Astraware Creates in Clay!

Staffordshire, UK – March 2nd 2010 – Astraware®, the UK-based smartphone games studio, is excited to reveal details of its newest game creation, OddBlob. The game, starring a groovy purple character with big eyes and an even bigger appetite, features hand-crafted clay graphics modelled by Astraware’s own art team.

In this multi-level arcade game, players guide OddBlob as he bounces intrepidly upwards along a tiled playboard in a choice of 2 play modes, avoiding pitfalls, collecting tasty fruit, and other assorted bonus items. Every piece including animated backgrounds is made of clay.

This unusual approach to graphics creation requires some additional care and effort, as described by Astraware’s lead artist, Mike Hanson…

“We created a load of mock-ups of how OddBlob might look in different art styles, but we selected clay as it has a tactile quality that makes him feel more solid. Once we’d chosen the material we considered how he should look: fat? thin? blue? green? etc.”

“After we settled on the look we had to build him. Rigging and animation was tricky – we couldn’t produce one model which could undergo the stresses of such bouncy movements so we had to build a set of bodies, ready-modelled into the positions, with arms using thin wire to hold them together. That done, we photographed him from 8 directions along with the other game elements, all with the same lighting setup for consistency. Then everything was coloured and processed in Photoshop.”

“I love the fact that modern games don’t always have to be about 3D technology. It’s great to see these classic materials working in games now, reproducing the kind of quirky style once reserved only for TV.”

Whilst adding to the development time and cost compared to more traditional game graphics techniques, creating the original clay elements and then photographing them in high resolution allows the graphics to support a wide range of devices and resolutions – something that fits perfectly with Astraware’s multi-resolution cross-platform strategy.

“Experimenting with a different production style was quite a risk for us, but suits the style of this game so well that it was definitely worthwhile,” said Astraware CEO, Howard Tomlinson. “While we’re continuing to use 2D and 3D graphics in many of our games, we’re really looking forward to trying clay again in a future title!”

For more information on the development of OddBlob including photos of the modelling process, visit Astraware’s Facebook page.

OddBlob will be released across several smartphone platforms in the coming weeks. For more information on availability or to purchase, click here.