From my early childhood, I looked for games to play like Hello Neighbor. I wanted to peak behind the curtain of game development: How’s the game world created? What does the non-player character do when he’s not being watched? Then as a teenager, I spent dozens of hours no-clipping through games, trying to understand how they work and searching for Easter Eggs. Now that I’m making games, it was important to me to have Hello Neighbor players experience the magic, a sense of wonder, to discover something you’re not supposed to.
It’s mind-bending to imagine that a small idea I wrote down would become something so many people are interested in today. The concept of playing against an artificial intelligence that counters your moves, combined with the concept that you can “break” the fourth wall between the game world and your own, is what drove Hello Neighbor’s design.
Hello Neighbor is a stealth horror game with vivid cartoony graphics where you play against an advanced, learning AI. You play as someone who recently moved to the suburbs from the city and notice a suspicious neighbor trying to keep people away from their basement — naturally the only logical thing to do is break in and find out what he’s hiding. As you play, the neighbor learns from your actions and counters them.
It was important to embrace the community of gamers that like to go the extra step in uncovering Easter Eggs, like speed runners who find ways to beat 10-hour games in less than 10 minutes. If that opens a deeper level for players, and we as the game’s development team are aware of it, those types of players may find something special waiting for them.
As we continue to develop the game, we’ve released a few alpha builds for people to see. This is where the fourth wall breaking of Hello Neighbor comes in where numerous conspiracy theories have spawned, ushering waves of speculation on what the game is truly about. For those answers, you’ll have to wait until August 29 when Hello Neighbor launches on Xbox One.