I was going to burst into song mimicking Gloria Gaynor’s “I will survive”, but I decided against it because I just couldn’t make it catchy enough or make it sound nearly as corny as I wanted. Anyway, today’s an important day – the Entelect R100K Software Challenge is back on this year, this time with Sony Mobile joining NAG as the sponsor for the event. As usual, there’s a pot of money at the end of the rainbow for those who win this prestigious event and Sony will be piling in some Xperia hardware to sweeten the deal. Are you ready to see what you’re made of, and hopefully win? Hit the jump for more info.
The whole space theme isn’t a mistake or a joke, though – this year’s competition has its heart set on recapturing the wonder and excitement of Space Invaders, a cult classic that people still play and use in competitions to this day. If you’ve never played Space Invaders before, I highly encourage you to do so here. Its not the game that set the world on fire (that would be Tetris), but it is the one that stands out the most when people think of retro gaming.
Thanks to this year’s theme, its expected that the entries to the competition this time will be far more weird and wonderful, in tune with the competition getting bigger and bigger each year. “We are really excited for what this year’s challenge will bring, and this is set to be our biggest R100K Challenge yet. We are sure that our carefully selected 2015 Space Invaders theme will inspire innovative and creative ideas from all entrants.”” said Tim Kroon, General Manger of Resourcing at Entelect.
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 their opponents, and only the most intelligent, effective and innovative bots will survive and make it into the semi-finals for our advanced pool,” explains Kroon. “We have a beginners pool that will allow less experienced contestants to have a shot for a prize of R50 000, so there really is an opportunity for everyone to get involved this year.”
To even the playing field, entrants will be divided into novice and advanced skill pools, A and B respectively. A separate category will again be opened to Graphical User Interface (GUI) challengers, which will allow developers with a creative flair to try their hand at crafting the style, look and feel of the game,” Kroon continues.
Entelect will also put a particular focus on targeting students for this year’s Challenge, as they have recognised the incredible untapped range of AI skills among this network. Students and all school-goers are invited to take part in the competition to improve their skills and theoretical knowledge – who knows, you might even win one of the grand prizes!
The competition is now open to entries, and bot submissions will be accepted. 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 Expo, 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.