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Pacman can win you 100k

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Entires for the Entelect 100K Challenge have closed. This year, contestants will be required to build a modern graphical user interface for the classic arcade game – Pacman. They will then battle their designs out at rAge, with the winner taking home R100k.

An annual 100K challenge has opened for entries, with the classic game Pacman the battleground for a R100 000 prize. This year the originator of the challenge, Entelect, presents two new categories of awards, giving contestants a better chance at taking home a prize.

The challenge, which launched in 2012, has grown immensely with entries increasing each year. The competition is hosted by Entelect Software and NAG Magazine, and is open to all coders and gamers who think they have what it takes to build the ultimate artificially intelligent player.

Participants are required to write an artificially intelligent program worthy of playing against any opponent in a game designed specifically for the Entelect R100K Challenge. For this, challengers must create a program that is not only effective, but is intelligent and innovative.

This year’s competition sees entrants compete in the classic game of Pacman, with a twist. Entrants will be divided into two separate pools based on their abilities, with each pool yielding grand-prize winners of the 2014 challenge. This effectively allows beginner programmers and artificially intelligent enthusiasts to compete against each other with a better chance of making it into the final four than previous years, with the winner taking home a cash prize of R50 000. Similarly, the more advanced entrants will pair off against each other in the advanced pool for the grand prize of R100 000,” says Tim Kroon, general manager at Entelect Solutions.

Pool A will contain the more advanced entries in the challenge and Pool B will feature the remainder. Each pool will be run as a separate double-elimination tournament, with separate prizes. Entelect will determine the appropriate pool for each entrant based on the ability of the entry. The pool for an entrant will be determined by playing each entry against a set of reference players to determine their rank.

This year, Entelect will be opening up the opportunity for programmers and designers to build their own Graphical User Interface (GUI) for the game and will be presenting the special Gooey (GUI) award for Best GUI at the rAge expo in October. This is the first award of this nature in the R100K Challenge and the winner will be taking home a R15 000 cash prize and be featured at the challenge play-offs press event.

Successful entrants into the challenge will take part in a tournament with scheduled play-offs at a thrilling event to be held on 13th September at the Fire & Ice Hotel in Melrose Arch. The entrants will play against each other in an online environment and fight to be selected to go to rAge (Really Awesome Gaming Expo) for the highly anticipated finale event on 4 October.

It was a great achievement to be named the winner of last year’s challenge. The competition was demanding but extremely exciting. I wish all the entrants the best of luck for this year’s challenge and may the best coder win,” says Pierre Pretorius, winner of the 2013 Entelect 100k Challenge.

We are extremely excited to be a part of the Entelect 100K Challenge for yet another exciting year! This is no doubt a great career starter for those who have what it takes to be the ultimate coder,” says Geoff Burrows, editor of NAG Magazine.

Entries for the Entelect 100K Challenge closed on 16 August 2014 and entrants will be notified of their pools by 1 September.

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