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What Is Wrong With Monster Design In The First Place??
Quote from Lunaran about Kiltron's D3SP map:

It still suffers from all of the things I see wrong with the monster design in the first place, however. No SP map can escape that without accompanying coding.

Do you mean D3 or any SP game, Lun??

Either way, what's the feedback from the floor - is monster design in most FPS games (or perhaps just D3) fundamentally flawed?? If so, why/how, and what could be done to improve it??

Bonus points if you manage to discuss something other than just "Improve AI".
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Yeah. LH. 
Even though I really enjoyed DOOM3, that's exactly what made it go stale so quickly -- no variation in gameplay, no different action based on environment or situation, at all. I really hope id has since figured out that while its cool to have great graphics and a strong sense of setting, it's the gameplay that makes a game. No news there though, right?

Of course, I'm sure their new racing game is gonna be great. 
Tired Old Argument, V1.99999999(r) 
The best play in Dm3 was in the leaked beta and early levels - enemy came from everywhere, crawling out of ducts, smashing through walls and even the buggy 'there goes a hellknight' scripted sequence. Gameplay linked into the environment; fluid, scary and very engaging.

They made a great engine, just a shame they couldn't keep up the excellent design of the first few maps / beta.

Instead we got spawning imp and running quickly imp, ad nausium. I waited until I reached the hell levels, saw the pretty prerenders and dropped a few hellknights, then gave the disc away.

And what the fuck was up with the story? Design is based on story, you can have level design without, but you need both to make something great because they spur each other on.

A fifteen year old stoner wanking off in his parents garage could come up with more.

I wonder how much Id are paying him, or just keeping him in supplies.

Madfox: Your Gnerk update appears to be corrupt , 178K and unplayable. Also, did you get the email I sent? 
it's a mpg file and I have no problem with it.
maybe it's your mediaplayer10 or something?
here's a gif file of it.

and no, I did not get the email you sent. 
Funny, The Mpg 
played just fine for me; could rename that fellow the fiendflayer! 
Heh, Looks Cool 
Thinking a really cool attack set could be made - like when an enemy killed you in Undying and you got a 'finish him' of a skeleton ripping your heart out or something.

The email was about a project idea, but I've decided to shelve it for now; it was a TC for Q1, remaking Q2 as it should have been made.

Suffice to say, pretty ambitious and a hell of alot of work. 
That TC sounds marvelous, no matter which way I interpret the sentence... 
Something I Noticed 
I reinstalled this the other day to try and give it another fair shake to see if it's as awful as I remember it being.

It is.

I noticed something about the pacing - the game isn't really relentless so much as it is monotone. It's always dark, combats are always the same size and the same distance apart. The real problem with that re: the darkness is that the player isn't really encouraged to delve further into the dark because after a while it becomes really apparent that there ain't nothing but more darkness after it. It sure sounds great on paper to say "This game NEVER LETS UP and the player feels TOTALLY HELPLESS ALL THE TIME YEAH ARRRG ROCK" but without any kind of safe zone to reward the player for dealing with the difficulty of fighting in the dark, eventually that next relaxation point the player is trying to get to becomes the end of the game and not the hypothetical next room. At that point you're playing just to be through with it and not to continue unrolling the experience. 
Uploaded The GDD 
If anyone's interested;

This may be an abuse of the lovely ShubHub, since its a .txt 7zipped; let me know if its the sort of thing I shouldn't upload Spirit. 
Read It 
I have some thoughts, but my shift is about to end and then I have some errands to run. I don't know if you are in #terrafusion much as I mostly idle there, but if I spot you I'll send you a pm. 
I still need to replay Doom3 with a good videocard, my ti4200 doesn't quite cut it... One thing that would add a lot is just simple exploration, not necessarily make it this huge world, but just have other paths... sure they may ultimately dead end, but put something in them, maybe beyond that darkness you do find some health or armor (that doesn't spawn an imp!), but sometimes you find the remains of someones last moments, or zombies feasting on something, or the site of some ritual. Of course these random side paths could just as easily reconnect later on in the level without interrupting flow but... ...I don't know. Aside from detail, the level design in that aspect just seemed kinda lazy (why didn't they do more ghostly things? "They took my baby" was a great moment). 
Lunaran, scar3crow, you guys mention things which are level-design-solvable, which intrigues me. Could these monsters with their current AI and the standard combat work if put into a level that was better designed in terms of navigation, pacing, lighting and objectives? 
That's an interesting list of suggestions. I thought of something that may be useful to keep with some of the few Quake 2 design improvements over Quake, a way to fake crouching with the plain old Quake bsp hull.

As you probably know, adding crouching isn't difficult as far as being useful for combat purposes, but you can't use it to get into actual crawl spaces because all it does is change the position of the camera but the hull/bounding box relation stays the same.

To get around it, some ingenious QuakeC master
could create a special trigger that forces the
player to crouch while inside the trigger area. If you think about it there is a certain elegance to this design. The player goes over to what looks like a crawl space, he keeps pressing the forward key and he is automaticaly shifted into the crouch position.

