Clockwork Empires

Gaslamp discusses Clockwork Empires' casually horrifying world

T.J. Hafer at

We've been keeping close tabs on Gaslamp's upcoming Dwarf Fortress-like steampunk colonization odyssey, Clockwork Empires, and are delighted to announce that it only seems to be growing more insane by the day. In a fresh off the assembly line blog post, the devs have revealed some tidbits on everything from a bird that will push you into a factory's machinery and eat what comes out, to the amazing clockwork wonders you'll be able to build that do... absolutely nothing.

"[Dungeons of] Dredmor was very self-indulgent, and full of sly nods, parody, tropes, and generally rampaging through every single fantasy property, bad B-movie, and obscure metal band known to man, woman, and Diggle," said Technical Director Nicholas Vining. "CE is a bit different. We have some scope to be indulgent, but we need to get away from anything that is referential and anything that is going to break the illusion that this is a large, functioning Empire with its own intelligent citizenry and history."

Avoiding tongue-in-cheek references hasn't stopped them from going off the deep end, though. Some choice cuts from the update include "the urban pine-moistened shrike, which has learned to push humans into machinery and then feast on the blasted chunks of meat contained therein," and the Clockwork Orange, which "does absolutely nothing whatsoever. It simply sits in a corner of your empire, gently whirring or ticking. Occasionally it vibrates. The Clockwork Orange will randomly break down and emit a small pile of smoke. It can be repaired, but it then goes back to being useless again. The Clockwork Orange is equally as useless when it is broken down as when it is functional. The broken-down Clockwork Orange is, perhaps, a little depressing, and may make people slightly sadder when it’s broken."

Vining notes that not all of these ideas might make it into the final game, but we can at least hope. In case you missed it, we have an Imperial-size preview of Clockwork Empires that you can read right here.