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Don Daglow's Blog   Expert Blogs

 
Don Daglow serves as an independent Game Producer and Game Designer on all major game platforms. His clients include publishers, game developers and technology firms, from startups to market leaders. Don also works with game industry investors, and with universities and non-profits. Current projects range from traditional packaged games to online, downloadable, iPhone and social media titles. In 2008 Don's work was selected for an Emmy® Award for Technology and Engineering, honoring his creation of Neverwinter Nights, the first graphical Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG). He is one of only three game designers or producers (with id Software's John Carmack and Blizzard's Mike Morhaime) to be selected for a Technical Emmy and to accept an Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences Achievement Award. Electronic Games has called him "one of the best-known and respected producers in the history of the field," and in 2003 he received the CGE Award for "groundbreaking achievements that shaped the Video Game Industry."

Email contact: ddaglow (at) gmail.com


PROFESSIONAL HISTORY

Don served as president and CEO of Stormfront Studios for twenty years after founding the company in 1988, earning a position on the prestigious Inc. 500 list of top-performing companies three times, selling over 14,000,000 games and generating over $500,000,000 in retail and online game sales. Stormfront's best known titles include the Tony La Russa Baseball series; the first PC versions of the console hit Madden NFL Football; the original Neverwinter Nights online MMO for AOL; the creation (with Producer Scott Orr) of the original NASCAR Racing series for EA Sports; and The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, based on the film by Peter Jackson.

Prior to founding Stormfront, he served as director of Intellivision game development for Mattel, as a producer at a small start-up called Electronic Arts and as head of the Entertainment and Education division at Broderbund. At EA he produced two of the first three EA sports titles. At Broderbund he led the acquisition of distribution rights for the original Sim City, and exec produced the original Prince of Persia, Star Wars and the Carmen Sandiego series.

Don designed and programmed the first-ever computer baseball game and first sports simulation in 1971 (now recorded in the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown), the first mainframe computer role-playing game ("Dungeon" for PDP-10 mainframes, 1975), the first sim game (Intellivision Utopia, 1981) and the first game to use multiple camera angles (Intellivision World Series Major League Baseball, 1983). He co-designed Computer Game Hall of Fame title Earl Weaver Baseball (1987) as well as the original Neverwinter Nights for AOL (1991-97).

He was elected to the Board of Directors of the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences in 2003 and again in 2007. He serves on the selection committee for the AIAS Randy Pausch Scholarship Fund, on the Advisory Board for GDC Europe, on the Advisory Board for Women in Games International (WIGI), and on multiple committees for the IGDA.

Don also is a past winner of the National Endowment for the Humanities New Voices playwriting competition, and has been published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction.

He speaks extensively on the topics of game design, online and social media games, and the video games industry, and has delivered keynote addresses in Canada, Germany, the UK and the United States.

He holds a BA in Writing from Pomona College and an Ed.M. from Claremont Graduate University.
 

Expert Blogs

Posted by Don Daglow on Tue, 23 Feb 2010 02:11:00 EST in Production
The Indie Game Challenge Awards last Friday were exciting -- two winning teams (out of 250 submissions) won $100,000 each. And G4 TV's Adam Sessler also reminded me of some important leadership skills as he interviewed the top twelve finalists.


Posted by Don Daglow on Thu, 04 Jun 2009 05:04:00 EDT in Production
We all get busy and make decisions as-we-go on projects. Content decisions. People decisions. Priorities. But sometimes sitting and thinking about a problem produces a different answer. Here's a major game case study that makes the point.


Posted by Don Daglow on Wed, 06 May 2009 03:03:00 EDT in Production
Sometimes reminders about what it takes to be a good manager come from the strangest places. Read on to see if you think that I learned anything useful sitting in the airport earlier today.


Posted by Don Daglow on Fri, 10 Apr 2009 03:33:00 EDT in Design
The passing of Dave Arneson represents the end of an era, and the loss of an important historical figure in the development of Games.


Posted by Don Daglow on Mon, 23 Mar 2009 03:05:00 EDT in Design
Comsumers' acceptance of the Wii as a new game platform came much more readily than Game Developer acceptance. What can we all learn from the patterns of Wii history?


Posted by Don Daglow on Fri, 13 Mar 2009 03:05:00 EDT in Production
In Part 1 of this two-parter, I discussed "What I Learned About Used Games from A Misguided Pizza Guy." Maybe he wasn't so misguided, since his pizza place got a lot of PR out of the stunt. But there's a difference between stunts and strategies...



Don Daglow's Comments

Comment In: [Blog - 06/04/2009 - 05:04]

Jason, maybe I didn't make ...

Jason, maybe I didn't make my point well. Here's what I was trying to say: A lot of times we find ourselves frozen in non-action because we don't like any of our choices. That's what was happening to some degree in this case, and it's understandable. The manager respected the ...

Comment In: [News - 04/10/2009 - 12:32]

This is great to read, ...

This is great to read, and lets people get a sense of Dave's approach to games as a human being rather than just as a name in a history book. Thanks for posting the interview.

Comment In: [Blog - 03/27/2009 - 08:36]

I really like the way ...

I really like the way you advise combining the discipline of reviewing spreadsheets with consistent overarching rules of design and with pure gut gamer's intuition. Although it may seem obvious, lots of designers and teams leave out one or more of those three lenses when looking at the balancing process.

Comment In: [Blog - 03/09/2009 - 12:27]

Kriss, I agree with you ...

Kriss, I agree with you that the numerical score doesn't tell you a whole lot. In the case of the allegedly misguided pizza guy, I think the gold mine lies in the comments that go with those scores. Some of them will be useless negativity, but what if he starts ...

Comment In: [Blog - 03/05/2009 - 08:50]

Stephen, I was very impressed ...

Stephen, I was very impressed by the work your students have done when we were at Future Play in Toronto last year. I'm really looking forward to hearing more about the projects.

Comment In: [Blog - 03/02/2009 - 07:52]

This is a tremendous collection ...

This is a tremendous collection of really useful perspectives. Thanks, Mark, for sharing this data with all of us.