Game worlds: Da Vinci and the Renaissance

self supporting bridge

Leonardo Da Vinci life, works and time are ideal sources for inspiration for games and videogames. Not only for that, of course: any media can treat the Da Vinci theme, and books, movies, documentaries, even theatrical pieces deal directly or have taken inspiration from Leonardo and his times.



Leonardo with Batman

Leonardo was not a unique, isolated case of creativity: the birth of Renaissance in Italy testifies a host of inventors and artists, and more you get to know this extraordinary period, more you will discover.

Photo: Not moving you get fat

As I believe games are under utilized as a way to explore knowledge and history, I started a Facebook page that presents what is being done in games and “playful” media on the theme of Leonardo and the Renaissance. Helped by Leonardo’s researcher Alexander Neuwahl, I’ve collected a seemingly never ending collection of funny, bizarre and entertaining list of works and references. You find it in full glory here:






Mona Lisa make over

There is more then Leonardo as presented in Assassin’s Creed. If you persist scrolling down the Facebook page, you’ll find it hard to get to the end of it!

Photo: The Lady stretching her ermine:

You’ll find games, jokes, riddles, books, simulations, experiments, models, documentaries, buildings…

I’ve also been doing some game design on Renaissance / Leonardo themed games, but this is the topic for another post- follow me on Twitter to keep in touch.





Photo: Mona Lisa relaxing:

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Applying for a job in videogames. Signed: Leonardo da Vinci

Dear Sirs,

I am hereby applying for all positions in your company.

For game narrative and scripting, you should check my theatrical pieces. Today you can also see theater pieces using my writings.

battiloroFor programming, I actually used it extensively. Like for my machine for thinning gold, it can be programmed for any sequence of movements in a two dimensional space.

File:Peter Paul Ruben's copy of the lost Battle of Anghiari.jpg
As general illustrator and for concept research, see my sketches for “Battle of Anghiari”.

On 2D/3D, I did some minor frescoes.

Leonardo’s work in 3D in evidence.

Mona Lisa for videogamesNote that among infinite other crucial discoveries, I invented the use of transparency layers for generating depth effects; I hereby present a version of my Mona Lisa adapted to the aesthetic criteria in use in videogames today.
I also did extensive architectural design of houses, castles, cannon resistant fortifications, so if you are going for a tower defense game, I’m the man.

I also did town map design – actually I was the first to do it applying consistently geometric methods, so in a sense I invented modern cartography. Also consider my bridge over bridge for the Golden Horn

Leonardo project for Golden Horn bridge

Leonardo project for Golden Horn bridge

De Divina Proportione, fine art facsimile edition
For specific game illustration, you should check my work with Luca Pacioli on geometry. I gave him also some advice concerning his chess problems drawings, without great results.


As playtester, I contributed most solutions to Luca’s chess study.






Some malevolent people insinuate that I have some problems shipping in time, but I say that quality will be remembered long after delay has been forgotten.

Finally, if there is any other field of knowledge even remotely connected to your videogame design, I feel I can always give a hand: my knowledge may be slightly outdated but I catch up quickly. More on my works here.


Leonardo da Vinci

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