Thursday, December 31, 2009

Being Resolute

So today is the last day in the office this year! I'm excited to see what happens in the coming decade. I'm sure there will be cases to solve and news to uncover, but we'll get to that eventually. Here's the final bit of information for 2009.

-- Extra Holiday Puzzle Solution --
The whole puzzle is solved using [ homophones and homographs ]
you need to [ replace the quoted words with a different, relevant word ]

looks like "crying" + sounds like "metal rock"
- this first one uses the 'looks like' to cue us that it is a [ homograph/heterophone (same spelling, different pronounciation) ]
Here we can replace [ "crying" with tear" ] but we know from above that we need to [ change the pronunciation, in this case to 'târ' (vs. 'tîr')]
next you replace [ metal rock with ore ] the clue tells us to [ ignore the spelling and focus on the pronunciation (homophone/heterograph)]
If we combine the two sounds you get [ terror (tear + ore) ]

sounds like "oldye tyme hotel"
- following the steps above we can discern that this is [ inn ] and from it we take only [ pronunciation ] giving us the second word [ in ]

sounds like "you from long ago"
- if we replace the quoted word with [ thee ] we'll easily be able to hear what we're supposed to get, [ the ]

looks and sounds like "a man tagged" + looks and sounds like "a-ventral"
- both of these final words should [ be spelled and pronounced ] as their replaced counterparts. 'A man tagged' is often [ out (as in baseball) ] and though 'a-ventral' isn't a real word, we can deduce its meaning as "not ventral" or [ dorsal, which may sometimes be referred to as the "back" ] Combine the two sounds and you get the final word [ outback ]

string it all together aaaaaaand....
[ Terror in the Outback ]


Don't get too excited, as I'll freely admit to trolling the forums for this one. Though I'll neither confirm nor deny any inside info I have on its existence or otherwise. :P

I hope you've had some good fun this past year. I'd be delighted to entertain you in the coming future-times. Please stop back on by in this next decade, we'd love to see you again. ^.~

- Novel (out) -

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Opening presents and present openings

With much of the office on "vay-kay" and a few on the sidelines with illness (myself included) you'd be surprised at the stillness settling in the HI headquarters. I thought it might be nice to say a little bit about the wonderful workers in our office who have labored through the holidays.

With a company like ours, small that is, you'll notice that many of our employees get to wear mulitple "job" hats. This is most apparent during the winter holidays. With so many employees out of the office, the few who continue working often take over more responsibilities to help cover those in absence. For instance, our QA lead has been handling a large volume of Tech Support duties in addition to her testing work. Even our Administrative Assistant is up to his ears with not only Customer Service and Tech Support, but also in helping our Sales department. Yipes!

I've got to applaud these hard working employees (and all the ones I didn't mention,) they keep us up and running when the rest of the company is out. As you can imagine it's no easy task, but it's nice to know that someone is here keeping the home fires burning. S' a good feeling. Thanks to everyone who's helped out!

I see the extra holiday puzzle was indeed solved. I'll provide the steps to solving it tomorrow. Congrats to those of you who worked hard to complete it.

We'll see ya soon!

- Novel (-5) -

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Holiday Wishes and Thoughts

Hey everyone,

Just wanted to wish you all a great holiday! We've had a wonderful year making the Nancy Drew games and I wanted to thank all of you for hanging out and participating. You've made the experience that much more magnificent. Enjoy all the cheer and celebration of the coming days. We'll see you soon.

- Novel -

p.s. I'm sneaking in a puzzle. It's total fluff though, but I think everyone will appreciate it.

-- Extra Holiday Puzzle --

looks like "crying" + sounds like "metal rock"
sounds like "oldye tyme hotel"
sounds like "you from long ago"
looks and sounds like "a man tagged" + looks and sounds like "a-ventral"

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Contests Queued

So we've decided to run a contest next month. I can't really release any details (mostly cause we don't have them yet.) I was hoping I could solicit you all into giving me some input on the contests we run. In the past there was a gamut of contests, from trivia sweepstakes to essay challenges, we've had some great variety.

What was your favorite contest? and why?
What would you like to see in the future?

You can post your answers as comments here or start a thread on the MB if you feel so inclined. :P Who knows, maybe this new contest will be right up your alley.

Hasta luego!

- Novel -

Monday, December 21, 2009

Days Down

The office is really empty, what with Christmas occurring this fine Friday. Still, we're finding ways to occupy ourselves. Mostly meetings and pizza... :P

I noticed that the puzzle was solved already, that's great! I'll go ahead and list the steps.

