During the summer of 2020, I interned at NewpathVR as a software engineer. NewpathVR creates personal development and emotional intelligence applications in virtual reality. The company uses research-based methods to develop wellness applications for VR with the goal of evoking positive change through transformative technology. I performed in a small team that consisted of one designer, two researchers, and the CEO Lisa Padilla. I built the application in Unity and C# for the Oculus Quest.
RolePlayVR combines virtual reality with dialectical behavior therapy. Marsha M. Linehan, a psychology researcher at the University of Washington, developed DBT in the late 1980s to treat borderline personality disorder and suicidal individuals. Research proved the effectiveness of DBT in treating other conditions, such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and mood disorders.
DBT combines standard cognitive-behavioral techniques for emotion regulation and reality-testing with concepts of distress tolerance, acceptance, and mindful awareness largely derived from contemplative meditative practice. RolePlayVR consists of four skills modules that may benefit anyone. I completed the first phase out of five. The application seeks to acquire FDA approval and be utilized by therapists worldwide.
I constructed a lobby based on concept art. I chose a low-poly forest that allows the user to become one with the tranquility of nature and look inward.
The large scale of the forest encapsulates the viewer and provides a high level of comfort.
RolePlayVR is an embodiment and self-compassion VR platform initially designed for inner child work and to aid in the resolution of interpersonal relationships. Users select scenarios of characters in a house setting: male-female; child-parents; teenager-mother; etc. and dialog with the characters by embodying a character, through roleplay to uncover issues or resolve past feelings.
The application is an embodiment platform applicable for a wide variety of roleplaying scenarios. The user records the lines of each character, chooses a setting, and is able to click and embody actors to alter perspective in the scene.
I constructed a small guided meditation with linear interpolation. The user views breaths in and out by focusing on the particle system.