Frequently Asked Questions
Stay Awhile and Listen is a trilogy of documentary-style books that chronicles the history of Blizzard Entertainment and Blizzard North. The Diablo series is the cornerstone of Stay Awhile: Each book focuses on one Diablo game in particular, exploring how that game was made and using its development as a lens through which to examine how each Blizzard operated, their respective cultures, their differences and similarities, and the personal and professional journeys of developers—all during the era a particular Diablo title was made.
Stay Awhile and Listen is published by Digital Monument Press, LLC, a publisher founded by Stay Awhile author David L. Craddock and his wife, Amie C. E. Kline-Craddock, the publisher's CEO, business manager, and Web and graphic designer. You can learn more about DMP at DMPressBooks.com.Last updated:
Stay Awhile and Listen: Book I – How Two Blizzards Unleashed Diablo and Forged a Video-Game Empire was published as an ebook in October 2013. It’s now available in two paperback editions (one with bonus material, one without) and an audiobook published by AudioBooks.com.
Subjects covered in the first book include the friendship between Blizzard North co-founders David Brevik and Max and Erich Schafer, the origins of Blizzard Entertainment, the making of WarCraft: Orcs & Humans, how the principals from both studios met and formed a partnership, the development of Diablo, the engineering of Blizzard Entertainment’s free Battle.net multiplayer service, and creative differences between Blizzard Entertainment and Blizzard North leading up to Diablo’s release in late 1996/early 1997 (the game’s release date differed based on when local retail stores received their copies).Last updated:
You can get Stay Awhile Book I for free by pledging to the paperback tier of the Stay Awhile and Listen: Book II Kickstarter. DRM-free mobi and epub files will be emailed to you shortly after the campaign has successfully concluded.
Stay Awhile and Listen: Book I is also available as an ebook on Amazon.com, and in two paperback editions on Amazon and in most bookstores. The Narrative Edition is a trade-sized paperback (6”x9”) that includes the story without bonus features. This edition exists as a more affordable alternative to the Legendary Edition, an oversized paperback (8.5”x11”) which includes bonus material that Blizzard fans and avid gamers will find fascinating.Last updated:
Once funding is successful, all backers will receive mobi, epub, and pdf versions of Stay Awhile: Book II. Backers who pledged to a tier that included a DRM-free edition of Stay Awhile 1 will be sent the book--in all three formats--shortly after the campaign funds. Book II will be issued next year upon publication.Last updated:
No. Releasing Book I in two paperback editions was an experiment that has become a logistical headache. Going forward, all Stay Awhile and Listen paperbacks will only be available in a 6"x9" format, considered standard for trade-sized books.Last updated:
(Polygon) Chapter 3 - https://www.polygon.com/features/2018/6/29/17517376/diablo-hellfire-expansion-behind-the-scenes-trouble
(PCGamesN) Chapter 7 - https://www.pcgamesn.com/starcraft-history-stay-awhile-and-listen-book-2
(US Gamer) Chapter 8 (partial) - https://www.usgamer.net/articles/stay-awhile-and-listen-book-2-blizzard-north-diablo-2-book-excerpt
(Shacknews) Chapter 9 - http://www.shacknews.com/article/105720/how-diablo-2-evolved-from-gothic-horror-to-epic-fantasyLast updated:
Stay Awhile and Listen: Book II picks up where Book I left off, with the release of Diablo. From there, the story goes into detail on how Diablo’s popularity affected Blizzard North’s staff and notoriety, the development of the Hellfire expansion by Sierra and Synergistic Software, the making of StarCraft and how the game’s protracted development spurred Blizzard Entertainment into making cultural and structural changes, an exhaustive look at the development of Diablo II and how Blizzard North’s culture and managerial decisions affected the game’s success and the studio's future, secret projects in development at Blizzard North following the release of Diablo II’s expansion pack in 2001, and the firing of co-founders Dave Brevik and Max and Erich Schaefer in the summer of 2003.
