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The WoW Diary: A Journal of Computer Game Development

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The World of Warcraft Diary offers a rare, unfiltered look inside the gaming industry. It was written by the game's first level designer, John Staats, from notes he took during WoW's creation. The WoW Diary explains why developers do things and debunks popular myths about the games industry. In great detail he covers the what it took to finish the project; the surprises, t The World of Warcraft Diary offers a rare, unfiltered look inside the gaming industry. It was written by the game's first level designer, John Staats, from notes he took during WoW's creation. The WoW Diary explains why developers do things and debunks popular myths about the games industry. In great detail he covers the what it took to finish the project; the surprises, the arguments, the mistakes, and Blizzard's formula for success.


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The World of Warcraft Diary offers a rare, unfiltered look inside the gaming industry. It was written by the game's first level designer, John Staats, from notes he took during WoW's creation. The WoW Diary explains why developers do things and debunks popular myths about the games industry. In great detail he covers the what it took to finish the project; the surprises, t The World of Warcraft Diary offers a rare, unfiltered look inside the gaming industry. It was written by the game's first level designer, John Staats, from notes he took during WoW's creation. The WoW Diary explains why developers do things and debunks popular myths about the games industry. In great detail he covers the what it took to finish the project; the surprises, the arguments, the mistakes, and Blizzard's formula for success.

30 review for The WoW Diary: A Journal of Computer Game Development

  1. 4 out of 5

    Andreas

    The author was the dungeon designer of classic World of Warcraft. During his 4 years of work until the release of WoW, he wrote a monthly summary of the development team‘s work. Only some 14 years later, this book was released. I played WoW nearly from the start, went on and off again in the following decade. At the same time, I worked through my career in the software industry. Currently, I play again classic WoW. And lead a development team in the industrial sector of the same size and similar The author was the dungeon designer of classic World of Warcraft. During his 4 years of work until the release of WoW, he wrote a monthly summary of the development team‘s work. Only some 14 years later, this book was released. I played WoW nearly from the start, went on and off again in the following decade. At the same time, I worked through my career in the software industry. Currently, I play again classic WoW. And lead a development team in the industrial sector of the same size and similar pressure. So, this book was extremely interesting to read. The level of engineering would be considered desastrous nowadays, e.g. using version control only in a very Late phase of the project. Also, the heavy build and delivery problems are no wonder. I admire the team‘s motivation to work extreme long hours („crunch“) not only for a couple of months but for years. At the same time, this wouldn‘t be allowed under German regulations. I consider myself lucky that we have to actively manage against this kind of slavery. Cool, fast read. I recommend the hardcover version due to the many screenshots and artwork.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Fernleaf

    This was a very interesting read of the process behind designing and developing the massively-multiplayer-online RPG World of Warcraft. Starting about 4 years before the launch of the game, Staats gives you a behind-the-curtain look at what it took to develop the largest MMO of it's time from the struggles with writing the game engine and developing the tools to build the world to the incredible stress as the game neared launch and the camaraderie and cohesion of the team fractured due to burnou This was a very interesting read of the process behind designing and developing the massively-multiplayer-online RPG World of Warcraft. Starting about 4 years before the launch of the game, Staats gives you a behind-the-curtain look at what it took to develop the largest MMO of it's time from the struggles with writing the game engine and developing the tools to build the world to the incredible stress as the game neared launch and the camaraderie and cohesion of the team fractured due to burnout and the addition of large numbers of new staff. As a player since early 2005 it was humbling to see the incredible amount of work that went into coding the game, and some of stories of how design elements were discovered and especially the inclusion of some early screenshots and other behind-the-scenes images were fun to see. Reading this has certainly spurred a bit of nostalgia for those early days of WoW, and I look forward to the time when WoW:Classic servers are available to reminisce more fully. Although I wasn't a hard-core Blizzard fan before I rather fell into WoW, I never fully appreciated how unique the franchise was in those early days, and just how lucky I was to be playing games from a company who really tried their hardest to make things accessible to people without the money for a high-end gaming rig. The contrasts to others in the gaming industry was very revealing in that manner. I also appreciated how honest this book was. It wasn't sugar-coated, our-studio-is-the-best-studio fanboy writing. Staats portrays the good and the bad, how incredibly dedicated almost everyone on the project was, but also how profoundly exhausting the work became as time wore on, and how the various stressors (long hours, rapidly increasing staff, lack of efficient tools or crucial personnel, endless pizza nights) impacted the working environment. Overall this was an eye-opening read, and despite lapsing into a bit of technical detail in some places (I'm still not completely clear on what server concurrency is) I couldn't put it down, finishing the whole 320 page textbook over the course of a few nights.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Rob

