Proper use of lighting
Light and the use of it, in my opinion, is the most important aspect of presentation; regardless of the medium. I am also into sound, to which I will make another article related to sound filters and reverb later.
Some people like to play their Minecraft with lighting bright and little eye candy, but not me and that is why I make Minecraft mod packs in the first place.. it is almost always aesthetic look and feel that gets me excited. Let me show you what I believe is proper lighting and what is not:
The above example has light maps provided by a texture pack which is properly illuminating the blocks in the foreground, the shadows of the cave, the shading of the water and casting of light from the tower in the distance.
In the next example, the brightness is moody but there are no light maps. It looks great, but doesn’t cast light and shadows as beautifully in my opinion. An atmospheric sky is also in use for ambiance.
In the example below, light maps are not being used and brightness is turned up. I can barely look at it.
In the next example, an interior scene is rendered with light maps and moody brightness.
Without light maps and bright.
Dark spaces should be dark unless you light them.
In closing, I think there is room for form and function.