I owe all of my success to the panic induced by thinking the cooldown counter was the queen's death counter.
A downloadable game for Windows, macOS, and Linux
Build a hive, make some honey! Hive Time is a small, bee themed management/base building sim. Harvest resources, grow your hive, and produce a new Queen before the current one dies.
Manage different bee roles in a totally scientifically inaccurate depiction of hive dynamics. Send Foragers out to find pollen and nectar, have Builders research new cell types, and ensure you have enough Beesitters to raise the next generation of bees.
Make interesting choices that affect the hive. Respond to wasp attacks, deal with outlaw slugs, or help a caterpillar realise a lifelong dream!
Hive Time's original soundtrack is available on Bandcamp.
FAQ (click to expand)
Is this game free?
I believe that the effort we have put into creating and supporting Hive Time is worth at least $10. However, I also believe that in an ideal world, financial barriers should never prevent people from participating in culture. For this project, I'm in a position to make the game available under a pay-what-you-want model so that it can be accessible to people who can't afford $10.
If you can afford $10, but would prefer to not pay, that's up to you, but I hope that if you find enjoyment in the game that you'll come back to give some support that matches that enjoyment.
Similarly, Peter has released Hive Time's original soundtrack on Bandcamp under a pay-what-you-want model.
Is this game finished?
We consider Hive Time to be a complete game.
In the weeks and months following release, we plan to ship some small patches and larger updates, but the game's mechanics, style, and identity reflect what we wanted to make and are not likely to change.
Default controls are as follows (custom bindings can be set from the Controls menu):
- Left mouse - Select/interact
- Right mouse - Close radial menu
- Middle mouse/Cursor keys - Pan view
- Scroll wheel/Page Up/Page Down - Zoom view
- Home - Reset pan and zoom
- End - Zoom out as far as possible
- Space - Toggle bee inspection mode
- F5 - Trigger autosave
- F9 - Load latest save
- Shift - Hold before performing an action in a radial menu to be able to repeat that menu option with subsequent cell clicks
- Alt+Enter - Toggle fullscreen
- Escape - Close radial menu, close/select negative option in events, pause game
- Print Screen - Save a screenshot
Cheats and debug controls
My hope is that you won't need them, but if you get stuck or want to try specific stuff, there are a few "cheats" in place. In order to access these, you must enable "debug mode" from the System settings menu.
- B - Complete all in-progress construction
- C - clear all in-progress cooldowns
- H - Raise resource storage limits by 999
- Y - Lower resource storage limits to 12
- G - Give 9999 of all resources (won't increase storage limits)
- E - Show event debug/selection dialog
- Shift + E - Force the next queued event to trigger
- V - Force the next vignette to trigger
- N - Force the next bee to appear
- Shift + N - Force spawn bees until the population limit is reached
- Ctrl + N - Force a hero bee to spawn (while under population limit)
- K - Kill all bees (excluding Queen)
- J - Fill the entire buildable space with empty cells (doesn't destroy existing cells)
- M - End current music track/trigger next music track
- T - Give 99999 progress to current research item
- R - Reload all data files
- F - Mark all foraging zones as explored
Log, save, and config file locations
Logs, saves, and configuration files can be found in the following locations for each supported platform:
~/.local/share/hivetime/(note that this respects XDG_DATA_HOME)
Selecting the Open User Folder option from the settings menu will open this location in a file browser.
If you're experiencing troubles, please send a detailed description of what is occurring along with relevant save files and logs to support [AT] jbushproductions.com
Common technical hurdles and how to cross them:
No text is visible outside of the main menu
This occurs when the game is unable to load fonts (the main menu text is actually a 3D model!).
The most common cause of this is the game being unable to find the fonts folder. Please make sure that it is extracted into the same folder as the game's executable (.x86_64, .exe) and that the working folder is set to the same location when running the game.
If you're not feeling confident extracting the game properly or are still experiencing problems, consider playing Hive Time through the Itch.io App, which handles all of that for you.
Sound suddenly becomes garbled or stutters
When under high load, the Godot engine's sound server can become unstable and cause the rest of the game to lag.
Typically, this is caused by the Bee Sound Count setting in the Audio settings menu being too high. The default value of 25 seems to be appropriate for most systems that the game has been tested on, but lower may be more appropriate for your computer.
