Cirque du Nocte
Cirque du Nocte was originally envisioned as a scary movie about a circus run by aliens. I had a very strange image of a typical black-eyed alien wiping clown paint off its gray skin. That translated roughly into adult nightmares of childhood abductions. The circus was a form of therapy for the protagonist.
From this screenplay, ideas projected out and a new form of the circus was born - this time as a game idea. It was not a circus run by aliens, but rather a traveling troupe, wandering the dreamlands, searching for more acts that would enable them to rise up through the ranks and achieve the perfect performance - Synchronicity.