This article list the differences between the versions of Hello Neighbor, and its development cycle.
This was the first publically available build. In it, the player was required to get a crowbar or a hammer, a key or a lockpick, and a four-digit code to unlock the basement, which was an empty room under the stairs.
The Neighbor's house was blue, and while pretty large on the outside, it only contained one floor, with the stairs to the next floor blocked by a pile of furniture. The player's own house has a bunch of empty inaccessible rooms, and one room with a bed and an empty hallway containing the front door. The house had two layouts, which affected the placement of items and the accessibility of rooms. One of the rooms had its doors barricaded by a fridge and a table, preventing the player or Neighbor entering normally, though they can smash the window to gain access. Additionally, the Neighbor would place furniture barricades that could be knocked over. The TVs and radios had the same sound, a fast talking Spanish announcer advertising a bank.
The Neighbor could be distracted by throwing items, which would lure him to that location, or by ringing the doorbell or breaking a window. During a chase, the Neighbor would throw bear traps to trap the player, and tomatoes which would tint the player's screen red for a few seconds and obscure their vision. The Neighbor was able to spot the player in their own house, though he couldn't catch them there without a glitch. He set up cameras, some of which could be set up on the floor.
The player could also lean in order to look around corners, and the controls were different. Pressing "F" would instantly grab an object, and pressing the left mouse button while holding the right mouse button would throw objects.
This was the first Alpha build. It was released on 26 October 2016. In it, the player required the same items to reach the basement, though removing boards from the basement door was altered to instead require clicking the four nails instead of just clicking the board. They also did not need a four-digit code anymore, and in this build only, the Neighbor had 3 different chase themes, and the front doors had a unique sound effect for opening/closing. Upon opening the basement, a cutscene would play where the player starts to approach the door, and then the Neighbor appears from the left, closes the door and rushes the player. When their vision returns, the Neighbor can be seen burying the protagonist alive. This was also the first build to feature a tutorial and an intro cutscene. This cutscene consisted of the view switching between the player driving to their new house and the Neighbor grabbing a pair of binoculars, walking up the stairs and looking out of his window. There was no intro music, other than a tense organ track.
The Neighbor's house was multi-colored and looked less like a standard house. There was also a train track running around the house, and a tram car could be seen, though it could not be reached. There were two floors, as well as an unfinished third floor. The house also contained an elevator which the Neighbor could use. There is also a flooded room on the second floor, guarded by a robotic shark which would send the player out of the house if it caught them. They were required to freeze the water by turning off the furnace on the first floor. The TVs and Radios got their own sounds, the former getting a show featuring people talking in English, perhaps a detective show, and the latter getting some sort of sports event.
This build introduced the rifle and altered the cameras so they could only be set up on walls and ceilings. This was also the first build to allow the cameras to be picked up. The Neighbor no longer threw bear traps while chasing the player. He also gained the ability to knock down doors blocked with chairs. The Neighbor would no longer be able to chase the player inside their own house, though occasionally he would break in through the front window and then stop moving, giving the player free reign of his house.
The controls were altered slightly. Picking up items functioned the same, but the throwing control was changed to simply holding the right mouse button briefly, while blocking chairs with doors was changed from right clicking a door to left clicking a door. Leaning around corners was also removed from the game.
This was the second Alpha build. It was released on 22 November 2016. In it, the hammer and key no longer appeared, and the padlock was replaced with a keycard reader. The basement was playable, but most of it was locked behind a partially open door which would end the game when approached. This was also the only version to feature debugging and the Unreal Engine console. The intro cutscene to this version involves the player driving to their new house while calming music plays. They enter the house, bring in their things and fall asleep. An ominous cutscene plays where the Neighbor knocks them out, and evicts them to the house across the street while nailing up boards, chugging milk and various other things. The player wakes up startled, on the sofa which is now across the street. The view zooms in on the Neighbor's house, where he is seen yelling "Quiet!" to something or someone which knocks him over, and then the player takes control of the protagonist.
