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.