When this occurs, the game will typically need to be restarted in order for audio to return to normal.
As my hive gets big, the game's frame rate slowly declines
During development, I made the decision to not put a performance oriented maximum cap on hive or population size, so generally speaking, it will always be possible to make a hive that's too big for your computer to handle.
The game should still be playable at a low frame rate, and spawning a new Queen doesn't specifically require a large hive, so it's up to you to play within the constraints of what you're comfortable with.
The game's minimum requirements are based on running the game with Shadows, Anti-alising, and Depth Of Field settings all disabled, and with the Bee Sound Count audio setting set to zero. These options can have a big impact on performance.
If you find that sound is garbled or stuttering, please refer to the "Sound suddenly becomes garbled or stutters" section.
Current known issues:
- Keyboard bindings with modifiers that share primary keys with other bindings (eg: Ctrl+S and S) may behave unexpectedly
There's a lot to keep track of in Hive Time! Part of the fun is in exploring and learning how different systems work. Generally, the impact of your actions takes a little while to be apparent, so observing after experimenting can be important!
Here are a couple of tips that might point you in the right direction if you're feeling stuck:
What can I do to stop my bees from dying out?
Beesitter bees are critical for positive population growth. If your hive's Beesitters start to decline, there may not be enough of them left to replace the current Beesitter population, which can lead to the hive's entire population dying out.
Finding the right balance for your hive's current needs is important, and that balance needs to be generous enough to not be upset by small fluctuations. Responding quickly to events that impact the hive's population is important as well. Sometimes you might need to overcompensate in order to get to where you want to be or to prevent a disaster.
Keep in mind that each role-specific cell increases the population capacity for the relevant bee role. When a role population is over capacity, bees of that role will only live half as long.
Why do I keep running out of resources?
Several things influence resource dynamics. Resources are consumed in the production of Wax, Honey, and Jelly, while the accumulation of Nectar and Pollen is dependent on foraging.
The chart on the Resources screen (accessible from any storage cell) allows the increase and decline of multiple resources to be viewed at once. If production of a particular resource is consuming too much of another resource, temporarily pausing the relevant production facilities may help.
Foraging requires enough Exit cells for the Worker and Forager populations to leave the hive (as explained in the in-game tutorial, each cell can only support three working bees at once). The Activity screen (accessible from the Upgraded Throne Room) can help highlight when portions of the Forager or Worker populations are idle and unable to gather resources.
Foragers are able to collect for more resources than Workers, so a healthy Forager population with enough Exits and Map Rooms for them to lead full, productive lives can increase Nectar and Pollen collection greatly.
Making use of the pollination options in the Foraging screen (accessible from any Map Room)and selecting pollinated foraging zones can also provide a boost to foraged resources.
How can I make sure I have enough resources to do stuff without pausing production all the time?
Upgraded storage cells unlock "reserve" sliders that can be adjusted from the Resources screen (accessible from any storage cell).
Resource reserves put a minimum limit on stock levels before production can happen, keeping the remaining resources spare for you to spend on construction or research!
How do cell upgrades work?
Cell upgrades are an action that can be performed on existing non-upgraded cells.
Each cell type (except for Exit cells) has its own pattern or cluster of non-upgraded cells that are required in order to be upgraded.
For example, Upgraded Workshops only require a single non-upgrade Workshop cell, while all upgraded storage cells require a cluster of seven non-upgraded cells of the same type.
|Updated||5 days ago|
|Platforms||Windows, macOS, Linux|
|Release date||42 days ago|
|Tags||bee, City Builder, Cute, Hex Based, hive, Management|
|Average session||A few hours|
|Links||Homepage, Twitter, YouTube|
Click download now to get access to the following files:
- v1.0-18 changelog11 days ago
- v1.0-15 changelog26 days ago
- v1.0-14 changelog28 days ago
- v1.0-12 changelog33 days ago
- v1.0-11 changelog35 days ago
- v1.0-10 changelog36 days ago
- v1.0-9 changelog37 days ago
- v1.0-7 changelog38 days ago
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Thanks for sharing, that was a fun little hive! Apologies as well for the cooldown confusion - there a definite moments (like Old Bitey coming to visit) that I'd like to feel tense/stressful, but new Queen cooldown shouldn't be one of them! I'll have a think about the best way to reduce opportunities for confusion.
