Author Archives: David

Mo Commodities Mo Problems

In Clockwork Empires you have a few fundamental game-pieces: agents that do stuff for you (colonists), places on the map they do stuff at (buildings/modules), and things produced by and consumed to build or upkeep the former categories: commodities. In other words, commodities are the food, planks, bricks, and so-on your colony needs to survive and grow. As such, commodities are very important to everything. So it is, by extension, very important indeed that a player knows how many of each commodity they have, what the commodities are good for, and how to make any commodity they don’t have but would quite like to have, thank you very much.

Glorious commodities everywhere just awaiting glorious logistical organization!

Glorious commodities everywhere just awaiting glorious logistical organization!

We’ve been working on tightening up these systems, both in the backend code and in the frontend code for expressing what’s happening in-game to the player. Let’s visit some of the work done toward these ends.

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Clockwork Empires June Update: Knights of Steam

ce_2016_june_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.


Major player-facing additions this month

  • Steam Knights!
  • Barracks control over military squad loadout
  • Exciting Event Arcs!
  • A Better Economy
  • All sorts of UI bits and bobs!

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 52 changelog!

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Don’t Take Orders From Haunted Furniture

We put aside a couple days last week to come up with some ideas for Fun event sequences then implement them using the event arc structure managed by the Event Director feature (as discussed in the blog post on just that subject). So let’s have a look at an example of one such event – and how event arcs can lock buildings for Special Purposes.

furniture_orders

So the colony’s carpenter has a problem. These things happen! There are various ways to solve it (and others problems like it). Determined Inaction is always an option, as is Making A Highly Inadvisable Decision. Sometimes you can call upon the services of one of the specialist offices to resolve the issue by doing a little work. Just so here with the Vicar.

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2 Rax Blunderbuss Rush

Those of you enjoying Science on the experimental branch of the Clockwork Empires beta may have noticed certain radical changes in the operation of the Barracks. Let’s talk about it!

Shift Controls

To followup gently on last week’s post about the workshift system – and the theme of removing an unnecessary choice for which there was always a right answer – the Barracks has received a shift control button. Wait, you say, didn’t you want to remove shift controls because it was an unnecessary choice for which there was always a right answer? Yes! But the Barracks is the one case where shift controls are absolutely needed.

Emery Haberdashe always dreamed of hat-making but answered the call of Queen & Country instead.

UI is meant to be functional at this point and will receive polish, so I don’t want to hear about it!

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Clockwork Empires May Update: Frontier Living In Interesting Times

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

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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 ClockworkEmpires.com 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.

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


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!

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That Frontier Quality of Life

What’s important to a colonist’s quality of life on the Frontier? Why, clearly: Food, safety, work conditions, and having a good place to sleep. We’ve been using the memory system to convey the importance of these factors but the results have been somewhat unsteady, prone to being thrown off by extreme, random factors. To be fair, it’s pretty upsetting when Fishpeople eat your friends, but that’s a difficult emotion to balance against something as simple as getting a good meal every day.

How do we make fulfilling the basics AND memories of extreme events both remain important throughout? So glad you asked: The Quality Of Life System! This somewhat resembles the old stub for personal desires, but generalizes them for all people, with allowances for social class and traits. Let’s have a look:

Possibly our random name generator's finest work yet.

Possibly our random name generator’s finest work yet.

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And in the darkness bind them: The Event Director

The scripting capacity of Clockwork Empires is a funny thing. It gives us immense power, the ability to do amazing things. But it’s very easy to get lost in a mess of complexity. So, yes, we can script an event that essentially holds in itself an entire Twine-like narrative dialog sequence that pushes commands to the game world simulation, waits, then reads states from the game world simulation and thereby lets you interact with the world in abounding narrative scintillation.

bombs_away

But be warned: you may lose yourself in this power, and give in, and be plagued forever by spectral script errors.

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Clockwork Empires April Update: THE STARS ARE QUITE NEARLY ALMOST RIGHT

 At the bottom of a strange glowing crater we discovered that –

ce_2016_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! It contains the voluminous annotated changelog.

(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.


Major Changes

  • We added a variety of new biomes! Select your embarkation point on the map at the start of the game, then discover what challenges and Fun awaits you in your new settlement.
  • REDACTED
  • Enemies will now destroy your precious buildings. Protect them well!
  • Various UI improvements have been improved, and will improve more.

Full Changelog for Alpha 50

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