Developmental biology is a field fertile in metaphors and paradigms, and offers a playground rich of possibilities for various technologies. The underlying mechanisms for developmental biology processes have challenged science and imagination for centuries. Herein we propose a non-exhaustive incursion into three major concepts in the field: self-organization, pattern organization and mechanical forces. Observations and views issued from synthetic and systems biology are discussed to move towards a more comprehensive and accurate "landscape" of the very early steps of embryogenesis. Past and potential results from optical microscopy are considered, in their contribution to visualize the wholeness of the first cellular events from the early embryogenesis.