Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
A documentary-style book continuing the history of Blizzard Entertainment, Blizzard North, and their games.
A documentary-style book continuing the history of Blizzard Entertainment, Blizzard North, and their games.
A documentary-style book continuing the history of Blizzard Entertainment, Blizzard North, and their games.
401 backers pledged $13,287 to help bring this project to life.

About

Stay Awhile and Listen: Book II project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound
  • Off
    • English

Stay Awhile and Listen: Book II

$13,287

401

It's important to have someone like David trying to capture the history of our industry while it is happening. There are fascinating and important stories behind most every company and game that shed light on the drama that accompanies development. –Brian Fargo, founder of Interplay Entertainment and inXile Entertainment

Stay Awhile and Listen shows that there was a potent mixture of talent, opportunity, and personality that drove the meteoric rise of Blizzard Entertainment from its earliest days. –Julian Gollop, creator of X-COM: UFO Defense

Stay Awhile and Listen is a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the storied history and development of Diablo and the early days of Blizzard Entertainment. A must-read for any fans of Blizzard's epic gaming franchises. -Dr. Ray Muzyka, co-founder of BioWare

Break Out, David Craddock’s deep dive into the origins behind some of the most important games, will keep you riveted as you learn the wondrous stories of how these games came to be and how the industry started. –John Romero, co-founder of id Software, co-designer of Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, and Quake

Classic roguelike games may seem like yesterday's news, but they inspire designers the world over to this day. Dungeon Hacks tells their story in compelling fashion and explains what they still have to teach us. –Warren Spector, director of Deus Ex and Disney's Epic Mickey

David Craddock's work to capture the trials and successes of the digital entertainment industry and the people who drive it is both inspiring and important. Capturing these stories, these struggles, allows us to reflect on where we have been and help shape the journey we will share into the future. –Richard "Lord British" Garriott, creator of Ultima

Stay Awhile and Listen tells how passion, maxed-out credit cards, and sleepless nights spawned a gaming phenomenon and unearths the game design secrets that made Diablo an enduring classic. –Tristan Donovan, author of Replay: The History of Video Games

What is Stay Awhile and Listen: Book II?

Stay Awhile and Listen: Book II – Heaven, Hell, and Secret Cow Levels is a documentary-style book that continues my trilogy chronicling the history of Blizzard Entertainment and Blizzard North. It picks up with the release of Diablo in 1997 and culminates at a crucial event in the summer of 2003 that saw Blizzard North co-founders David Brevik and Max and Erich Schaefer depart their company.

Cover art by Lili Ibrahim.
Cover art by Lili Ibrahim.

Over that six-year span of time, you'll read about the creative clashes between Blizzard Entertainment and Blizzard North, delve into the making of StarCraft and Diablo II, and explore facets of each studio's culture: the freewheeling style of Blizzard North, Blizzard Entertainment's push for more structure and process, and the grueling "death marches" that made working at both Blizzards as personally taxing as it was creatively fruitful.

Additionally, you'll get detailed looks at cancelled and never-before-revealed games such as Blizzard North’s mysterious “Project X” and the massively multiplayer rendition of Diablo III. You’ll also chart the rise of Blizzard Entertainment’s renowned cinematics department and go behind closed doors to witness what transpired on the day Blizzard North’s co-founders and two-thirds of their team were dismissed.

Stay Awhile and Listen: Book II will be available in paperback and on Kindle devices and compatible apps.
Stay Awhile and Listen: Book II will be available in paperback and on Kindle devices and compatible apps.

At its core, Stay Awhile and Listen: Book II is a story about people. The book is written in a novelistic style reinforced by extensive research and firsthand interviews. Over its pages, you'll meet the personalities behind some of the greatest games of all time and immerse yourself in the culture that made their work possible.

Interested in a sneak peek of Stay Awhile and Listen: Book II? You can read full chapters right now on Polygon, PCGamesN, US Gamer, and Shacknews before backing the book on Kickstarter, with more gaming outlets set to publish chapters as the crowdfunding campaign rolls on.

