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For this project, students were instructed to design environments for VR users aimed at improving their psychological well-being. This is not a new idea, VR has emerged as a facilitative medium for evidence-based and cost-effective psychological treatments for a range of psychological disorders. I would consider this one of the most challenging projects I have ever had to take on, as not only did I have to learn how to use Unity, I also had to learn how to design for VR in Unity, which is much more tedious than creating regular gameplay.


I chose two people to interview to use as my personas. I asked both people the same set of questions and compared them side by side in a spreadsheet. I also analyzed their answers for things like, repetitions, metaphors, tone of voice etc. to try to understand them as an individual and what they need for their personal mental health. After this, I morphed these two personas together into one to make sure I am designing for more than just one type of person. This new imaginary persona is the persona I created the VR experience for. 



Persona C is a 21 year old college student who is currently working towards a degree to be a psychiatrist. He values the importance of mental health and often discusses it with others, despite being raised in a family who did not take his mental health as seriously because they felt he should just “man up”. He also has 3 siblings that he gets along well with but sometimes feels that his parents make sure their needs are always met instead of his own. He enjoys going outdoors and feeling in touch with nature, and often goes on long strips backpacking with just him and his dog. Persona C is very in touch with his emotions and acknowledges what he needs to have good mental health, like social interactions and good relationships, however he struggles with letting others know what he needs from them and is a bit shy, which leads him to not be able to get the social interaction he requires all the time. Persona C plays video games often as a coping mechanism to unwind, however he tends to individual games rather than multiplayer ones. Because he doesn’t always have the confidence to let others know how he is, he sometimes gets caught up in unhealthy coping skills to give him extra confidence, like drinking and smoking with friends. Persona C thinks that the future of mental health could greatly be enhanced by gamification and VR, although he also believes maintaining that aspect of calmness is also important that is sometimes lost in the excitement of playing a fun game.”



✰ “A relaxing nature experience that takes the user on a journey and actively validates their self worth.”

✰ I designed an environment that fits my two interviewed personas equally and will have a positive effect on their mental health

✰ The main "character" of Serenity, a large black dog, is based on the actual dog owned by Persona A, although I wasn't able to find a resource pack that matched his appearance perfectly in the actual gameplay





✰ Diegetic


✰ All the UI interactions are part of the world and work to make the user also apart of the world


✰ 3D UI - the narrator is an actual character in the game as opposed to audio triggers that 

simply instruct the user how to play


✰ Fairly realistic when it comes to the grass, mountains and sky

✰ The trees, flowers and mushrooms are more “fantasy-like”

✰ Daytime lighting

✰ More narrow view - keeps them on the path
✰ Would have liked to let them interact with things outside the path

✰ Wanted it to feel like a realistic nature experience but not too realistic because VR will never be as accurate as the real thing


✰ Narrator is able to guide the user on what to do while also feeling like a person they are interacting with

✰ Person interacting with the environment also furthers the storyline

✰ The only time specific levels body movement affects the environment when they move the rock in the beginning

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