I got to the part where the tutorial tells you to research jelly, but it's not an option for me. I'm not really sure what I'm supposed to do
Jelly research is dependent on other research/cell types. Keep building and exploring new research (particularly items that say they unlock further research options) and you'll find it :)
Wow, this is a really unique and well executed game. Just sunk several hours into it. I managed to make my first queen (not in time though - that seems difficult!)
When your storage is full, does production/collection stop or are resources being wasted? If the latter, it would be great to get some more in-game feedback about it. I think the storage size text blinks red, but not enough to draw my attention.
Thanks for your kind words!
Production doesn't occur when storage is full (or when bees are carrying enough of that resource to fill storage), but bees foraging for resources outside the hive will bring back whatever they find regardless of whether there's storage space or not.
Regarding difficulty, the game's balanced so that once you know the ins and outs of how the game's systems work, it's not too hard to get enough Jelly in half the provided time. As a "continue playing" condition, I wanted to make sure that it presented as a soft learning gate for new players while not presenting a significant hurdle for experienced players. If you haven't already, take a peek at the Bee Activity screen (accessible from the upgraded Throne Room). It can give some clues/cues for efficiency bottlenecks that might be slowing things down.
So what time is hive time exactly?
Any plans at all or any consideration for steam?
No current plans at this time. I am committed to making the game available under a pay-what-you-want model so that people who can't afford the game's $10 price tag can still pay, to making the game available without a downloader/updater client, and to making the game available without requiring players to make an account. Steam does not offer/allow any of these.
I really appreciate the quick response! props to you for the model you've chosen and sticking by! I completely understand and support it
(sorry for the noob question: how does one keep up with updates to the game after buying? do i just need to keep on eye on this page or will be an email every time? only been on itch.io a few times)
Absolutely cute and fun looking game! (saw a PCgamer article about the game)
Thanks for your kind words :)
Itch will send emails about updates, but I think that's only for large announcements rather than every minor patch.
In 1.0-18, I added an in-game notification that will appear in the main menu when a new version is available. The first time you run the game with 1.0-18 or newer, you should see a prompt asking if you'd like to allow to the game to check for new versions. This can be changed in the System Settings menu at any time.
Alternatively, Itch has its own downloader/updater client that you can use. There's more information on that over here.
Hope that helps!
i love this design! keep up the good work
I am having an issue in which the game crashes after about 5 minutes of play. Have started 3-4 or times with this being a consistent issue. Slightly older setup, so that may be part of the problem, but this feels like a pretty low-taxing game even for my old system.
Hi! Sorry to hear that you're experiencing problems. Can you please send me your system specs and a copy of your game log (from a play session where it has crashed!) to the address under the "Technical help" section here on the store page?
I have a 3ghz processor (I know; old) with 8gb RAM and 64-bit. I tried it on a different system (one I don't typically game on), and it seems that maybe whenever the game tries to autosave is when it crashes on my normal system.
Can you please email me specs of both machines (including operating system, video card and video driver versions) and a copy of the game log (from a play session where it has crashed!) to the address under the "Technical help" section here on the store page?
Autosaves are meant to happen every 10 minutes. If it's crashing after 5, I suspect it might be something else - I'll know more once I see a log :)
Hi hi! I haven't seen a log come through. Just wanted to touch base and make sure I haven't missed it!
Hey Cheeseness do u know when there is going to be more research? i beat the game was amazing and had all research and when't to do a new hive and no new research.
Hi hi! At this stage, let's say no. For now, we see the end-game as giving room for pursuing player-driven goals (like trying to spawn a new Queen with the smallest hive possible, trying to have as many simultaneous Queens as possible, never upgrading anything except the Workshop, etc.) or building elaborate/interesting shaped hives. Both of these are where I found the most fun in management sims like the original SimCity, which provided a lot of inspiration for Hive Time.
The Royal Decrees upgrade also gives some potentially interesting gameplay variations for each successive Queen (a Queen that halves wax production is going to require a different approach to building a new hive, and a Queen that reduces Beesitter efficiency requires a different approach to finding population balances).