    Executive Summary: It's hard for me to be partial about this book as it combines two things that have consumed most of my time the last 15 years: World of Warcraft and Software Development. Full Review World of Warcraft changed my life. I've made lifelong friends and had unforgettable experiences that no other game before or since has matched. It's also coincided with my professional career as a software developer as I graduated from college the year wow was released. Once upon a time I had asp Executive Summary: It's hard for me to be partial about this book as it combines two things that have consumed most of my time the last 15 years: World of Warcraft and Software Development. Full Review World of Warcraft changed my life. I've made lifelong friends and had unforgettable experiences that no other game before or since has matched. It's also coincided with my professional career as a software developer as I graduated from college the year wow was released. Once upon a time I had aspirations to be a game developer, but somewhere along the way I decided I wanted to play games more than I wanted to write them. This book shows I made the right choice. I've spent far more hours playing World of Warcraft than I'd like to think about, but I don't know that I'd have wanted to put in the countless hours it took Blizzard to make. This book combines two things I love in one package. When the kickstarter was announced I backed it immediately. Blizzard has been notoriously closed lipped about everything, especially the development of their games. I was a bit shocked to hear they not only approved of the book but also contributed various images. It was fascinating to me to learn about early features that got cut, design decisions that were made and the marvel the game ever got released in the first place. For someone like me this was a perfect blend of storytelling and technology. I don't think it's so technical that your average World of Warcraft fan wouldn't be able to follow it. I don't know if they will have the same enjoyment I did however. I found myself reading longer than I planned every time I picked it up. For that reason I gave it 5 stars. I'd love to see similar books about the time and development of the game since it's launch, in particular the lessons learned and hardware and software details they applied to fix all the scaling and uptime issues they had in the early years of the game. If you're interested in a peek behind the curtain of Blizzard, or World of Warcraft in particular this book is worth checking out.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jason

    This was a good read. I worked on a number of 3D titles back in the mid 90s and this pretty much matched my experiences as well. I was pretty nostalgic for those times until reading this. Now I remember why I stopped doing that type of work. Well written. Any fan of WOW will like to get some of the behind the scenes how it was made.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ben

    Fascinating insight into the development and people behind one of the world's most popular and successful games. Beautifully well-written and kept me entertained through every page. Finding out all the quirks, hacks and brilliant implementations that make up my favourite game was a joy to read. Fascinating insight into the development and people behind one of the world's most popular and successful games. Beautifully well-written and kept me entertained through every page. Finding out all the quirks, hacks and brilliant implementations that make up my favourite game was a joy to read.

  6. 5 out of 5

    André Escalhão

    This book is amazing. Yes, it was mainly because I love WoW and have played it for almost 14 years now. I read this in preparation for Classic and it did not disappoint. The nostalgia hit was way too strong and sometimes I found myself holding back tears, remembering my first steps into this world. To see the developers struggling and being excited about the game, sometimes at the same time, reminded me of how much this is a product of passion. And how much sweat and blood was poured in this tit This book is amazing. Yes, it was mainly because I love WoW and have played it for almost 14 years now. I read this in preparation for Classic and it did not disappoint. The nostalgia hit was way too strong and sometimes I found myself holding back tears, remembering my first steps into this world. To see the developers struggling and being excited about the game, sometimes at the same time, reminded me of how much this is a product of passion. And how much sweat and blood was poured in this title. A must read for anyone with a history with the game. I can't wait to jump back to classic in a couple of weeks.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Miikka Lehtonen

