About Null DIES

Null Digital Illusion and Entertainment Studio is a Studio started in 2010 by a group of enthusiastic developers, designers, and artists who aim to create games. Not just any games, our games acknowledge the existence of the player. We aim on creating games that will widen the experience of the player to more than just the controller. Our games will target themes and ideas that will enrich the users in a variety of ways. Our dream is to take part in the game industry revolution in Egypt and the Middle East. Our motto is Everything out of Nothing!

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Ludum Dare 34
 
Ludum Dare 33
 
Ludum Dare 32

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Null DIES: Ludum Dare 33 [Day 3]

Posted by
Monday, August 24th, 2015 9:47 pm

The last day of the competition is over. This is it, the day everything is put together and the game finally complete, or at least the first playable version of the game.

We started the day by setting off the tasks remaining, one of which was continuing an on-going task from the day before. Color, our beautiful monster, is not yet complete. We were very picky when it came to modeling Color. In fact we modeled this character one polygon at a time… LITERALLY. Amr Kandil, one of our artists, modeled 1241 polygon individually. After 2 Days of modeling… We are proud to present, Color in 3D.

Color

During the time Color was being modeled we finished modeling other items, including the Wind Shell and the Ice Shell.

After all the 3D assets were created, we started adjusting the game’s difficulty, creating game Main Menu, adding particle effects, and creating 2D icons for powers and items.

After all that was mixed well we can finally and proudly present our first playable of Natural Distortion.

LD33 Day2 Screenie

mainmenu

Don’t forget to rate our game here.

Read Day 1
Read Day 2

Null DIES: Ludum Dare 33 [Day 2]

Posted by
Monday, August 24th, 2015 9:37 am

Day 2 of Ludum Dare 33, things are moving smoothly so far. Since the game has no level design the second day was exclusive for modeling and programming only. If you want to read more about Day 1 check it out here.

Color Related Items.

Starting the day with a nice coffee and a little bit of research for flowers. We thought that if we took the meanings behind certain flower species we could make a connection between their meaning and their functionality in the game. However, we decided to change this approach. Adding fantasy to the flowers would make them look more “magical” so to speak.

iceflower

Take a look at this rose for instance. It is made out of Ice. The Crystal petals add a very nice effect too making it look as something more than just a normal rose. If you look closely too, you will realize how nonuniform its petals are. This design approach was taken to better visualize the chaos of nature. Unlike the Order’s Items which you will see later on this blog post.

The same thing was done for this flower (The Glass Flower). You could see that each petal reflects the other petals giving the flower a very glossy/glassy feel.

glassflower
The Order Related Items

When it comes to creating something for a group like The Order one must think of how “ordered” they are. When creating their items we took a very symmetric approach with modeling them. The items we created include landmines and shock-poles.

mine
3D Render of the Mine

tesla
3D Render of the Shock-Pole

Although these two items are low-poly. They are very organized, symmetrical, and smooth with barely any rough edges unlike the items related to Color.

Also modeling of the Order Soldiers and Color started today. Since Color has more randomness she is taking more time to model as we are literally modeling her one polygon at a time. However the Order Soldiers are very symmetrical as seen in this picture.

theorder back

theorder frong

The inspiration for their design came from Storm Troopers, who where inspired from uniforms of older Nazi Germany and right now are inspiring films like The Hunger Games and more. The bright white attire with black touches and accessories.

Programming

The game mechanics were finished today, everything works fine. However, it needs more beautifying, and that’s for the Third Day.

We managed to test the items and mines and also managed to rig and animate the character in a such a short time thanks to Mixamo for their unbelievable service.

Here is a nice screenie showing what we reached in the game.

LD33 Day2 Screenie

I know our beautiful monster is not yet to be seen. But we are leaving best for last.

You can also read this post and more on our website.

Null DIES: Ludum Dare 33 [DAY 1]

Posted by
Saturday, August 22nd, 2015 7:36 pm

Ludum Dare 33, our third game jam and our second Ludum Dare participation with our first being Drop It in Ludum Dare 32 with the theme being An Unconventional Weapon.

This year’s theme is You Are The Monster. A very interesting theme indeed. The team started with brainstorming and throwing in a lot of ideas. Mostly gameplay and mechanics-wise. It is very important to focus on how to make the gameplay relate to the theme. You Are The Monster was a challenging one…

The dilemma (see what we did there) is that how will you convince a player to do a certain thing knowing that it is bad. We always saw the playable character as an extension to the player, we want it to be something the player would enjoy doing. This is when it hit us.

Someone’s devil is another’s savior. It is not us that decide who is a monster, it’s society that labels us as one if you do not conform to its conventions. That’s why we thought we would create a strong character, someone that stands out and stands up for a certain belief, to her and very few she is a hero, a martyr, and a beacon for hope… but to society she is nothing more than a villain and a monster.