-- Answer for Puzzle #35 --

First you'll need to [ assign one clue to each picture ], this can be done "somewhat" through process of elimination. The order is as follows (from right to left, top to bottom) [ Picture 1 = Clue 4, Picture 2 = Clue 2, Picture 3 = Clue 1, Picture 4 = Clue 3 ]

Now you solve for each clue.
Picture 1 [ you would name either Hardy ]
Picture 2 [ a young horse is a foal ]
Picture 3 [ the images in this picture rhyme ]
Picture 4 [ this is a picture of a hippo ]

Now if you rearrange the letters in [ Hardy, foal, rhyme, hippo ] you can spell
[ Happy Holidays from HER ]


I hope you enjoyed the puzzle, I'm going to try to have one made by Wednesday. Either way, I'm here till then, so stop on by the 'ole blog-o-sphere, and we'll see if we can't stir up some fun.

- Novel -

Friday, December 18, 2009

Puzzle 35

I hope everyone had a great week, here's a little mind bender for you to play with over the weekend. Enjoy!

-- Puzzle 35 --

Use the clues to solve each picture, then scramble them to make a phrase.

1) What does this picture do?
2) What is a young one?
3) What is this a picture of?
4) What would you name either of these?


Good luck!

- Novel -

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Working Out

It would seem some of the office has already begun to head towards the home front for holiday festivities. Still rolling on our sugar-high from yesterday's cookie explosion, some of us are playing a few roles. You may have noticed my cadence on the tweets today, expect more of it. ;)

But what's really going down in HI? Clean up. Yup just like I mentioned last week, the final year-end grind continues. S' hard to start new projects with merriment on the way. Still, whispers of TOT drift down the cube-space every now and then. There's talk of tornadoes... And I believe... questions of whether or not any one has actually seen one. Well? have you? :P

I said I'd reveal the puzzle, so here it is, in all its majesty.

-- Answer to Puzzle #34 --


The first thing to know is [ you'll be changing the numbers to letters of the alphabet ]
Start at the beginning [ T = 20th letter of the alphabet ] next you'll [ count 14 letters past T, if you hit Z, just wrap back around to A (and vice versa) ] The next number equals [ H ] and so [ 23 letters beyond H is E ] This makes our first word [ The ].

Instead of starting anew with each word, you'll carry on from [ the last letter you made, in this case E ] An important thing to understand is [ every time you encounter a vowel, reverse the direction of your count ] So for 13 you'll [ count up from E to get R ].

Continue in this manner [
reversing counting direction every time you hit a vowel ] until you've solved the puzzle. Once you've solved for all the numbers, you'll read the phrase:

The ransom suspect hardly said anything of note ]


See you all tomorrow, with a brand new puzzle to boot!

- Novel -

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Holiday Cookies

So today was the office cookie contest! There were quite a few exquisite entries; orange cardamom sugar cookies, butterscotch chocolate chip, toffee almond chocolate squares. Ah well, you get the picture. Needless to say, we're all about ready to burst. I managed to grab a few photos, check 'em out below.

A winner hasn't been chosen just yet, but my money is on those sugar cookies. :P Besides, they all were pretty excellent in my book.

We'll catch up tomorrow. TTFN

- Novel -

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Missing One

Hiyo! I hope everyone had a great weekend (mine was a teensy-bit extended, as you no doubt noticed) but we've already had a busy beginning to the week!

I'm not sure if you all know this or not, but we actually sell the music from our games in compilations [Music for Mysteries]. Each compilation contains the musical scores from ~5 or so games. Anywho, we have now released Volumes 1-4 (previously we just had 3 and 4).

It's pretty cool to be able to provide these little extras. I know sometimes we show off concept art from our games, but I'd love to see us do some designer/artist commentary. I'm totally partial to director's commentary. I love hearing about the passion behind a great game [ or movie ;) ] Of the many extra features you've seen for games (or other media) what do you like best?

I am very impressed that the puzzle was solved! Great job to everyone who worked on it. I'll post the solution steps in the coming days. Kudos till then!

- Novel -

Friday, December 11, 2009

Chilling Out

Weekends! We've wrapped up few important things this week, and many of the teams are working on closing out projects before the new year ends:

Design is finishing up phase 2 of Trail of the Twister. I haven't seen much more than pen-and-paper concepts, but even those play great!

Art is working on completing their first milestone for TOT art. Usually this means outside environments or exteriors, and some puzzles. They've been working a lot, but we haven't been able to sneak any peeks just yet.

Production is also wrapping up the first few pieces of TOT. Usually this includes building one or two puzzles, and a few environment scenes. (They're always limited by art and design though. :P)

Marketing of course is dragging its heels, we're still talking WAC and RED, just in case there was some buzz you missed. But hey we've also been working on a few end of the year specials (not to mention newsletters!) Besides, someone's gotta stop and chat with you all. ^.~

Well, stay groovy!

- Novel -

Ohhhhhh! The Puzzle! That's my favorite part of Friday. Okay. Seeing as you still haven't solved #34, I've received a hint for it. Check it out:

-- Hint for Puzzle #34 --

"I've solved a few letters to help get you on your way. Good luck."



