Hive Time

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

2019-07-15 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