In total, Stay Awhile and Listen: Book II spans six and a half years of history, and illustrates how both Blizzards changed over time—for the better, and for the worse.Last updated:
While Blizzard Entertainment is aware of Stay Awhile and Listen, they have opted not to participate officially but wished me luck with the project. As such, Blizzard has no creative influence on the books.Last updated:
The events of Stay Awhile Book II play out chronologically, jumping between Blizzard North and Blizzard Entertainment. The book's format has undergone some changes, however. Stay Awhile and Listen: Book I combined a narrative framework (the story) with block quotes from my interviews with developers. I got the idea for this format from Steven Kent’s excellent The Ultimate History of Video Games. I liked that block quotes gave developers their own forum to speak, allowing readers to “hear” their story straight from the proverbial horse’s mouth. Jumping between a narrative and block quotes also gave the book (Mr. Kent’s and mine) a documentary-style feel: from B-roll, to interviews, to B-roll, and back again.
After no small amount of consideration, I’ve retired that format for several reasons. First, the formatting was a pain to implement. Dropping in block quotes required me to jump between indent and font settings depending on whether I was writing prose or pasting in quotes. I explored several ways of implementing this format—plugging in quotes as I went; leaving a marker in place of a quote to denote where I should plug it in later—but all of that distracted me from getting into a zone.
Secondly, Calibre, the free software I use to convert Word files into ebook formats, was unable to place block quotes properly. My wife, a polymath of graphic design, programming, and business, wrote intricate code so that Calibre would apply the precise styles and formatting I wanted. She did a fantastic job producing beautiful formatting, but the process on my end was tedious. Anytime I needed to make the slightest change, I had to follow a lengthy step-by-step process so that ebooks turned out just so.
The third and most minor reason for the change is that I've come to believe a more traditional narrative style works best. A few reviewers mentioned that going back and forth between prose and block quotes was distracting. I also saw opportunities to flesh out my role as narrator and help sort through and explain what developers are talking about, without making myself a character or becoming omniscient—because the idea is that you're experiencing events as they happen, walking alongside the people living them.
One of my practices is to experiment with any idea that crosses my mind, even the ones I'm unsure of, just to try them. The fact that a few people didn't care for the block-quote style didn't bother me. I was more concerned about any obstacle, no matter how small, deflecting attention away from the story.
For those reasons, the remaining two Stay Awhile books will follow a more traditional format. There will still be lots of quotes, but they’ll be inserted similarly to novels: same font, same paragraph indents, and with dialogue tags (e.g., “he said,” “she reasoned,” etc.) where appropriate.Last updated:
International shipping can get very expensive, very fast. My goal in arriving at a shipping cost was to find the most affordable option for backers. Stay Awhile and Listen: Book II is shaping up to be a big book; although the book isn't finished yet, I'm far enough along to estimate a page count between 500-700 pages and a weight of approximately 1 pound 13 ounces. I decided on USPS First-Class Package International Service, the best option for the book's likely weight, with a flat shipping cost of $25 to cover delivery to any country.
I was still nervous, however. While researching Kickstarter campaigns, I learned that shipping costs can derail even the most organized campaign: A creator thinks he or she has costs covered, only to underestimate shipping and either pay the difference out of their own pocket (not always an option) or go to backers and ask them for more money, also a difficult scenario. Setting a flat rate seemed my best option, but I wanted to add value to it so backers would get their money's worth.
In that spirit, every paperback tier, regardless of where a backer lives, includes a free digital copy of Stay Awhile and Listen: Book I, plus an autographed paperback at the $30 level or a personalized autograph at the $45 level.Last updated:
Funds from this campaign will go toward the final steps of writing, production, and distribution. I still need to revise the book a time or two myself, then I’ll hand it off to professional editors. After consulting with editors, my cover artist, and my printer/distributor, I arrived at the campaign’s $12,000 goal in order to print 1,000 copies of the book.Last updated:
The first Stay Awhile and Listen was published in 2013. Why has the second book taken so long to write?
Stay Awhile and Listen: Book II has been finished for a few years. The reason it took me so long to get it shipshape was because I needed to cleanse my palette.
If I can get personal for a minute, writing is more than a job to me. It’s my identity. One reason I love writing is because I get to meet lots of people and learn lots of different things. I began research and interviews for Stay Awhile and Listen in the fall of 2007. By the time the first book was released in ebook format on October 21 of 2013, I’d been eating, sleeping, and breathing the project for six years.
