THERAPEUTIC PROPERTIES OF VR
The client is a company that deals with the creation of virtual reality experiences accompanying the therapy of diseases and disorders as well as phobias and fears. It is worth adding that the use of VR in the medical sector is one of the company’s main and oldest activities – from PTSD treatment to pain treatment to applications that allow people to relax or stimulate their creativity.
Samsung Gear VR
Visual results video
Introducing fun and entertainment to therapeutic procedures
The “Enchanted Forest” was created with the intention to make therapy fun. It was designed in a way that would motivate children to develop their skills through an arcade game. Simulations are divided into different categories, from those focused on the treatment of specific diseases to ones that let the players come to terms with their phobias.
Reduce anxiety in children
The client wanted us to create an application suitable for children of up to 12 years of age. The app was developed to help them reduce stress and anxiety. It was an addition to therapeutic sessions. Through appropriate conversations, the attending physician was to be able to identify abnormalities in the behavior of children, and the VR relaxation app was to help them to open up.
Process and project scope
The positive impact of VR
The client had been studying the positive impact of virtual reality on the human psyche since the 90s of the twentieth century. They witnessed many cases of spectacular success in the field. Now, the time has come to expand the range of possible uses of VR with those aimed at helping the youngest patients.
Players experience an adventure in a magical forest that is full of friendly animals they can interact with. The player can go in the direction he or she is currently looking to.
Once the game is started, the players are surrounded by nature as well as friendly and calming sounds. Although it cannot be noticed at a first glance, the application has a fairly linear plot and leads the participant to a magical portal. These experiences form the basis for conversations that children have with their therapists afterward.
In the case of this project, it was very difficult to work in sprints, as many decisions had to be validated by people working with children. In fact, time was not of the essence, but rather the correct implementation of the app, which was supposed to help little patients during their therapy.
We worked on the basis of a backlog and user stories. The application was made using the low poly technology in order to optimize its operation and playability as much as possible. The work on the app lasted three months and was assisted by people working with small children on a daily basis.
Due to the high degree of responsibility, our cooperation with the client was very close. After all, designing a medical application for children is always full of challenges. We needed extensive information about a child’s sensitivity.
Another important element was information about what we should avoid in order not to cause unnecessary stress. Yet another issue was related to the scripts of conversations, which were to be based on the client’s experience in the VR app realm. Apart from that, the visual and musical layers of the application were also very important to us.
Peace of mind through ease of use
The application is very easy to use and does not cause any stress related to making difficult decisions.
It was made with Unity 3D for the Samsung Gear VR device. The app features elements created using both 3D (environment) and 2D (characters) technology.