Hive Time

2019-07-31 Devlog

Hello, hive friends!

It's been a little while since the last update. I've been working away at some larger features that have taken a bit longer to come together. Coupled with having a birthday and some other activities that have been eating up a big chunk of time recently, that's made it harder to push out updates with my regular cadence.

First up, Peter's been at work on some more music, and we've popped in a test version of a short-ish positive cue that will play when positive events occur (current implementation has that music happening for all events). As usual, here are some words from Peter:

"I wanted to make some more positive music for moments in the game where things are going well due to events in the player's favour. Many of the features of the last couple of pieces reappear here but this piece has a little bit of extra confidence and swagger to it and introduces a couple of new sounds to the mix, notably the horns."

Next, we have a new resource focused screen, which can be accessed from any storage cell's radial menu. This shows historic resource levels over the past 10 minutes or so. By default, the resource for the cell clicked on is shown, but every resource can be toggled on and off, which makes comparing the ebb and flow of two resources nice and easy.

Alongside that, I've added upgrade options for every storage cell, which consume 7 adjacent cells and grant 40 additional storage. They also unlock "reserve" sliders in the resources screen that can be used to configure thresholds that resource levels must be above for production to happen. This will help with those situations where you're waiting for resources to come in from outside the hive and have to click fast before they're eaten by wax, honey or jelly production. Eventually I'll add a shortcut so that you can automatically set reserves to match a construction or research cost.

In this update, there also are some new event and vignette images, a bunch of bug fixes, and a slew of adjustments to research durations.


Full changelog:

  • Added resource menu
  • Added resource history tracking
  • Added resource reserve mechanic (requires upgraded storage)
  • Added initial event music implementation
  • Added first pass on workingwell event music track
  • Added research options for upgraded resource storage cells
  • Added upgraded resource storage cells
  • Added info events for upgraded resource storage cells
  • Added another facility substitution
  • Added vertical slider to hex gui theme
  • Added snail monk pilgrimage and return event images/icons
  • Added mask for effect and activity icons
  • Added bee variants for exit vignette images
  • Removed background tint from population and research menus since they don't pause the game
  • Removed effect icon masking
  • Removed some extraneous log output
  • Fixed momentary full volume before music fade in begins when returning to the game from the main menu
  • Fixed building info events triggering event music
  • Fixed possible crash when loading a game while activity details popup in old game is shown
  • Fixed visual storage cell levels not updating sometimes
  • Fixed false debug output about particle counts being less than 1
  • Fixed rare crash in population menu when mousing over sliders
  • Fixed build preview not working for multicell upgrades
  • Fixed build preview sometimes showing the wrong colour
  • Fixed typo in nectar rave event
  • Fixed effect radial progress indicator
  • Updated application icon
  • Increased research time for barracks, maproom, honey rifinery, jelly refinery, wax storage, and workshop upgrade

2019-07-22 Devlog

Buzz buzz!

Today's update adds a new model to make it possible to visually identify upgraded workshops (model isn't final, just needed to get something in there), and brings in some new role-specific floor colouring for role-specific cells. This should make it easier to spot the lone Workshop you have wedged in between a cluster of Nurseries and a bank of Map Rooms, and will hopefully serve as a cue for identifying which bees go to which cells.

It's always tricky to find the right balance between subtle and useful - it can often feel like the venn diagram of both has no overlap, but iteration, feedback and a bit of time to step back and let things stew tends to make it easier to home in on a good implementation.

There are also some changes to how music and event/vignette sprites are handled, but most of this is internal. The only thing that matters to users is that custom music tracks now go into custom_music/background/ for background music and custom_music/events for event-specific music (which we don't have any of and so isn't really usable yet).

Separating out foreground characters from vignette backgrounds is a little more involved than it sounds. Since the hexagonal event/tutorial/vignette shape doesn't have solid pixel boundaries (anti-aliased transparency results in partially visible pixels along the angled edges), overlapping two separate sprites isn't really an option. Instead, I needed to combine them into one image at runtime, and then mask that to the hexagon shape.

In the long run, since it's all done automatically by the game now, ​this means less fiddly masking/cropping when making new art, and it means that I can either re-use characters with different backgrounds (upgraded Workshops can use the same Builder as normal Workshops), or I can potentially add vignette-specific/random variants (a happy Queen image might work well with the Queen's birthday vignette, while a sad image would better fit paperwork one).


