A new year means a new Entelect Challenge and this year’s competition kicks off today.

The Entelect Challenge is run by the firm Entelect and sees folks creating bots controlled by artificial intelligence competing against bots created by other people.

Each year has a different theme and game which folks need to create a bot for and this year participants will need to create a bot that can play a tower defence game.

“Each year we look to build the challenge around a popular game theme, and this year is Tower Defence,” Entelect solutions architect Rishal Hurbans says.

“The idea behind the theme is not just to make it appealing to those of us who love gaming, but to also provide a game with simple enough rules that anyone with a basic understanding of programming can enter,” adds Hurbans.

This year’s challenge will be a little bit different in that Entelect will host mini-playoffs where contestants can win small cash prizes and a golden ticket to the playoffs.

There will be three mini-playoffs throughout the year with one slated for June and the other in July. The third playoff will determine six of the eight finalists that will attend the main event.

Rather than hosting the finals at rAge as it has in years past, Entelect will host the finals for the challenge at Comic Con Africa on 15th September.

So what can you win? Glory and a share of R200 000.

First prize is R70 000 in cash while second and third place will see winners walk away with R35 000 and R25 000 respectively. Placing fourth will win you R25 000 and placing fifth to eighth will net you R10 000. Not bad for a bit of coding

To get started with your Tower Defence bot you’ll need to head to the Entelect Challenge website and download the starter pack.

Good luck!