Thursday, December 10, 2009

Warming Up to the Idea

For the fourth day in the week I only have a small bit of news, but I do have a rather serious question. ^.~

We're doing a special for WAC, which is pretty sweet. Also we should have a newsletter popping up sometime tomorrow, so keep an eye out for that.

So next week we're going to have a bit of holiday fun... we're having a cookie contest! Now I've got a few ideas (Peanut butter chocolate chip, Snicker-doodles, etc.) but I think the competition is going be pretty good. I figure with your combined knowledge, you all could give me some great suggestions! So, know any amazing cookie recipes?

- Novel -

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Staying Surprised

I thought I'd share another holiday photo with you today. This is one is from our spirited QA Lead. (that's short for Quality Assurance) She's certainly gotten in to the swing of the holiday cheer.

Ya know, she's responsible for all of the testing we do here. She's played through our entire library of games many times over. In fact she often gets the chance to see many of them well before we do! It's a tough job, but someone's got to make sure that they work as intended. :P

We'll be putting up a new special tomorrow on the homepage, be sure to check it out.

- Novel -

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Excess Heights

Somehow we've held onto the sun. Maybe for a couple days more. Though I'm jealous of those with snow. I happen to hold a fond fascination of those unique white flakes. Who knows...

It's been a slow news day here at the head quarters. I think the winter does that; a bit of secrecy surrounds the holidays, and with it a lot of people quietly plot when they can. The office is busy, but quiet, I've seen none of the usual wanderings of artists or programmers, or even "marketeers." We've all got our heads down (or perhaps up in the clouds) with plans for the coming weeks. But maybe that's the kind of day we should all have, one of quiet contemplation. It's a good choice for those chilly, but sun-filled, December moments.

And for further inspection, I give you today's hint for puzzle #34!

-- Hint for #34 --

"It revolves around the alphabet, but knowing when to rise or fall is not a consequence of consonants. "


Cheers, yall!

- Novel -

Monday, December 7, 2009


I hope everyone had a good weekend. It was fairly uneventful here in the NW, but with the holidays just around the bend, I expect things will liven up soon.

My lovely co-worker would be pleased as punch if I linked to her survey, so check it out: "HI Customer Satisfaction Survey 09" It's a good place to give us your thoughts if you've got time to fill it out.

I'm going to give everyone another day before giving a puzzle hint. Times are busy around now, so I'll give you just a bit more time before I spoil anything.

There's going to be a new newsletter coming out pretty soon. In the drafts I've seen, it'll have some excellent shopping suggestions, be sure to keep an eye out for that.

Ahh, the week is just beginning!

- Novel -

Friday, December 4, 2009

Puzzle 34

Eeeep it's already quite late. No, I didn't forget, we've just been extra busy. Would you believe there's already some puzzle testing is going on for ND22? I haven't had a chance to sneak behind closed doors, but I'll see if designer Cathy is willing to give me some hints.

This one is extra tricky, but I have no doubt that you can solve it by Monday.

-- Puzzle 34 --



Good luck everyone, and have a great weekend!

-Novel -

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Registering a Hit

Looks like another day of sun here on the West Coast! It's been a good start to December, let's see if the great weather keeps up. It has gotten quite a bit colder though. Maybe we're looking at the beginnings of a "white Christmas" here. Are you hoping for one as well?

I've been compiling some data for a survey, and yes it is as totally boring as it sounds. However it got me thinking about some things, game registration in particular. Did you know we use registration data for a whole caboodle of things? We have various staff members who can analyze all the data and translate into a variety useful info. Understanding certain trends or collecting a pool of users to survey is just the tip of the iceberg. It's pretty fancy. Another thing that we use it for is Beta tester selection, which is a pretty standard practice for games companies nowadays. And here you thought typing in all that info didn't do a single thing. :P

- Novel (2x12) -

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Slim Pic'n

There was sun today. Glorious is a good word to describe it. When the skies are blue, the office is not. People were busy, there was a much needed hacky-sack break, and all around good spirits. Speaking of which, I've got a picture for ya...

There's nothing wrong with a little holiday spirit in your cubicle decorations. I suppose now's the time to start stringing up the lights, eh?

-- Puzzle 33 Solution --

This puzzle is solved by completing two steps.
Step One
is finding the hidden words in the scramble: [ Honest, Fracas, Cowherd ] While the numbers at the bottom of the puzzle appear to [ relate to the length of the three words ] it actually [ sets the bounds for applicable code words (between 5-7 letters only) ]
Step Two is rearranging the letters of the code words to create [ Secret of Shadow Ranch ]


If you're wondering about the image I posted yesterday, it's the start of a floor plan for the Royal Palladium. That's right, the theatre from The Final Scene (one of my personal favorites.) We've been working on a strategy guide for that game. Does this mean some of the early titles might also see some hints and tips in the future? You can count on it!

