Winging It: A Moth's Journey (2021)

Technical Artist | 3D Adventure Game Made with Unity by Team Bute

Winging It is an adventure game that follows the story of a moth trapped in a mine full of hungry bats. Our moth broke his wing in the fall, so must navigate their escape on foot being careful not to make any sound that may attract the bats. The player must use the environment, and their ability to 'click' to lure the bats into a position that makes the player's escape possible.
Winging It is the my first project that I was a dedicated technical artist as I usually do all the design, art and programming myself. This freed up time that could now be spent on shaders, lighting and VFX.
Therefore in this project, I was responsible for maximising graphical performance, all VFX, the lighting, the implementation of the main character's animations (not the animations themselves) and UX. Essentially, any of the visuals that are not models or textures.

VFX & Shaders

The visual effects presented a unique challenge in that they needed to be readable from a distance from an angled orthographic perspective.
Many of the effects were created with custom shaders using Unity Universal Render Pipeline's Shader Graph tool. These effects are controlled by C# scripts I wrote.

Sketchbook Design for Dash Cooldown

Shader Graph for Sonar Refraction

C# sample for dash effect


This project was created with the Universal Render Pipeline, so there can be no more than 8 realtime lights in a given scene. The majority of lighting is produced by lightprobes and lightmaps, with the occasional realtime light.


For a game like this, I believe that the less overlay UI graphics, the better. I sought to incorporate UI and feedback into the game-world instead. Tutorial UI utilises the empty space around the platform and becomes visible when the player is near it, the player's wings glow when the dash has recharged, the area of effect of the player's 'click' is visualised with sonar rings, etc.
I also used an electric blue motif to condition the player into understanding that objects of this colour are interactive and will progress the game.

Play Winging It

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Team Bute

Gameplay Programming - Dale Thomson
Environment Art & Producing - Elena Severson
Character Art & UI Art - Emily Blane
Technical Art and VFX - Innes White
Level Design - Minyang Wang
Level Design - Qian Cheng
Sound Design - Robbie Peden