Every month we feature an independent creator we love.
Novecento is a 27-year-old comic book artist, illustrator, and game designer, from Naples, Italy. MEKKAKONKRETE, his first game, was published by Peregrine Coast Press earlier in Spring 2023, but his love for games has been lifelong.
“I was always fascinated by all sorts of games… video games, wargames, board games, and also tabletop RPGs. If it had a game mechanic, I was interested.”
Getting Started as an Independent Creator
About nine years ago, Novecento got into TTRPGs after struggling to find a gaming group as a teenager. His love of games and their mechanics — and complaints about his job — led him to work on creating his own game. He credits his mother with giving him that initial push to take the plunge into game design.
“She told me, ‘Why don’t you make your own games? You should publish your own stuff!’ At first I wasn’t very sure about it, but then I asked my friends, and then the rest of my family. I expected someone to tell me this was a bad idea, but no one did, so I decided to actually give it a shot!”
The Making of MEKKAKONKRETE
MEKKAKONKRETE originally started as a passion project that Novecento intended to give friends for Christmas. Soon, though, the game moved beyond just something small for those close to him and became his first published game.
When designing the game, Novecento found inspiration in some of his favorite things: comics, video games, movies, and books.
“I always base my games and general ideas on something I think would be cool to explore, as a storytelling concept… I think the spark of inspiration can be found in every media with cool world building, if one looks hard enough.”
In MEKKAKONKRETE, players take on the role of Mekkas, robots created by the “Processor Mothership” and sent to Latra, a medieval world where the Mekkas must retrieve silver to produce more of their own kind. The game blends sci-fi and fantasy to create something that is both comedic and strategic.
For his game, Novecento aimed to capture the lighthearted nature of Playstation 1-era platform games like Crash Bandicoot, MediEvil, and Armored Core.
“I sincerely hope people can have a good laugh and have a good time playing the game with their friends. This is what games are for me, after all!”
Novecento recently released a second adventure for MEKKAKONKRETE on Itch, which includes two new adventures: “Heist of the Year” and “Breaking the Law.”
“It's a heist adventure set in a moving fortress that also happens to be a casino, that concept artist Metheio really helped visualize and design. I also had the pleasure to work with Martina Chilardi and Emanuele Parascandolo, two wonderful artists that shaped some of the best illustrations MEKKAKONKRETE has ever seen in my opinion. It's weird, it's ridiculous, it was a blast to make; it's very MEKKAKONKRETE in spirit, I'd say.”
As for other projects, all he could say that a “super secret project” is in the pipeline.
Sage Advice from Novecento
Starting a project and then taking it from creation to publication often feels overwhelming for new creators.
For artists, designers, and writers, the creation is the fun part. But, figuring out how to fund and share a project is just as important — especially when publication is the goal. Most independent creators opt for crowdfunding through Kickstart, Crowdfundr, or Indiegogo.
“I was very scared of the crowdfunding aspect of this project. However, it turned out to be one of the best working experiences I had… To everyone working on a crowdfunding project, I would say that it definitely looks scarier than it truly is, so don’t worry and give it a shot.”
In the end, though, it always comes back to the creative work and both a creator’s passion and confidence in their own work.
“Never trust that little voice in your head telling you that you are not good enough to work on something. Remember, the best way to find out and get better is actually making some stuff and putting it out in the wild and seeing how it goes.”