Hive Time

Current Status

Hive Time is currently in development!

Development builds are available to Patreon supporters and testers. Unless you're specifically interested in testing and/or watching the game's evolution, it's best to wait until it's done! :)

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

Devlog 2019-07-15

Buzz buzz!

Today's update adds a bunch of UI tweaks that hopefully help make a few things readable that were previously... less readable.

The biggest addition is a transparent preview of construction options that appears in blue or red before building depending on whether there's enough space and resources available. This should help communicate the space required to build in ways that the cell indicators next to the cost indicators didn't seem to be doing.

Previously unseen research options and research options that have recently been completed now blink until you mouse over them. This makes it easier to remember what you've just researched and makes newly unlocked options more visible.

There's also a new debug dialog for triggering events. Previously, pressing E would reduce the event timer to zero and trigger the next queued event. Now, pressing E will bring up the event selection dialog, with the next queued event selected. This dialog allows specific events to be previewed and triggered. It's mostly to help me with debugging/testing new events and keeping track of which ones have images, but it will also help KestrelPi when testing event-specific music cues (if we put them in).


Full changelog:

  • Added event selector (shortcut E)
  • Added pop effect to research category buttons
  • Added blink effect to unviewed research options
  • Added blink effect to newly completed, but unviewed research options
  • Added transparent preview for construction options in radial menus
  • Fixed event buttons responding to mouse up events when mouse button was held down before event was displayed
  • Fixed radial menu buttons not responding to mouse events until a move event is triggered
  • Fixed research costs being charged for resuming already started research
  • Fixed case where resource particle effects' counts were being set to zero
  • Increased default music volume

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

2019-06-22 Devlog

​Small update today with some adjustments to research timing and fixes for end-game bugs that I probably should've spotted sooner.

I've been looking at a bunch more research stuff that's not enabled yet - bee efficiency upgrades and advanced building variants. Not sure when that'll be ready to make it into a build, but providing multiple paths to hive productivity/efficiency/health that go beyond just expanding makes the game feel a lot more interesting.

Full changelog:

  • Increase duration of barracks, honey, and jelly refinery research
  • Fixed queen not dying (for real this time)
  • Fixed tutorials being shown when starting a new hive with a new queen
  • Fixed research being reset when starting a new hive with a new queen
  • Load shortcut (L) now loads most recent save instead of oldest save

2019-06-18 Devlog

Buzz buzz!

Today's update focuses primarily on bringing icons into effect, activity and event descriptions. These are still a work-in-progress, particularly in the case of activity and effect detail pop-ups, which are a little too small to comfortably hold all the information they need to display.

There are also a couple of crash fixes related to specific event outcomes.

Full changelog:

  • Added small role icons
  • Added red colouring to negative effect/activity values
  • Added icons to replace resource and bee role text in effects
  • Added activity indicators for role_swap, lifespam_multiplier, lifespan_offset, death_multiplier, stock_multiplier, stock_offset, and stock_swap
  • Added icons to stock_multiplier, stock_offset, stock_swap, lifespan_multiplier, lifespan_offset, destroy_cells, destroy_cell_type, destroy_cells_multiplier, death_multiplier, and role_swap activity details
  • Added icons to Throne Room, Wax Assembler, Honey Refinery, and Jelly Refinery info events
  • Added more detail to hive destruction activity indicators
  • Fixed typo in game load error event
  • Fixed queens never dying
  • Fixed crash when the last of a role-specific building type is destroyed
  • Fixed crash when the buildings of a particular type are destroyed
  • Fixed effect indicators for offsets showing * instead of +
  • Fixed load and save menus not working when save folder doesn't exist
  • Removed placeholder effects from cold effect
  • Updated click-off-able area for research menu to be smaller
  • Updated workshop info description
  • Activity indicators that aren't attached to a cell now close when clicked
  • Temporarily activity details icons into fake columns
  • Temporarily removed click to zoom/click to close text from activity details
  • Changed activity, effect, and event details to RichTextLabel
  • Disabled processing for cells with a value less than empty (increases performance for small hives)

2019-06-16 Devlog

Hey, friends

Finally managed to squeeze out a first pass on the research system. In this iteration, only nurseries, workshops, wax assemblers, exits, nectar storage, and pollen storage cells are able to be built at the start of the game. Further construction options are unlocked from the Research Menu at a Workshop. Builders are needed to progress research, which gives them a critical role in the growth of a hive that they previously didn't have.

