Read Part 1 here.
Read Part 2 here.
Read part 3 here.
Airship Ambassador: If you weren’t creating steampunk games, what else would you be doing now?
Dennis Consorte: What wouldn’t I be doing? I definitely keep busy. Right now my biggest projects include wrapping up a few website designs for some clients and helping my fiancée, Eva plan our wedding. I enjoy anything creative and pulling together a great team to execute on it. Don’t tell Eva, but I may have allegedly had the team help with a few aspects of my wedding planning, only because I knew they would do a great job of course.
AA: It will be our little secret. Eva will never hear it from me. Your background also includes internet marketing and other entrepreneurial ventures. How did that help and motivate you for your current projects?
DC: I’ve spent the last 10-15 years building traffic to websites using Search Engine Optimization and other internet marketing techniques. Crowdfunding is something entirely new for me. Some of the principles are the same, but some are vastly different. What I enjoy most about Kickstarter is that it is a constant reminder that traffic doesn’t come from Google; it comes from people. And with crowdfunding, you’re many steps closer to those people who you’d like to introduce to your idea. Part of my motivation was simply to educate myself on this alien platform. I’m still learning and it’s still fresh and exciting.
AA: What do you do to keep a balance between game creation, other work projects, and the rest of your life?
DC: I’m really bad at that work-life-balance thing in the traditional sense. Thankfully, I enjoy what I do, and so for me, most of it isn’t really “work.” That said, I am thankful for having a wonderful partner in life who keeps me grounded. She understands how much time I need to spend on my work and creative outlets, and yet she helps me to carve out time to spend enjoying other aspects of life that I might overlook without her.
AA: Do you get to talk much with other creators to compare notes, have constructive critique reviews, and brainstorm new ideas?
DC: All the time. I enjoy collaborating with other creators on ideas, and ways to help each other. I’ll talk to anyone who’s interested in what I have to say, and I’ll listen to anyone who has the time to share their ideas with me. I can honestly say that this process has helped me to form new friendships, and has helped me to maintain my faith in humanity when so many things in life can work against it.
AA: The steampunk community is definitely a great way to meet more people and be involved in some amazing creative activity. How is New Jersey for this kind of work? Does location matter for resources, access, publicity, etc
DC: New Jersey definitely isn’t the Mecca of tabletop gaming, and it probably would have been more convenient to live in a place where these games flourish such as the Pacific Northwest. But, I’d have it no other way. I enjoy having New York City a 10-minute train ride from my home, and the diversity and culture that surrounds it. And ultimately, there are like-minded people everywhere; you just have to look.
AA: Do people outside the regular gaming, steampunk, and convention communities recognize you for Scrapyard Empire or Steampunk Goggles? What kind of reactions have you received?
DC: My friends and colleagues are well aware of my biggest projects. I’m generally very monotone in my speech patterns and come across as stoic at times, and so they find it amusing that I would have such interests. But they’re fully supportive of my interests and have even backed my projects.
AA: Looking beyond steampunk and gaming, what other interests fill your time?
DC: Once upon a time I would have answered, “bodybuilding” but that was another life, though I really need to carve out the time to exercise and get into better shape, especially with my wedding coming up in November. Right now I would say that I spend a lot of time educating myself on things I don’t understand. In my downtime I like watching shows ranging from Shark Tank to Game of Thrones, and I’ll be looking forward to Gotham in the fall, mostly because we supplied the goggles for Catwoman, played by Camren Bicondova, and partly because of the Batman theme.
AA: Who or what do you count as your influences, motivators, or role models?
JCV: Hmm, well my motivators include inspiring creativity and superficially, earning a healthy income. My role models include Dale Carnegie, Steve Jobs despite his aversion to modern medicine, and Jules Verne.
AA: Three quick fire, random questions – what is your favorite vehicle, dinner food, and historical event?
JCV: My 2005 Audi A6 that was once new; sushi on a hot day; and The Vietnam War because despite its being such a tragic event, it was how my parents met and how I came into being.
AA: Any final thoughts to share with our readers
Thanks so much for talking with us, Dennis! This has been so much fun to hear about the game itself and the process to create it. Hopefully there are budding game designers and entrepreneurs who are motivated to move forward with their projects, too.