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VR experience design

We collaborated with local caregivers to develop therapeutic VR experience


Over the course of 6 weeks, we designed a VR experience for hospice care.  We aimed to use VR as a story-telling tool to ease the fear of “death” and bring people peace of mind in the last stage of their life.



Project Length

Yujing Tang (Design, Development)

Jiani Yu (Art)
June 2019
Fritz Drury


To help us better understand the psychology of the patients, the medical professionals from the local hospital lectured us about their experiences with hospice care.

Patients were invited to share their daily lives and feelings, which inspired us to design the kind of virtual reality experience that meets their need. We created a user persona based on the input.


After brainstorming different concepts, we used pen and paper to sketch out the initial ideas and discussed them with the caregivers. And then we blocked out each scene in Unity3D and divide the works. I was responsible for integrating the art assets into the game engine and engineering the entire experience.

Exalt those ephemeral moments

We decided to tell a story about memories. Life is not about its length but the uniqueness of each person's experience and story. Its imperfection is the beauty. Death is nothing more than the beginning of the next adventure.

Reparture - We want to inspire the courage and the confidence in people to "Depart once more".

Presentation Day

On the final day, our team presented our design to the patients, their caregivers, and the school faculty. Through performing the testings and observing their behaviors during the experience, we learned about the strengths and weaknesses of our design.

Proper sound and visual style renders the right ambiance

Test participants were able to sense the nostalgia and serenity vibe we tried to convey in the experience, thanks to the correct audio choice and art direction. A working immersive design is a perfect indication of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts.

Consider the accessibility and learnability

Some participants who were using VR for the first time asked for our help on how to use the controllers. Although they were able to learn with our assistance, such an incident breaks the immersion. Therefore for a seamless experience, a decent onboarding procedure is required.

Motion Sickness in Virtual Reality

Most of our test participants, in disregard of their ages, displayed different levels of motion sickness after 5-10 min into the experience. Our design required participants to navigate the space by themselves and which induced nausea. We didn't anticipate that because when we tested the concept in the early stage, our participants by then didn't report it as an issue.

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