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! :)

2019-11-20 Devlog

Buzz buzz!

Today brings in some big changes to the main menu! Clicking "New Hive" now shows a menu with game-specific options, mostly comprising of things that don't make sense to set per-game like "skip obstacles", but also including a couple of new options. The majority of these are things that I'd normally call cheats, but for now, I'm labelling them as "Find your own fun."

The settings menu has been broken up into a bunch of submenus, which should make stuff a bit easier to see/find. There's a new interface section that currently includes the "hide HUD" and "always show shortcuts" options, which makes a bit more sense than just dumping them into the video section.

All this stuff represents changes that I've had planned for a while, and which will serve as a stepping stone to other things I'm hoping to add before release (such as custom keybindings).

There are a few other misc changes as well, so check the changelog if you're interested. Note that this update will trigger a config file reset!


Full changelog:

  • Added version number to config file
  • Added config reset for any config files without version numbers
  • Added config reset for any config files prior to preview-171
  • Added version number to settings menu
  • Added new settings section heading font
  • Added new section settings selection indicator
  • Added alternate queen vignette foreground
  • Added 360 main menu tile flip for transitions that lead to the same tile
  • Added new game menu
  • Added customise all bees game option
  • Added unforgiving game over game option
  • Added Alt+Enter shortcut to main menu
  • Added dimming effect on other radial menu items when mousing over a back button
  • Moved skip obstacles, skip tutorials, skip events, skip vignettes from settings menu to new game menu
  • Moved always show shortcuts into interface settings
  • Moved hide hud into interface settings
  • Updated handling of dead queen when choosing to continue playing (not very tested, may result in crashes?)
  • Updated research completion handling to automatically continue paused research options if there are any
  • Refactored settings menu to use submenus for each config section
  • Refactored menu freeing
  • Fixed Alt+Enter shortcut not working while radial menus are displayed

2019-11-19 Devlog

Hello, bee friends!

It's new hat Tuesday! Beesitters get three new hats and Builders get one more. This gives every role except Queens three non-default hats for use by special bees.

There are also a couple of minor fixes, including a fun oversight that reset bee lifespans (excluding Queens) when loading a saved game.


Full changelog:

  • Added shortcut (Alt+Enter) for toggling fullscreen
  • Added nurse hat, grad cap, and bifocal hats for special beesitters
  • Added face shield hat for special builders
  • Updated position of settings menu tile to appear in bottom right of menu space
  • Updated some music handling stuff in an attempt to address popping when playing new track
  • Fixed bee lifespans not being loaded properly from saved games
  • Fixed new hat being applied before new role when customising
  • Fixed memory leak when closing menu

2019-11-18 Devlog

Buzz buzz!

Several new hats for special bees today, as well as a proper implementation for the generic events that I pulled out for the last build.


Full changelog:

  • Added earmuffs hat for special Builders
  • Added straw hat and bushman hat for special Foragers
  • Added implementation for generic vignettes
  • Fixed bee customisation dialog defaulting to no hat when switching to roles other than Worker
  • Fixed bees getting new names after having their roles changed by effects or customisation
  • Refactored bee import flags
  • Refactored vignette processing
  • Renamed welding helmet hat to welding mask
  • Updated obstacle spawning and connection processing to always be disconnected
  • Fixed jelly production vignettes not being loaded correctly
  • Fixed queen vignettes showing random names when current queen is unavailable
  • Fixed roles not applying correctly when closing customisation menu by clicking off

2019-11-17 Devlog

Greetings, bee friends!

Another mixed bag of updates today!

Special Builders now have a welding helmet that they can wear (and hopefully see through), and the "A new Queen arises" event now has images, showing the coronation of a new Queen.

I've written 15 new vignettes, and temporarily removed the 10 generic ones that were previously showing up for Wax Assemblers. I've added 5 more generic ones and separated them all out from the cell-specific vignettes so that they can be be used for any cell type when I get around to adding them back in in a future build.

I've also renamed the "traffic cone" hat to a "witches hat" hat, since that's what I call them and "traffic cone" isn't as big a part of the Australian vernacular that I'm drawing upon for this game.


Full changelog

  • Added new queen event images
  • Added welding helmet hat for special builders
  • Added throne upgrade as a requirement for forager upgrade research
  • Added 11 new wax assembler vignettes
  • Added 1 new honey refinery vignette
  • Added 4 new jelly refinery vignettes
  • Added 5 new generic vignettes
  • Moved generic vignettes to generic_vignettes.json (not currently implemented)
  • Updated 'The mark' nursery vignette text
  • Updated 'A graceful return' event text
  • Reduced royal decree jelly cost and increased pollen/nectar cost
  • Renamed traffic cone hat to witches hat
  • Fixed typo in flower substitutions
  • Fixed possible crash when worker finishes working after construction on an upgraded production facility starts
  • Fixed beesitter decline notification being repeated infinitely

2019-11-16 Dev stream

Cheese makes a bunch of hats for Hive Time on

2019-11-16 Devlog

Buzz buzz buzz buzz!

Today's update has a whole stack of stuff!

Six new hats are available to give to special bees (three for Workers, three for Defenders). These only have cosmetic value, but they're fun and that's nice. If you'd like to watch me make them, I managed to catch it on stream. Special bees will now also pick an initial hat at random.

One awkward side effect of this is that changes have meant that any saved bees from the past week will be loaded without hats. I've decided to overlook this since it's primarily a cosmetic thing, and since a full population cycle (ignoring special bees whose hats you can change manually anyway) takes about 90 seconds, it's not an issue for long.

Peter's passed me a new music track that is the new default event track, freeing up "Working Well" to be used for overtly positive events. This should help expand the tonal range of events a bunch, and I'm looking forward to seeing how the game as a whole feels with this change.

There are a bunch of new/previously missing building info screens that are in now.

In addition to all that, there are a whole bunch of bugfixes as well. Exciting times!


Full changelog:

  • Added a new bee name
  • Added generic neutral event music track
  • Added slugmonkA to dead not-last queen event
  • Added activity notification when beesitter population reaches zero
  • Added activity notification when beesitter population starts to decline (needs tuning, probably isn't as sensitive as it needs to be)
  • Added new traffic cone, party hat, and sunglasses hats for special workers
  • Added new bobby hat, aviators, and bearskin hats for special defenders
  • Added random chance for any role-specific hat to special bees
  • Added random chance for any trail effect to special bees
  • Added building info screen for upgraded nurseries
  • Added building info screen for upgraded barracks
  • Added building info screen for wax assembler
  • Added building info screen for honey refinery
  • Added building info screen for jelly refinery
  • Updated building info screen title for jelly refinery
  • Updated upgraded workshop info screen to use normal workshop background for now
  • Updated bee bumble behaviour to prevent bees from stopping on the throne tile
  • Updated research screen to always show unlocked research options regardless of whether research conditions have been met
  • Refactored hat handling (will cause bees in saves made between preview-155 and preview-163 to have no hats)
  • Fixed default hat not being set properly when loading save games
  • Fixed upgraded barracks intermittently only covering base barracks range
  • Fixed upgraded production facilities not playing animations
  • Fixed cells under the mouse cursor getting pop-in events when selecting a category in a radial menu
  • Fixed role lock states not being reset when spawning a new queen into a new hive or when loading a saved game
  • Fixed role lock buttons remaining enabled when spawning a new queen into a new hive
  • Fixed build allocation indicator in radial menus not being updated when construction finishes
  • Fixed upgraded production not receiving pause/resume state changes

2019-11-15 Dev stream

Cheese plays Hive Time and works on some bug fixes on

2019-11-15 Devlog

Buzz buzz!

Another update with misc fixes from today's dev stream.


Full changelog:

  • Updated production facility upgrade research times
  • Updated production facility upgrade construction costs
  • Fixed typo in 'Weirder science' event reported by chiitoo
  • Fixed possible crash where production animations could start/stop on production facilities that were still being upgraded
  • Fixed possible cases where production checks could use the wrong hex type for upgraded production facilities
  • Fixed possible crash when setting paused state for upgraded production facilities
  • Fixed new slider activities triggering when sliders were locked by players
  • Fixed forager population HUD indicator not enabling
  • Fixed population limit increasing when nurseries are destroyed

2019-11-14 Devlog

Hello bee lovers!

Today's update brings in a bunch of misc fixes and small tweaks. I've spent the past couple of days taking it easy and having a break after the big push of the past week or two. Planning to do a stream in the morning, and then back into polishing things up!


Full changelog:

  • Added tooltips to bee customisation dialog
  • Added alert activity type
  • Removed confirm button from bee customisation dialog
  • Updated music player to avoid playing the same background track twice in a row
  • Updated hero bee chance and hero bee limit to be lower
  • Optimised worker production handling code slightly
  • Fixed special bees dying when changed to a role that's over capacity if they're over half the base bee lifespan
  • Fixed flickering in build preview materials
  • Fixed cells along the western edge of the playspace not being connected properly to the rest of the playspace
  • Fixed some cases where non-primary cells of multicell constructions would be marked as not connected after loading
  • Fixed some obstacles receiving decay material overrides
  • Fixed population locks being loaded with the wrong state
  • Fixed a typo in 'There's nothing like it' vignette reported by ozoned
  • Fixed several cases where production facilities would retain producing state after worker bees had left
  • Fixed population lock icons loading with the wrong state
  • Fixed defender population slider not unlocking correctly
  • Fixed repeat build actions working on under-construction cells
  • Fixed empty cell and cell cluster build actions always playing the build sound regardless of whether anything is built

2019-11-12 Devlog

Buzz buzz!

