Our editor in chief gets oddly prescient about these kinds of things, so, only nine days into 2014, he's declaring Clockwork Empires the indie sleeper hit of the year. I'm not sure he's wrong. Clockwork Empires is a charming little economic simulator with steampunk citizens chopping down trees, mining minerals and whatnot, but there's also some kind of Lovecraftian-slash-space-monolith action going on, too. Plus the citizens appear to get depressed and get all post-traumatic over things that can drive them to drink.
Developer Gaslamp Games laid out a state of the empire address, inviting you to take a candid look at all the weird game development things that inexplicably take up their lives now. It's a mildly amusing read as it goes over their game plan for things like: "Bullets should not be magical white beams that look like a Tron-era data upload, and we should have ailments for people that can give us a reason to have all these jars of leeches." Also: clarifying the UI so the team doesn't have to explain to playtesters things like, "Well of course it’s the triangle with the eye in it followed by the two wavy lines and the stork."
Clockwork Empires is still tentatively scheduled for an early 2014 launch, but I can't gauge how realistic that is, given their latest developer diary.