To quickly summarize the video update:
- Beta 3 is out now in Early Alpha Access on PC
- Has a boss
- Has a basement
- Reworked Fear rooms
- Stability is good
- AI navigates ladders
- Contains only about 40% of the game
- Alpha 2 is free for everyone
- Everyone who downloaded previous alphas have a link in their inbox
- Release date changed to December 8
- 100% our fault for poor planning of QA (we didn’t plan for enough of it)
- Engine upgrade and move to release code caused a nightmare of stability issues as witnessed in previous betas
- Decided to delay instead of cutting / splicing features or releasing a buggy game
I’ve discussed in the video of how we tried to push for an August 29th launch date without allocating enough time for QA, and that completely backfired. As soon as we moved to the release code with an engine update, everything went to hell – the pathfinding, collisions, AI, etc. This took time away from actually finishing the game, and we had to make the super difficult decision to delay the game.
“A delayed game is eventually good, but a rushed game is bad forever” – Shigeru Miyamoto
This means we’ll have more time to refine the design as well. Let’s talk in-depth about some of the design issues we’ve been working on that are present in Hello Neighbor Alpha 3. The main one being FEAR rooms.
First off, we removed FEAR FACTORY. The idea behind it was to teach players how to use a superthrow ability. NPCs would surround the player, give him an item, and then chase the item if the player throws it. Repeat 10 times and you’d learn you can hold down mouse2 for that. It’s neat in theory, but gameplay wise we spent a bit too much time on it. The artwork as well. So it’s a shame to cut it, but it’s just not fun enough. Players now have the superthrow ability by default.
Got a major rework. The goal of the level is to get 5 items into a grocery cart, and go past checkout. You need to get the same items as NPCs are gathering. If an NPC sees you, he will try to run at you and catch you. This is the lose condition.
The level used to play like this:
- If you’re getting chased, stand still (not even move the mouse) for a second, and you become invisible
- If you get caught, you’d respawn with the cart in the beginning of the level