Full changelog:

  • Added upgraded workshop model
  • Added role-coloured floor textures to role-specific buildings
  • Added setting for toggling role-coloured floors
  • Removed some extraneous log output
  • Moved event sprites into a subfolder
  • Separated vignette backgrounds from foreground characters
  • Moved music tracks into subfolders
  • All music tracks are now loaded dynamically at runtime

2019-07-21 Devlog

Hello hive friends!

50 years and a few hours ago, a pair of humans stomped around on our natural satellite for the first time. To celebrate, today's update includes new art for the ninja fruit flies event that features the moon in the background (painted with a level of attention to detail and real-life accuracy to match the rest of the game).

There are a few other misc updates and fixes, but nothing particularly noteworthly. The past few days have mostly been spent considering refactoring efforts to better enable content development moving forward (such as separating foreground characters from backgrounds in vignette images to allow the same bees to sit in front of different cells, and loading all music at runtime to reduce the amount of handling/hardcoding when adding or updating tracks).


Full changelog:

  • Added new event art for ninja fruit flies
  • Added info art for empty cells
  • Added info event for upgraded workshops
  • Added output when event/tutorial/vignette images can't be loaded
  • Added possible workaround for Shift modifier triggering echo events on certain garbage platforms
  • Fixed possible crash when loading a hive while in the middle of playing when a cell that previously had storage is replaced with a cell without storage
  • Refactored info event handling code
  • Refactored wax, honey, and jelly substitutions to be a part of event setup
  • Activity indicators now use event-specific icon if one is available
  • Shortened title of maproom info event
  • Forced custom music to not loop
  • Lowered defaut music volume

2019-07-19 Devlog

Greetings, fellow normal everyday totally-not-a-robot bees! Let us together express our normal everyday appreciation for regular nectar, pollen and honey to reinforce our identities as mundane normal bees.

The big star of today's update is a new track from Peter (as well as an update to the initial "beeginnings" one). Here are some regular normal words from him about the thoughts behind it!

"The hive quickly starts looking like a very busy place, and there's lots happening on screen even when the player is supposed to be feeling calm. So this piece was written to emphasise the calm. The clockwork ticking of the marimba notes brings the suggestion of constant activity with it, but the piece is led by the much more serene piano chords. A hint of the same motif used in beeginnings (which has also received an update) can be heard occasionally throughout."

Today's update also revamps the population menu with a new style and slightly different way of presenting extra information. There are some new cool particle effect to indicate when Builders are progressing research at a Workshop. On top of that, there are a bunch of other small tweaks/fixes/optimisations.


Full changelog:

  • Added updated "beginnings" music track
  • Added new "peace" music track
  • Added particle effect for research
  • Added background tint overlay to research and population menus
  • Added role details to population menu
  • Added role icons to population menu
  • Added sounds to population menu
  • Added fallback substitution for another_bee in events if population is less than 2
  • Removed population overview from population menu
  • Removed some extraneous prints
  • Fixed missing commas in exit vignette list
  • Fixed researched items appearing as paused when re-opening the research menu
  • Fixed jelly, nectar and honey storage materials from interrupting visibility of sprite particlesIncreased size of construction particles
  • Increased quantity of construction particles
  • Decreased CPU usage of non-storage cells
  • Updated look and feel of population menu

2019-07-18 Devlog

Greetings, fellow bee friends!

Today's update adds some new vignette content and a bunch of cosmetic changes for better readability of construction and research related stuff.


Full changelog:

  • Added several new exit vignettes
  • Added several new maproom vignettes
  • Added several new event text substitutions
  • Added paused indicator for paused research items
  • Added status text to current/paused research items on hover
  • Added debug output for menu to troubleshoot rare unexpected back button behaviour
  • Added sound cue when repeated (Shift) construction can't be built
  • Added construction particle effect
  • Added another_name substitution for events
  • Added build preview when using repeat action (Shift)
  • Refatored build preview handling

2019-07-16 Devlog

Hey hey hey!

Today's update finally brings in research related tutorials and tweaks up some of the other tutorial text. Hopefully, the difference between cell "slots" for concurrent bees using a particular cell and role capacity is also a bit clearer now.

