Don Daglow papers
The Don Daglow papers contain materials from 1977 to 2012, with the bulk of the papers dated between 1988 and 2008. This collection contains materials related to Don Daglow’s early career and early game designs, the founding of Stormfront Studios, Inc. and company records, video game development, resources used in game development, research, Don Daglow Interactive Entertainment company records, and references. Of note are more than 150 game concepts and proposals, as well as considerable information on published games covering concept through development, marketing, press, legal, consultant work, and player feedback.
The Don Daglow papers have been arranged into five series, four of which have been divided into subseries, several of those further divided into sections to facilitate use of this collection. This collection is housed in 96 archival document boxes, 5 oversize boxes, 26 rolled storage boxes, 42 specialized boxes, and 2 flat file drawers. Additional scope and content information can be found within the Contents List section of this finding aid.
Many of the video games have working titles which have been included in this document as part of the development folder names. Published game titles will appear italicized and working titles (as well as unpublished game titles) will appear within quotation marks. A list of working titles is at the end of this document.
Media materials have been incorporated into this document with the game development media in a separate subseries. Media include Beta tapes, DVDs, CDs, data cassettes (CT-600N), data cartridges (LTO Ultrium 2, LTX200G, Ultrium LTO 3), 3.5” and 5.5” floppy disks, Hi8 tapes, mini data cartridges (DG90M, DC-2000, QIC-40), VHS tapes, Video 8 tapes, Wii RVT-R discs, and a zip drive. Effort has been made to identify unlabeled media in this collection. Through this process, many of the 5.5” floppy disks have been imaged and a digital copy has been created and is available on-site at The Strong. It is possible that certain formats may be inaccessible or restricted at this time.
- 1977 - 2012
- Majority of material found within 1988 - 2008
- Daglow, Don (Person)
Conditions Governing Access
Conditions Governing Use
89 Linear Feet (This collection is housed in 96 archival document boxes, 5 oversize boxes, 26 rolled storage boxes, 42 specialized boxes, and 2 flat file drawers.)
Don Daglow is an American computer and video game designer, programmer, and producer. He is best known for pioneering simulation games, creating the first online multiplayer role-playing game with graphics, and founding game developer Stormfront Studios.
While studying playwriting at Pomona College in Claremont, California, Daglow discovered his talent for writing computer programs. During the 1970s, Daglow created games such as Baseball (1971), the first interactive computer baseball game; Dungeon (1975), the first computer role-playing game; and other titles freely shared via university mainframe computers. In 1980, Daglow started at Mattel Electronics as one of the original Intellivision programmers. Daglow produced Utopia, a groundbreaking simulation game (also called a “god game”) in 1982. At Mattel, Daglow also worked on Intellivision World Series Baseball (1983), a game which incorporated multiple camera angles into the game display. Daglow joined Electronic Arts in 1983, designing more than a dozen titles. He moved to Brøderbund a few years later, notably signing the original distribution deal for Will Wright’s Sim City (1989).
Daglow founded Stormfront Studios, Inc. in 1988 in San Rafael, CA. Originally called Beyond Software but renamed in 1991, the company had placed on the Inc. 500 list of fast-growing companies three times by 1995. Neverwinter Nights (1991-1997), the first graphical MMORPG and Stronghold (1993), the first 3D real-time-strategy game, helped earn Daglow the title of the only games industry pioneer to create ground-breaking games in four genres (role playing, sports, simulation and god games, and real-time strategy). Other innovative and popular titles include Quantum Space (1989), the original play-by-email game to be offered by a major online service; Treasures of the Savage Frontier (1992), the first game where an NPC could fall in love with a player character; Tony La Russa Baseball games (1991-1997); The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002); and Eragon (2006). Daglow served as president and CEO until the company closed in 2008, by which time Stormfront Studios had sold over fourteen million copies of games.
