The National Federation of State High School Associations and the eSports company, PlayVS are teaming up to create eSports programs for the association's 19,000 partnered schools. This news is followed by a joint announcement from the two companies last Thursday (April 26th).
NFHS Partners with PlayVS to Create High-School Level eSports Programs
The NFHS will begin working with its member high-schools to bring eSports tournaments hosted by PlayVS at the beginning of October. School districts interested in joining the program will need to pay a $16 monthly membership fee as well as provide computers and internet infrastructure necessary for participating in the event. The CEO of NFHS, Mark Koski, said that they're projecting 18 to 19 states to take part in the 2018-19 season.
"There are states that are 'show me' states that will want to see something happen over the next year or two," Koski said, "and as things are successful, the goal will be to have all 51 in the long run." (https://es.pn/2JZrceo)
PlayVS competitions will run in two separate seasons during the districts school year. The first season will run from the beginning of October through January, with the second period of time running from February to May. The individual tournaments will all feed into playoff bracket,s eventually leading to a State Championship.
Gaming All Summer Long
The startup company also plans on running summer tournaments for students not in school, but these competitions will not be weighed in the State Championship Race. The companies also haven't set a name for these competitions yet but the CEO of PlayVS, Delane Parnell explained its participant's ages are still being considered.
"We focus less on game and more on genre," Parnell said. "First off, we're doing no shooting games: no third-person, not first-person shooting, no battle royale, as much as that sucks, because the contents of the games are not friendly in a high school environment. We're sensitive to all of the issues around violence in schools, and we do not want to promote that for the foreseeable future. We are very much focused on multiplayer online battle arenas, fighting and sports. We think those genres work, and there will be other genres we expand to as new genres grow within eSports. Our entire system is designed to be plug-and-play, so as new games come out, we can plug that game in." (https://es.pn/2JZrceo)
Image Source: https://bit.ly/2I0ewG4
What Comes Next?
The league could also turn into a feeder program as well. About 65 colleges across the United States have expanded to offer scholarship sponsored eSports programs. Another consideration is that various game developers like Riot Games, Blizzard, and various other companies have hosted their own college level tournaments for their collection of competitive games.
This league sounds like an amazing opportunity for students that want to pursue a career in gaming or just want to leverage their passion and talent for something productive and constructive. Hopefully, this becomes a country wide tournament that helps remove some of the stigma surrounding the gaming industry. For more information regarding the upcoming NFHS high-school eSports league,, you can visit their website.
Gamers could play The Invisible Hours, by Tequila Works, in Virtual Reality in 2017 but now people looking for a flat-screen alternative can play this incredible spherical narrative, too. Play comfortably for hours and discover the secrets hidden all around the Tesla mansion.
Receiving a review copy, the Gigamax crew couldn’t wait to explore this mysterious world. Gigs and Mack discovered that the main character is nothing more than a fly on the wall, dropped into the middle of a very strange situation and forced to observe these chaotic series of events.
Tequila works did an amazing job adding the details and subtleties to immerse the gamer in the stories of each and every character. Unable to directly interact with any of the non-playing characters, the player begins to learn and understand the characters on an extremely deep, emotional level. Tequila Works is able to tell this mysterious story in a unique way thanks to all the incredible mechanics that can be found throughout The Invisible Hours.
Incredibly exhilarating, the game is filled with exciting twists and turns. Character development is absolutely spectacular and the story does a great job capturing the imagination. Every minute that went by created the opportunity for a thrilling series of events to present themselves. Anyone looking for an indie murder mystery game just found a great match.
For a more in-depth look at The Invisible Hours, the playlist is a great introduction to the full review.
A Very Special Thank You!
Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by. It means the world to everyone here at Gigamax Games.
Don’t forget, if you’re ever interested in learning how to get involved with Gigamax Games or want to start producing your own gaming content, visit the Social Community page to learn more! If you enjoyed The Invisible Hours playlist, subscribe to Gigamax Games on YouTube to keep up with the latest video releases!
If you were a fan of the first three God of War games or the various side stories that were released on the PSP/Vita, the latest entry in the series is a huge departure from what you’ve played before. God of War on the PS4 takes some huge risks that are all ended up being wildly successful. They highlight what a positive change bringing more maturity to a well-known game/character can do for a long-running IP. While many may be turned off by the brutal difficulty the beginning hours of the game may hold, it is important to stick with it and get comfortable with the new mechanics. With an open world, side quests, and actual character development, this is God of War like you’ve never seen it before.