    A fascinating and candid look at the lengthy development process behind one of the most popular video games of all times. Staats writes in a breezy and very readable style, and the book is full of fascinating anecdotes and stories. Together with a well designed and airy layout this makes for light, entertaining reading. For someone who has played World of Warcraft on and off since the game launched, the WoW Diary was essential reading. I would also recommend it wholeheartedly to anyone who is int A fascinating and candid look at the lengthy development process behind one of the most popular video games of all times. Staats writes in a breezy and very readable style, and the book is full of fascinating anecdotes and stories. Together with a well designed and airy layout this makes for light, entertaining reading. For someone who has played World of Warcraft on and off since the game launched, the WoW Diary was essential reading. I would also recommend it wholeheartedly to anyone who is interested in getting a look at how video games are made, warts and all.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kelsey

    a very interesting, insightful and detailed diary of the development of WoW. the most important thing to note about this is that John Staats a) got permission from Blizz to publish this and b) it's from his contemporaneous development diary, not from memory or flawed anecdotes. it's as close as you can possibly get to being a fly on the wall at Blizz HQ in the early 00s as WoW was in development. a very interesting, insightful and detailed diary of the development of WoW. the most important thing to note about this is that John Staats a) got permission from Blizz to publish this and b) it's from his contemporaneous development diary, not from memory or flawed anecdotes. it's as close as you can possibly get to being a fly on the wall at Blizz HQ in the early 00s as WoW was in development.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Fel

    One of my favourite types of books are game development books. I love to know how different things were made, and all the usually hidden work that went into the finished product. Where did things go wrong, and where di they go well? What is the creative process behind these other industries' works? This particular book follows the development of World of Warcraft from when John Staats joined the team until it shipped in Novemeber of 2004--he covers various aspects of development, giving an excel One of my favourite types of books are game development books. I love to know how different things were made, and all the usually hidden work that went into the finished product. Where did things go wrong, and where di they go well? What is the creative process behind these other industries' works? This particular book follows the development of World of Warcraft from when John Staats joined the team until it shipped in Novemeber of 2004--he covers various aspects of development, giving an excellent view of just what goes into making an MMO. He also, thankfully, spent a lot of time asking what other people were doing the project, so it feels like we get a fairly in-depth overview of all the different moving parts--and there are a lot of moving parts. Staats writing style is very clear and easy to read, with a fairly nerdy (unsurprisingly) sense of humour. I found it a very enjoyable and engaging read, and often didn't want to put the book down. I read this on my kindle, and my one complaint about it is that often things felt very abruptly interruupted by the interesting but sometimes only tangentially relevant pictures and their captions. Captions often had extremely interesting information as well, so I didn't want to skip them, but it often felt like I was losing my train of thought with all the interuptions to the main body of the text--plus in an e-book, it was difficult to tell if the section was over or there would be more after the pictures. This was a constant gripe I had while reading the book, and I really wish a little more thought had been given to these pictures placement in the ebook versions. Another warning is that as soon as the game ships in November 2004, the narrative stops entirely. There's basically no closure for how the game ultimately did in the Korean market, even though a lot had been built up and left kind of in the air before it finally shipped. There ​was​ some discussion of numbers when it finally sold, and the experience involved with that, but that's about all. I found this a very unsatisfying conclusion--I know the book had to end somewhere, but with all that build up on the uncertainity in the Asian market, I thought for sure he would at least mention in passing how it ultimately did there (as he does for the US market). Otherwise, this is a very well written book. While I have a fair background in computer science and graphics in particular, I do feel that it would be accessible to the layperson. If you've ever had any particular interest in WoW's development history, I do recommend the book. It's an engaging read, with lots of fun stories.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Clay C.

    If youre not playing WoW, watching videos about WoW, or thinking about WoW, why not start reading about WoW? This was an incredible insight into the development of World of Warcraft by one of the people who was integral in creating it. I've played WoW on and off since I was in third grade and it was so interesting to learn first-hand how many of the choices in the gamer were made, as well as what things were like behind the scenes at Blizzard. Also included are details about things like programmi If youre not playing WoW, watching videos about WoW, or thinking about WoW, why not start reading about WoW? This was an incredible insight into the development of World of Warcraft by one of the people who was integral in creating it. I've played WoW on and off since I was in third grade and it was so interesting to learn first-hand how many of the choices in the gamer were made, as well as what things were like behind the scenes at Blizzard. Also included are details about things like programming and code which I know nothing about but that Staats does a wonderful job of explaining to a layman audience. Not to mention that Staats has such an engaging and clear writing style throughout the book. I would recommend this in a heartbeat to anyone who plays WoW, or honestly anyone who plays video games. My only gripe with the book (which isnt really a problem with the book just a personal preference of me the reader) is that its almost too big-picture at times. The book is mostly about the production of the game itself and covers interesting events like press events and foreign releases. However, often Staats will say something like, "we had already finished the Razorfen dungeons and Scholomance at this point" and as the reader I wished he had included more of the day-to-day, nitty gritty details about how these dungeons were made! That said, the book would probably be twice as long if this was included (although I definitely wouldn't have had a problem with that!) and what we have here is still an amazing, enlightening testament to game development. Honestly, to me this book felt like a love letter to the now-fading MMO genre. MMOs are incredibly difficult to make, require huge teams of talented people who still have to work late and put their lives on pause, cost fortunes, need an ungodly amount of server power, and have no promise of even being popular or successful on launch. And yet, people like Staats and the rest of the Team 2 still choose to make them, knowing their potential to achieve something incredible. There's something to be said here about the nature of art and the creative process, but I'll leave it to a smarter reviewer than me to say it.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Nina

