If you played the terribly unfinished Destroyed Dreams level and wish to discuss it, here's the place.
Hmm, in that case, I'd agree that Destroyed Dreams would be considered pretty unpolished exploration-wise in comparison to the other levels, though I think that might be a sort of necessity if the unique hazard is kept in that level as is. It's kind of hard to want to explore when you feel you're chased, though it did make that level feel a lot more tense and exciting in comparison to every other hazard in the game.
The art was completely unfinished, and everything was just a copy of a few different rooms, so there was no bonus to exploring. The idea of the level is that it is a bit of a maze and there is a risk to exploring and tension when you open every door because you don't know what is behind it. Without the right music, art, or sound effects, it's hard to say how effective it will be. The music went in a few days ago, and I think it really heightens the feeling of being chased.
What if you integrate that hazard into the game's decorations? I think it could work pretty well, considering:
For example, put some of the 'baby avoidance cabinets' in the level, but subvert the player's expectations by having them house the hazard in at least one of the hallways.
The stuff in the mansion was super placeholder, so the cabinets would seem out of place. Hiding the enemy in something that you can open is a great idea, but it is a bit challenging to implement from an animation standpoint, so I'm not sure we'll have time.
Or have a room where the hazard and Thomas switch places or appearances to confuse the player momentarily. There's some other art assets you might be able to reuse that look like they'd be pretty great for hiding the hazard in (the water therapy chamber from the asylum, the curtained hospital beds, body bags and/or corpse piles, bath tubs with shower curtains, etc.), which might feel rewarding to discover even if the hazard kills and sends you back to the nearest bedroom.
These are interesting ideas that we might try to explore, but again, it's tough to animate a character emerging from a body bag for example. Unfortunately, we are stuck with the budget and release window that we have, which gives us about 2 months to finish everything. :-/