Today's update has a bunch of misc tweaks and fixes. Turns out that yesterday's attempt at tackling Worker bees not prioritising construction wasn't as thorough as I'd hoped. This should properly be addressed today (unless I've overlooked something again!). To make up for it, there's also a small optimisation for Worker and Builder efficiency that will stop them from deciding to take a bumble break if the construction they're heading to is finished before they get there.

I also spent a little time looking at which sounds are creating the biggest load so far as audio performance goes and have decided to halve the default the environmental audio count (at some point I'll put a setting in like I have for bees). On my dev machine, this come close to halving the amount of CPU time eaten up by the engine's audio server, which is good, but it doesn't really address that I want/need to play more sounds rather than fewer (more on that later).


Full changelog:

  • Added activity notification when a new population slider is unlocked
  • Added population slider lock state to save file
  • Added click prompt to bee details pop up
  • Added added icon for hero bee spawn activity notifications
  • Fixed workers not being assigned builder temp role when taking a break from construction
  • Updated worker and builder behaviour to have workers not already at a construction site when it finishes immediately find a new construction site without bumbling
  • Updated spawn chance for special bees to be a little smaller
  • Updated default environmental sound limit to be smaller
  • Refactored production pause state control
  • Fixed possible crash when starting a new game after environmental sound volume is set to zero
  • Fixed max_deployed_defenders condition returning false when deployed defender count is equal to target
  • Fixed some possible crashes relating to doing queen related things after the current queen has died

2019-11-11 Devlog

Hello hive friends!

Today's update has some quick bug fixes and optimisations for hive destruction/decay stuff, as well as a fix for a regression of Worker-bees-not-prioritising-building-until-there's-a-workshop.


Full changelog:

  • Fixed workers and builders constantly bumbling when no workshops are present
  • Fixed multicell constructions not properly setting connected state to all of their cells
  • Updated all cell destruction to be queued and actioned at once
  • Fixed destruction of non-empty cells always destroying the underlying empty cell
  • Fixed normal destruction triggering disconnected notifications

2019-11-10 Devlog

Buzz buzz!

Today's update brings in what is (unless I come up with some high impact/low scope stuff before release) the last gameplay feature I'll be adding. Cells that are disconnected from the hive (that is, cells that don't have a direct or indirect connection to the throne) will now decay over time and eventually be destroyed.

This means that when Old Bitey punches the hive around a bit and separates your big bank of nurseries from the rest of the hive, you'll need to scramble to reconnect them before they disappear. Bees will still continue to use decaying cells, so you'll still be able to eke the benefit of Defender patrols or Builder research time if you aren't able to or choose to not reconnect separated hive chunks.

This stuff is still pretty rough/untested - the game will slow down/go a bit weird when a lot of cells are being destroyed at once, destruction events on disconnected cells will end up losing their decay effect. I'll tidy that stuff up in time, but for now, I'm super glad to mark this one off my todo list! :D


Full changelog:

  • Added tracking of whether cells are connected to the throne or not
  • Added destruction timeout to disconnected cells
  • Added decay effect to disconnected cells
  • Optimised cell tick processing slightly
  • Optimised cell input processing slightly
  • Fixed crash when loading pre preview-156 saves containing multicell constructions

2019-11-09 Devlog

Bees, bees, bees

Today's update adds special bees (internally I've been calling them "hero bees," but that's marginally gross terminology I picked up way back when I worked in the retail industry). These bees live a bit longer, work a little more efficiently, move a little faster, and stand out a bit visually.

Aside from Queens, all of the bees in your hive end up being pretty transient, and I wanted to have some special ones that players could get attached to - when you've got a population of 500 bees, keeping track of all of them is too hard anyway.

Alongside this, I've also added bee customisation options. Currently, you can only customise special bees, but I'll probably add an option to the settings screen to enable it for all bees. Right now, it lets you change bees' names, their role (this probably won't be enabled for everyone if I do add a setting to enable it hive-wide, since that'd risks breaking some things), what hat they're wearing (currently only default hats or no hat, but I'll add a bunch of role-specific hats in a later content pass), and what kind of effect trail they leave behind (currently this is three boring ones, but I'm going to add more exciting stuff later).

Peter managed to find a nice way to bring back the previously orphaned track that we removed from the game a while back. Rather than filling in as one of the background music tracks, it's getting a place of prominence as accompaniment to the final event of the snail monk chain. It's very nice to have it find a home (this time for sure!).


Full changelog:

  • Added some new bee names
  • Added new music track for the 'Slime blessings' event
  • Added activity type for bees
  • Added rare special long-lived bees
  • Added sparkles, bubbles, and dots effect trails for special bees
  • Added customisation options for special bees
  • Added force hero debug shortcut (Ctrl+N)
  • Updated activity indicators to not count time while moused over
  • Refactored bee hat management
  • Fixed some unused variable warnings

2019-11-08 Devlog

Hello, bee friends!

Today's update is superficially small, but kinda big on the inside. The main feature is the population slider locks that are enabled by building upgraded Nurseries, Workshops, Barracks, Map Rooms and the Upgraded Throne Room. These allow you to set a slider where you want it to be and fiddle with the rest without affecting it. Multiple sliders can be locked, but obviously, that's going to give the rest of them less wiggle room (if there's only one unlocked, you won't be able to move it).

While implementing this, I did a big refactor of population handling, which simplifies and unifies a whole bunch of code. I haven't given it super thorough testing, but ideally, this should resolve some lingering slider funkiness such as negative slider values too.

There's also a new research option that allows more than two Queens to be active in the hive at once by shortening the cooldown between Queen spawns, allowing for more Queen effects to be active at once When used in conjunction with the Royal Decrees upgrade.


Full changelog:

  • Added queen spawn cooldown upgrade
  • Added population screen's slider lock buttons (enabled by upgraded role-specific cells)
  • Refactored birth ratio handling
  • Reworked population screen widget structure

2019-11-07 Devlog

Buzz buzz!

Today's update brings in upgraded resource facilities! Upgraded Wax Assemblers, Honey Refineries, and Jelly Refineries provide a speed boost to Workers carrying resources away to store, or frees them up entirely by sending resources directly to adjacent storage facilities. Both of these free up Worker bees to do more with their little lives, whether that's hopping back onto production sooner, or jumping into any of the other roles they can fill. Upgraded production facilities also allow for manual control over production priority, overriding the default proportional prioritisation of empty storage.

Initially, I'd wanted to do an adjacency bonus for having multiple production facilities next to each other, but since that isn't scalable in any way that's rewarding or fun (to keep 5 honey refineries running at full efficiency, you'd need 45 pollen, 45 nectar, and 180 honey coming in every second, and that's without taking costs of honey production into account).

With the way the game is structured, making production cheaper or yield more only makes the mid/end game less interesting since you're already capable of producing more than enough resources. A reduction to the time that Workers spend storing produced resources feels like a much better approach since it has knock-on effects that influence all their other activities, but still feels relevant to production.

I also spent a little time trying to track down a lingering bug where production facilities won't reset their production state when the last Worker leaves (you may spot production animations continuing when nobody's around), but haven't quite nailed it down yet. This doesn't have a gameplay impact, but it does prevent the production screen from showing accurate information on why production is/isn't occurring in certain circumstances.


Full changelog:

  • Added wax assembler upgrade
  • Added honey refinery upgrade
  • Added jelly refinery upgrade
  • Added storage adjacency/worker rush bonus for upgraded production facilities
  • Implemented production screen priority sliders
  • Removed numeric labels from production screen priority sliders
  • Refactored foraging payload calculation
  • Refactored production priority handling
  • Fixed possible crash when a bee finishes production after a production facility is upgraded (shouldn't have occurred in live builds)
  • Removed old construction menu code from the jam UI
  • Removed some extraneous logging

2019-11-05 Devlog

Greetings, fellow bee lovers!

Today's update adds a new research option for building multiple empty cells at once, making mid/late game hive expansion a bit less click intensive. When selected, the cell cluster build option will build empty cells in all unoccupied cells that are adjacent to the selected cell (constructing a maximum of 6 cells without overriding anything that's already present).

There are also a couple of research tree changes, making the upgraded throne room and the things it enables no longer require an upgraded workshop. This helps give the sense of two distinct branches of research rather than one miasma.


Full changelog

  • Added empty cell cluster upgrade research option
  • Added minimum beesitter population condition to 'specialisation is for other insects' event
  • Added event list dropdown to event selector debug screen
  • Added bee effects to bee object for future portrait stuff
  • Updated throne upgrade research to not require an upgraded workshop
  • Updated wax assembler upgrade research to not require an upgraded workshop (not yet implemented)
  • Updated upgraded barracks model to reduce zfighting on posters when zoomed out
  • Refactored queen effect selection code
  • Fixed tops of honey and jelly refinery build previews not being transparent
  • Fixed typo in throne upgrade research description

2019-11-04 Devlog

Hi friends!

Today's update brings in some changes to the event handling system, giving it more granular control over how frequently certain types of events occur. This should increase the frequency that wasps, ninja fruit flies and Old Bitey show up, which in turn raises the relevance of hive defence.

This builds on top of several big changes to events, and enables things like the new Old Bitey event, where an event that warns players that Old Bitey is coming fires first, creating an effect that counts down until Old Bitey actually arrives. For a potentially catastrophic event like this one, giving players a grace period/time to prepare has been something I've been moving toward for a long time.