The Neighbor's house was once again blue and looking like a standard house. However, it was much smaller, and only had 2 floors. The player could access the roof with a wrench. This build also introduced a "lost and found" box where items would spawn if they fell out of the map. The day and night cycle was removed, and it was perpetually day time in this build. Minor items and objects such as chairs, alarm clocks, cupboards, lawnmowers and beds were given their final look in this build. Doors also gained their final look, but still functioned identically to those in previous versions.
The ability to slow down the Neighbor was added, so the rifle became more than just a puzzle element. This build also slightly altered the way hiding worked, fixing it in the process. The Neighbor was given new animations for walking and sprinting. The mechanic of blocking doors with chairs was also refined. Firstly, the chairs would now be positioned against the middle of the door, rather than the handle, and thus stopping them from clipping through the wall. The Neighbor's ability to bash doors would now forcefully open them and knock away any chairs blocking them, instead of actually ripping the door off its hinges. Bizarrely, this version introduced a bug which enabled the player to block a door with multiple chairs, though this was fixed in Alpha 3.
The player was given a proper model, and so their hands became visible while holding objects and sprinting. The pickup key was changed to "E" and required being held briefly before the object would be picked up. The controls were also refined so that sprinting worked much better.
This was the third Alpha build, and featured the first draft of the final version's house. It was releaded on 22 December 2016. The items required were the same as in Alpha 2, though due to the larger house, they were much trickier to find. The intro cutscene was changed once again, to have more serene music, and the camera view fixes on the protagonist driving to their new house, and then focuses on the Neighbor's house, zooms out and shows the whole house alongside the Hello Neighbor logo. There was no basement, and opening the door instead lead to a scenario in the now-brightly lit house where the Neighbor could be seen sobbing into his hands for unknown reasons. The game would end shortly afterwards.
The Neighbor was given the ability to throw jars of glue in this version, and his running speed was altered to be on par with the player's, instead of being faster. The Neighbor was given new sound effects for looking around, and noticing the player. Additionally, the player's controls were refined slightly further. Hiding in wardrobes is no longer finicky about which angle the player can be at, they need only interact with a door and will then climb inside.
In this version, the protagonist and the Neighbor had different-looking cars instead of a yellow version and red version of the same car. The Neighbor's house was back to being large and colorful, though looking significantly different to the house in the first Alpha. There was still not a day/night cycle, but it was always night-time in this version instead of the continuous daytime of Alpha 2. There was a train track just like in the first Alpha, but the track was longer and twisted more times around the house. There was no tram car, and the track had barricades all over it. There was only a single tram station, and it was inaccessible, as the door to the ladder shaft was closed and had no switch, and wooden boards covered either end of the station. This was the first version of the house to have a windmill, though it was at the side of the house, rather than on the roof. The entrances to the three Fear levels were added, though the levels themselves were not in the game yet. A large crowd chattering could be heard behind each door. The entrance to the Fear School map was openable, but contained a mannequin, a purple light and a table and chair instead of being empty like in future versions.
Cameras, drawers and items such as the crowbar received their final look in this version, as well as a new variant of the chair. This was also the first version where doors opened dynamically, instead of having a set animation and thus allowing objects other than chairs (such as a pile of boxes) to block doors. Additionally, there were a few features not present in future builds. There were two suspended rooms. The one that was kept was originally lower-down and contained a generator. The other one was higher up, but covered by a large sheet of fabric and was inaccessible. Hacking into this room showed that it was actually the room at the top of the elevator. There was also a ladder at the front of the house, identical in appearance to the one in Alpha 2, and when scaled, it would lead to the room with a hole in the roof. The hole was a perfect square, and inside the room was nothing but a blue-lit lamp, some boxes and a crowbar. The window in this room was rectangular.
