What’s it like to fear your neighbor? TinyBuild teases a few details.
Unorthodox games aren’t as uncommon as you’d think but there’s nothing quite like Dynamic Pixels’ Hello Neighbor. The premise is simple – your neighbor is acting shady and you need to investigate his house to find out what’s up. However, you have to do so without getting caught. The twist is that the neighbor will deploy counter-measures with each playthrough, adapting to your tactics and outsmarting you.
How did such a concept come about and how did the developer go about creating it? GamingBolt spoke to producer Alex Nichiporchik about the same.
"The visuals are the heaviest one, we experimented a lot with the look of the game."
What inspired the concept for Hello Neighbor? Did you watch Rear Window one day and decide it would make for a compelling game?
It’s a combination of factors. The game’s designer really loved Portal and how it broke the 4th wall in video games. That transcended into how we developed the game. There’s also heavy influence of being in an American suburb, where you really feel like your creepy neighbor might be hiding something.
What does a typical playthrough of Hello Neighbor look like? Are there multiple successful outcomes that can occur?
That’s a surprise.
How many abilities, tool, etc. can players unlock in the game? How did you effectively balance the game’s items to ensure there wasn’t one correct solution?
There are a few abilities you unlock, but ultimately it’s a game about playing against a self-learning AI.
What changes did the concept go through from the original design?
The visuals are the heaviest one, we experimented a lot with the look of the game. From there it’s the design of the house, the neighbor’s behavior, and how do we present the story. Heavy iteration on those parts.
"He likes them traps."
How did you develop the self-learning AI of the neighbor? How did you effectively balance it between being artificial but still human and willing to make mistakes?
The way we designed it facilitates mistakes, which makes it interesting and unpredictable. It’s all about learning the player’s patterns, and reacting to changes in the house. If the AI sees moved furniture – he will start to hunt for the player.
Can you tell us about some of the things the neighbor will do to counteract players on later playthroughs?
He likes them traps.
What is your most memorable playthrough of the game thus far?
When a play tester saw the final game, and screamed out of surprise.