Being able to trigger events immediately after a set duration or immediately after some conditions are met (whether visible to the player or not) gives me a whole lot more flexibility when it comes to designing/writing them, and I'm looking forward to reworking some of the more complex events, like the slug outlaws and vinehopper scientist chains.


Full changelog:

  • Added frequent events list for events that should occur with tighter rotation
  • Added 'Something hairy this way comes' event
  • Added deployed_death_multiplier effect
  • Added max_deployed_defenders and min_deployed_defenders conditions
  • Moved Old Bitey event to special event list and added variations depending on deployed defender count
  • Refactored handling of effect follow ups
  • Refactored event handling (minor change pending future changes)
  • Updated build system to bail before deploying when repo is in dirty state
  • Fixed possible crash when role swapped bees become undeployed defenders while outside the hive

2019-11-03 Devlog

Buzz buzz!

Today's update adds a new research option for deriving extra benefits (and maybe a drawback or two) from future Queens. This is a late game thing I've had bouncing around in the back of my mind for a while that's intended to give some variance and texture to each Queen's reign. Currently researching this will give every future Queen two positive effects and one negative effect that will last for their entire life. These are limited to harvest multipliers, lifespan multipliers, and efficiency offsets at the moment, but I'm hoping to throw some extra things in that are more specific (a Queen that somehow attracts bears sounds like fun).

Speaking of fun, there's a new effect type that I've added (currently used in the negative branch of the vinehopper science chain) that blasts a hole in the hive and damages surrounding cells. Exciting times!

Also new in this update are a couple of pieces of background music from Peter: a new background music track called Morning Buzz, and a new ambient interstitial track that features a ukelele. Here are some thoughts from Peter about the former:

"Morning Buzz is the 4th and (at least for now) final major background track for when the hive is in business-as-usual mode. When working on the main chord progression I was thinking a lot about a feeling of pleasant anticipation in getting a task underway, which to me gives this track a morning feel - after dawn, but before things have settled into an afternoon routine. Classical winds have featured elsewhere, but here I've given them a bit more of a spotlight, with the Oboe getting itself a solo in the second section where the melody gets a little more wistful."

I managed to pack in a few bugfixes today as well, the most noteworthy being the resolution of the long-standing barracks-get-weird-at-the-edge-of-the-playspace bug. That should be resolved now. Upgraded barracks' hexagonal indicator in the Defence screen is still not the correct aspect ratio, but that's a cosmetic thing that I can deal with down the track.


Full changelog:

  • Added Morning Buzz background music track
  • Added new ukelele 'ambient' background music track
  • Added destroy_cell_type_punch effect for punching holes in the hive
  • Added coordinate based get_surrounding_hexes implementation
  • Added throne upgrade too bee role upgrade requirements
  • Added Queen bonus upgrade research option
  • Added Queen bonuses
  • Added activity notification when new research options become available
  • Added debug shortcut for zeroing active cooldowns (C)
  • Removed some extraneous logging
  • Removed birds_and_crickets_loop.ogg from distant environment sounds rotation
  • Refactored research requirements checks
  • Updated research name for Throne Room Upgrade for consistency
  • Updated research screen to remember which tab was last selected
  • Updated Queen effect indicators to show remaining life rather than total lifespan
  • Fixed possible crash when calculating canBuild for multicell constructions that go off the edge of the playspace
  • Fixed barracks' coverage range being truncated when intersecting the edge of the playspace
  • Fixed cases where the parent cell of a multicell building wasn't being acquired properly
  • Fixed destroy_cell_type_punch sometimes missing adjacent cells
  • Fixed lifespan_multiplier and lifespan_offset effects not converting role name to role enum
  • Fixed extra select sound being played when opening research screen
  • Fixed distant environment sounds not being audible
  • Fixed wrong effect being applied when loading tutorial effects from saved games
  • Fixed effect details eating mouse input
  • Fixed effect details indicator's vertical centring
  • Fixed queens potentially getting multiple bad bonus effects

2019-11-01 Devlog

Welcome to November!

Upgraded Barracks are here, rounding out upgrades for all of the role-specific cells. These have double the radius of non-upgraded Barracks, making the hive easier to cover with fewer buildings. Right now, there isn't a minimum frequency of defence related events, but I'll be addressing that in a future build, which will make Barracks a bit more relevant.

Today's update also includes researchable efficiency upgrades for all specialist roles, increasing the resources that Foragers can carry, how quickly Builders progress research and construction, etc.. These currently require an upgraded workshop and upgraded versions of the relevant associated cells to be built (eg: Beesitter upgrade needs an upgraded Nursery.

Currently it's not so easy to spot when these become available, but in a future build, I'll be adding an activity indicator when new research options are unlocked to help guide players towards stuff.

The last couple and the next several updates have been/will be focused on pushing in more gameplay-relevant content (cell upgrades, bee upgrades, research options, events, etc.), moving closer to what's going to be in the release version of the game.

Some of these are going to come in a bit rough and not-quite-fully-featured (for example, the upgraded nursery will be exposing some options for managing population sliders a little differently, but those are something I can add later without having a big impact on gameplay/balancing), but I think this is the best approach to get me closer to release as fast as possible.


Full changelog:

  • Added efficiency upgrade research option for beesitters
  • Added efficiency upgrade research option for builders
  • Added efficiency upgrade research option for foragers
  • Added efficiency upgrade research option for defenders
  • Added upgraded barracks
  • Added icons for radial menu options leading to submenus
  • Updated ordering of cell upgrade research options to match cell research options
  • Updated tooltip delay to 0.5 seconds
  • Updated rendering engine to use Godot's multithreaded model

2019-10-31 Devlog

Buzz buzz!

Get ready for upgraded nurseries! These 4 cell upgrades give a significant boost to population limits and have a 20% chance to spawn twins. I have plans for adding some extra things to upgraded nurseries, but I want to give this time to settle before fiddling more.

Today's update also includes a big materials overhaul, where I unified most of the game's materials into one, and added a swatch texture/sprite atlas type thing to give variation. Based on my previous experiments with separating out mesh geometry based on material so that no meshes contained multiple materials, I expected this to have a big impact on the number of draw calls, but gains ended up being pretty small.

I haven't gotten to the bottom of it yet, but bees seem to be the current source of material changes (which is odd since they're two meshes with a material each now - some poking around seems to suggest that maybe the skeleton itself is resulting in a bunch of material changes/draw calls, but that makes no sense to me).

On the upside, this did give me the chance to throw some textures onto some of the game's flat surfaces, such as the blackboards in the map rooms and framed pictures in the nurseries. I had a blast painting a few baby bee drawings to adorn the walls of the upgraded nursery.


Full changelog:

  • Added upgraded nursery
  • Added chance for twins at upgraded nurseries
  • Added notice for manually paused production to production screen
  • Added detail textures to map rooms, upgraded map rooms, and nurseries
  • Added 'dual elevators' to object substitution list
  • Updated most meshes to use a single material (except for obstacles, bee wings, crown, and liquid resources)
  • Tweaked defender ai for small optimisation
  • Tweaked construction costs for workshop and map room upgrades
  • Removed show_coloured_floors setting (checkbox will linger until reset to defaults is pressed)
  • Removed unused materials
  • Removed invisible faces from resource storage cells
  • Fixed tweens not being removed properly from bees in stop_and_acquire_target()
  • Fixed bee lifetime distance travelled not being incremented properly
  • Fixed another case where production animations would not stop when all worker bees have left
  • Fixed collision mesh on upgraded nursery

2019-10-29 Devlog

Hark, a Hive Time update.

Today's update brings in a first pass on the production screen, which charts resources produced and available storage space over time. There are also some indicators to help explain why production might not be happening at any point in time, which hopefully will highlight the key factors involved in production (available destination storage, available source resources, and available workers).

There's some UI for managing production priority as well, but they're locked behind upgraded production facilities, which aren't in the game just yet.

Also included in this update are a few UX changes. Holding Shift now allows the last build action to be repeated, no matter when Shift was pressed. This removes the ability to repeat non-build actions like Info, but in exchange makes it more consistent/discoverable.

Holding Alt while a radial menu is up will now show shortcut keys if the "always show shortcuts" setting isn't enabled. In preview-140, that setting was "show radial shortcuts." The old setting will hang around until reset to defaults button is pressed or the settings file is otherwise cleared.

Last, but not least, the foraging screen now has a button for selecting/deselecting foraging zones. Previously this was an implicit state when exploration and pollination weren't selected, but that proved to be fairly difficult to read.


Full changelog:

  • Added explicit select/deselect button to foraging screen
  • Added first pass on production screen
  • Added music field to debug event selector
  • Added production history
  • Added shortcut visibility shortcut to radial menus (hold Alt)
  • Added reverse upgrade mappings, and upgraded cells to reverse storage mappings
  • Updated repeat shortcut to always use last build action when shift is held (regardless of when shift is pressed)
  • Updated order of bee radial menu items
  • Updated font of legend text in foraging, defence and activity screens
  • Renamed show_radial_shortcuts setting to always_show_shortcuts (old setting will linger until reset to defaults is pressed)
  • Fixed stop production animations not being used since payload target refactor
  • Fixed dying bees not stopping production animations
  • Fixed existing payload resource values being overridden when foraging or producing
  • Fixed isProducing logic returning true when non-workers were at a production facility
  • Fixed isProducing logic not paying attention to parent cell for multicell facilities
  • Fixed crash when trying to queue follow up events for effects without follow up events
  • Fixed radial menu shortcuts triggering debug keys

2019-10-28 Devlog

Buzz buzz!

