It’s that time of year again, when local software developer Entelect throws down the gauntlet and challenges South African AI and UI coders to bring their A game to a contest designed to stretch their skills to the limit.

This year things are a bit different; the event has been renamed from the Entelect 100K Challenge to the Entelect Challenge, and a few of the rules have changed, along with the cash prize on offer.

The categories in which entrants will compete, however, has not: contestants must still create an artificial intelligence routine for a game, and there’s also a a contest for the best graphical user interface design for anyone more interested in the GUI side of things.

The languages sample bots are provided in (to be used as the basis for entries) are C++, C#, F#, Java, Node.JS and Python.

Check out the official video:

“We are really excited to be entering our fifth year of this annual AIChallenge, which we believe is becoming an important fixture in the local software development community calendar,”  said Tim Kroon, General Manager: Professional Services at Entelect. “Each year we strive to make the challenge a more exciting, inclusive and attractive competition for the local developer community and this year’s effort is a great stride forward in this regard.”

The prize pool is larger than ever at R200k, and will be split among more entrants, giving the top eight players a slice of the pie rather than just the top two, as in previous years. The top three entrants will win R70k, R35k and R25k respectively, with the remaining cash being split among the next five and the winners of the GUI competition.

This year, the game theme is Bomberman, where players will be placed in an unfamiliar environment with specific governing rules, and their AI will need to figure its way through while avoiding enemies and strategically-positioned bombs.

More importantly, though, is that four players will compete against one another at once, a change brought about by the user feedback gathered by Entelect based on last year’s event, which pitted only two players against one another.

To enter, head over to the Entelect Challenge page and subscribe to be kept abreast of all Challenge-related developments.

The closing date for entries is the 2nd of September, and a play-off event will be held on the 17th of that month. The final will take place on the main stage at rAge 2016, on Saturday the 8th of October.

 

Deon got his first taste of PC gaming at the tender age of 11 when his father bought an 8088 XT, ostensibly to "help him with his homework". Instead, it introduced him to Leisure Suit Larry, King Graham, Sonny Bonds and many more, and Deon has been a PC gamer and hardware enthusiast ever since. He landed his first professional writing gig in 2006 at a prestigious local PC magazine, a very happy happenstance as he got to write for a living about things he loves - tech, PCs, gaming, and everything in between. He's been writing about it all ever since, and loves every minute of it.