Pledge to the paperback tier of Stay Awhile and Listen: Book II's campaign to receive a DRM-free copy of Book I.
Pledge to the paperback tier of Stay Awhile and Listen: Book II's campaign to receive a DRM-free copy of Book I.

About Me

Hello! My name is David L. Craddock, and I've been an author and freelance writer for over 14 years. You can find my writing at outlets such as Waypoint/VICE Gaming, Shacknews, and Paste magazine. My publishing credits include Stay Awhile and Listen: Book I, Break Out: How the Apple II Launched the PC Gaming Revolution, Shovel Knight by Boss Fight Books, and Heritage, the first installment in my epic fantasy series for young adults.

What Happened in Stay Awhile and Listen: Book I?

Published in 2013, the first Stay Awhile and Listen explored the early history of the two Blizzards, with a focus on Diablo, Blizzard North’s groundbreaking action-RPG, and WarCraft: Orcs & Humans, the premiere installment in Blizzard Entertainment's seminal real-time strategy and MMORPG franchise. You can read excerpts using the links below. Pledge to the paperback tier of Book II's campaign, and you'll receive a DRM-free copy of Stay Awhile and Listen: Book I after the Kickstarter is successfully funded, giving you time to get up to speed before Book II's release.

• (IGN) "Inside the Secret Origins of Blizzard’s Diablo"

• (Wired) "Behind the Scenes of the Birth of WarCraft"

• (Escapist) "Stay Awhile and Listen to the Story Behind Diablo's Creation"

• (Shacknews) "Condor and Blizzard Lock Horns Over Diablo"

Why Did I Write Stay Awhile and Listen?

In 2007, I landed a job as a writer at a game studio where I worked alongside Blizzard North alumni Eric Sexton, Michio Okamura, Kelly Johnson, and Jon Morin. Eric and I became friends outside of work. As I drove home from his house one afternoon after hours of blasting bugs in Earth Defense Force 2017, I reflected on how cool it was to hang out with one of the designers who had made some of my favorite games.

You know, I thought, someone really should write a book about how the Diablo games were made. I’d read that. Then I remembered I was a writer. Eureka!

Eric, Michio, Kelly, and Jon agreed to interviews, and put me in touch with other ex-Blizzard Northers. Pat Wyatt, Blizzard Entertainment's second employee and the company's head of research and development for several years, was my first contact with the southern Blizzard. The snowball kept rolling, and before long, the project I'd envisioned as a single book multiplied into a trilogy to support the expansive scope of the story.

Diablo and Diablo II were made in an era before collector's editions of games came with art books and behind-the-scenes documentaries. That means many stories of how these games were made—and more importantly, the people who made them—have never told in full. In this case, bits and pieces of Blizzard's story have been told across interviews and retrospectives, but those accounts are fragmented, altered, and even in the case of official histories, flat-out wrong.

From left to right: Matt Uelmen, Karin Colenzo (back), Joe Morrissey (seated at PC), Rick Seis, and David Brevik sign copies of Diablo II at Hillsdale Mall in San Mateo. (Photo courtesy of Karin Colenzo-Seis.)
From left to right: Matt Uelmen, Karin Colenzo (back), Joe Morrissey (seated at PC), Rick Seis, and David Brevik sign copies of Diablo II at Hillsdale Mall in San Mateo. (Photo courtesy of Karin Colenzo-Seis.)

To write as accurate an account as possible, I checked and cross-referenced every anecdote and tidbit that came up in my interviews. When conflicting versions of events arose, I dug into all sides to discover what really happened. My end goal was to deliver a story equal parts entertaining and insightful so that fans of Blizzard's games—as well as aspiring and veteran game developers—will find knowledge that they can apply to their careers, and so readers of all backgrounds can tag along with these people over the course of their rags-to-riches story.

Risks and challenges

The book has been written, but needs to be put through its paces. I'm in the process of completing one last pass to tidy up typos, triple-check facts, and make sure I'm telling the story as completely as possible. After that's done, a professional editor will take a minimum of two passes through the book, accounting for line editing (prose, word choice, continuity) and copy editing (grammar, typos, and so forth). While that's going on, I'll be working out logistics with my printer/distributor.