Today's update adds a first pass on keyboard shortcuts for radial menus. Eventually I'd like to use an underscore to indicate shortcut keys (like traditional mnemonic shortcut indicators), but I've been noticing some weirdness with underlines and custom fonts in Godot that I haven't found a solution for yet. I need to rework a bunch of how radial menus are constructed at some point in the future, so hopefully I'll be able to find some workarounds when I do that.

There's also a fix for the repeat shortcut allowing multicell upgrades to be built on single cells, destroying anything adjacent to them. Pretty sure that's a regression, but it was easier to just fix than track down.


Full changelog:

  • Added shortcuts for radial menu items
  • Added settings option for showing radial menu shortcuts
  • Updated right mouse click to select radial menu's back item if one exists
  • Fixed inspect mode shortcut (Space) working when in a radial menu or a cell-specific screen
  • Fixed scene input handler gobbling up radial menu right mouse clicks
  • Fixed repeat upgrading not respecting multi cell requirements
  • Fixed debug shortcuts working when in a radial menu or a cell-specific screen

2019-10-27 Devlog

Hi friends!

Today's update includes all the late changes I made in the lead up to exhibiting at Kid I Am yesterday.

All cells now have info screen background images (some of them probably need a bit more polish, and there's room for upgraded cells to have alternate backgrounds, but that's optional polish), and the vignettes for production facilities now have foreground bees (storage cells would too if any of them had vignettes attached). There's still a lot of event art to go in, but this feels like a nice art milestone to have crossed :)

Peter's been working on a new music track for negatively framed events. The previous one felt a bit too ominous/gloomy for stuff like "Cold season" reducing foraging rates or fruit flies stealing a tiny bit of honey in "Like the tiny, deadly wind," and this new one is a much better fit. The old one is still hanging around for really bad events like "Bear attack" or the worst outcome from "Wasp attack."

The event went well, and Hive Time got a steady stream of attention. I was initially planning to show off three of my games (In the Snowy Winter's Wake, Honeycomb CRUNCH and Hive Time), but at the last minute the organisers offered me the use of some more space, so I brought along a game I did contract work on and love very much (The Away Team) and a second computer for Hive Time.

Kid I Am attracts a much younger audience that I'm used to exhibiting for/observing, so the event gave an interesting opportunity to see which parts of the game are interesting to kids that might not be up to reading the tutorials, or who haven't been exposed to the diversity and representation concepts that end up emerging from population dynamics. Some were just happy to make and destroying empty cells (I leaned over and used the give-lots-of-resources cheat when I saw that happening), but plenty more were able to grok what was going on and get into growing a hive/researching new stuff to build.

My favourite moments came from watching older people assisting younger people (whether that was a parent reading to a child who wasn't quite up to reading it themselves or an older sibling letting a younger sibling drive while they both planned out how to expand and grow). It's a pretty nice feeling to see your work bring people together :)


Full changelog:

  • Added bee sound count setting (should allow people on high end systems to have lots more bee sounds before Godot's audio engine starts losing its marbles)
  • Added WIP pass on new generic bad event track (old bitey and the worst wasp attack outcomes still use the previous one)
  • Added vignette/info background images for wax, pollen, nectar, honey, and jelly storage cells
  • Added worker foreground image for wax assembler and honey vignettes
  • Added horizontal pop to foraging screen buttons when selected
  • Added upgraded map room info screen
  • Removed placeholder foraging zone text
  • Removed automatic freeing of resource/research/construction particles and rely on maxDuration instead (increases efficiency of particle scenes)
  • Removed bad event music from 'Rainy season' event
  • Reduced target zoom level in zoom_to_cell() to initial zoom
  • Updated map room info screen to mention exploration and foraging tiles
  • Updated barracks description to mention outside deployment
  • Updated ambient sound loops to use ogg encoding
  • Fixed typo in defence menu legend
  • Fixed typo in upgraded map room description
  • Fixed typo in 'Late night rendezvous' vignette

2019-10-24 Devlog

Hello, hive friends!

Today's update brings in a bunch of changes to the tutorial system. Tutorials now have an activity indicator (botton left of the HUD) with some details about the currently active tutorial. Clicking on this will bring back the tutorial prompt, so no more forgetting what you had to do. The new implementation automatically handles situations where tutorial goals have already been met, so if you build your first Wax Assembler before the tutorial prompts you to, then you'll get a slightly different tutorial prompt talking about Wax Assemblers immediately followed by the next one in sequence - no more stalling the tutorial by building stuff out of order.

These changes make use of the existing effect handling system, and pushes all the tutorial events into the normal special event list rather than the tutorial list they used to live in. All of the previously hard coded event conditions are now handled via json effect definitions and use existing event condition handling code to determine what is/isn't done.

The changes to tutorials here will eventually find their way into other/new events to allow for event structures that weren't previously possible. Making events that ask the player to achieve a goal (whether that's within a timeframe or not) are now nice and simple. This could be explicit in a way that's visible to players (I might change the negative branch of the slug outlaw chain to have the slugs hassle your hive until you've produced the jelly they want, and at that point, an event exposing the option to give it to them would appear), or it could be implicit in a way that's not visible to players (the Old Bitey event might be replaced with a "Here comes Old Bitey" event that shows a countdown to when he arrives, and in turn triggers different events depending on the number of deployed Defenders). This stuff's been on the roadmap for a long time, and I'm looking forward to diving in next time I do an event writing pass.

Today's update will probably be the last before the Kid I Am expo this weekend, so fingers crossed I've nailed all the critical bugs :D


Full changelog:

  • Added research and research_locked conditions
  • Added activity indicator for active tutorial
  • Added invisible condition effects that track the current state of conditions and fire follow up events once met
  • Added condition controlled variants to tutorial events to reflect to tutorial goals already being met
  • Removed all hard coded tutorial tracking
  • Removed some unused variables
  • Removed logging of condition checks
  • Fixed case where special events could end up added to the special event queue multiple times
  • Fixed embarrassing pollen related typos
  • Fixed flicker in build preview materials
  • Fixed tutorial conditions being added to the back of the special event queue (didn't happen in live builds)
  • Fixed follow up events for effects without conditons not being added to the special event queue (didn't happen in live builds)
  • Fixed roles sliders not being unlocked and roles not being added to population HUD (didn't happen in live builds)
  • Updated tutorial events to trigger condition effects that then call the following tutorial
  • Refactored tutorial handling to include tutorial events in the special events list

2019-10-20 Dev stream

Cheese plays Hive Time and works on some bug fixes on

2019-10-20 Devlog


Today's update brings in more defence mechanics and the long awaited foraging screen, which means that with the exception of exits, every cell in the hive exposes some kind of interactivity. Since these are a bit intertwined and deep reaching, I've held off on my usual update schedule until I had it all nailed down.

There's still a lot of work left to do and both of these will definitely need a bunch of tweaking, but the current state of the game has every major mechanic I'd had on my wishlist for the full version of Hive Time back when I decided that I was going to make a full version of Hive Time. I don't see much value in subscribing to popular conventions regarding labels for development phases (in my experience, every project is different and you only box yourself in by trying to apply the exact same structure to everything), but this is a hugely significant milestone for Hive Time - moving forward, I'll be able to inform gameplay and balancing decisions with a more complete picture of what the game as a whole is/will be.

The new foraging screen displays an abstract map of the immediate area around the hive, with players able to extend the visible range by sending out exploration parties (which currently costs 8 Foragers) to nearby unexplored foraging zones. Revealed zones become available for selection for foraging, with the number of Map Rooms determining how many foraging zones can be selected at any given time. With an upgraded Map Room, pollenation teams can be sent out to explored zones to add bonus resources to a zone that become available after a short period (depending on how far away that zone is from the hive). Foraging zones also have a danger rating, and foraging in a dangerous zone can result in Foragers and Worker bees dying. The most dangerous zones can self-pollenate, potentially resulting in resources beyond Pollen and Nectar being attainable.

The new defence mechanics allow Defender bees to be deployed from the hive to protect Foragers and Workers as they gather resources in dangerous foraging zones. If a Worker or Forager would have died, a Defender will take the hit instead, making the Defender population a consumable resource and safety net for gathering high risk resources.

These new bits are still a bit rough round the edges so far as UI goes. The foraging screen feels pretty cluttered, and the explore/pollenate buttons don't clearly communicate when they're in their pressed state. I'm feeling like it's ready to go out though, and I can tweak things over the coming week ahead of exhibiting at Kid I Am next weekend.

Balancing-wise, I think that new Defenders will need to automatically replenish defenders deployed outside, since right now, it requires far too much micromanagement in order to be useful (I've already written code for this, but wanted to give it more testing before putting it in a build). The threat of dangerous zones probably needs to be increased as well so that high Forager spawn rates aren't a free pass to ignore foraging dangers.

Looking ahead, exploring foraging zones will also unlock certain kinds of events, and I'm toying with the idea of limiting the buildable area in order to allow foraging zones adjacent to the hive to be converted into usable hive space (not sure that this one is worth the effort, but it's an idea I'll let bounce around until I can noodle through all the ins and outs).

Also included in this update is a new background track from Peter, called Quiet Evening, which we've currently popped in as backing for the game's credits as well. As usual, here are some thoughts from Peter on the new track:

"I wanted to find a way of getting the ukelele to feature more in a piece after using it in Beeginnings and the Queen's half-life celebration, which some how led me to this slightly bluesier piece for the background. I'm continuing my theme of being inspired by parts of the day for background pieces - I like the idea that the music sort of implies a passage of time even if it's not part of the gameplay. The foragers have come home, the night shift has started and the bee bartender is handing out advice to a lovesick builder on his 3rd cup of nectar."