There are a bunch of other misc tweaks and fixes, including a small balance tweak to the Old Bitey event.


Full changelog:

  • Updated tutorial text to bold important words
  • Added workshop and research tutorial events
  • Added output when creating user folders to better identify cause of apparent make_dir_recursive failure
  • Added role-specific colours to bee spawn effects
  • Fixed keyboard panning causing the camera to clip into the hive when panning down
  • Fixed storage cells not updating their height when resource levels are 0 when construction completes
  • Fixed construction previews lingering when an event triggers
  • Removed extraneous research blink related log output
  • Reduced maximum impact of Old Bitey event from 25% to 20%
  • Increased minimum hive size before Old Bitey event appears from 30 to 40

2019-07-13 Devlog

Buzz buzz, bee friends!

Today's update brings in the first WIP track from Peter "KestrelPi" Silk, who's recently switched focus to bring his composition skills to Hive Time. Here are some cool words from him about some of the thoughts behind it!

"When I first started thinking about the sound for Hive Time I was quite inspired by the organised hex grid, with this flurry of often chaotic seeming but purposeful activity over it, but there being a sense calm in that activity. So with this first piece I have in mind the opening of the game, as things are just beginning to happen, or perhaps when a new queen rises - and I wanted to convey that purposeful busy-ness and the hopes but also worries that come along with new beginnings. As a nod to the hexes, it's in 6/4. And as a nod to the bees, it is of course in bee minor."

Since we've only got one track at the moment, it's also repeating during gameplay with 3 minute gaps. There's a menu setting where you can disable the music if that's a bit too repetitive. In the interests of allowing Peter to test stuff in the game without waiting for new builds, I added a feature that lets him drop new tracks into a folder. Since I'd already done that work, I figured I'd just expose it for everyone, and so Hive Time now has custom music support. Click the "Open User Folder" button in the settings menu to bring up a file browser where you should see a "custom_music" folder.

I've also added activity indicator (the ones that appear in the bottom left to let you know what's just happened) icons for each research item, which should make completed research a bit easier to track among all the placeholder exclamation marks.

Full changelog:

  • Added ogg files to default bundled resources
  • Added music handler
  • Added beginnings music track
  • Added skip custom music setting
  • Added custom music support (drop .ogg files into custom_music in user folder)
  • Added icons for research complete activity notifications
  • Fixed UI volume setting not saving
  • Fixed some unused variable errors
  • Updated credits
  • Updated events, effects, and activities to gracefully handle preloaded icons/images as well as paths.

2019-07-10 Devlog

Hello bee friends!

Today's update brings a whole bunch of particle effects that make tracking bee activity a bit easier. Their lifecycles are a bit more pronounced by spawn and death effects, and effects now give a better indication of when they drop resources. These might be a bit over the top for now, but I'm interested to see how they affect the readability of the game and will tune based on that.

There's also a fix for a fun crash that only occurred when loading a saved game with more than one effect indicator active (like, say, if you have two Queens).

Full changelog:

  • Added bee spawning effect
  • Added bee death effect
  • Added bee resource drop effect
  • Added show particles setting
  • Fixed queen names being wrongly incremented on load
  • Fixed crash when loading a save with multiple active effects

2019-07-08 Dev stream

Cheese plays Hive Time and works on some bug fixes on

2019-07-08 Devlog

It's that time again!

Today's update includes a bunch of UI tweaks for effect and activity indicators (you can watch me work on that and most of the rest of this update in the archive of today's dev stream).

There are also fixes for bees becoming immortal if they switch to a role that doesn't store resources while they're carring a resource, as well as other less exciting things like some sounds not playing when the're meant to and some buttons not doing their hover actions when they should.

Thanks to everybody who dropped by to watch me bumble around today. I hope that it was interesting :)

Full changelog:

  • Added a couple more bee names
  • Added icon columns to effect and activity details pop-ups
  • Fixed flea circus event not having a minimum defender population requirement
  • Fixed typo in fist snail monk event
  • Fixed event/vignette/tutorial text receiving mouse events
  • Fixed bees not storing carried resources when they change roles (fixes immortal bees)
  • Fixed minimum poluation conditions being ignored
  • Fixed error sounds playing when clicking on previously researched research items
  • Fixed UI volume changes not being clamped
  • Fixed log errors about missing event/vignette/tutorial/activity/effect images
  • Updated bee AI to store resources in a random order
  • Increased size of effect and activity details pop-ups
  • Increased opacity of effect and activity details pop-ups
  • Increased defender death multiplier for circus deprival effect

2019-07-07 Devlog

Hark, what's that? It's the lovely sound of a Hive Time update!