Ciao, for now.

- Novel -

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Laying Out the Gifts

So we've posted a new promotion for the next couple of weeks. Check it out on our homepage if you haven't already. Transporte libre es bueno! We'll be disclosing some more promos as the year comes to an end.

I haven't forgotten about showing the solution for Puzzle 33... I've just yet to be given the key. :P I'll have that lined up for you by tomorrow's blog, promise.

For today though I thought I'd give you a little preview of some work we've been doing. I managed to snag this shot during a bit of a break.

Yeah, it is an odd illustration. What you see is the barest beginnings of a map, the rough outlines of what will become an architectural schematic of sorts. For some of you this might appear slightly familiar... think you can guess what it's from? I'll post the answer tomorrow. Till then, "keep it easy."

- Novel (XXV) -

Monday, November 30, 2009

Shopping For Stuffing

I hope everyone had a good holiday! With the turkey eaten, and leftovers chilling in the fridge, we're ready to start off the new week. The winter spirit is building so keep an eye out for even more specials. We'll be posting new ones on our homepage as we get one. In fact, you might be seeing a new one soon (wink, wink).

So have you started your Holiday shopping just yet? Last Friday, AKA "Black Friday" was one of the busiest shopping days of the year, and today is sometimes referred to as "Cyber Monday" in regards to it showing a high increase in online purchases. I guess that means a lot of people have already started to get in the swing of things. I'm a bit of a procrastinator, so I've yet to hit the stores. What kind of gifts do you think a teenage, super detective might need? ...Perhaps a new magnifying glass. :P

- Novel -

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

No Foul Intended

It's midweek, but the office will be shutting down today for Thanksgiving. We've released a most excellent special for one of your favorite games, Secret of Shadow Ranch. Be sure and check out the homepage for more details. Plus this is just the start of a bunch of holiday specials...

More importantly though is... food! Yup, that's right, we had our own little celebration here this morning. Nope, no turkey just yet. For us it was another round of delicious pancakes. (what can I say, we're breakfast lovers) What kind of things are you all planning to make for Thanksgiving? just plain turkey? or are you going wild with Turducken? or maybe even Tofurkey? Whatever you have, I hope it's a happy and merry one!

Oh and a little aside; crafty and cunning designer Ben pointed out a lovely flaw in his Monday hint... "I think I meant to say 'three words make four'..." oops. Quality control is killer... but he's promised to make it up with an extra tough puzzle next week. Enjoy the time off and we'll see ya Monday.

- Novel -

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Last Minute Stuffing

So if you don't know, we're starting a promo tomorrow on our website in preparation for the holidays. (All of them.) We're going to be doing a whole slew of things this season. I'll make sure you all get the heads up on this stuff. As far as the announcement for tomorrow goes, we'll be changing the news on our main page. If you've been following our facebook page, you might have heard that it's 50% off a particular title, but which title? Well if you want to burst that surprise a little bit early, you'll be pleased to hear that it is the solution to puzzle #33! Now how's that for a hint!

Tune in tomorrow.

- Novel -

Monday, November 23, 2009

Thanks on the Way

Hey Everyone!

I've returned from my short time away. I'm much obliged to the wonderful lady who filled my shoes while I was gone. It looks like she posted some fun stuff. (btw, I've fixed the KoKo Kringle picture post ^.^) A big thanks to her, and be sure to check out the Dare to Play blog that she writes on!

So it looks like we've got a short week on us, so we'll try to cram in as much as we can. We've got specials starting this week, pictures to post, plus puzzles to finish, and all before the turkey comes calling. Let's start with a hint from designer Ben.

-- Puzzle #33 Hint --

"Three words make five."


Cya tomorrow!

- Novel (28) -

Friday, November 20, 2009

Breaking Friday

Whew, it's finally Friday - time to head off for the weekend! But, before we head off, here's the weekend puzzle #33.

5, 6, 7

Solve the puzzle to find out what we are going to feature in our big Thanksgiving Special next week!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

KoKo Kringles

Occasionally you'll see a Koko Kringle bar in our Nancy Drew games - stuffed in a drawer, hidden in a desk - they're Sonny Joon's favorite chocolate. Nancy is also a fan of the chocolate bar, and so are our fans apparently!

A fan wrote to us that wanted to create a Koko Kringle bar by replacing the wrapper of a normal Hershey's chocolate bar with the KoKo Kringle wrapper. She gave us the exact dimensions of a 4.5oz bar and requested the wrapper art. One of our artists, Zach, took it upon himself to make the wrapper for the candy bar life sized.