There are a lot of other miscellaneous tweaks and fixes (some of which are addressing things spotted during today's dev stream and don't address problems that were present in any live builds), so have a look over the changelog. Particularly of note, construction related AI should now be behaving properly with regards to leaving construction sites immediately after construction is completed.


Full changelog:

  • Added background to defender map
  • Added background to foraging map
  • Added placeholder foraging menu script
  • Added upgraded maproom model
  • Added foraging screen
  • Added cheat (F) for setting all unexplored foraging zones to explored
  • Added ACTIVITY_LEAVE_AND_DIE behaviour to bee AI
  • Added bumble fallback for when foragers can't find an exit or valid foraging zone
  • Added foraging resource boosts from pollenated foraging zones
  • Added death chance for foraging in dangerous zones
  • Added outside deployment options to defence screen
  • Added legend to defence screen
  • Added handling of bee costs
  • Added some sanity checks for when saved cooldown costs from old saves get out of sync with current game data
  • Added sanity check for when saved populationCount is not equal to the number of saved bees
  • Added bee costs to resource list
  • Added QuietEvening background music track
  • Added upgraded map room
  • Added map room upgrade research option
  • Added defender AI for outside deployment
  • Added defender death in place of foragers in dangerous zones when defenders are deployed
  • Added locking/unlocking of foraging screen pollenation button depending on whether upgraded maprooms are present
  • Added transition between menu music and QuietEvening when viewing credits
  • Added +12 to all storage from throne upgrade
  • Added inventory fluff for defenders exiting the hive
  • Added sounds to defence menu's deploy and recall buttons
  • Added reset to deploy slider when opening defence menu
  • Added reset to explore/pollenate actions when opening foraging menu
  • Tweaked size of defence map
  • Tweaked some more things to hopefully address music transition pop
  • Tweaked research costs for workshop upgrade and throne upgrade
  • Tweaked building costs for workshop upgrade
  • Updated bee hover event to use correct sound name
  • Updated Barracks description to mention defence management
  • Refactored tempRole handling
  • Refactored forage resource collection to be more generic/reusable
  • Refactored hex and line drawing functions into draw_funcs library
  • Refactored resource list logic into resource list scene
  • Refactored build_mappings scene management
  • Removed auto play on menu music until after user volume is set function to work around delay in volume setting
  • Removed some logging
  • Fixed workers and builders not taking breaks when no workshops exist
  • Fixed workers and builders lingering at completed construction sites
  • Fixed research costs indicators not always updating
  • Fixed log output suggesting that saves failed when they didn't
  • Fixed unprotected tiles not being cleared when cells are destroyed
  • Fixed possible crash when mousing over destroy options (shouldn't have been present in a live build?)
  • Fixed upgraded maproom floor UV
  • Fixed more bees than exist getting deployed when deploying less than the full population twice
  • Fixed deploy slider showing higher than available population values after deploying
  • Fixed saved file hover state preventing foraging tiles from properly receiving mouse over events
  • Fixed dangerous foraging tiles not being tracked properly when loading a save
  • Fixed crash when trying to resolve deleted bees
  • Fixed deployed defenders not being properly undeployed when undergoing role swap
  • Fixed bee lifetime stats not using new resource list properly

2019-10-11 Devlog

Buzz buzz!

Today's update brings in some new features for inspecting and keeping track of bees. When in "inspect bee mode" (space or the button middle bottom of the screen), clicking on a bee will now bring up a radial menu that allows some extra numbers to be viewed (right now, how far bees have travelled in their life, how many times they've exited the hive, and how much of each resource they've foraged or produced), and an option to have the camera follow a specific bee.

There are also fixes for a few misc bugs, including a fairly hefty one where workers and builders would only bumble if no workshops were present that was introduced a couple of days ago. Whoops!


Full changelog

  • Added radial menu for bees
  • Added bee lifetime info pop-up
  • Added bee follow camera mode
  • Added lifetime travel, exit, and payload tracking for bees
  • Added 'fake' build mode for invisible radial menu placeholders
  • Updated position of bee details pop-up
  • Updated bee details to show "flowers" as the destination for foraging bees outside the hive
  • Fixed bad processing of jelly production multipliers
  • Fixed bad processing of nectar harvest multipliers
  • Fixed cells and bees not getting mouse over events when closing radial menus
  • Fixed bee details pop-up shifting slightly when panning
  • Fixed cooldowns being misapplied on saves from prior to preview-120 (would have prevented thrones from being upgraded)
  • Fixed bad cell type ids from saves from prior to preview-120 (saves from preview-120, preview-121, and preview-123 will be weird, but hardly anybody downloaded those)
  • Fixed crash when a worker tries to check payload target on an exit
  • Fixed builders and workers bumbling when there is stuff to be built

2019-10-09 Devlog

Hey hive friends!

Super small update today to fix a problem with foragers not dying in preview-120. I also added in a fix for a case where Worker bees would not progress below Builder behaviour when construction was in progress regardless of whether construction sites were already full or not. Last, but not least, there's a fix that will hopefully address cases where event music would not play when queued.


Full changelog:

  • ​Fixed foragers not dying (sorry, bee friends)
  • Fixed music fade tween sometimes staying active forever
  • Fixed worker bees getting a bumble target when construction sites are full
  • Tweaked which research requires an upgraded throne room

2019-10-07 Devlog

Buzz buzz buzz buzz buzz buzz buzz!

Another slow week for published updates, but a pretty productive week for me.

The biggest addition in this build is the new Bee Activity screen, which allows the idle and active state of bee populations to be reviewed. This helps identify possible areas for efficiency increases and potential problems. Very early on, I'd hoped that this would be inferrable by observing the hive, and for a dozen or two bees, it nearly is. As the hive grows and it becomes pretty much impossible to track individual bees, and the ebb and flow of role populations is just as hard to see.

I'm on the fence at the moment about how much direct advice/information this screen should give players, since I want players to feel like they can pursue their own strategies and discover what works/what doesn't rather than have me tell them a single way to do things. I'm sure I'll do a lot of iteration, but for now, I think it's a good start.

The Bee Activity screen is exposed from the new Throne Room upgrade, and currently unlocks jelly related research options (providing upgraded workshops are present). The current research and building costs require a hive that's got storage cells and upgraded workshops, and I'm hoping that this will break up the sense of the upgraded workshop just unlocking everything.

Peter's popped in a new music track that plays during the "Midlife Crisis" event that triggers when the current Queen reaches half her lifespan, and has this to say about it:

"For halfway through the queen's life we wanted something a little bit more celebratory. I created a more upbeat, folksy tune which uses the queen's motif (which also appears in Beeginnings, Peace, the main menu music among others) in the bass line (and later on piano). The tune takes on a momentarily more uncertain tone in its second half. I didn't want it to be all smiles, after all, being halfway through life has implications."

Last, but not least, on top of a bunch of other misc fixes and tweaks, I've added a small UX update that I've been meaning to do for a while: having vignettes be cleared when right clicking on their activity indicators (previously, that would just remove the activity indicator, leaving no way to get rid of the vignette itself without clicking on it or waiting for it to go away). I know that currently, the small pool of vignettes makes them a little annoying for some players. I hope that this won't stop people from checking them out from time to time, but I do appreciate that having them forced isn't so much fun.


Full changelog:

  • Added throne upgrade
  • Added bee activity screen to upgraded throne room
  • Added activity and idle descriptons for activity screen to role_descriptions.json
  • Added min_population_space and max_population_space conditions
  • Added panel behind resource screen graph
  • Added WIP halfabee music track to 'midlife crisis' event
  • Added bumble count and role tracking to bees
  • Added type to activity indicators
  • Added new radial menu icons for upgrade build options
  • Added radial menu icon for activity screen
  • Removed log error regarding bee role 'all'
  • Removed unused wall material
  • Updated research requirements to add dependencies on upgraded throne room
  • Updated research descriptions to reflect new changes
  • Updated music player to set volume to -80db when a music track ends in hopes of fixing music fade in pop
  • Updated music player to play a random background track when loading a game
  • Updated lost_brethren effect to give a maximum of 20 bees
  • Updated 'friends we didn't know we had' event to use the min_population_space condition
  • Updated vignette activity indicators to clear cell vignette when dismissed
  • Updated workshop upgrade info text to mention cell screen
  • Added throne upgrade info text
  • Fixed worker bees never descending below production priorities when construction is in progress
  • Fixed worker and forager bees sometimes dying while travelling to/from the hive
  • Fixed possible crash when debug event handler processes an event with no conditions
  • Fixed stock_swap effect consuming as many source resources as possible regardless of how many target resources are generated
  • Fixed events with no conditions always failing condition checks
  • Fixed queen midlife and queen twighlight flags being reset when loading a game
  • Fixed resource reserve slider icons staying transparent when slider is enabled
  • Fixed costs not being applied when upgrading cells
  • Fixed crash when construction of a throne completes (never happened in a released build, as initial throne construction is forced)
  • Fixed janky shadow edges
  • Refactored radial menu handling code to reduce duplication for upgraded cells
  • Reduced the amount of time that builder and worker bees will hang around at a construction site after construction is complete
  • Tweaked layout in the population menu
  • Tweaked base throne model to be visually distinct from upgraded throne
  • Moved cell list to upgraded workshop

2019-09-29 Devlog

Hi, friends!

