Entelect 2024 Challenge set up

Hello! May someone please offere assistance on setting up that Sproutopia game. Running it on Visual Studio says. There is “Sproutopia”, “Visualiser”, “Dummy bot”. I think Sproutopia is the server code. The other stuff connects to it, but how do I run Sproutopia AND the other files.

Thank you

You need to install the DotNet 8 SDK

Then in the visualizer directory run
dotnet run .\Visualiser.csproj

This starts it up, but I cannot get the JSBot to connect to the running server

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Hi @cairnswm, please see My Notes, Quickstart + Getting Javascript bot to work

You need to either provide a random UUID environment variable or generate one

Honestly, this challenge is not beginner-friendly at all, not so much about educating the underprivileged community as they claim.

They had a bot workshop last year. But let me start with a bold statement…

"If you can write an Entelect bot, you can write any piece of software you want. "
Id even argue that many Bachelor Graduates would struggle with this.

What I have observed is that the Entelect Challenge is a personal wall to many programmers.

Its a lot like swimming.
People can give you a pool, give you all the theory, and even a lesson or two.
But pushing yourself over the edge and putting everything together to figure out exactly how it all works is hard.

I have introduced this to people with Degrees in IT that could get the engine to work, even showed them how I initiate variables, but they simply could not conceptualize how to give those variables life,

We all naturally suck at things we have no experience in. Problem solvers will look at those unknowns and start building and testing solutions.

So you’d need to decide if your going to be someone who pushes yourself over that barrier or not.

Many here are willing to help with that,

Here’s my general approach to the competition.

Step 1: Get the Engine and my preferred bot to work.
This is the first barrier. Setting up the Development environment, and often, even the seasoned competitors stumble a bit here. But this gets easier over time. My very first year, it took me a week just to get the engine running.

Step 2:
I store the Botstate in my own variables, So I can work with them,
My own approaches are often advanced (Even if I use If statements, for loops and arrays mostly…)

But I still change the data into something I prefer over what the default is.

This helps me understand the data, remove the noise and also add my own flavor.

Step 3:
Once I understand the data,

I will start interpreting it, Example:
I could have an array / Matrix that can be accessed with y and x coordinates
Map[y][x ];

So lets say my own x is 3 and my y is 12,
or Map[12][3];

I can look above me using Map[12-1][3];
Thats basic to me, but so many people struggle with it, and even using the data they read to say, oh, heres a powerup, lets go pick it up.

As a last point: Theres a beauty in being an underdog… And overcoming your current limitations will never be easy.
At first, when I started partaking, I had no degree, no money for one, I had no mentor. I never wrote AI, I never write games.

But I understood PHP and I could piece together and build something using the bit of knowledge I did know.
Even today I still use basics: If, For and Arrays…

Like one of my favorite quotes:

Any person can learn how to do this, but many will inevitably fail because of some excuse or another.
Some of the most privileged and educated folk in the world will turn away from this.

A Good goal for you id say is to build something that works, even if it takes you 3 months and doesn’t play well.

At the end of the day the question will be:
Are you the kind of person capable of doing this.
And that’s a painful journey


Last year, they organized a “build-a-bot” workshop, and I’m hopeful they’ll continue the tradition this year. However, you’re correct; getting started can be quite challenging. Especially if you a student, you’ll be competing with people far more experienced. Many participants have been involved since as far back as the 2015 challenge, which explains why the same winners seem to emerge every year.

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Hi @saadali-s thanks for pointing this out!

Yes, we will be having another build-a-bot workshop this year! :blush:

You are correct we do see a lot of the same faces every year, and that is how the workshop came about. So we can assist some of the newcomers!

It can be a bit of a struggle when you are new to the challenge. But we have put together this forum so we can discuss these kinds of problems. This helps us build and improve the Entelect Challenge with our community :pray:

Hopefully, @WillieTheron gave you some motivation :smile: we were all beginners at one stage, and everyone learns at their own pace. The challenge is there for old and new participants alike and every year, like @WillieTheron so nicely put, you get a little bit better :muscle: (and TBH the Challenge would not be very fun if it was too easy :joy:)

We hope to see you at the workshop this year as well!

Hi @RIa,

Sorry if you are experiencing some problems. Unfortunately, the Challenge does end up living up to its namesake for our participants and the developers as well :joy:

We are always looking to improve the Challenge for new members so your input is very helpful to us! The Challenge is built by developers who have worked in the industry for some time now, and even we struggle and have blind spots :smile: So we lean on people like you to let us know where some of the problems are for newcomers!

Like @saadali-s pointed out we have started our build-a-bot workshops specifically for people like yourself! So you are more than welcome to attend! Our community is small but filled with supportive members like @WillieTheron so don’t be shy to post and let us know what you are struggling with :grin:

Would you like to share your thoughts as well @kobus-v-schoor. From a beginner’s perspective :pray:


That Monster is not a beginner :rofl: (I mean this as a compliment)


Hehe not sure what I can add, although I can say that getting your first EC setup running can be a bit of a steep learning curve, however once you’ve got everything running things go much quicker from there (same as for any project/tech stack you’re not used to). Building a bot that resembles anything intelligent takes a lot of time and debugging, but it can be an incredibly rewarding process and tons of fun (with lots of learning) - there’s nothing quite like tournament day :slight_smile: Once the EC team adds the Dockerfile (@Jenique wink-wink) the engine should be very easy to get up and running (assuming you have Docker set up - lots of guides on the internet to do that). Also, if you’re unsure what’s going on, be sure to check out the engine’s code on Github - it’s not too difficult to follow (even if you don’t have prior experience with C#) . Most of the interesting parts live here

That said, the EC team is incredibly helpful and do everything they can to help where possible (having met them in-person, they really are a great bunch). If you’re struggling with something, there’s likely someone on the forum (EC team or someone else) that will be willing to help. There’s lot’s of time, even if you don’t make the first round you’ll get another chance in the second one, so don’t give up :slight_smile:


Thanks for the kind words @kobus-v-schoor :blush:

Apologies for the dockerfile will add it to the very next release!

Need a bit of help. When i run the run.cmd file to set up the docker image it gives me an error saying it failed to read dockerfile as there is no such file or directory.

@RIa have a look at my post here, it might help :smile:

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Sorry about this, @RIa. When we created the Dockerfile and run scripts, we forgot to flag the Dockerfile itself for actual inclusion in the release to GitHub. We have fixed that since and the next release should have the Dockerfile included. Then, spinning up the Game Engine would literally be as simple as typing run.cmd from the command line.


Hi @RIa, just thought I’d check in. With the new release having gone out (which includes the Dockerfile), have you tried running the Game Engine with the run.cmd or run.sh shell scripts? It should be very simple now to get the Game Engine up and running.

Hey, that sounds like great news. U have managed to run the Sproutopia v2024.0.4. It’s good. I used the 2023 Build a Bot Github and follow the instructions and git branches from here Build a Bot PDF.

Working fine now. Forgot to say anything, but thanks everyone.

Good day,

Is there a similar post for the Java bot?

When i tried to run those 3 like it shows in the ReadMe file it shows and error that the Visualizer.exe does not exist, it also gives me an error

Code: MSB3073 Description: The command “dotnet tool restore” exited with code 1. Project: Visualiser File: .nuget\packages\monogame.content.builder.task\\build\MonoGame.Content.Builder.Task.targets Line: 139

Also when i try to run the


file Im not sure if it creates the docker images