Author Archives: David

Art Is Pain: Marketing For Queen & Empire

I’m going to write about digital painting today (edit: actually, marketing and project management, but let’s pretend it’s still about art) because everyone else is too weak and sickly to stop me. Are you happy? This is what happens!

Isn't it fun?

Some early promotional art. Isn’t it fun?

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Clockwork Empires August update: FRONTIER BARRACKS SIMULATOR 2015

A Clockwork Empires update has been discovered scuttling around our freshly cleaned floor! We present for you:

ce_2015_aug_promo_illustration_small

This update will go live to every Clockwork Empires player using Windows via Steam! The MacOS build will be delayed for a couple days because our mac hardware blew up. We’ve ordered a new one and shall inform you when the MacOS build is released.

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

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

Want to hear about all sorts of updates via email plus receive silly images from development? Sign up for the newsletter here.

Patch Notes for alpha 42:

MAJOR FEATURES

  • agriculture update: crop choice is really important now!
  • a massively improved Work Crew UI
  • added the Barracks to conscript & train military
  • and we fixed a million things!

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A Home for Her Majesty’s 22nd Dragoons

We added a first implementation of barracks to Clockwork Empires in experimental revision 41D (as teased in the last blog post). This is the start of giving the military mechanics more depth, providing the player with more feedback about the status of their squads, and providing the start of a structure to give more control to players over how their military operates.

"Tonight you pukes will sleep with your muskets."

“Tonight you pukes will sleep with your muskets.”

The basic pieces of the Clockwork Empires game (relevant to this topic at least) are the character, the work crew, and the building. Up ’til 41D colonial military had only the first two. Giving them a building  means military work crews an on-map home base, an anchor, and gives the player an on-world access point to see what the squad is up. And in terms of gameplay, it makes a proper functioning military require investment of resources! (From a game design perspective, we’re always looking for opportunities for the player to dump resources at potential problems to reward economic success.)

So how’s this work?

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Clockwork Empires July update: SIR, WHERE’S OUR COLONY?

A Clockwork Empires update has been discovered somewhere entirely unexpected! We present for you:

ce_2015_jul_promo_illustration_small

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 ClockworkEmpires.com via Humble or from Steam.)

Want to hear about all sorts of updates via email plus receive silly images from development? Sign up for the newsletter here.

Patch Notes:

MAJOR FEATURES

  • starting loadouts!
  • first implementation of character desires and personal property
  • Very Serious economic balancing in-action
  • started implementation of overworld
  • UI overhaul rollout

{ read this article }

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Clockwork Empires June update: THE REACTIVATION OF ASSEMBLAGE 14538

A Clockwork Empires update has been awakened from its aeons-long sleep! We present for you:

ce_2015_jun_promo_illustration_small

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 ClockworkEmpires.com via Humble or from Steam.)

Want to hear about all sorts of updates via email plus receive silly images from development? Sign up for the newsletter here.

Patch Notes:

MAJOR FEATURES

  • Obeliskians! (What are they? Find out for yourself! It might take some digging.)
  • Foreign military units!
  • Massive save/load stability improvements
  • Deathwurm shoving

The Engine

  • various stability improvements!
  • windows: Screenshots are now saved into My Documents\Gaslamp Games\Clockwork Empires.

Human Characters

  • butchered humans will now leave a skeleton behind
  • cults now form with a specific object of worship (“theme”) based on eldritch interactions & personality of cult leader
  • added a bunch of new actions for colonists experiencing Madness
  • morbid colonists are fascinated rather than horrified by fishpeople butchering humans
  • yield added to butcher corpse jobs (so they don’t get cancelled forever in certain cases)
  • FIXED: scripterror in “hearExclamation”
  • FIXED: scripterror when cult leader died under certain circumstances
  • FIXED: upper class should no longer bury corpses (it’s beneath them)
  • FIXED: confessions are no longer a hollow charade
  • FIXED: vicars no longer preach from unfinished altars
  • FIXED: “sleep due to sadness” now requires a character actually be sad (AND is now weighted correctly)
  • FIXED: all lower-class colonists are correctly auto-placed in workcrews after immigration
  • FIXED cults with no name will no longer be formed (39C)
  • FIXED: “Butcher Human Corpse” job should no longer be confused between Fishpeople & Human version (this led to problems)
  • FIXED: colonists don’t recognize airdropped item stacks as valid items

