In 1971 Daglow was studying playwriting at Pomona College in Claremont, California. A computer terminal connected to the Claremont CollegesPDP-10mainframe computer was set up in his dorm, and he saw this as a new form of writing. Like Kelton Flinn, another prolific game designer of the 1970s, his nine years of computer access as a student, grad student and grad school instructor throughout the 1970s gave him time to build a large body of major titles. Unlike Daglow and Flinn, most college students in the early 1970s lost all access to computers when they graduated, since home computers had not yet been invented.
Some of Daglow's titles were distributed to universities by the DECUS program-sharing organization, earning popularity in the free-play era of 1970s college gaming.
His best known games and experiments of this era include:
Spanish Translator (1977) — As he experimented with parsers he created a context-sensitive Spanish translation program.
Killer Shrews (1978) — A simulation game based on the cultsci-fi film The Killer Shrews. The player has not many decisions to make, only when to try to escape the island during the simulation of the depleting of the food that is there.
Intellivision and Electronic Arts in the 1980s
In 1980 Daglow was hired as one of the original five in-house Intellivision programmers at Mattel during the first console wars. Intellivision titles where he did programming and extensive ongoing design include:
Utopia — the first sim game or god game (1982). Utopia was a surprise hit and received wide press coverage for its unique design in an arcade-dominated era. The game has been named to two different video game halls of fame.
As the team grew into what in 1982 became known as the Blue Sky Rangers Daglow was promoted to be Director of Intellivision Game Development, where he created the original designs for a number of Mattel titles in 1982-83 that were enhanced and expanded by other programmers, including:
Stronghold (1993) — The first 3D RTS game, with Mark Buchignani and David Bunnett
Old Time Baseball (1995) — a baseball sim with over 12,000 players and 100 years of teams.
By 1995 Stormfront had placed on the Inc. 500 list of fast-growing companies three times and Daglow stepped back from his design role to focus on the CEO position. See the article on Stormfront Studios for further information.
In 2003 and again in 2007 Daglow was elected to the Board of Directors of the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences. He also serves on the San Francisco Advisory Board of the IGDA, the Advisory Board to the President of the Academy of Art University and served on the Advisory Board to the Games Convention Developers Conference until it was dissolved in 2008. In 2009, Daglow joined the board of GDC Europe. He has been a keynote speaker, lecturer and panelist at game development conferences in Australia, Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States.
DeMaria, Rusel & Wilson, Johnny L. (2003). High Score!: The Illustrated History of Electronic Games (2nd ed.). McGraw-Hill/Osborne. ISBN0-07-222428-2. Picture of Daglow Decles and Minkoff Measures Mattel softball teams, 1982
Diesel, Vin (Foreword) (2004). Thirty Years of Adventure : A Celebration of Dungeons & Dragons. Wizards of the Coast. ISBN0-7869-3498-0.
Fullerton, Tracy; Swain, Christopher & Hoffman, Steven (2004). Game Design Workshop: Designing, Prototyping, and Playtesting Games. CMP Books. ISBN1-57820-222-1.
Krawczyk, Marianne & Novak, Jeannie (2006). Game Development Essentials: Game Story & Character Development. Thomson Delmar Learning. ISBN1-4018-7885-7.
Novak, Jeannie (2004). Game Development Essentials: An Introduction. Thomson Delmar Learning. ISBN1-4018-6271-3.