• (Updated) A Showcase of The Amazing and Completely Free OpenPony Model On Second Life!

    Update: There is now a Video Guide for OpenPony! Go make one using this. 


    Before I start, go hit the starter guide if you plan to try it out! It takes it all step-by-step. This model is very complex for maximum customization, so there is some setup and this makes it easy!


    Back on March 19th, a returning EQD artist named Allyster Black poked me about checking out a new pony model making the rounds over on Second Life. Yes, that Second Life. The same game that released way back in 2003. We have previously explored SL pony communities in the past here on EQD, but nothing really ever kept me around on there for very long.

    I fully expected this to be another situation just like that. A quick jaunt around, a small post showing off what everyone is doing, then logging off and not looking back for another 3 years until they have an event going on or something else. Back then the pony models were impressive, but nothing particularly amazing. This combined with just being overwhelmed with the complexity of it along with the price tag for the ponies usually had me sailing off for something else to do pretty quick. Not this time though! A month and a half later and I can safely say that my experience has been COMPLETELY different and I'm still playing around with and accessorizing my cartoon horse.

    Aside from meeting some absolutely awesome people who create an astounding amount of art assets at a pace I've never seen before, the biggest draw this time around is just how ridiculously adorable the new model everyone is using is! Today I'm going to bombard you all with something that has changed the landscape for pony on Second Life entirely. The OpenPony! 


    Read all about it below, and find out how you can join me in this black-hole of horse customization. I'll be on all day today because I'm addicted~ 


    First off, a little bit of history. Second Life has had pony options since way back when the fandom was first spreading across the internet. The earliest models were as basic as they came, with simple pastel colored horses popping up and bothering the furry servers. As time went on, they slowly evolved as newer models would come in and replace the older ones.

    The big issue was the price tag. They weren't expensive per say, but as with anything, a dollar sign at all will limit how accessible something is. If you wanted the latest and greatest model, there was a good chance you would have to fork over some money and for people who aren't too keen on investing their hard-earned dosh into a game that released almost 20 years ago, this can be a deal breaker. There have of course been free models, and older models are usually free in general, but nothing that felt this great to use and customize. 


    On September 24th of 2021, OpenPony officially launched after over 6 months of development and 300+ early versions, and it instantly took the community by storm. Not only was the quality absolutely incredible, but it was also completely free. This isn't something that happens often in Second Life. There are plenty of freebies littered around the game and online markets, but very rarely is this stuff any good, and usually it's super outdated or un-modifiable. OpenPony changed everything. Suddenly you could have one of the best base models with no strings attatched and do anything you wanted with it. Needless to say, it has quickly taken over as the dominant pony. Even people who have invested hundreds of hours into  their old ponies have made the jump. It's just that good.

    Taking it to yet another level though, OpenPony also includes a TON of expressions, animations, reactions, and poses baked right into it. They have an entire hud that lets you show off your pony's mood at any given moment by shifting the ears, eyes, wings, tail, and mouth around to just about any expression you need. Everything from a four different dances, five different sitting poses, a slew of idle poses, and even a handstand (hoofstand?) are included.

    There is also a completely free bat kit as you can see from my adorable Sweet Velvet avatar up above. This includes the wings, fangs, and ears so your edgy little mango lover can properly represent the glorious bat pony race.

    All of this is brought to life by the H-Mart team, one of the most active groups in second life when it comes to building out insane amounts of pony themed things for people to play around with. When I started exploring the game back in March they were working on a gigantic tower behind the scenes that still had loads of work to finish before it would be available to the public, with most of it being completely blank blocks with no textures. In just the time I've been playing, the entire thing is now done, with a huge dance club up top with custom assets, games, scripts, and fun little animations littered throughout. All of this is shrouded in an ironic Fallout pre-apocalypse theme, with 50's style architecture, nuclear ovens, and furniture decorated by silly posters all demanding the customers consume as much as possible and offering services such as indentured servitude and promises of improved mood with more buying. Which is especially funny when you realize that half the H-Mart brand stuff in the tower is completely free.

    Two of the developers/artists going by the names of Nuzzy and Izzy are almost always there and usually working on something, be it a new outfit for people to use with OpenPony or a new script to expand what it can do. In just my one month of playing we've had an entire flight system with gravity and manual wing flapping to silly plush raptor costumes. It seems like every single day I hop on and expect to find some crazy new project people are testing out.


    Joining these two is the huge pony Second Life community all plugging away at different designs and concepts for OpenPony. The game is built around people designing and selling things, and every single aspect of your character is customizable so it's easy to be overwhelmed with all of the options. There are animators selling new poses and movements you can "equip". Designers converting every human fashion out there to quadrupedal versions. Scripters adding interactive bits to your pony like a nose that can be booped or a head that can be patted by anyone walking by. If you want an idea of how crazy some of the stuff people have come up with, check out this portal pony that spouts GLaDOS quotes when you bump into her, and a new transformer kit that just started popping up:

    OpenPony currently includes a gift card that gives you 1500 Lindens to buy various H-Mart outfits for your character with. this will typically get you three full sets, or you can buy a bunch of minor accessories, manes, and tails with it to make sure you loook exactly how you want in base form with loads of Linden leftover to spare for things like custom animations. Have a gallery of some of the things that are available to pick up:

    They also give a ton of stuff out for free or for completing events. Here are some I picked up that were just from taking part in things like easter egg hunts dance parties:

    Most clothing is completely customizable with colors from across the spectrum, or you can make specific bits you don't like invisible so they don't show up at all. This functionality changes based on who makes it, but all of the H-Mart gear is super easy to modify to whatever you wish. Especially if your favorite edgy bat needs edgy colors for max edgy.

    Of course, you can't have a pony avatar without pony places to visit. People have rebuilt Canterlot, Ponyville, and a bunch of other areas from the show, along with Fallout Equestria places complete with costumes OpenPony can wear for role-playing or just screenshots.

    OpenPony is still relatively new, but people have already gone wild with creating a plethora of unique accessories and textures for their characters, many of them sold on their own personal stores for as little as 10 cents to a few dollars. You can very easily accessorize a character completely free, but if you want to support one of the many amazing 3D artists building things in the game, their content is super cheap for what you get out of it. 

    This article is already exceeding the limit for even a longer EQD post, but there is still so much more to celebrate with these models that you really just need to experience. There is an amazing newbie guide complete with their usual brainwashy fallout style humor now, and a starting area that goes along with it, including the machine to claim your gift cards and the model itself. Have links to that, plus some helpful stuff and I hope to see you all around! 

    OpenPony Newbie Guide

    Firestorm Viewer for Second Life  

    (Don't use the default second life program, it is awful) 

    OpenPony Starter Area  

    (Put this link in at the top of your second life viewer to go there)

    OpenPony Discord  

    (Use this if you run into issues setting up your pony! It can be complicated, so don't be afraid to ask questions on there or in game.)