This post will cover both There Is Nothing Here and its sequel: There Was Something There. These are both by Adrian Dittrick and were recommended by him as I was a big fan of Prep School Horrors, and these games exist in the same universe. I’ve written about Prep School Horrors before and it’s a game I really enjoyed and played a good few times, so I was keen to check these out as well.

There Is Nothing Here

First off, There Is Nothing Here – this was made in one day for #NothingJam which had the theme of ‘nothingness’. It, quite ironically, turned out to not be a very popular Game Jam. The game is in a similar style as Prep School Horrors, but with 1-bit graphics, so no colours this time. It has nice chunky sprites and some super funky chiptunes playing in the background. The gameplay is simple enough; just move around and aim and shoot with the left mouse button. The goal of the game is also simple; go and kill all the bad guys. The setting is a top down maze-style game.

The enemies seem quite tough to start out with, so you will need to avoid them. To help you fight back, you will find powerups scattered around and each one gives you an additional boost to help you wipe out the enemies. Once you’re fully powered up, your character is super speedy, has a fast fire rate and the projectiles scatter everywhere. Your goal is now to not only defeat all the enemies, but also to destroy everything in sight until the screen displays ‘there is nothing here’. Once you’ve destroyed everything and there’s nothing left in the entire game, you win!

It’s a pretty short, simple game but you can’t expect too much from a one day development cycle and I had fun regardless! The enjoyment of this game was definitely amplified by playing the sequel.

There Was Something There

Onto There Was Something There – this game had double the development cycle of the previous one at 48 hours! It was made for Ludum Dare 45 with the theme “Start from Nothing”. You might be thinking this is going to be quite the opposite of There Is Nothing Here, and it is! You start from nothing and make things! Again, this is in a nice chunky 1-bit style, but it’s a little bit quieter than the last game since there’s no background music. Not straight away, at least! I suppose it wouldn’t really be starting from nothing if you started with music.

The game starts out as an idle game/clicker. You click to create a ‘thing’ and ‘anti-thing’. They collide with each other to eliminate each other, but if you hover the mouse over an anti-thing, it disappears. Eventually the option for an ‘auto-thinger’ will appear, this will earn things for you and save your fingers.

The Void

The more things you get, the more options open up. You can buy an anti-converter, which will give you bonus things whenever your mouse hovers over an anti-thing. Later, an option appears for purchasing a body. Once you have a body you can access the “Your Body” tab and from there you can buy building materials and friends. Once you have friends, “The World” opens up as an option and your newly purchased friends will follow you around and start rebuilding the world. Some nice chiptune-style music starts up when you purchase a body, so you also get rewarded with some good background music!

This is where the game becomes a ‘real game’. Wherever you move, your friends will follow and build things around you, provided they have sufficient building materials. They will create new buildings which you can “Insert Friends” into…I assume that mean you put your friends to work at these buildings. Putting your friends to work (or “inserting” them into buildings) will get you bonus things, building materials and other good stuff. You can also sacrifice friends for things. I chose not to sacrifice my friends, because I have enough things and I quite liked having friends.

The World with friends

Not to spoil it, but your friends might spell out something slightly sinister as they’re building and hint at an end game. There is one more layer to find on top of ‘The Void’, ‘Your Body’ and ‘The World’ to discover, but I will save that for you to find yourself.

These are some fun browser games definitely worth checking out, they don’t take much of a time commitment to complete and they both tie in nicely together! There Was Something Here is mobile compatible, so if you are on a phone currently you can play right now! The Gamemaker Studio source code is also available so you can tear it apart and see how it works or if you really wanted to, you could make mods!

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