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Rocket League Gets New Progression System

Rocket League may have come out three years ago, but that fact certainly hasn’t slowed down Psyonix’s regular updates for the radically popular indie game. The most recent patch to hit the game is called the Progression Update and it certainly does what the title suggests. On top of a new leveling system, Psyonix added achievements/trophies, in-game clubs, and fixes for a number of problems fans had with the online multiplayer. Also included in the update is the game’s first Rocket Pass, which offers exclusive rewards, but it will cost you.

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The biggest change to hit the game is of course the progression system. XP can now only be earned through casual and ranked online matches and now instead of experience being tied to performance it now almost solely depends on match length. In order for players to earn any experience, a match will need to go on for at least 60 seconds. Experience will then be earned every second after that until eventually maxing out at 20 minutes of gameplay time. Players will still earn a small amount of experience for every goal they score, being MVP, playing multiple games in a row, and replacing a bot in a match.

Psyonix has also removed the level cap from Rocket League as well as removing the Rookie and Semi-Pro titles. The developer adjusted the ranks Veteran through Rocketeer to line up with their other changes:

  • Veteran: Level 20
  • Expert: Level 40
  • Master: Level 60
  • Legend: Level 80
  • Rocketeer: Level 100

Their are additional titles to earn after hitting level 100, but new titles are only earned every 100 levels. Although this may sound like a monumental task, it is made easier thanks to the XP cap the game hits after level 20.

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On top of the massive progression system overhaul, their are additional trophies/achievements for players to earn. All six of these can be earned through the game’s new online tournament mode or club feature. Clubs can be up to 20 players big and come with customizable names, tags, and color schemes. When entering a match, the stadium will change to reflect the Rocket League club’s colors. Players also have the option to verify their club so that it can’t be copied by anyone else.

Of course, these are only the major changes that made their way to Rocket League. For a more detailed look at the other updates, don’t miss Psyonix’s blog post that goes over every fix that has been patched into the game.

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How to Best Listen to Your Gaming Community to Create a Better Gaming Experience as a Game Designer

How to Best Listen to Your Gaming Community to Create a Better Gaming Experience as a Game Designer

As a game developer, you are surely aware that the market is constantly changing and developing. The gaming community is very vocal in what they want and expect out of a video game, and they are not hesitant to express when they are displeased – for instance, when the game No Man’s Sky came out, many individuals expressed just how disappointed they were with the lack of expected features, and it caused the game’s overall success rate to drop drastically.

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Therefore, you have to consider your impact, as a developer, on the gaming community. Many individuals will express what they want, what they expect, and how they want to utilize the new and improving gaming platforms. You have to consider your client base when developing your games. If you don’t, your new, shiny game, will ultimately flop. Below are tips on how to listen to the gaming community, on a whole, and begin to understand exactly what they want and expect.

1) Read reviews of other games

This might sound silly, but this is one of the best ways to gain insight from the community. Gamers are very specific in what they want – they will complain about the graphics quality, or the character design, or they will say how much they like the story of particular games, or the ability to customize your characters. Look at what individuals have wanted in a game, and know what to add to see to it that you are successful. If you don’t read the reviews, you don’t really learn what gamers are looking for at the time of release.

2) Know your audience

Knowing who you are marketing your video game to will make a world of difference. This is because, at the end of the day, different gamers have different expectations in the quality of their games. Individuals playing first-person shooters, for instance, may find that they don’t even want a realistic campaign to play in conjunction with the game, they want only the ability to run around and fight other people on multiplayer. Similarly, if you are coding an MMORPG, it would be vastly important to ensure you provided a detailed background story and an immersive world. Without these, you will slowly begin to lose your audience.

3) Keep up with technology trends

With new, better, more powerful machines coming out every year, it is more important than ever to follow technology trends. Knowing what new processors are coming out will help you understand what your clients want in a video game – for instance, a high end, very detailed game would be perfect for release alongside the newest up and coming graphics card and processor. Timing your game releases to match up and coming technology trends will ensure your community feels heard, resulting in more satisfaction overall.