Small update today with a bunch of misc fixes as well as some optimisations.

Late game performance is something that I'm concerned about, and as the game gets closer to release, I'll likely spend more time focusing on that. I spent today chasing a better understanding of the automatic sorting that Godot apparently does to reduce the number of draw calls while rendering by grouping together objects that use the same material. Unfortunately, I didn't gain any better understanding or performance increases from the various things I tried to demonstrate that with.

At first, I thought it might be that meshes that use multiple materials might be preventing that sorting from having any positive effect. Splitting meshes so that every individual mesh in an object had one material didn't provide any change in draw calls, even when many thousands of objects were being rendered, so that didn't get me anywhere. While doing this, I did realise that joining all of an object's meshes that used the same material into one mesh would probably allow me to do the kind of grouping I was after manually (albeit at a per-object level, rather than in a way that might allow that gain across all meshes using the same materials. The results are pretty good so far.

Between that and hiding some particle effects that were chewing up resources when not emitting, I've dropped from 67k draw calls to 24k draw calls on the hive from the last dev stream when zoomed all the way out. Still would like to make more improvements, but for now, it's a nice gain to have :)


Full changelog:

  • Added 3d highlight for selected cell
  • Removed cell type overlays from defence screen
  • Fixed bad import setting on menu music preventing looping
  • Fixed music state problem when queuing a track while fading in
  • Fixed event buttons responding to non-left buttons
  • Fixed radial menus interrupting mouse panning
  • Optimised draw calls for research and construction emitters by hiding them when not emitting
  • Optmised barracks, nursery, maproom, workshop, upgraded workshop and exit to have one mesh per material

2019-09-27 Devlog

Buzz buzz!

Another slow week, hopefully coming out of the cold/migraine/funk storm I managed to find myself in this month (fingers crossed!).

Today's update brings in new event images for the vinehopper scientist event chain, drawn by Mim. Normally she passes me some rough line work and I repaint them, but she was having fun with this one and we both felt it was ready to go straight in.

I've also made some changes to how music is handled. In addition to the existing "background" pieces, we now have a couple of "ambient" pieces, which are intended to slot into the environmental audio and help make the gaps between more structured music feel natural/intentional. In addition to some little bits for this, Peter's wrapped up a new background track that we're calling "Afternoon Breeze." Here are some thoughts from him on both!

"Although there's no gameplay elements that relate to a day/night cycle, I've found it helpful when developing these more 'business as usual' background pieces to differentiate them by thinking of different times of day. If Peace reminded me of dawn, this one reminds me of a pleasant afternoon. It was enjoyable to let the melody be led by the bass in this piece, while the classical guitar makes an entrance for the first time in this soundtrack.

We've started to toy with adding little mini pieces to help give a little space between the main background pieces. They're much more in the background and have a slightly naive, improvisatory feel, as if you're just hearing someone noodling around before the main music comes in. Hopefully they act as little palate cleansers between the more developed pieces of music."


Full changelog:

  • Added vinehopper scientist event images
  • Added 'ambient' music interleaved between 'background' music tracks
  • Added piano ambient track
  • Added marimba ambient track
  • Added Afternoon Breeze background track
  • Removed Beginnings track from background music list (now only plays when starting a new hive, loading, or spawning a new queen)
  • Fixed typo in map room info text reported by peabop
  • Possible fix for audible pop when transitioning to event music
  • Reduced new Queen cooldown to 1/3 Queen lifespan (may result in cosmetic negative cooldown values in existing saves)

2019-09-22 Devlog

Hello hive friends!

Unfortunately, it's been another difficult week for time/energy/motivation, but today's update includes a bunch of fun changes.

First up, there's a fix for the crash that was occurring when attempting to spawn a queen after the cooldown expires, which was also seen in Friday's dev stream.

I've also done a bunch of refactoring of how events, event conditions, and what-happens-when-event-conditions-aren't-met are handled. All variants of a single event are now included as part of a single event definition rather than being separate events to themselves, which reverts the dramatically lowered event frequency that came in in preview-90. This also opens up a nice way of doing timed events with different outcomes in the future. I've also added a check so that if several event windows were skipped because conditions weren't met, the game will go and find an event that can be triggered and show that, putting an upper limit on the amount of time between events.

There's also an updated version of the music for the Ticket to Ride event. Peter's been working hard on progressing this piece toward a more authentic Beatles style, and we're keen to get feedback from players on how this new version feels.


Full changelog

  • Added updated music for 'Ticket to Ride' event
  • Added suffix to activity indicator resource values when resource gains are truncated due to full storage
  • Added suffix to activity indicator resource values when resource exchanges can't be made due to the source resource being too low
  • Added 'Wasp Attack' and 'Like the tiny, deadly wind' event conditions to better handle cases where there are no defenders
  • Added ± sign to activity indicators when values are 0
  • Added debug shortcut (Shift+E) to set nextEventTime to 0
  • Refactored event condition handling to handle multiple conditions
  • Updated order of fields in debug event selector dialog
  • Updated 'Wasp Attack' event definitions to use condition variants
  • Updated 'Like the tiny, deadly wind' and 'Like the tiny, ineffectual wind' event definitions to use condition variants
  • Updated special event queuing to allow a normal event to fire if two or more event windows have been skipped due to conditions not being met
  • Updated event queuing to force an event to occur if three or more event windows have been skipped due to conditions not being met
  • Fixed population HUD indicators for Beesitter, Builder, Forager, and Defender populations not being red when at zero
  • Fixed resource exchanges resulting in weird values
  • Fixed crash when displaying radial menu with cooldown values after a cooldown has finished

2019-09-20 Dev stream

Cheese plays Hive Time and works on some bug fixes on

2019-09-13 Devlog

Hi hi!

Today's update adds a cooldown for spawning new Queens. It's currently set to half a Queen's lifespan, which means that you'll never have more than two Queens in the hive at a time. I might reduce this to a third, but I think I'll hold off on that until I see how some planned bee upgrade options influence the game.

There are also a couple of misc fixes, including the main menu sometimes not responding to mouse input when the game is paused after build preview-107.


Full changelog

  • Added cooldown to new queen option
  • Added disperse behaviour to menu bees when closing the menu
  • Added dimmed cells to build cost cell allocation indicator
  • Added bolding to building info text
  • Fixed radial menus not being pixel aligned
  • Fixed main menu sometimes not responding to mouse input after pausing the game
  • Fixed menu bees sometimes spawning in view
  • Fixed menu flip timer repeating unnecessarily
  • Optimised hexagonal grid generation slightly

2019-09-11 Devlog

Hello, hive friends!

Unfortunately, over the past few weeks my productivity has taken a big dive. While failing to fend off colds, migraines, and some other less pleasant things, I managed to get a few small bits of Hive Time work done. The nature of solo dev work is that when you need to stop and take a break, your projects all stop and take a break too. It's exciting and motivating to see Peter chugging along with music work in the meantime, but that doesn't mark anything off my own todo list.

The changes in today's update are primarily cosmetic, mostly focused on red value indicators on the HUD to indicate negative states and give feedback on things that aren't doing what they're meant to (eg: when you try to build a cell that you can't afford, or when more resouces come into the hive than there is storage capacity for).

There may (or may not) also be some noticeable improvement in late game performance with some changes to how shadows are handled. Early on, I'd just bumped up the shadow cache size and a few other settings to get good shadows, but most of those don't behave as intended or don't provide any meaningful value with orthographic cameras. After doing some more reading, I've turned the cache size down and done some other fiddling that *seems* to improve things a tiny bit (it's hard to tell on my computer, and Godot's profiler doesn't really break down GPU tasks). Either way, shadows can still be disabled if performance is a problem.


Full changelog:

  • Fixed typo in lost_brethren effect
  • Fixed bounciness in keyboard panning when the game is running at under 10fps
  • Fixed research screen updating when not visible
  • Added red fade to HUD resource limit when resources are received but can't be stored
  • Added red fade to HUD resource levels when something can't be afforded
  • Added red colour tint to worker HUD population when it reaches zero
  • Added bee silhouettes to main menu
  • Added a bunch of new bee names
  • Updated supporters names in credits.json
  • Removed WIP bee calm music track (to be replaced with something else)
  • Tweaked shadow cache size and shadow settings to hopefully look/perform better with an orthographic camera

2019-09-06 Devlog

Buzz buzz!

A quick little update today with some new assets. In addition to new building info/vignette images for Honey Refineries and Jelly Refineries, we also have a new background music track from Peter.

Full changelog:

  • Added bee calm background music track
  • Added honey refinery info/vignette background image
  • Added jelly refinery info/vignette background image
  • Updated wax assembler ingo/vignette background image

2019-09-04 Devlog

Hi friends!

Today's update includes a number of miscellaneous fixes and a few minor additions. The new construction and demolition sounds are intended to be placeholders, but if anybody has feedback on them, I'd be happy to hear via normal channels - the character and presence of these placeholders is likely to inform whatever final versions end up being (assuming I don't end up falling in love with these ones.


Full changelog:

  • Added vignette and info background images for wax assemblers
  • Added placeholder build and destroy sounds
  • Added pan sensitivity option for mouse and touchpad gesture panning
  • Added error sound when upgrade conditions aren't met
  • Fixed edge cases where pre-build and pre-upgrade checks could return true when they weren't meant to (prevents repeat-building upgrades on empty cells, etc.)
  • Fixed typo in 'The end of an age' event reported by Chiitoo
  • Fixed queen name counter potentially going negative when saving and loading multiple times before spawning successive queens
  • Fixed music staying at 0 volume for the currently playing track when returning from the main menu or starting a new game
  • Fixed defender screen showing bad numbers for unprotected cells after loading a game or starting a new game after a previous game was in progress

2019-09-01 Devlog

Buzz buzz!