We imagined a world of order, efficiency, and minimalism. Where people are becoming blanks and nothing more than a white slate that then copies society. We imagined this city with tall buildings, everything is white. Of course all of this was inspired from movies like The Island or Star Wars.

white complex

We also imagined a monster, nature’s creation that wants to revive nature’s beauty. Trees, water, dirt, and everything that makes this world smell, taste, and look alive. This character has to be evil to that system. Someone that destroys this order. We came up with a phrase that defines all of this.

Nature Is Chaos, and Chaos Is Civilization’s Monster.

Development

Now that the concept was set, development began, first we decided to take a low poly approach when it comes to the art direction. It would be visually appealing as a style for a game with this theme (destroying White with Color).

After the Game Design Document was set we marched to our posts to start building our game.

lowpolytree

3D low poly modeling of one of the trees that will be generated by the main character’s “chaos”.

WP_20150822_19_03_40_Pro

Concept of art of our main character.

The basic engine and mechanics were set in programming as well. However with dummy models and objects just for testing and later will be replaced with our low poly designed environment and characters. Of course the bigger capsul is our Beautiful Monster.

LD33 Day1 Screenie

Now it is time to talk about her, our monster. The monster that creates beauty through chaos. Mother Nature’s deterrent. It is time you’v met Color.

Colour

Color is not just a character. Color is a representation of how beauty and nature can be considered as an evil to society’s conformity. This game is a celebration to this character.

Which brings us to our game’s name. We decided to call our game Natural Distortion. A fitting name for our theme. A monster of nature distorting our orderly world.

CoverND

Null DIES: Ludum Dare 33 [Day 2]

You can also read this post and more on our website.

Last chance to rate DROP IT!

Posted by
Monday, May 11th, 2015 7:05 pm

The end (of Ludum Dare 32) is neigh šŸ˜€

We would greatly appreciate if one of your last few ratings went to our game: DROP IT!

Here is a teaser gif :)
gameplay gif

And here is one of the most positive review videos we got for the game šŸ˜€

Oh and BTW we will keep improving this game and we plan to eventually publish it to Android and Windows Phone :)
One of the changes we made so far was to make the main menu less … um … lame, so here is what it looks like right now:
new main menu

And here is our team’s website in case you want to follow up with our stuff: http://nulldies.com/

A small Egyptian Team’s experience in Ludum Dare

Posted by
Monday, April 20th, 2015 9:23 pm

We are a small egyptian team called “Null DIES”Ā thatĀ started way back in 2010 we’ve been making incomplete games since then, and thanks to Ludum Dare this is technically our first “complete” game. We still can’t believe that this game didn’t exist 3 days ago (feels like a month’s work!).Our name actually originated from the fact that we spent years just talking and thinking but doing almost nothing,Ā our output was “null” šŸ˜€

I don’t know how the demographics of this LD event, but we feel that we are one of the few Egyptian teams here, and we really hope that weĀ did a great job a representing our country :)

The game we made called “Drop It” originated from the though “what if the unconventional weapon is sound waves? what if it’s … a DUBSTEP GUN?!!”, soon after than various videos and music started inspiring us (specifically Corridor Digital’s “Dubstep Guns” video), we also had other good ideas like using Farts as a weapon but I’m glad we didn’t do that šŸ˜€

One of the biggest issues we faced during the competition was the fact that in Egypt the weekend is Friday and Saturday, add to that the fact that we are UTC+2, this meant that for us the competitionĀ happened during two work days, I was lucky to be able to take these days off but the other members of the team took one or no days off from work.
Another problem we faced was the fact that our awesome 2D Artist is currently doing an internship/training abroad and he was busy with too many things so effective communication was very hard.
But apart from team management, one of the big problems we had was that we decided to make the game very music driven, we wanted the player to feel like a DJ jamming some crazy beats and drops,Ā so we basically had to learn how dubstep is made and we had to find a good free pack of samples that can be used to make dubstep music which proved to be very hard. On the upside though, one of our team members was part of a band so he had experience with audio editing which helped a bit even though he wasn’t a dubstep kind of person.

But in the end I’m actually very happy with the result, it captures most of the ideas I had in mind when we were coming up with is, we wanted a colorful insane beat-driven experience and I think we delivered well on that (even though theĀ sound mixing need more work), I sadly didn’t have time to make a highscores screen (with possibly online leaderboards) butĀ in a last minute change I was able to incorporate presistent “best score so far” functionality.

We’re planning to publish the game to both the Google Play Store and the Windows Phone Store very soon so watch out for that :)

And finally, I’d like the thank the whole Ludum Dare community for encouraging us to go through this and surpass our limits!

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(
three members out of six, exhausted after all the work :D)

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