The bounding box would be the same, but from the player's perspective he is crawling through an area. You may have to fake an illusion wall above the crawl space to avoid clipping though. 
Quake2 Improvements.... 
one thing i always liked about quake2 was that unaware monsters took more damage. This meant that you always wanted to sneak up behind them for that first shot. A simple change that added a nice extra dimension to gameplay. 
The crouching thing idea good - I always reckon that its the designers and coders who should do more work, rather than the players.

Kind of like when Zelda moved to 3d; the controls were great because there was basicly one main action button but it was contextual. If you ignore the various gadgets the A button could do everything, and when in a fight (+ the the lockon) it worked beautifully. Dodge left / right, heavy attack, backflip.

One of the good ideas in Doom3 was having the targetting reticule become the mouse pointer when interacting with keypads / whatever. They killed it there though, making the mechanic fiddily; granted the whole game was based on the same premise, but they could just have easily made a holographic representation spring out of the door lock with bigger buttons for easier use.

Ok, that sounds like a crap idea, but its like what they did with the torch - was the player only supposed to have one hand or something? A good twist which would have made the pistol a more viable weapon would have been that it was possible to use pistol + torch, but not use if for rifles.

The 'sneak' thing in Q2 was good; double damage to unaware enemies, but it also allowed th cheap tactics of hitting enemies from miles away with the RG - enemies nearby wouldn't noitce thier mates splattering across the scenery.

I constantly bang on about this, but the Lazarus mod had some great features (just a shame they made it for Q2 and not Q1) one of these was damage groups - when an enemy is grouped with one or more others (ie. all have the same damage group name) and one is hit they all react as if hit by the player / entity that made the attack. This can be different creature classes.

Example; a group of gouped Grunts and an ungrouped Tank attack the player. The Tank splashdamages one of the knights when aiming at the player - the whole group then turns round and attacks the Tank.

This would need some refinements, like a delay of 1 second between changes attack targets to avoid the creature never getting off an attack.

The upshot is that it uses the AI systems that already exist in Q1, slightly modified, and give the mapper alot more power in setting up the battle sequences. The above example could just as easily have all the creatures grouped and patrolling outside a base - when one is picked off they are all alerted and the player has to either sneak past the whole group to get a better weapon inside the base, or else find a good sniping position from which to pick off each creature individually.

There's loads of other ideas that could be included, stolen from other stuff that's been great. Like Nehahra enemy teleportation, which never happens in sight but is configured for monsters individually.

I'll start a thread for comments and keep working on the doc, uploading it as new suggestions come in.

That'll stop me from making stupidly long, rambling posts. 
Could these monsters with their current AI and the standard combat work if put into a level that was better designed in terms of navigation, pacing, lighting and objectives?

If only I had some idea for a doom3 single player map. :( 
metl: I believe so, granted I would still like to see some changes made (namely spin-up time for the chaingunner, fix the whip attack on the commando guy (I've been whipped through walls before)).

One of the big hindrances to me was that the place didn't feel infested with hell, it felt like it was undergoing a very very small invasion. A few imps at a time in fact. I would avoid monster closets as we know it (unless its done in a way where you open up a bay door to an inhabited area and it surprises both of you - like in Saving Private Ryan where the wall breaks in the French village, and the group of Allied soldiers who were standing outside are suddenly facing a group of German soldiers who were resting inside, both inhabited their spots naturally, and then a change of stimulus revealed how close they were). Monster closets to me imply that the monster is waiting (and thus know when you will be coming by, and can see you before you can see it). If you want monsters lying in wait, don't do it often, don't always make it item related, and provide clues... Rounding a corner to a long hallway with a few connecting passageways? Up ahead have an imp scurry from one area to another, and in a logically connecting place, have that imp be hiding in the shadows, only attacking once you get so close, if hurt, or has a light shone on him. In a non-linear map, the player won't be able to predict where the ambush will be, but he will know there is a threat nearby.

Don't do these things frequently. Another thing is don't rely on teleportation of monsters. With the red glow and the huge sound... it didn't feel like I was being attacked, in fact I half expected to look up and see a giant Tim Willits looming over me, wearing a wizards hat that says "Dungeon Master" doing Betruger's goofy evil laugh. Rather than inhabiting a hostile world, I felt like I was just springing trap after trap after trap. And they were never ever creative.

Want to spawn in an enemy for getting an item? Do it differently. Player grabs an armor off the path? Spawn an imp on to the path just behind where he got off, that follows patrol points down a little bit past where the player turned off, then depending on how quick they are, they may run back out and BAM imp in the face, or they experience one further down the line that they hadn't the last time they played and not found that armor. Player takes a shotgun from a corpse? Open up an otherwise sealed door to a connecting area of the level with some z-sec who make their distinct radio chatter (I did like that) and put them on a patrol point through the main flow of the level.

Use more of the monsters. Not a higher quanity, just a wider variety. Hell, do a level without imps! The ai and monster behavior in Doom3 isn't hot, but what makes them practically cold is how they don't vary from their formula even for the sake of good scares or gotcha moments.

