On the camera, I agree. Right now it is hard fixed to the player, but this is simple to adjust. I think I'll combine springy camera with down to look down. Not sure how I want to handle jumping/falling yet though. As far as direction goes - I have not added NPCs yet so that may be part of the confusion. There will be someone at the beginning to give some direction. I'll think hard about the 'falling into the unknown' scenario - I didn't really think about it like that as I know the map and forget the player will not. Do note the maps will be explorative and you will be able to go anywhere (well, anywhere possible given your skills and inventory) you'd like at any time. Open ended I guess you would say. It's a hybrid of action/platformer and RPG - i'm sure I should have specified that earlier.. sorry!
As for the physics PyroDragn, I use Box2d - what part seems inconsistant? I have to tweak box2d a bit to feel more platformerish. The player itself has a circular collision at his feet (really, the bottom half) as it makes certain things easier to deal with (getting caught on collision boundaries and such). The up/down platform is a bit odd but I believe its some sort of floating point issue as it only 'shakes' sometimes. The character actually suffers from infinite inertia until I figure out a better way to define the bodies to prevent sliding while also preventing wall-hugging.
Thanks for the input guys! I'll adjust what I have and try to work on the camera some so the game isn't so mean to the player
Oh and for the camera again -- I first want to try the opposite of the 'lag' style, making it move to show more vision in the direction the player is going - smoothly expanding to a certain point, and settling on center when stopped (down and up will adjust up and down offset of course for looking).