VR/AR | 2017

Exploring a VR Landscape through the "Thea" Game

How can create an immersive VR environment of a landscape of discovery and deprivation?

Concept Drawings

Our early drawings imagined three-level game with a few varieties on a dystopian desert landscape. The game would be set in zones, featuring a variety of dunes, salt flats, and eventually a mountainous area.


We modeled the majority of our assets in Blender and imported them into Unity.


The low-poly terrain was also modeled in Blender and imported into Unity as a terrain mesh.

Environmental Settings

We played around with a global fog and ambient occlusion to achieve an ominous effect, but ultimately chose to nix it since it didn't make much sense in a desert.

Ominous arches

As the layer proceeds through the landscape, we used landmarks to signal the beginning of a new map area and ambiance. The arches were set with them help of the Drop to Ground blender script.

Burning bridges

A burning bridge connects to player across the chasm. For the gameplay, we planned to place a fire object on the bridge as an environmental obstacle that had to be solved before the user could pass, much in the style of Limbo.

Poisonous crystal field

In the poisonous field, we hoped to model the crystals generatively. Approach too closely and your health meter would go down as you made your way through the dark field.

Labyrinthine canyon

After the player emerges from the warped reality of the poison field, one of the final obstacles before the user can successfully find water is a labyrinthine canyon. This was originally the last set because of the narrative we had written that explains why the water source has been blocked from flowing downstream to the river at the beginning of the game, but we received helpful feedback from critics suggesting that the most intimidating environments should build towards a climactic conclusion. Future versions would likely shift this challenge earlier in the game.