Hello, Neighbor! Is A Stealth Horror Game With Killer AI

Hello, Neighbor [official site], a game seeking Kickstarter cash, is cheery and terrifying. You’ve moved to a new neighbourhood and become intrigued by the gent living just across the road. Your house is a dinky little thing and he lives in a manor. That manor has many rooms and your neighbour is hiding secrets behind the basement door. Your task is simple – break in, enter the basement, discover the truth. Only your neighbour stands between you and success. Unfortunately, he’s smart. And he learns from your every move.

This could have been tailor-made for me. I love the idea of a single location with a single entity to outsmart. There’s something very exciting about watching AI go about its business – part of the appeal of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. was always the incidental encounters that allowed me to be a spectator rather than a participant. The main loop of Hello, Neighbor! (surveillance, infiltration, exploration, escape) should encourage that kind of observation.

The twist is that the neighbour character is watching you even while you’re watching him. A video below explains how the AI should work. It’s exciting stuff, not only because it’s clever but because the explanations help me to believe that it’s actually possible. This isn’t a case of saying “OUR PRETEND MAN WILL BE INDISTINGUISHABLE FROM A REAL MAN”, it’s a case of explaining the smoke and mirrors that will make the neighbour an interesting antagonist.

I never thought I’d see a game adaptation of Tom Waits’s “What’s he building in there?” and this is close enough to count, even if it does seem to be on the side of the busybody rather than the builder.

The Kickstarter has only just begun – there are 30 days left to run and the target is $100,000 (£65k). Currently, the release is planned for October 2016 on Windows, Mac, and Linux.

29 Comments

  1. Premium User Badge

    Lars Westergren says:

    It’s a neat idea, but the movement speed is dizzying, both the boy and the neighbour zip around at Doom 1 speeds.

  2. jpileborg says:

    The first thing I thought of when seeing that image at the top was the movie Delicatessen.

    • SebfromMTL says:

      +1 Delicatessen is such a good Jeunet & Caro flick!

    • MiniMatt says:

      That is quite spooky, thought the exact same thing.

      Was working at a cinema when it came out and, as such, saw it dozens upon dozens of times. It’s one of the few films from that time which has survived such intense repeated viewing without me hating every frame of it’s being :)

    • MajorManiac says:

      Same.

      Now that setting would make a great game. With all the interconnecting stories of all the people living in one place.

    • Mike Bazhenov says:

      Ohh… cool old french film :)

  3. FoSmash says:

    Sounds like ‘The Burbs’.
    Also, the high speed chase scenes were terrifying. Brilliant!

  4. Eddy9000 says:

    Reminds me a bit of the underrated ‘Gregory Horror Show’. Loved spying as a mechanic, the voyeristic pleasure of watching undetected has been a draw ever since watching the guard on the first level of Goldeneye getting bothered by a fly.

    • Eddy9000 says:

      Actually the incidental music is the same as Gregory Horror. Wonder if it was an influence?

  5. Lobotomist says:

    Probably the worst Kickstarter video to date.

    I dont know if its a child translating the pitch with real bad english. And nothing else makes sense. All together feels that if company could not cobble even a sane looking kickstarter pitch, how will they make a functioning game ?

    • skorpeyon says:

      Lack of decent marketing skills and English as a first language does not equate to a lack of game making ability. In fact, lack of decent marketing, but seeing the gameplay video on the site, makes me a bit hopeful. There’s no hype here, just reality. I’ll probably wait and see how the game looks when it comes out, and wait for reviews, but it LOOKS good, even though their Kickstarter video sucks.

      • Lobotomist says:

        No. But releasing such video , means they think this video is good enough material for Kickstarter. And thinking that means they lack common sense.
        Which lead to conclusion that they lack common sense when working on game as well.

        • Nuno Miguel says:

          I see those lobotomies are working.

        • Kitsunin says:

          I disagree. Such a promotional video is an entirely different area of expertise, that they lack the talent in that particular area says little other than that they didn’t waste money on a professional in a field unrelated to what they’re actually doing.

          The prototype gameplay video is great, incidentally.

        • rabbit says:

          really don’t appreciate being forced to nonea them foreign accents huh?

