v1.1-46 & v1.1-48 changelogs
Greetings, fellow bee friends!
Today's patch adds some new Queen animations, a new "find your own fun" option for Queen lifespans, a button that opens reference URLs for Beepedia facts, and a bunch of other misc tweaks and fixes.
Giving a bit more life to the Queen is something that's been on my todo list since before the end of the jam we initially prototyped Hive Time for. Other things always ended up being higher priority. In terms of impact, a player will generally notice that she doesn't move when they start playing and then never think about it again, so while having time to do it would be nice, it didn't ever feel critical.
And that's fine in the context that Hive Time exists in for players. Someone can have fun with it regardless of whether or not the Queen is specifically interesting. It also has the side effect of lowering expectations slightly, which in turn makes other things like the research effect stand out a little more.
Lately I've been looking at submitting Hive Time for some awards, and while a static Queen might generally be fine for playing, it's not a great first impression from an assessment standpoint. The Queen now looks around, yawns, stretches, cleans her antennae and sometimes waves at the player.
Finding the right balance of animation density has been tricky - it turns out that the moment there's some movement, any time where there isn't any movement immediately stands out. I've made a mix of "idle" and "action" animations to make sure that high energy animations are sprinkled among less-distracting low energy animations. Animtion is a skill that I feel like I've never really been able to invest any time in growing, so this work has been way outside my comfort zone. It was interesting to do though, and if you're interested, you can watch me doing some of it here.
In general I'm happy with how they've come out so far and I figure what's there now (like many other things in Hive Time) is a foundation that I can build on later if/when I'm able. This aligns with the development philosophy I've had from the beginning for Hive Time, which is to focus on doing as much with as little as possible while leaving room to expand and polish later if needed.
Now that she's not static, it looks even more odd that the current Queen remains seated when the Throne Room is being upgraded - especially when she's sitting cross-legged in mid air! To help there I've added a cute little scaffold throne, which is silly (as it should be) and gets the job done.
If you find yourself not liking the new Queen animations, you can turn them off in the Video Settings menu.
Not only does the Queen move now, but she also has new hats. I've popped in a little paper crown and a jester hat, which makes Queen the role with the highest number of alternate hats. Huzzah. Even more Huzzah is a new event that allows the Queen to pick a new hat/crown for her and her ancestors, which can trigger for any queen after the first.
I'm really happy to finally get this in, as previously there was no way to see any of the alternative Queen hats without enabling the "Customise any bee" FYOF option, which ends up partially breaking the reward that special bees represent. Alternate crowns/hats are just for everyday use, and so the Queen still wears the traditional crown in portraits, events, and vignettes (it might be nice to have variants for each hat for every event/vignette/portrait, but that's a mountain of work for very little benefit).
Another item that's been sitting on my todo list for a long time is the addition of a "Queen lifespan" FYOF option. This turned out to be much simpler to implement than I had anticipated due to some unrelated work I'd previously done to provide speparation between individual bee lifespans and game-wide lifespans.
From an expectation management perspective, I'm still worried that players will treat this as a difficulty slider with the default set to "normal" rather than see the two hour default as a limit that is tuned to be tight for a player who doesn't know what they're doing, but over three times the amount of time a player who's understood and mastered the game's mechanics will need.
My design philosophy was that if a player hasn't yet grokked the system, the continue-playing target shouldn't feel comfortably attainable, and if a player has, then it should feel easy in a way that reinforces and reflects that they've got a solid grip on what the game's doing. I still stand by that approach, but I also figure that, if a player misses out on that balancing because they needed or wanted to poke around on their own terms and still has fun, then it's not something I need to feel precious about.
Cooldowns, lifespans and activity durations are now presented with h:m:s notation (or whatever the equivalent is where the next highest unit is omitted entirely and values are only zero padded when the next highest unit is present), which I think makes them a bit easier to parse. Having 45:15 left on your Queen is a bit more meaningful than having 2715 seconds remaining.
Some players have found the Queen lifespan countdown a bit stressful at the start of the game. I'm hopeful that making the numbers a little more readable will help!
