Right from the be­gin­ning, Tar­sier has been drawn to the idea of youth­ful char­ac­ters tak­ing on a world that was never meant for them. In the stu­dio’s first project, Ci­tyOfMetronome, a young boy, eyes cov­ered with a sweep­ing fringe that emerges from a flat cap, ex­plores a creepy city pow­ered by sound. The game’s pro­tag­o­nist wears a gramo­phone-es­que back­pack ca­pa­ble of record­ing and play­ing back sam­ples, which he can then use to at­tack or sub­due en­e­mies, or ac­ti­vate ma­chin­ery. “[ Lit­tle

Night­mares’] setup was present then as well,” lead nar­ra­tive de­signer David Mervik re­calls. “This kid, Ten, in this en­vi­ron­ment deal­ing with all this weird stuff. A very dif­fer­ent at­mos­phere to Night­mares, but tonally I think they’re brethren. So that’s in our DNA to be­gin with, this en­joy­ment of child char­ac­ters and fish-out-ofwa­ter sce­nar­ios.” While the game failed to find a pub­lisher at the time, Tar­sier re­mains at­tached to the idea and still hopes that the project could be res­ur­rected in the fu­ture.

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