At the moment, there aren't any research dependencies. I'll need to implement something for later research options I have planned, but for now, the ones that are in the game right now can be researched in any order.

This makes some dramatic changes to the feel of the game's pacing, but from the testing I've done so far, don't end up slowing down the game much. The key benefits here are reducing the initial construction options down to a less overwhelming 6 options, giving players control over the order in which things become available, and giving some persistent rewards to spend resources on.

I suspect that having to balance production and research will lead players to more directly manage the paused/unpaused state of assemblers and refineries, which I definitely want to encourage early on, but does get a bit cumbersome in the mid to late game. I have plans for some research options that will provide some alternative production management options better suited to scale to the places where pausing/unpausing doesn't quite cover, but I think I'll let the research system sit for a while and see how it feels/what kind of feedback I get before implementing those.

Obstacles and bonuses will probably be the next big feature to come in, which should shake up hive layouts and construction prioritisation in interesting ways.

Full changelog:

  • Added research menu to workshop
  • Added initial research costs for map room, barracks, honey refinery, jelly refinery, wax storage, honey storage, and jelly storage
  • Fixed possible crash during auto saves caused by lost bees outside of the hive
  • Fixed possible crash when loading older saves
  • Fixed tutorials not being shown
  • Fixed Escape not closing population menu
  • Fixed possible crash when switching roles for existing bees
  • Fixed bee animation and attachment nodes being duplicated unnecessarily
  • Removed vestigial code related to old construction and population menus
  • Refactored radial construction menus
  • Builders now conduct research

2019-06-12 Devlog

Hello bee friends!

Apologies for the slight gap in updates. Some unfortunate news sapped my motivation for a few days, but I'm back now with some good forward progress on a couple of fronts.

Firstly, I think I've knocked some crashes on the head relating to bees who don't return to the hive correctly. When autosaving, it was possible for these bees to put bad data into the save file that would crash the game on load, or crash during the save process. With autosaves enabled, this meant the game was likely to sew the seeds for its self destruction one way or another after 20 minutes of play time. Good times! I still haven't quite managed to track down the cause of bees not returning to the hive correctly, but I do have some ideas (and addressed one of those in this patch). In the meantime, these fixes make that less fatal!

Secondly, after some false starts, we have some new bee poses (single frame animations - eventually these will be expanded to be more interesting, but for now, it's just indicative of where animations will occur). The Queen now sits upright in her throne, and bees tuck their wings away when they don't have far to travel or when stopping at a cell, hopefully giving a visual impression of walking vs flying.

Last but not least, there are vignette and info graphics for the Throne room, which hint at an upcoming feature that I've had planned for a while.

I had hoped to ship this update on the 10th of June, which is when people in my particular corner of the world choose to celebrate the Queen of England's birthday. It is, of course, not the Queen's birthday at all, and in Australia alone, it's celebrated on three separate dates in different months, depending on which state you're in. Canada celebrates Fête de la Reine​ on the 25th of May, which was apparently Queen Victoria's birthday, so that at least makes sense.​

I'll be the first person to admit that the colonial heritage that we put so much effort into celebrating should instead be commiserated​, but in this rare case, I was happy to lean into it and reference this silliness.


