Sometimes you just have to admit defeat.
I have spent the last few months making a game called “Halls of Cthulhu“.
The premise of the game was to be a constantly shifting/changeable set of tiles that made up the game board, inspired in part by the Ravensburger board game “Labyrinth“. But rather than slotting tiles into the board, tiles are revealed and changed according to a fluid ruleset. The player has to reach the center of the board, to retrieve the book of the dead, the “Necronomicon” and return with it to one of exit tiles to escape Riyadh, and the Halls of Cthulhu.
Also within these halls, four shamblers wander aimlessly, whose mere presence threaten to drive the players insane. Indeed rather than health, or life points players have a limited number of sanity points, the exhaustion of which drives the players insane.
The only problem, designing an AI that could cope with the ever changing board and rule sets, and play an effective strategy to present a reasonable challenge to the human players. After a couple of months I had to admit that I was probably flogging an undead cephalopd, in terms of both the playability and actual fun of the game to play.
Time to move onto the next project, which I am definately going to keep simpler to preserve my sense of achievement. Something pirate flavoured maybe..