  6. skorpeyon says:

    The first person POV coupled with the speed had me yelling at the screen when he saw the neighbor and DIDN’T smash his face in with a hammer. That being said, I want to play this game, for sure. Still, I hope there’s some way to actually assault the man who appears to be okay with burying you alive.

  7. int says:

    He looks a bit like Peter Serafinowicz’s character Brian Butterfield.

  8. Michael Fogg says:

    Aere they Southe Aefricane?

  9. braven5 says:

    interesting game but that movement speed is way too fast for me, feel sick just watching it

  10. Muzman says:

    So it’s kind of single player, first person Castle Doctrine. With less murdering the other guy’s wife and kids (depending on what’s in the basement. Maybe the Neighbour did that already)

  11. Mike Bazhenov says:

    Sorry guys, but I must wrote here my story too, I like this project, but man, who ask for money… was my friend and…

    Probably, I am the main backer of this project from Minakov Mikhail – my ex partner in Dynamic Pixels.

    A few days ago, by coincidence of fate, it is 2 years from the date of the decision to exit from my company. And the deadline for the closure of the last payment on the Minakov Mikhail’s debt in payment of my share.

    And I saw such an event – Mikhail gaining new debt and gives new promises on Kickstarter.

    Past
    11 years ago we started with Minakov Mikhail game company named Dynamic Pixels, and worked for 9 (!) Years together… In the end, Minakov Mikhail was boss in sales office Moscow, and I was a development office in Voronezh.

    When our business stay more stable, Minakov Mikhail, with the help of his father – a CFO of Dynamic Pixels, reorganized the ownership structure. So I became not legally protected – temporally as they said. But we startupers – we were not up to legal technicalities, we have a lot of work and a good relationship!

    Working at trust until 2013Q2. I was ignored in another try to bring the ownership structure in the order. Aditional – our strategic views became different.

    Having released all the current projects and assisting in obtaining the contract for a large project, I have decided that it’s time to go their separate ways. Good solution for both.

    I had to take one of the sugested exit scheme by Minakov Mikhail (I hope you understand why). And also he refused to sell his share in the company on the basis of the his own assessment.
    Moreover, Mikhail has asked installments for 2 years (for 2 years company was provided with cashflow, with skilful management). He even made a few payments with a few monthes delay.

    Now
    The result of so friendly exit: 1.5 years as Minakov Mikhail not pay his debts, and more than a year did not get in touch.
    He did not apologize. Do not asked me to wait more. At the same time, as far as I know, not in poverty. He continued to receive cashflow and use expensive loyal traffic from our products, use mine team and office where I made repairs by my own hands.

    Our last meeting in early autumn 2014 ended with the phrase “no money.” Mikhail prudently did not come to the meeting on the new expensive car (about which I has already known from the my team). In his hands was the money, much more than he asks now – and where are they?

    I have not disclosed the situation, do not headhunt my ex team. Despite the fact that delays and “ugly” behavior began from the first day of my exit – I was patient. I hoped that Minakov Mikhail not a crook. Still, we starts from zero and worked 9 years together and agreement more than money.
    Minakov Mikhail has to pay the debt, otherwise it is not the legal full owner of real Dynamic Pixels and this project too.

    My 2 years non-intervention – does not give the possibility to refer, the fact that something has gone wrong because of me.
    But the time has come – community should know with whom has a business relationships.

    Mike Bazhenov,
    co-founder, co-owner (2004-2013-?), ex CTO (2004-2013) of Dynamic Pixels

    • rabbit says:

      oh dear. another Knuckle Club narrative about to unfold, maybe?

      • Mike Bazhenov says:

        I think the community should know to whom trusts money. You don’t think so?

        • Mike Bazhenov says:

          p.s. I do not wont stop Kickstarter campaign, I thinks backers must decide back or no. More over – Minakov have money and 2/3 comments from friends, for example from wife’s best friend. So in any time they make big backs and come to goal.

  12. iMad says:

    Love the concept but I’m gonna have to wait and see since we’re dealing with untested AI based game here. You can come up with plans and make it seem smart but in the end, we players will always find it’s flaws and somehow beat and break it.