God of War Like Never Before
Fans of the series will immediately notice that the first ten minutes does more to develop Kratos as a character than any game before it. The game opens with Kratos teaching his son, Atreus, the basics of wilderness survival, showing a side of the protagonist that many didn’t believe existed. Instead of just murdering every being in sight, age has brought some restraint to our hero, allowing the game to take an introspective look at how murdering every Greek God weighs on his conscience and how he tries to hide from his demons. That’s not to say Kratos is an open book, in fact, he’s quite the opposite, only revealing his deepest thoughts when speaking to his son and when thrown into moments that shake our previously unshaken hero to his core. God of War is absolutely packed full of these kinds of intense moments.
This game is packed to the brim with monstrous battles. Players will not need to go far to fight their next massive foe or group of enemies. A lot of this is thanks to the new side quest system that is full of unique adventures that are as fleshed out as the optional quests in The Witcher 3. Not only do the side quests offer visual splendor, but they deliver a deeper look into the relationship between Kratos and his son, Atreus. While Kratos may seem more vulnerable emotionally, that does not make him any less of a savage. When pitted against some of the ugliest/scariest monsters Norse mythology has to offer, the Kratos the world has grown to know and love comes out.
The New Combat System
Combat has taken a huge turn in this entry. With every swing, dodge, and block being deliberate and a keen eye necessary to watch the move of every enemy on screen, it’s unlike anything a God of War fan has experienced. Instead of relying on the hack and slash nature of the previous titles, the new game takes a few cues from Dark Souls and puts an emphasis on proper timing, blocking, and dodging.
Every enemy now has a combat level and if pitted against an enemy above a players gear level, the fight will be next to impossible. Even enemies that are at your gear level pose a serious threat and unprepared gamers will quickly learn not to underestimate even the grunts of the fantasy army. Kratos still uses his host of unique finishing moves that will make even the most vetted God of War fans cringe as enemies literally get torn to pieces.
As previously mentioned, gear score is a huge part of moving forward. Completing side quests, exploring, and killing strong enemies will pay out in unique material drops that can be taken to the smithy and be crafted into new armor and weapon upgrades to increase Kratos overall level. RPG fans will recognize the color-coded equipment system with white being common and orange being top tier. Unique items have interesting perks attached to them that add spectacular bonuses to Kratos while in combat. There are even a few different armor sets for Atreus even though he doesn’t have a real health bar. Instead, his equipment makes him better in the different support roles he plays.
God of War doesn’t feel like a sequel, it feels like a perfect restructuring of a series that was quickly growing old and tired in its ideas. This game is essential for any PS4 owner and could easily be a frontrunner for game of the year. The developer took a huge risk in fundamentally changing nearly every aspect of the game but ultimately, it is exactly what the series needed. Hopefully, other reboots will learn from the success of this game and strive to reach the same level of quality.
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
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”.
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.
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.
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
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.
Hyrule Warriors on Nintendo Switch – Tips & Gameplay
Hyrule Warriors for the Nintendo Switch isn’t available in North America for the Nintendo Switch just yet. However, that didn’t stop the Gigamax crew for going through the interesting process of purchasing the Japanese version. The Nintendo Switch isn’t region locked so it opens up an entirely new world of possibilities for impatient gamers. The playlist below includes a walkthrough of purchasing a game on the Japanese Nintendo eShop and gameplay of Hyrule Warriors for the Nintendo Switch!
Hyrule Warriors on Nintendo Switch YouTube Playlist
There’s something special about seeing franchises like Fire Emblem and Zelda make the move to a ‘Warriors’ game. Dynasty Warriors is a mindless fighter, fun and enjoyable but simple on its own. However, when having the ability to play with classic Zelda characters in Hyrule Warriors, it makes it absolutely incredible. Watching young link take down hordes of enemies, is spectacular. Seeing Link, or any of the many different playable Zelda characters, in a world where the fast-paced action is non-stop is unlike anything the franchise has released in the past.
New In Spirit
Hyrule Warriors may not be a new game, but the Nintendo Switch takes it to an entirely different level. Previously, Hyrule Warriors was released on the 3DS and Wii U but each of those consoles had drawbacks. The graphics were sacrificed on the 3DS and when playing on the Wii U tablet, frame rate and graphics would be severely downgraded. Playing this game on the Nintendo Switch felt like the right fit.
Thank you so much for taking the time to watch. It means the world to everyone here at Gigamax Games. If you enjoyed the video, don’t forget to Like, Comment, and Subscribe to keep up to date with the latest videos from the Gigamax crew!
If you want to see any more characters or have any suggestions for games to play, let us know in the comments below!