Also on the Queen front, is a change to the way that Queen effects are generated when the Royal Decrees upgrade has been researched. They're now selected before the Queen actually spawns so that they can be included in the "A new Queen rises" event description. My hope is that this will make the choice of whether to start a new hive or not feel a little more interesting. No more "Dang, I wish I'd kept this Queen at the old hive," regret when you move to a new hive with a Queen that has halved Wax producton - if you do that, you're doing it knowingly now :D
Last, but not least, I've added a tiny bit of new UI to the Beepedia. There's a new button that appears when a Bee fact (or any other fact) includes a reference URL. That button will allow the URL to be opened in a browser for further reading.
Want to know more about research into electroreception in bees? Click the button for Bee Fact #17. Want to read a paper looking at the comparative value of different types of pollinators? Click on the button for Butterfly Fact #3. Want to listen to a Beatles tribute song composed for the Hive Time soundtrack? Click on the button for Beatles Fact #1.
- Added beepedia fact reference button
- Added sneaky Beeing Together easter egg to Beatles beepedia fact
- Added scaffold throne while throne room is being upgraded
- Added jester hat
- Added paper crown
- Added 'A new look' event
- Added Queen lifespan FYOF option
- Added queen animation handler
- Added new queen action animations
- Added new queen idle animations
- Added play_queen_animations video setting
- Added queen_has_new_hat and min_queen_count event conditions
- Added upcoming queen effect and upcoming queen name to event text substitution
- Added pan/pause instructions to credits
- Added queen cooldown research icon
- Updated URL opening to only prepend scheme when http or https is not present
- Updated bees' second animation player to be duplicated rather than created new
- Updated default bee sound volume to be lower
- Updated 'A new queen rises' event to show new queen's effects
- Updated bee sounds to use bus volume for distance fade
- Updated get_node() calls to use $ shorthand
- Updated activity durations to use h:m:s
- Updated radial menu items to use h:m:s for cooldown
- Updated save descriptions to use h:m:s
- Updated save descriptions to have prefixes on duration and save date
- Updated menu music fade out to be slightly faster when unpausing or starting a new game
- Optimised camera processing slightly
- Refactored queen effect generation to be done before new queen is spawned
- Refactored URL opening to be handled in main scene now
- Refactored get_scene_name() to take custom prefixes and moved to bee
- Refactored setting slider generation
- Removed old manual keyframe culling
- Removed some extraneous prints
- Removed trailing full stops from new game settings tooltips
- Removed trailing full stop from antialiasing tooltip
- Removed some redundant code
- Fixed possible crash when bees try to bumble in the throne room after loading a save with an under construction throne room
- Fixed possible crash when viewing info on an under construction upgraded throne room when an old queen portrait is present
- Fixed Old Bitey never appearing if more than 11 Defenders are deployed
- Fixed typo in bee fact 7
- Fixed typo in beatles fact 1
- Fixed Defender icons not being used in Bear Attack events
- Fixed Worker icons not being used in wax assembler vignettes
- Fixed Builder icon not being used in 'Does it have your name on it?' vignette
- Fixed bee sound volume not updating properly after returning from the main menu until zoming in/out once
- Fixed bee sound volume not updating properly after transitioning to a new hive until zoming in/out once
- Fixed bee and ambient sound volume being briefly recentred during new hive transition
- Fixed construction progress on non-primary cells not updating construction progress indicators on multi cell rooms
- Fixed under-construction upgraded multi cell rooms responding to mouse over during events/vignettes/building info
- Fixed typo in 'A load of hot air' vignette
- Fixed typo in 'They do look pretty cool' event
- Fixed typo in 'Parry, parry, thrust, thrust, good' event
- Fixed extra margin pushing beepedia facts down when only one topic section is being used
- Fixed inconsistent resource button dimming in production screen
- Fixed inconsistent resource button dimming in resource levels screen
- Fixed event buttons ending up out of alignment if mouse was over a button position during event display animation
- Fixed preview cache models sometimes being visible when zoomed out at the bottom of the play space
- Fixed bees' second animation player not being paused when pausing the game
- Fixed credits not being cleared when showing payment reminder screen
- Fixed double assign of cooldown values in radial menus
- Fixed hat attachment being assigned details attachment node name
- Fixed progress indicators not getting cleared when an under construction multi-cell is destroyed from the non-primary cell
- Fixed upgraded nursery progress indicator showing malformed progress ring
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