So, I am trying to create an AI to handle the construction layout of a real time strategy game like Age of Empires II. The process has too many steps to be handled effectively by brute force, but also has enough structural requirements that it also cannot just be done randomly.
Assuming a limited area to work with, which can be represented by tiles, the AI must be able to place several structures within the area. A layout once fully created can be given a score based on the pathable distance between certain structures as well as a few other factors. If paths between certain structures become completely blocked, the AI has failed.
The starting area that is defined by tiles is also random in nature, containing a few predefined elements that the AI cannot control, which include randomly placed terrain and resource nodes.
I know this problem case has been quite vague, but the actual question relates to the type of AI that would best fit solving this issue. I currently have an algorithm that runs through what it believes are the best few results in a series of steps trying to create the most optimal layout, but it fails with many starting layouts, which require manual adjustments to the AI before it can process them properly. Even then, it is just an approximation at best, since it starts out assuming that the steps I gave it to check contain the most optimal layout.
Here is an example of what a finished layout might look like. It doesn't state which colors are which objects, but it might help in determining what type of AI I should be looking at using.