We thought we'd share this life-sized wrapper with the rest of our fans in case they were interested in making their own Koko Kringle bars. We'd love to see pictures if anyone decides to use the wrapper!

Click on the image to print it full-sized.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Dare to Play blogger filling in for Novel today - he referred to me as his "lovely assistant" huh? HARDLY!
Some of you guys might have seen this picture from an interview we did with Adventure Classic Gaming back in 2000 floating around, so I thought I would go into our own archives and pull out a picture from way back when as well.

This is Hidden Valley Guest Ranch in Cle Elem, Washington. We stayed on this working dude ranch and it was the inspiration for Secret of Shadow Ranch. This is just one example of how we draw from our real life experiences in our games. And just for fun, here's a picture of two of us playing some ping pong. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tues. too much

What better way to hit day two than a big rush of writing! Blogs, bios, and bonus content. Today looks like a FIN day, with some slight showers of CLK, maybe rounded out at the very end with WAC.

We're constantly working on keeping the website up-to-date and bursting at the seams with information on all thing Nancy Drew. Course it's a pretty big job, and sometimes we make little errors here and there on the site, though we like to keep that to a minimum. :P Course if you happen to spot one, don't hesitate to tell us (that's certainly not a challenge ^.^ ) And sometimes we're looking to add new screens or character shots.

Have you ever thought there was something missing, or do you think we've managed to summarize the games in good way? If you could add even more to the site, like info or screen shots, what would it be? Think on it and give me your input.

Oh and I'll be passing the pen to my lovely assistant for the remainder of the week, but worry not, we'll have an excellent puzzle by Friday. Stay amazing!

- Novel -

Monday, November 16, 2009



S' a good start to the week already, full of promise. ^.~ I've been looking at MHM assets for a bit and going through some cut-scenes in SHA. Yup, we're gathering some materials to help keep rounding out the website. Plus we're gearing up for some specials (still hush, hush) so we've got a lot to do this week.

I'm excited that you all knocked out the puzzle this week. I spent a good deal of time trying to devise some crafty hints for each of the clues, designer Ben was a big help as well. Looks like I can spoil this for you all.

-- Puzzle 32 Answer --

Since all clues lead to the same answer, let's look at each clue individually and see how to get there.
Mg + Be = you might want to wait before taking a stab at this one
To get to the answer for this clue you'll need to review a [periodic table of elements] in particular the [relative atomic masses]. Mg = [24] and Be = [9] if you add them up, you get [33.] The hint uses [wordplay, with wait and weight being heterographs]

Robinson Cano + millesimal fineness standard = it's about who he is now, and that's fine with us
This clue refers to sports star, Robinson Cano's [jersey #] and the [slang name] used in fineness standards. Cano = [24] and millesimal fineness standard = [9] added up they equal [33]. The hint refers to [Cano's current player number and the fineness standards, or "Nine" standard]

Second Baseman + Saturn (rounded down) = this one is about being in position even after running all the way around
You'll need knowledge of [baseball position numbering] and the [time for a single trip around the sun for Saturn.] 2nd baseman = [4] and Saturn = [29] The sum of these two numbers is [33] The hint refers to [numbering the position] and [running all the way around, the sun]

XL - 111 = there's two sides to every #; some are static, and some are roaming
Here you need to use [Roman numerals] and [binary] to solve this clue. XL = [40 in Roman numerals] and 111 = [7 in binary] You can find that the difference will equal [33.] The hint again uses [ wordplay, with roaming (for Roman)] and [two to signify binary.]

So the final answer for "How many people does it take to make a Nancy Drew game?" [33]


Phew... that's a lot of explaining. Well I hope everyone enjoyed the puzzle, we'll have a new one this Friday! See ya soon.

- Novel -

Friday, November 13, 2009

Egging You On

We've now worked through most of Friday, and with the weekend here it's time for some good 'ole relaxation. Next week will be full of preparation for up-coming holiday deals, the craziness of strategy guide writing, and lessons in localization. It'll be nice and busy, but for now, I think we're due some quiet time!

-- Puzzle 32 Hint --

To keep you going, I want to say that many of your thoughts are on the right track (particularly one concerning Wednesday's hint) but just in case, here's a few pointers for each comparison to help out:

Mg + Be = you might want to wait before taking a stab at this one

Robinson Cano + millesimal fineness standard = it's about who he is now, and that's fine with us

Second Baseman + Saturn (rounded down) = this one is about being in position even after running all the way around

XL - 111 = there's two sides to every #; some are static, and some are roaming


Hasta luego!

- Novel ("quoted") -

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Lightly Coddled

The newsletter went out, I hope everyone has had a chance to read it. I've got to thank Cathy for sharing all her secrets with us, we look forward to more of her work in the future. If you haven't had a chance to read all about her input on WAC, check it out here.

