Games

Why Didn’t the Creators of Little Nightmares Release City of Metronome?

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In 2005, during the E3 exhibition, a group of Swedish students presented a trailer for their project. An unusually dark, out-of-the-box game was called The City of Metronome and was developed by the Tarsier studio. At that time, she had yet to release LittleBigPlanet VitaTearaway Unfolded, or Little Nightmares .

In their failed debut project, the developers were going to send us to a gloomy city in which the Evil Corporation managed to create a machine for building peace. But workers were required to maintain the machine itself and oversee the built-up areas, and they were created by sucking the souls out of children.

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Nine students wanted to change the world and the gaming industry, create a project with “cool gameplay, a better world, and an exciting story.” But they weren’t quite sure how to make a ” next-generation action-adventure where sound is your weapon .”

The demo of the game made a splash during E3, but after the end of the exhibition, no proposals were received by the developers. Only after Gamescom did they manage to meet with Sony representatives. The company did not undertake the publication of the game, but the developers liked it, and after a while, they were entrusted with porting Rag Doll Kung Fu to the PlayStation 3.

However, Tarsier had no intention of giving up the City of Metronome. The studio made a new demo – and so it did not show it to anyone. Thanks to her, the main problem of the game became visible: the main mechanics associated with recording and playing sounds could not be made interesting and self-sufficient.

The idea is that you are trying to use sound instead of other types of actions, and it should always be cooler than all these other actions, right? If you want to make it a weapon, it essentially functions like a shotgun, but feels like a clumsy version of a shotgun. It’s hard to think of anything that makes this technique worthwhile. Otherwise, it’s just a trick to disguise an ordinary button press.
Tarsier Studios
The moment when the developers realized that they could not properly implement their own ideas was a turning point for the project. The head of the studio is confident that, using youth and enthusiasm, they could still bring the City of Metronome to release, especially if the publishers put pressure on them. But even then they would have to change the game design based on sounds to something more traditional.
However, the debut idea of ​​the Swedish students never died out. Her traces can be seen in all Tarsier Studios games, especially in the Little Nightmares dilogy: the nomes are not much different from the metronomes, and instead of the main character named Ten, we have the Sixth.

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