Ciao a tutti
per la mia 15a intervista sono andato a cercare Sergio Giovannini, uno dello staff della Rose and Poison, una ditta che fin'ora ha mosso i suoi passi principalmente nel settore ei giochi di ruolo ma che ultimamente sta mostrando anche interesse per i giochi da tavolo e di carte, settore in indubbia grande crescita in Italia.
Eccovi l'intervista che mi ha rilasciato per BoardGame News ...
buon gioco a tutti
[Liga] Hi Sergio, please give us a short introduction about yourself!
[Sergio] I'm 33 years old and I live in Sanremo. Yes, the town of the Festival of Italian music. I'm an architect, and since 1997 I take care of the graphic works of Rose and Poison. Well, I'm also one of the friends and mates that created this group: it's a simple and quite "typical" story: a group of friends that meet after the school to play music and role games (most of us are friends since the age of 14-15) and one day we started to work on a role game, "Angeli e demoni" that we published with Nexus in 1997. Rose and Poison was born.
We worked on different projects, and in the meantime we had the chance to publish the Italian version of "The extraordinary adventures of Baron
Munchausen" by James Wallis). That was our "first encounter" with a well-known author. And some month after, we (well, one of us) met the "great old man", Gary Gygax at Gencon. It happened in 1999, and we get a foreword for the oncoming "Anno secondo", the first compendium for "Angeli e demoni", where we get also the cover from an important artist: Paolo Parente.
Around 2000 we started in thinking about board games, with a couple of projects that are still "in progress". But only in 2003 we published our first two card games: "Prendi e porta a casa" by Beniamino Sidoti and "Crash! the bankrupt game" by Giacomo Sottocasa, both with illustrations by Alberto Bontempi, with the collaboration of Antonio Sottocasa (Giacomo's brother and the one of us that had the idea of "Angeli e demoni") as colorist and me as graphic layout. After some years of experience with books layout it was my first work on a card game!
In 2004-2005 I worked on the graphic of "Obscura Tempora", by Andrea Angiolino, with the illustrations of Valeria De Caterini, and on some games with Giacomo. Among several card games we decided to publish our first board game, "Deus Vult!". The main idea was to create a simple game, good for new players and with some freedom in "difficult level of game". And for only two players. After the main idea we worked on the rules and on several variations of play, trying to balance the effects of luck (in rolling the dice and picking cards) with the strategy of a two-players game.
[Liga] Yes. It seems that most of the games companies (ate least the Italian's ones) start form the dreams of a group of friends used to play together. And now, Cosa Bolle in Pentola ?
[Sergio] Well, we have a lot of new projects we are working on, some as authors, some as publishers. With "Obscura Tempora" and "Deus Vult!" we got some important contracts of distributions in Europe with ProLudo, and our relationship will be more stronger from this year. We are working on two fields now: role games and board/card games. On the first side we have the main production in Italian, of course, but we will publish the second edition of an american role game that we loved some years ago. I still cannot tell you the name but I think that it will be out for the end of 2006. And we have to work also on the English edition of an Italian narrative game.
On the board game side we are planning 3 new games for 2006. The first is ready to print and is by Andrea Angiolino and Pier Giorgio Paglia: it's a card game where you have to compose a story for a film. The name: "Stardust", of course!
[Liga] Good. Please, pass me as soon as you can infos about the other two games! And, for the future ?
[Sergio] Mmmm.. let me see my calendar... well, we have to conquer the world by five years... Joke! Seriously, we plan to continue our work as we made before, with few words and some facts, even if we are really little publishers. We gained experience in these years, and now a lot of people call us to know if we are interested in publishing their games. It's a good thing, and we try always to discover new authors and give them the opportunity to see their work published. It's the only way for a little company. New and original products, with a good quality and the right price.
[Liga] Finally, the 10 games you like to play most.
[Sergio] I have to say that in the last year I had very little free time. Anyway my favourite games are (not strictly in order of importance):
1. Chess - ok, ok, I know, it's not a game :-)
2. Bloodbowl (go! go! Beards of Reorxx! ehm.. my dwarves team...)
3. Risiko, when I was at the University with my house-mates I was used to play every week... usually until the morning...
4. Munchkin, every not-D&D-player like it :-)
5. Warhammer fantasy role game, the best fantasy rpg in my opinion
6. Once upon a time
7. Puerto Rico
8. Shogun total war (PC)
9. Elite / First encounter (pre-PC era game, I had in 1990 on a Commodore Amiga, I found the most recent pc version and keep and old 486 to play it...)
10. another old pc game: Ports of call
[Liga] Thank you very much Sergio for your time. Good play and good luck for all your projects!