This morning, someone in the office sent around an interesting video. It's an interesting clip from the Today Show, broadcast sometime in 1990. (Yup, that's a very young Katie Couric co-hosting) The hosts are interviewing two members from a game company called American Laser Games...

If that doesn't sound familiar that's okay, but if you follow HI's history back far enough, you'll run headlong into American Laser Games. It's been a long time since then, and as a company we've certainly headed towards different interests. The industry has changed a lot, and I'm glad that our expertise has changed into creating educational and family oriented experiences (as hinted to in the video.) But it certainly makes me wonder where games will be 20 years from now. ^.~

- Novel -

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Approaching Poached

So I've just been informed that the newsletter will be dropping tomorrow, so make sure you're signed up to receive it.

We've been lucky enough to be free from rain for the day, so I grabbed a quick shot of the office with blue skies (ya know, for proof.)

It's such a nice day, I think a few of us might try to find an excuse to work outside. ^.^

- Novel -

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Sunny Side

So I had a short sit down with the designer of our the PC series, Cathy. She was more than happy to answer a few questions I had about WAC. I even managed to squeeze in some from fans! Our marketing team will be whipping up a short editorial to be displayed in this month's newsletter, so be sure to sign up.

I've seen some pretty good theories concerning Puzzle 32, keep at it. Designer Ben was more than obliging to give a little hint for you all.

-- Puzzle 32 hint --

All 4 answers should end up the same


See ya tomorrow!

- Novel -

Monday, November 9, 2009

Over Easy

I hope everyone had a nice exciting weekend. The winter grind continues here in the office. We're busy hatching secret plans for the holidays. Mwahahha!

I seem to recall offering to spoil puzzle Thirty One today, so I'll do my best as it tends to get a bit complex (Rob's a tricky kinda guy.)

-- Revealing Puzzle 31 --

So you're given four code words with a groupings of characters following it.
You'll want to use [ the grid from last week's hint ]
In fact, you'll want [ a separate grid for each code word ]
Next you'll need to [ place points on the grid and draw lines for the groupings ]
An example of this would be to [ mark a dot on c2 and draw a line to c3 ]
Repeat this process for all groupings and all of the code words
[ with each code word use a different graph. ]
After you've finished you'll have
[ 4 graphs with a lot of random lines on them. ]
So take those and
[ place them on top of one another and rotate the graphs to spell a phrase. ]
The final answer is: [ Five Black Cats ]


When I saw this puzzle, I was blown away by its difficulty. I'm totally floored that it was solved, congrats to everyone who worked on it. Oh and as a little aside, [ Five black Cats ] refers to a series of hidden objects we placed in the Hardy Boys: Treasure on the Tracks DS game to promo WAC. Now that's a fancy bit o' trivia!

You're also doing well on Puzzle 32, I'll check back in tomorrow. Right-O!

- Novel (1/2) -

Friday, November 6, 2009


First Friday of this winter month... awesome. Though a tad much on the rain.

I've seen a newsletter in the works, so keep your eyes peeled for that next week.

I'm impressed that you all solved the weekend puzzle, that one was really difficult. I'll give you a detailed list of instructions on Monday, for now why not bury your thoughts in another mind bender.

-- Puzzle 32 --

How many people does it take to make a Nancy Drew game?

To find the answer, find the connection:

Mg + Be
Robinson Cano + millesimal fineness standard
Second Baseman + Saturn (rounded down)
XL - 111


See ya next week!

- Novel -

Thursday, November 5, 2009

November Nibbles

I think the beginning of November is fantastic, why you ask? The left-over candy. We've got tons of it here at work. I think the office is going to need to have a few extra hack sessions this winter. ^.^

Still the slow grind towards the end of the year has us working on some interesting projects. Nothing I can spoil at the moment except maybe that I just had to play through The Final Scene a couple of times. ^.~

Don't forget, I'm going to be doing an interview with WAC's designer, so send me some excellent questions for her! (

Oh and Rob has finally handed over the next hint for your puzzle. This one's going to be interesting...

-- Puzzle 31 Hint --

Catch ya tomorrow!

- Novel -

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

November in a Nutshell

Ahhh, the midweek. We've hit our stride and are rolling right along. I've been walking the office trying to get a feel for what's coming up. We're deep in the "holiday triumvirate" which I'm certain means something's gonna happen...

I thought I'd get your input on an interview I'm going to do. I'll be sitting down for a little Q and A with the designer of WAC, Cathy. If you could ask her one question what would it be? Send me your ideas at:
with the subject line "WAC Interview" and I'll try and pick one or two good ones. I'll be doing the interview early next week, so try to have them in by Friday.

So where will this lovely discussion be displayed? Ohh hoho, now that's the real mystery. ^.~

- Novel -

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

November's Novel

We're pretty slow in the news department today, so I thought I'd share with you all a fun little activity a few people in the office are doing this month.


