• OpenPony One Year Anniversary Celebration!

    A little over a year ago, I was dragged into Second Life to report on a 3D pony model that had been released at the end of the previous year. It was already taking over the cartoon horse scene inside the game, but when it came to the wider fandom, we were completely unaware that something like this even existed.

    I have to be honest. I went in expecting the usual when it came to anything involving this ancient game. I'd see some neat things, do a quick report, enjoy the sillyness of the pony models, and head back to regular posting without really sticking around. Second Life for me never really had any real draw for me since it's not really a "game". OpenPony though... I loved it.

    Needless to say I've been kicking around for a year now posting popen, discussing popen, recording stupid videos of popen, all just for fun. Today I celebrate that last year since the post I made 365 days ago and talk about about the happenings over in the weird world of a platform from the early 2000's with graphic updates that make it look like something that dropped in the 2020's.

    The 4chan Surge

    Yeah, I know. 4chan bad. . If you've been here since the early days though, you know Equestria Daily was essentially born out of the site. We needed a place to collect all the stuff that was happening in the comics and cartoons board pony threads, and I decided I was no-life enough to do it. To this day, the /mlp/ board is still a spot I frequent for news in particular. If it has popped up on the internet anywhere, you can bet someone there has made a thread about it.

    After posting the OpenPony article up on Equestria Daily, I figured I'd spread it everywhere else. I loved this model so much and needed everyone to at least be exposed to it. So of course I slapped it up on 4chan, where someone immediately crapped on the OC's in the header image...

    Luckily the loud minority thought otherwise and a huge surge of people threw caution to the wind and downloaded Second Life, where they immediately ran into the nightmare that is learning how the program works for the first time. Luckily pony enthusiasts are motivated when MARE is on the line, so most people eventually figured out the jungle that is the inventory system and worked out the many kinks that the various viewers throw at you, and by the end we had a veritable armada of snowflake OC's and show characters running around setting fire to Ponyville... Literally. It only took about an hour before someone spawned a giant Lyra plushie, surrounded it with pentigrams, and set the entire thing on fire. 

    Needless to say, they needed their own sim. After absolutely destroying the capacity of multiple smaller ones, a large one named Baltimare was eventually born which quickly became one of the most populated places in Second Life as a whole.


    Also Horse Heights. There are a few offshoots of Baltimare at this point, but this is an entire neighboring sim that was built just because so many people wanted to plop down real estate.

    OpenPony Creative Explosion!

    Anyway, with a huge amount of new people joining, including a ton of artists and fans wanting desperately to deck their virtual horse wives out in everything, the last year has been a blast if you think your life has been missing a second, pony shaped one. The artsy types are constantly creating and selling new accessories while most people have multiple OC's at this point. The options have expanded tenfold since it was posted a year ago. You really can make anything you want at this point, which is half the fun of OpenPony. With completely free access to the dev kits via their Discord server, you have full control over whatever you want to build if you have some Blender skills. 


    Want some Them's Fightin' Herds? Go for it. 

    Ponify Epona? Why not. 

    Obscure character from a single season of a Netflix special? Easy. 

    And if you have no skills at all, you can cobble something together with existing free stuff.  As someone running on a budget from a 12 year old pony website that makes below living wage, I've comfortably created anything I want this way. 


    Or just dress your favorite pony up in the hundreds of outfits now available that are either completely free or less than a dollar. 

    @equestriadailymlp Somnambula OpenPony #mylittlepony #mylittleponyfriendshipismagic #mlp #pony ♬ original sound - equestriadailymlp

    Personally I like making canon ponies with slightly different designs. Luna here is based on Magnaluna's version of Luna, with her gradient mane and shorter stature. Of course someone that has the skills could go way further than this, but as someone who has been planning to learn blender for a year now and will probably never get around to it, these tools are easy even for me. 

    This Celestia here from a creator named Xipsyl uses an alicorn OpenPony body for example. You can now make ponies of any size and shape with the what has become available over the last year.

    You can of course make anyone from the mane 6 very easily now days. There are multiple options for each of their manes and tails, along with loads of costumes they've used in the show that anypopen can wear.

    The majority tend to craft their own horses though. You can be as edgy as you want at this point. Afterrain here looks like she's straight out of ponified Dark Souls or something. 

    And the greater pony community has a whole bunch of amazing new locations to explore with pop-up sims that offer a variety of costumes specifically for OpenPony. It has basically taken over at this point as the dominant model. Last Halloween for example brought on over 20 costumes if you managed to collect them all across each of the places giving them out.

    Did I mention animations? There are hundreds of new ones created in the last year, from complex dances to simple cute facial expressions. Tracking these down can be a pain since one negative of SL is how some items are literally just spread from person to person, but asking around  is a good way to find some of the "lost" ones that you might see people using.  The "nom" from that bat video I posted a few weeks ago is already something people have to dig for.

    I think that about covers what OpenPony has evolved into over the last year.  Despite many thinking it is just a fad, it somehow only keeps on growing. There are regular parties that stress even these gigantic sims out. And in between the chaos of 100 people spamming gestures and barking at each-other, you might run into Marjetzy here running the local snack stand. Or handing you a fish. Everyone has a Marj fish pet at this point.