Full changelog:

  • Added initial Queen sitting pose
  • Added bee wing poses for fast and slow movement
  • Added playtime to save games (not user-visible)
  • Added Throne info image
  • Added Throne vignette image
  • Added new throne (chair)
  • Fixed DOF not updating during menu transition
  • Fixed foragers not returning to hive properly
  • Fixed pause timing sometimes resulting in an unwanted game frame when transitioning to/from the menu
  • Fixed possible crash when bees get lost
  • Fixed possible crash caused when loading bees that didn't return to the hive interior properly
  • Tweeked Queen pop in/out size in construction mode
  • Reworked bee initialisation to not require setting up area and bone attachment nodes
  • Upgraded save and load log messages to errors to force log flush

2019-06-08 Devlog

Helloooooooo beeeeeeeeeeee friendssssssssss

Today's update includes a few bits of menu polish as well as some bug fixes.

There are now configuration options for antialiasing and depth of field, so you can make the game look more/less fancy now depending on what youre computer is up for.

That old "bees coming up through the floor" problem - any bee who is outside the hive should now return to the exit they left via regardless of their role or previous activity. Yay.

A previous update broke events and vignettes (and I'd been playing with them off for a few days). Those are restored now.

Unfortunately, fixes to bee behaviour over the past couple of patches have likely broken the little happy spin that they used to sometimes do. I'll be adding that back in later, but rest assured, they'll be back to their spinny selves before the game is finished.

Full changelog:

  • Added in-game camera zoom to transition from/to menu
  • Added exit info image
  • Added exit vignette image
  • Added anti aliasing setting
  • Added depth of field setting
  • Added a new bee name
  • Fixed events and tutorials firing during menu transitions
  • Fixed bees not returning to the hive via the exit they left when their target priority changes
  • Fixed transition weirdness being caused when mashing Escape during menu transitions
  • Fixed events and vignettes not triggering
  • Refactored settings UI generation code

2019-06-06 Devlog

Attention hive friends! Another menu focused update today, though I've also added fixes for a bunch of issues during gameplay.

The star (or hexagon) of today's update is the cool new transition from the menu into the game and back again. It does have one significant bug at the moment that I didn't get wrapped up before I finished up work for the day - events and tutorials can trigger while a menu transition is happening. This isn't a problem when going from the menu into the game, but when going the other way, it can result in an event on top of the menu, and that's not ideal (pressing Escape a few times should clear it).

Full changelog:

  • Added info graphic for grid tiles
  • Added cool transition from/to menu
  • Added scrollbars to load screen
  • Added scrollbars to save screen
  • Added scrollbars to settings screen
  • Fixed bees interrupted when outside the hive not turning to face their destinations until they next bumble
  • Fixed possible crash when determining production priority
  • Fixed cells receiving click events when closing the population screen
  • Fixed Escape not closing radial menus
  • Fixed radial menus not repositioning when window dimensions are changed
  • Entering inspection mode now closes radial menus

2019-06-05 Devlog

Buzz buzz!

A small update that fixes a crash when pausing production of a Wax Assembler that has bees working on it. This update also fixes the autosave setting not saving properly and defaulting to false. You will need to manually enable it if you have run a previous build.

Full Changelog:

  • Added options for skipping tutorials, events and vignettes to settings screen
  • Added button for opening user folder to settings screen
  • Added graphics for map room, nursery, workshop and barracks info screens
  • Added note mentioning bees spawning at a fixed rate to population growth tutorial
  • Fixed title for exit info screen
  • Fixed possible crash when pausing production on a wax assembler
  • Fixed autosave setting not applying
  • Fixed autosave defaulting to false on first launch (will need to be enabled manually for all existing installs)
  • Refactored some menu code

2019-06-04 Devlog

Hi friends!

Small UI focused update today, this time adding "activity icons" that allow you to zoom to active vignettes or locations of recent events (not sure where Old Bitey got your hive? Now you can jump straight there). There are a few othe less visible fixes for input handling and menu related stuff as well.

