Virtual Food Systems
The Garden Plot is a photorealistic virtual reality regenerative agriculture experience that allows users to cultivate their own eco spaces within the virtually simulated world. The game is designed as a meditative learning experience to teach players about food systems, soil growth, and regenerative agricultural practices, like permaculture, biodynamic, and synergic farming. As players plant herbs, water seedlings, the game guides users in how to grow their garden plot into a virtual food forest.
Educating Regenerative Methods
Based on contemporary practices in regenerative farming, The Garden Plot is designed to educate users in:
- how soil is made and can be enriched, without the use of fertilizers or pesticides;
- which plants grow well next to each other, providing minerals, sharing nutrients, and attracting pollinators and helpful predators;
- how weeds and wild herbs can be eaten or used for medicinal purposes;
- and why density and diversity in a food forest is so important for sequestering water and carbon, for an increasingly drought-prone world.
Science & Gameplay
In the most challenging mode of The Garden Plot, the virtual world responds to the weather changes, with additional pre-production rain, cloud, and snow animations altering the scenario depending on that real-world data. The simulation also provides interactive user interface support with details about each plant available in the app, and helpful real-time tips about how frequently the user should water, weed, or cultivate the specific plants they have chosen to grow in their garden.
The Garden Plot is a virtual reality simulation intended for Oculus Quest 2 and requiring two controllers for head and hand tracking. Additionally, the simulation is intended for a 3 x 3 meter space, allowing the user to physically walk around and throughout the garden plot. Immersive audio through the display headset also allows the user to receive auditory feedback from actions and activities like digging, shoveling, planting, stepping over twigs and leaves, etc.
The simulation is currently in development in Unreal Engine with no release date yet set.