About Me

My name is John Staats and welcome to my website

I was born and raised in Akron, Ohio, and pursued a career early in visual arts with an honors art scholarship to Kent State where I earned a B.F.A. with a major in graphic design. I moved to New York City on finals week (after my last final) having secured a job in a small (but swanky) design firm. After a decade I was a department director in a big-time Madison Avenue advertising agency. I specialized in fashion editorials and both financial and pharmaceutical ad campaigns. After my roommate discovered a 3D level editor for the world’s first 3D game called Quake, I purchased my first PC the very next day (I was exclusively a Macintosh user) and began my new hobby–3D level design. I couldn’t believe I could actually build and “walk around in” some of the old Dungeons & Dragons adventures I authored when I was in school.

Four years and about ten thousand hours of level design later, I had a portfolio-worthy enough to earn me a place in the computer games industry. I moved to California to work for Blizzard Entertainment’s secret new project, called World of Warcraft (see my book for details). After a decade on WoW, I spent a year on a doomed project, called Titan, whereupon Blizzard gave me the heave-ho. I’d outlived my uselessness.

After publishing The WoW Diary, I’m going to publish a series in a new genre of literature and develop a new dungeon-crawl board game. If you enjoy board games and want to know when it’s ready (you saw what I did there!) add your email in my spam-free mailing list. I expect to send emails once a year at most, only for previews and early-releases.

My company is called whenitsready, and yes, I know there’s supposed to be an apostrophe, but sometimes we graphic designers take our liberties. whenitsready is a one-man operation whose goal is to publish the best books and board games possible.

To contact me, use my form below.