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Digital Subscriptions > Tabletop Gaming > Issue Nine – Apr/May '17 > THE BOARD GAME THREE DECADES IN THE MAKING


Nicola Iannone has been working on his tabletop debut for two-thirds of his life. As Medioevo Universalis prepares to finally release in 2017, the first-time designer looks back on the culmination of 29 years

From the rise of the internet to countless political turmoils, today’s world is undoubtedly a very different place to the world of 1988. For all the change, however, one thing has remained the same: the lifelong aspiration of a tabletop devotee to get his dream board game made.


In 1988, then-16-year-old Nicola Iannone and his friends decided – as many teenagers have done before and since – to create their own board game.

Iannone had previously dabbled in writing his own titles inspired by fantasy books and RPGs such as Dungeons & Dragons a few years before, and took a similar approach to the ambitious project, pulling in mechanic and thematic aspects of his favourite influences.

“In 1988, after hundreds of games of Risk, Monopoly and Marco Polo, we created the first version of Medioevo Universalis, then baptised Mesciòt – which means ‘mix’ in my dialect – in reference to the fact that we used many parts of other board games: a map from Marco Polo, panzers from Risk and money from Monopoly.”

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