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6 Brony-built projects for making ‘My Little Pony’ superfandom even better

What we learned from the #ponydev lightning talks at BronyCon.

The #ponydev panel. (Photo by Stephen Babcock)

With lightning talks and inside jokes, an afternoon gathering in downtown Baltimore was just like a lot of tech meetups. Just add Twilight Sparkle.
Amid cosplay and meet-and-greets, a half-dozen developers got together last Sunday to discuss their work at BronyCon, a gathering of more than 7,000 My Little Pony fans that fall outside the show’s supposed target demographic of young girls. The Convention Center event re-dubbed the city “Baltimare” for the weekend of July 8-10.
Connecting community has always been a key component of the dev community, and it appears that’s no different among Bronies.
Between chants, fist bumps and costume compliments that filled a long line to enter the convention’s closing ceremony, Victor Lourng was talking about the importance of online communities to the Brony fanbase. Right now, the chat app Discord is popular, he said. Seemingly on cue, Lourng then ran into a fellow Brony he had only previously met online.

Inside the BronyCon closing ceremony. (Photo by Stephen Babcock)

Inside the BronyCon closing ceremony. (Photo by Stephen Babcock)

The convention, which was making a return trip to Baltimore and is set to return to Baltimore next August, offered a showcase of how fans make My Little Pony their own. With games, community and even an academic dataset, the developers’ panel further reflected this ideas.
Proving it was their own domain: They secured
Here’s a quick look at the projects (each slide deck is here):

  • Pony Clicker — A game that takes the JS game Cookie Clicker and adds ponies.
  • Building a Convention Website — Lourng provided three tips: Pick a theme, format data and keep it simple.
  • Better Pony Motes — An app that allows My Little Pony Reddit emoticons to be used in Discord.
  • MLP Project Management — Organizing people around the game Legends of Equestria took a mix of understanding what brought people were willing to give to a volunteer project, and giving people increasingly more important tasks, said Savana Pope.
  • MLP as a Dataset — Solving the problem of “How do I incessantly talk about ponies at work without getting in trouble?” by creating an academic model of the My Little Pony community on Twitter.
  • Shattered Kingdom — Navigating the rebuilding process of the pony-themed tactical role playing game.

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