Dilbert creator Scott Adams offers coders the opportunity of a lifetime

16 May 2013

Scott Adams, the creator of the Dilbert cartoon which appears in more than 2,000 newspapers worldwide in 70 countries and 25 languages, wants someone to build him a mobile video game. And he doesn’t care if you are a 12-year-old Irish coder or a seasoned developer, he just wants it to be good and he’s willing to offer the opportunity of a lifetime to make it happen.

Aspiring game developers and professional developers are being invited to enter the Dilbert competition organised by Corona Labs, the makers of the Corona SDK, one of the world’s largest mobile development platforms.

Thousands of apps have already been created on the Corona SDK, including Bubble Ball, which was developed by a 14-year-old and received more than 16m downloads from the Apple App Store.

Corona Labs’ Eric Schwertzel told Siliconrepublic.com that under the competition, Corona Labs will provide potential game creators with everything they need to create the mobile game, including Dilbert artwork and a consumer-friendly development platform for game developers of all skill levels.

He said the competition will be judged by a team that will include Adams.

Schwertzel said that what the judges will be looking for will be a game that shows Dilbert inside his familiar working environment, pursuing his vendetta to crush bureaucracy, grasp modern working life and evade office politics.

“We were talking with Scott about creating an iPhone game originally and he suggested that we do a contest. It’s very rare for a publisher of anything as successful as Dilbert to open up its assets and go out on a limb.

“Initially, everybody was scared about putting our art assets out there, but Scott trusts people and thinks it will help excite an interesting in coding skills and coding jobs.”

Opportunity of a lifetime

Schwertzel said the competition is open to everyone. “If you are under 18 you have to get parental consent but we believe a lot of people under the age of 18 have the best ideas.

“We’re offering them the chance to come up with a creative game that normally a large publisher wouldn’t take the chance on.”

Schwertzel said the Dilbert judges are looking for a game that would get an  MPAA ‘PG’ rating that isn’t offensive, vulgar or would have any other disruptive or unlawful content.

“The bigger picture is what is going on in the marketplace. Consumers are more interested in short games or episodic game titles on consoles.

“Rather than a publisher trying to go into video-game creation, we think that enabling a one or three-person team to achieve a lifelong dream is the better road to follow.

“Corona SDK supports Android and iPhone platforms and most of the games in the App Store and the Google Play store are built on our SDK. If you have a good game idea then you’ll find that the majority of the engine has been built for you, these are tools that weren’t available two or three years ago,” Schwertzel said.

“We want people to take the character of Dilbert and his cohorts and embed it in a game. The winner will get to demonstrate the game to Scott Adams and if he thinks it’s good enough, it will get published on the major app platforms and will potentially be featured by a major phone manufacturer on a future device.”

Schwertzel said Corona Labs will also be giving away 10 one-year Corona SDK Pro subscriptions, as well as smaller prizes, like iTunes gift cards.

A spokesman for Dilbert outlined the potentially life-changing opportunity the competition offers.

“Whether you are a 14-year-old curious about coding or whether you are an IT professional looking for a job, this is an opportunity to get discovered overnight, get exposure all over the world and make a name for yourself.”

To enter the competition and download the artwork and everything else you need to make your Dilbert game, click here.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years