Ultimately the progress fizzled out.
Three years later I’ve decided to try again. I decided to boil down the mechanics somewhat to the core essence of WITWICS: trivia. As long as you were able to decipher where the culprit had gone to with as few clues as possible, you were going to catch them. You also had to test you luck with the 3 clues given to try to get a warrant issued (clues about the thief vs clues about their next location). I didn’t like that part: the luck.
In my game there are 5 nodes the thief has traveled through. You have to navigate from one node to the next to catch them before your battery is gone. To find out which node they traveled to, you have to reveal some clues about the next location. Clues always cost the same amount of energy (5% in this case) and traveling also always costs the same amount of energy (10% in this case).
Every time you travel to a new node, a list of 3-6 are presented to you for the next location to travel to. Every location also has a list of 10 clues, 4 of which are presented to you each time you travel to a new node. I’m hoping with this model of how the content is stored, populating the data and changing it up (i.e. maybe I want there to be 15 clues for some of the locations), I can create a very comprehensive database of locations to test one’s game trivia skills.
In the example posted above, the revealed clue is “catch hearts”. Out of all of the travel options, only one of those has you “catching hearts”.