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 10,000 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 World of Warcraft (see my book for details). I appear on a weekly podcast called RollforCombat.com and do occasional interviews.
I’m currently writing a fictional series about gamers playing a next-gen fantasy RPG. I expect to release several titles and once, so it’ll be a while before you hear from me. I’m also developing dungeon-crawl board games.
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, email me at staats.john at gmail dot com