If you're interested in seeing the type of post-release content we are considering, you can read about our plans here.
Hope that helps!
I'm having trouble upgrading my map room. It wouldn't let me upgrade it. I thought it might have been because it was on the edge and there was a plant nearby but I moved the map room so it was isolated with cells all around it, and I do have the resources, but it still won't let me build it. It just beeps at me. I added an image to show the cells are empty and what it looks like when I try to upgrade.
The red areas require more of the same type of room when upgrading
I must be not getting something. The very first thing the tutorial tells you to do is make an exit. I click on cells, I build new cells, I left click, I right click... I click all over the place... and it never shows me anything to click on to "make exit." All my bees are apparently going to starve to death in their own hive because the game tells you to make a door but it doesn't teach you how to actually make a door.
Hmm! What happens when you left click on an empty cell (or one of the new cells that you've built)? Does a menu come up at all? If so, what's in it?
If you're building new cells, then the radial menus are at least partially working for you.
Edit: In case everything's working as intended, Exits live under the Resources submenu (they're where some resources come from), which the tutorial explains as seen below. The current active tutorial can be shown again by clicking the graduation cap icon in the bottom left.
Oh, thanks. I thought Resources told you how much Resources you have. Or had something to do with stockpiling Resources. I kept thinking, since the door is structural, it would be under the same menu category as Nursery and Workshop. Looking at it now, I realize you had the ++ integrated into the icon. Maybe consider renaming this to "Resource Production" or something similar? I know short words look nicer, but this game throws a lot of concepts at the player at once that aren't handled the same way they are in other RTS games. When you can't use existing tropes or genre conventions, you should be as specific as possible.
Role didn't make much sense to me, either, the first time I saw it. It has a picture of a bee. But you don't use it to build bees? You use it to build rooms. Rooms don't have a role. They have furniture in them. After playing the game a bit more, I eventually understood that "Role" is short for "Rooms that require a bee to have a specific role in order to use them." Except that the Nursery also lets you change a bee's role, or at least lets you influence the role distribution of newborn bees. I'm not sure what else you could call it besides Role. Maybe Job? But that doesn't really change things. If I think of a better solution to this, I'll let you know.
But on the subject of the radial menus, this is probably the most important suggestion I can make: Don't make the player fight their own muscle memory when learning new systems! Every single time I opened a menu after researching something, it felt like everything I'd previously learned went right out the window because now the things I have to click on are in a different place. It's friction. It's a reason players would churn out before learning the game. And you'll never personally experience this for yourself because you made the game, you're not learning it from scratch the way a new player would. You'll just have to take my word for it that this makes learning the game more uncomfortable than it needs to be.
The solution: Radials should display all the hexagons that will ever be there, and the ones the player doesn't have access to are just blank or greyed out or invisible. That way, as the player builds understanding of games systems, they are also building muscle memory. If you only listen to one suggestion from my post, please listen to this one. It's the biggest obstacle to learning the middle of the game right now.
Glad to hear you're up and running and thanks for sharing your thoughts!
To make sure there aren't any false expectations, none of these things are likely to change significantly, though I'll tack "cells" on the end of submenu names to help reduce opportunities for false assumptions in the next patch. Even if players don't follow the tutorial's instructions, there are only two incorrect submenus to look through for any given build option, and I'm comfortable with that as being manageable for our target audience.
FWIW, we had around a hundred people with varying levels of game and management sim (this game's genre) literacy playing Hive Time prior to release, brought onboard in batches across the course of development. UI design choices weren't made in a vacuum and do take into consideration more than just our personal experiences/perspectives. Everybody has different preferences and tolerances, though - it's totally OK to not appreciate our choices here.
Regarding radial menu item consistency, you may find using keyboard shortcuts more comfortable (default modifier for displaying them is Alt, and there's an option in Interface Settings for permanently displaying them).
Hope that helps!
Well now this "Beesitters randomly stop working for no reason" event keeps killing my population numbers for no reason. If the goal of this game is to subtly educate people about Colony Collapse Disorder, then good job, you knocked it out of the park. On the other hand if the goal of the game is to actually be a fun strategy game where you build and research a thriving beehive, then I'd like to please be able to turn this event off from the main menu.
