PHOBOS VR Exposure Therapy – Dev Log Week 4

This week’s progress is all about “The Pit”, a scene that was modeled not too long ago and is now complete with the necessary logic. So let’s do a walk-through of what the patient can experience in this scene.

Pit1

1) The patient starts in a room with various items in it, but will probably not stay long here as currently there is not much to do.
Pit2
2) Adjacent to this room is another room where the main experience will take place. I added a script to move the wooden plank out as seen here (and move back if desired) with a press of the same button for both directions. If the patient desires, they can “kick” around any of the balls seen motionless here if they want.
Pit3

3) Regardless of where the patient is standing, another moving platform reveals a hidden section of the room far below. As the main floor platform retracts, the balls fall into this section as the edge of this platform passes underneath them and bounce on the mesh colliders of the furniture and floor below, which looks realistic. The idea of the balls falling below is to give the patient a better sense of depth.

Pit4

4) The best place to stand to get the max anxiety effect is at the tip of the wooden plank.

Pit5

5) The patient can purposely (or accidentally) fall into this pit (and still survive the fall). At the bottom, the patient sees furniture and can continue to “kick” any balls if desired.

Pit6

6) The patient can be sealed in the pit as the main floor platform above goes back into position. Since there is no viable way to get back out of the pit, the patient can teleport back to the other room with the press of a button.

That’s it. Now that I think of it, I could add an option to turn off the lights while the pit is sealed and add spooky noises while the patient is inside. This would be handy for treating people who have fear of darkness and isolation. I’ll put it in my “To Do” list.

Current Unresolved Challenges

A challenge I was unable to solve for this scene was getting the balls to react to the main floor platform starting to move (getting them to roll before falling down). This would add to the realism observed in the real world.

Another challenge was that if the patient rubbed against the mesh colliders of the furniture, sometimes the patient gets pushed away suddenly and quickly, which is very unnatural. I decided against simple box colliders for furniture because the balls needed to collide correctly with the shape of the furniture when falling down.


Francisco Rojas