JimGarand has established a reputation for making his Grauland region designs as places well worth visiting. Each iteration offers something just that little different around the central idea a setting for exploration and photography mixed with the idea of each also being an environment intended for artistic expression.
As my last visit was in June, I decided to jump across and see what the current iteration holds – and was surprised to note that (in August, I believe), Jim had relocated the Grauland builds away from their long-term home of Mobile to a new Homestead region – prompting me to update the SLurl featured in past articles in this blog. On bumping into Jim on the region, he explained he decided to take a break for a couple of months to recharge, and so needed to obtain a new Homestead on his return.
The new setting is once again an interesting mix, a scene suggestive of an older part of a city, one overlooked by more modern skyscrapers alive with their walls of lights and neon, but separated from them to indicate that while they may be part of the same conurbation, they are not the same neighbourhood.
While there are high-rises within the main portion of the region, they are clearly older and smaller, speaking to a part of the town much older than the gleaming towers of glittering light. And while there is light and neon to be found here, it advertises establishments that might be considered unsuited to upmarket downtown spaces.
Caught under a twilight sky, the region is bracketed to the east and wet by a beach with pier and the tall city blocks with mountains beyond respectively. Between, it offers road that cut the buildings into tidy blocks – the majority façades, admittedly, but which offer numerous opportunities for photography.
However, that’s not the primary purpose with the build: whilst it blends that familiar sense of space with physical art elements – which I’ll come to in a moment -, the primary focus of the build is that of lighting. In this respect, I cannot stress strongly enough that the resign is viewed under its default EEP setting and with Advanced Lighting Model (Preferences → Graphics enabled (no need to also enable Shadows, etc).
This theme is represented in multiple ways, from the aforementioned skyscrapers with their shimmering rows of lights to represent towering floors, through the presence of the neon business signs, the lights that illuminates advertising hoardings or the streets themselves. Some of this is subtle in nature and form – such as at the Japanese noodle bar (inside and out), and elsewhere a little more obvious but still artfully presented – such as the red used at the strip club façade, compete with reflections in the puddles from a recent bout of rain.
The most striking elements of light and art however, can be found within the setting’s largest structure and around the south and west coastlines of the region. In and along these are pieces of modern art – blocks, triangles and squares, all of which have holes running through them, which offer projected lights to illuminate the inner circumference of the holes in the most engaging of effects. Further lighting can be found a long the sides of the main road, whilst further examples of lighting effects sit hidden around corners and within alleys, encouraging exploration and – again – photography.
- Grauland (Liberia Isle, rated Adult)