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  • Writer's pictureKailoulou

Scrap Post: The Howler

Greetings everyone! This month and this month only, all Patreon goodies are going to be open to the public! Anyways, let us get right into it.

This month's scrap post is especially interesting, for it pertains to a specific enemy known as "The Howler." These creatures were often small children before the invasion of the Metropolis began and were repurposed into little monstrosities that would scream upon detecting the players entering their range of hearing. Their scream would alert a horde of enemies that would quickly descend upon the players and their party's position.

This enemy would have been unique in providing uncomfortable situations for the player to be in, forcing them to adapt to the wrench that would be thrown into their plans about proceeding through the mission. As Famulsuans, the most basic melee base enemy would begin to swarm the player's party from all directions for a single turn where around ten of these relatively easy to kill creatures would spawn.

This enemy was scrapped in development for two reasons, the themes and connotations of the creature being a small child along with gameplay elements.

The first part was a worry about the user experience and optics during the narrative. These enemies would be former children in the game, and the objective is-- to defeat them-- in combat. If it is not apparent, that could be interpreted in quite the wrong ways. Although we want our game to be controversial in some regards, the brutal killing of monster children is not an aspect we want our game to be controversial for. This would create the wrong optics for the game that we want to develop.

One can make rebuttal that the original Bioshock involved the killing of demon children called "The Little Sisters." Still, it didn't directly showcase the murder of them. Furthermore, the nature of the game involves lots of shooting and melee based fighting against every single enemy. In Bioshock, the player placed their hand on the child and siphoned their powers. Still, nothing brutal was ever showcased, such as physically harming the child.

If that was not already enough, let's talk about the gameplay perspective of things when it came to the Howler. The Howler downright encourages paranoid play. The player would be moving from cover to cover very slowly, not to trigger the Howler, causing a swarm of enemies to spawn on the player. Although we know that players usually play cautious in tile-based strategy games, this would be too cautious of play and would detract from the player experience. We wish to give the players the fast combat that rewards the well-timed usage of their abilities and attacks.

These were the two primary reasons why the Howler was scrapped during development, and they were for excellent reasons for the betterment of the player experience. That's just about it in regards to the Howler next month. Our posts will return to being Patrons only. So if you want to see more Ethereal Metropolis content, then you can pledge for as little as one dollar per month to gain early access to posts and five dollars if you want to see more of the scrap posts!

Thank you all to our current Patrons for their continued support, and thank you, reader, for reading this month's scrap post! Until then,

The Team at Far Owl Studios.

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