All posts tagged with "clockwork empires"

Clockwork Empires: Teaser Trailer & Website

Greetings, Colonists!

We’ve all been working very hard, driven half-mad by lack of sleep and an excess of the foul black brew known only as coffee. And we have a lot of fun stuff to show you. Just a little something:

We’ve also got a whole new website for Clockwork Empires! I’m going to link to it like three times here so you’re absolute sure not to miss it. Go! Go now! Or very shortly! Let’s make it easy:

–> <–

It shows off yon video, a load of screenshots and fun pictures, a (new, smarter) Gaslamp Games mailing list signup (which you should sign up on to get steaming hot news straight from the boiler, plus insinuations about alpha testing). The site will be updated with all kinds of awesome stuff as development proceeds!

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Brief Frontier Simulation Update!

And now we present a Daniel Jacobsen News Update – delivered at the speed of one of those newfangled steam-trains! What an exciting Age of Progress!

Characters now form relationships with other characters!  Right now it’s sort of like speed dating.  When they talk to each other, they get a chance to compare their traits and determine whether they are compatible, and within the scope of about 5 seconds, they might just fall in love.  Or they might hate each other. The frontier is a complicated place, charged with emotion.

Two conversations with rather different results.

Two conversations with rather different results.

Upon creating these relationships, characters tend to prioritize any task that will involve their partner, and they’ll be extremely upset if anything happens to them.  And if something bad does happen, they actually have an option other than crying, waiting to starve to death, and being driven to a homicidal rage!  Yes: they can drink ale to make themselves feel better.  Sleep helps too, but they don’t know it yet.  One day they may even be able to talk out their problems, but not today.  Oh no.  Not today.

Characters can also create rival relationships and they’re similarly extremely quick to judge, though they’re not actually nasty to each other just yet.

The barber forments rivalry with the NCO while others discuss hats (or talk to no one and just think about being hungry).

The barber foments rivalry with the NCO while other colonists discuss hats. And a labourer standing in the tools stockpile thinks about how very hungry she is because this colony has no food at all.

I was going to write about how difficult it is to actually implement other emotions than happiness and sadness, but… it’s not actually that hard, thanks to our design.  Given any situation, such as a loved ones’ death, we simply say, yeah, that would make a character really sad, slightly mad, and quite angry!  This affects the choices that they’ll make by increasing the utility of venting in various ways.  Anger increases the likelihood that they’ll start a brawl (they’re frontier people, that’s how it’s done!), sadness increases the likelihood that they’ll need another pint at the pub and a good cry, and so forth.  Things are going brilliantly, this is awesome.

You’re awesome too. Thanks for reading.

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How Many Particles Can Dance On The Tooth Of A Sawblade

— Not nearly as many as can be emitted by a small oven, it turns out, due to what is probably a quirk of rendering that needs sorting out. More on that in a bit.

Nicholas has talked about particle system before in terms of technical development and something about the spelling of “aurochs” which, yes, we should all be on the same boat about now. This point established, the particle system has had some tools built and was turned over to the art team who, it seems, have a great deal of enthusiasm for making everything in the game sparkle, smoke, and on fire.

People are sleeping all over the floor of this carpentry shop because there aren't, in fact, any other houses in the settlement because this was set up for a screenshot. Thanks a lot, simulated people.

Sparking sawblades! (People are sleeping all over the floor of this carpentry shop because there aren’t, in fact, any other houses in the settlement because this is a Potemkin Workshop set up entirely for making a pretty screenshot. You can thank our character simulation for ruining the set-piece by making people sleep in the only existing shelter they could find.)

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Down On The Farm

Lots of good stuff is wandering through the game this week as we finish a bunch more systems and lurch towards The Great Content-ing:

– Immigration is in – bands of migrants will arrive, ranging from people for your work crews to upper class capitalists and the wretched Aristocracy. (Not implemented yet: the jolly Population Dispersal Zeppelin.) This is implemented handily via our newly-finished event system from a few weeks back; other random events that can happen at present are wretched Novyrus peddlers and Invasions From The Deep.