This was the fourth and final Alpha build. It was similar to Alpha 3 but actually contained a basement. The intro cutscene was removed, but the day/night cycle was added. The player's house is small and white, but is inaccessible. This version also added a working pause menu, and changed the game's logo from a simplistic white font to something more stylised, where the "o" of "Hello" looks like a lock, and the "o" of "Neighbor" looks like a key. This is the second and final iteration of the logo. It was released on 4 May 2017.
This version added the umbrella and allowed the player to avoid fall damage by using it. It was also handy for platforming. This version allowed the Neighbor to jump over obstacles properly and climb ladders, though he couldn't climb them properly and his climbing speed was incredibly quick. The player's climbing speed was increased as well. The Neighbor was no longer able to cross the road and chase the player. He would stop halfway, and then inhale deeply, mutter while shaking his head and folding his arms, and then stare at the player for half a second before wandering off.
The house was similar to the previous Alpha's house, but some rooms and features were changed and swapped. The windmill was moved to the roof of the house, and had a shorter shaft. The room near the back with a ladder scaling up to it was changed from being white to patterned. Some missing textures were added in. The room containing the crowbar was heavily altered. The window was changed to a 45 degree rotated square, the lighting was added and the crowbar was moved to a wall. This time, it was heated with electricity and needed to be cooled off. The hole in the roof was no longer square, and was made easier to access. The generator previously on the suspended room was made into the generator for the fridge, and moved to the tram station near the top of the ladder, which was then accessible via throwing an object into the shaft from a hole at the back. The fridge contained the key card, frozen in a block of ice so the player needed to turn the generator off before being able to pick it up. The tram tracks were altered, and a tram car was added. This one was blue unlike the red one from the first Alpha, and the player would need to reach a control room and turn the tram car on. This would make it start moving and destroy all the barricades. A pair of doors were added, one requiring it to be night-time to open, and the other requiring it to be midday. The basement requires at least having the double-jump ability to navigate it.
This version added the Fear School and Fear Darkness levels into the game, along with the first iteration of the invisibility powerup, which required the player to stand completely still without moving, not even mouselooking.
The 6th version of Hello Neighbor. It was similar to the previous two Alphas but with more content and sequences, such as the intro sequence of Alpha 2 where the player completes a checklist.
This was the first Beta, and the first version made on the final codebase, on a more recent version of the Unreal Engine, which would speed up development of the game. However, it was incredibly buggy and unstable, due to not enough time being given for bugfixes and QA testing. It was released on 25 July 2017.
This version added an intro sequence and tutorial where the protagonist moves out of their old house and into their new one, along with swapping around some puzzles. Various items got a new look, such as coat hangers, flashlights and binoculars. This version also added the Fear Factory, but it was incomplete.
This version was the second Beta, but it was identical to Beta 1, save for a few bug fixes, a slight decrease in stability and the option to skip the tutorial.
This version was the third Beta, and was released in lieu of the final version, originally planned for release two weeks later. It was released on 14 August 2017. The developers had decided to delay the game to December 8th to allow more time to fix bugs and add new content. It featured about 40% of the content that will be in the final game. There was also a menu option allowing them to return home from a Fear Level, and an anti-cheat mechanism which teleported the player to a blank white room with a QR code if it detected them being in ghost mode.
Many things were altered in this version. Firstly, the amount of mannequins was reduced to four, and they were found at various places around the house, and are essential for getting the rifle. A puzzle required the player to retrieve three slices of cake in addition to the mannequins in order to get the rifle. The room on the second floor that was originally the location of the keycard was remade into a birthday room, and this was where the mannequins and cake slices must be taken. The windmill was made taller and had a ladder added to it, allowing the player to scale to the top. A ladder was added to the side of the house, allowing the player to access a new CCTV room which was previously empty. This would allow the player to switch off the cameras without touching the power for the rest of the house. The ladder shaft was heavily altered. Instead of one long ladder, it was changed into three separate ladders, each containing a platform, making the tram station much less risky to reach. At the top lay a new flooded room, which required the player to freeze the water via a pedestal in the room with the missing wall, and a globe object, which must be frozen. The hole to the ladder shaft was shifted to the left side (the player's right) in order to make it easier to hit the switch. Gramophones were added. These items play music and allow the player to wilt or grow the tomato plants found around the Neighbor's house. One of them was located in the flooded room, while the other was near the day/night doors. There were fewer umbrellas, and they required more work to obtain.
