I’ve been taking a look at how MapleStory does their maps. I coincidentally had my character parked at a town called Sleepywood, a forested place that is set at night at the forest floor. Even though it has a dark setting, the area is actually very nice and very well decorated. It has this peaceful forest kind of feeling that I enjoy looking at. I admired the art and thoughts that went into designing the platforms and especially the decorations that were placed atop them. I will get some inspiration from here. Of course, I will not replicate their graphics as their graphics are simply too good (and the style doesn’t fit in the game anyway).
I realised that had MapleStory not decorated their platforms with lots of various plants, bushes, trees and natural vegetation, their maps would actually be pretty dull! Perhaps this is one technique I can apply to my game as well, just to make the game more alive and vibrant. I actually drew a rock to cover up huge areas of soil in some levels, and now I know there’s more I can do to beautify my levels.