Calculating fees for editing, cover artwork, printing, and shipping, I arrived at a funding goal of $12,000. I decided to limit the campaign to a few pledge tiers without any frills like t-shirts and coffee mugs in order to stay focused: Projects with more than three pledge tiers grow expensive, and distract creators from their main job—in this case, delivering a high-quality print and digital book.

**
Kickstarter video copyright (c) 2018 Amie C. E. Kline

Music Credits:
"A Legend's Adventure (Copyright/Royalty Free)" by Mitchell Miller
www.youtube.com/channel/UCx8UHxPqt79eYdo1fsz7zYA
www.soundcloud.com/mitchellmillermusic
mitchellmillermusic.com

Photo credits: Karin Seis, David Glenn

Burning ash rise background (GoogaDesign)- https://www.youtube.com/watch…
Free Fire Particles Background Footage 2 (RoyaltyFreeTube) - https://www.youtube.com/watch…

Some items and products in this video may be covered by various copyrights, trademarks, and logotypes. Their use is for identification purposes only. All rights are reserved by their respective owners.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 10 or more About US$ 10

    Ebook

    One DRM-free digital copy of Stay Awhile and Listen: Book II.

    Includes:
    • Stay Awhile and Listen: Book II ebook
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    184 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 30 or more About US$ 30

    Signed Paperback + Free Ebook

    One SIGNED trade-sized (6"x9") paperback and DRM-free edition of Stay awhile and Listen: Book II, and a complimentary, DRM-free ebook of Stay Awhile and Listen: Book I. SIGNATURE ONLY.

    Includes:
    • Stay Awhile and Listen: Book II paperback
    • Stay Awhile and Listen: Book II ebook
    • Stay Awhile and Listen: Book I ebook
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    169 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 45 or more About US$ 45

    Personalized Paperback + Ebook

    One PERSONALIZED trade-sized (6"x9") paperback and DRM-free edition of Stay awhile and Listen: Book II, and a complimentary, DRM-free ebook of Stay Awhile and Listen: Book I. Personalization limited to 50 words.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    23 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 50 or more About US$ 50

    Audiobook + Ebooks

    One digital audiobook of Stay Awhile and Listen: Book II plus DRM-free editions of Stay Awhile and Listen: Book I and Book II. (Estimated delivery: June 2019 for Book II ebook, December 2019 for audiobook.)

    Includes:
    • Stay Awhile and Listen: Book II audiobook
    • Stay Awhile and Listen: Book II ebook
    • Stay Awhile and Listen: Book I ebook
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    7 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 75 or more About US$ 75

    Audiobook + Paperback + Ebooks

    One digital audiobook and a PERSONALIZED trade-sized (6"x9") paperback of Stay Awhile and Listen: Book II, and DRM-free editions of Stay Awhile and Listen: Book I and Book II. (Estimated delivery: June 2019 for Book II ebook and paperback, December 2019 for audiobook.)

    Includes:
    • Stay Awhile and Listen: Book II audiobook
    • Stay Awhile and Listen: Book II paperback
    • Stay Awhile and Listen: Book II ebook
    • Stay Awhile and Listen: Book I ebook
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    10 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 1,500 or more About US$ 1,500

    Collector's Package

    Attend a launch party with author David L. Craddock in the Canton/Akron, Ohio area that includes a night of food and games, and a PERSONALIZED trade-sized (6"x9") paperback of Stay Awhile: Book II, DRM-free ebooks and digital audiobooks of Stay Awhile and Listen: Book I and Book II, signed physical and digital copies of all of David L. Craddock's published works as of July 2018, and a gift bag of limited edition merchandise. (Travel and lodging not included. Estimated delivery times: June 2019 for launch party and Book II ebook/paperback, December 2019 for audiobook.)

    Includes:
    • Stay Awhile and Listen: Book II audiobook
    • Stay Awhile and Listen: Book I audiobook
    • Stay Awhile and Listen: Book II paperback
    • Stay Awhile and Listen: Book II ebook
    • Stay Awhile and Listen: Book I ebook
    • Gift Bag (See FAQ for Details)
    • Signed physical copies of David's published works as of July 2018
    • Digital copies of David's published works as of July 2018
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited 2 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (35 days)