PonyKart was an upcoming 3D racing game created by several artists, animators, musicians and modelers. Being fan-made, this game is neither licensed nor endorsed by Hasbro.
After a year with no updates, PonyKart was announced to be officially cancelled by the development team due to the overwhelming development process and dwindling spare time to work on the game. The game's source code has since been made publicly available.The project has then been revived with a new development team, lead by RavenSteam and grturner, to pick up where the other team left off.
The developers have claimed that the final version of the game will include six playable drivers; Twilight Sparkle, Rarity, Pinkie Pie, Applejack, Rainbow Dash, and Fluttershy. In addition, there will be four drivable tracks; Sweet Apple Acres, Whitetail Woods, Appleoosa, and a track where players ride on top of some trains. The game will also feature AI-driven ponies and item boxes containing unique power-ups.
The development team mentioned the possibility of adding more drivers, tracks, and possibly a multiplayer mode; however, this is currently at the bottom of their list of things to develop. The team have also stated that any future tracks and characters appearing in the game will be from the show. In terms of playable characters, the team plan to only include characters who are central to at least one episode in the show and have speaking lines (meaning background ponies such as Lyra and Octavia will not be drivable ponies; however, they will be added in somewhere on the tracks).
PonyKart currently uses the Ogre, Bullet and Lymph Framework libraries. Due to the type of graphics engine the developers are using, PonyKart will only be able to run on Windows computers. The team has released early footage of PonyKart showing the PreAlpha racetrack "Sweet Apple Acres" displaying several basic game mechanics such as physics on certain objects and drifting. At this time, Twilight Sparkle was currently the only pony available; the other characters and karts are still a work in progress.
The first update video, released on February 13, 2012, shows the concept art for the next track in development, Whitetail Woods, as well as background ponies which will act mostly as the audience following the racers as they drive by. The video also shows several tweaks done to Sweet Apple Acres, such as animated flags, and new sound effects added into the game, such as ambiance for Sweet Apple Acres and kart sounds for Twilight's kart.
The second update video, first shown on March 2, 2012 reveals a change in Lyra's sitting position since the last update. A sneak preview of Rainbow Dash's tail on Lyra's "kart" is shown as well, revealing Rainbow Dash to be the second racer to be developed. On March 7, the team revealed Applejack to be the third racer to be developed, and on March 18 they revealed the finalized version of the kart which she will drive in.
By the third update video, shown on March 24, Rarity, Fluttershy, and Pinkie Pie have been developed and are currently using recolored versions of Twilight's kart until their karts are made. The video also shows several parts of Whitetail Woods, which is being made in four separate parts. The team have also been developing the AI system for the karts.
On June 30, the development team announced that they would be going to BronyCon Summer 2012 to showcase some multiplayer gameplay, as well as a lap HUD. Two days later, they put up a video for a preview of the multiplayer engine on their official website.
The fourth update video, released on July 13, 2012, showcased an update to Twilight's kart model, as well as showing Rainbow Dash's kart model, and clarifying Derpy's role in the game.
On November 19, 2013 the PonyKart development team announced that they would stop developing the game due to time constraints and real life complications. The team publicly released the complete source code of the game.
Shortly after the abandonment of the project, a Google Group was created to try to revive it. Thanks to this, a new development team was assembled, lead by RavenSteam and grturner.
PreAlpha Sweet Apple Acres
February 13, 2012 update
March 2, 2012 update
March 24, 2012 update
July 13, 2012 update