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.
- 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
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