Hive Time

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