FloraTune VR

Design Overview

How Might We design a narrative in Virtual Reality that can have a significant impact is in providing therapeutic experiences that can help reduce stress and anxiety with an alternative botanical approach?

A musical garden VR experience where guests can interact with the virtual plants, use plants as instruments to generate intuitive yet different therapeutic notes


Blender, Unity 3D

My Role

VR Experience Designer, Unity Developer


Min Pan, Haoyu Tang, Xin Hao, Yiyang Chen


8 weeks

Conceptual Design

This project started from our daily observation of people exhausted from living in the concrete jungle. They adopt indoor plants, interact with them, and get healed by appreciating all kinds of botanical therapy experiences. How Might We utilize VR to amplify this healing journey and add a multi-sensory layer to the plant? Since the plant can hardly make sound, we brainstormed acoustic solutions for virtual plants by observing their botanical structures, amplifying with larger landscapes and analog them with different musical instruments.

How can VR improve the indoor botanical therapy experience?

Identify similarity among a larger landscape

Translate the botanical stucture into a musical instrument

Game Play - Translate Botanical Intrument Into VR

People use different techniques to play various instruments. How could this be translated into a VR experience? Since hand-controller movement is limited, we decided to mimic the movement of instruments instead.

How to design the musical experience from VR?

Assign exclusive interaction components to different plant types

Building Steps (click to unveil the complete process)

Step 1 - Ideate

We initially conceived several ideas using plant-themed VR to create mental relief for people with different stress levels and how these user personas would feel after experiencing our mysterious and surrealistic botanical world. We then imagined the scene building with specific plants and interaction design to enable this experience.

Step 2 - Scene Building First Try

We initially created a series of scenes with specific botanical instruments as the highlighted characters. Each set would only contain one instrument. However, we gave it up after finding that players must travel a really long distance to reach an instrument. And this process would add impatience for people who already feel stressed in the real world. It does not match our player persona.

Step 3 - Scene Building Second Try

We then created the scene with the starting point in the middle of the river while sitting on a lotus and moving between each botanical instrument alongside the riverbank. However, this linear geographical structure could make it hard for the player to navigate to the instrument to play.

Step 4 - Scene Building Third Try

Finally, we came out with this surrounding tranquil woodland scene idea, simplifying the scene by making it more compact, so the player could relatively easily travel in between each botanical instrument.

Step 5 - Refine The Scene

We refined the scene by adding environmental mapping, lighting, etc.

Step 6 - Function Realization

Place script. This step is synchronized with step 5.

Usability Testing - Questionnaire

Iterative Testing

Iterate version by using GitHub, and find friends to participate in the test to get feedback.

Click Here To Access Our Development File on GitHub ↗

Getting Feedback

We distributed two questionnaires, hoping to look for improvement and solve problems in the game from players' feedback. A total number of 11 people participated in the questionnaire survey. The contents and results of the two questionnaires are as follows:

- The harp vine is the most popular botanical instrument.
- Even though most players felt bored playing the drum trunk instrument, they still wanted to spend time playing it. We guess it's the stupid fun that generates from this kind of instrument making players feel satisfied and relieved.
- Players are satisfied with the artistic performance of our game; they think neutral with the core playing methods, and they believe the interaction complexity has a great potential for improvement.


- Designing the virtual environment still has to consider how people in the real space with VR headsets will explore and navigate.
- Usability testing is crucial for game development, and iterative testing and design are always required to match the development goal with player personas.
- Extended reality can create a multi-sensory experience that would have the potential to reveal the unseen nature and even equip nature with anthropocentric artifacts.

Next Step

- Improve the interaction complexity by adding more animations, audio control, etc.
- Add more botanical instrument variety so players would have more playing options.
- Using EEG or other emotion-capturing devices for the usability test to see statistically how our game help to reduce stress.