Project Pitch

Spida-Phobia is a 3D Virtual Reality application made for a school project at the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi (UQAC). The course is the following : 3D interaction and virtual reality (8INF849).

This application is design to help people scared of spiders. The player can go through differents levels that involve different type of spiders. Visual of spiders can change (color, behavior, size). Each level contains a unique environment. Finally, haptic vibration are used to emphasis the immersion.

Project goals

  • → Learn Unreal Engine 4.
  • → Make my first VR application
  • → Gamify a concept like phobias in order to help people.


Detailed Info

We build 4 different levels with progressive “difficulty” in order to help player get used to spiders:

  • The museum
  • The playground
  • The house
  • The cave

Levels description

  1. The Museum: In this level, you can only see inanimate spiders with glasses.

  2. The Playground: Once again, only inanimate spiders are present. But this time, you can directly interact with it by holding, study closely and throwing them if you wish. This allows the player to get use to small spiders but also bigger one. It also gamify this first interaction of the player with spiders.

  3. The House: In this level, there is moving spiders. But they are in vivarium. The players can choose to pick them up or not.

  4. The Cave: This is the harder level since it happens in a dark room. You can find a mix of both inanimate and moving spiders. Also for the first time in the application, spiders can spawn from the ceiling. Note that we expected only really confident players will reach this level.

We made an extra room called “The Portal” room. It allows the player to choose in which level he want to start with (in case we want to skip so of them or avoid to start over)

Bonus features

  • Safe Exit:
    Since we know lost of the players will have this phobia, we offer the possibility to quit at any moment the game. This can be specially useful in case of extreme fear. The player only have to hold both controller’s triggers for 3 seconds to comeback in the “Portal” scene (This can be done even while the player is closing his eyes for example).

  • Friendly robot:
    In every level, a little flying robot is here to assist you and tell you what to do. It also offers a presence to rely on in case of extreme fear.


The big concern we had with our application was the lack of assets. The only spiders we found was not always realistic one and come from a fantasy video game instead.

We put a lot of effort in the level design of the application. Indeed, we wanted to make realistic environment in order to help the player fight his phobia in the best scenario and able to repeat his training in real life. We did underestimate how much work we needed on that part in the beginning of the project.

Finally, we still managed to create an application that can be a first step to fight against arachnophobia. As an example, 2 developers of the team did not like spiders so much before doing the application. It was sometimes painful to test the application with huge spiders. But, by doing the whole application levels per levels, the 2 members found it easier to complete.