The Art of the Camel

This weekend my first iPhone / iPod touch game Sahara found its way into the App Store.

Sahara is a challenging puzzle game where you have to guide a camel through a labyrinth in the desert. If you like it, you can purchase it in the App Store.

I am very happy about that release of my first iPhone app. It was very exciting and fun to do all those things like registering as iPhone Application Developer, signing all the contracts, exploring the iPhone SDK, developing the game e.g. programming an algorithm to find the shortest way through the maze, implementing animations, doing all the graphics and sounds, preparing my web site and finally submitting the application to Apple. It went through the review process in just about two days without any problems. It seems I did everything alright. ūüėČ

To give you some insight to the graphical development process of Sahara, here is an example how the camel was born:

Life of the camel

Life of the Camel

At the left is a rough pencil drawing of the camel how it was in my head. I did about five to ten drawings of that style or so. It was not exactly how I thought it should look like, but this one was pretty close. Then I scanned the drawing and did the final artwork directly on my Mac with vector graphics. I put the scan of the draft drawing underneath the image with 50% transparency as orientation. As you can see, I did a lot of corrections especially to the head of the camel. The funny eyes are bigger, the shape of the head is different, the ears are smaller and better aligned and so on. Although I own a Wacom tablet, I did all the graphics with my mouse, because I did no real “drawing”: I added a bunch of bezier paths for each stroke and then I corrected the points and anchors until I was satisfied with the result. Note that I did not have a pencil drawing for the skeleton; I just used the final camel as orientation underneath and drew the bones directly on the computer as vector graphics onto it.

After doing years of “just coding and coding” I really enjoyed doing this artistic work. Although in my opinion developing software is also some sort of artistic work, but I mean artistic in a graphical manner here. I did a lot of drawing in my childhood, but once I got my first computer it was displaced by programming so far. I am happy that I can combine both now.

Finally some more studies used for developing the camel for the game:

Study of the Camel

Studying the Camel

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4 Responses to “The Art of the Camel”

  1. Ortwin Gentz says:

    Hi Mani, sieht echt gut aus und das Spiel spielt sich wirklich gut. W√ľnsche Dir viel Erfolg in der iPhone-Welt!

  2. Armin says:

    Very cute.

    Though the bevels on the text and logo are “not so great”. Plastic in egypt?! Stick to the cartoon theme, and remove the bevel gradients, leaving just full colours.

  3. Boernie says:

    Hi Mani, auch nach √ľber einem Jahr mag ich Sahara noch, finde es aber schade, dass es keine Level und keine fortlaufende Wertung (die auch einen Highscore erm√∂glichen w√ľrde) gibt. Auch eine Variante gegen die Uhr w√§re reizvoll. Time for Sahara 2.0!

  4. Fewo says:

    Hi Mani, die Grafiken sind echt grossartig! Es gefällt mir sehr gut, was du entwickelt hast. Mach weiter so!