Dirk Knemeyer


Over the last week the “new” things I’ve been working on in various capacities have broken water and, insodoing, mark a transitional moment in my life.

On the more personal side, I’m in the final stages of turning my long-time hobby into a real business. With the launch of our website last Wednesday, Conquistador Games moved from how I was privately spending my personal time – working with my buddy Mike as well as Sigrid – into the wild of the real world. While one always hopes that financial success follows any business venture, for me the driving purpose behind Conquistador is to provide me a vehicle to manifest my many, many, many game design ideas. This has been my hobby – sometimes all-encompassing, other times simmering in the background – since I was a little boy. Well, with age, experience in business, and belief enough in myself to commit some of our precious disposable income, I’m ready to take the things in my mind and half-finished prototypes and make it all real.

It has been both a struggle and a pleasure to bring Conquistador to life. As the recession hobbled my company, Involution Studios, in 2009 I started spending my free time working on game designs. It was a way to keep my mind sharp and stay fresh despite the debacle that year turned out to be. I so enjoyed it and wanted the ideas to become manifest that even as business returned I kept putting considerable hours each week into the endeavour. It made my life pretty much 100% work, but for me it was well worth it. Now, the fruits of the labour are finally manifest. I love creating things that manifest my vision of the world and this will be an amazing outlet for that. I’m really excited.

The other major change, and the one that will dominate most of my time in the months and hopefully years ahead, is Sprout. This is a software start-up based on ideas I had around consumer software to change people’s lives thru helping them understand themselves and each other. For perhaps the first time in my career, I’ve created a vision for something that has the potential to really make the world a better place. The nature of the idea also is one that could end up being very financially successful. In terms of my career and how I “have to” spend the 60+ hours a week I put into “real work”, this would certainly be a first, and a very exciting one at that.

What does this mean for Involution? Very little. I’ve been pulling back from our operational efforts in Boston over the past year. I’m still integrally involved in key ways regarding the management of the business and overall brand and marketing for the company. These are things I will continue to provide on a daily basis. Indeed, Juhan will be involved with Sprout as well, meaning there will be ongoing hooks between the studio and my adventures here in Columbus, Ohio that keep my influence and impact very present in both entities.

My maternal grandfather, the relative with whom I was the closest, re-invented himself time and time again during his life: lawyer, politician, painter, farmer…he rejected being “something” and instead became the “someone” he wanted to be. Perhaps unintentionally, I feel as though I’m walking in his footsteps: finding new parts of myself in each pivot from one moment of myself to the next. Here, then, is the jumping off point for the next chapter. Excelsior!

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