tinyBuild Games have made a name for themselves over the past six years and have pumped out some of the best Indie games in recent memory including Punch Club, SpeedRunners, and The Final Station. Now the company is back to remind us that not all neighbors are like Ned Flanders or Wilson from Home Improvement. This is definitely the case with their upcoming game Hello Neighbor.
We spoke with tinyBuild Co-Founder and Programmer Alex Nichiporchik at PAX South to discuss everything Hello Neighbor.
GC: Where did the concept for Hello Neighbor come from?
AN: The concept came from this idea of making a very high intensity game that will be super scary, but not focus on jump scares. Rather than the atmosphere. So the concept is a combination of that and a combination with trying t to do something where you play against one enemy that learns from your every move. So having this intimate, interesting setup where you really feel like you are being outmatched by the enemy.
GC: Based on the concept, will Hello Neighbor have jump scares?
AN: Jump scares are slight part of it because some people do get jump scared, but the game is being designed on where the neighbor is. So if you’re paying attention you will not get jump scared, but the tension is what gets you.
GC: What inspired the art style?
AN: The art style is heavily influenced by Pixar. We really want to be friendly looking, but just unsettling. So if you look at the visual style there is no direct angles. There is no nice moving shapes. It’s all kind of twisted, yet colorful, yet kind of unsettling.
GC: What has been the biggest challenge for Hello Neighbor development wise?
AN: The biggest challenge has been multiple story houses. So with the AI we made it work really well on the single-story house. So like on a flat lane it plays well and feels well. When you get into multiple floors making the AI follow you and allowing the player to understand where the neighbor is have been two very big challenges.
GC: How has feedback from the Pre-Alpha affected development?
AN: We’ve noticed that a lot of people like platforming and they will try to get into places that the shouldn’t be in. So that is what’s influencing the design going forward. Understanding that the players are really into this game and they will find every single piece of it. So we’re trying to hide more stuff now.
GC: What kind of emotions do you hope players experience while playing Hello Neighbor?
AN: Well of course fear, anxiety and joy. It’s odd because we are seeing a lot of really young players like the Minecraft generation kids that starting playing Minecraft at like five or six that are now around ten. They’re really enjoying Hello Neighbor. So that influenced us to make it more rated E for Everyone because we were going to go for R or PG-13, but now we are going for T.
GC: What about that sense of curiosity that you will find?
AN: Well if I tell you it will spoil the secret right?