Clockwork Empires studio Gaslamp Games wants you to know that it's been very, very busy, and things are actually starting to come together.
I'm not much of a strategy gamer (don't have the head for it) but I am rather excited about Clockwork Empires. An accessible steampunk Dwarf Fortress with a healthy dose of Cthulhu? Yes, please! Alas, the game remains a long way off, but Gaslamp Games CEO Daniel Jacobsen said in a new blog post that while things are happening slowly, they are most definitely happening.
"Mid-December to the present was mostly a write-off due to familial obligations, plague, and stress relief in various forms, but some secret work was undertaken on the dreaded UI," Jacobsen wrote. "Our loose framework of 'technically sufficient' programmer tools are starting to actually indicate what they're for. It's pretty cool, and a surprisingly laborious and meticulous job."
A number of test builds were put out in November, although not the fun sort of early build that anyone would actually want to play. The team is in the process of trying to "hook up" the core reward mechanism, consisting of conflicts, resolution tools, rewards and "characters unsuccessfully trying to lead normal lives while considering your strange demands." On top of that, Gaslamp is also working on "networking parallesism," the UI, combat, economics and player-controlled tools.
"A player should be able to designate adornments for a house, then have the carpenter and her workers rouse themselves from sweeping floors and poring over ledgers to construct some chairs, have some common laborers haul them to the house and install them, and have the owner of the house then be able to sit in a chair, staring at a fireplace, brooding, like something out of a Dostoyevsky novel," Jacobsen explained. "A new player should be able to figure out how to do all of these things without us saying 'well of course it's the triangle with the eye in it followed by the two wavy lines and the stork'."
Seems like a reasonable goal to me. The full Clockwork Empires State of the Empire update is up at gaslampgames.com.