Big publishers don’t always make the games you love to play. They are usually done by smaller companies or subsidiaries. One of those companies was Condor. Condor was working on this game called Diablo when they were bought by Blizzard Entertainment six months before the game released. Condor became Blizzard North and after the success of Diablo they released Diablo II in 2000. In 2003 Blizzard North was working on two games, one of those games was Diablo III. Summer of that year however key members left, 30 in total to form new companies, Flagship Studios and Castaway Entertainment.
Stay Awhile and Listen is the untold story of the 12-year history of Blizzard North. Readers will explore the making of the Diablo series, get to know the engineers, artists, musicians, and designers whose ideas and perspectives formed a powerful culture of open and organic development, unearth details on unannounced projects such as the first two iterations of Diablo III, go behind closed doors to observe the relationship between Blizzard North and Blizzard Entertainment, and learn the circumstances that led to the departure of Blizzard North co-founders David Brevik, Max Schaefer, and Erich Schaefer in 2003, as well as the studio’s closure in 2005.
David Brevik believes perspective will play a large part in determining what readers take away from the studio’s story. “If you’re a reader interested in the back-story and history of how this all came together, and the relationships and trials, and how much work, effort, time, and sacrifice goes into this kind of thing, I think you’ll get a good sense of how hard you have to work to get to where we were. Or if you’re another developer, maybe you can learn something from some of the mistakes we made.”
For Erich Schaefer, partaking in Stay Awhile and Listen was important not only to relay the story of Diablo and Blizzard North, but also to provide encouragement and motivation for anyone fighting to turn a dream into reality. “I’d definitely like to see this set a record for what went on. … I would also love for the story to inspire somebody to make great games. I don’t know how that would work, exactly, but if you find the right readers and they end up thinking, ‘Hey, I can do that’ and just try big things, that would be great.”
“What I hope readers take away from the book is that regular people make games like ours, so don’t ever think you can’t be part of something like that,” agrees Max Schaefer. “That’s the important thing for me in telling this story: to let people know that regular people can do things like this, you just have to do them. We didn’t have business experience, we didn’t even really have professional experience. It’s just a matter of having a dream and having a vision, and doing the grunt work that realizing that dream entails.”
Written by David L. Craddock and published by Digital Monument Press, Stay Awhile and Listen is expected to release on Amazon Kindle, Apple iBooks, and Barnes & Noble Nook platforms in summer 2012. David is no noob, he broke into the industry as a freelance games journalist writing for a number of prominent websites and magazines such as Shacknews, Official Xbox Magazine, Games Radar and Joystiq.