Hello Neighbor puts you into the role of suspicious busybody, sneaking into your neighbor’s house to see what he’s hiding in his basement. Alex Nichiporchik, the producer of Hello Neighbor, talks about the stealth horror game’s most devious traps, the inspiration behind it, and how AI learns from your actions.
TG: What inspired the development of Hello Neighbor?
Coming to an American suburb for the first time and realizing your neighbors could be literally hiding someone in their basements. Also, Portal.
TG: How does Hello Neighbor‘s procedural AI learn from your actions? Can you give examples?
If you start to have a routine, it will be countered. Like [entering through] that rear window? It’ll be blocked. Like coming through the front door? Expect bear traps. If you came into the house, and moved some items — the neighbor will notice that and try to hunt you down.
TG: How is Hello Neighbor structured? For example, does it have one long story campaign similar to Resident Evil or does it have shorter, replayable missions more like Left 4 Dead? Or is it something else?
It’s a story campaign with sandbox levels.
TG: What was the most challenging part about making Hello Neighbor? How long did it take to make Hello Neighbor?
It was in development close to 3 years, with full production being over a year. The biggest challenge was to balance story and emergent gameplay.
TG: What are your favorite and/or most devious traps in Hello Neighbor?
Glue bottles 🙂
TG: How has the open development model for Hello Neighbor helped development? What’s been some of the best community feedback?
Iterating on the AI was incredibly useful when seeing how people actually play the game. That’s been the biggest benefit — and seeing unexpected player behavior, so we can hide some easter eggs.
TG: What tips do you have for someone playing Hello Neighbor for the first time?
Patience pays off. Learn the Neighbor’s pattern, and don’t rush in.