Scripting System

  • FIXED: crash in gameRequireToolUses if user not holding a tool
  • FIXED: crash trying to set up a nuked locked job instance

Combat & Military

  • balance: slightly adjusted morale threshold for retreat jobs for military trained soldiers vs. untrained

Non-Human Characters (Animals, Monsters, Vehicles)

  • added Obeliskian horrors (in-progress)
  • added 3 foreign factions: Stahlmark, Republique, Novorus
  • added foreign military characters, soldiers + NCOs
  • added foreign military squads w/ mission logic
  • bandits will now fight back against hostile animals
  • fishpeople leaders now wear hats
  • fishpeople will now eat dead bandits
  • butchered bandits will turn into skeletons
  • balance: reduced # of tents that bandits spawn with
  • balance: adjusted Foreign Military mission pathing to be less boring
  • FIXED: Stahlmarkians given correct uniforms
  • FIXED: foreign military units now reload like properly trained soldiers
  • FIXED: error when fishpeople groups are wiped out
  • FIXED: foreign military will properly retaliate against hostile animals & obeliskians
  • FIXED: allied military soldiers immediately bayonet each other upon arriving in colony
  • FIXED: friendly fishpeople will no longer attack your gabions for no good reason
  • FIXED: foreign military & bandit weapons will no longer show up in commodities window
  • FIXED: conscripted Vicars will no longer do vicar stuff
  • FIXED: fishpeople now spawn correctly with gifts/weapons depending on group’s mission (39D)

Buildings & Building Creation

  • added volumetric blueprints
  • workshops: All workshop logic completely rewritten from scratch. Workshops are now evaluated as part of the C++ job loop; we create a workshop assignment when/if we can do the job, and we will now always actually obey the ordering in which jobs are given to the workshop by the user.
  • mineshafts will now output ore based on what oreNode clusters were nearby (mining the surface nodes doesn’t affect the underground ore)
  • balance: weighted mine output slightly more toward ores, if available
  • FIXED: smoke now consistently turns off when an oven is complete or a module has finished production
  • FIXED: a second, totally different issue with oven smoking not finishing; this time after a load and save
  • FIXED: demolishing a farm zone did not correctly clear the farm assignment
  • FIXED: stockpile deletion crash
  • FIXED: Brewery foundation texture set to bricks
  • FIXED: Beetle steaks now produce correct number of cooked output
  • FIXED: various issues when deleting a stockpile, including crashing
  • FIXED: workshop owners will set bad/good workshop names again depending on their madness

Economy & Logistics

  • general overhaul of jobs code for stability & optimization
  • also overhauled assignment system over to use flat arrays (this makes everything more stable, better, faster, stronger)
  • surface ore nodes will leave a mineralogical survey beacon which can be surveyed by a Naturalist to tell you what product it will output (this is pretty direct right now)
  • made ingot textures shinier
  • farms now output harvest in stack rather than two individual units
  • (most) starting items will now arrive pre-stacked
  • balance: moved “Make Gunpowder” from Metalworks to Chemist
  • balance: when a module breaks, it should become inoperative immediately rather than having an intermediate broken but still working state.
  • balance: tripled beer production (huzzah!)
  • balance: smithing forge now requires iron ingot rather than iron plate
  • balance: higher skill no longer changes amount produced in any workshop – just time to perform work
  • FIXED: memory leak when a job has a dependency which we later fail to do anything with
  • FIXED: game-side commodity count not being saved and loaded correctly (probably causing standing orders to go berserk)
  • FIXED: lingonberry preserves are now edible again
  • FIXED: workshop job counter not incrementing correctly for “Finish Production” jobs (in 39B)
  • FIXED: workshop job ordering buttons (in 39B)

Biomes & Terrain

  • balance: Deathwurms on start position are now shoved to the side
  • balance: Deathwurms are now shoved much further
  • balance: Dearthwurm balance pass #3 – removed Deathwurms from tropical biome spawn (a handful are spawned via script now, well away from the start location)
  • FIXED: foragables (ie. Coconut Palms) can be cleared from any state of harvest