Full Changelog:

  • Added activity indicators for active vignettes and hive destruction events
  • Added vignette activity icon
  • Added Escape as a shortcut for Resume in the main menu
  • Added Enter as a shortcut for closing/selecting affirmative action in tutorials/events/vignettes
  • Fixed activity and effect icons responding to mouse over during events
  • Fixed activity and effect icons responding to mouse over while radial menus are active
  • Fixed activity and effect details lingering while main menu is active
  • Fixed main menu items responding to mouse over events while tiles are flipping
  • Fixed magnify gesture events not marking input as handled
  • Fixed the main menu not pausing the game correctly
  • Fixed cancelling an event not marking input as handled
  • Fixed capitalisation of Throne Room when getting cell name
  • Repositioned version number
  • Viewing a vignette automatically removes activity icon
  • Removed some vestigial code from the old UI

2019-06-03 Devlog

​Super quick update this morning that addresses potential crashes when starting the game with the fullscreen setting enabled and when visiting the load screen with no saved games.

Full changelog:

  • Deferred applying existing fullscreen settings at startup
  • Deferred applying autosave settings at startup
  • Fixed get_saved_games_list() not returning an empty array on error

2019-06-02 Devlog

Hello, friends!

Another primarily menu focused update today, adding options for saving/loading multiple save files, as well as persistent settings for fullscreen and autosaving (S now triggers an autosave). There are also a couple of fixes for some bugs when deleting under-construction multicell buildings, and a new crown for the Queen. How nice.

Full changelog:

  • Added new crown for Queens
  • Added initial pass on save and load screens
  • Added autosaving (10 minute increments)
  • Added tracking of current save name
  • Added modified date sorting to save file list
  • Added current menu item indicator
  • Added initial pass on setting screen
  • Added persistent user settings (user://config.cfg)
  • Fixed zero duration tweens when loading bee movement
  • Fixed Directory objects not being closed correctly when reading save file list
  • Fixed problems with deleting under-construction multicell buildings
  • Fixed problems with mouse over for under-contrstruction multicell buildings
  • Fixed birth ratios not being reset when starting a new hive

2019-06-01 Devlog

Greetings, hive friends!

Over the past week or so, I took a break from Hive Time to work on a side-project. As part of a talk I gave last week on making games in Godot, I needed a small example project to do a code walkthrough of. Hive Time is a little too big/sprawling/hastily made, so I quickly knocked together Honeycomb CRUNCH, a top-scrolling avoid-the-obstacles game that I've released for free (costs no money), and for Free (released under Free Software/open culture licences). If it sounds like your kind of thing, you can check it out over here.

With Honeycomb CRUNCH now savely stowed away in the Released Games basket, I spent today and yesterday getting the new main menu behaving. It still needs a bit of tweaking, but it's starting to shape up well, I think! At the moment, the settings menu doesn't do anything, and the load/save menus just automatically load/save the most recent/current hives as the previous S and L shortcuts did.

This build also brings in new animations for the Jelly Refinery, and reposition them. If you've got a save with a Jelly Refinery in it, you'll notice that its position is a bit weird.

Other than that, there are a few crash fixes, and Escape will now close radial menus/close or select the negative option of events. Escape will also bring up the main menu again. Good times.

Hooking up the rest of the menu systems is probably going to be slow work without much in the way of visible/exciting gameplay progress, but once that's all in place, we should return to the kind of update cadence we had before last week.

I've also made the store page public (with builds not available), which should make it easier to share/follow the project as it moves forward. Controls and known issues are now listed in the download instructions page. It doesn't look super fancy at the moment, but I'll be updating it to be more exciting in the future ^_^

Full changelog:

  • Added main menu
  • Added credits screen
  • Added Escape as a shortcut for closing radial menus
  • Added Escape as a shortcut for closing/chosing negative response in tutorials/events/vignettes
  • Added Escape as a shortcut for returning to the main menu
  • Added event images for save/load success
  • Added pop to radial menu buttons
  • Added cell indicator highlight sprite to radial menu build costs pop up
  • Added jelly refinery animations
  • Updated jelly refinery cell layout to put 'origin' cell in the 'middle'
  • Reordered player/game initialisation to better fit with new main menu behaviour
  • Reordered GUI scenes
  • Inventory fluff is now set based on bee activity
  • Fixed save file not being closed when saving
  • Fixed possible crash when stopping factory stop animation
  • Fixed game load crash when bee inventory fluff is not present
  • Fixed bee names are not being exhausted before being reused
  • Fixed bees bees diving into exits (happens 1 in 20 times now)

2019-05-21 Devlog

Hello, bee friends!