Destiny 2's Warmind Expansion Brings Back the Grind
In the most recent developer update from Bungie, Destiny 2's senior designer, Daniel Auchenpaugh, discussed how the power level grind will be changed in the upcoming Warmind expansion. This will be the second major update the game is receiving and there are some major changes on the horizon. Basically, what this means is that it will be much harder for Guardians to max out their power levels once Warmind drops in May.
Where Did The Rewards Go?
Auchenpaugh also explained that the new public events won't hold the lucrative rewards they have been known for recently. Clan engrams also won't help players progress through levels on their own anymore. Warmind's soft level cap is currently set at 340, which means that players will only be able to move up 10 power levels from Curse of Osiris' max level with the help of open world drops. Although, it was also stated that the hard level cap for Warmind is 380.
For gamers that have been playing Destiny 2 since launch, the grind from 340 to 380 may sound simple, but Bungie assured fans that the process will go much slower than anything they've released before. Auchenpaugh also stated that even players that complete every end-game activity a week will still need to wait for several resets in order to reach the new cap. As per usual, the best rewards drop from Raids and Trials while low tier gear can be earned through clan engrams.
The Grind is Real!
Players should also prepare for the grind from 370 to 380, which is set to test the patience of even the most seasoned Destiny veterans. All of these changes are to help address fans concerns that Destiny 2 had been streamlined to the point where it became too easy. With all of these updates, the longevity of Warmind is sure to be much better than both the base game and the Curse of Osiris expansion.
It should also be noted that all of the numbers mentioned above are assuming that no legendary mods are installed. Bungie is set to reveal more about the next expansion during a live stream on April 24th, before the expansion drops on May 8th.
Dungeons & Dragons Creator's Unpublished Work Will See New Life as Video Games
Gary Gygax, co-creator of Dungeons & Dragons may be gone but the Gygax family is ready to bring his legendary game back to life. It’s been 10 years since Gary Gygax's death but his family and youngest son, Alex Gygax are taking the first steps to bring a new generation into the world Dungeons & Dragons. Bankrolled by the Gaygax Trust, the Gygax family wants to take Gary’s unpublished works and turn them into video games.
"D&D: Curse of Strahd"
The Trust recently announced a new partnership with the crowdfunding and investment website Fig. The goal is to work together and start a global search for video game developers that will capture Gary Gygax spirit and carry his legacy on to a new generation of gamers.
In order for all this to happen, the Gygax Trust had to bring back Gygax Games and named Alex Gygax as CEO. Alex seems like the right fit to take the position. Gaming since he could walk and talk, both digitally and tabletop, he has a passion for his fathers work.
There is an open call to developers who want to propose content or ideas. Anyone interested can send reach out through firstname.lastname@example.org and they’ll be reviewed by Figs green-light committee and Alex Gygax.
A Young Adventure Sets Off On A Quest
“My first D&D adventure I’d say was when I was four or five years old, running a solo campaign with my father on his work breaks. So I was playing D&D before I knew what any of that was,” said Alex in an interview with Polygon. He continued to explain, “I’ve played everything from Xbox games to computer games, board games, over at my brother’s house or Magic: The Gathering events at the local game store.” https://bit.ly/2qGl9m5
Alex has been working in his hometown in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin as one of the lead bartenders of a local pub. Now he and the Gygax Trust believe he is ready to take his fathers' masterpiece and bring it into the modern world. His job will be to ensure that any future projects based off of Gary Gygax’s unpublished works retain the spirit of the legendary adventurer and storyteller.
The Trust is currently working on cataloging handwritten materials from Gary’s personal effects which are known to have played a large role in the creation of Dungeons & Dragons. He even said Gygax Games will be using Gary’s personal D&D campaign that was never released to the public.
Gayax Games and Fig have now entered into a licensing agreement according to Fig CEO Justin Bailey. The goal of the agreement is to locate the right developers to pair with the project. Fig’s platform will be utilized to run crowdfunding campaigns to fund the production of the games.
“It's a good opportunity to get some games produced and work with gamers and still be able to have some direction of where some things go,” Alex said, “making sure the spirit, the essence, of Dungeons & Dragons and the RPG Realm is kept in mind.” https://bit.ly/2qEsHWE
Gail Gygax, Gary’s wife has seen first hand the development of her husband’s IP for computer games. They have worked with numerous companies over the years and some even produced incredible games but as she says, “the developers could never quite achieve the vision Gary had laid out,” https://bit.ly/2qEsHWE. Now with the partnership with Fig, the family trusts that they will be able to find the right developers and work with capable enough technology to explore and produce Gary Gygax’s imaginative stories with the depth it deserves.
