theme designers

With all this talk about how Super Mario Odyssey’s mechanics are great, but its world designs are cliché, I’ve gotta wonder: what’s left? Like, how do you design themed platformer worlds without falling into cliché if you’re not allowed to have:

  • a world set in a forest, in a desert, at the beach, amid the clouds or on the Moon;
  • a world themed after fire, ice, water, castles, food, flowers or ghosts;
  • a world characterised by ancient ruins, modern cities, or giant machines

… and so forth? The game goes so far as to have you fight a damn Dark Souls boss at one point, and even that’s been described as predictable tonal break.

I think we’re reaching a point where we’re going to have to stop expecting novelty for novelty’s sake in open-world platformer design, simply because nearly every reasonable world theme has already been done by someone, somewhere.


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  • Program: Adobe Photoshop 2015
  • Layers: 20

hI SCHool is coming for me and im transferring to a Very Expensive School and also i’m too lazy to do commissions so i’m making adoptables instead


  • $33 each
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thanks for reading have a nice day!!

“hey man remember that avatar movie, the one with the blue people”

“kinda, i mean, i remember that it was a thing that existed”

“yeah, well, what if we took this movie that nobody remembers or cares about, spent millions of dollars designing a theme park area based on it, and then opened it nearly a decade after the movie came and went?”