Author Archives: Daniel

Gamifying Synergy Through Delegation (Or: More Combat Design)

Uh, I mean, hey, we’re making a management sim!

We talked a long time ago about designing combat for Clockwork Empires, and there were a few things involved in our design that we’ve carefully been unpacking. The most important thing for us for the combat was the statement: “Combat should be slow, mostly positional, and have its outcome determined by supply and setup instead of tactical micromanagement.”

(Not representative of final game product.)

(Not representative of final game product.)

Which… we’ve done almost none of so far, BUT we’ve been setting the pieces in place for proper implementation. “Supplying and setting up” the feature, if you will.

{ read this article }

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

The Marathoner’s Wall

It’s that time of the lunar calendar again! We’re going to be putting out a major monthly patch in a few days, more info to come toward the end of the week.

As for game development news, this blog post was really tough to write because I haven’t actually been working directly on the game code in probably a couple of months now, barring my brief work enabling a new biome.

#1 Management Tip? Condition.

#1 Management Tip? Condition.

Most of the work that I’ve been doing has been the rather inglorious work of preparing revenue reports for our financial partner (Canada), preparing for taxes, product management, and other typical things that business owners need to do. Nothing glamorous or interesting as game development blog material.

Between “Early Access” and “Shipped”

One of the things I have been doing for the last few weeks, though, is quantifying the details that separate our game as it exists now from the level of polish people expect from finished games. There’s a gulf between a nearly completed game and a completed game that comes down to all the tiny details that aren’t absolutely necessary for the game to function, but these are the details that remove the necessity for the player to do detective work to play the game. In a truly great game, among a host of other things, the game will gently encourage players to do the things they wanted to do anyway in all the right ways without them having to puzzle out how. This is what we need to do to get from the bare skeleton of a game to that properly fleshed out experience. Getting there is a little weird.

{ read this article }

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

RockPaperShotgun Bundle, now with over 1,000% more Dungeons of Dredmor!


RPS put together a Humble Bundle with 7 of their all-time favorite games, and Dungeons of Dredmor is in it!

Let’s be honest, you probably have Dungeons of Dredmor already. It’s okay, we all do. But I bet you don’t have the other 6 games that RPS (who share your similar awesome taste in games) thinks are basically the best thing of their respective years?

Didn’t think so. But now’s your chance!

Did I mention how great you look today? You look great today.


Posted in Dungeons of Dredmor | Tagged , , , , ,
1 Comment

Clockwork Empires Now on Steam!

We heard of this “Steam” thing, and it sounds like a pretty good online store for steam-related things or whatever. So we decided we should probably just go ahead and put our steampunk game on it. Here goes.

Get Clockwork Empires Early Access on Steam <

We were also sent this helpful video from the Colonial Ministry to get you started.

Or you can buy it direct from us here, and get a Steam key in the process.

We’ve compiled a HUGE progress report of the game, which you can find here.  We started it last month with our “earliest access” release, and we’ve updated it for Early Access.  We will continue to update this page on a monthly basis as we release major patches.

Mac and Linux users should expect full native support sometime in October.

Save games and support for Unicode paths will be in the opt-in experimental branch on Steam over the weekend; if things go according to plan, these will be pushed to the default branch early next week!

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

Clockwork Empires is coming to Steam Early Access

First, let’s do the big announcement:

We’re thrilled to announce that we will be releasing Clockwork Empires on Steam Early Access on August 15th for $29.99!

The “Earliest Access” process has been extremely successful, and we couldn’t have done it without all of those fine players who have helped us out by participating. People are sending us horrifying/exciting bug reports every day and are making useful design suggestions; in short, it’s everything we wanted to get out of our “Earliest Access” and as a result of these weeks of intensive effort by both players and our development team, we will be moving Clockwork Empires into the larger spotlight with a much improved, more polished experience.

Thank you, Earliest Access players – we couldn’t have done it without you!


And with that said, there is going to be lots to do in the next two weeks.

{ read this article }

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

Clockwork Empires: Earliest Access

At long last, we are pleased to announce that Clockwork Empires has hit what we are calling Earliest Access – it launches on Friday July 18th, and you can buy it now! Earlier than Early Access, we are continuing our legacy of innovation by daring to release Earlier than any other Early Access developer.


