Little Nightmares was undoubtedly one of the sleeper horror hits of 2017, with its creeping sense of terror and uncomfortably child-like abominations tapping into something decidedly more primal within its audience.
Two years later on, and developers Tarsier Studios proudly announced Little Nightmares 2 at Gamescom 2019, much to the excitement of fans.
We were lucky enough to get some time with Dave Mervik, Senior Narrative Designer at Tarsier to chat a little about the new game, their inspirations and most importantly, what gives him the creeps.
We see Six again here, but with a new character, Mono. Can you quickly explain the relationship between these two characters?
Their relationship, and how it evolves, is the crux of the entire game, so I’m afraid I can’t go into too much detail at this point. However, it is true that Mono, like Six before him, is a child fighting to survive in a world that hates him.
Could you provide our readers with a simple premise or synopsis regarding the story, and the importance of The Signal Tower?
The Signal Tower is endlessly pulsing out a powerful transmission to all the screens in this world, which has a disturbing effect on its citizens, and makes Mono’s journey there fraught with danger.
What new inspirations have fed into the creation of this sequel? Obviously it continues from the first game – but have you taken inspiration from any other games, TV shows or movies?
No, we never really draw from any particular source, our stuff comes from tons of different places, including the world around us.
The trailer seems to show our heroes outside – will we get to see a lot more of this weird and twisted world, that was hidden to us in the first game?
Yep. The lore of Little Nightmares has been expanding for quite some time, since we wanted places like The Maw to make sense as part of a larger context. What kind of a world would exist outside this place? We’ve been itching to get back in there and show you what we came up with!
How long ago did work on this game begin? And was it always in your plans, before the first game was released; or did it only really take shape once you saw how well received Little Nightmares was?
I don’t know exactly. As I say, we’ve created a huge (and still growing) world of lore, so there was always the potential for returning to Little Nightmares. Of course we wanted to do more with it, but I guess that’s how everyone feels when it’s something they’re passionate about. The real decider though is whether the players are passionate about it too. We were lucky in our case to have many extremely passionate fans, so a sequel became possible.
What, for you, creeps you out? And just how much of what freaks the studio out, themselves, can we expect to see in Little Nightmares 2? Do you explore your own fears for inspiration and guidance on what will freak players out?
I know it might seem weird, given the kind of game we’ve made, but that’s always such a tough question to answer. We don’t put specific fears into the game, it’s always more primal fears that inspire the scenarios, and just a good feel for what makes a disturbing monster. Personally, I’m not really scared of things like clowns or zombies, or whatever passes for horror these days. For me, it’s weirder stuff, totally unexpected stuff that destroys that nice cosy predictability of life. Say like now, I’m writing this reply in an empty room, while everyone else in the house is asleep. So if someone were to suddenly talk into my ear, I would probably experience full system shutdown. It would definitely be easier to be freaked out by clowns.
Little Nightmares 2 is currently slated for a 2020 release on PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC.
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Mark is the Gaming Editor for UNILAD. Having grown up a gaming addict, he’s been deeply entrenched in culture and spends time away from work playing as much as possible. Mark studied music at University and found a love for journalism through going to local gigs and writing about them for local and national publications.