The StarCraft Twitter was updated with awesome news for lore fans. Blizzard Entertainment is coming strong to the San Diego Comic Con this year.
”Blizzard is returning to San Diego Comic Con full force this year with new products and show exclusives! Details coming soon!”
Blizzplanet staff member Naka (@dperschonok) will be there to take photos and video.
The tweet hasn’t been yet posted on the Warcraft and Diablo Twitters, or anyone else at the moment of this report. It came out of the StarCraft Twitter. Considering Blizzard Entertainment exhibits at the San Diego Comic Con details about upcoming licensed products, we might be seeing some sort of StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void novel tie-in announced.
Shortly after that, BlizzCon 2014 might have some really nice things in store.
J!NX is celebrating 15 years of making game themed T-shirts, Hoodies and Jackets with a new promo code that allows you to get $15 off all orders over $45.
We’d like to thank you all again for 15 great years! We look forward to at least 500 more years of serving you. That said, it’s time for one last birthday deal. Today and tomorrow only, get $15 off all orders over $45 when you use promo code J!NX15BDAYOVER during checkout. You heard that right. That’s pretty much 30% off everything. For two days only.
Jinx stealthed its way into the store and added two brand-new StarCraft II hats. The Terran hat says “Lock and Loaded” in the back a bit above the snap-back area, and inside the hat by each of the seams. There is a Terran Marine artwork printed on the frontal hat’s duck-beakamajig.
The Protoss hat says “My Life for Aiur” in the back and in the interior too. The front has the artwork of Zeratul. Follow the links to order them. Remember the Diablo III T-shirts are 20% off until March 31.
Remember that list of Blizzard-Employee-Exclusive items I posted a few months ago which hit eBay? Today, I was contacted by the same ex-Blizzard StarCraft II QA Thompson, who alerted me of the new eBay listing.
Now come the top items of his collection, folks. This new auction contains original StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty artwork signed by Blizzard artists: Glenn Rane, Brian Huang and Mr. Jack — and includes proof of authenticity.
The ex-developer informed me he approached a reputable eBay lister to put these pieces of artwork in auction. Wowblizzness has a 100% Positive Feedback with a 886 score.
Mr. Thompson Statement
During SC2 crunch, QA was expanded into the CS building. they moved the artwork from Blizzard HQ to decorate the Customer Service walls on the second floor where we worked. At the end of SC2, QA was moved back to main campus for Cataclysm and we had our private launch party. Part of the party was a raffle and auction. This consisted of some exclusive collectibles and the concept art that was raffled for appreciation of our 6 months of 12 hours a day 6 day a week work schedule. I won the Queen of Blades and Hydralisk art during the raffle. The Thor artwork was made specifically for SC2 QA it is not one-of-a-kind. There are about 70 of these Thor artwork that each person received. The other works are one-of-a-kind made to decorate Blizzard HQ.
The three pieces of original artwork consists of:
Brian Huang Signed Concept Art: HYDRALISK
At US $4,999.99 — this One-of-a-Kind is on a durable heavy duty canvas board medium attached to a black backing. Lighter weight overall. Visit Brian Huang’s website — which contains this and many other StarCraft II concept art pieces. This auction ends on Feb 12, 2014 (21:30:58 PST).
Thompson: Original Brian Huang StarCraft 2 Concept Art Hydralisk. ONE-OF-A-KIND Digital Print hung on wall in the room where StarCraft II was created. Included is picture of my employee plate and also the certificates that were given during the SC2 launch party I’m sure you can verify all this information if you know anyone who worked on SC2 before launch.
Mr. Jack Signed Print: THOR & VULTURE
The is auctioned for $1.999.99. It is not a One-of-A-Kind as there are about 70 copies — but considering the millions of fans out there, this is still a rare find. The auction ends Feb 12, 2014 (21:16:32 PST). More of Mr. Jack’s concept art can be found at his CGHub page.
Thompson: Mr. Jack (Luke Mancini) Limited print of a Thor and Vulture made for the StarCraft II QA team. ONLY 1-of-only-70 made!!! ORIGINAL SIGNATURE ON PRINT.
Queen of Blades
The One-of-A-Kind is 22″ tall by 17″ wide by 1/4″ thick. It is UV coated so it will not fade. This concept art became the front cover of the novel titled StarCraft: Queen of Blades by author Aaron Rosenberg. This auction ends on Feb 12, 2014 (21:05:26 PST).
Thompson: I have an ORIGINAL “MUSEUM QUALITY PIECE” PRINT up for sale. This work of art truly belongs in a museum. It was THE inspiration for this HUGE franchise. Hung over the heads of Blizzard employees as inspiration for the massive world they were creating!!!
New York Times best selling author Richard A. Knaak launched a Kickstarter to develop a novel titled… Legends of the Dragonrealm: The Turning War.
According to Richard, this is a three-volume saga which answers many questions concerning the Legends of the Dragonrealm and the Dragon Masters that never got answered.
That truly sounds powerfully interesting.
Blizzard Entertainment, Pocket Books/Gallery Books have published in past years several novels based on Warcraft, Diablo and Starcraft which tie-in with a Blizzard video game or expansion that’s in development.