Audio is finally here! Recently, I bought KestrelPi on board as a composer for Hive Time, and in preparation for getting some of his work into the game, I've made a start on adding UI sounds. Balancing these with music and making sure they don't clash will be a fun hurdle to cross when we get there, but for now, having the back end in is good, and as certain people keep reminding me, aural feedback is valuable to players.

Today's update also fixes an embarrassing crash caused by vignettes triggering on upgraded workshops (can you tell it's been a while since I last played a full game?).

Full changelog:

  • Added UI sounds for cell hover, radial menu open, radial menu close, research menu open, research menu close, menu item hover, menu item select, insufficient resources, bad build location
  • Added setting for UI volume
  • Fixed crash caused by upgraded workshop vignette triggering
  • Fixed construction menu closing when selecting a build option with space requirements not met
  • Fixed radial menu items receiving mouse over events while expanding
  • Fixed vignette/event/tutorial text being reset to placeholder when resizing the game window (upstream bug #24173 )
  • Fixed typo in default worker upgrade research title
  • Updated cell research options to require a workshop upgrade to be constructed before additional items become available
  • Updated cell upgrade research options to position workshop upgrade in the centre
  • Refactored upgrade related special casing to be more generic

2019-07-06 Devlog

Hello, hive friends!

Obstacles are finally here! Construction is now inhibited by a bunch of large and small obstacles that will (hopefully) invite more planning. There are some adjacency requirements that I have lined up down the track that should provide some extra planning pressure for mid and late game players, but for now, I'm interested to hear how this patch affects the feel of a whole game.

This patch also fixes a bug with loading old saves that was introduced in preview-42 as part of updates to the research system. It's a little fiddly so I've decided to not special case a backwards compatible loader for the research system, which means that the game is no longer compatible with saves prior to preview-42. I know I'd said I'd try to avoid this, but unfortunately, plans don't always work out! If anybody has a save they'd like to continue to use, I can manually update it pretty quickly. Apologies for the inconvenience.

Full changelog:

  • Added small construction obstacles
  • Added large construction obstacles
  • Added skip obstacles setting
  • Added check to stop foragers and workers dying when they are outside the hive or carrying resources
  • Added vintage text to bee details to indicate age/lifespan relationship
  • Added life span to bees and added per-bee jitter
  • Removed bee starting age jitter
  • Removed all hard coded hexType values
  • Fixed crash when loading caused by old research import code
  • Refactored entity list
  • Increased fog depth

2019-07-03 Devlog

​High five, Hive Timers!

A quick little update to fix a construction menu bug where build options were being displayed regardless of whether they'd been researched or not.

I also added an effect to the effect tray that indicates Queen age/lifespan. This information hasn't really been present in-game till now, and I'd bee wracking my brain for a good way to display it that didn't require more HUD clutter. It turns out that a solution was in front of me the whole time \o/


Full changelog:

  • Fixed all buildings construction options being available regardless of research status
  • Added effect indicator for current Queen(s) to indicate lifespan
  • Added worker versatility research item icon
  • Updated beesitter, defender, builder, forager and queen upgrade icons

2019-07-01 Devlog

Good day bee friends, and welcome to the second half of 2019!

After a week wrapping up some other work, I'm back onto Hive Time now. I spent last night finishing the initial implementation of the building upgrade system and a partial implementation of the bee upgrade system. Currently, there are no bee upgrade items exposed, and the only building upgrade option is the upgraded Workshop, but I should be able to easily build on these in future builds.

I also fixed some old behaviour where the game would just quit when getting a "game over" instead of going back to the menu.

Full changelog:

  • Added first pass on cell upgrade research UI
  • Added first pass on bee upgrade research UI
  • Added workshop upgrade
  • Added research requirements
  • Added apple blossom as a flower type
  • Fixed the game exiting when ending a game due to Queen death