Author Archives: David

Clockwork Empires April Update: Atlas Ironcog And The Airship Mast

Once more, a Clockwork Empires update appears from a crate that fell from the sky. We present for you:

ce_2015_apr_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:

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The Increasing Trouble of Frontier Ruffianage

In the Gaslamp Games office we have some phrases to describe game design pitfalls. For instance “bruising the fat” refers to trying to make an aspect of the simulation unnecessarily detailed (and let me disclaimer that by saying that we have all the love in the world for Dwarf Fortress – it’s just not a road down which it is reasonable for us to follow). “Playing Starcraft” is giving the player too much ability to micromanage an insignificant system in order to optimize their in-game power. When a combat enemy simply swarms at the player for no particular reason but to get defeated, that’s “goblins”.

bandits1

Bandits in Clockwork Empires started off as “goblins”, then in a second major iteration received a concept of a home camp, individual morale, and the player got a choice between fighting and letting the bandits take what they want. Funny thing is, just about zero players were interested in letting the bandits take their stuff without a fight because that simply isn’t done in games. Players chose to fight even when their military was strained, and even if it was quite likely that the bandits would steal something easily replaced like logs or fungus (until, that is, bandits received a Robbery Upgrade that had them prioritize booze and other good things, as bandits should).

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Clockwork Empires March Update: Don’t Tell The Ministry

Once more, a Clockwork Empires appears, but be sure that you –

ce_2015_mar_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:

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Booze, Madness, and Fiscal Responsibility

This was going to be about why you shouldn’t chug two bottles of hard liquor – and it still is, really. A matter of weeks ago, colonists in Clockwork Empires could (and would) drink to great excess when they were the least bit upset. Which is almost okay in a semi-grimdark Historically Accurate Frontier sense of things, but the point at which a colonist  knocks back multiple bottles of whisky is going too far, for lots of reasons, not the least of which is that we’d expect a normal human to have horrible alcohol poisoning after such a stunt. Plus the economic balance is uninspiring, considering the opportunity cost of making booze vs. bread (related, tangentially, to a re-balancing adjustment that doubled hunger growth).

Sure could use a drink.

Sure could use a drink.

So what’s booze to do in Clockwork Empires and how can it help my colony when it’s turning into a big mess? And how do cults work into it?

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Clockwork Empires February Update: THE MISTS OF ANTIPODEA

From the mists emerges- an update to Clockwork Empires with a not-unreasonably lengthy title!

The Mists of Antipodea

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:

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So You Want To Form A Cult

We’ve been a bit coy about portrayal of cults in Clockwork Empires because we’ve wanted to keep them mysterious. Don’t show the monster. But if a cult forms in the woods and no one bothers to really tell the player what’s going on, did it matter? Perhaps not.

Add three black mana to your pool.

Add three black mana to your pool.

Aside from that, the mechanics we built made it in the player’s best interest to instantly execute anyone they suspect of forming a cult, which happens when you give people any kind of free time. Which is kinda interesting in a brutal way, but if another day of executions is the only valid response to cults, then is this not simply eldritch whackamole?

So we sat back and asked ourselves: Where do we want to go with cults? What player choice should they involve – why would a player want to keep a cult around (aside from morbid curiosity which, granted, our players seem to have in abundance)? How much do we tell the player and how much do we keep as a Fun Surprise?

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Clockwork Empires January Update: Enola Brimble’s FINE DAY In Which Everything ISN’T Going To Explode

Suddenly an UPDATE appears! We’re on to v35, filled with mostly a bunch of completely random little things which aren’t easily summarized in a tagline. But we assure you, they probably won’t explode! Unless they’re meant to. Onward-

ce_jan_promo_illustration_half

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:

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Mining & Maintenance

Prologue: Last month we divvied up tasks based on some Agile concept; I believe we’re “writhing” through the next “suffering revolution” on the “Wheel of Pain”, if I have the terminology correct. I proposed that we shove Mineshafts off the current month’s TODO because I didn’t think they were as important as other features. Naturally the task of implementing Mineshafts ended up being assigned to me, as is only correct according to the Iron Laws of Bureaucracy.

Mineshafts

Subsurface mining is pretty straightforward because we abstract the details: the player builds a “Mine” building with a “Mineshaft” module (and at least one door! we’ve had problems with people not putting doors on things!). Once these are built, the player assigns a work crew to the Mine. Using the recent code done for Chapels and Laboratories, the labourers in the mining work crew are transformed into properly-outfitted miners wearing the correct uniform and everything – it’s great to finally get these occupation-specific models into the game properly!

Hey, you! Stop being sad in my screenshot, you're bringing everyone down!

“Hey, you! Stop being sad in my screenshot, you’re bringing everyone down!”

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