A high immersion learning environment

My Role: Project Lead, VR Designer & Developer

Duration: 2018

The Product: Design Campsite is a High Immersion Interactive learning experience for students in the creative fields. This app was created for educational research in collaboration with the Tec de Monterrey University, and was selected as a finalist for the QS Re-Imagine Education Awards (The Oscars of Education) in London 2019.

Responsibilities: As the Lead and single Designer & Developer my responsibilities were wide. I worked on the entire UI / UX, which included visual design, interaction, 3D modeling, Unity implementation, optimization, and debugging.


I designed the environment using a mix of Maya and Google Blocks for the 3D modeling.

Then I developed the project in Unity using the SteamVR Plugin to manage the loading of 3D models for VR controllers, handle input from those controllers, and estimate what the hands look like while interacting with the environment.

The project is an immersive experience that teaches the user about design principles by interacting with the environment. It incorporates the following features:

  • Waypoints locomotion
  • Spatial audio
  • Animation
  • A mix of baked and real-time lighting
  • Physics



Design Campsite is a high immersion VR experience for students that teaches them the fundamental Design Principles.


The end users for the experience are creative students who are new to high immersion VR, but who have already experienced various 2D and 3D games in their life. They are probably going to be in their early twenties.


The following are examples of the design principles and ideas desired for the project.

  • Balance
  • Rocks – Physics simulation of rocks

  • Dominance & Emphasis
  • Ducks – change color of a single duck
    Ducks move using Boids Flocking Algorithm

  • Similarity & Contrast
  • Spider web – interactive animation of creating a spiderweb

  • Scale & Proportion
  • Ratio / Divisions / Size – pickup 3D model


    Check out this early VR sketch—it’s like a sneak peek of the experience. Imagine being in a campsite, free to roam around open spaces with interactive stuff that’s all about design. Cool, right?

    I was seriously amped to experiment with fresh 3D world modeling. I jumped into Google Blocks to craft intricate 3D scenes directly in virtual reality. This was huge because I could see the whole picture and grasp its scale instantly. Google Blocks erased the divide between designing and bringing things to life, giving me a totally different angle to experience my creations. It totally smoothed out and jazzed up the design process, totally flipping how I create virtual spaces.



    The environment created helps establish the mood for the scene and in turn, helps get the users to feel a certain way. For this scene I wanted the users to feel calm but intrigued. For this reason the camp is set at night, so that lighting can help reduce emotional and mental stress.


    For this immersive VR experience I used Waypoint movement. This allows us to control where the player will be when exploring the camp and is unlikely to induce simulator sickness. The movement is activated when the player releases the triggers on any of the controllers.


    In this final stage, I sat up the mood with audio, implemented the interaction, and created audiovisual feedback.

    I also added some AI using the Boids Flocking Algorithm to add movement to the ducks.


    I asked users to go through the experience end to end, from start to finish.

    Some of the findings of the test were:

  • People liked the experience, they felt calm while using it.
  • The interactivity was fun, and a great way to get their attention.
  • They wished there were more levels or that the camp was bigger to explore more.
  • After the usability tests for the experience were finished, and after various iterations on the experience, we proceeded with qualitative and quantitative research to explore the difference between traditional learning and VR learning.

    This research was submitted to the QS Reimagine Education awards, where we were fortunate enough to be selected as a finalist among projects from all around the world.


    Making a high immersion VR Experience was deeply satisfying. The ability to create the perception of being physically present in a non-physical world has an enormous potential. And VR seems to be the natural next step for the evolution of education.

    If I wanted to take this experience further, I would add more activities, and levels with additional challenges. But for now, this brings the Design Campsite project to a close.