(Seriously. Population crashed from 70 to 6. Absolutely nothing I could do about it. The game just decided it was time for my colony to fail now.)
Hive Time is a management sim about exploring and discovering sustainable balances/responses that can survive fluctuations/disasters, not a strategy game per se (we've been specifically avoiding strategy labels and tags). While it intentionally bucks some management sim conventions, inviting players to respond to (and later plan for) dramatic shifts in dynamics is not one of them.
I haven't come across a situation before where previously working Beesitters stop working for no reason and there aren't any events called "Beesitters randomly stop working for no reason" that I can recall writing. If you'd like to send me an email (address is under the "Technical help" section here on the store page) with a better details-to-snark ratio, I'd be happy to look into whether something is misbehaving and give you some instructions for manually disabling individual events.
I will add to this that even though I read that it said to click "resources" to build an exit, I was still confused by the tutorial because I thought "empty cell" meant a grid cell that didn't have anything in it yet (the green ones with white outline), and clicking on those there was no resources option, just "cell". I think the language used could be reworked to be less ambiguous.
I love the personality put into this!
Got some more Hive Time content for you all today. Thanks to Cheese for stopping by and dropping some knowledge hopefully I embarrass myself a little less this time :)
Thanks again for sharing! :D
No need to feel embarrassed - these games have a lot of stuff to absorb and sometimes it can take a hive or two before everything is clear. Providing you're able to get on top of the nectar situation (more Exits and Foragers will help there), you should be on track :)
Can you add some kind of queuing system for the worker bees? Or add mod support?
I'm not sure what you're after exactly, but you can modify some of the game's files by copying the json folder into your Hive Time user folder and editing them there.
I mean some sort of priority system for the where the worker bees use resources.
Upgraded production facilities let you control production priority sliders. Upgraded storage sells let you set minimum resource reserve levels that won't be used in production. These combined with the ability to pause and resume production for particular resources is as much control as I want to give players over resource consumption for production.
this is super cute. thanks for making the game~
first sorry for my bad english
i for some reason can't see text
Hi! To my knowledge, this only happens when the game can not locate the "fonts" folder.
If you email a copy of your game log to the address listed under the Technical help section of the store page above, I can take a look and see if we can get you up and running!
Absolutely beautiful game. Played it for HOURS. What really gets me are the little events- The cute art with the writing is just fantastic. Cannot wait for more content!
Regarding more content, while we do have updates planned, the core of the game as a "set your own goals and play as long as you are having fun" experience is unlikely to change.
Some players have overlooked the variations on gameplay that the Royal Decrees upgrade can give - if you haven't tried making a hive with a Queen that gives you halved Beesitter productivity or any of the handicaps that other negative effects offer, give it a try!
Fantastic job on this, what a little gem of a game!
Many thanks! We worked hard to make Hive Time what it is and are very glad to hear that it's appreciated :)
Beemis is better
my game just crashed and don't know where to report it to say i just put something here i have no clue why it crashed but it just closed itself like it was going to minimise and than crash the game ran great and had no other trouble??
very confused but good game for the rest if you want me to get the log where should i sent it to
The "Log, save, and config file locations" and "Technical help" headings here on the store page have the information you're looking for. If you could send your game log, save file, and a detailed description of what was happening at the time you experienced a crash, I'd be happy to look into it!
Thinks to highlight:
Nice game, great design, excellent screen transitions, great mechanics, I hope you the best in this project. Excellent performance on Linux.
What I saw that may can be improved:
- I think you must add a little of difficulty.
- The icons on save are not user friendly
- The way that events are presented to user breaks immersion, I think you need to show in less intrusive manner.
If you need testers in your final version here I am.
Hi lyoneel! Thanks for your thoughts. If you weren't aware, the game was made on Linux :)
Just to make sure there are no false expectations, we consider Hive Time to be a finished product. There'll be some patches and updates as time goes on, but it's probably best to not assume that there will be any dramatic changes.
For now, difficulty is best found by embracing voluntary constraints (building a hive with no defences, accumulating 600 jelly without ever researching jelly production, building a hive but never allowing your population to go above 60 bees, etc.) or from the negative effects provided by future queens after researching the Royal Decrees upgrade.
Hope that helps!
I didnt think in Royal Decrees. Good point.
Did you plan a steam release?
