tBR Persons of the Week: Scott Pease and Jeff Swenty, co-inventors of Snap Ships

by PlayMonster | 07 Oct 2021

The Bloom Report

What exactly do you do in the industry?

Scott: Jeff and I try to invent digital and physical toy and game concepts that we can turn into
innovative products. With Snap Ships we started inventing a board game with modular
components, dropped the game part and focused on making an awesome construction toy, and
now we’re turning the toys back into a tabletop game.

What is your claim to fame in the industry?

Scott: Prior to working on toys, I worked in the video game industry for 20 years, most of which
I spent helping run a studio named Neversoft (a division of Activision). Jeff and I worked on
some pretty massive franchises: Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, Guitar Hero, and Call of Duty - 18
titles in all, which combined to sell over 100 million units.

What are you working on now?

Scott: We’re working on Snap Ships Tactics - a tabletop game system for the Snap Ships toys.
The toys make incredible sci-fi miniatures - highly detailed and completely modular spaceships
and mechs. The cost of tooling them solely as part of a board game would have been prohibitive
- but because we first launched as a toy, we now have a toolkit of hundreds of pieces to use in
the game. It’s going to be a whole new way to play with our kits and we’re working with an
incredible design partner on the game.

What’s your workspace setup like?

Jeff: My workspace is my office at home. It’s comfy and cozy and filled with things I’ve made
as well as things I’ve gathered during my years of working in the game industry. Half of the
room is a library filled with tons of sci-fi and a bunch of books about doomed polar exploration
(it’s a niche but man, there are some fantastic stories!) Connected to my office is my garage
where one corner is a workbench covered in 3d printers. I try to keep the printer running as
much as possible with new Snap Ship pieces and ideas.What is the most rewarding part of your job?

Scott: For me, it’s all about the customers - getting to see and interact with fans of our work and
see the pleasure and creativity we’re inspiring in them. As tech heads we love some of the new
tools for connecting with our audience - for example, there’s a Snap Ships discord where fans of
the line can hang out, share their creations, exchange tips, and generally inspire each other. Jeff
and I are on there to listen to feedback and interact with Snap Ships fans in a direct way - and
they are super nice folks! Come join us - Discord: https://bit.ly/3sIbE5f

What’s a problem you’re still trying to solve?

Scott: Coming from the video game world, Jeff and I are big fans of VR and AR. To date, most
Augmented Reality “toys” have been clunky and/or superfluous. This is mostly due to having to
“look through” your phone or tablet to see an augmentation, that really limits the interactions
with the physical product you can do... Someday soon we hope that AR glasses will become a
reality so that we can bring the toys and tabletop games in front of the player to life using some
of the techniques we’re familiar with from AAA video games.

What excites you?

Jeff: I’m pretty excited by quite a bit to be honest! Great Sci-fi books get me going for sure.
Seeing people’s creations with Snap Ships is really exhilarating. The creativity on display is
very inspiring...and seeing these creations gets me excited to think of the possibilities with new
pieces and kits. Experimenting with VR is also very exciting. We are in a period of time where
new/different/crazy things are developing and we get the privilege of experiencing all of this!

What was your favorite toy or game as a child?

Scott: I love toys that present an entirely new, cohesive “world” to step into. From my childhood,
G.I.Joe and Transformers fit that bill. The work and attention to detail that was put into the Joe
toys was phenomenal; so many toys these days feel like disposable one-offs... As a kid, I
wanted to get sucked into a world rich in lore, story, cool designs, and imaginative vehicles. Our
Snap Ships line seeks to recreate that effect, but put even more power in the players’ hands
because our modular vehicles can be endlessly built, rebuilt, modded, enhanced, and

How do you jumpstart your creativity when you find yourself stalled on a project?

Jeff: I think the most important part of being creative is to simply do stuff. Just do anything.
Stuck on a problem? Just start trying things...before you know it you could veer into the solution
because of something you tried that did not work. There is a famous saying ‘Creativity strikes at
9am everyday’. Basically you have to work at it like anything else. I’ve had moments of insight
out of the blue, but that seems to be pretty rare.

Summer or Winter?

Jeff: Winter for sure. You get to bundle up, stay inside with your dogs and play with things like
Snap Ships!

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