Yup sounds like gibberish, I know, but it's actually short for "National Novel Writing Month," occurring every November. Pretty fantastic, eh? You spend the entire month trying to write a story of at least 50,000 words! They've got support materials, writing groups, and a whole bunch of other literary help at their official webpage ([they've also got resources for younger writers looking to participate (]; all-in-all a pretty cool set up.

This year a few others HI employees and myself are going to try our hands (though a some have told me they've done it a few years running.) Mostly it's just for fun and to help writers... write. But even if you aren't a writer, the message is great! So I say, for November, get out there and do what you love, whether it's art, sports, or any other crazy activity you're totally into!

For my entry, I'm imagining a suspenseful mystery-series, starring an intelligent and resourceful young heroine... whaddya think?

- Novel -

Monday, November 2, 2009

November's a Marvel

I hope everyone had a great holiday this weekend, Halloween is one of our favorites (yes, I know we're just a tad too candy-crazy.) So now, our quiet office is filled to the brim with candy, candy, and more candy. We may just survive the winter. ^.~

I saw some good work on the weekend puzzle these past few days. You all have made some great guesses. I managed to get a hint to share with you all today. Let's see...

-- Puzzle 31 Hint --

"I see there are lots of ideas floating around, just make sure you do end up grid-locked."


Decent hint, I'd say. But will it help? I'll just add, Good luck!

- Novel -

Friday, October 30, 2009

Puzzle 31 and Halloween!

Halloween's tomorrow, I hope you're all prepared! Participation in the office has been somewhat... limited, though I've been assured that many will be dressing up and going out tomorrow.

Don't forget to get some puzzle play in too. Here's this week's mind-melter:

-- Puzzle 31 --

Spider: (h1,H3)(A4,b4)(d9,e7)(a5,b5)(A8,A9)(h5,i4)(h7,h8)(c6,d6)(E4,f6)(h4,h5)(C1,C2)(h9,I9)

Pumpkin: [D2,f2][a1,a2][c8,c9][d3,f3][h1,h2][a1,B1][a9,b9][c6,c7][g5,i4][H8,h9][d6,f6][G1,h1]

Candy: {a1,a2}{g9,H9}{h1,h2}{d5,f6}{A2,b2}{b7,c7}{g3,h3}{g8,g9}{d9,E9}{E2,f1}{f3,f4}{a8,a9}

Ghost: |i4,i5||d9,e7||e3,f1||H4,i4||a6,b5||b4,b5||i7,i9||b3,c3||c1,C2||c6,D6||A7,b7|


Good luck! And for those of you who intend to hit the streets have fun, but remember to be safe too! Enjoy the great holiday!

- Novel -

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Day Before

Halloween is just two days away! I hope you've got a costume all planned out. I know a few of us at the office have got some ideas. Why, we might even dress up tomorrow! We had some great costumes last year; pirates, princesses, and pumpkins just to name a few. I haven't heard anything about this year though, everyone's being rather secretive...

But what about you all? What's your costume this year? Are you going to stay in and pass out treats? or do you have a ghoulish party to crash?

And , as promised, here's your solution for Puzzle #30.

-- Puzzle 30 Solution --

In order to solve this puzzle you'll need to do a little bit of wordplay. Your first clues are in the rules; The first rule helps establish your cipher, in this case first of fifty references
[ the fifty states of the US., as well as what letter you use ]
The second rule helps you create an order so you can assign values and reinforces what you'll be ordering, this done by
[ listing all fifty states in alphabetical order ]

Once they're in order, you'll need to apply the numbers in the puzzle to give you a letter. Simply count down your list till you reach the number, and choose
[ the first letter of the state's name ]

By following these steps, we can then fill in the blanks, spelling out
[ Your name in red ].


Nice job on the solve, everyone! Let's look at those answers carefully though... [ You are Mr. Mingles and Your name in red (RED) ] It almost sounds like instructions. I wonder if there is anyway to combine the two in some sort of game-space... hmmm... oh well, just thinking aloud...

- Novel -

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The MidWeek Crew

I triumphantly return to my blogging post today. And so, I must sincerely thank my loving co-worker for filling in whilst I was making a recovery.

We've got a TV crew in here today! Our president, Megan, is being interviewed by a local news station. There's been a lot of buzz these days about girls and video games, as well as women in the industry. And as I know you're all aware we've got quite the line on both of those topics. I haven't exactly been briefed on all the lowdown (station info, broadcast time, etc.) but I'm sure the marketing crew will be all a twitter (as always, those hip-cats) plus we'll be sure to post the video online as soon as we've got it. Tres exciting!

And for your Wednesday enjoyment.