– Various screens are being implemented, and David is sending them back to me with lots of jolly comments about how terrible they look.

– On the technical front, good progress is being made on the loading and saving front, using a plaintext save-file format (actually, more XML) which will hopefully alleviate some of the problems with the binary approach we used with Dredmor.

But what I actually want to talk to you about today is farming. Inspired by the fact that our citizens have had nothing to eat but berries and the occasional hunk of meat scavenged off of an auroch for the past eight months, we decided to implement farming this week.

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Steampunk Central America: Adventures in Sort-of Verisimilitude

Well, we just wrapped up a two-pitcher lunch at the Sewer Brew Pub with a fan (hi Kris!), so you  know that means: time to write a blog post! So Daniel has been cranking through biome stuff and asked- no, let’s start this over.

The sky above Vancouver was the colour of a television tuned to a dead channel. Daniel entered the gently cultivated chaos of the art room and recoiled slightly. The chaos recoiled slightly back at him. 

“After Steampunk Colorado, what’s next?” — Oh, well then: we could do a desert. Lots of bones, dust, salt, jagged rocks. No? Really? I thought it’d be pleasant. Then perhaps a swamp, something lovely; Lots of plants, molds, miasma, large insects, fevers. No? Not a swamp? If we must then, let us set our sights on:

Steampunk Central America

White sand beaches, tropical forest, volcanoes, cenotes, deforestation, strange statues buried in the sand at the low elevations and giant, scowling basalt heads at the higher; beetles grazing in tropical meadows before wallowing in warm streams. It’ll be lovely. And we still get those fevers in.

It starts with a palette of colours, the right colour for the right sub-biome from the top of the topology to the bottom. It’s all layered like some kind of terrible cake full of dirt and growing trees. Below is a quick sketch I did to give an overview of what could be going on in a roughly Central American biome set:

Literally the broad strokes.

Literally the broad strokes. (And with apologies to our Central American readers — this is all about capturing a certain interpretation of a feeling of reality without being much arsed to be real reality. Which is about what CE is doing in general but with more steam engines. Would it help if I said the word “verisimilitude” here and waved my arms around? Good. It made me feel better too.)

Erupting with enthusiasm.

I’m erupting with enthusiasm for top-down concept maps for biome generation. (If you enjoyed that, I’ve got more. So many more. Er, to clarify: I’ve got both terrible puns *and* biome concept art.)

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Have you ever had one of those weeks where everything seems to go wrong? Work is being done. Oh yes, work is being done. But at every step, we are beset upon by mystery and woe! ARGH.

Loading doors! Mr. Triolo animated them. They are lovely:

Good, well-behaved shutters. (Seen in Maya.)

Good, well-behaved shutters. (Seen in Maya.)

Let’s put them through the same process that we use for importing everything else into the game, la la…

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The Violence of Designing Everyday Things

Do you like our ducts? (Presented with apologies to Terry Gilliam.)

Do your ducts seem old-fashioned? (Presented with apologies to Terry Gilliam.)

I should start by saying that I love pipes.  Seriously, I do.  But people around here don’t believe me.  They think I hate pipes, gears, conveyor belts, and all manner of functional machinery.  I love that stuff!  I just hate seeing it abused for no good reason.  Gears are for doing things, not for slapping to the side of a building just ’cause!

I can say the same thing for what we’ve termed “dynamics lines”.  Dynamics are basically fluids or other commodities that are required for tasks that can be either broken up into discrete units (like pails of water) or piped in (like, erm… water pipes).  We’ve argued about these a lot.  While they’re aesthetically pleasing, if you end up having a giant rat’s nest of pipes for a city, there’s no way you’ll be able to see what’s going on in your settlement.  All of the characters become obstructed by a monstrous network of pipes and axles and other means of transmission and you can no longer tell you’re playing a game or where your favorite character is.

This is a problem.

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