About Dogmelon Games
What We Do
We makes games.
We are best known for our Solitaire and Mahjong games on on desktop and mobile.
However in a slight change of direction we are currently developing a new game for XBox One and Steam.
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.
Makes Things Fun
Ant is obsessed with gameplay balance and will spend hours contemplating changes to ensure he can still compete with Dan at whatever game Dogmelon is currently developing.
Ant 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.
Keeps Things Real
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 volunteers his time to educate Ant about games he has never played or even heard of.
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 could actually write photos to 3.5 inch floppy disk (can yours do that?), they digitised the photo, enhanced it in Microsoft Paint (or Microsoft Notepad -- it's hard to remember) and that was the 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 that game was cancelled by EA, it was time to branch out on their own.
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. Consoles were not a mass-market device. Gaming was still a niche activity. However, people DID have VHS players, and they were starting to move over to DVD.
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. World domination ensues. Even Jeff Minter hopped on board, so that's nice.
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. Are you reading this on an eBookman? No? That's because the eBookman was, as our US friends might say, a dumpster 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 buying and playing games that we made, which was a rush. But not lucrative.
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.
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 weirdly 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 scarcely have believed 20 years ago.
And for our Next Trick...
Now we come full circle, with a return to consoles. Dogmelon's new game for XBox One and Steam: 'Baron: Fur is Gonna Fly' is the next thing we're going to release.