For the third time in 2019, I dropped into Drune, this time on the recommendation of reader Robin Lobo, although it is a place that has been getting a lot of attention of late due to a photographic competition that is running through until November 27th, 2019.
Designed by Zee9, we visited the region at the start of 2019 and then during the summer (see: Time at 2019-XS in Second Life, January 2019 and Drune IV: an Aftermath in Second Life, August, 2019), although Zee9’s designs go back beyond either of these dates. Throughout all of their iterations, Zee9’s builds have focused on a sci-fi / cyberpunk feel that incorporates certain key motifs drawn – as the About Land description notes – from the likes of Blade Runner and The Fifth Element, Neuromancer, and Altered Carbon.
This latest iteration of the design is called Drune: East of Eden. Whether or not the title is a reflection of Steinbeck and the underpinning themes of his novel I’ve no idea, but given the dystopian state of human civilisation seen particularly within Blade Runner, and the novel’s examination of humanity’s capacity for self-destruction, the link would seem to perhaps be apparent.
Focused on a single, neon-lit street, complete with Spinner-style police cars buzzing and hovering around, the build perhaps leans more towards Blade Runner than the past two builds offered – although equally, there is less of a feel of the multi-level nature in the setting than previous builds that also move it a little away from that film. However, there are numerous nods and touches to a range of influences beyond the films named in the region description (one of the more obvious being Sulaco Corporation – a name that would seem to draw on the Alien franchise).
There are familiar elements from earlier builds to be found as well – notably the subway that serves as the landing point, some of the vehicles, the little hovering robots, the night club and the bar. These help to give a sense of continuity to the setting that eases those familiar with some of Drune’s past iterations (such as 2019-XS) into this one, such that the feeling is not so much that this is not so much a new build, but another part of that city.
For me, the enclosing region surround give this iteration of Drune a depth perhaps lacking in some previous versions – and it is clear that Zee9 has taken a huge amount of care to ensure the the edges of the region break up the surround such that the high-rise buildings of the latter feel like a genuine continuance of the setting, adding to that feeling of depth noted above. It is as if one could walk through one of the road tunnels, the canyons between those skyscrapers would indeed lead to some of those past Drune designs, sitting as further outliers of the city.
Always evocative, wonderfully thematic and rich in colour, Drune always offers a setting worth visiting and appreciating – and for photographers, the photo contest mentioned above gives an added incentive for visiting. Details can be found on an ad board in the landing point subway.
Recommended – and thanks to Zee9 for the chat.
- Drune: East of Eden (Sensual Moments, rated: Adult)