It's the first day of spring, hurrah! Bees in the Southern Hemisphere will be getting more active as more flowers wake from their winter slumber. Exciting times for bee friends!

The biggest change today is the addition of thumbnails and metadata (date, playtime) to the save and load screens, as well as options for removing saves (THERE'S NO CONFIRMATION AND YOU WON'T GET THEM BACK, SO BE CAREFUL ^_^ ). I'm not really happy with the layout of these screens, so I'll probably come back to try to make them look more good nice at some point later on. For now though, I'm glad to have a bit of extra information to help differentiate saves!

Today's update also has a new music track, inspired by the Beatles-referencing "Ticket to ride" event. Here are some thoughts from Peter:

"Ever since I saw the Bee-tles event picture I knew it would be fun to have a Beatlesque tune in the game, so that resulted in this piece, (which has temporary vocals until I can replace them with a better bee-singer than me) To make it blend in with the rest of the soundtrack, I've switched the guitars for a ukelele, and added a marimba part. But otherwise I'm rather pleased with the accuracy of the pastiche, and I hope you get a kick out of it too."


Full Changelog:

  • Added metadata and thumbnails to save and load screens
  • Added delete buttons to save and load screens
  • Added shortcut key (End) for minimal/farthest zoom
  • Added updated menu music track
  • Added 'Ticket to ride' event music
  • Fixed mouse cursor remaining hidden if panning when an event triggers
  • Updated bee spawn cheat (N) to fill population limit when Shift is held down

2019-08-28 Devlog

Hi friends!

Tiny update today with a couple of small misc fixes.


Full changelog:

  • Fixed typo in 'Gone as quickly as they came' event reported by Chiitoo
  • Fixed Builder slider and population HUD indicators being locked/hidden when loading a save with only upgraded Workshops
  • Fixed radial menu items popping out when already in the out state
  • Fixed Barracks coverage pop in happening when in a radial menu

2019-08-26 Devlog

Hi friends!

Apologies for the delay in updates. I've been away attending a farewell for a studio I worked with, which recently shut down development. Defiant were a beacon of inspiration for much of the Australian game dev industry and beyond. The company's values and priorities made me always happy to support them where ever I could.

While sitting in airports/flying, I did some work on getting a "Cells" screen put together (accessible via the Workshop), which shows a tally of all cells that are currently a part of the hive. This should make doing the mental maths for some of the cell/population ratios a bit easier.

I also made a start on colouring some of the HUD values red when things need attention (eg: when a role population is beyond capacity). The behaviour of this will change over time, but it's a step towards some important feedback that I've had planned for a long time. Huzzah!

Full changelog:

  • Added first pass on colouring population and resource HUD value red when they need attention
  • Added first pass on cells screen
  • Fixed population menu closing when mis-clicking next to a population slider
  • Refactored menu closing code
  • Removed old coverage action code

2019-08-21 Devlog

Buzz buzz!

Super small update today with a coupld of misc tweaks.

Exhibiting at MakerX went well for the most part, barring some initial technical hurdles that turned out to be temp warnings causing my CPU to be throttled back, making the game run very poorly (and potentially risking damage to my hardware). After doing some open computer surgery and re-seating a few bits and pieces, everything came right.

The tutorial seemed to point people in the right direction, and short of a couple of very young kids who maybe weren't up to reading them, I didn't really need to offer anybody help or guideance.

Of the three games I exhibited, Hive Time was definitely the most popular, with some people coming back to queue/play again/watch other people play. You can read some more reflections on the event over here.


Full changelog:

  • Fixed upgraded cells not being added to base cell tile list
  • Fixed research details progress status not updating
  • Removed Coverage from Barracks radial menu
  • Removed some extraneous logging
  • Updated Barracks to pop in all covered cells on hover

2019-08-17 Devlog

Hi friends!

Quick music update today, which brings in a music track for the vinehopper science chain, and menu music! Here are some thoughts from Peter, which highlight that the vinehopper science chain's music has its origins way back in May, shortly after we first started talking about collaborating.

"Two new pieces today, both of which will probably be extended before too long, but we wanted to get these versions into the game. Firstly new event music in Bee March of Bee Progress (I'm not very good at bee wordplay) for our science experiment type events. This one is actually based on the very first made for this project, but it didn't quite have a home until now. A little minimalism influenced and layered, this is also the first use of an electronic instrument in the soundtrack. Bee Menu which... will probably get a better name has a very slow build, so that retreating back into the menu for brief pauses and so on isn't too jarring, but settles in to a chilled out groove based on the 'queen' motif that has featured in Beeginnings and various others."

I've been itching to have some music behind the main menu, but it didn't really make sense to chase that until we had a good feel for the game's musical identity - it's both great to finally fill that void and to be at a point where we can fill it. I love this one to pieces, and I feel like it's a great introduction to the game.

Speaking of introducing the game, I'm taking Hive Time (and a couple of other games) to a (nearly) local event called MakerX. I'm looking for the opportunity to practice pitching Hive Time and watch some more fresh players discover the game for the first time :)


Full changelog:

  • Added beemenu and beemarchofbeeprogress tracks
  • Added music to main menu
  • Added checks to ensure that two radial menu items can't be selected at once
  • Added an outline to the paused research overlay
  • Updated 'cancel resarch' button text to say 'pause research'

2019-08-16 Devlog

Hark! An update!

The big star of today's update is diagetic/environmental audio. At the moment, these present as buzzing sounds for individual bees and outdoor birds/crickets/etc. that become louder as you zoom out away from the hive. There's a missing middle layer in between that I want to add where individual bees are less prominent and the buzzing of the hive as a whole becomes the focus, but that's something I'll experiment with in future builds.

I've bumped into some bottlenecks where if the game has too many 3D sound emitter nodes moving around at once, Godot's audio server will start stuttering and not recover until the game's restarted. For this reason, I've set a cap on how many individual bee sounds can be active at a time (currently capped at 50), and rather than destroying/creating them whenever a bee is spawned, they now come from/return to a pool of available emitters. I have no idea how much this will affect performance on low end systems, but setting bee volume to zero will disable all bee sound emitters - let me know if you feel you need to do that!

There are also a bunch of other miscellaneous fixes hiding in today's update as well.


Full changelog:

  • Added initial placeholder bee sounds
  • Added initial placeholder environment sounds
  • Added audio busses for bee sounds and environment sounds
  • Added volume settings for bee sounds and environment sounds
  • Added pooling for bee and environment sounds
  • Added mention of population limits to nursery building info
  • Added notes on where resources come from in HUD tooltips
  • Fixed upgraded pollen cells popping infinitely on mouseover
  • Fixed new research items staying dimmed if moused over while flashing
  • Fixed bees sometimes not turning correctly on load
  • Fixed particle count warnings proper for good this time (fingers crossed)
  • Fixed possible crash when processing an effect that uses role_death_multiplier
  • Fixed flicker on build preview
  • Fixed camera responding to pan/zoom events when in an event/tutorial/vignette
  • Fixed research description still showing cost after being selected
  • Updated debug music shortcut (M) to only queue up a new music track if one isn't already playing
  • Updated activity indicators to always close on right click, and zoom when a target is available on left click

2019-08-14 Dev stream

Cheese plays Hive Time and works on some bug fixes on

2019-08-14 Devlog

Hi hi!

Quick update to fix a possible crash when upgrading storage cells (spotted during today's dev stream). Also resolves vignettes not displaying when events are disabled, and restores the placeholder Hexo event images that git misplaced during some folder restructuring a little while back.


Full changelog:

Fixed vignettes not showing when events are disabled

Fixed upgraded storage cells sometimes triggering a crash

Moved some event images into sprites/events

2019-08-13 Devlog

Hi hive friends!

Today's update breaks a half-week-long drought with a bunch of new stuff!

Most notably, a Defence screen has been added (accessible from the Barracks), which gives an overview of the hive's defences - namely, barracks coverage, and how recently Defenders patrolled areas/individual cells. This is a first pass, and I suspect the presentation will at least change a little to allow everything to be a touch more readable, but for now, defended/undefended cells affect the types of events that will be shown. For example, if wasps attack and all nectar storage cells are defended, then Defender bees will be free to protect the hive's population without any loss in resources, but if there are undefended nectar storage cells, then the choice between saving resources and saving bees is presented as before (providing you actually have some Defenders!).

The next biggest thing is a bunch of optimisation work. I hadn't intended to do a proper optimisation pass, but while taking breaks to consider the Defence screen's implementation, I found myself addressing some low hanging fruit. Bee AI and cell processing in particular have dropped dramatically, which should improve performance on low end systems that may previously have been hitting CPU bottlenecks. I've also added an option in the settings menu for disabling shadows, which removes what is probably the most significant rendering overhead (at the cost of making the game less pretty, but I figure that's a good option to have for people who may not have access to computers that are as fast as the rest of us). There are still some optimisation stones I haven't yet turned over - there may be more camera/environment settings that aren't relevant to Hive Time that I can disable, and Godot has a MultiMesh class that apparently improves the performance of rendering identical 3D models (such as, say cells!).

