Ukrainian Company “Sigma Software” Created a Shooter Game “Black Snow” with the American Startup “Black Snow Games”
Developers from the Ukrainian company “Sigma Software” created the “Black Snow” shooter game together with the American startup “Black Snow Games” where they combined the game world with the real one through the smartphone’s camera.
What Is the Game About?
The plot of the game tells about the invasion of aliens on Earth, the player must protect the planet and fight back. The battle can take place anywhere: in the office, apartment, on the city streets.
Black Snow is a game that superimposes augmented reality objects (alien ships) on the smartphone’s video feed and simulates the mixed reality achievable on Microsoft HoloLens and Magic Leap using a regular smartphone. Unlike Pokemon Go, where augmented reality is situational and presents within a radius of several meters, the Black Snow playing field extends a couple of kilometers from the player and takes into account the scale, location, and distance effect for AR (Augmented Reality) elements.
As the developers said, they made hidden calibrations and transferred the fighting to the sky. Designers created aliens in the bio-punk style, as well as a powerful weapon to combat them.
The game has already appeared in the Ukrainian App Store with Ukrainian localization. Developers expect feedback from our gamers and suggestions on how to make the game more interesting.
According to the legend of the game, monsters began to appear in our world. But the military cannot destroy them, because monsters are invisible to the human eye. And only the main character (that is, you) is able to exterminate the aliens. As it was mentioned above, fights take place anywhere - office, apartment, street.
By order of Black Snow Games Inc., Sigma Software was able to apply their knowledge in the field of augmented reality in practice. According to Luk Lobarev (brand manager at Sigma Software), you can now achieve the immersion effect that holographic glasses provide with a regular smartphone without additional devices and preliminary calibration.
The application is available in 16 countries: Sweden, Ireland, Israel, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, the Netherlands, Macau, France, Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine. The technical team of Black Snow is still working on the game: it adds new features and expands the list of countries where the game is available for download.
How the Game Was Tested?
The editors of MC.Today tried to download and install the game on their phones. In the first case, they were not able to do this in 15 minutes of loading, but on the second phone, the game loaded without problems. You can only connect via the Internet, while it is better to use Wi-Fi.
When you turn on the game asks for access to the phone’s camera, after which you can see the real world, combined with augmented reality objects. For example, a spaceship under the ceiling of an apartment or enemy objects near a room flower. A map is under the feet on the floor.
The shooter has an atmospheric soundtrack. At the very beginning, the game suggests connecting headphones to "immerse yourself in the game." The graphics are at a high level, objects are well-drawn, the colors are pretty bright.
Thanks to the camera alone, the phone takes into account the location of objects, the scale, and distance for elements of augmented reality.
How Black Snow Was Created?
The game had been developing for over three years. Initially, the team tried to understand the limits of combining physical and digital reality.
More than 40 specialists took part in the creation of the game. These are developers, game designers, testers, artists and animators, media engineers, lawyers, and marketers. Now about 15 people are working on the development of the game.
According to Sigma Software, there were complex tasks, for example, so that augmented reality was immediately available and worked without failures. It’s also difficult to achieve acceptable performance parameters since the game has a lot of load on the graphics and sound.
The company does not name the development cost - a non-disclosure agreement prohibits this.
According to the developers, the game is innovative, so they plan to thoroughly work with communities and game testers and only after that make a decision on a wider expansion.
“As for paid add-ons, we are considering various options for the development of the game in the future. We plan to continue to improve it and introduce new interesting features,” the Sigma Software summarizes.
About Sigma Software
Sigma Software is a large Ukrainian IT consulting company founded in 2002. In 2006, it joined the Swedish IT corporation of the same name. There are several Ukrainian offices which are located in the biggest Ukrainian cities. There are also offices in Poland, Sweden, the USA, and Canada.
Today Sigma Software is among the TOP-15 IT companies in Ukraine in terms of the number of specialists, as well as one of the top 100 outsourcers in the world. Moreover, it has a fund that covers expenses for own startups.
The company received international certificates ISO 9000 and ISO 27001. It means that all business processes in the company are performed in accordance with high standards of reliability and quality.
International auditors check the company’s processes whether they correspond to international standards of safety every year. The list of services provided by Sigma Software encompasses IT consulting, outsourcing ( software development for the customer within the project ), as well as developing its own solutions. The company is now practically not involved in work, there is only one such project.
About 50 new customers come to the company per year. Sigma Software has been building long-term cooperation with many for 5-10 years. “Here we are talking about full responsibility for the client’s business - everything is done by our team in Ukraine,” says the financial manager.
It is worth admitting that the company strives to become a large innovative hub. And if we take into consideration all successful projects, the chances are great.