In November 2015, ProReal Limited approached Invirt Reality to develop a unique application aimed at creating an engaging and immersive virtual environment to facilitate the work of counsellors within the health and wellbeing sector. Proreal’s aim was to create an immersive application which allows users to create visual representations of their thoughts and feelings from multiple perspectives, resulting in stronger relationships and improvement to psychological wellbeing.
The project aimed to deliver a software application that could be delivered across desktop, tablet and web deployments. The application is developed in the Unity3D game engine, and implements a virtual world that is shared by a counsellor and client, providing a landscape, avatars, symbols and viewpoints that can be used to describe and analyse an emotional situation.
The application needed to perform well, even on lower spec devices, and provide an intuitive user for both desktop and touch-screen so that the users are free to concentrate on creating the environment the way they want it to look.
Invirt Reality analysed the requirements, created a design and a programme schedule. Performance was considered paramount from the start, and throughout development. We used our in depth knowledge of 3D modelling using Autodesk 3Ds Max, and the efficient use of materials, textures and rendering techniques to create a large scale world that performs well on all platforms.
An intuitive and responsive design for the Graphical User Interface (GUI) was key to successful use of the application in its counselling role. The users needed to be able to control avatars, symbols and camera viewpoints smoothly and accurately both with desktop and touch interfaces.
The greatest technical challenge, however, was to implement a multi-user design which would support handover of control of the avatars, minimal lag controls and consistent worlds, whilst also coping with network interrupts and accurate collection of state information for later analysis.
Close cooperation was maintained throughout the project with ProReal Limited, using collaborative tools, and effective source code configuration control, such that the project progressed rapidly, and the end result was consistent with the vision of ProReal.
The application is in-service and has progressed through a number of formal releases, with new functionality being added in accordance with the project roadmap. Development is ongoing, with valuable feedback being processed all the time from the user community.
The work with Proreal demonstrates how projects can be managed successfully through close collaboration with a receptive client.
“Back in 2015 we chose to work with Invirt Reality to help bring our Virtual World application up to date. They have brought a special combination of leading-edge expertise and a maturity of approach. We think of their team as an extension to our own, having gone through the development cycle together with us. We are genuinely delighted with the results, and with the care and attention to detail they have consistently demonstrated. We would make the same decision again and we look forward to ongoing work in the future.”
David Littlewood, Technical Project Leader, Proreal