In addition to this, the Neighbor can now properly navigate ladders, climbing them at a reasonably slower speed. He can now spot the player from the top or bottom of a ladder, and will climb after them once he does so. The Fear Supermarket minigame and the invisibility powerup were altered. A screen effect was added, and the player now only needs to crouch without moving to activate it, and will instantly go invisible, allowing them to look around with the mouse. The mannequins no longer send the player's shopping cart to the beginning should they catch them. The amount of mannequin NPCs thgat spawned was also lowered. However, to compensate they were given the ability to steal items. The Fear School level was altered to have more lockers for the player to hide in. Additionally, the basement again required the player to double-jump in order to navigate it. The Fear Factory minigame was removed in this version. The giant Neighbor from the Pre-Alpha returned, but at a much larger size and became a boss. The player needed to lower the Neighbor in order to reach the house on his back, whereupon the game ended.
The final build of the game was released on December 8th, 2017 and saw the biggest changes of all. The game has a proper main menu showing a shadow of the Neighbor cast onto the wall. The room contains some furniture and/or things beside the Basement being boarded up and locked with a Keycard Reader, a table with a drawer and a telephone to the left and a blue lamp, pipes and a crow on a wardrobe to the right.
The game is split into four Acts, with the first two Acts following the protagonist as a child, and the third and final Acts following him as an adult. The final act contains two boss sequences; one against the giant Neighbor (which is identical to the Beta 3 incarnation) and a new boss afterwards, involving the player protecting their past self from the giant Shadow Man by crouching in front of him and taking the punches themself, each punch making the protagonist larger in size.
In the beginning cutscene of this act we see a ball (beach ball) and missing (or "SIMMING") posters that show a boy and a girl. Next we see a young boy kicking the ball toward his house near the Neighbor's house, now the boy must run towards the ball again to play another cutscene again. The boy notices something weird, he hears a scream and sees the neighbor lock his basement door, but the player is caught, and another cutscene plays where the neighbor locks the door with a red key, and places it on a table in a kid's room. The player must find a way into the basement, but if he gets caught enough times he gets to see the neighbor's story and/or his secrets such as a car crash and the neighbor being mad and catching the player after a moment. After getting the key and getting in to the basement the boy realizes that something is not quite right, He thought that it was just a regular basement but if he tries to open the washing machine door he realizes that the room is full of puzzles. After turning on a generator and opening a door behind a gate, the neighbor comes in and chases him until the player reaches dead end with a door with gold, red and green padlocks. Then he is captured and taken to another part of the basement.
After he woke up, he can either have a story sequence which is the hospital story (which is her wife) until the pulse was gone down, the coaster (falling death) story shows that they're having a good time a (party/breakfast/lunch) after that scene it shows the things are getting weird and someone's crying after that it's getting higher like a roller coaster and showing a girl pushing off the roof then off to the dying part of 2 family members dead. And he goes out then realized the neighbor's house built-in high security, the boy find a way to get out of the neighbor's house which is finding the red key, crowbar or bouncing/jumping off to the fence. Doing the red key escapade is complicated which is you need to switch all 3 water levers to pump-in and freeze the water from the boiler room (which is located near the bathroom). The crowbar is much more complicated than the red key which is get the shovel from the shark room, get the valve, place it near outside the surface, now you can get back to the shark room them find a big chunk of dirt and you'll find a coffin, then get the key to a dollhouse, in the bathroom (near the boiler room) you can find a doll with a unfitting-size crowbar for removing nails, get the doll, place it back on the dollhouse, go back to the bathroom and you can see a bigger doll with a normal size crowbar, the trampoline is also complicated which is finding a way to opening the cage. He then escapes then goes to his house. And the neighbor was taunting to him with an angry face as an "You should've not come here boy."
