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The World of Warcraft Diary

A project in Akron, OH by John Staats

Funding Successful

What did it really take to make World of Warcraft? The game's first 3D level designer reveals the ugly, crazy world of making games.
Backers: 8378
Average Pledge Per Backer: $71

Funded: $598,969 of $10,000
Dates: Aug 28th -> Sep 25th (28 days)
Project By: John Staats
mmobooksgame design +Suggest

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Last Updated: September 25 @ 14:01 -0400 GMT


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Latest News

Three hours left!

September 25th - via:
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... (Read More)

12 hours left, and what happens next

September 25th - via:
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... (Read More)

The Last Day

September 24th - via:
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... (Read More)


September 23rd - via:
Today, the book that found only 298 backers in its first Kickstarter campaign took first place in its category. Last night was a special discussion about making Vanilla WoW with the project's shipping team lead, Mark Kern, and the guys from... (Read More)

Turning it up to 11

September 21st - via:
 $400,000. We did it. With less than 4 days left in the campaign, the Kickstarter version of The WoW Diary got much better with the funding of the Spot Varnish Stretch Goal. The following images are examples of spot varnish applications. I'll be... (Read More)

The FAQs are back!

September 19th - via:
I finally created a FAQ. I apologize for my negligence. My printer warned me that it would be hard to get paper. In order to speed things along, they are ordering paper without a down payment. This is unusual, so I appreciate their trust. There are... (Read More)


September 18th - via:
Yesterday was moving day for the campaign. Gads, I've been busy. It's 5 PM, and my only sustenance has been two cups of decaf. For whatever reason, The WoW Diary funding picked up some pace, and I'm doing everything I can to keep it going:  The... (Read More)

Saturday Night Twitch with ClassiCast & Kern

September 17th - via:
Last Saturday night's Twitch stream with ClassiCast was so successful, I'm going to do it again with one of my old teammates, Mark Kern (@Grummz) next Saturday, 7 PM EST. We'll answer questions from our ClassiCast hosts and audience, and generally... (Read More)

Things You May Not Care About

September 16th - via:
I've sent a volley of emails to worldwide fulfillment houses to see if I can reduce the shipping cost, or, if possible, pay for EU import taxes. (I can't do this with Amazon.) If my printer's fulfillment affiliate is dragging their feet, then maybe I... (Read More)

Achievement Endgame

September 13th - via:
Two huge strides were made with achievements. The first was catching my mistake with looking at the wrong number on my MailChimp account. My email list had grown to almost 1200 names, which instantly unlocks 60 achievement points. Getting to 1000... (Read More)

Golden Edition of Kickstarter Unlocked!

September 12th - via:
With $300,000 raised we are getting a rarer version of The WoW Diary. I apologize for the late update, but I cannot exaggerate how busy I've been these past few days.  I wrote the script and hired a VO actor Monday, put the commercial together... (Read More)

2 New Stretch Goals, multiple copies

September 10th - via:
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... (Read More)

3rd, Live Chat tomorrow at 7 PM EDT

September 9th - via:
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... (Read More)

4th, Achievements Scored

September 8th - via:
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... (Read More)


September 7th - via:
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... (Read More)

Live Chat Tomorrow at 6 EST

September 6th - via:
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... (Read More)

First Achievement Points Almost Scored

September 5th - via:
Achievements inched forward yesterday, the last two of which are going to be the first to score (a recent interview with Danger Dolan will push YouTube views over the top). The haikus and Venns weren't scoring as fast as I was hoping they would, I... (Read More)

Achievement System

September 4th - via:
I've added an achievement system for an Easter egg-ridden bookmark I hope to include inside the hardcover edition of The WoW Diary. The achievements are for a variety of things like sharing the project with your friends, or silly things like writing... (Read More)

5th, The Golden Stretch Goal

September 1st - via:
Old news: Question: What has two thumbs and is Kickstarter’s 5th most successful non-fiction book? Answer: The WoW Diary and a pair of severed thumbs!   4th place is currently held by The Mastery Journal, which weighs in at $280,000. If you’re... (Read More)

6th, Delivery Estimate Revision, Multiple Copies

August 31st - via:
As The Zen Habits Book lays gasping behind us, we're on the eve of good news. Tomorrow I'm setting a stretch goal! I know I said there'd be no stretch goals, but I had a good idea after talking to my printer all day. Why have we been talking all... (Read More)


August 30th - via:
I spent today researching data management, which is a fancy way of saying post-Kickstarter order processing. It's boring, but more important, now that The WoW Diary is all grown-up. For instance, Kickstarter doesn't allow backers to order multiple... (Read More)

Day Two's Belated Update

August 29th - via:
Hi everyone,  I’ve had a full 2 ½ hours of sleep last night, so I can address you with a clear and rested head. Since I’m still thanking individuals for their help with my campaign, let me once again extend my gratitude to you for backing this... (Read More)

I found the post update button!

August 28th - via:
Funded. Ok, enough of the old news. [wink]First of all, forgive my crazy typos on the AMA on r/wow/ and Facebook, as I am hunched over a dining room table at my relative's house. Why am I here during my Kickstarter? I am here because my... (Read More)

The World of Warcraft Diary Project Turns to Kickstarter & It's Already Funded!

August 28th - via:
The World of Warcraft Diary project by former Blizzard developer John Staats has turned to KickStarter. Staats is WoW's first 3D level designer and his book will touch on the design of the game from the ground up. The project sought $10,000 but is already nearing $30,000 with about four weeks to go. Supporter levels begin at $5 and run all the way to $300, each with a variety of digital and physical perks. (Read More)

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