"I accept the risk of failure that comes from innovating too early in a tech cycle, because the alternative is to accept the certainty of failure that comes from imitating too late."

-- Don Daglow               .


Don Daglow is a three-time Inc. 500™ CEO, a pioneering game designer and 2008 Technical Emmy® Award recipient whose career spans the history of Silicon Valley. Teams have shipped over $1 billion in software products under his leadership.

Don now works with and advises game, app and technology companies, serving clients from small startups to large international publishers. 

Most of his clients' products operate on mobile, downloadable and browser-based platforms, with business models that did not yet exist just a few short years ago.

Don also serves as a Mentor at the Founders Space accelerator in San Francisco (rated in the Top Ten by Inc. Magazine), and as the volunteer President of The Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences Foundation, the charitable wing of the Academy.

Daglow has delivered keynotes and speeches at The Smithsonian Art Museum in Washington D.C., BAFTA in London, the Biennale in Frankfurt, Medientage in Munich and many international games conferences. 

Don's new book, From Dream to Delivery, expands on his highly-rated Silicon Valley presentations on entrepreneurship. It serves as a guide for anyone planning a "dream project."

He is the only executive in the history of the games industry who has held leadership positions on every generation of video game consoles, from 1980 to the present iteration of Sony vs. Microsoft. In 2003 he received the CGE Award for "groundbreaking achievements that shaped the Video Game Industry."

Along with John Carmack of id Software and Mike Morhaime of Blizzard Entertainment, Daglow is one of only three game developers whose work has been honored at both the Technology & Engineering Emmy® Awards and at the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences DICE Awards.

As an engineer working on mainframe computers, Daglow also created key early milestones in the development of chatbots (ECALA, 1972) and the machine translation of natural language (Spanish Translator, 1977).

Don Daglow is the only games industry pioneer who is credited with creating seminal games in four different game genres:

Role Playing – First computer RPG (Dungeon, 1975); first graphical MMORPG (Neverwinter Nights, 1991, Emmy® Award 2008)

Sports – First interactive sports game (Baseball, 1971); first use of multiple camera angles in video games (Intellivision World Series Baseball, 1983); produced two of the first three EA sports titles (1984-87)

Sim & God Games – First simulation video game (Intellivision Utopia, 1981)

Real-Time Strategy – First game with RTS elements (Intellivision Utopia, 1981); first 3D display in RTS games (Stronghold, 1993)

He is also an accomplished writer, with a playwriting award from The National Endowment for the Humanities and multiple book awards for his literary mystery novel, The Fog Seller.

Don holds a B.A. (Playwriting) from Pomona College, and an M.Ed. (Multicultural Education) from Claremont Graduate University.


Scroll Down for More Information on Recent Events and Upcoming Conferences


Clockworks photo credit: Kathryn, accessed 9/6/14

AIAS Foundation Announces First WomenIn Scholarship Winners

WomenIn 2016 Med

As President of the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences Foundation I'm proud to share that we've announced the first eleven women to be honored in our first round of WomenIn Scholarships. In addition to a cash award of $2,500 to support their educations, each Scholar has the opportunity to attend the 2017 D.I.C.E. Conference, where they will be paired with experienced industry Mentors.

We announced the Foundation's WomenIn program at the 2016 D.I.C.E. event just ten months ago, and I'm thrilled that with the support of industry leaders like Intel we are able to make this announcement today.

Our first round of Scholars and their fields of study and schools are:

Sydney Adams -- English at Stony Brook University

Sarah Belhumeur -- Digital Media at Maine College of Art

Stephanie Chen -- Computer Science at Columbia University

Allison Cole -- Game Design at New York University

Maya DeJesus -- Creative Arts and Technology (Game Development) at Bloomfield College

Rachel Hwang -- Computer Graphics and Game Technology at University of Pennsylvania

Ciarra Matthews -- Design at University of California, Davis

Martha Monica -- Computer Science (Game Development) at University of Southern California

Sydnie Ritchie -- Entertainment Arts and Engineering at University of Utah

Jing Shu -- Entertainment Technology at Carnegie Mellon University

Franzi Wischmann -- Film and Media Arts at University of Utah


If you'll be attending D.I.C.E. this coming February and would like to volunteer as a Mentor please contact me at ddaglow at gmail dot com. Thanks!