    This book is a genuine treasure trove for someone like me whose played the game on and off for 15 years, and who is a software developer. It offers an open and honest look behind the scenes, with all the good, bad and ugly. There is such a journey from basically just trying to the mastering of a process. It's given me new understanding of why some things were as they are. And it's made it clear to me that striving for perfection on the first try is an absurdity that kills innovation (my personal This book is a genuine treasure trove for someone like me whose played the game on and off for 15 years, and who is a software developer. It offers an open and honest look behind the scenes, with all the good, bad and ugly. There is such a journey from basically just trying to the mastering of a process. It's given me new understanding of why some things were as they are. And it's made it clear to me that striving for perfection on the first try is an absurdity that kills innovation (my personal takeaway as a developer). I'm so glad this book exists because it's both a recording of a history, but also a look behind the scenes of one of the most polished and thought out games that had my loyalty simply because I could trust in the Blizzard brand. I could see this being used as industry recommended reading, both for games and software development, and for both employees and bosses. My most heartfelt thanks to the author, not only for being a part of creating the online world that gained me many friends, taught me life skills and helped me with mental health. But also for taking the time to write and release this book, letting us see behind the scenes and teaching valuable lessons through a recounting of how everything evolved.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kris Veldhuizen

    Absolutely loved it. I have next to no knowledge of game development but this book gave a really good indication of everything that comes with it, and then some. While talking about his own experiences as a developer on World of Warcraft, John Staats gives you tons of information, technical and otherwise, in an engaging and captivating way. I really enjoyed reading about the technical parts of developing an MMO, but also about the commercial sides of it, or even the personal; it’s crazy the insa Absolutely loved it. I have next to no knowledge of game development but this book gave a really good indication of everything that comes with it, and then some. While talking about his own experiences as a developer on World of Warcraft, John Staats gives you tons of information, technical and otherwise, in an engaging and captivating way. I really enjoyed reading about the technical parts of developing an MMO, but also about the commercial sides of it, or even the personal; it’s crazy the insane hours the employees put in, and that over the course of five years. Having played the game for quite a few years, it was also a lot of fun and incredibly insightful to read about the conception and development of such established notions as Elwynn Forest, Deadmines, Molten Core, Karazhan or even the Auction House. The diary is also littered with sometimes hilarious anecdotes which I’ve already recounted to some friends. I would absolutely LOVE for John Staats to write another volume, for which I’m sure he still has material, seeing as at the end of the book he mentions he stayed on the game for another ten years.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Alexander R

    Coming to this as a 3d designer and animator I found this book thrilling. Staats remarks that he's going to try to keep it simple for people who aren't as technical which made me worried but he definitely pushes all the right buttons for anyone who is technically curious about how WoW came together. Beyond that it is an incredible lesson on avoiding pitfalls in company culture, game design, social interactions etc... It truly feels like a distilled summary of all the lessons learned while creatin Coming to this as a 3d designer and animator I found this book thrilling. Staats remarks that he's going to try to keep it simple for people who aren't as technical which made me worried but he definitely pushes all the right buttons for anyone who is technically curious about how WoW came together. Beyond that it is an incredible lesson on avoiding pitfalls in company culture, game design, social interactions etc... It truly feels like a distilled summary of all the lessons learned while creating World of Warcraft and it feels like you can take those lessons with you even if you don't do the same type of work.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Max Z

