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:

PayPal works on my Preorder Page
11 months ago – Thu, Sep 27, 2018 at 12:01:28 AM

My preorders page is now accepting PayPal. Sorry for the confusion, it was mistakenly toggled off my account, so now my EU backers can order without credit cards. Do not order there if you've already backed this project, backers will receive an email in a couple weeks asking for their address and if the want to add copies to their order (with reduced shipping in many areas). 

I did the layouts for supplemental booklet last night. It's cooler and longer than I thought it would be (40 pages). If you didn't spring for a Showcase Edition, you'll get an opportunity to upgrade your pledge when the email surveys are sent in a couple weeks. 

I'm working on the pre-press files for the production of the book, bookmark, slipcase, and packaging today. Tomorrow I'll be getting the last proofreading markups. After talking to the printer's staff this morning, they think my specs are achievable, and I'll be printing in late October through November...all assuming paper is ready. I'm booking a flight and hotel (near the printer) today, so this is getting real. 

Hopefully this will be the last update for a while, I've all my work scheduled through October. Wish me luck! 

How NOT to order more copies
11 months ago – Wed, Sep 26, 2018 at 12:09:48 AM

A change of plan. 

Kickstarter backers should not order additional books at the preorder web page. 

Backers should wait for email surveys to arrive around October 9th in order to receive reduced shipping costs (in some areas). If you order more stuff at the preorder web page, it'll be treated as a separate order and you'll not save on shipping. 

That's it. We did it. Thanks to the many, many people who helped me. I especially want to thank: Mark Kern, Gerald King III, Danger Dolan, Perculia, Chaud, and everyone at Blizzard including all my old teammates who helped me Alexander Brazie, Bo Bell, Kevin Jordan, Sam Lantinga, and David Ray. Other Blizzard peeps who especially helped were Shane Dabiri, J Allen Brack, Eric Dodds, Cory Jones, Kevin Crook, Daniel Kohler...and there's more behind-the-scenes helpers, that's how things get done. I want to thank Jacob Way and Travis McIntire for additional help with PR and my Kickstarter. Thanks to many wonderful shows interviewed me and brought The WoW Diary to the public. 

Three hours left!
11 months ago – Tue, Sep 25, 2018 at 10:34:27 PM

The World of Warcraft Diary Kickstarter will be done in just a couple hours. What a wild ride it has been! I've learned so much. Not just about campaigning and promotional stuff, but about WoW from all my old teammates I've been in contact with...and believe it or not, the fans. Reading questions from all the AMAs brings to light how different the perception of game development is from my memories on Team 2. People generally assumed that there was a higher degree of planning. Over and over again, I debunked this theory. Creating an MMO is a process of sustained improvisation and iteration. 

It sounds familiar. My Kickstarter campaign began on the premise of soliciting YouTube shows with promises of fresh new secrets! Although I reached a few, 95% of the hosts proved to be either too difficult to reach or too steadfast in their format to do interviews or reviews. I was scrambling throughout the Kickstarter, taking suggestions as fast as they came in...achievements, upgrades, stretch goals, live chats, AMAs, and even the quotes that I've been Tweeting every day came at someone else's suggestion. The idea for printing two versions (a limited Golden Kickstarter version and a regular version), came midway through the campaign from conversations with my printer.

Answering questions proved to be the most fun--although I nearly cancelled my first AMA when it looked like, at first, that Reddit posters were ambivalent to the idea of reminiscing about Vanilla WoW, and hostile to blatant promotion. I went into the first AMA with the feeling of dread, like I was climbing a scaffold; to be jeered and trolled (remember, my first Kickstarter failed utterly). But the actual event was so freaking cool!!! The AMAs got even more fun when I brought in old teammates whom with I recently chatted. I enjoyed it so much, the book seemed more like an excuse to talk about development, and these events reassure me that I'd made the right choice in writing a book that was foremost educational. Connecting the dots in the AMAs brought joy to me and everyone who participated, and that makes me think people will love the book itself.

More improvisation lies ahead. Paper delivery is a big question mark. Making delivery by the holidays is another. Until I get a better count of copies, I won't have quotes for overseas fulfillment houses. But that's all on my end. The backers job is mostly done. I'll give you guys a window to see how things are going as I move forward into production phase, but for now, everyone can relax. This Kickstarter has laid to rest the biggest question mark of all...will people want The WoW Diary? 

12 hours left, and what happens next
11 months ago – Tue, Sep 25, 2018 at 12:29:27 AM

I've spent the day configuring Backerkit's option for post-campaign preorder page. In it prices, rewards, and delivery are the same except:

  • You Will Be Able to Order Multiple Copies 
    Shipping for a second, third, fourth will be less (depending on where you are). 
  • EU Backers May Use PayPal instead of Credit Cards
    I've gotten many messages asking about this so I got Backerkit to enable it as a payment option today. 

The preorder page will offer Kickstarter rewards until after the Backerkit surveys are emailed, about 2-3 weeks after the Kickstarter ends. All backers will have had ample opportunity to order their rewards. After the 2-3 weeks is over, I'll switch my wares to Amazon versions of The WoW Diary (nary a spot varnish or gilded touch!). 

From there it'll be printing, printing, printing. I have my first conference call with the printer's production spokesperson this Wednesday, and I'll get a better idea about their schedules and paper delivery. The fact that so many copies are ordered late makes things difficult for them to purchase enough paper in advance (without any funds). We're doing everything possible to get this delivered by the holidays, but the tariff war paper scarcity is beyond my control.

G'night, folks.

The Last Day
11 months ago – Mon, Sep 24, 2018 at 09:32:03 PM

With 24 hours left in the campaign, The WoW Diary Kickstarter is drawing to a close. 

I'm currently waiting for information from Backerkit to get answers about a post-campaign pre-order page, to see if it accepts PayPal. I'm still waiting for some shipping shipping details: There are many little things to iron out, and my printer needs to go through them one-by-one to avoid "surprise" shipping costs. Shipping charges are staying fixed, as I have yet to even seen a quote, let alone sign anything. At least I can say, my EU backers will NOT be charged delivery taxes or fees. These overseas fulfillment houses say I will, at least, be able to take care of shipping duties.

Yesterday, I received congratulations from the previous #1 holder in nonfiction. I'm still so amazed we became top in the category; it just doesn't seem real. Reaching the half-million mark and surpassing 7,000 backers this morning was just the frosting on the cake. To my new backers, I say, "Welcome to the party!"

If you know anyone who would like to like to get a Golden Kickstarter edition, please let them know, there's only a day left. At close to the same price, it's going to be much rarer than the Amazon version, I would hate to hear if anyone didn't get a chance to own one. Just send them a direct message with the URL thewowdiary.com and it'll direct them to the Kickstarter. 

It's also not too late to upgrade your order to the signed Showcase Edition. I finally got around to mocking-up the supplemental book with the case. 

Thank you, so much, and don't forget to tell your friends before the day is over!