Dog Daze /Claim Jumper Mailbag

Here is a sampling of e-mail I have received at my guest register page.

"I was showing off an Atari Emulator to my younger brothers. These guys stay up on all of the latest games on the computer and PS2, BUT, they asked to see Claim Jumper by name ... All four of us took turns playing against one another for two+ hours before I finally had to go to bed. But I could hear cheers of victory coming from one or the other of them for at least an hour beyond that." 

-- John F., Lompoc, California 

"I saw the link to your site on the AtariAge site, and it brought back a lot of memories.  Dog Daze and Claim Jumper were the two biggest games in my dorm room at college (I'm 36 now). For sheer two player intensity, your stuff was awesome, and the playability on both of those games holds up well to this day."

-- Larry S., Miami, Florida

"I really enjoyed the Dog Daze Deluxe game back in '85 when I was five years old, and can remember squandering many hours of youth navigating the little dog around to mark his territory ... Thanks for a great game which I now squander many hours of adulthood on courtesy of emulation.  And now that I found out about the other three games you made, I suppose I'll have to download them and play them too. Give me my life back!!"

-- Josh R., New Orleans, Louisiana

"Holy s***!!! are you Gray Chang? of course you are!! ... amazing ... I used to play Claim Jumper a lot when I was a kid ... I'm from Chile, and it's pretty amazing for me to send an e-mail to a person who was just a name on a screen for years. Thanks A LOT for the game. I love it, it has a very mysterious atmosphere, and a very neat music ... Quite baroque. Believe me, if i could write better in english, I could write a bunch of things, memories, feelings, all my childhood related with those 8-bit gems."

-- Eduardo A., Antofagasta, Chile

"I just wanted to let you know how much fun I've had over many years with Dog Daze. ... I was delighted to stumble upon your website and learn a little bit more about the mysterious Gray Chang whose name preceded so many games ... I actually think it's one of the very best games ever produced for the Atari--and its gameplay is completely unique across any platform."
-- Jon W., Brighton, Massachusetts

"I wanted to comment on your split screen / combined screen innovation [in Bumpomov's Dogs].  It is being hailed as "innovative" today and is being used in the Playstation 2 game, War Of The Monsters. I sent the guys a link to your site so they could see who had the idea first!"

-- Jeff F., Redondo Beach, California

Dog Daze was INTENSE two player action. It was so primal. I was playing against my friend Steve, a big guy. I got so frustrated that I completely lost it and threw my Wico joystick and hit him in the head. I girded myself knowing my temper was going to earn me a beating. At the last second he regained his composure and just pushed me aside as he walked out of the room. After many apologies from me, we were back to playing again in no time.
I donít think you give yourself enough credit for great game design. I know dozens of programmers who can make almost anything happen on a screen, but would never know how to make it fun. You probably donít realize it because you haven't been in the industry, but your gift is pretty rare. You know what needs to be changed when a game is just taking shape to "find the fun".

-- Troy A., game designer, Baltimore, MD

Financial journalist Andrew Tobias mentioned The Dog Daze Home Page in his daily column on October 17, 2003. Thanks, Andy!

Message Board Discussion of Claim Jumper

Shortly after I first published The Dog Daze Home Page in January 2003, I found the following messages posted by "florent" and "Goochman" on the Atari Age Atari 8-bit Computer forum: 

florent: "I'm looking for the first game I bought for my 600 XL computer... It was a gun fight game where two cowboys shoot at each other, and I far as I can remember, they had a limited number of bullets, and there were little snakes on the ground that you had to avoid, and that you could shoot too... At last, I remember there was a gold mine in the upper-right corner, and you could go there to get some money... I hope you can understand my description, and that someone can help me. thank you very much... "

Goochman: "Ahhhhhhhhhhhh, Now my mind is racing. 

I loved that game and know exactly what you're talking about. You picked up gold and either put it in the bank or bought more bullets with it. If your buddy had gold you could shoot him and take it. Was a fun 2 player game but I can't remember the name for the life of me! 

I think it was called 'Claim Jumper'!"

florent: "that's it !!! great !!! marvelous !!!
I'm looking for it for months, and you found it !!!
Santa Claus is still alive...
Let's play this great game !
see ya - and thank you very very very much -"

Goochman: "No prob - I was pretty good at this game so no one would play me. Along this same line there was a 'dog' game where you could throw a bone at the other player - I think it's called 'Dog Daze' and it's as good as Claim Jumper!"

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©2003 Gray Chang

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