4) Stay on top of updates

As with all games, there will be bugs. There will need to be patches, as well as upgrades in game. Be sure to listen to what people say after the game launches – if they want a particular type of update, be sure to implement it in an upcoming patch. This will ensure that your clients feel as though they’re being heard, and it will create a better fan base for any games you develop in the future, as you have branded yourself as a reliable, dependable developer.

While these are, most certainly, not the only ways to ensure you are listening to the gaming community to ensure you are creating the best gaming experience possible, these methods do ensure that your clients feel heard. You will stay up to date with current technology trends, ensure that your games remain up to date, and provide what your player base wants as far as a game experience goes. Realistically speaking, in knowing what they are expecting from games at the moment, you will be providing them with a great experience. Adding these small steps, however, will provide them with a top-notch experience and ensure you maintain a player base for years to come.

Special Guest Blog submitted by the Creator of HDD Mag.

Creator of HDD Mag, lover of comic books (Especially Dr. Strange), horror movies and video games. In my spare time, I’m either reading them, watching them or playing them!

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Local eSports and the Mid-Tier Summit Community

Mid-Tier Summit Long Island eSports Community

Mid-Tier Summit is a company organizing eSports tournaments in and around the Long Island, New York area. They host tournaments that range from Call of Duty: WWII to Smash 4 on Wii U. Primarily focused on fighting games, their events stand out in a few amazing ways.

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Tim, Creative Director [Left] – Joe, CEO [Right]

July 14th of 2018 marked their second Smash 4 tournament and it once again proved that Mid-Tier Summit truly wants to create an atmosphere where every competitor feels comfortable and invited.

They cultivated a community of like-minded gamers and created an environment focused on sportsmanship. It would be a challenge to walk around the massive venue and locate a cut-throat gamer starting arguments or putting down other competitors. Instead, a newcomer will find experienced competitors handing out advice and being invited to play friendly matches before it’s time to get serious.

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The recent Smash 4 tournament had an impressive prize-pool as well. Along with the friendly atmosphere, Mid-Tier Summit offered a cash prize for the winner and runner-up. Gigamax Games even chipped in $100 to add to the excitement!  

More Than Just A Tournament

Mid-Tier Summit doesn’t only host amazing eSports events, they invite the video game community to get invited. This time around the event organizers invited a 3D artist that works with Bread Machine Games, an independent developer that is releasing Slam Land on August 7th.

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Slam Land is coming to Steam, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch. Watch the announcement trailer below!

Spectators and competitors were able to give Slam Land a try and learn a little bit about its development. This experience was invaluable for anyone aspiring to become a part of the video game industry. From seeing how eSports tournaments are run to getting their hands on an unreleased indie game and learn about the development process, Mid-Tier summit has a little bit for everyone.

So Much For Everyone

MId-Tier Summit doesn’t just host an assortment of video game tournaments, they offer a space for gamers to come together and share incredible experiences. Creators of all kinds, indie developers debuting games, people sharing handmade crafts, and artists all elevate the entire experience. Whether someone is competing or just spectating and rooting on their friends, there is something for every gamer in attendance.

There are some big things on the horizon for Mid-Tier Summit. Be sure to stay up-to-date with the latest tournaments, news from their very own eSports team, and exciting collaborations on the Mid-Tier Summit contributor page right here on GigamaxGames.com.

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Indie Game Publisher Devolver Digital Returns to E3

The indie game publisher behind many beloved titles in the indie genre such as Hotline Miami, Enter the Gungeon, Shadow Warrior, and Broforce, will be making their way back to E3 this year. Devolver Digital announced that the company would host another press briefing at E3 2018 and it sounds about as crazy as most of the games that they produce.

Indie Game Publisher Devolver Digital Returns to E3 2018

Devolver’s “Big Fancy Press Conference” as they have taken to calling it, will be broadcast live on Twitch, Sunday, June 10th at 8 PM PT / 11 PM ET. The company claims that the conference will be held in the Dave Lang Memorial Convention Center, which is not an actual venue. The event’s description is very strange, but it befits Devolver’s love of the weird.