A small update today with a couple of changes. The two biggest ones that will affect gameplay are that the cell pattern for Honey Refineries has changed (the Jelly Refinery hasn't been updated yet, but my plan is to shift it too so that the tile you click on is always the "middle" most tile vertically), and that the honey costs for producing jelly and constructing jelly storage have been lowered slightly.

This update also brings in the first building animations. The Honey Refinery now opens and closes to reflect paused/resumed state (which is less broken in general now), and there's a subtle "pumping" animation that you might notice when zoomed in.

Full changelog:

  • Added pause, resume, and production animations to honey refinery
  • Added a bunch of new names
  • Added extra logging for shift shortcut
  • Added construction/welcome tutorial screen
  • Added queen death event when it's not the last queen
  • Updated tutorial text to reflect new UI
  • Updated honey refinery cell layout to put 'origin' cell in the 'middle'
  • Updated minimum hive size for Old Bitey from 8 to 30
  • Updated some film names
  • Updated jelly storage construction cost to require less honey
  • Updated jelly production cost to require less honey
  • Fixed bad room requirements for 'Ticket to ride' event
  • Fixed typo in 'This just in' event
  • Fixed a typo in no inventory strings
  • Fixed possible crash when building a storage room on a cell that was previously destroyed
  • Fixed bad map room identifier in event condition handler
  • Removed special tab from population menu

2019-05-20 Dev stream

Cheese plays Hive Time and works on some animations in celebration of World Bee Day! on

2019-05-20 Devlog

Here it is! The big change I've been holding off on doing until I knew I had a good block of time to do it. We now have the radial context menus for cells that I'd envisioned the game having at the start of our little jam just shy of one month ago.

This has allowed me to pull out most of the placeholder UI, which means that there are some changes to how the game feels and handles.

  • I'd always imagined placing cells to be something that you do with slow consideration at points when you're ready for your hive to grow. After watching play sessions (and playing myself), I've found that it's satisfying to plonk down a bunch at once. With this in mind, I've added a shortcut (Shift) that will allow you to repeat the last radial menu command, which should work for building, destroying, and even bringing up info prompts.
  • Cell allocations for rooms is no longer on the cursor. It's not in the "costs" pop-up that appears when you mouse over a build item in a radial menu. Cells that are not available for building are coloured red, so this is a lot more readable now.
  • Construction costs and refunds are now displayed in the "costs" pop-up that appears when you mouse over a build item in a radial menu. No more waiting for tooltips! The resources that you can't afford are coloured red, which makes that a lot more readable too.

There's still a bit more work to do on UI stuff, but I'm keen to hear how this new stuff feels for you before I push too much further along.

This update also breaks save games. For future updates, I'll do my best to avoid it, but some oversights in the previous build made it hard to avoid this time around. I could invest time in building a robust data file versioning system like I've done for Icicle, but I have less time to allocate to this project, and its scope is smaller so much that I'd have a hard time justifying the extra work anyway.

If anybody needs their hive, shoot me through your save and I'll fix it up manually.


Full changelog:

  • Added radial context menu for cells
  • Added more "nothing" strings for bees not carrying anything
  • Added resource icons to bee details pop-up
  • Added shortcut (Shift) for repeating last build action (must be held down before selecting previous action)
  • Added shortcut (Home) for returning to the initial camera zoom/position
  • Added support for HUD elements to retain 3D position when zooming/panning
  • Added info events for all buildings
  • Added building cost icons/values to construction menu
  • Added some more names
  • Removed old construction menu button
  • Removed old population menu button
  • Removed build allocation indicators from mouse cursor
  • Fixed bee details pop-up position being set before bee is scaled
  • Fixed possible crash when saving a bee that has wound up with a bad target
  • Fixed camera translations not being converted into local space before being applied
  • Fixed event/tutorial/vignette images not being loaded
  • Fixed left event/tutorial/vignette button being clickable even when it's not visible (for sure this time)
  • Fixed cells eating mouse events when they shouldn't be
  • Fixed queen being spawnable without having enough resources
  • Fixed a typo in 'That's heavy' vignette reported by Clipsey
  • Fixed possible crash when loading a save that includes a lost bee
  • Adjusted activity strings to better fit in bee details pop-up
  • Adjusted bee wing material to be less reflective and more transparent
  • Adjusted bee carapace/eye material to be less reflective
  • Updated save code to produce less jsoned json

