The entrepreneur

Engineer by training (DUT ( Paris XII ) then Bachelor in Computer Science ( Paris VII ), Khalil Arafan has many experiences within big names of the AAA industry (Quantic Dream in 2001, Gameplay Scripting, Fahrenheit project, and Ubisoft Casablanca, 2008, C++ Programmer, Prince of Persia : forgotten sands project on Nintendo DS).

The new wave of independents revived in 2008 thanks to mass digital distribution, was a major inspiration for Khalil to start his own adventure and explore the vast territory of possible and imaginable designs.

In love with this form of artistic expression since childhood, and the infinite possibilities specific to real-time interactivity, he has dedicated all his energy, since the day he received his first Nintendo console 3 decades ago, to trying to understand what makes the power of this unique alliance between technology, fine arts, business constraints and psychology to name a few aspects.


  • To honor his partner, whose extreme generosity and confidence in realizing his artistic vision and original idea is matched only by his talent.
  • His family, who continues to this day to support his crazy ambitions. Finally, to represent the creativity of his country and his Amazigh heritage, through increasingly ambitious creations.

The company

Palm Grove Software, a structure based in Casablanca, Morocco; is an independent video game development studio, which has mainly operated in the Mobile space since its founding in late 2011. Palm Grove Software also provides software engineering and game design consulting services to local and international clients. The free mobile applications developed by Palm Grove Software total more than 250k downloads to date ( learning the Arabic alphabet, local multiplayer card games … ) ( available on Android and iOS ).

Following the development of the prototype of Birdspotting during the first half of 2019 (January-August), Khalil was amazed by the interest shown as much by players, the trade press and some renowned publishers in the independent scene. Despite the health context since then, Palm Grove Software was able to benefit from the support of the French Institute of Morocco through the Lab Digital program.

The development project

Produce the video game Birdspotting on a first platform with the help of funding that will allow the engineering work to progress uninterrupted throughout the development cycle:

  • Implement internally all the computer code necessary to realize the artistic vision
  • Integrate the different graphic assets (3D models, animations…) developed internally by the partner (Polynoise) in the Netherlands and ensure the follow-up of the production with potential external providers (sound design, localization…)
  • Establish a design in collaboration with Polynoise within the limits of the budget and time allocated to the project
  • Marketing, legal and commercial follow-up with the different digital distribution platforms

Birdspotting : a birdwatching simulation in first person view, lasting a few hours, whose goal is to explore a green Norwegian valley and discover its secrets using binoculars and a journal among other interactive objects…

  • Dynamic day/night cycle and weather
  • 8 original orchestral compositions by Yoann Turpin
  • 20 different bird species inspired by local fauna
  • Nordic mythology…

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