“This year’s Big Fancy Press Conference will feature real, actual game reveals and technological innovations from Developer Labs, the research and development arm of Devolver Digital responsible for last year’s Earliest Access program and making ‘throwing money at the screen’ a valid form of payment. There will almost certainly be blood, possibly loss of life.” (https://bit.ly/2kcWcMi)

Devolver Digital

Hotline Miami

Devolver Digital said to expect this year’s briefing to be a complete “Dumpster Fire.” The company added that fans may want to re-watch their insane briefing from last year so that they’re completely up to date on what Devolver has called “Devolver Digital Press Conference Universe (DDPCCU) through the blatant reuse of jokes and vague callbacks to the original. Pray for us.” (https://bit.ly/2rWA519)

E3 2018 Is Almost Here!

E3 2018 is set to take place between June 12th-14th in Los Angeles, California. Although, the first briefing of the conference will take place on June 9th, with a show from Electronic Arts. The conferences will continue through Tuesday with shows from big names like Microsoft, Nintendo, Sony, and Ubisoft. For a full list of special events and conferences check out the E3 2018 website.

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Indie Developers Feeling The Pressure

Indie Developers Feeling The Pressure

Indie games are rising in popularity but the market is becoming saturated with AAA titles, other indie games, and now even video games in-between these two categories. These indie developers are left scratching their heads, wondering how they can make any kind of impact in an industry that’s overwhelmed by all these games releasing at such an impressive pace.

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In the wake of Cliff Bleszinski’s studio, Boss Key Productions closing their doors after three years, the video game industry is paying close attention to this massive misstep. Boss Key Productions’ independently released, “Radical Heights”, failed to make up for the financial void their previous release, Lawbreakers left behind. When a studio led by such a prominent name in the video game industry can close after three short years because of one major failure, indie developers worry if there is any room left in the market for them.

Both a Blessing and a Curse

Indie developers may face shoestring budgets but this is both a blessing and a curse. Development might take longer and the resources they have are limited but one failed game might not sink an indie studio. Boss Key Productions had 65 employees as of September 2017, whereas Studio MDHR, the developers of the indie hit, Cuphead has 15. These smaller developers have much more room to experiment with ideas, fail and bounce back, and remain agile when compared to larger studios.

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Even with the benefits of being an indie studio, the indie market isn’t immune to over saturation. A recent report from SteamSpy’s Sergey Galyonkin showed there were an incredible 7,696 games released on Steam in 2017, up from 4,207 in 2016. This is making it challenging for indie developers to find a spot for their games and get the recognition some of them deserve. Still, time and time again, an indie game will pop up and make waves worldwide just like Cuphead mentioned above or even Illfonic’s Friday The 13th: The Game. Yet, as the video game industry continues to mature, the fear remains that these independent developers might be pushed out of the market by not only AAA developers, but the massive increase of indie games making their way to both consoles and PC.

The Double-Edged Sword

In a previous article on Gigamax Games titled, “The Best Time For Indie Developers” it took a different view on the current state of the industry. Focused on the technologies available and range of marketing methods at indie developers disposal, on one hand, things are looking up for these creators. Now with a studio like Boss Key Production closing their doors, it’s a stark reminder that even having the resources, technologies, big names, and capabilities to create a game like Lawbreakers or their independently publish Radical Heights at the height of Battle Royales popularity isn’t enough to turn a small studio into a major player within the video game industry.

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One thing is certain, the video game industry in its current form is still relatively new and figuring itself out. The popularity of indie games is growing exponentially but all this uncertainty surrounding the market may steer would-be amazing indie creators away from releasing their games to the world. However, when quality content is released to the world, people will notice. Indie games aren’t going anywhere any time soon as they continue to find their place, but Gigamax Games will be keeping a close eye on the market to see how this sector continues to progress.

Are You an Indie Developer?

Are you an indie developer? Let us know your impression of the current indie game scene and if you have a game, post it in the comments below so the Gigamax Games crew can give it a try!

