Hi, I’m Dave Mervik and I’m the senior narrative designer for Tarsier Studios. You might know us from our work on games like LittleBigPlanet and Tearaway Unfolded, but the reason we started the company was to make our own games.
Ten years ago we had a concept called The City of Metronome that we took to E3. It was a perfect example of the kind of game we wanted to make, but the timing just wasn’t right. Fast forward through a decade of work with the likes of Sony XDEV and Media Molecule, and we’re back where we started. Except now, the timing’s right!
The game may have changed, but it’s got the same spirit, and to be able to talk to you all about it now is an absolute dream. Or should I say… a Little Nightmare.
Sorry. Couldn’t resist that!
So let me tell you a bit more about Little Nightmares. It takes place somewhere we’ve called The Maw, which began life as a dark twinkle in our eye, a strange kind of dollhouse where your most primal fears are brought to life and twisted by the minds of our Art Department!
The Maw is a place of extremes. The idea is that it should encapsulate this surreal experience that kids have growing up. Where you can go from playing happily one minute, to being terrified the next. Of course, we’ve exaggerated things somewhat too, which is as much a part of being a kid as anything else!
Into this lovely, fuzzy wonderland we’ve dropped our main character, Six. She’s not special in the way we’re all used to. We wanted to have a character that we could identify with, who didn’t have a huge shotgun hidden beneath that yellow raincoat! The whole point is, she’s just a normal kid stuck in the worst place you can imagine and you want to get her out. You do this by doing what kids are best at — hiding, sneaking, and seeing things differently than grown-ups.
It’s pretty tough to describe the feeling of playing the game, because it’s a mix of all sorts of different things. We wanted to try and get across this idea of childhood and how it feels to grow up in a world that was made for other people. If we’ve done our job well, you’ll be spending as much time happily climbing around and solving puzzles, as well as being scared out of your wits by The Chef and his lovely chums!
To enhance the game experience further, our in-house composer, Tobias Lilja, created an original soundtrack. As ever, his work floored us all, being both playful and unnerving at the same time. People can be so annoyingly talented sometimes! Check his work out here.
We really can’t wait to get the full Little Nightmares experience in your hands!