By that time I had lots of other irons in the fire. My first novel, Heritage, an epic fantasy geared toward young adults, had been sold and was due for publication the following summer. I also had several other games-related books I wanted to write, namely Dungeon Hacks, a history of seminal roguelike games; and Break Out: How the Apple II Launched the PC Gaming Revolution, a hardcover published by Schiffer Publishing.
My goal in taking a sabbatical from Stay Awhile was to cleanse my palette and hone my craft. I strive to grow as a writer with each book I write. Oh, also, I have bills to pay. Besides royalties from all these books I’ve been cranking out, I’m a full-time freelance writer. I’m fortunate to work for outlets that value the type of writing I like to do—narrative-style accounts of how games are made—and love writing lengthy, detailed articles for outlets such as Shacknews, where I'm a regular contributor. Researching and writing those articles takes lots of time as well.
To those who have been waiting for Stay Awhile to continue, I offer my sincerest apologies (although I’ve supplied you with no shortage of reading material in the meantime!). I give you my promise that Stay Awhile and Listen: Book II will have been worth the wait.Last updated:
The audiobook will be distributed as an Audible download code. Format subject to change. Backers of any tier that includes an audiobook will be notified of specific formats, changes, etc. through updates as production rolls on.Last updated:
The audiobook for Stay Awhile II will be released approximately six months after the paperback and ebook editions—so, December 2019 instead of June. Producing audiobooks takes time, and I want to give myself extra wiggle room to get each page just right. Backers of any tier that includes an audiobook will be notified of specific formats, changes, etc. through updates as production rolls on.Last updated:
The Collector's Package is for hardcore Diablo and Blizzard fans, and thus is limited to 10 backers. In addition to a personalized paperback of Stay Awhile and Listen: Book II, and audiobooks and DRM-free ebooks of both Stay Awhile volumes, you'll receive a tote bag at the launch party that includes:
• Personalized print and DRM-free ebook editions of David L. Craddock's published works as of July 2018 (Stay Awhile and Listen: Book I Legendary Edition, Dungeon Hacks: How NetHack, Angband, and Other Roguelikes Changed the Course of Video Games, Break Out: How the Apple II Launched the PC Gaming Revolution, Heritage: Book One of the Gairden Chronicles, Once Upon a Point and Click: The Tale of King's Quest, Gabriel Knight, and the Queens of Adventure Gaming [ebook only], War of the Elementalists: Book I – Firebug, Making Fun: Stories of Game Development – Volume I, Stairway to Badass: The Making and Remaking of Doom 2016, Red to Black: The Making of Rogue Legacy [ebook only], One-Week Dungeons: Diary of a Seven-Day Roguelike Challenge [ebook only], GameDev Stories: Interviews about Game Development and Culture, and an anthology of my 5 published short stories).
• Stay Awhile and Listen: Book II t-shirt and coffee mug
• Stay Awhile and Listen: Book I and Book II bookmarks and magnets
All 10 Collector's Package backers will receive their gift bags at the Stay Awhile: Book II launch party, to be held on June 29, 2019. The launch party will be a place for backers to hang out with me, Stay Awhile's illustrious author, eat, play video games, and receive their gift bags. Details regarding the time and place of the party will be sent out within three months of that date. Launch party date is subject to change. Backers will be notified of any changes prior to the launch party.Last updated:
Hey, life happens. If you're unable to attend, just let me know and I'll ship your gift bag to you.Last updated:
The Kickstarter video for this campaign was made by my talented wife and business partner, Amie C. E. Kline. Credits for music, effects, photos, and other items are as follows:
"A Legend's Adventure (Copyright/Royalty Free)" by Mitchell Miller
Burning ash rise background (GoogaDesign)- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GYIwS3TTtyw&feature=youtu.be
Free Fire Particles Background Footage 2 (RoyaltyFreeTube) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_SW7J0o2HE&feature=youtu.be
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.Last updated:
Feel free to reach me @davidlcraddock on Twitter.Last updated:
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