Tinies, or tiny avatars, are smaller-than-normal avatars usually found in the form of cute creatures and other pint-sized marvels. Much like Kleenex or Xerox in real life, Tinies is a brand name that became synonymous with a more general product due to its popularity. Many residents make and sell Tiny avatars under their own (or no) brand names.
Kage Seraph was the first person to figure out the secret to making tiny avatars: by using an animation overrider and a custom animation set that folded the avatar's limbs in on themselves, and covering the resulting shape with prims, it was possible to make an avatar much smaller than normal slider adjustments would allow. The concept wasn't entirely new; people had long been using animations to fit avatars into unusual prim bodies (often based around a sphere and/or the avatar curled up into a tight ball). However, this was the first iteration on the idea that could walk, sit, dance and preform other gestures required for a fully animated creation.
After proving the concept with a chibi-sized mecha avatar, Kage went on to share the devlopment with other creators including Wynx Whiplash of ExtroVirtual, who took the concept and ran with it. Already known for creating cute anthropomorphic animal avatars, Wynx began work on a series of tiny animals that would become officaly known as Tinies. The release of Tinies in mid 2005 was enormously successful and sparked a massive fad that spread through most of Second Life (largely based on "cute factor" as well as the novelty of the small avatars). The fad was fueled by other developers and ExtroVirtual's open attitude to people selling complimentary products. The market was soon flooded with a wide assortment of tiny outfits, accessories, houses, furniture, and animations. Many popular Second Life locations such as Neualtenburg put up special areas for tiny avatars to shop and play. Working with Kage, a developer's kit for Tinies was also released which opened the door to competition as well.
In April of 2007 Raglan Shire, the first of what would become a cluster of sims catering to Tiny centric creativity came into being. A fantastical,fun and welcoming place, The Sim featured a large tree city filled with various Tiny themed wares made by many creative avatars on the grounds as well as in the trees themselves on the various platforms. Wynx Whiplash and the Extrovirtual group moved to Raglan Shire and set up their main HQ on a large section of land bordered by mountains and streams. Besides the many places to buy tiny themed items of all types as well as tiny avatars, Raglan Shire also began to host fun and interesting activities and events for not just tiny folk, but anyone of kind disposition. Events like Tiny Sumo Tournaments, Art Walks, Football matches against other sim communities, A tiny talent show featuring over a dozen acts and an audience of 70+ , Classes, A Medieval Festival that raised well over $100,000 L for charity, performances (musical & non musical)at the Raglan Stage by various talent from about the grid, A Winter Festival as well as many other activities such as regular trivia and Primtionary games.
Community oriented, the Friends of Raglan Shire group has slowly and steadily grown to 850 plus members and is primarily focused on encouraging creativity, friendship and silliness. The Tiny community has truly shown themselves to be a warm and fun place for visitors, many of who have visited and enjoyed themselves so much that they have become a member of the family regardless if they themselves wear tiny avatars. Everyone and anyone is welcome to share ideas and collaborate and throughout 2007 the Tinies and the Raglan Shire community continued to grow.
Almost immediately due to the friendly nature of the tiny Raglan community, expansion began. First was the Artisan Village on a quarter sim of Athen Shire. a Sim connected to Raglan Shire along Raglan Shires southern border, The Artisan Village offered a charming series of cottages for members of the community to live in. Later on in September of 2007, expansion carried over to another sim. Heron Shire is a sim connected to the West border of Raglan Shire and as fall approached, The Raglan Shire Wharf (on Heron Shire) was built and new shops sprang up. Later on in 2008, The rest of Heron Shire became home to a great forest that sprawls out over 1/2 the sim with The Great Tree Steve ( a ginmorous 200 meter tall tree) at its center and featuring 4 levels of publicly accessable areas from which people can socialize and interact on.
In January of 2008, The Raglan Commons Sim came into being. Connected along the Northern Border of Raglan Shire, The Raglan Commons sim is the first all tiny residential sim and reflects the creativity of the communities residents. The Commons currently acts as home to the Raglan Air Field, The Raglan Hospital, The Raglan Shire Museum, The Willow Creek Mill, Jaid Marsis Art Gallery, The Official HQ for the Shire Times Newspaper (Raglan Shires official news source) and other Community offerings all run and maintained by residents.
In March of 2008, the Raglan Galaxy Sim was unveiled and connected to the Raglan Cluster of sims. Raglan Galaxy features a large "Tiny International Space Station" which features several large habitats, apartment pods, and other areas of interest including a Zero Gravity habitat where tiny avatars may don special helmets and float freely through the large habitat as well as the Cosmos Theater Dome where large events can be hosted. Below on the planets surface there is a small island that has free rezzable Surf boards for tinys and a surfing course. Tinys make excellent surfers.
On May 1st of 2008, Morning Shire, the 2nd Tiny Residential sim was connected to The Raglan Cluster to the west side of Heron Shire. Morning Shire has many areas of interests as maintained by the various residents who reside on the sim. The Raglan Bakery, Misa's Pumpkin Patch, The Tiny Tama store and many more places can be found on Morning Shire.
On June 14th, The Extrovirtual sim (The new home to the Extrovitual group) was attached to the East of Raglan Shire & expansion of the tree city commenced. The Raglan Shire Silica Cubicle (Raglans Sandbox) was unveiled and at any given time, you can find Friends of the Shire working on builds and projects there.
in Febuary of 2010, the Haven Shire sim was attached to the Raglan Cluster and preparations began for the 3rd Birthday of The Raglan Shire community in April.
Tinies have gone beyond the amazingly cute Avatars to unleash a true personality and culture of their own. The Shire Community of tiny folken now stretches over 8 sims and continues to grow at a nice friendly pace. Some called the tinys a fad a few years back, but 4 years later an entire community would have to disagree with that assesment as they continue to grow and have fun in a magical place called Raglan Shire.