February 8, 2023

Pili ನಲಿಕೆ meets Modern ಆಟಿಕೆ in Udupi’s 99Games

Anybody can game – roars our two-legged tiger!

We’ve long dreamt of a contemporary workspace gleaming with progressive work culture, innovative ideologies, inspiring wall murals, and elegant furniture – but not without Udupi’s rich culture ingrained in all of it. From the mural of a knowledge tree in the library area to a chic coffee scene in the pantry, many 99Gamers had the wheels turning for quite some time to make our vision come true. Finally, we pieced the puzzle together with our ground-breaking new wall mural that’ll go on to become a signature spectacle of the 99Games office ­– our very own rendition of ‘Udupida Pili playing a mobile game’. Come with us as we take you through our intriguing journey.

Tiger dance Painting

Our new office is situated at the heart of Udupi where most of the traffic flowing in passes by our glass walls and gets a sneak peek of the interiors. Now, the main viewpoint of an onlooker would coincide with a wall adjacent to the glass walls – so naturally, the mural that would go up on this wall was of utmost prominence to us as it would represent where we position ourselves as a brand. 

Empty wall before painting

We were clear on our brand message – BREAKING THE BIAS! In the fastest-evolving entertainment industry that is gaming, operating out of Udupi while marketing to the global audience proved to be quite challenging, and we right away knew we had to ‘break the bias’ in various quarters. What bias, you ask? We had to make a breakthrough in a common pattern where the intellectual minds of the coastal belt were moving to metropolitan cities in search of jobs. We also had to contradict the fact that most companies that build commercially successful games are based out of metros like Bangalore, Barcelona, or Brighton. So, when we were racking our brains over this wall, we knew it had to reflect this sentiment.

Udupi can not only make games, but it can create one of the highest monetizing titles in India! Udupi can not only found companies, but it can make headlines with huge acquisitions and mergers. 

So basically, old and new. Rooted yet flying. Culture and technology. Anyone can game… these were some of the thoughts eating away our brain cells, which is when we turned to the most iconic embodiment of Tulunadu – the Tiger, the Huli, the Pili, the Vaagu!

Pili Nalike Painting

Now, if you are from this part of the country, you already know what the Tiger represents! The sheer passion and energy, the gyrations of the powerful music, the spirited transformation of a person into this two-legged beast ­– the striped tradition is a force to be reckoned with. Let’s admit it, we’ve all stopped to watch this magnificent form of folk art with awe, and experienced goosebumps at least once. We’ve also got instances where we let loose to groove for a beat or two. Once the idea hit us, we could not resist the temptation of using it to convey that certain stereotypes and biases indeed need to be broken.

Udupi Pili Nalike

What was next? Only casting, costume, and photographer. Well, things kind of just fell into place and we hit a hattrick with our crew. One of our most jovial and sportive 99Gamers, Chetan Kumar – IT Specialist, who is also an avid pili dancer by passion volunteered to model as the Pili. We roped in Ashwath Korangrapady and Shravan Kumar, costume painters from the beloved movie ‘Ulidavaru Kandanthe’, to give life to this idea – the results speak for themselves. And to capture and envision our concept, Guruduth Kamath, a veteran photographer – who has worked for various Sandalwood movies in his remarkable career – added another star to our little project. 

And that’s how we present to you – Pili Nalike meets modern Aatike! 

Udupi Pili Nalike

Art is definitive yet subjective. Art is chaotic yet soothing. Art is what you sometimes don’t see even when it’s right in front of you. So, we’d like to wrap it up by saying this is our rendition of an age-old tradition making way for developments and breaking biases that hinder our growth. Yes, some stereotypes are good, but some biases are just facts. But the ones that don’t help us put our homeland on the world map – we need to break them. And we chose the strongest form of folk art of Udupi to do just that. 

Here’s a video of the making. Hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed making it.