Thanks for you quick reply.
No plans for a Steam release. For now, I am committed to the pay-what-you-want model and that's not something that Steam offers.
I also prefer Itch in that it allows people to buy/download games without making an account (which is what seems to be the barrier to entry for people who prefer Steam).
How exactly do you extract the file?
edit: Nvm, i'm just stupid. i found it out tho
Glad to hear you're up and running!
How do you run the file
Hi! Depending on the operating system you are running, right click on the downloaded file and select an option that says "extract." Make sure that all of the files and folders are properly extracted, and then run the Hive Time executable (a .x86_64 file on Linux, a .exe file on windows, and a .app bundle on Mac).
If you're still having trouble, you may want to consider using the Itch.io app https://itch.io/app
this game is really fun! slow at times though maybe thats just because im starting out
one suggestion/request i have is that when you follow a bee the camera doesnt shake along with them? makes it kind of hard to focus on the bee
Thanks! I'll have a think on that one :)
In case you haven't spotted, I added a smooth follow camera option a couple of days ago. Enjoy :)
Any chance of tooltips for some of the options in the menus? Also, any chance of a manual for covering things such as custom music?
Do you mean tooltips for radial menu items when clicking on cells or main menu items?
A full scale manual seems unlikely for now, but the way that custom music currently works is that any Ogg Vorbis music files placed in the custom_music/background or custom_music/interstitial folders in your user folder (access this by selecting "Open User Folder" from the settings menu) will override existing game music if they share the same filename, or be added to the relevant playlist if they don't.
Hope that helps!
A friend was saying that they "need an app" for their Chrome Book, I'm not sure if you have any knowledge about whether the itch.io app is available to make this really extra easy for such people?
I'm not certain! I don't have any first hand experience with Chrome OS.
Did a bit of looking. It doesn't look like it is as simple as it could be. It looks like it would be just downloading, and then running that. Which for someone who, "needs an app" probably wouldn't work.
Hmm yeah. I don't know whether the Itch app is available through any vendor provided distribution channels (most distribution platforms don't like having clients for other distribution platforms available).
If it's running an ARM processor or something else that's not x86_64, that's also likely to be a problem for Hive Time.
I hadn't even considered that it might be an issue with the processor. It does seem that there are possibilities that it would not really work with a standard x86_64 or AMD64 build (more or less the same, but somewhat different). I don't really know if our laptop would work, and it *seems* like a lot of the chromebooks are similar processors (eek).
This gonna be available on console if you get enough backing?
I really enjoy this. I have some minor issues however:
~ Looking in other windows while the game is active totally locks up the windows os. This is something to possibly look into.
I can't seem to find the reason or way to replicate how this is happening. Attempting in using any forensic tools to analyze behavior for errors is just freezing the os.
~ One of the controls is using the "Alt" button. This is something I had to change since "Alt + F4" or "Alt + CTRL + DEL" are system based shortcuts.
Having alt in the game cuts off the system shortcut access when the app is frozen.
Sorry to hear you're experiencing troubles. This isn't something that any of my Windows testers reported before release, but it's something I'd like to look into further. Would you mind emailing through some more information on your system (system specs, OS version, graphics driver version, etc.) and a copy of the game's logs from a play session where this has occurred to support @ jbushproductions.com? The logs folder can be found by selecting the "Show User Folder" option in the Settings menu.
Does this happen when the game is running in a window, or only when it's fullscreen?
Both actually. I tried to isolate the issue by only viewing the game window and nothing else, when I tried to get rid of a cell I didn't need, the game froze again. This behavior is really weird. I sent some info though.
nice game but plz put a are u sure about deleting saves
(and congrats on release)
Delete and overwrite confirmation prompts are on the todo list (but weren't worth delaying the game for). Sorry for any inconvenience!
The current build should now prompt for confirmation before deleting or overwriting saves https://cheeseness.itch.io/hive-time/devlog/114464/v10-2-changelog
I'm loving it! Do you plan to add localization? I'd love to help.
Gratz on Release!
Congrats on the release!
This is awesome, will continue to follow
Much improved! The sound effects and UI changes make it a lot easier to play. I got through it and made a new queenie just in time thanks to the vinehopper :)
The test build for linux works well and is quite fun.