I'm excited about learning some AI programming. I'm interested in AI in general but right now I just want to get my feet wet with some game AI an eventually get pretty good at it. I have a fun project in mind that would really motvate me to learn but I don't know if it is a viable way to learn or if it is to difficult for a beginner, I don't wanna end up getting in over my head and not being able to learn anything.
My plan is to make a little 2d 'game' where theres just one level - a simple 2d arena - and 2(maybe more but I'll start with 2 for simplicity) 'heroes' on the level. It'll be coded in such a way that heroes can be controlled by various AI brains or by player input. The heroes will have different action-rpg like abilities(actually I'll probably end up basing their abilities mostly on World of Warcraft/League of Legends). It won't be an actual game, more of a sandbox, where the 2 heroes just fight eachother. Either player vs AI or AI vs AI. I want to program everything to the point where its all working smoothly and I have a nice little interface to program my brains into and I can try out different techniques on different heroes and test them out against eachother or against myself in arena combat. I'll probably start out simple with a basic finite state machine and different preprogrammed behavoirs for each state, but eventually want to try out more advanced and fun techniques
My question is if this sounds like a good way to learn AI? Is it too hard for a beginner, is there a better way, etc... The main appeal to me is that it will be fun which wil lmotivate me to learn a lot