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:

2 New Stretch Goals, multiple copies
6 months ago – Tue, Sep 11, 2018 at 12:22:32 AM

As we near our $300,000 stretch goal, the Golden Kickstarter Edition is becoming a likelihood. Soon every backer of the printed edition will own a much rarer book. After talking to my printer, I'm satisfied that adding two more stretch goals won't delay our December completion estimate. I'm trying to get The WoW Diary to you for the holidays, but I can't make promises. I've been on press before, and things happen. 

The two new stretch goals are: 

  • Gold foil lettering on the spine and cover - when your guests ask why yours is different, you can tell them that you possess a Kickstarter edition of The WoW Diary. Subsequently, you'll bask in their envy. This unlocks at $350,000. 
  • Spot varnishing - to make the pictures pop. This is especially cool, but it's hard to describe (and very few books can afford to use it). It let's me add shiny accents to images and layouts. The "ghosted" spot varnishes will add depth to the design. This effect costs between $4-5 to each copy. If we unlock it at $400,000, everyone gets it for free. 

I am still trying to save on shipping costs for international backers who order multiple copies. After the Kickstarter, you will get emails directing you the campaign surveys, where you will give your address details. In these surveys you'll get the chance to order additional copies, of which, I want to supply lower shipping prices. My printer is still looking at lowering the base price, but so far it's not looking great. He told me some services are quoting him ridiculous prices to mail (over $100 per copy!). 

I'm trying to work it out that I pay all EU taxes on imports, but that requires an EU partner that I can trust to redistribute packages within the EU (after I ship the books there, in bulk). I don't know if involving a third party (which I've never worked with) is worth the risk of saving you 10% in duty fees. 

The following is a clip from tonight's live chat. A lot more people showed up, but unfortunately I had to clip off the last 30 minutes because of an annoying high-pitched sound (you can hear it in the clipped off closing comments). I'm sorry for the sudden ending, but I'm not a sound engineer. :P We'll possibly do another live chat on my Discord server next Saturday. 

3rd, Live Chat tomorrow at 7 PM EDT
6 months ago – Sun, Sep 09, 2018 at 09:27:06 PM

We are the third most-funded non-fiction book on Kickstarter history! We're also 80% to the #2 position ($337,000 raised), so it's well within our trajectory.

For the audio-curious, permit me to point you to The Starting Zone. They recently uploaded their interview with me and it's a very well-run podcast. Jason and Spencer were fun and easy to talk to. If you have the time, I recommend them. Honestly, I must say all the podcasts I've been on, feel very polished. There's a list of them on my homepage if you're curious, and we frequently cover material that's not in The WoW Diary.

I've been writing out a script for YouTube commercials and hired a voice-over actor to read it. As much as you guys love hearing my voice, I thought a professional voiceactor was the way to go. After I post this update, I will return to Photoshop, to make art for next week's Wowhead article (as I listen to the Patriots and Eagles replay last year's Superbowl encounter on Sirius/XM). 

Lastly, I'm doing another live chat Monday (tomorrow) at 7 PM EDT on my Discord server. See you there!

4th, Achievements Scored
7 months ago – Sat, Sep 08, 2018 at 10:03:04 PM

The WoW Diary has reached a higher rank an the annals of Kickstarter history. We are #4 on the list of all-time most-funded non-fiction books. (Have you ever seen so many hyphens!?) Woot!

I was busy today making spot illustrations for next week's Wowhead article, that is ostensibly being published Monday (spoiler alert, I'm not going to make it!). It covers all my dungeons, so it's a long, long article. I'll continue working on art tomorrow. 

More art was processed for the overdue achievement updates. 100/300 points were earned from:

I got up at 6:30, so it's been a long day. Unfortunately, you can hear the fatigue in the video, but keen editing has removed most of my lassitude (I didn't use a thesaurus, I swear!) in today's live chat: 

7 months ago – Fri, Sep 07, 2018 at 10:54:22 PM

As we inch closer to the coveted status of Kickstarter's fourth most-funded non-fiction book of all time, I am happy to announce I bit the bullet and got the premier package for data management that will handle all the post-campaign reward processing. It's called Backerkit and it's the best chance a one-man show (like me) has in delivering the smoothest customer experience. I'm still learning its features, but the example they provided looks pretty slick. I'll go so far as to say, I was impressed. Other KS creators who are helping me's the most expensive--but it's the best. 

I still haven't made images for next week's Wowhead article. This is the big article, the liner notes to all my instanced dungeons, so I don't want to miss the chance of adding little spot illustrations, here and there...but I am swamped.  

In case you missed it, Danger Dolan, of the mighty YouTube Empire Planet Dolan interviewed me a while back. He contacted me after my last, disastrous crowd-funding campaign in April, and I sent him a copy of the entire book. He read it all the way through, and his interview went into a lot of depth. His Twitter DM to me still makes me proud: 

Hey man, book arrived a week ago and I just finished reading it - WOAH! This was even better than I was expecting, frankly I'm overwhelmed by the wealth of info in this book, incredible work! I would absolutely love to have a chat with you sometime, I have numerous questions and I really can't lavish my praise enough!

The following is today's live update video from my new Discord server in case you couldn't make it. I will be on the same server tomorrow at 6 PM EDT, if you have thoughts or questions about WoW or the campaign, swing by for a chat. 

Live Chat Tomorrow at 6 EST
7 months ago – Thu, Sep 06, 2018 at 10:19:22 PM

Before my interview on The Starting Zone podcast, I'll host a little get-together on my new Discord server Friday at 6 PM EST. I'll answer questions, take suggestions and get feedback. I've got questions for you guys too! It's good to start this now, while the campaign enters a quiet period (before the crazy finish). I hope to see you there. Hopefully this can be a regular thing. 

Next Wednesday at 4 PM EST I'm doing is another AMA about Vanilla WoW at reddit/classicwow. The moderators on reddit were impressed by the spike of activity from the first one, so this should be fun. If you miss it, I'll still answer posts until the thread dies its natural death, days later. A couple ex-teammates might show up (if they can, it's during the workday, after all, things happen). Relax, it's not Chris Mezten, they're worker bees, like me. 

Here's something fun. I'm looking into warehousing prices in Ohio. I never thought I'd be doing that. In the future, I'll be renting a truck and lugging books to Amazon fulfillment center in Twinsburg, Ohio.

I don't think we scored any achievements today, I haven't had time to look.