Over the next several weeks, we’re spotlighting the top 20 3D Jam experiences chosen by the jury and community votes. These spotlights will focus on game design, interaction design, and the big ideas driving our community forward.

Created by Andrew Kostuik and Ed Wisniewski at NORCAT’s Immersive Learning Centre, The Crow made a big impression thanks to its beautiful aesthetic and rich open-world concept. You can download the 3D Jam alpha demo or support further development by purchasing the beta at thecrowgame.com.

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As a game developer, which titles inspired you early on, and where do you draw inspiration from now?

We both grew up playing classic video games. Ed grew up in the arcade, frequently feeding the machine, playing games like Pac-Man, Space Invaders, Galaga, and Contra. I was a bit younger, never seeing the very early video game boom, but I had been exposed to Pong boards and early generation consoles.

I became obsessed with the abstract visual aspects, while Ed was my antithesis: he studied the logic and structure. Although we had never entirely focused on gaming directly, our experiences transitioned rather effortlessly when we met and began exploring games and simulation development. We both draw additional inspiration from our love for music. As I washed away into the sunset of the high school talent show, Ed performed shows around the world, including the MGM in Vegas.

What is the Immersive Learning Center, and how are you involved?

The formation of our new venture was a long time coming. Early in Ed’s career, he was a partner at a company that developed interactive applications and games for companies around the world. His company was acquired by NORCAT, which gave him the ability to see his ideas grow under the umbrella of a Technology Center. I’d been working in the advertising industry for 13 years, working at agencies and forming my own.

We finally met and fused our skill sets. Under NORCAT, we’ve expand into our newly formed Immersive Learning Center, where we will be focusing on the creation and production of interactive immersive, visual games, training programs, and services drawing on the talent of our entire team.

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What was it like constructing the world of The Crow?

The initial world was planned to be akin to our Earth. It’s the start of a picture being painted of a world the Bird Gods once inhabited many Eons ago. The early character development focused on the same human-like interactions, but that of another perspective. We are still very early into development and will continue to expand, evolve, and reintegrate into our foundation.

During the one-month 3D Jam timeline, I spent the majority of time riffing with ideas and building location assets, until much was refined and we found that we had a start for an expansive world. We can only hope to find a community who wishes to help shape the future of Diorion.

It’s the task of the players to restore balance in the land of Diorin. What’s the origin of this narrative?

The narrative has much to do with the powers of duality and survival. It is each individual choice that you make that will drive the outcome in either direction. We’re focusing on further solidifying our current foundation and then we plan to expand Diorion into many directions.

Want to help The Crow get on Steam? Be sure to rate it up on Steam Greenlight!

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Formerly the head commander of social media at Leap Motion, Kate is now the Editorial Manager at Lily Robotics.

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