Tarsier’s Little Nightmares Has Roots in a Tech Demo

November 26, 2016 Written by Tyler Treese

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LittleBigPlanet PS Vita developer Tarsier Studios are currently working on a puzzle-platformer called Little Nightmares. The unique looking title is set to release next Spring on PlayStation 4, and the game’s narrative designer Dave Mervik recently detailed how the game came to be. Its roots come from a 2012 tech demo that the team called dollhouse, that managed to be quite creepy (just like their current game).

Here’s the beginning snippet of their post over at the PlayStation Blog:

Although we didn’t know it at the time, the first seeds of Little Nightmares were sown in 2012 with a tech demo called ‘dollhouse’. With a cylindrical building as its focal point, it gave players the ability to pan, rotate, and zoom in to a bunch of individual, interconnected rooms, and managed to feel both playful and downright creepy. It was a simple premise, but one that captured our imagination. So, naturally, we did nothing more with it!

Over the next months, other cool ideas started to show up in different parts of the office. There were concept sketches of vast, organic sea vessels; and of grotesque characters gorging themselves. There were nostalgic discussions about games where players were trusted to play, free to explore, and abandoned to fear. And there were stories that we wanted to tell. Stories that went somewhere new, unpleasant, and unexpected. And, of course, there was the ‘dollhouse camera’.

Tarsier Studios’ senior narrative designer Dave Mervik goes into a lot more detail in the full piece, so definitely give it a read. It’s always really interesting to see how ideas are generated, and how games are fleshed out over time. Hopefully more developers will share similar stories!

(Source: PlayStation Blog)