Your ParticleQuest, should you choose to accept it…

The CERN-developed ParticleQuest adventure game was the focus of a special hands-on session at last month’s Mozilla Festival in London. Attended by the best and the brightest of the coding community, the festival was an opportunity for the ParticleQuest developers to throw down the gaming gauntlet…


Photon and Gluon ParticleQuest sprites. Source: André-Pierre Olivier.

A team of CERN students developed the ParticleQuest game during this year’s CERN Summer Student Webfest. What started as simple derivative software of BrowserQuest – one of the first entirely browser-based games developed by the Mozilla Foundation – soon revealed new opportunities to educate players about particle physics. By changing the graphics, introducing a Particle Zoo designed by web designer André-Pierre Olivier and enhancing the game engine, the summer students were convinced that ParticleQuest could help to teach particle physics in a much more engaging way.

ParticleQuest is inspired by The Legend of Zelda game series in which teaching occurs through in-game puzzles. Players will need to understand the mechanics of particle physics presented in the game in order to solve puzzles and progress through the story, which takes place at CERN. Moreover, taking advantage of the engine built for BrowserQuest, ParticleQuest allows players to solve the puzzles cooperatively.

As a member of the CERN Webfest’s winning project team, ParticleQuest developer Alejandro Avilés was sponsored to present the game at the Mozilla Festival in London. His session was well attended, and provided new connections with the gaming industry and game developer communities. As a result, events are already being planned to engage more people in developing the game, in the best tradition of open-source development. The next step for its developers will be entering ParticleQuest in one of the global competitions for new on-line games and open-source projects. The hope is to reach a critical mass of developers so that the game can become an on-line success.

Ready to head off on your own ParticleQuest? Visit to play the game on-line.

by Katarina Anthony