So what is this? This is, in fact, the Early Access for Early Access. It’s like Inception.

Buying a copy of the Earliest Access build will get you a Steam key, which you can then use to play Clockwork Empires. Your Earliest Access will be upgraded to a copy of the Steam Early Access version when we launch it in August; you will also, subsequently, get the finished game when it’s done.

An overview of the current status of the Clockwork Empires project as a whole can be found here, and we will be regularly updating that page at the same time as the major game content updates so you can see how far along we are.

We will also of course continue to update our development blog, send update emails to people on the mailing list that want them, tweet about development here, and participate in forum discussions here.

Why “Earliest Access”?

Earliest Access is our opportunity to take our testing to a larger scale than our internal testing while retaining as much of our ability to communicate directly with fans as possible.  The game needs more hardware compatibility testing, large-scale bug hunting, and some more UI iteration before we’re ready for Steam.  Also some fun stuff will be added through the process because we can’t help ourselves.

Earliest Access will last about a month, at which point we will launch on Steam Early Access sometime in August.  (We’ll be announcing the actual date of the Steam Early Access release near the end of July.)

Steam Early Access will be the final stage of evolution before the game explodes out of its cocoon.  We will be releasing monthly content updates as well as hotfixes when necessary, implementing the remaining content, and checking off the features that will make the game “complete”.  We cannot absolutely guarantee a final release date but our plan is to set it “when the content that we’ve talked about is in the game”.  As an informed guess I’d estimate that this will take roughly 9-12 months from now. (Both of these numbers are, conveniently, divisible by 3.)

When Early Access first became an option, we honestly had our doubts about the process.  Some games have had issues with early access, and some have been tremendously successful both for the developers and the fans.  What has become apparent is that it is a very powerful choice for games and developers that can take advantage of the opportunities.  It may be the single best way to connect with the games that you’re interested in playing before they’re released, and simultaneously the best way for us to hear you.  We are going to do our best to learn the lessons of those who have gone before us, and get your help in making Clockwork Empires as awesome as humanly* possible.

Earliest Access is available for purchase at and will be available to play on Friday, July 18th.

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

The State Of The Empire: Summer 2014

It’s time for real talk.

We are indeed launching an Early Access version of Clockwork Empires this summer and we want to make sure that people know what they’re going to get if they purchase the game at the first opportunity. The classic pitfall of Early Access games is for a developer to give players unrealistic expectations about what the then-current state of the game is and this is something we absolutely want to avoid doing. So yesterday we spent a couple of hours having a meeting in accordance with Traditions of Gaslamp Games where we discussed various areas of the project, how we’re progressing with them, and how much of this progress is actually visible to a player of the game.

Let’s go over over the categories discussed in detail.

{ read this article }

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

A Scheduling Change

We have spent an intense few weeks considering our plans for the next few months, and as a result, we’ve decided to push back early access of Clockwork Empires to the summer. It’s a short delay from our original release window for early access, but a delay nonetheless.

Almost everyone who has played the current version of Clockwork Empires can see the promise of what we want the game to be when it’s done. The message that we keep hearing is “don’t force this game out the door until it’s ready, because it will be really special when it is”, and we want it to be there when you play it.  In the spirit of transparency, starting early access this spring would not allow us to give you that – close, but not quite hitting the mark yet.

In the meantime, recruitment of pre-alpha testers continues apace. We’re sorting out some compatibility issues with graphics cards, spending time figuring out which UI decisions are correct and which need work, and generally putting in more content to flesh out the game.

So that’s our game development blog post for today. We realize this may come as a disappointment to some of you, but we only get one shot at this and we want to do it right.

I'm not even going to attempt to caption this one. Readers, over to you!

You’ve got to bake the bread the right amount even if there’s a man wearing a fez passed out in your doorway and another standing in the field, staring and angry. Because that bread is worth it and it’s going to be delicious. Unless you have Celiac Disease, in which case we’ve probably got a teff or quinoa based bread that’ll work just as well.

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