Hive Time

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