If you’re an indie developer struggling to break into the market, Woodstock Productions might be able to help!

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The Invisible Hours Review: Movies and Gaming Collide

Game: The Invisible Hours
Developer:
Tequila Works
Publisher: GameTrust/Tequila Works
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, PlayStation VR
Genre: Spherical Narrative
Players: Single-player

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Background

Tequila Works was absolutely successful in delivering a unique experience with The Invisible Hours. Now available for non-VR, the flat-screen version of the game is still able to remain immersive and unbelievably exciting. The second Tesla’s body was discovered, the intricate story begins to unfold in a spectacular way. This noir is truly an experience to remember.

Watch the Review Preview on YouTube!

Following this game since its release on VR, the only thing to hold me back from actually picking up The Invisible Hours was the thought of getting sucked into a game and needing to play it on PlayStation VR all the way through. This piece of tech is awesome but it can get a bit cumbersome when gaming for hours with this hunk of plastic on your head.

Now that Tequila Works was releasing their flat-screen version, I was extremely excited to get my hands on a copy. I’m not a big noir fan, and honestly, a conversation heavy game with little to no action or incredible cinematics doesn’t often catch my attention. However, there was something a bit different about The Invisible Hours.

The Cinematic Experience Begins

Following the footsteps of Nikola Tesla and getting to the bottom of his gruesome murder felt like the right combination to catch my interest. Tequila Works sent over a review copy and I couldn’t wait to get started. They marketed The Invisible Hours as a “Spherical Narrative” something that just seemed to be clever marketing language to catch gamers attention. But it actually turned out to be so much more than that.

The spherical nature became clear in the first hour of the game. It is built, unlike anything I’ve ever played before. A story unfolding and the player doesn’t have any direct impact on the events taking place. Instead, the main character isn’t really the main character. Gamers control what seems to be a “fly on the wall” kind of entity that has the ability to fast-forward, rewind, and stop time. This primary mechanic is the gem that truly makes this game shine, taking the gamer on a circular journey back and forth to get to the bottom of this mystery. 

It All Starts Coming Together

Taking place on Nikola Tesla’s private island, the playable character appears without much backstory. The only option is to start walking up the winding steps in front of you. With a large body of water behind you and a sheer cliff face to your right, the steps guide you up to a large gate bearing the letters, “NT”.

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A crying woman that pays no attention to your presence and a gigantic mansion are the only things of immediate interest after reaching the top of the steps. Leaving the crying woman alone, feeling slightly offended she didn’t pay any attention to me, it was time to explore the mansion. This is when the body of the famous inventor is first discovered and things start to heat up.

As the drama unfolds, tensions flare and conversations start breaking out. From the moment Tesla’s body is discovered, the game truly comes alive. What seemed like an empty mansion soon started filling with characters from all walks of life. Famous historical inventors, actors, along with people that history would have never mentioned all begin to appear from seemingly nowhere. Each of the characters plays a vital role in the stories development. All have a unique perspective on the situation that’s unfolding all around them as well as develop intricate back stories that only become clear as time goes on.

The Invisible Hours Stands Out

The feature that makes The Invisible Hours stand out and what created such a unique experience is the time control feature. Being able to rewind, fast-forward, and stop time along with the fact that your playable character is completely invisible allows Tequila Works to create that cinematic feel while still allowing gamers to have some kind of control.

As characters appear, you can follow them with the rewind function to see where they came from in the mansion and what they were up to. You can even rewind to the point before everyone was notified of the murder and fast forward to after the large group breaks up and see what they are doing in their room when they think they’re alone. It gets a bit creepy, but all throughout the game, it feels like a playable movie so it’s really not as weird as it sounds.

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Each character had an unbelievably in-depth backstory, their complex emotions that The Invisible Hours is able to portray while they were alone with their thoughts is enthralling. Hanging on every word while also anxiously waiting for their monologues to end so I could go back and follow someone else around.