2019-05-18 Devlog

A short changelog for a whole bunch of work! Saving and loading functionality is finally in (although there's no main menu to drive it, so you're stuck with shortcuts for now)!

This particular task ate up the past couple of days, and it's probably the least enjoyable part of game development for me. Even though saving and loading are pretty essential features, they don't really contribute anything that is intrinsically a part of the game experience.

There's a lot of maintenance work involved in this kind of code, since anything that's added to the game is likely to need to be added to save/load code, or at least cleared before loading. For this reason, it's hard to front-load save/load work at the beginning of a project, and as a result, by the time I get to it, I've usually made a lot of decisions that didn't really take into account or prioritise persistent saving/serialisation.

It's usually not difficult, but it is long, slow, tedious work, which usually requires a few changes here and there that aren't necessarily in the best interests of what the game itself is doing. A degree of focus is needed to keep track of everything and a lot of extra testing is needed to make sure that bugs don't creep in (last night, I spotted and fixed a bug that I only spotted by chance that would only occur after loading a save that have been saved from a previously loaded game).

Godot has some documented patterns for serialising, instantiating and restoring its nodes, which is nice, but as noted in the docs, doesn't scale to scene trees more than one node deep. The pattern of for i in current_line.keys(): new_object.set(i, current_line[i]) for populating newly created instances with saved data is nice, but the moment you want to do extra munging/processing on the way in or out, it ends up requiring as much work as writing manual import/export functions for every class you care about. These approaches are a good start, and are great to have documented, but they don't meaningfully simplify the work for me.

For me, save/load code is like the fish of gamedev (apologies to my vegan/vegetarian friends) - you have to eat it slowly and be constantly wary of bones, otherwise you risk choking to death. Chewing for bones isn't really that hard, it just isn't any fun, and that's really not the relationship I want to have with food or with games :D

Anyway, enough rambling about the bits I don't enjoy. Time to get back onto the bits I do enjoy!

P.S. Ignore the "-dirty" on the end of the version number. I forgot to commit the removal of some whitespace before uploading and didn't think it was worth cutting new builds for.

Full changelog:

  • Added initial implementation of saving/loading games
  • Added temporary interface events for saving/loading
  • Added save shortcut (S)
  • Added load shortcut (L)
  • Removed forced-perspective scaling for bees leaving the hive
  • Fixed effects not being cleared after starting a new game/loading (resolves those cheeky nanobees)
  • Fixed unbuilt cells list not being cleared when starting a new hive
  • Fixed stock multiplier effects being added instead of multiplied
  • Fixed stock not being rounded after effect multipliers and offsets are applied
  • Fixed Queen move and turn speed not being set correctly

2019-05-16 Devlog

Hey hive friends!

Today's update brings a bunch of bugfixes and a few bits of new visual feedback into the game. Role capacities are now displayed on the population HUD (you can toggle the population HUD by clicking in the top right corner of the screen if it's getting in the way), and resources in storage cells now raise and lower depending on current stock levels.

I've also added a fade out effect as bees leave the hive. This may incur a performance cost - if anybody sees a drop in performance with this build, I'd be keen to hear!

The possible bug with construction completing on its own turned out to be bees returning to the hive without returning to their full size. I spotted some mini bees this evening careening around, building, working refineries, etc.. Cheeky nanobees.

