The 2015 R100K Challenge is out of this world

With the competition now officially open for entries, this year’s challenge plays homage to the classic arcade game Space Invaders, and will once again see both novice and professional coders stretch their artificial intelligence (AI) skills, battling it out for the coveted R100,000 prize.

The increasingly popular Entelect R100K Challenge series was originally launched in 2012. It is aimed at the coding, software development and gaming communities in South Africa. According to Entelect’s General Manger of Resourcing, Tim Kroon, entries have increased exponentially each year. Kroon says, ‘We are really excited about what this year’s challenge will bring. This is set to be our biggest R100K Challenge yet and we are sure that our carefully selected 2015 Space Invaders theme will inspire innovative and creative ideas from all entrants.’

Entrants to this year’s R100K Challenge will once again be required to write an AI player - or bot - for the provided Space Invaders platform. ‘Each entrant’s bot will need to be designed specifically to outsmart and outplay its opponents, and only the most intelligent, effective and innovative bots will survive and make it into the semi-finals for our advanced pool. However, we do have a beginners’ pool that will allow less-experienced contestants to have a shot at a prize of R50,000, so there really is an opportunity for everyone to get involved this year,’ explains Kroon.

To even the playing field, entrants are categorised into novice and advanced skill pools, A and B respectively. A separate category will be opened to GUI (Graphical User Interface) challengers. This will allow developers with a creative flair to try their hand at crafting the style, look and feel of the game. Entelect will also focus on students for this year’s Challenge because the company has recognised the incredible, untapped range of AI skills among this network. The company invites all students and school-goers to take part and test their theoretical knowledge on a practical platform. Kroon says, ‘Not only is this a great opportunity to enjoy a challenging gaming experience and network with some of the best South Africa has to offer in the field, but you could also be the next winner!’

‘Entelect is incredibly proud to partner once again with leading publication, NAG, which continues to provide fantastic support and visibility for the R100K Challenge,’ says Kroon. ‘In addition, we are pleased to announce that Sony Mobile has come on board as this year’s product sponsor and will be providing a host of fantastic prizes from their latest Xperia range.’

The competition is now open. Following a knock-out tournament, a semi-final event will be held in September 2015, showcasing the ‘entrants to watch’ and their leading bots. Thereafter, the competition will reach its climax at the 2015 rAge, where the finals will be held and this year’s winners of R100,000 (Pool A), R50,000 (Pool B) and runner-up prizes will be announced.

For more information or to enter, please visit http://challenge.entelect.co.za.

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