That’s a great practice because it allows players to learn what happened in between one game and the next as a bridge to inform and draw the players into an immersive story.
However, a long time passes by between the release of these novels.
Warcraft, for example, is very rich in lore, spanning more than 10,000 years of life-changing events, but most of it is given to the player through an in-game book in a very brief medium.
Who hasn’t read about the Three Hammers War?… where the Bronzebeards, the Wildhammers, and the Dark Irons went into a civil war that culminated in the eruption of the Blackrock Mountains with the accidental summoning of Ragnaros 300 hundred years before the opening of the Dark Portal.
How about the story that led the Darkspear to flee from Stranglethorn Vale?
Or the story about the first humans led by Tyr to safety.
Or how the first Highborne arrived to Tirisfal Glades prior to the founding of Quel’thalas.
The TOKYOPOP Warcraft Legends manga filled a great niche to tell some of these stories, but a novel is longer than a manga. Better yet, novels can extend into trilogies. Or even an entire series of more than three.
Why, oh why–hasn’t Blizzard Entertainment not caved in to the pleas of lore fans?
That’s a question that will haunt me yet for several years. I know the answer down in my heart. Chris Metzen’s plate has been full these past years with multiple games currently in development and other games not yet announced. He’s also co-producer of the Warcraft film. Not to mention the countless meetings he must participate in at each team department. Plus leading a normal life at home with his children and wife.
Micky Neilson, Sean Copeland, Matt Burns and others are busy with other projects too, and the logistics to prepare those stories before it comes to reality on paper is mind-blowing.
Still … I dream. As any other Warcraft / StarCraft / Diablo lore fan out there, I dream. I have always dreamt of the community getting involved somehow in the initial development of Blizzard novels or graphic novels. Even if everyone involved needs to sign an NDA.
The community has been influencing in the past on the forums, or via Twitter. Even at BlizzCon. Heroes of the Storm has been forged and shaped through BlizzCon and by BlizzCon feedback. TheRedShirtGuy (Ian) was very influential with his lore ABCs. Got immortalized as the Fact-checker NPC in Iron Forge. I do have an anecdote that only some fans in the Scrolls of Lore forums know about. Back in 2009, a fan by the username Timolas pointed out the unnamed captain (Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos) who spoke with the emissary of King Terenas in the scene where he recalls Arthas’ troops to return immediately to Lordaeron is named Captain Luc Valonforth. At the time, I think World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King was in beta testing. Pocket Star Books (Simon & Schuster, Inc. Division) had begun printing the novel titled World of Warcraft: Arthas: Rise of the Lich King. I contacted really an awesome editor, Jaime Costas. We had been in contact for a few years. Some of our past giveaways, and interviews on and before 2009 came to happen through her. I infomed her that the captain in the quest titled: The Truth Shall Set Us Free had been given a name in-game: Captain Luc Valonforth. I had read a review copy two weeks before the novel went on sale. As soon as I told Jaime Costas, she edited the scene where the captain talked with the Lordaeron emissary. The novel then was printed with that name. As I was writing this article, I was double-checking some links and found my tale was added (without my knowledge) to the WoWpedia. See how the lore community works? It’s awesome. The original forum thread is here.
Back to the main topic… say some of the most influential lore fans around the community are picked, and invited to a Skype session or chat room with Chris Metzen, Micky Neilson, Sean Copeland or other members of the Creative Team. Prior to the meeting each is sent by mail an NDA that must be signed, notarized, and sent back. Whatever fancy or legal procedure is needed for such a thing.
Those fans then brainstorm with the creative team. Talk about the different stories, and choose one story. Everyone provides an idea, or ideas on what races or characters existed in that time-frame, what possible stories could exist within that sandbox and timeframe.
Then, Micky Neilson (Publishing Lead) posts a Kickstarter to fund the project. Here is where this dream gets interesting. The project is community-driven from concept to execution. We have seen the success of Blizzard novels.
Pre-Order and Kickstarter are basically the same thing. People commits to buy a product they are interested in, and enlist themselves. There is a slight difference, though. When you enlist to a pre-order in Amazon or another retailer you will get that item delivered on release date. On Kickstarter or other type of crowdsourcing the item isn’t shipped if the item doesn’t reach the targeted price goal when the kickstarter expires.
However, the lore fans are there. It has been proved once and again in Amazon and the New York Times best selling lists.
It would be nice for Blizzard to have a Kickstarter-like page on the Blizzard Store or even in the World of Warcraft in-game store, but Kickstarter is more abroad in terms that non-Blizzard fans can also jump in and participate.
It’s all a bunch of dreams. However, they say dreams do come true. Hope the right people read this, and I know they do.
Jinx has several awesome Holiday offers for Blizzard fans. These offers run throughout December 3 until December 25th. Benefit from these discounts while supplies last. If you wish to send a Gift Certificate to a friend or family for the holidays then go to this page and inform about the holiday discounts.
Blizzard Entertainment announced juicy discounts for World of Warcraft and StarCraft II during this year’s Black Friday. Get World of Warcraft Battlechest (which includes all expansions up to Cataclysm) for $5 and Mists of Pandaria for $10.
StarCraft II and StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm are down to $19.99 each.