Frontier Living In Interesting Times”

  1. Randolf Karter says:

    Beautiful art work. Looking forward to more Progress of a Scientific Nature.

    { reply }
  2. Akuma says:

    Congrats on hitting Beta, looking forward to learning more about REDACTED

    { reply }

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