Less than 30 minutes in game time went by and I already put hours into the game. Every minute that passed in game felt like it caused a chain reaction, sending me off on a wild hunt for clues, collectibles, bits of conversation, and story. It is strangely exhilarating, especially being someone who usually finds themselves losing interest in dialog heavy games.

Overview and Wrapup 

The only real complaint about the game is the fact that you had to wait for the rewind and fast-forward mechanic to wind up in order for it to go faster. It would start off slow and gradually increase in speed. This is a bit annoying since it played such an important role throughout the game. It would have been nice to have the option to have control of how fast time rewound or moved forward, instantly.

Overall the game is an interesting introduction to the Spherical Narrative genre. Tequila Works did a great job bringing this VR game to flat-screen as well. The story is fascinating and kept my attention every second I was playing. I didn’t want to miss a word and at one point I advanced to chapter 2 but didn’t want to move forward because I didn’t have a chance to follow someone back to their room and see what they were up to. It was nice that Tequila Works included a quicker way to time travel through the start menu so I was able to jump right back to the beginning of the game. 

There are a lot of secrets hiding in Nikola Tesla’s mysterious mansion and the journey to uncover the truth about his death is filled with mind-blowing realizations and tense interactions. Tequila Works did a fantastic job putting this story together. I’m excited to go back and see what other secrets The Invisible Hours has in store.

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Firewatch Developer Campo Santo Acquired by Valve

Firewatch Developer Campo Santo Acquired by Valve

Valve purchased the indie studio Campo Santo, the critically acclaimed developer of the game Firewatch. This news comes from a blog post on Campo Santo’s website, where the studio said it would be continuing work on its current project, In the Valley of the Gods. However, now the small studio has all the power of Valve behind them.

“In Valve we found a group of folks who, to their core, feel the same way about the work that they do (this, you may be surprised to learn, doesn’t happen every day. In us, they found a group with unique experience and valuable, diverse perspectives. It quickly became an obvious match,” explained the blog post.

“We had a series of long conversations with the people at Valve and everyone shared the satisfaction we take in working with people whose talents dwarf our own to make things we never thought possible. Both sides spoke about our values and how, when you get right down to it, we, as human beings, are hard-limited by the time we have left when it comes to making the things we care about and believe in. They asked us if we’d all be interested in coming up to Bellevue and doing that there and we said yes.” https://bit.ly/2F70YDd

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All Eyes on Valve

This move caught the attention of many in the industry due to Valve having recently taken on a reduced presence in game development and production. Instead, the company has been focusing on refining Steam as a video game delivery platform and maintaining DoTA 2. Recently, they expressed interest in returning to game development and publishing, with Gabe Newell saying that his company will start shipping games again soon. The first new game to be released by the developer is the upcoming DoTA card game, Artifact, with more titles coming soon according to Newell.

There’s no telling what could come of their purchase of Campo Santo. Rumors have been circulating that Microsoft showed interest in purchasing Valve but their recent activity would suggest the Gabe Newell might have other plans.

Be sure to keep checking back on GigamaxGames.com for more of the latest gaming news. The crew will be keeping a close eye on Campo Santo and their upcoming project as well as any more breaking Valve news.

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The Best Time For Indie Developers

The Best Time For Indie Developers

Indie games have continued to generate an incredible amount of interest from the gaming community. They took their first steps out of obscurity in the early 2000’s. Since then, this subsection of the video game industry has only grown in popularity. Indie developers are working with the latest technology to bring the world their creations without input or direction from corporate publishers. By nature, indie developers create some of the rawest forms of artistic expression found throughout the industry. Today is very well the best time to be an independent game developer.

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Now indie games are found on every console and available at an affordable price. These two factors created a boom throughout the gaming world. People continue to flock to the nearly limitless indie games available no matter what platform they own. Coming in every genre and a variety of art styles, there’s an indie game out there for even the pickiest gamers. This opens up an opportunity for passionate game developers to create, market, and sell their creations to the world.

Check out: 6 Tips on How Game Developers Can Market Their Game!”
Check out: “Indie Game Celebration at Gigamax Games!”