  • Added role population capacities to population HUD
  • Added some new names
  • Added conditions to each role swap event to require a relevant role building to be present
  • Added fog/fade out for bees leaving the hive (may have a performance impact?)
  • Added cheat (K) for lowering resource limits
  • Fixed a typo in the "Drink responsibly" event
  • Fixed a typo in the "A flower by any other name" vignette
  • Fixed a typo in the "Not as fancy as it sounds" vignette
  • Fixed bees killed by events freezing/not being disappearing
  • Fixed new Queens not keeping their name when starting a new hive
  • Fixed left event button sometimes moving down
  • Fixed effects having zero duration after their first occurrence
  • Fixed resource levels not being adjusted when resource limits go below current stock levels
  • Fixed cells receiving mouse over events during events/vignettes/tutorials
  • Fixed build grid sometimes getting stuck in "popped out" state
  • Fixed vignettes from being shown if an event fires before the mouse button is released
  • Raised the rate that Beesitters increase bee spawn rates by
  • Reduced forced perspective scale for bees leaving the hive
  • Replaced pause/play icons with inspect/build icons
  • Storage cells now visibly represent hive-wide stock levels
  • Updated pollen storage model

2019-05-14 Devlog 2

Still had some mouse over event weirdness going on in preview-7 with cells bouncing up and down real fast. This is now 100% totally for sure really truly fixed now (if it happens again, let me know)!


  • Hacky workaround for silly mouse over bug when bees are outside the hive
  • That's all

2019-05-14 Devlog

Hi people!

The Preview-6 build had some dodginess when mousing over cells, so apologies to anybody who got that. Preview-7 should now be live, and (including changes from Preview-6) adds the ability to inspect individual bees when paused. There are also some minor cosmetic changes including adding resource buckets to the throne room, centring the Queen on the throne, and some tweeks to the bee movement animation. Some of the behind-the-scenes tidying up I did today also paves the way for adding more bee animations.

Full changelog for preview-7 and Preview-6:

  • Added a bunch of new bee names
  • Added a bunch of new queen names
  • Added resource buckets to throne room
  • Added activities to bees
  • Added bee details on mouse over when paused
  • Adjusted start position of bee hover animation loop
  • Fixed Queen not being centred on the throne
  • Fixed Queen not moving up with the throne when it pops
  • Fixed Linux Itch deploy not being extracted nicely when downloaded via the Itch client (workaround for upstream bug)
  • Cells no longer pop when paused
  • Vignette indicators are now hidden when paused

2019-05-13 Devlog

Buzz buzz!

A new build is up with a bunch of changes, mostly focused on HUD improvements (note that there's still a bunch of temp stuff, and that's why the bottom HUD isn't centred properly!) and bee behaviour/presentation.

I spent this morning quickly slapping together a build system. That doesn't mean much for you as a player, but it does mean that builds can go up faster (it has automated deployment via Itch's "Butler" tool) and be free from any of the human errors that creep in from manual handling. Yay.

Full changelog is below:

  • Added version number and in-development notice
  • Added a new film name
  • Added a bunch more bee names
  • Added new nursery vignette
  • Added a bee pun to serous business Defender vignette
  • Added names to bees
  • Added Queen name to throne vignettes
  • Added Queens to population HUD
  • Added build script with automated itch deployment for Linux, Mac and Windows
  • Added pan gesture support (alternative to middle click and drag panning on Mac touchpads)
  • Added magnify gesture support (alternative to scroll wheel input on Mac touchpads)
  • Added automatic pause when events/vignettes/tutorials are up
  • Added pause/play button
  • Added radial dissipation transition to effect indicators
  • Added new effect details pop-up
  • Added pause shortcut (Space)
  • Added cheat to raise resource limits (H)
  • Added kill bees cheat (K)
  • Removed lamp attached to Builders' hats
  • Clicking top left HUD corner now shows/hides population HUD
  • Clicking top right HUD corner now shows/hides queen jelly target HUD
  • Hats now change when a bee's role changes
  • Initial population is now spawned behind the throne
  • New bees are now spawned in nurseries when available
  • New Queens now inherit last queen's name (plus a roman numeral)
  • Old Queen now bumbles around the throne room when new Queen is installed
  • Refactored new bee generation
  • Queens now grow with age
  • Vignettes now use relevant bees' names if one is available
  • Fixed new queen not spawning
  • Fixed bees facing the wrong direction for their first movement
  • Fixed bees getting stuck outside the hive if they change roles or have their exit deleted
  • Fixed Builders travelling to Workshops that were already being worked by 3 bees
  • Fixed vignettes trigged by adjacent cell click not using specified bee names
  • Fixed randomness being less random than expected
  • Fixed left button being clickable for events/tutorials/vignettes that only have one button
  • Fixed a bunch of typos reported by Chiitoo