    Not enough anecdotes but still very informative. I was expecting more of the war stories but it's more of a description of the whole developmental process from someone who worked on WoW for years and talked to the team daily. One of the things that stands out is how bad their tools were.A single tools programmer for a team of seventy people, heh. I'd imagine it added a lot of those crunch hours they've spent years on. I guess, burning out on the job is a given in Blizzard. Another one is how NCSo Not enough anecdotes but still very informative. I was expecting more of the war stories but it's more of a description of the whole developmental process from someone who worked on WoW for years and talked to the team daily. One of the things that stands out is how bad their tools were.A single tools programmer for a team of seventy people, heh. I'd imagine it added a lot of those crunch hours they've spent years on. I guess, burning out on the job is a given in Blizzard. Another one is how NCSoft literally hired game journos in Korea to bad-mouth WOW before release. A good read, overall.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Tim

    Read this in 2days, which says enough how fun and insightfull the book is. Really loved this personal memoirs of one of the WoWdungeon designers (a game I actually never played, but always found fascinating). I would've given this book one star more if there's was more in-depth technical detailing which sometimes was a bit thin (,which was expected as the author wasn't a developer on the team. However it would've been cool if small text inserts (written by Devs?) could give some more texture to Read this in 2days, which says enough how fun and insightfull the book is. Really loved this personal memoirs of one of the WoWdungeon designers (a game I actually never played, but always found fascinating). I would've given this book one star more if there's was more in-depth technical detailing which sometimes was a bit thin (,which was expected as the author wasn't a developer on the team. However it would've been cool if small text inserts (written by Devs?) could give some more texture to many of the problems and solutions that are described throughout.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Pierre MacKay

    Great. Classic WoW was a huge part of my teenage years and getting an inside look on its development is a nostalgic trip. John Staats is a great writer, and covers the mood and ambience (specifically the final phase of development) brilliantly. If you're interested in game development, you should read this book. I should note that it may be a bit difficult to traverse if you're not technically inclined, but software development/programming experience isn't a requirement. Great. Classic WoW was a huge part of my teenage years and getting an inside look on its development is a nostalgic trip. John Staats is a great writer, and covers the mood and ambience (specifically the final phase of development) brilliantly. If you're interested in game development, you should read this book. I should note that it may be a bit difficult to traverse if you're not technically inclined, but software development/programming experience isn't a requirement.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Ryan Mitchell

    World of Warcraft is my favorite video game, and the WoW Diary does an excellent job of telling the story of its development. John Staats does a good job of breaking down game lingo to more layman's terms, and does a great balance of talking about the game from technical, design, and personal standpoints. World of Warcraft is my favorite video game, and the WoW Diary does an excellent job of telling the story of its development. John Staats does a good job of breaking down game lingo to more layman's terms, and does a great balance of talking about the game from technical, design, and personal standpoints.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Corentin Xa

    Super interesting book for game devs. I was surprised by the chaos level even at Blizzard, it felt familiar. Good to learn about their decision making processes, strategies (like 2 days late work per week to avoid burn) and quality. Pictures were interesting, more of them would be even better. Seeing things like tools, office floor plans, white boards, etc. was great.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Edgar

    A very interesting story into game development. You will not necessarily find all the tidbits related to the WoW story itself, but it's a great diary of the journey for a game development and sheds a lot of light on the difficulties, challenges & crunching that has to be done. Most likely, we do not see the blood & tears, but this book comes close to present those. A very interesting story into game development. You will not necessarily find all the tidbits related to the WoW story itself, but it's a great diary of the journey for a game development and sheds a lot of light on the difficulties, challenges & crunching that has to be done. Most likely, we do not see the blood & tears, but this book comes close to present those.

  20. 5 out of 5

    S.M. Johnson

    This was a fascinating look at computer game development and especially for a long time WoW player it was a delightful peek behind the curtain, complete with multiple pictures and photos to enhance the experience. I enjoyed it so much that I immediately turned around and read it again.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    A good read, if you like WoW or game development. Although this book focuses much more on what happened rather than why decisions were made. The most interesting parts of the book were when Staats discusses why certain choices came to be, but the majority of the book is him explaining what happened chronologically. Overall, a really enjoyable read.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Ross Carruthers

    Wish there was more detail on design It was great but seemed a bit short. Would have liked more granular detail on designing dungeons. I teach game design and have put this on are my 📚 reading list.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Tony

    I've played WoW on and off since it was released and spent most of my free time in high school and college playing WoW. Getting the "inside" view of the development was really cool, especially with how much computers have changed since the early 2000s. I've played WoW on and off since it was released and spent most of my free time in high school and college playing WoW. Getting the "inside" view of the development was really cool, especially with how much computers have changed since the early 2000s.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Juan

