Last year, nearly half a million completed Dropbox‘s very first “Dropquest.” This time, designer Jon Ying and engineer Rajeev Nayak say they “honestly don’t know” how many people will participate, but with the company’s rapid growth, it’s a safe bet that the number will be bigger.
Nayak describes Dropquest as “a gift to our users.” It’s an online scavenger hunt where you solve logic puzzles while also learning about Dropbox’s key features. Everyone who finishes gets 1 extra gigabyte of free storage, and there are other prizes for the players who finish first — the grand prize winner will get a Dropbox employee hoodie, a Dropbox Hack Week T-shirt, a drawing signed by the entire Dropbox team, an invitation to write the next Dropquest, and a 100 gigabytes of free storage for life.
It sounds like you’re going to have to work for that free storage, however — the game is designed to take 12 hours to complete. That’s about how long it was supposed to take last year, too, but someone finished in three hours. This year, it’s longer and more challenging, thanks to additional, harder puzzles, but Ying and Nayak admit there’s still some debate about exactly how long it will take. Puzzles aren’t the only new feature: There’s also a post-apocalyptic science fictional storyline.
Dropquest is a product of the company’s Hack Week in March, where employees can work on whatever they want. This year, one week wasn’t enough to complete the game, so Ying and Nayak say they’ve continued working on-and-off on the game in the two months since.
The contest starts at 10am Pacific time and will be online for three weeks — but don’t be late if you want one of the big prizes. You can read more about Dropquest here and play the game here (the second link goes live at 10).
Dropbox was founded in 2007 by Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi. Frustrated by working from multiple computers, Drew was inspired to create a service that would let people bring all their files anywhere, with no need to email around attachments. Drew created a demo of Dropbox and showed it to fellow MIT student Arash Ferdowsi, who dropped out with only one semester left to help make Dropbox a reality. Guiding their decisions was a relentless focus on crafting a...