This interview originally appeared on Xbox Wire Russia and was translated into English for appearance on US Xbox Wire.
February 11, 2021 Little Nightmares II
Xbox Wire: The Original Little nightmares has a unique aesthetic, and the sequel completely inherits that approach. Where do you look for inspiration and how difficult is it to create something so scary that is different from ordinary horror games?
Little Nightmares II lead producer Lucas Roussel: It’s really hard to find a specific source of inspiration for Little Nightmares. The game is a collective work and each team member has their own inspirations and influences from films, comics, art in general, but sometimes also from personal experiences, nightmares or memories. The core principle of Little Nightmares, however, is to anchor both environments and characters in a nightmarish logic with a child’s perspective. All enemies and locations should have a purpose, motivation, and story. Of course, everything in the game doesn’t get explicit, but we believe that those basics are that inspirations become creation and why the situations in the game are so scary and create that uncomfortable feeling: they are all rooted in some kind of reality.
XW: One of the features of the game is the character Six, who acts alone. What was the reason for choosing to make her this way and not be a co-op character?
Roussel: It was decided early on to have a solo game and switch to a new main character for Little Nightmares II. From then on, adding Six as an AI companion offered several options: It allowed for more complex level design and longer puzzles that would depend on the players’ ability to understand and work with Six. Obviously, it also brings back a loved one with a different angle; By depriving the players of the ability to control Six, we are also bringing an interesting situation in which the players are never fully responsible for the fate of Six. We’re really happy to see how the community and newcomers are reacting to their journey with Six.
XW: Little Nightmares II was created during the changing console generations. How did that affect the process and the game itself?
Roussel: The development of the game was not influenced by the generation change. Development started just before the release of Little nightmares In 2017, Xbox One was the console that Tarsier Studios teams could focus on at the time to make the most of it. With the release of the Xbox Series X | We think it’s important to give players the best possible experience with a next-gen version through a free update that will be available via Smart Delivery later in 2021.
XW: LN2 The graphics may look simple, but can you tell a little more about the technology behind them and how they served the atmosphere of the game?
Roussel: Tarsier Studios tech and art teams work together to offer the best in technology to bring the original artwork and production designs to life. Just like the first game Little Nightmares II runs on Unreal Engine 4, but the engine has evolved over the past few years and the team has more experience working with it and tweaking it if necessary. Little Nightmares II offers a combination of outdoor and indoor areas that allows the team to play a lot more with different lighting configurations. We’ve also redesigned the camera to include more top views and in-depth character crossings. In terms of the backend, we implemented an efficient streaming system that allows for faster loading times if players die in one of the many deadly traps in the universe.
XW: What are the benefits of gaming for gamers? LN2 on Xbox Series X | S?
Roussel: While the game is not yet available for Xbox Series X | S is optimized; Immediate benefits can be seen: First, the next generation consoles will be performing the Xbox One X enhancements, including higher resolution (4K upscaled), better post-processing effects, and treatments for sharper, richer picture quality. But then the SSD gives the game another boost for an incredibly short load time. Players will experience almost instant respawn as they die, which is a notable improvement over the original Little nightmares
Later in 2021 will be a native Xbox | X | S extension patch be available free of charge via Smart Delivery and make optimal use of the hardware. However, we will publish more information on this shortly.
XW: What can you say about the Xbox Series X | performance Say S and how did she help you design it? Little Nightmares II?
Roussel: We are currently looking into it. It’s early to give specific details, but the extra power allows us to combine higher resolution / FPS with better visual effects, which of course is a huge difference compared to the previous generation of hardware.