Gamers are raving about the latest indie hits. Some of these games are even incredibly successful when looking at revenue. One of the most successful indie games of 2017, CupHead sold over 2 million copies. At around $19.99 per copy and another $9.99 in downloadable content available, that’s a lot of money. These numbers may seem impressive but of course, they don’t come close to the revenue Minecraft generated. The next massively successful indie game could be created by a passionate developer alone in their basement.

The Golden Age of Indie Games

There have been so many break out hits over the past few years. Undertale, Friday the 13th: The Game, Journey, Owlboy, Binding of Isaac, and these are just to name a few. Simply listing the indie games that have had a global impact would warrant an entire series of articles. An indie games ability to strike a chord with the community is unparalleled. The freedom these developers exercise and with no creative limits besides budget allow indie games to deliver the artists vision in its purest form.

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Independent video game developers have so many more options to promote their games and share their art with the world than ever before in the past. The internet offers these creators nearly unlimited access to millions of interested individuals. Social media and amazing organizations are all available to help get these spectacular artists creations to the gamers who love them. As more and more gamers discover what indie games have to offer, there’s no end for these independent creations in sight. Now is the perfect time to act on that dream and start working on the next revolutionary indie game.

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Gang Beasts – Servers and Gameplay on YouTube

Gang Beasts – Servers and Gameplay on YouTube

After weeks of trying to stream this ridiculous fighting game, the Gigamax crew gave up and instead put a bunch of gameplay into one video. Anyone that has purchased Gang Beasts knows that the servers aren’t always to most reliable. Random disconnects, long wait times, or the servers not working at all is a common occurrence. Live streaming this simple, silly fighter was next to impossible.

Below is the Gang Beasts playlist on YouTube. Every and any of Gigs and Mack’s Gang Beasts adventures will all be located in there. As the game continues to work through its bugs and fix their unstable servers, be sure to check back for even more Gang Beasts videos. This wacky fighter is nothing but a great time when it actually works.

Gang Beasts with Gigamax Games on YouTube

What’s Gang Beasts All About?

Each map brings a new way to slaughter your ragdoll enemies. From dueling elevators to the speeding trucks, these lovable stumbling sprites find themselves in some extremely dangerous situations. It doesn’t seem to faze them however as they headbutt, punch, and throw their way to victory. The battles can get intense but the laughs never stop. Even with people dying all around you, it just doesn’t matter because if you’re next, it’ll probably just make you laugh.

Thank you all so much for taking the time to stop by. Hope you enjoyed the video and be sure to stick around for more from Gigamax Games! Don’t forget to Like, Comment, and Subscribe to stay up to date.  Be sure to let Gigs and Mack what you want to watch them play. Leave a comment and the Gigamax crew will let you know when they’ll make a video of one of your favorite video games!

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The Darwin Project – Let’s Play Page

The Darwin Project – Let’s Play Page

The Gigamax crew begin their adventure with The Darwin Project thanks to receiving an Alpha key for Steam. Jumping on the brand new Gigamax Gaming PC, Gigs and Mack were ready to see what this new Battle Royale game had to offer. The crew was not disappointed with what they saw.

The Darwin Project on YouTube | Gigamax Games

A New Take On A Beloved Game Mode 

A much smaller and confined experience when compared to other Battle Royale games like PUBG or Fortnite, The Darwin Project is something completely new. 7 players to a map, the game is focused on survival rather than conflict. Players are tasked with staying alive in the harsh, frozen environment. Building a fire is a necessity and upgrading your weapons is a must. Periodically, a hexagonal section of the map will turn red and become uninhabitable. Players will need to work around this obstacle and take refuge in the rapidly shrinking map.

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There’s no telling when The Darwin Project will be available to the public. The Gigamax crew will be keeping a close eye on this game as the small, Alpha experience lived up to expectations. Even for an Alpha, there were only a few changes we noticed need to be made. The future looks bright for The Darwin Project.

Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by! Don’t forget to Like, Comment, and Subscribe for more!

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