This is it. The final Producer's Update on Hello Neighbor before launch. Let's do this!
Beta release is tomorrow
We've decided to release the Hello Neighbor beta tomorrow, on July 25th.
The beta contains a slightly updated house from Alpha 4, improved AI, and a whole new intro sequence. There are subtle differences about the house, so please set your expectations. We really want to test the AI and the structure of the opening sequence. It still has bugs which we're fixing now.
Going "gold" this Friday
Hello Neighbor is going "gold" this Friday. In our case "gold" means we're getting the content that's going into Xbox One's certification. We'll be doing tons of QA and polish afterwards, since we have a whole month to work on the PC version.
Merging the console release with latest PC version
I might be breaking a whole bunch of NDAs here, not really sure. There are things to be said about how console porting works, and how in a normal scenario the game would be "done" a month ago, and going through QA/certification testing for consoles (Xbox One in this case). Unfortunately we've been adding more and more features to the game, and kept on delaying the gold date. So the Friday's gold date is kind of weird, because we will want to update more content into the game on launch. On Steam we can do this rather easily -- just update. For Xbox One we will need to do a "day 1 patch" to ensure the content matches with the PC build.
Day 1 Patches and Parallel development
In an ideal world you finish the PC game, and then go off and do your port. Being indie, we can't really do that -- we can't afford to have a 2-3 month delay between the game being complete, and the possible release date. Also we usually get antsy and start putting more things into games. Which is why we're -- at the same time -- finishing up the PC build, getting all of the content in, doing the port, then updating the port as it gets closer to release. This is both good and bad.
The bad part is that it's very chaotic for both the dev team & the porting team. For example, the game didn't look as good as I wanted on Xbox One, so we've just hired additional people to bring up the visual fidelity and framerate stability.
This is where the good parts also come from. Because there are two teams working on Hello Neighbor, things like code performance will improve in both versions. As we're working on optimizing the Xbox One build, the PC version will get merges of optimized code.
We've secured a few merch deals, so around holidays you should be seeing Neighbor plushies and other merch in a store near you. This is US-only for now.
Hello Neighbor Launch Event at PAX West 2017
We bought a _really_ cool new circular booth for PAX West in Seattle on September 1st. It's really great. It has 10 stations, and a swag area in the middle. We've also got 30 thousand (THIRTY THOUSAND) Hello Neighbor dog tags to give away. Yup, we will make it rain with dog tags!
Pre-Purchasing on Steam or Humble gets you instant Alpha Access
It doesn't matter if you buy Hello Neighbor via the Humble Widget or Steam, in both cases you get a Steam key that'll auto-update to the final game on launch, and give you Alpha Access before then. For your convenience, here's a Humble Widget to buy the game, you can also do so on HelloNeighborGame.com
Or you can Pre-Purchase right now on Steam. The only difference is that with the Humble Widget, you get DRM-free builds too.