Desktop Ponies is an application where some of the ponies from My Little Pony Friendship is Magic will walk around your screen while acting out some small scenes from the series.
The program was created by the Ponychan user Desktopponyguy and is currently maintained by RoosterDragon, with original sprite models from Derpy Delivery and animations by monkeyjay.These original animations have been expanded on by starsteppony, supersaiyanmikito, fanofetcetera, deathpwny, botchan, anonycat, the-coop, vulcan539, ponynoia and more (at times anonymous) contributers to the program.
Desktop Pony program started in early 2011 by an anonymous user on ponychan who later started identifying himself as DesktopPonyGuy. The first sprites were taken and modified from Derpy Delivery. MonkeyJay later made a new style for the ponies causing the original Derpy Delivery sprites to be phased out as his style became the new base for each pony.
Ponychan (specifically /fan/, formerly /collab/) has always been the site used for communication between members and for others to help with the project. A new thread for the project is started every couple of months, the latest being this example
On June 23, 2012, the team started a group on DA called Desktop-Pony-Team for hosting the original artists' works, as there had been a wave of people claiming credit and payment for the animations in the program.
The idea for a DA group to help advertise and respond to people claiming credit was thought up by an anonymous user in a Desktop Pony theft reporting thread on Ponychan about a week earlier.
At the same time, the Desktop Pony Team moved the program to fall under the CC BY-NC-SA 3.0, therefore people cannot charge money or receive it (via donations, voluntary payment, etc) at all. Credit is to be given when the sprites and bases are used.
Problems with DA has resulted in an uphill struggle against art theft, with DA admins contacting team members about the amount of reports they send in or in a couple of cases suspending desktop pony team member accounts, due to the amount of art theft reports deviantArt receives.
On December 16, 2012, the team released their new website/forum alongside version 1.42 of the program. The website was launched to be a central place to better organize and keep track of the program and its various uses by fans of My Little Pony and the program. It was also to be a place fans could ask any questions about the show & submitter work to the program.
However, since the launch of the latest Ponychan thread, the site has had little traffic and was used more by people as a place to get updates for the program.
The most recent version is 1.59 as of March 25, 2016.
The program is supported by the team on Windows, Mac, and Linux.
There are unofficial patches for Apple's iPhone and Android devices made by fans of the program, but these remain unsupported by the Desktop Pony team.
The program as of V1.59 has over 260 characters from all five seasons of the show available to users of the program.
A full list of ponies and their animators is included with the program.
Most ponies will not interact with each other unless they did so in an episode, such as when Pinkie Pie follows Rainbow Dash in her Candy 'Copter, or when Gilda and Rainbow Dash sing the Junior Speedsters Chant.
Many ponies will occasionally speak while out on your screen. They will mostly say phrases from the series, which appear as a text box above their heads. By default, they are set to a 1% chance of occurring.
Some ponies have sound files that may play in addition to the text box appearing.
- Too many ponies will overload your computer and cause it to crash.
- One of Pinkie Pie's animations is her Pinkie Sense, where she will put on an umbrella hat and dodge a falling Tom, despite Tom never appearing in the episode Feeling Pinkie Keen.
- Many users complain about ponies getting in their way, so a new version where the ponies stay away from your cursor was created by WindowPonies and can be found here. WindowPonies hasn't been updated since August 2011 and the feature was included in the desktop pony program.
- When you hover over the ponies with your cursor, many will simply stand there, but Pinkie Pie gives you the stare from the end of Bridle Gossip.
- The Princess Luna sprite was used in the infamous Luna Game series.
- A short two chapter story titled desktop ponies was featured on Equestria Daily on May 18, 2011.
- Ponysay, a python 3 program for Unix terminals, uses many of the Desktop Ponies images. However, they are transformed into plain text with the extension .pony and printed into a terminal. Practically all Desktop ponies are there, including many fanmade characters posted by anonymous users on many imageboards. In some cases, they could not locate the source, and many others were created specifically for the project. For example, they added they own version of King Sombra prior to his addition on Desktop Ponies.