The World of Warcraft Diary

Created by John Staats

If you missed Kickstarter's most-funded nonfiction book in history, you can order it here! The WoW Diary was written by the game's first level designer and covers the story behind making Vanilla WoW. With over 130 behind-the-scenes images and 336 full-color pages, it is the must-have book about game development.

Latest Updates from Our Project:

Printer Proofs and Electronic Rewards
over 2 years ago – Sun, Oct 28, 2018 at 01:21:13 AM

That's a ton of proofing! In the 1990s, it would have taken weeks to sign off on a project this size.
That's a ton of proofing! In the 1990s, it would have taken weeks to sign off on a project this size.

How about some good news? The proofs are looking great. No major issues. I've been working around the clock checking out the design's consistency, tweaking and updating files, indicating PMS colors, and doing the finicky things graphic designers normally do when prepping files for a print run. The proofs I'm talking about are the bookmarks, slip cases, covers, supplemental booklets, and, of course, the book. Everything is looking mighty keen, and the manufacturers (the printer is partnered with companies doing the hardcover and the slip case) don't see any red flags. 

When I'm at the printer, I'll have my first face-to-face meeting about fulfillment. I'm hoping for a better picture of what's involved with delivery and whether I'll be able to deliver rewards in time for the holidays--which is why I've been pushing the post-campaign production so hard. Backerkit reps say they've never seen a project (with this many backers) get such a high response rate for delivery addresses and that's largely due to me cracking the whip! If you haven't given your address, you can do so by telling their customer service guys at this URL: Again, messaging me won't help, I'll be on the press run for the next five days. 

For anyone who cares, this won't be my only trip to the printer. There are too many balls in the air to schedule any more flights, but in November I expect to be flying back and forth to oversee and sign off on various things...the least of which will the 1300+ Showcase Editions. That's a lotta autographs! 

The delivery person dropped the printer's proofs against the side of my house on Wednesday (to keep it out of the rain) instead of the usual spot. I only discovered it on Thursday, which is unfortunate because I needed to dedicate my attention to the proofs and not distractions. I had released the eBook and PDF about an hour before discovering the package, so I was torn between the proofs and the electronic distribution issues. I decided to put the eBook/PDF stuff on the back-burner because the printer stuff is WAY more important. 

Fun fact: PDFs are created from the same book file I send to the printer! Thursday we discovered that the spot-varnish indicator was "whiting out" images and text in the PDF. For whatever reason, this isn't visible on my PC. Adobe InDesign doesn't allow me to suppress this spot-varnish globally which slows down my ability to create a clean PDF. I won't be able to distribute a new electronic package until late next week, when I'm back from the printer. 

When I put the new PDF together, I'll output it at a higher resolution to improve the image quality. PDFs can be larger than eBook files, so I won't be so frugal with file size. After looking at the color proofs (pictured above) I can say The WoW Diary images are going to be better in print. I suspected as much, but it's nice to know that images from 1990s cameras and screenshots are going to be fine for printing. But if you zoom to 1200% magnification and complain about digitization...well, there's not a whole lot anyone can do about it. 

With all this going on, I haven't been able to respond to everyone's messages. I'm truly sorry about this. I'm aware that the same folks who weren't reachable through Backerkit's survey emails aren't getting links for downloading the electronic version...that'll be another hump we'll have to climb when I get back next week. Don't worry, I haven't forgotten you guys! I'll need to get a file link from Backerkit and create another Mailchimp email campaign to get the word out. 

Tomorrow I get up early and go to the airport. Wish me luck! 

No PDFs today :(
over 2 years ago – Fri, Oct 26, 2018 at 02:16:55 AM

I found the issue with the PDFs but the resolution involves going through the entire book and suppressing the spot-varnish on every "object" that uses it. The fact that InDesign doesn't allow users to globally suppress plate output by color is a shame because it would be so much safer on complicated files. 

Changing every instance of the spot-varnish is problematic because I'm reviewing proofs form the printer today...and I can't risk making mistakes, so I'm not moving forward with changes on the PDF until the printed file is locked down. That probably means you won't get the PDF until I return from the printer late next week. Sorry, folks, but I need to keep my eye on the ball. 

eBook/PDFs have been sent
over 2 years ago – Fri, Oct 26, 2018 at 12:06:45 AM

Backerkit has sent electronic rewards to backers, including a PDF and 2 eBook files (one for Kindle, one for non-Kindle readers). I discovered a few bugs associated with the "hidden" Table of Contents menu and spent a day correcting them all. I recommend the PDF form, but everyone has their own preference. 

There's something strange going on with the electronic rewards. Some people are posting missing images in their files. I sent a message to Backerkit about this, possibly a file got corrupted--but that's a stretch. What's odd is the same files on my system (which I emailed  to friends to test) all seemed fine. But something is wrong. We'll get it figured. 

PDF issue is getting fixed
over 2 years ago – Thu, Oct 25, 2018 at 09:11:02 PM

I figured out source of the PDF problem. 

Everything with the UV spot color is "printing" solid white instead of invisible, effectively blocking out the images. I have NO idea why this isn't the case on the PDF when it's viewed on my computer. But that's not important, other than it slows down my testing process.  

I'll make a new PDF, send it to another machine to verify that I've fixed the issue. I'll let you know when it's fixed.


Email Issues
over 2 years ago – Tue, Oct 23, 2018 at 02:20:54 AM

The mystery behind backers not receiving emails might have something to do with people logging into Kickstarter through Facebook accounts using old emails. I wish Kickstarter wouldn't allow this, because it could be the source of many headaches. 

Some backers just aren't getting mails from Backerkit for some reason. I know this because Friday night I sent a Mailchimp message to everyone who hasn't completed a survey (again, check your spam/junk folders), and many of the non-respondents have already replied. If you've filled out your survey, you wouldn't have gotten this email. 

I cannot help if you haven't received a survey. The customer support staff who can are reachable at -- but first check your junk/spam folders for a message I sent Friday night called "The WoW Diary Survey Link."

I'm putting together a file for electronic delivery, which I'll issue to my backers through Backerkit's delivery system. I've never used it before, so it might take a day or two of monkeying around with Backerkit tools/support staff. eBooks and PDFs should be in your hands later this week! 

Next week, I fly out west to be on press for The WoW Diary