AIAS Scholars


AIAS Foundation Announces 2016 Randy Pausch & Mark Beaumont Scholarship Winners


Lundquist AIAS Wu AIAS


Top Row: Randy Pausch Scholars Marchelle Lundquist and Yuanqing Wu
Bottom Row: Mark Beaumont Scholars Khaila Hall and Christopher Kao


Each year the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the AIAS, awards two Randy Pausch Memorial Scholarships and two Mark Beaumont Memorial Scholarships to university students pursuing careers in the games industry. These $2,500 scholarships are awarded in memory of Dr. Randy Pausch of Carnegie Mellon University, a pioneer in professional games industry education and author of The Last Lecture; and Mark Beaumont, former COO of Capcom North America and Europe.

As President of the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences Foundation, I'm proud to announce that this year's Pausch and Beaumont Scholarship winners are: 

Randy Pausch Scholarships

Marchelle Lundquist
Columbia University, Computer Science Major

Yuanqing Wu
New York University, Game Design Major


Mark Beaumont Scholarships 

Khaila Hall
University of California Irvine, Film & Media Studies Major

Christopher Kao
University of Southern California, MBA Candidate


You can also read about last year's winners here, and about the 2014 winners, and also learn more about the 2013 winners. In depth interviews with each Scholar can be found here.

In addition to these scholarships, each AIAS Foundation Scholar receives an all-access pass to the 2017 D.I.C.E. Summit and 20th annual D.I.C.E. Awards in Las Vegas on February 21-23, 2017. The Foundation pairs each Scholar with one or more industry Mentors at the conference, who will discuss their career plans and introduce them to prominent industry leaders. If you'd like to serve as a volunteer mentor for our Scholars at D.I.C.E. please get in touch with me!  

If you or your company would like to honor someone by funding an AIAS scholarship in the name of another individual or organization, or if you'd like to financially support the Pausch and Beaumont funds, please contact me and I'll personally connect you to the right people at the AIAS Foundation. All donations are tax deductible.



Digital Hollywood in Los Angeles is October 18-21


DH Fall 16


I'll be speaking on a panel at the Fall 2016 Digital Hollywood in Los Angeles on the topic, "Pokemon GO: The Phenomenon of AR Gets Real."

Other scheduled members of the panel are:

Brian Selzer, Vice President, Business and Product Development, DAQRI
Jules Urbach, CEO, Otoy
Craig Allen, Digital Strategist, Creative Leader, Creative Alchemy Incorporated
Dmitry Shapiro, CEO, GoMeta
Anjalis Shastri, Senior Director, Design Strategy, Mobile Group, Intel
Nancy King, Consultant, NewView Marketing, Moderator


GDC Europe 2016 in Cologne, Germany is August 15-16


GDC Europe


I'll be speaking at GDC Europe once again this year, on the topic of "8 Secrets to a Long Career in Games." The conference runs in the two days before Gamescom, the massive consumer-targeted  games show in Cologne.

In addition to my "8 Secrets" talk, I'll also be teaming up with Patric Palm of Hansoft on a sponsored session called "Organising for Creativity and Success 2016." I'll be discussing new demands on game production, and Patric will discuss these topics and also show a demo of Favro, Hansoft's new collaboration tool. I've been exploring Favro's features and have already started using it on one of my clients' projects.

The Gamasutra article that announced my session also reveals a really interesting scheduled talk by Jacob Mikkelsen & Mette Poedenphant Andersen from the team at IO Interactive that creates the Hitman series, titled "Level Design in Hitman: Guiding Players in a Non-Linear Sandbox."



The Fog Seller: A San Francisco Mystery

Fog Seller Front Cover Med for Web

Some of you may know that I was a professional writer and teacher before the games industry began. In addition to being a Game Developer, for the last seven years I've taken little pockets of late-night time for a writing project I wanted to bring to life.

That project is The Fog Seller, a mystery novel set in San Francisco, and it just went on sale (e-book and paperback). If you've ever felt like people just make assumptions instead of really listening to you, this story will feel familiar. If you like mysteries or love stories please take a look at it on Amazon. I'd also be deeply grateful for an Amazon review if you give it a read.

The one influence from years of working on online and mobile games: the chapters are shorter than in many novels, to make them easier to read waiting to pick up the kids or as a break at lunch.

The Fog Seller is the story of Steve Ondelle, a Sausalito ferry deckhand and a deeply introverted young man who never answers questions about his past. He's the perfect suspect in a political assassination around a billion-dollar land deal, because he acts and sounds guilty even though he's innocent.

With his street-performer roommate Liam the Fog Seller and a bizarre collection of friends like Leonard the Human Statue, astronomer Paula Costa, The Prophet of Market Street, veterinary physical therapist Emma Hernandez, and radio DJ Phil Steen, Steve takes on the lies of the wealthy and the powerful in San Francisco.

I'd love to hear your feedback if you read it!