Another change (or fix) involves adjustments to bee efficiency. Internally, Worker bees have an efficiency of 1, and the specialised roles have an efficiency of 2 (leaving room for possible research options to further increase efficiency if I end up adding them). Efficiency is generally used in bee activities to affect how our little friends go about doing things. In a refactor of some bee related stuff I did a while back, I inadvertently reset all bees' efficiency to 1. With that fixed, Foragers now gather (on average) twice as many resources as Workers and Builders now construct cells twice as fast as Workers. This shifts the dynamics of mid and late game resource gathering and hive expansion a whole bunch - a good population of Foragers can now support multiple honey refineries, and that (combined with the recent changes to reduce production wastage) opens up another viable strategy to pursue in the mid game.


Full changelog:

  • Added angry slug event image/icon variants
  • Added protected/unprotected cell count to defence menu
  • Added rushing state where bees will get to urgent destinations faster than normal
  • Added Defence screen (accessible from Barracks)
  • Added coverage radius for Barracks cells
  • Added protected state tracking to cells
  • Added coverage hover item to Barracks menu (temporary?)
  • Added shadows setting
  • Added placeholder coloured Old Bitey event image
  • Added two wasp attack event variants and effects that account for different levels of defence
  • Added ninja fruit flies event variant and effect that account for different levels of defence
  • Added 'Gone as quickly as they came' event
  • Added temp icons and tooltips to defence screen overlay toggle buttons
  • Added sounds for opening/closing population HUD and Queen jelly goal HUD
  • Added max_population, min_unprotected_cells, min_unprotected_cells_ratio, max_unprotected_cells, max_unprotected_cells_ratio event conditions
  • Removed some extraneous logging
  • Removed some old commented out code
  • Removed extraneous load_external_resources() call
  • Updated defence screen to use 'defended' instead of 'protected'
  • Fixed defence toggle buttons not respecting their initial state
  • Fixed settings menu sometimes not reappearing after resetting to defaults
  • Fixed loading old saves from before building cost refactor (shouldn't affect any live builds)
  • Fixed wasp reward for handing in slugs being removed rather than given
  • Fixed activity string always saying wax when dropping off resources
  • Refactored reverse storage mappings
  • Refactored resource cell mesh updating to be done per resource as needed rather than per cell
  • Refactored efficiency handling (increases to builder and forager efficiency)
  • Optimised resource cell mesh updating
  • Optimised storage seeking/payload deployment code a little
  • Optimised defender AI a little
  • Optimised bee movement handling code a little
  • Optimised tracking of defended/undefended cell state
  • Optimised handling of non-workshop cells
  • Optimised defence screen drawing
  • Optimised stopping of research, construction and resource particle effects
  • Tweaked population limit provided by Barracks
  • Tweaked defender AI to better prioritise neglected barracks
  • Tweaked role and resource colours for use in Defence screen
  • Tweaked time cost of wax assembler
  • Moved construction times into building_costs.json

2019-08-09 Devlog

Hive five o/

Today's update brings in (at long last) an updated Wax Assembler model that more closely matches other production facilities. The new Wax Assembler has animations as well, so it's now easier to tell when it's producing, when it's idle, or when production is explicitly paused.

I'd been holding off on updating the tutorial images since I knew I'd have to revisit them whenever I got around to making a new Wax Assembler. With that done, I've gone through and grabbed new screenshots, this time with 16x antialiasing so that they look nice and smooth. Along with the old Wax Assembler, the last vestigaes of the old Beesitter nurse hat and the temp GUI for the population menu are now gone for good.

Additionally, I've popped in a button for resetting user settings to default, and an option to hide the game HUD (this doesn't affect radial menus, events/tutorials/vignettes, or the screens accessed by clicking on cells like the Population screen and the Research screen).


Full changelog:

  • Added remaining tutorial images
  • Added new wax assembler model
  • Added wax assembler animations
  • Added reset to defaults button to settings menu
  • Added hide hud setting for disabling the top and bottom hud
  • Updated existing tutorial images
  • Reduced the amount of gameplay processing that happens during main menu transitions

2019-08-08 Devlog

Buzz buzz!

Today's update brings in a bunch of misc fixes - me cleaning up some old todo items spread scross the codebase while working on bigger features. Most of these are cosmetic and increase the readabiltiy or visibility of important things (such as an effect to draw more attention to new effect and activity indicators, or underlines for the research category tab buttons to make their purpose more readable).

There are also few possible crashes that I've addressed, and a debug key for finishing (or at least adding 99999 progress) research that I've added.


Full changelog:

  • Added visual effect when activity indicators are instantiated
  • Added visual effect when effect indicators are instantiated
  • Added underline to current research category button
  • Added note to multi-cell upgrade research items to indicate that they act on groups of cells
  • Added debug key for progressing current research (T)
  • Fixed tutorials sometimes appearing after transition to menu completes
  • Fixed possible crash when creating a new Queen after continuing playing when the last Queen died
  • Fixed destroying multi-cell upgrades not partially refunding the cost of the base cells they're built upon
  • Fixed possible crash when repeating resource levels radial menu action on a non storage cell
  • Updated supporters in credits.json
  • Updated wax assembler tutorial to not explictly mention empty cells when talking about multi-cell buildings
  • Updated Queen bumbling AI to not stop on throne cell
  • Refactored production wastage checks to be more robust and less demanding
  • Refactored queen death event handling to be useable in more situations
  • Removed some debug log output

2019-08-07 Devlog

Hey hive friends!

Super small update today to fix a couple of bugs highlighted during a recent stream. The big one is a proper resolution to the lingering issue of vertical keyboard panning (turns out I'd accidentally applied it to the wrong axis, causing the camera to move closer to the hive and eventually clip into it).

Previous fixes attempting to address this were still changes that needed to be made in order to resolve the problem properly, but since the issue was half as pronounced after that, it was easy to get the initial impression that it was resolved. That's game dev for you!


Full changelog:

  • Added new Queen name
  • Fixed vertical keyboard panning applying to wrong camera axis
  • Fixed storage cell resource height being wrong if updated when mouse is over cell
  • Fixed tutorial chain being broken at build a Wax Assembler

2019-08-06 Devlog


As a belated birthday activity, I just spent a few days away at Cradle Mountain, Tasmania. A bit cold for any bees, but still lovely nonetheless. In addition to trapsing around the damp wilderness, hanging out with cool animals, and recording audio for one of my other projects, I also found some time to get a bit of Hive Time work done.

I'd intended to spend an evening writing some new events and doing a writing pass on existing events, but I ended up writing a bunch of event condition and effect handling code (including some stuff that I thought I'd written and had totally forgotten - whoops :D ).

Peter's also sent through an updated piece of music that's included in this update.


Full changelog:

  • Added old queen departure event
  • Added generous hummingbird event
  • Added lost bretheren event
  • Added yam party event
  • Added max_cell_count condition
  • Added min_population condition support for 'any' role
  • Added new_bees effect action
  • Added aspiration substitutions
  • Added role_death and role_death_multiplier effect handling
  • Fixed circus event not killing defenders (role_death_multiplier was missing)
  • Refactored bee spawning to work better with new_bees effect action
  • Updated waspsarecops event music

2019-08-03 Devlog

Hi hi hi hi!

The big change in todays update is additional checks for workers before they start production. Previously, if resource levels were below capacity, workers would rush to start producing more regardless of whether another worker was already producing enough to fill that resource up to storage capacity. Since 9 bees can work any given production facility at a time, that was resulting in up to 179 honey being wasted when filling up jelly stores (not to mention pollen and nectar).

This fix should have a pretty dramatic impact on resource dynamics, particularly how many foragers it takes to keep up with production in the mid to late game.

Today's update also adds a couple of new event music tracks from Peter, one for when your last Queen dies, and another for when those slug outlaws come to visit.


Full changelog:

  • Added gameover event music
  • Added waspsarecops event music
  • Added outlaw slug event/activity images
  • Added building requirement check when setting up construction options in radial menus (eg: prevents researched items that require an upgraded workshop from being built if there are no longer any upgraded workshops)
  • Added further checks to prevent workers from working at production facilities if other workers are already producing resources enough to fill storage (prevents significant wastage when stores are nearly full)
  • Fixed workers staying for production length when they've decided to not work a production facility
  • Refactored harvest quantity handling
  • Fixed completed research getting a paused overlay if research menu is open when research completes​

2019-08-02 Devlog

Buzz buzz buzz!

A bunch of minor fixes and some refactoring in today's update, primarily focused on refactoring the handling of cell construction and destruction. Population and storage values should update correctly when deleting upgraded cells, and rewriting overgrown explicit casing for each cell type into a couple of generic checks means that adding new cell/upgrade types is a bunch less work for me moving forward as well.


Full changelog:

  • Added loading cell population and storage bonuses to external json (not implemented yet)
  • Added default return value to get_cell_by_role()
  • Added caching for reverse storage mappings to reduce resource menu update overhead
  • Removed some extraneous logging
  • Removed finish building call from fill grid cheat (B now needs to be pressed to finish building)
  • Fixed upgraded cells not removing base cell bonuses when destroyed
  • Fixed research effect continuing to emit if emitting when a workshop is destroyed
  • Fixed current research category not being loaded correctly from saved games (should fix 'progress 0 of null')
  • Fixed radial menu item hover sometimes being called early during radial menu open transition
  • Fixed workers performing research when bumbling
  • Refactored checking of reserve sliders to reduce resource menu update overhead
  • Refactored cell construction and destruction to use new building bonuses

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

2019-07-15 Devlog

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