<-This is going to be an on-going series holding my stream of consciousness on level design ->
Gamasutra has an interview regarding general level design philosophies with Hirokazu Yasuhara posted here, and I’d suggest any aspiring indie game designer give it a read. In it, Yasuhara discusses his design tenets, and brings up a very interesting point when he starts thinking about what would make a fun level: the creation of “distance goals”. He states that “I usually come up with three goals when I'm making a level: a short-distance, middle-distance, and long-distance goal.”
It’s interesting to me that I use Link II as my mental waypoint for what makes an interesting gameplay experience from the perspective of level design. Shigeru Miyamoto once famously went on record saying that, of all the games he was a part of producing, Link II was the worst. Doesn’t bode well for me, but hopefully I can use the best parts and leave out the rest.