False leads. Don't be so predictable. Put in some vents that don't spawn trites, actually GIVE the player armor that doesn't come with an easy imp kill, or better yet, only provide armor in secret places so it truly feels like a reward (or keep it locked up exclusive to those security cabinets, so players get excited at the sight of a PDA). Don't starve the player, but do have him regard additional items as a boon, rather than taking it, and the trap, for granted. Make consequences for actions, give the player a visible choice "This button unlocks the security doors on this level, including the stock room which has some health, a good bit of ammo, and armor, but it also releases some z-sec in another room who are detained if you do not press the button."

This turned into more of a "how to improve Doom3 without recoding it" response, sorry about that. 
Quite Fine 
This turned into more of a "how to improve Doom3 without recoding it" response, sorry about that.

I think a lot of us probably spend at least a bit of time thinking of ways of modding and changing the game play of Doom3; few ideas -- like you say, get rid of the imps, I'd get rid of Hell-Doom altogether and go for a more Naturalistic, High-Tech/CyberPunk theme.

Leaves you with grunts, sentries and robots, but you can script in enough variation in those to make it interesting. 
Natural Limitations 
like those can go very far, much in the way that many Diablo players do, such as instead of "Im playing a warrior" it is "Im playing a boshido classic warrior", boshido meaning once they get it, they only use two handed swords, never use a shield, and favor the katana. Classic in that they are a warrior, not a mage, and thus can not learn spells, and do not invest stat points into Magic. This can breathe some life and different challenge into the game.

I think a lot of us probably spend at least a bit of time thinking of ways of modding and changing the game play of Doom3;
Definitely, Doom3 to me felt like it was constantly showing the potential of being great, the tech was good, the setting had plenty of opportunity, but it felt like they were always fine with a C effort... Doom 3 has enough variation in itself to be done in all kinds of interesting combinations (shiny base, broken base, sewers, excavation, hell, and gradients within), and blending, or restricting, the monster sets within those.

A shame it is apparently an utter bitch to mod for, it would benefit well from an imaginative community. I've got map ideas for it now in fact, but aside from my superpower of no level editors ever working (as in crashes, not recognizing games) for me, I simply don't have enough machine to REALLY work with Doom3 (I played it on Low detail with a decent framerate that plumetted during the harder battles, and I had to dip into my skills of Quake on a 486 to still fight competently when the going gets slow). 
The Only Parts Of Doom3 I Liked 
1. Hell - this area was just plain good, I didn't know what to expect, it didn't suffer the monsters in a closet syndrome, and it used less imps (especially less imps spawning in), it was a genuinely alien place that made me feel uneasy. I also really liked the eternal running, it was another reminder that this was not normal reality, this was a warped place. I cried "NOOOO" when I returned to the base.
2. Ghostly bits - the voices about the baby and such was just creepy, if only this had been taken further.
3. Visions - these were good, but could've been much better if you could really play through these nightmare visions, FEAR and Prey did a better job on the 'weird experiences' stuff. A big improvement would be if the nightmare visions would last upwards of a minute, and would come on more sporadically (rather than at clear trigger points along your ONLY path), imagine if you saw these visions only when you got near a corpse or skeleton in the corner.
4. The beginning - until hell broke loose it was a pretty interesting place, I liked all the NPC chat and silly UAC promotional materials, people reporting weird things, this was a good part of the game, the rest of the game should've continued this sort of thing to a larger extent (more survivors, more temporary peace, people you actually care about would've helped a lot too).

Not part of the game itself but... I liked the Doom movie far more than Doom3, THAT story would've made a pretty decent game. 
They basicly cancelled the Doom3 story for the film - demons and hell weren't allowed, so it became 'genetic modification' (this generation's radioactive spider).

A couple of films have used a very similar storyline - Event Horizon comes to mind. Just a shame the plotting was complete bollocks.

Doom3 was basicly a tech demo. A game in a similar vein but much better was Painkiller, even though it was horde battles instead of lurking fear it showed about fifty times more imagination.

All the bits that were good should have been pumped up a million times. Made a great engine for light? Then use it. The only time I remember when light was genuinely a keypoint of play (apart from the constant messing about with the flashlight) was when following the glowing imp cryotube through the darkened section.

When you were in an area with darkness you just backed into the nearest lightpool and waited with the shotgun. Predictable play, but that's what they gave us.

Hell was another nice tech demo for me. Great artwork, but all it showed was how far normalmapping could be pushed.

Id've liked it better as Doom III, not Doom´┐Ż.

I'll never post about it again. Probably. 
Actually the "virus" thing had been done before in dozens of movies, but what hadn't been done was the fact the virus turned good people into superheroes, that fit the Doom1 style perfectly, demon-blasting goodness, better storyline for something called Doom3 than what id pawned off as Doom3's storyline (which as Lunaran has pointed out is a rehash of HalfLife). 
Oh God 
I half expected to look up and see a giant Tim Willits looming over me, wearing a wizards hat that says "Dungeon Master" doing Betruger's goofy evil laugh.

o the tears of joy they drown me 
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