Events, Metagame, The Overworld

  • added foreign military intervention event to spawn foreign military squads
  • added “fishpeople butchered human” crisis event
  • fishperson crisis events will no longer fire if you’re hostile w/ fishpeople
  • bandit corpse decision event only fired if their bodies are in the bounds of your colony (near buildings & zones, basically)
  • colonists w/ certain traits can now object to fishpeople status quo & propose alternate policies
  • balance: fewer foreign troops will show up early in game (& now require it be daytime to arrive)
  • balance: immigration event has been revamped to reflect the value of colonists to the player
  • FIXED: scripterror in bandit joining colony event
  • FIXED: error in bandit_wants_to_join_colony
  • FIXED: some character events not firing
  • FIXED: various minor typos in events
  • FIXED: Script error during “Research Science Crate” event
  • FIXED: non-existent bandit gang attempts to give you stuff
  • FIXED: fishpeople marked for execution can’t trigger further crisis events
  • FIXED: incorrect ticker message sent when deciding to execute fishperson for assault

Music & Sound

  • animals can make more sounds now
  • made & implemented Obeliskian sounds
  • FIXED: some explosion sounds were only using default sound

UI/UX

  • workshop job currently being done is now displayed in the workshop panel
  • workshop output that the current work party will produce using the current equipment is now displayed in the workshop when mousing over the product
  • added icons for foreign flags & troops
  • added new icons for Xenophobe, Brutish traits
  • redrew Bucket of Raw Opium icon
  • some events will auto-zoom camera to their location (polishing in-progress)
  • FIXED: incorrect icon in recipe for Blunderbuss & broken icon for Musket
  • FIXED: various misspellings of words
  • FIXED: jobs not correctly removed from assignments in jobs UI window after saving and loading a game; can cause “jobs that are never completed”, “multiple people doing the same job”, etc.
  • FIXED: random autosave crash and/or memory corruption caused by machine expression timing error
  • FIXED: progress bars and nametags appearing through windows during gameplay
  • FIXED: emotions and speech bunch up when zoomed out, and all display at once when visible
  • FIXED: small typesetting errors in “wrapped text renderer” (putting a period by itself at the end of a newline, etc.)
  • … and the giant UI backend overall is almost done aside from some edge cases; we’re holding off making this available until after revision 40 so that we can ensure stability in the public branch.

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

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Political Change Through Faction Crises

“Begin with a function of arbitrary complexity. Feed it values, “sense data”. Then, take your result, square it, and feed it back into your original function, adding a new set of sense data. Continue to feed your results back into the original function ad infinitum. What do you have?”

– The Clockwork Empires game simulation! (Thank you, Academician Prokhor Zakharov.) Specific acts in the simulation itself may provoke crisis events. Crisis events allow a player to change their settlement’s policy toward certain factions. I’ve talked about this subject before a little in “Event Design Using Twine”. Let’s pull a newly implemented example: A Fishperson finds a source of meat and butchers that meat, then consumes it. Perfectly natural, but in conflict with the pseudo-Victorian values of the player’s faction. What do you do?

fishpeople_politics2

Obviously.

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Fishy Foreign Faction Missions

Players order their colonists around in the grand bureaucratic tradition by creating assignments which are claimed by workcrews with the appropriate filters toggled. This is all very appropriate, hierarchical, and Victorian. What about the other factions in the game, won’t somebody think of the Fishpeople, the Bandits, and the Foreigners?

The first goblin-level implementation of Fishpeople involved spawning a whole mess of ’em and giving them the desire to rush the player’s colony and murder everything in sight, human or cabbage. The second level implementation of this sort of thing saw Bandits spawn with a notion of a group that has a home camp. The improvement pass on this gave bandit gangs names, leaders, and connected the morale state of bandits to one another.

Worthy allies or anti-monarchist revolutionaries?

Worthy allies or anti-monarchist revolutionaries?

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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:

ce_2015_may_promo_illustration_small

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 ClockworkEmpires.com via Humble or from Steam.)

Want to hear about all sorts of updates via email plus receive silly images from development? Sign up for the newsletter here.

Patch Notes:

{ read this article }

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