In 2011, Don Daglow established Interactive Entertainment in Sausalito, CA, as a mobile and social games studio. As of 2019, Daglow continues to consult with game publishers and developers as well as perform speaking engagements.
Daglow has received many honors, including a Technology and Engineering Emmy award and an Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences Achievement Award. His role in establishing simulation and online multiplayer role-playing games has greatly shaped the modern video game industry.
Series I: Early career, 1977-1989
Subseries A: Business papers, 1977-1989
Subseries B: Game design concepts, 1981-1982
Subseries C: Computer program codes, 1980
Series II: Stormfront Studios, 1988-2008
Subseries A: Administration, 1988-2008
Subseries B: Finances, 1989-2008
1. General finances, 1989-2008
2. Royalty reports and amortization schedules, 1991-2007
3. Taxes and audits, 1991-2007
Subseries C: Legal, 1985-2008
1. Company incorporation and name change, 1988-2001
2. Intellectual property, 1990-2007
3. Litigation, 1990-2001 [RESTRICTED]
4. Development-related, 1994-2008
5. General legal/references, 1985-2008
Subseries D: Press and publicity, 1988-2004
Subseries E: Building and lease, 1988-2007
Subseries F: Personnel, 1990-2008
1. Recruitment and employment, 1990-2008
2. Benefits, 1992-2008
3. Policies and procedures, 1991-2006
4. Time and payroll, 1992-2007
5. Personnel, 1990-2006
6. Events, 1997-2005
Subseries G: Conferences, conventions, and seminars, 1985-2010
Subseries H: Awards, 1987-2010
Subseries I: References, 1985-2008
Series III: Stormfront Studios game development, 1988-2010
Subseries A: Development planning, 1992-2007
Subseries B: Game development (paper records), 1989-2009
Subseries C: Game development media, 1989-2008
Subseries D: Other development projects, 1988-2006
Subseries E: Resources, 1987-2008
1. Platforms and technology, 1988-2007
2. Company profiles and services, 1987-2008
3. Manuals, 1991-2003
4. Research, 1993-1996
Subseries F: Baseball research, 1980s-1990s
Subseries G: References, 1991-2008
Subseries H: Miscellaneous media, 1987-2007
Subseries I: Untitled media, n.d.
Series IV: Don Daglow Interactive Entertainment, 2010-2012 [RESTRICTED]
Game and Working Title List
- Baseball -- Computer games.
- Buchignani, Mark
- Byzantine: The Betrayal (Game)
- Computer games
- Computer games -- Design
- Computer games -- Development
- Dungeons and Dragons -- Video games
- E3 (conference)
- Eagle Eye Mysteries (Game)
- Electronic Arts (Firm)
- Eragon (Game)
- Forgotten Realms: Demon Stone (Game)
- Game Developers Conference
- Gaming Conference
- Gorlin, Dan
- Hot Wheels Turbo Racing (Game)
- Intellectual property.
- John Madden Football (Game)
- Larkin, Tim, 1959-
- Legend of Alon D’ar (Game)
- Lego My Style (Game)
- Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (Game)
- Marx, Christy
- Mattel, Inc.
- Microsoft Corporation
- Mindscape (Firm)
- NASCAR -- video games
- Old Time Baseball (Game)
- Pool of Radiance: Ruins of Myth Drannor (Game)
- Quantum Space (Game)
- Rebel Space (Game)
- Sony Computer Entertainment
- Spiderwick Chronicles (Game)
- Stadiums -- Designs and plans.
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Harbinger (Game)
- Stocker-Magno, Sarah
- Strategic Simulations, Inc
- The Learning Company
- Tony La Russa Baseball (Game)
- Trademark licenses.
- Ubi Soft Entertainment (Firm)
- Utopia (Game)
- Video game history -- United States
- Vivendi Entertainment (Firm)
- Finding Aid to the Don Daglow Papers
- Nicole Pease
- January 2019
- Description rules
Part of the Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play at The Strong Repository
One Manhattan Square
Rochester NY 14607 USA