Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Watchlist: Tusks & Tigerskins

Title: Tusks and Tigerskins
Developer: Jay Stevens
Platforms: PC
In development
You're in charge of a shipping company at a jungle British Outpost circa 1927
Welcome to the jungle. Winding serpentine tributaries through dense undergrowth, cloaked in shadow and fog. Hungry eyes watch from the shore. But there are riches to be made in the jungle, so you'll need to brave the dangers of the wilderness and embark along the river in Tusks and Tigerskins.

It's 1927 and you're managing a trading and shipping company from a British outpost deep in the jungle. Inspired by such diverse works ranging from Disney World's Jungle Cruise and Heart of Darkness to Far Cry and Recettear, Tusks and Tigerskins puts you in command of a boat and tasks you with traveling down the twisting jungle rivers to trade. The map is quite large, currently a square kilometer of dense wilderness, ruins, villages, and of course the waterways.
Tusks and Tigerskins is aiming to focus on exploration and careful planning; the jungle is a merciless place. You'll need to manually fuel your boat with coal or petrol, watching the waters to steer around rocks, rapids, and territorial species. Repairing your boat, buying faster boats or ones with larger cargoholds, or upgrading your boat with better parts will let you traverse the waters more efficiently. The developer also hopes to include elements such as disease and crew management.

But if the river is too dangerous to travel or night is approaching, you can always embark on foot and set up camp on the riverbanks. Keep your sword or elephant gun close though, because you're not alone in the jungle. Tusks and Tigerskins will feature an dynamic ecosystem of herbivores and predators, including tigers, hippos, crocodiles, elephants, and more; you can hunt animals to sell pelts and other parts for money, but can be hunted as well. Animals like the hippos are territorial and can damage your boat if you pass close.
Successfully traverse the jungle and you'll find Tusks and Tigerskins' other element: trading.  Other explorers and natives can be traded and bartered with; you can even foster a business relationship by trading regularly, allowing for better offers. Another way to gain favor could be to perform tasks, such as ferrying a safari expedition or leading an archaeologist to a jungle ruin. But be careful, since angering individuals with low-ball offers can hurt your reputation, or acting in a threatening manner could make a native tribe aggressive towards you.

Rival trading companies could also be a feature in the game, challenging you to develop better business relationships than another trader or lowering your prices to undercut competition.
Tusks and Tigerskins is still relatively early in development, with an estimated release date around late 2016 or 2017. The developer has plans for a Kickstarter next year, and hopes to include Oculus support. You can follow the game's progress on Twitter.

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