2019-05-11 Devlog 2

Another small patch for today. This should resolve crashes caused when destroying multi cell buildings, and when events (like Bear Attack) cause multi cell buildings to be destroyed.

I've also added a new HUD element that shows progress towards the jelly needed to spawn a new Queen, as well as two new events that mark milestones in the current Queen's age.

Beesitters finally have their purple bandannas now, replacing their placeholder white nurse hats.

Full changelog is here:

  • Added some new names
  • Added queen mid life event
  • Added queen twilight event (one minute out from death)
  • Added new Beesitter hat
  • Tweaked wording of new tutorial screens
  • Added queen jelly target progress bar to HUD
  • Fixed some potential crashes when deleting multi cell objects (includes Bear Attack and Worse Science events)
  • Fixed some potential crashes when a bee's target cell is deleted
  • Fixed some potential issues when freeing dead bees

2019-05-11 Devlog

Hello, bee friends!

A small Hive Time update today with a new HUD, some extra tutorials, and a bunch of misc fixes. Note that costs for producing Wax, Honey and Jelly are now exposed as tooltips when mousing over the icons for each in the HUD (not final, but should get you by for now).

This build is a debug build, so if you're experiencing crashes, we might be able to get more details on what's going on (as always, email me at

I'm also currently accepting bee name suggestions (these will appear in vignettes). You can submit them via this form:

Full changelog is here:

  • Added new tutorials to better cover population and cell slot mechanics
  • Added new HUD
  • Added population role HUD
  • Added role description tooltips to role sliders
  • Added production costs to tooltips for wax, honey and jelly
  • Added keyboard controls for camera zooming and panning
  • Added cheat for forcing next vignette (V)
  • Added cheat for forcing next bee (N)
  • Enabled logging (haven't really looked into where this goes - best guess is that it's ~/hive-time/)
  • Removed scale from cell pop in/out effect
  • Fixed honey and jelly pause buttons updating the wrong button labels
  • Fixed role sliders not being locked when the last building for that role is deleted
  • Fixed indicators for role population limits and resource limits not updating immediately when construction is complete
  • Fixed throne being destructable with destroy tool
  • Fixed population and resource limits being decremented when in-construction cells are destroyed
  • Fixed capitalisation of Queen in events/vignettes
  • Fixed some typos in events/vignettes
  • Fixed mouse down events being passed through to vignette buttons when clicking on cells in the button's future position

2019-05-09 Devlog

Hi friends!

I've spent the past week or so sanding away at Hive Time's rough edges. It still needs a bit of work before I can feel comfortable doing a public release, but it should be playable now without me standing over your shoulder and explaining all the missing bits.

I've uploaded Linux, Mac and Windows builds for my Patreon supporters to try. When I have final release builds ready, I'll also make the 10th day "end of jam" version available too (these builds sit somewhere inbetween).

If you encounter any bugs that aren't listed in the "Known issues" section of the Itch page, or if you have any general feedback, let me know!

I'm giving Patreon's Itch integration a go, and the link in this post should be all you need to claim a download key. If you have any trouble though, get in touch and I'll sort you out :)

Exciting times \o/

2019-05-05 Dev stream

Mim and Cheese play and test an early build of Hive Time on