Greetings, fellow bee lovers!
Hive Time has been out for a couple of weeks, and although the launch has been quieter than I'd have liked (more on this in a future post), I think it's been big enough to make some future development feel worthwhile.
There are a bunch of items that were on my nice-to-have list that didn't make it into the game that I'm open to giving life to, some of which are a little bigger than makes sense to slip into general patching/bugfixing changes. To make things easier to plan/test/ship, I want to cobble these together into larger batches of changes that we're going to call "updates."
Keep in mind that timeframes are pretty vague and will probably shift a bit depending on how quickly things come together and how much attention other commitments (like Winter's Wake!) require.
Similarly, the items planned aren't locked in stone either. I'll be making whatever decisions I feel are the right decisions to make along the way. For game development, project plans are always best used as guides to measure the value and impact of new plans against so that good/informed decisions can be made at the time.
With that out of the way, here's how Mim and I decided to try to break this stuff down!
JAM BUILDS (released 2020-01-12)
This "update" is intended to give access to new builds based on snapshots of the game at the end of the initial 10 day jam we started Hive Time for, with the following additions:
- New music based on the initial concepts I had before Peter came onboard
- Wax assembler model based on the old wax assembler model that is no longer in the game (we didn't get wax assembler models in before the end of the jam >_< )
- Notice at the start of the game clarifying that it is based on the initial prototype
Update: This has now been released. You can grab it over here!
INFORMATIONAL UPDATE (weeks away)
This update is intended to improve the readability and discoverability of many of Hive Time's features/mechanics, focusing primarily around a "beepedia" that centralises information, lore, and hints. It will be most valuable to new players in the early game.
- More detail in bee lifetime info screens
- More particle effects, etc. to communicate significant events
- Tooltips or similar for main menu/settings menu items
- Some additional event outcomes/effects
- Expanded yam party event chain
- One or two new events
MONUMENTAL UPDATE (months away)
This update is intended to add more interesting variation to late-game hives, focusing primarily around "monuments" that are unlocked based on gameplay milestones intended to remind players of their experiences across their lineage of hives/Queens.
- High cost monument construction options that reflect things that the player has experienced or progressed through
- Expanded event conditions/chaining
- Animation pass for bees
- More hats
- Many new events
- More Queen portraits
GOAL UPDATE (months away)
This update is intended to guide players towards exploring and experimenting with a range of play styles/strategies, focusing primarily on a revamped player-driven goal system and a set of scenarios with different starting hives/long term objectives.
- Goal screen for players to configure and track their own objectives through
- Scenarios that highlight interesting challenges/gameplay
- Resources/research caches spread across the play space that are unlocked by constructing cells on top of them
- Improvements to the foraging system (possibly introducing "barren" zones caused by overforaging?)
Phew! That's a whole lot of stuff, but I think I can manage it. Hive Time took about 8 months to coalesce, and I feel like it makes sense to spread this out over a similar kind of timeframe, but I'm also comfortable with the idea of shipping the last of these planned updates (providing they happen) on the anniversary of Hive Time's initial release in December 2020.
There are a lot of other miscellaneous items on my todo/ideas list that could slot into any of these updates, things like
- In-game music player
- In-game patch notes/changelogs
- Random cell variants
- A roster for special bees
- Improvements to mod support/custom content
- Shortcuts for setting reserves to match the cost of specific items
- More bee names
- More vignettes
- More events