Sorry for the slow response! I'd written a reply out last week, but it appears that I forgot to post it. Here's the vague gist!
Expectation management is tricky, and I try to be conscious about what I potentially lead players away from by having the game explicitly frame things as important.
I was hoping that the final tutorial, which shows a bunch of aesthetically different hive layouts would lead players toward considering aesthetic constraints, and organically discover the idea of exploring the simulation's boundaries from there. I'm open to supplementing that with a Beepedia topic in the Help/Tips section that suggests some of the kind of things I'd mentioned on IRC, though.
There are a couple of events within the game that require the player to do something within a time limit in order to avoid negative outcomes, though their presentation would benefit strongly from that goal tracking UI. If it happened, that update would bring in a number of new events with conditional outcomes along different axes, and it would also include loadable scenarios as another way of exposing alternative ways of playing (you can read a little about that here, but that's a large scale change, and outside of smaller patches, Hive Time's future is currently uncertain).