WPI Alums and Students Develop Game Named a Finalist in The BIG C Independent Game Competition

Dragonfly Game Design’s Q’Bicles Game Only New England Finalist in Global Competition Presented by the Slamdance Film Festival

Contact: WPI Media Relations, +1-508-831-5706

WORCESTER, Mass. -- January 18, 2005 -- Several current and former Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) students have developed a computer game that is one of ten international finalists (and the only one from New England) in The BIG C, also known as the BAWLS Independent Game Competition. The game, Q’Bicles, is an irreverent look at office life that generates dozens of puzzles based upon office humor. It was developed by Westborough, Mass.,-based Dragonfly Game Design, LLC, which was founded by former WPI students Michael Gesner and Michael Melson.

The BIG C (www.slamdance.com/games) premiers this year as a special part of the Slamdance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, from Jan. 21 to 28, 2005. The ten BIG C finalists will compete at Slamdance and will be judged by festival attendees, with a Jury Award and Audience Award that include cash and prizes presented at the end of the festival.

Created by Slamdance, one of the world’s largest independent film festivals, and BAWLS Guarana, the largest beverage supporter of electronic gaming in the U.S., The BIG C offers aspiring game developers an unprecedented opportunity to showcase their work in a national competition and should help facilitate industry connections, national exposure, and distribution for both the finalists and winners.

Originally conceived in late 2003, Q’Bicles was designed to be a game that gamers and non-gamers alike would be able to pick up and immediately connect with. Never taking itself or its subject matter seriously, Q’Bicles creates an amusing setting for players to take control of an office and decide the fate of those within.

In a unique spin on traditional puzzle games, Q’Bicles pays its respects to the everyday office worker and life in a cubicle by allowing players to manipulate items commonly found in an office in order to meet specific goals set by the "The Boss." With two game modes and three difficulty levels, Q’Bicles offers over 300 unique playing situations, and is a must have for any office humor or puzzle game fan. Current WPI students Randy Chong, Brandon Light, and Allen Seitz were a part of the Q’Bicles development team, along with WPI alumnus Kevin Candiloro.

"We hope that the exposure Q’Bicles and Dragonfly receive from The BIG C will let the industry know about the emerging game development community in the New England area," says Dragonfly’s co-founder, CEO and president Gesner. "And, specifically, blaze the way for future talent coming out of WPI’s student-run Game Development Club and new Interactive Media and Game Development major."

Q’Bicles is scheduled to be released to the public later this winter, and a demo will be available later this month on the game’s Web site, www.qbicles.com.

About Dragonfly Game Design

Dragonfly Game Design, LLC was founded in November 2003 by Michael Melson and Michael Gesner, two former students at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. The company has been involved in a number of projects ranging from the porting of IGF Finalist Dark Horizons: Lore to the Macintosh and Linux, to the creation of an online game for the book PHP Game Programming, by Matt Rutledge. They have spent the last year extending Cognitoy LLC’s award-winning game MindRover and creating Q’Bicles. The company now employs three full-time employees and four part-time employees. For more information, please visit www.dragonflygamedesign.com.

About Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Founded in 1865 as one of the nation’s first technological universities, WPI is renowned for its innovative project-based undergraduate curriculum and global projects program. With 2,770 undergraduates and 1,040 full- and part-time graduate students, WPI offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in more than 30 disciplines in engineering, science and the management of technology. Working in more than 30 research institutes, centers and laboratories, the university’s faculty and students are engaged in cutting-edge research in a broad range of fields.