Ever since the first trailer for My Friendly Neighborhood was revealed on August 13th, 2021 fans have been dying to get more of a glimpse into what the title will entail. With the second trailer being unveiled at the DreadXP Spooky Showcase 2021, what better time to take a look at where the project is than now? We were lucky enough to have a chance to send some questions to the lead developer of My Friendly Neighborhood, John Szymanski and get some amazing info about the upcoming survival horror title!
What have you been working on since the initial MFN trailer dropped on August 13th, 2021?
“I think it’s more of a question of what HASN’T been worked on since the original trailer? Literally, every element that is in that trailer has been retouched, redone completely, or changed to something else. MFN is very much in active development and things are changing really quickly. I’m glad to say that all of the change is positive so far! That said, I’m only talking about details and certain textures and balancing – the core of the game is very much set in stone.”
From the trailers released so far, there have been indications of more horror elements fused with the more upbeat but still creepy aesthetic of MFN. What sort of balance are you looking to strike with the game’s tone?
“So about the tone – I definitely want to keep the creepiness up, but not stray into the grotesque. This is a game based on children’s TV, after all – it would be a shame if it were so gross that it would ruin the legacy left behind by those shows. It’s fair to expect an equal dose of creepy, funny, and a bit of underlying mystery. And, I might also say, maybe a touch of heartwarming story too. But ultimately it’s a horror game – take that as you will!”
With the addition of a voiced cast to MFN how important is the narrative in MFN and what can you tell us about it?
“The narrative is VERY important. We have not revealed just about anything of the story or the main characters, but there will be more to find when we are ready to release a demo. I’m really glad to report that there will be lots to chew through for the lore-hungry among us. What can I say about it now? Not anything. Just keep your eyes peeled.”
Will fans of your work be able to find any easter eggs calling back to your other titles in MFN?
“Ooooo, what a fun question! Yes. In more ways than one.”
What stage of production are you at with MFN at the moment and when do you think we could expect a release date?
“MFN is, I would say, in early-middle to middle production. The whole game has been roughly mapped out in-engine, the script is finished and much of the dialogue in the game has been recorded. However, there are large parts of the game that are yet to be touched with more than white boxing or first pass visuals, and we’ve only JUST started working on the large load of “shipping necessary” things like menus, options, gamepad support, optimization, etc. I won’t say when, but we do have a really fleshed out demo in the works that will definitely tide anyone interested over until the game releases for full that should be coming. . . well, not TOO long from now.”
How have you been finding working with Evan [Szymanski] again after your first project together on Sumo Revise?
“Your journalism is excellent! Hahahahaha. Working with Evan is a delight. Since we grew up engaged in similar things, we have a very detailed knowledge of what each others’ inspirations are, and so it’s very easy to communicate visions for particular things without having to do and redo several times.”
What’s something you think players will not be expecting from MFN?
“Something players won’t expect? I definitely hope people DO expect non-linear, survival horror gameplay and bouncy puppet characters since I’d consider those selling points of the game. But I think our story is going to be delightfully fresh for a lot of people, and almost certainly not what you’re expecting it to be.”
For those looking to support My Friendly Neighborhood you can wishlist the title over on Steam. If you’d like to hear more from John on his previous work and MFN you can check out an interview he did with us for the Indie Insight podcast.
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