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About dogMelon

dogmelon

About Dogmelon

What We Do

We makes games.

We are best known for our Solitaire and Mahjong games on on desktop and mobile.

However we enjoy many types of games, and are currently developing a new game for XBox One.

We think the best games bring us together, and keep us connected to other people, be they on the couch next to us, or on the other side of the world.

Our People

Anthony Wiese

Designs Frustrating Games

Ant can often be found frowning and staring into space, sometimes muttering. This can either mean he is having deep important thoughts or he is simply daydreaming.

Laughter and shouts emanating from Ant's office sometimes cause people to suspect he is not working hard, when in fact he is doing valuable research.

He can still beat his children at some games, sometimes.

Ant is currently the number 1-ranked Balants player at Dogmelon, making him the most formidable player in the entire history of the world.

Daniel Fletcher

Makes Fun Things

Shipwrecked at the age of 6 months, sole survivor Daniel was raised by wolves, and had no human contact until he was 11 years old.

Dan knows how to survive in the wild eating only natural weeds.

Dan is currently the number 2 Balants player at Dogmelon. This makes him the lowest-ranked active player, worldwide.

Some Ancient History

Ant and Dan met in a bathroom when working as programmers at an IT company, in the late 1990s. Somehow -- probably to avoid an awkward silence -- the topic of making games came up.

They put together a small group of friends who started making a simple game in their spare time.

Where did the name 'Dogmelon' come from?

It was somewhat random. The name Dogmelon came from a doodle on a whiteboard of a dog taking a bite out of a slice of watermelon. Using a high-tech digital camera that wrote photos to floppy disk, they digitised the photo, and that was the start of version 1 of the logo.

First professional game development experience

Dan and Ant worked together again at another company, working on a surfing game for EA Sports on the Playstation 2.

Sadly, EA cancelled that game.

Update: Bungarra kept working on the game and released a PS3 version 16 years later! The Surfer PS3. Well done guys -- persistence pays off!

When the game was cancelled, it was time to branch out on their own.

False Starts

In those days, it was difficult to get a publishing contract with no track record. Dogmelon decided to take its prototypes to a system that was actively looking for developers.

The first platform Dogmelon was licensed for was the VM Labs NUON. This was a gaming-capable chip designed to go into DVD players that was possibly going to take over the world.

Remember, this was pre- iPad. Pre-mobile. Gaming was not yet ubiquitous. People were starting to move from VHS to DVD. Consoles were not truly a mass-market device. They were still a niche mainly for 'gamers'.

The idea behind NUON was this: every home was going to need a DVD player. So if every DVD player had a NUON chip inside, then -- like a trojan horse -- you'd quietly inserted a games console into every lounge room. Boom: a gaming system achieves mass-market penetration.

After signing an agreement with VM Labs, Ant and Dan left their jobs and started the new company. Within a week, VM Labs filed for Chapter 11, and Dogmelon never wrote a single line of code for NUON. It was a case of exquisitely bad timing.

The next hardware platform of choice was the Franklin eBookman. The fact that you are not reading this article on an eBookman is reflective of the fact that the eBookman did not set the world on fire. The eBookman wanted to become what the Kindle actually did become. Maybe it was a decade before its time. However, as it limped along, it did give Dogmelon their first experience of real life people around the world playing games that we made, which was extremely satisfying. But not lucrative.

Green Shoots

The Palm Pilot market was Dogmelon's next foray, and this was a big step up from the eBookman. It had a much larger market, which meant more sales. But still the Palm was rare enough that you didn't see them in the hands of the general person on the street, like you would with phones today.

Some Success

Moving products onto Windows, and then particularly Mac OSX, was much more successful. For a number of years the guys at Dogmelon focussed on desktop products. They even wrote some non-gaming business-type apps that they still receive fan mail about.

With the explosion of mobiles, they returned to handhelds, a generation more powerful than Palm. Dogmelon develop for devices today that they did not foresee and could scarecely have believed 20 years ago.

And for our Next Trick...

Then finally in 2018 we come full circle, with a return to consoles. Dogmelon's new game for XBox One, Baron will be released in the first half of this year.