This thesis aimed to explore the use of modern VR technology and design for the use in SGs to implement a realistic and authentic diving simulation. A comprehensive design for a VR System that can implement such a simulation has been proposed and a prototype was developed to test and validate the design decisions. Throughout the thesis many important findings have been made and could be utilised for the construction of the system.
Initially, we presented our motivations for the thesis and why the topic was chosen to introduce readers to the topic and help them understand the potential outcomes and opportunities stemming from our research. After a brief historical summary of VR technology, an extensive overview of the field was given, explaining the different aspects and advantages of the technology, and definitions for use in the thesis were established. The role andadvantage of VR for use in immersive SGs was highlighted and its potential for the use in UCH and dive training.
A number of related works were reviewed to examine the state of the art in the space of VR SGs and dive simulation. Through the study of this previous research we could extract valuable lessons for our own work, helping us with the design and implementation of our own VR system and avoid pitfalls in the progress. This knowledge was promptly applied to the theoretical exploration of the aspects and methods pertaining to the realistic, interactive simulation of a dive. The different sensory stimuli of the activity were brought up and possible technological, as well as design, solutions for their authentic translation into VR was discussed. Based on the results of this consideration, an extensive design for a modularand extensible VR diving simulation system was proposed, detailing both the hardware and software structures along with the underlying principles and philosophies. In cooperation with Guys Kost one possible experience for the system was envisioned aided by his findings in his own thesis. A prototype VR SG based on the previously proposed gameplay and design were then developed in partnership, with components pertaining specifically to dive simulation and VR elaborated here. Finally a user-study was planned for further evaluation of the prototype and the future possibilities resulting from the thesis were explored.
We found that Virtual Reality is likely a suitable technology for the realistic simulation of diving in the context of a Serious Game, in particular when an immersive and realistic virtual environment is used in conjunction with authentic, engaging gameplay. Our prototype provides an early look at the possibilities of such a simulator and could be used to facilitate immersive entertainment or accessible dive training in the future. We intend to furthere valuate the performance of the system with the proposed user-study and plan to continue development and research of the prototype in subsequent works.