I've been playing a lot of Minecraft to keep my mind occupied and I've built a Zelda-esque adventure game. See some preview pics here: imgur.com/… (I don't do nearly enough game design as I should)
If you've not heard of or played custom adventure maps in Minecraft, I would highly recommend you go check out Escapecraft 2 minecraftforum.net/… & 3 minecraftforum.net/… and The VictoriaVille Insane Asylum minecraftforum.net/… These are big influences for my game.
* Tight-knit level design: Everything is designed to mesh together, creating a smooth game flow with logical progression
* Unique, innovative checkpoint system: When you die you get your gear back, depending on which level you were on. The redstone wiring for this was hard work
* Epic ending: No, really. Even with the limitations of Minecraft, the ending should blow you away. It's taken three days of solid work just to craft the ending sequence. I can't reveal it yet, but you may see it later if I open to playtesting or helpers
I have the central hub of the game designed, as well as the ending and the checkpoint system. At the moment I am working on puzzle / trap designs to fill out the levels.