Clockwork Empires is a blend of The Sims, steampunk, and unknown horrors

Clockwork Empires is what happens when you marry a Sims-like colony builder with steampunk aesthetics and Lovecraftian horrors. Things get a little weird. We got our first look at the next effort from Gaslamp Games, the small team behind Dungeons of Dredmor, at the 2014 Game Developer’s Conference, and the mash-up is just as bizarre as it sounds. You start out as a happy little group of colonists, but it’s not long before dueling ideologies, fish-people invasions, Mongolian death worms, and cultists start to tear your community apart.

You don’t ever take direct control of your subjects in Clockwork Empires, instead guiding them toward whatever fate seems right. Eventually the community grows large enough that you can’t keep track of all the comings and goings… and that’s when the dark whispers begin. You can also take steps to encourage those dark whispers, though serving the Old Gods isn’t nearly as pleasant as bowing to a distant monarch– for your people, at least.

Clockwork Empires has a lot of moving parts, and we liked what we saw. Gaslamp plans to launch an Early Access alpha this year so that the game can grow alongside the community that support it. We’ll have more for you soon, but for now check out these early looks at the game and concept art.