Virtual Reality Design

Rhythm Dungeon VR

Adam Syed
3 min readMar 26, 2020

Immersive 180° VR experience created during a 36-hour Hackathon where players are given a virtual heavy-duty shield to protect themselves from flaming arrows that are fired to the beat of music.

“This game is so good! You guys should release it on Steam.”

Rhythm Dungeon Title Screen

“Can’t believe your team made this game within two days. Insane!”


UI Designer

Prototyped three main screens for the game, created game pixel art, and conducted usability testing using the Oculus VR headset.

3D Model Designer

Used Blender to create a fully customizable shield for players to defend themselves from the flaming arrows.

About The Game

Rhythm Dungeon emulates an epic fight scene where you have to fend yourself from blazing arrows. Users are given a shield to deflect arrows that are fired according to the beat of the in-game music. In order to “win” the player must survive until the song ends.

Virtual Reality Aspect

Virtual Reality (VR) immersion is necessary to create a sensation of danger not present in non-VR experiences. The urgency of protecting yourself from multiple arrows at once paired with following a strong beat immerse the player in this short adventure.


The gaming industry is growing at an exponential rate, and we found it foolish to ignore the amazing opportunities that were available to us in this era. When it came to the Hackathon, we decided on an idea that matched our collective interests. Our group as a whole is musically oriented, which led us to integrate rhythm as a key component of our game.

Technology Used

With Oculus Facebook Technologies being one of the main sponsors of the event, we built the game for the Oculus Rift. Additionally, this was the first time any member on our team had worked in VR so we decided to use the system most commercially available to develop our project.

Design Process

Creating the user interface for the game was a unique experience because it was the first for me designing in VR. Because, I was designing for a VR game for a Hackathon, I wanted to created the title screen as simple as possible. In Virtual Reality it is much more difficult to navigate through screens, hence, reducing the amount of features and buttons on the screen improved clarity for the user. A series of user testing involved my teammates and I wearing the VR headset and browsing through the screens and menu buttons. Putting myself in the shoes of the VR player made me realize that the point of the screens should prioritize conveying functionality rather than pretty and intricate user flows.

User Flow Rhythm Dungeon

Pixel Art I Created

I used Sketch to design the various pixelated art below.

Pixel Art Used in The Game

3D Models I Made

This was my first ever encounter with 3D Modeling. It was tricky to learn at least the fundamentals of the Blender software under 5 hours, but was happy with the result. Below, I created a few models of the flaming arrows and the shield that is used in the game.

3D Models made in Blender


My team went on to win the Hackathon and was gifted with awesome VR gear from our sponsors.

Rhythm Dungeon Team

Rhythm Dungeon Trailer

Our submission for HackXR 2019. HackXR is UC San Diego’s virtual, augmented, and mixed reality hackathon. It is hosted yearly by TritonXR, a student organization, bridging the gap of Extended Reality with students on campus.

Rhythm Dungeon Trailer