Any fan of Dungeons & Dragons may be a little rattled that this news is catching so much attention. It isn’t the first time Dungeons & Dragons games have been released. However, there is something a little different about this announcement. Gygax Games partnership with Fig isn’t the only unique factor, either. Reading the words from Gary’s son, Alex, it is hard not to feel his passion. The worlds his father created brought so much enjoyment to millions. Alex even had the chance to enjoy those stories and adventures with the creator, his very own father.
Where Will The Path Lead?
Now Alex is ready to help ensure his father's work makes it to this new medium while retaining that special something that made Dungeons & Dragons such a spectacular experience. It’ll be exciting to see what direction the new D&D video games take. There’s no telling how the adventure will play out or what kind of commercial success it will see. Only time will tell what comes of these new D&D games but be sure to check back on GigamaxGames.com as the crew continues to follow this story closely.
The latest Capcom crossover event for Monster Hunter World is now available. While players can still take part in the Spring Blossom Festival event that's currently going on, there's a new quest available on PS4 and Xbox One. It allows fans to get their hands on the crafting materials necessary to make the Palico gear set.
The Event Quest is called "A Rush of Blood", and to complete the mission players must hunt two Odagarons in the arena. The twist is that one of the monsters is a very cute miniaturized version of the species, other than that though the quest is a standard 7 star quest that has a time limit of 50 minutes and allows players a maximum of three faints. Completing the event will award challengers with Mega Man Tickets, which is one of the resources necessary for making the gear. To craft the full set, players will need to complete the mission several times.
Time to Get Forging
When fans have collected enough tickets to make the gear, they will need to head to the Smithy and scroll to the Forge Palico Equipment section and click Full Armor Sets. Select Mega Man gear to craft the two pieces of High Rank armor consisting of the Mega Man Helmet and Mega Man Suit, which costs 3 Mega Man Tickets.
Can't Forget Weapons!
To make the weapon, players will need to head to the Standard Equipment section of the Forge Palico equipment tab. The Mega Buster can be found toward the bottom of the High Rank weapons area. This piece of gear costs an additional two Mega Man Tickets, which means to craft the full set players will need to collect a total of five tickets.
One of the most interesting aspects of the Palico gear set that was teased during its initial announcement is the different classic Mega Man tunes that will play as the Hunters fight. However this will only happen during the event quest, unfortunately, players won't hear the music during their regular adventures.
Hunters only have a short time to complete the gear set as the event ends on April 27th. Players that are interested in the Spring Blossom Fest greatsword and armor only have until April 19th to get the spring themed gear.
Fortnite Players Get Freebies Following Server Outages
After Epic Games installed their latest 3.5 updates to Fortnite things quickly took a turn for the worse. Players soon found themselves unable log into the game. Unfortunately, the patch had rendered the game completely unplayable on PC, PS4, Xbox One, and mobile devices. Thankfully, the studio fixed a majority of the issues and is now apologizing to fans with a collection of giveaways. The Guided Missiles have also been temporarily removed since the bug was discovered as well.
"It's been no secret that over the past 24 hours we've been experiencing issues with our services that have prevented many of you from playing Battle Royale and Save the World. We're sorry," Epic Games says in a message on its website. "We know how frustrating this has been. We messed up here."
Epic Games Says Sorry
To make it up to players and thank them for their patience Epic Games is offering free items that can be claimed for a limited time. This weekend fans will be able to pick up a free Back Bling item, a new customization slot that was added to the locker in season 3. Also available this weekend, Save the World players can pick up a free Troll Stash Llama. Gamers can claim their items by heading to the respective in game stores.
Additionally, Battle Royale players will receive a pack of Battle Stars, which are used to rank up an individuals Seasonal Battle Tier. Save the World players will also get an unidentified amount of seasonal gold. Unlike the freebies given away on the store, these giveaways will take some time to distribute, given out during a planned update later next week (most likely Wednesday night into Thursday Morning).
Epic Games assured fans that they will release a detailed report next week that will go over the problem that occurred this week and their plan to improve services moving forward.
No word was given on when the Guided Missile will return to Fortnite but at least players are able to jump into the game again. As for the 3.5 update, Epic Games added a new Port-A-Fort item that allows players to deploy a fort on the spot. Week 8 challenges are also available to owners of the Battle Pass, unfortunately, the studio had to delay the limited time 50 Vs. 50 Mode until next week due to the server issues.
Catch Up on The Updates!
The Gigamax Games crew keeps up with the latest Fortnite updates and game modes. Stop by for some of the streams with the playlist above!