    Very entertaining look at the development of one of the world's most popular video games. One thing that is extremely depressing is the insane amount of crunch the whole team had to go through, and how normalized it was. Very entertaining look at the development of one of the world's most popular video games. One thing that is extremely depressing is the insane amount of crunch the whole team had to go through, and how normalized it was.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Zachary Boyd

    Fantastic insight into my favourite game of all time by someone who was there in the very very very early days.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Masaz

    Very interesting book about WoW and MMO/game development.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Randy Fast

    Great look into the WOW development process If you ever wanted to know all the behind the scenes info in the creation of the best MMO of all time this is a must read.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Nina

    This was an entertaining read for me! Disclaimer: I have been playing WoW since 2007, am a software developer, and have always liked the "how it's made" pieces, so this book was enjoyable from a number of standpoints for me. This book did a good job capturing the life cycle of the development of WoW from a number of perspectives. There is so much going into building a MMO that folks don't really think about - and I don't envy the folks whose job it is to make it work on a tight schedule. There a This was an entertaining read for me! Disclaimer: I have been playing WoW since 2007, am a software developer, and have always liked the "how it's made" pieces, so this book was enjoyable from a number of standpoints for me. This book did a good job capturing the life cycle of the development of WoW from a number of perspectives. There is so much going into building a MMO that folks don't really think about - and I don't envy the folks whose job it is to make it work on a tight schedule. There are loads of cool art assets in the book, as well. It was fun to see some of the early iterations along with commentary of the excitement to reach the seemingly mundane milestones. For all the good fun and inside jokes though, there was a sobering perspective on the really real burnout that everyone goes through. It is really tragic that some of these folks basically lived and breathed development for 4 years in order to make the game - by the end there wasn't a happy ending for everyone but I appreciate that some of these facts weren't glossed over. As a consumer of games like these I think all too often we can forget that the folks behind the curtain are just human. And while we all want the best for our games, it doesn't hurt to have some empathy into what it costs. Overall, if you are a fan of WoW, video games, or "the making of..." kinds of reads, this is for you. The content can get a bit dense at times but the surplus of insight was a pro in my view.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Iris

    In The WoW Diary, John Staats tells the story of World of Warcraft's development from when he joined the company in the summer of 2000 to its launch in late 2004. The short (sometimes just 1-2 pages) chapters are in chronological order but tend to focus on different aspects of development that were obviously occurring simultaneously to some degree, such as character model design or quest writing. Fans of WoW and the MMO genre in general will find it a treasure trove of fascinating insights about In The WoW Diary, John Staats tells the story of World of Warcraft's development from when he joined the company in the summer of 2000 to its launch in late 2004. The short (sometimes just 1-2 pages) chapters are in chronological order but tend to focus on different aspects of development that were obviously occurring simultaneously to some degree, such as character model design or quest writing. Fans of WoW and the MMO genre in general will find it a treasure trove of fascinating insights about why some aspects of the game turned out the way they did as well as amusing anecdotes about happenings in the Blizzard offices in those early days. Finally I know how to find my way around Wailing Caverns! The amount of name-dropping (while surely just meant to give credit to everyone where it's due) is enlightening when you know who he's talking about but a bit confusing when you don't. Sometimes I almost wished for a kind of glossary to remind me of who did what, but that's about the worst I can say about this book. Definitely a treat for old-school fans.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Dan

    A very insightful and detailed account of the development of World of Warcraft from an author who was there from the beginning. I found it interesting to see the thought process behind the creation of the game in general, from indexing art assets, to building wire frame skeletons, dealing with environmental collision, all the way to actual quests and content. While this book is about the development of World of Warcraft specifically, it is really a book about the game dev. process framed on a ba A very insightful and detailed account of the development of World of Warcraft from an author who was there from the beginning. I found it interesting to see the thought process behind the creation of the game in general, from indexing art assets, to building wire frame skeletons, dealing with environmental collision, all the way to actual quests and content. While this book is about the development of World of Warcraft specifically, it is really a book about the game dev. process framed on a backdrop of WoW. I see it as good reading material for college classes in design and programming fields or anyone interested in game design. WoW fans will enjoy it, but it is really focused on technical processes and details leading up to launch. My number one takeaway from the book: Game developers really need to unionize.

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