I have posted before that I just cannot envision an AI that can play this game. No disrespect to Steve, or any other programmers of other computer war games. I think you should release this without AI and let the PBEM, Hot Seat etc games begin. I think the AI will have to be developed as an addition or as MWIF Product 2. I am not happy about that, but I can live with it. You are going to have to get neck deep in the AI for months, if not a year, to get it to the point that it can resemble a human opponent.
I don't mean this negatively, just productively and realistically.
This would be a very big mistake, as the game would immediately be labelled by the gaming community as a niche product.
The consequences would be poor initial sales (so not much money to continue development on later products), and once a game gets a bad label, there is no chance to get back in good standing unless a huge effort is made.
For my part, I do not consider buying the game unless it boasts a decent AIO. Finding human opponents is too complicated, and more than that, it leads to overlong games (PBEM) or too short ones (Netplay). Having played the board game with human opponents, it appears to me that more often than once, a team will quit in the middle of the game because it thinks it has lost, and has no patience to play a "lost game" to completion ; my experience also shows that most of these times, that reaction is a bad one : many things can happen till the end of a game, and a very poor decision by one team can be recovered later by either some luck, or more often than expected, a later disastrous move by the other team.
All this to say that only with the AIO will you be able to get a decent taste of the last part of the game, if only to have a taste of what it looks like (it is a very different game than the first years of the war.)
While I agree with you that an AIO for this game is going to be the hard part, there is no reason to be peremptuous and to say that it cannot be done. It can, but this takes time and skill. Steve certainly has the later. Beeing myself well versed in computer programming and reading monthly reports in every detail, I believe that item #15 will slip another two month, unless that development goes so well and everything so smooth that no bumps will slow down the pace. Unlikely. And it will only be a barely decent AIO. Improvements will come later, especially if the AI scripts are open to the community.
It doesn't really matter ; having waited, hum, what, 10 years ? I certainly can wait some more!
< Message edited by yvesp -- 6/3/2009 6:32:54 AM >