So what is this anyway?
It’s a suite of content that ponifies StepMania.
No, what is it, really?
It is a suite of content (i.e. “simfiles” for an open source dance game: so you can finally get down (or mash your arrow keys) to your favorite songs about horses.
So you want to know how this all started? Good. You’ve come to the right place.
Lirodon first started the development thread for the TrotMania pack on the community site Zenius
I Vanisher in December 2011, promising a StepMania 5 theme and a full song pack containing only music and remixes related to My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. Admittedly, the main influences were A. Mungyodance (a heavilly modified StepMania-based game that primarily catered to the furry fandom and/or fans of hardcore techno) and B. a “self-contained” StepMania pack that VJArmy based off Beatmania IIDX 13.
While there were many naysayers (primarily those who doubted the legitimacy of the brony fandom to begin with), the project started off slowly, but only really got a boost when RIME was named co-chair of development for the pack. After hard work, some drama, and other complexities, the team celebrated Nightmare Night in style with the official release of the first edition.
Soon afterward, Lirodon announced the development of a second mix known as Chrystalize, which promised to make the pack, well, 20% cooler, and correct some abnormalities that sprang up in the later half of development for Rhythm is Magic. Chrystalize got a release on July 1, 2013, and dwarfed its predecessor’s size thanks to the side project Crusaders, developed primarily by RIME. In the spring of 2014, both projects concluded, with a new side project, Chrystalize Append, serving as a preview for what was to come.
In January 2015, TrotMania became part of PonyvilleFM, an electronic dance music-oriented brony radio station, introducing an updated website built on a more dedicated platform. Many of their staff members have connections to the Bemani fandom, much like the TrotMania staff, making them a perfect fit. This was followed by the launch of Aeternum Obscurum, the third release. Yes, it did come out before Season 5. This was the first game to include variant themes, with the final update Dawnfall giving the game a new look. It was also the first to include original compositions for the theme, provided by Tesselode in this game.
The fourth release of the game, Euphorius, was released in February 2016, receiving content updates over the span of 2 and a half years. This was the first game in the series to include a defined Extra Stage system, with 2 waves of content slotted through over the course of the game’s lifespan. It was also the first to receive a side release, the one in question being Trials of the Embers, which included multiple features not seen in the mainline titles. One last first for the series was the inclusion of Preview Video clips in the song selection interface.
After more than a year in development, Shrive followed with a launch in September 2019. This was the first mix to reach out to artists outside of the team for compositions of playable tracks. It will also be the first mix to only have one content update, to be announced in more detail at a later date.
- Lirodon (creator, art, theme, stepper)
- Pushed for the project in its original form as a memetic mini-pack. As an experienced themer, he’s coded and illustrated the four themes for the game so far, and Euphorius pushes the envelope further with some new features he’s responsible for in both the theming and content department. He also does assorted art for various songs in the game.
- RIME (co-leader, art, stepper, gameplay filmer)
- RIME along with InklingBear helped to get the project back into gear, packaging the final product together and having creative direction on the first two games’ patches. As time has gone on, one of the roles he takes is ensuring stylistic unity among other elements of quality assurance.
- InklingBear (co-member, art, stepper)
- InklingBear (aka Ice Bear) was a key element in getting the project off the ground, helping fill in steps and new songs for the first game and continuing on for the rest of the series.
- Beginning with the second game, she began composing some originals for the series.
- She also wrote the original charts for all songs from Chrystalize APPEND (which later became part of Aeternum Obscurum) alone.
- Nazo (stepper)
- Calena (stepper)
- Calena’s project PonyMania was in a similar lane as TrotMania, lasting for 2 years and primarily aimed at keyboard players. Work from that series is being ported as of the fourth game.
- Elias (stepper)
- Like Calena, Elias had a project known as the Brony Mix Pack, in this case aimed at pad players. Work from that pack is being ported as of the fifth game.
- Retropone (stepper, media wrangler)
- KexMiX (stepper)
- Became the newest member of the charts team for TM V.
- Diskette (themer)
- An avid themer, Diskette has been responsible for several Quality of Life improvements over the years along with remastering the older themes for rerelease.
- Ben Speirs – Discord (The Living Tombstone’s Mix), Hush Now Quiet Now (TranceBlossom Remix)
- Silverhawke – Babs Seed (Reconciled Mix)
- S.R. Foxley – Tester on both Chrystalize and Append
- xnintendox – My Little Pony (Alex S. Remix) base simfile and Pump it Up steps
- Warpdr!ve – Cloudsdale EVOLVED (Iron Pony)
- Xsoft – Czech conventioneer
- NEMESetup – Laughter, Hearts Strong As Horses (Sim Gretina Remix), Neverending Nightmare
- DJ Vortivask – Lesson Learnt (Iron Pony), europa (song used), Understatement (song used)
- Vortivask is a relatively new member of the community. Involved in both stepping and musicianship, his charts can cater to casuals but can also reach insane heights; his Lesson Learnt chart was one of 3 that reached level 19 (prior to some modification)! As of the fourth game, he is contributing music to the game.
- C. Wiggers – Flutterwonder (Shroo’s Liquid D’nB Remix)
- BLANK3T (stepper)
- The DANcer – Break It, Spooky Scary Skeletons (Remix), How Far We’ve Come
- XYZ – Good Intentions
- Telperion – Spectrum (Prism Mix)
- Foozogz – Tea & Corruption (song resurfaced for game)
- MRPPony – I’ve Got to Find a Way (Remix) (song used), Memories (song provided exclusively to game), Hearts and Hooves (song provided exclusively to game)
- Jyc Row – SELENE (song provided to game as Sombra’s Boss Theme)
- AppleBukker – SELENE (composed remix of Sombra’s Boss Theme for game)
- Blythe the Fantasian – Sequence de vie (song composed exclusively for game)
- FoRCeDNaTuRe (stepper; left after Rhythm is Magic)
- Blinded_No_More (stepper; left after Chrystalize)
- AkihiroIIDX (stepper, syncer; left after Rhythm is Magic)
- Berrylicious (gameplay filmer; left away after Chrystalize)
- Woona♡ (stepper; left during Euphorius for personal reasons, may return)
- Tesselode (theme musician for TrotMania III)
- Intersekt (theme musician for TrotMania IV)