Open-World Augmented Reality Game Development

Sigma Software team developed an innovative augmented reality mobile game that enables seamless AR-experience and full player immersion on a regular smartphone
An AR/VR game development studio
AR Game BlackSnow
  • Business need:

    Revolutionize the AR and gaming markets with a product that would create the immersion effect of holographic goggles on regular smartphones with no extra hardware and no time-consuming pre-calibration procedures.

  • Result:

    We delivered a unique AR mobile game that combines elements of a geo-game & an alien shooter unfolding in real-time in an open-world AR environment. The game successfully went live for iOS devices in over 18 countries, and we continue ongoing product development, support, and maintenance.

Background for case study quote
“I really like the intense game experience we created and the simulation of the large-scale mixed reality of the game implemented on a regular smartphone.”
Board Member and AR/VR evangelist
Sigma Software

Collaboration Overview

Key Facts

Experimenting with Augmented Reality in our AR/VR Lab, we revealed some obstacles to AR mass distribution that include costly devices and lack of the high-quality AR-oriented content. Black Snow became a unique chance to implement our expertise and create an innovative, properly functioning mobile AR game that organically mixes physical & virtual realities with an engaging plot.

The game idea was to create an atmosphere of an interactive sci-fi blockbuster happening around in real-life scenary. We decided to take the action into the sky to eliminate lengthy space analysis procedures and featured the game with:

  • Alien invasion sci-fi theme with proprietary bio-punk art and models
  • Unique, always immersive cinematic experience
  • AR shooter and RTS fleet control
  • Player vs. Environment (PvE) and Player vs. Player (PvP) modes
  • Location-based geo gaming
  • Card collection and reward regression functionality
  • Free-to-play (F2P) mode with in-game purchases
  • “Under table” mode allowing to play anywhere

Development of this open-world AR game involved many hours of R&D that turned into valuable experience and holdings, including a new AR game engine (allowing develop complex AR mobile games fast), a shaders processing system, geo-positioning domain knowledge, etc.

Many tasks that we had to solve were unique, so our team went far beyond the reach of usual game development tools.

  • Сreated an open-world AR setting to allow players to explore freely without distracting the immersion effect
  • Сombined graphic alignment with surround sound and haptic feedback to contribute to player’s immersion through hearing & tactile sensation
  • Integrated the game with a cartographic service and achieved stable result based just on GPS to enable correct player’s placement in the game scene
  • Implemented hidden calibrations to eliminate time-consuming pre-calibration procedures and make AR gameplay immediately accessible
  • Developed a complex shaders processing system for quick and smooth switching between a map view and a first-person view
  • Employed almost every sensor a modern smartphone has for full engagement with the player (cameras for better gameplay impression, compass and GPS for positioning, gyroscope & accelerator for haptic control, etc.)

After mastering the technicalities of a mobile AR game, we looked closer at how attractive the game was for players. Sigma Software design team made great work with creating all the special effects and 3D visuals of bio-punk-like aliens, their ships, epic weapons, etc.

In addition to cool AR effects, we wanted to make the Black Snow game engaging & multidimensional and made every effort to create an exciting gameplay:

  • The game has plenty of thrilling missions that make players comb out the map hunting for the aliens to shoot them and stop the invasion
  • Players can form and command their own fleet squad conquering new territories and strengthening their own control
  • Users can choose various battlegrounds and biomes to play on (from beautiful beaches to huge cities)
  • Throughout the game, players can collect unique mortal weapons and try all the off-world ships & implants
  • Players can match against each other to see who is the strongest


“It’s always very easy to do what you have been doing for many years and copy what has already been done by others. And it is an obvious fact that every company has its unique set of strengths and expertise in the market. But everyone also understands that growth is not possible without getting out of your comfort zone and stepping forward into the unknown in order to create innovation.”
Anastasiya Belomytseva

Product Manager

Sigma Software

“It took us some time to fully lock and load the understanding of how this AR game should look like. Now, when it is sprung to life, I really like the intense game experience we created and the simulation of large scale mixed reality of the game implemented on a regular smartphone.”
Vlad Beck

Board Member and AR/VR evangelist

Sigma Software

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