The original hand-made version of
"Da Vinci's Challenge™"
featuring the Flower of Life game board
As a college design student, one of my senior projects was to create an original board game. At the time, my interest was piqued in ancient history & sacred art traditions. I read about the pattern of interlocking circles called "The Flower of Life' & thought it would make a perfect game board.
It was one of those lightning-strike moments I'll never forget. I had an immediate & complete vision of how the game should be, from the rules to the visual appearance.
To give it a look like it was from the ruins of an ancient temple, I made the original version out of stone- with a copper playing surface & wood case. I had never worked with some of these materials before, but my professor pushed me to make it into the amazing piece of fully-functional art in the photo above.
In the beginning of my career as a graphic designer, Briarpatch produced it as a retail board game, "Da Vinci's Challenge™". Leonardo da Vinci himself studied the properties & proportions of the equidistant, geometrically arranged circles.
To maintain my unique vision for a game using a Flower of Life game board pattern, I patented the game play (Patent US7114721). Inside the oval & triangle spaces formed by the interlocking circles, you must form "secret symbols" with your playing pieces. These are familiar patterns worth more points as they increase in complexity.
This summer, I'm FINALLY working toward developing "Da Vinci's Challenge™" as a digital app for mobile devices like the iPhone. If things go according to plan, I'll post updates here on the process. This past weekend, my brother worked with me to film a test shoot & edit a rough cut of the pitch video that'll be used to raise funding for the project. We inserted some of the graphic elements I've been creating & it's looking like it might turn out pretty cool.
"Da Vinci's Challenge™" is probably the single creation I'd like to live on after I'm gone, because it really does contain profound qualities that transcend the label of a mere 'game'. With the right perspective, it can be seen as a reflective meditation on the mind & Reality itself.
It also possesses a rich legacy, that spans human history.
Through one of my random Google searches, I just came across an excellent Flickr group. It's a pool of photos showing the many uses of the Flower of Life & the central 6-petal motif in ancient art.
Here's the front page for the Flickr group, with some basic Flower of Life & Petal Motif info.
Here's a link to the full photo pool, with a collection of amazing examples of this motif used around the world.