After he woke up from his flashback dream, he picks up the eviction letter to come back to his house from his appartment, he then gather his things to his briefcase to go back to his home. Later in the sunset, he either go check the burned/wrecked down neighbor house which still haunts his dreams/flashback, he then sees a shadow man from the wrecked down house then goes away to his original house, he then looks at a picture of himself sees something from the outside and the telephone was ringing and he sees something again and goes to sleep because ended up being scared of something. In his dream he woke up from the couch/sofa then noticed something loud, it was the neighbor banging the boards 'till the board is locked up, then he has to get the 2 keys, the green and the red keys. Before he will search those keys he must find the crowbar and keycard first which, the crowbar is heated up from the generator which putting water so the heat will go off, the keycard is frozen on the upper fridge which heating it up by hot water bucket so the ice will dry. Getting the keys are also complicated which the red key is doing a puzzle (or just do the trick), the green key which is turning off the power supply of the magnet which using the red disc gramophone to make the plants small (or just do the trick again), the player will be granted the "Push" ability if he finish the fear school, he will be also granted "Double Jump" ability if he finish the pantry minigame but there's still one more minigame that does not need a key, he will grant the "Crouch Invisibility" ability if he finished the shopping minigame which the player must grab the nachos/chips, pickles, the pink-colored pickle jar, orange juice, a pink soda. After finishing those the player is now ready to enter the basement. After entering, he revisits the whole thing again which he also get a new encounter of someone, using the Crouch Invis to not see the player, he then gets passed the shadow man after that he found the fence but there's no more way to enter it so the player used Double Jump to the fence, but before he entered the neighbor was on his back and he has one thing to do, Push him back away and lock the door.
After at the end there were no more locks but to open a room with a boy and the familiar hat and shoe found near the bed but after inspecting it the giant neighbor looked at the house and saw the player and destroyed the house. The neighbor thought he lost him but the player must find a way to make him go down, he then goes to the train controller to smash the place, before he goes there he needs to get the umbrella (which is turning on the power of the toaster to get a boost to go up and activate the switch to make the elevator go up and he must find a way to break the window to get in and activating the switch again on the room, the player must think fast to grab the umbrellas otherwise the player goes on a death but a save.) He then goes to the room, grab the candles, goes to the fireworks to blind the neighbor. The player has 3 ways to make him down which has the baseball shooter, crossbow and Mentos, the current number of making him go down is 2, the crossbow and the Mentos can be only done once, the baseballs can be done more than 2 times, after he's finished use the toaster with the umbrella, float-in until you reach the door. After reaching the door, you see so many missing posters and you get 3 more stories/neighbor memories which is the shadow man watching the grave, the shadow man going down the basement, the neighbor posting the missing posters, after opening the door on the left, you can see yourself playing toys, after he's finished follow him and protect him, the more you protect the more you get bigger, there are some paths the player must go, after protecting him 5x, the sequence will play it self, you move yourself and go to the shadow man. Then the fallen house is there with the neighbor noticing the player survived the shadow man's attack, the neighbor boarded up the door so the shadow man can't get in. Then the player woke up after opening the final door and noticed it was already morning and noticed the door was broken and fixed it and a ringing was heard and said "Hey!" by the player to the bicycle man. He goes to his car trunk and his briefcase fell down to the ground opening it self and get the boxes to move out to his original house and went off to the credits.
- TinyBuild previously confirmed on Twitter that Hello Neighbor would be released on August 29, 2017 or Summer 2017 as said on Steam, before realizing it would be better to simply delay the game instead of releasing something buggy or cutting/splicing features.