Damn. I've had this exact idea running around my head for about 10 years, and even started building it in Unity. But I'm a programmer not a game designer so I couldn't flesh out the mechanics to make it fun, or find someone with those skills to work with me. I haven't played this yet but it looks like you've achieved that, congratulations! It's cool to see pretty much exactly what I envisioned in my head come to life (he says through gritted teeth...)
I admire your 'pay-what-you-want' model, I do that for all my C64 releases. At the same time I don't think anyone would begrudge this being on Steam and reaching a much bigger audience. After all, if you haven't got $10, you probably haven't got the PC capable of playing it....
Goodness, there's a bit to unpack here. First up, thanks for your kind words! I hope that you find Hive Time interesting.
Your project sounds interesting, but from the screenshot alone, it looks like a different kind of sim with its depths along axes that Hive Time glosses over (eg: Hive Time's bees do not have health or per-role skills, and temperature is not a mechanic). In my mind, Hive Time is an allegorical game about concerns relevant to human communities rather than a game about the specifics of bees, and it looks like your concept is more focused on that - which is neat!
IMO, the most intrinsic aspect of a creative work is who it was made by. We can't make things without expressing who we are and the contexts we exist in through them, and no two people can ever really manifest the same idea in exactly the same way. The nuance that would separate them is what makes them interesting. There's no need to feel like Hive Time exiting diminishes your own ideas or your enthusiasm for them - the more bee games, the better, I say!
I released Hive Time as a pay-what-you-want game specifically so that I could have a case study of an exclusively PWYW game that I could study and write about. I could ship the game on Steam (and goodness knows I could use any additional revenue right now), but since Steam doesn't offer PWYW options and Steam's publishing agreement explicitly restricts me from talking about other platforms, I wouldn't even be able to make its primary identity as a PWYW game known to prospective players on Steam. That's not something I'm willing to embrace, since it would undermine what I set out to achieve with the game.
At this time, Hive Time's had over 60,000 downloads. No matter which way I slice it, that's a bigger audience than I had expected or wanted.
Given the number of people who have contacted me to tell me that they found Hive Time during a time when they were not able to afford to buy games, I can say with certainty that there are people out there who don't have $10 but do have access to a computer that can run the game. For whatever it's worth, I have one player who has the game running on their Raspberry Pi 3.
Really valuable comment and reply.
"We can't make things without expressing who we are and the contexts we exist in through them, and no two people can ever really manifest the same idea in exactly the same way."
I can only agree to this.
This looks like an interesting project and the only thing I would think about are the bee's heads but it could be a style decision. If the programming is solid and the gameplay is fun, following e.g. "Velma" could be a lot of fun. Hive Time focused on handling everything at once. While it is entirely valid to follow a similiar approach you could also let the player accompany a single bee and her daily struggle (maybe even switch bees early/later). What happens outside the hive? How does the bee regulate her body temperature or how is the food aquired?
10 years is a long time. You could probably find someone by creating a short yt vid about it or get help on discord (there are several focused on unity).
Having the game running on a Raspberry is cool. I think there is something special when you begin to understand that certain software can basically be run on any device today. Like the moments when you download Godot or Terraria and you look at the MB.