A downloadable game for Android

Have you ever wanted to go on a seafaring treasure hunt localized entirely to your own kitchen table? Of course you have!

In ARRR Pirates you explore the sea following your treasure compass  in search for treasure chests hidden on the seafloor of a chunk of sea you can place anywhere you want. On top of a table is the best option however unless you really want to crawl around on the floor as you search for treasure.

Developed as a part of the course TDDD57 Physical Interaction and Game Programming at Linköping University 2019-01-28–2019-03-14.

AR-related notes

The game uses ARCore to track the position of your device and keep the virtual world of the game anchored to a real-world physical location. This uses your device' sensors to keep track its movements. What is visible through the camera is also very important however so keep the following in mind:

  • Play on a matte surface with a lot of distinctive features such as patterns, objects or rough surfaces. Preferably there should be a feature like this should visible in your camera view at all times during play.
  • When detecting surfaces at the start of the game, move your phone in circles to let the camera view your intended playing surface from multiple perspectives. During this procedure, try to keep the distinctive features of your surface in the camera view at all times.

Playing instructions

Finding treasure

Have a look at the treasure compass at the front of the ship. It will point towards the closest treasure chest which will be located on the seafloor.

To see these underwater treasure chests, you will need to bring your device underwater.
[In-game only! Don't submerge your device in the physical world!]

If you don't see any treasure chests on the seafloor, you will need to sail your ship  to new waters (preferably in the direction indicated by the treasure compass).

Steering the ship

Select the helmsman at the back of the ship. This will make the ship move forward.

You can now rotate the ship by tilting your device like a steering wheel. Do not tilt it 180 degrees though, this will make it flip to the other landscape orientation.

The ship's movement relative to sea is indicated by wakes behind the ship and driftwood  floating on top of the sea as well as laying on the seafloor. If you see no driftwood around you, you have exited the part of the sea were treasure can be found and need to turn around.

Fetching treasure

To fetch treasure chests from the seafloor, select a diver on the ship's deck.

Then click a treasure chest which will make a target reticle appear around it. This means that the diver is currently heading towards the treasure. After divers have picked up the treasure, they will automatically head back to the ship to collect it.

You have two divers that can operate simultaneously.

Remember, to zoom, simply move your device closer physically.

Relocating the virtual world

Has the virtual world been offset or did you accidentally place it in another spot than intended? You can relocate it at any time by pressing the following icon in the upper right corner:


Axel Nordanskogignoring unwanted detected surfaces; ship movement and motion controls;  character selection and movement; ship wakes and driftwood feedback
Erik Mansénwater effects including underwater caustics and fog; UI, tutorial instructions and icons

For more detailed credits, check the commit history of the Git repository available on GitHub.

Pre-made assets

"Colonial Ship" by Nokobot
"Coins Pile" by 8bull
"Classic Treasure Box" by MobileDesignLabo
"Plank Textures PBR" by A dog's life software
Caustics textures generated using Caustics Generator Free


ARRR Pirates.apk 106 MB
Version 0.1 May 24, 2020

Install instructions

You need an ARCore supported device to run this game.

Installation steps

1) Download ARRR Pirates.apk to your device.
a) If you get a message stating  that this type of file can harm your device, choose the OK option.

2) Open ARRR Pirates.apk.
a) If you get a pop-up stating that your phone is not allowed to install unknown apps from this source, choose the SETTINGS option and then toggle Allow from this source on.

3) Choose the INSTALL option.
a) If you get a Blocked by Play Protect pop-up, choose the INSTALL ANYWAY option.
b) If you get a Send app for scanning? pop-up, choose any option.

4) Once ARRR Pirates has been installed, open it.

5) When asked to allow ARRR Pirates to take pictures and record video, choose the ALLOW option.

Leave a comment

Log in with itch.io to leave a comment.