So, I've been watching the Wolfire game-development videos for Overgrowth, and I really like their level-design and art-style. Between their level-design and their basic gameplay mechanics, it seems to really support the feeling of adventuring, and I'm trying to incorporate something like that into my own game.
The main difference is that I'm making a 2D platforming-style game. A lot of their ideas seem to depend on the third dimension, but I really don't want to make a 3D game (this is a solo project, and while I'm a pretty decent artist, 3D modeling is something I've never really gotten into).
A lot of 2D platforming games rely on a combination of uni-directional platforms (you can stand on them, but jump through them) and flat, ladder-like platforming areas. These aren't necessarily the direction I want my game to go.
I just finished the roughest version of my rigidbody-physics engine (there are things to add, but I'm ready to start prototyping with it while I add more), and I'm starting to think about general level-design and what I might need to account for with respect to physics.
Without getting too bogged down in the physical details or code (which is why I'm posing in the Game Design forum), I'm wondering if anyone has ideas about how to get a similar feeling of adventure and discovery that the Wolfire development team seems to get. There are no wrong answers, I'm just curious if anyone has thought of anything that I haven't (I'm withholding my ideas for the time-being just to see what people suggest without my biasing input).