Breathe in. The lights around you glow and intensify. Breathe out. The glow diminishes. Take a deep breath. You rise up and glide across the seascape.
DEEP is a meditative and psychoactive VR game that is controlled by breathing. Players don the Oculus Rift and the custom DEEP controller to explore a beautiful and mysterious undersea world. Allow the game to sweep you into its relaxing embrace as it teaches you yogic breathing techniques that can relieve stress, anxiety and mild depression. Take a DEEP breath and soar beneath the waves to meet ancient gods and strange lifeforms.
The custom controller measures diaphragm expansion in order to sense deep breathing. This information is fed back to the player in a variety of visual cues, intimately linking their consciousness and breath. The environment's layout gently encourages the player to slow their breath, to sink deeper and relax. It can be played for therapeutic or aesthetic reasons, and does not require the use on arms, legs or hands.
When the Oculus Rift first came out, Owen began making a personal meditation aid to help him in his practice. Like many people, Owen has suffered from anxiety and bouts of depression. For the last 15 years, he has used meditation and breathing techniques to help manage these problems. He sought to create a digital zen garden, a place he could escape to at the end of a tough day to unwind and relax.
He was surprised to find out that there was a lot of interest in the concept and began developing it for a wider audience. In the summer of 2014, after showing the work at Playful Arts Festival in Den Bosch, he was introduced to Niki. Niki’s art and ideas complemented and expanded the vision of the game. Owen and Niki are now collaborating together to build a new version of DEEP. You can watch the development in progress here.
What people are saying
A new experience
Learn ancient breathwork techniques
Alleviate anxiety and mild depression
Audiovisual feast for the senses
Digital Zen garden
Logo & Icon
Playful Arts Festival, Den Bosch, June 2014
Prototype Festival, Dublin, October 2014
GameCity Festival, Nottingham, October 2014
CULT Festival, Venice, November 2014
About the Developers
Owen is a game designer, teacher and human. When not working on DEEP, he is head lecturer of the BA in Game Design at DIT, works as game designer and producer with bitSmith Games and likes to tweet. He finds it weird to talk about himself in the third person and lives in Dublin, Ireland.
Niki Smit is co-founder of Monobanda, a Utrecht based game company that develops playful interactive experiences. He is a game designer and artist. Niki aims to explore and expand the boundaries of games and interaction and focuses heavily on researching and developing new forms of play and meaningful interactivity.
We’re still working on getting our full website up and running. In the meantime, you can contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or would like us to demo at your event!
Structure based on presskit() by Rami Ismail of Vlambeer - those guys are awesome!