The project

The project of the videogame came to life in the GRAN SASSO NATIONAL LABORATORIES of the NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF NUCLEAR PHYSICS (INFN). The purpose of this project is to offer an understanding of the pioneering research activities performed in the lab and to draw the attention of students to the culture of science and technology.

Action is the main ingredient in this platform game, also including movements inside the underground tunnels, the search for objects and the activation of tools.

Players learn about the components and the key phases of the experiments without even realizing it. After completing all required actions, a “minigame” is unlocked: this is a game with a very simple structure and focused on the purpose of the experiment.

Four research areas of the Gran Sasso Laboratories are present in the game: solar neutrinos, nuclear astrophysics, dark matter and double beta decay without neutrino emissions.

The Gran Sasso Laboratories created and coordinated the project from the start, providing both scientific advice and the required details for the setting of the game. They worked side by side with scientific outreach company formicablu, which as partner of the project contributed to the creation of the game and worked on cards and educational material editing.
The website and the communication process are the result of joint-working amongst the project partners. The game development was assigned to the production company of Ivan Venturi, who is a pioneer of the Italian videogame industry. The collaboration with INDIRE ensured the proper advice in the field of education and helped the testing phase of the game.

The project, which was called PILA (Physics in Ludic Adventure) as a tribute to the revolutionary invention of Alessandro Volta, won the MIUR call for funding program "Initiative for the spreading of scientific culture" within the framework of Law 6/2000 (Agreement ACPR15T4_00267).


Gran Sasso Videogame is a project of the Gran Sasso National Laboratories and formicablu, based on an idea of Alba Formicola, Head of Reasearch Division of LNGS and Francesca Conti, CEO of formicablu srl.
Realized with the support of INDIRE and funded by MIUR funding program “Iniziative per la diffusione della cultura scientifica“ within the framework of Law 6/2000 (Agreement ACPR15T4_00267).

Company in charge of videogame development:
IV Productions

Francesca Conti, Lisa Lazzarato – formicablu srl
Alba Formicola, Alessia Giampaoli – INFN LNGS

Production direction
Ivan Venturi – IV Productions

Design and storyboard
Ivan Venturi – IV Productions
Lisa Lazzarato, Francesca Conti – formicablu srl
Alessia Giampaoli, Alba Formicola – INFN LNGS

Scientific consultants:
Alba Formicola, Alessia Giampaoli – INFN LNGS

Supervision of graphic settings and reproduction:
Alessia Giampaoli – INFN LNGS

Programming: Luca Contato
Graphic settings and objects: Ilaria Baldassari
Animations: Elena Pellegrini
Graphic interface: Fabiola Allegrone
Artist supervision and concept: Giacomo Guccinelli
Audio and music: Marianna Murgia
Additional graphics: Ivan Venturi
Testing: Katalin Negretti
Text: Lisa Lazzarato – formicablu srl, Ivan Venturi – IV Productions

Text content of physics cards:
Michele Avalle, Lisa Lazzarato – formicablu srl
Pixel art images of physics card:
Valentina Marcon – formicablu srl

Scientific supervision of videogame contents and physics cards carried out by Alessia Giampaoli:
V. Caracciolo, G. Ciani, D. Ciccotti, N. D’Ambrosio, M. L. Di Vacri, M. Ferrante, P. Gorla, A. Ianni, M. Junker, M. Laubenstein, M. Mannarelli, M. Messina, A. Molinario, D. Orlandi, L. Pagnanini, L. Pietrofaccia, S. Pirro, A. Razeto, N. Rossi, K. Schaeffner

Alessia Giampaoli – INFN LNGS
Francesca Conti – formicablu srl

Graphics of communication products:
Valentina Marcon – formicablu srl

Press office:
Roberta Antolini – INFN LNGS
Eleonora Cossi, Francesca Mazzotta – INFN

Relationships with schools:
Maria Guida – INDIRE
Francesca Conti – formicablu srl
Alba Formicola – INFN LNGS

Discover the experiments and help the alien to get back home!

Play now