Mira's Therapy

cover image of Mira's therapy
Type

Experimental Prototype

Release

2021

Technology

C#

Unity

Role

Developer, UX Designer

Mira's Therapy was an entry for Ludum Dare 48 with the theme: Deeper and deeper. The concept I created was of a psychological therapist talking to a defensive, closed-up patient, trying to uncover an underlying story. Based on this idea, an interesting UX challenge emerged. How can we expect anybody to succesfully apply psychological consultancy strategies to solve the situation, without extensive training? The user was supposed to think like a therapist and ask the right questions and the patient was supposed to answer in a way that always made sense. In a way, this project became a prototype for a natural consulting simulation itself. The main issue was that nobody can just jump right into such a situation and we cannot expect people to come up with a strategy by themselves. The solution was inspired by an interesting UX effect. While generating questions or therapy messages themselves was way too high of an ask for users, they were able to make meaningful decisions given predefined messages. So instead of using an input field to let users generate input, it worked like a normal search component in typical websites and apps to filter prewritten messages by how likely they would represent the message the player would want to use. This way, the messages represented the original thoughts of the user, while also staying true to what a therapist would say in such a situation and the result was a more meaningful simulation. Mira's Therapy was made in collaboration with two psychologists, so we placed value on realism and mindfulness. The case itself was written in a way to make users freely explore the history of our patient. The result was a conceptual prototype that recontextualized natural conversation simulations for training or play purposes.