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Nova Game Designs came to be in 1981 out of the original named company, 'Gameshop', which James Rosinus started. In 1979, three other individuals joined James as equal partners in a revamped and (slightly) recapitalized 'Gameshop'. Each was to bring in their own game that was to be financed and published by each partner, with labor contributed by the others. Rosinus already had his game made, called 'Angola' about the 70's Civil War in that country, and was grandfathered in. Joe Angiolillo (sometime designer for SPI at the time) brought in a massive card game treatment of Norse Mythology named 'The Hammer of Thor'. Michael Vitale's contribution was a mini-game called 'Timelag' which was inspired by Joe Haldeman's book 'Forever War'. The major achievement of the beginnings of this company was the fourth entry, 'Ace of Aces', designed by Albert Leonardi. This was an innovative take on visual gaming prior to the availability of PCs.

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