I managed to snap this shot in our supply closet. You know, where we keep the back-up batteries, rubber bands, and... Jolly Ranchers...? I think we might have a slight obsession with candy.

You all didn't even miss a beat with the puzzle last weekend (I'll be posting the solution, with a little extra, tomorrow.) It was solved amazingly fast. Continuing our designer rotation, we've got a puzzle from Rob this Friday, and he's even offered to make it Halloween-themed!

Till then!

- Novel -

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Novel has been out sick - we're hoping for a speedy recovery! In the meantime, I'm stepping in to cover for him until until he gets better. I normally blog on the Dare to Play blog, so I'm not new to this, but we each definitely have our own styles and topics.

Dare to Play covers topics in gaming, girls, and product specific concerns while Amateur Sleuth gives our fans a perspective on life at Her Interactive plus the popular weekend puzzle. We work closely with each other so we don't write about the same topic on the same day, unless we have something exciting that we want everyone to know about. That's what we call a blitz! You might have also noticed that Dare to Play only posts once a week while Amateur Sleuth posts daily - we wanted to give our fans variety in the amount of information they receive. For instance, if you don't visit Her Interactive often, Dare to Play is the blog to go to catch up on the most recent developments and issues in the game industry. Amateur Sleuth is geared for fans who come to our site every day and want to see new and fresh content.

We'd love to hear your thoughts and perspectives about each blog, so leave a comment! How do you view the two blogs and do you like the fact that we have two separate blogs?

Friday, October 23, 2009

Weekend Puzzle 30

And so I close the week with a grand puzzle for you all. This one is gonna be pretty tricky. But hey, that's what weekends are for! Let get right to it!

-- Puzzle 30 --
Rules to Solve:

1) All values are found in the first of fifty

2) The stated order will be alphabetical


Good luck to everyone and have a great weekend!

- Novel -

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Taking Charge

So today we've got a quiet day in the office. Many of the employees are eagerly engaged in discussions on office leadership tactics. Which is totally just some fancy-speak for management training.

The rest of the office is working diligently, in the blissful silence, on ND22! (I know, already we're moving on to the next big thing) And I'm happy to report that, so far it seems as though WAC has been received swimmingly, which is great.

Oh, and I've got one quick thing to add. We'll be changing our front page news tomorrow about some special pricing (can't say anymore than that, unfortunately). So be sure to check out the site.

We've got another excellent puzzle coming up tomorrow, see you then.

- Novel (cover) -

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Knowing How to Relax

So I thought I'd share with you all, a little event that was set up after the release of WAC. Everyone worked really hard to make this game great, and when it finally launched last week we decided to unwind a little bit. So what did we do?

Pancake Breakfast!

That's right, a couple of the fellas here at HI cooked up a furious pancake swarm for all the employees to chow down on. There was fruit and sausages and even some sweet treats. I managed to snap a quick shot of the chow line before it got overrun by all the ravenous artists and coders.

So, yeah, sometimes we treat ourselves pretty good after a big project. What kind of things do you reward yourself with after you've finished a large task?


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Into the Future!

Just gonna do a short one today.

I'm getting to go to a secret design meeting where we'll be discussing concepts for some of our future titles! Can you say ND23-24! I'm not too sure what's gonna happen, but I do know we've certainly asked you guys for a lot of input this year. With all that feedback, I'm really excited to see what we come up with.

Before you get too excited though, I know I'm gonna get sworn to secrecy. But who's to say there won't be a few clues tossed around. :P

See ya in... the Future!


Monday, October 19, 2009

Sloth About

The week has begun. (and so has the fun) :P

I hope you've all been enjoying WAC so far. The big Fall release is always a pretty stressful time for us, but afterwords the office tends to relax a bit. 'Course then the holidays are just around the bend...

Oh, before I forget, the next newsletter is coming out this week. It has a whole lot of info on WAC content (that all you blog readers have the scoop on) but be sure to keep an eye out!

I've seen that someone figured out the answer to puzzle #29, so I'm going to show you how it's solved.

-- Puzzle #29 Answer --

The tHird one Leaps Five to the right,
thE lAst oNe juMps back threE in fright.
The first one Moves forward a Nudge,
but the secOnd Refuses to bUdge.

To solve this you'll need to [ assign the directions from one line to the capital letters in another ] for instance: The 1st line [is governed by the statement made in the 3rd] so we take [ T, H, L, and F ] and based on the words in [line 3, move them all up the alphabet by one ] This gives us [ U, I, M, G ]

Now if we replicate those steps for each line and it's clue we get
[ U, I, M, G, E, A, N, M, E, Y, R, S, L, O, R ]

If you take these letters an unscramble them, you get:
[ You are Mr Mingles ]


Not bad, not bad. Don't forget that at the end of this week, we'll have another puzzle that relates to #29's answer.

See ya tomorrow!

- Novel -

Friday, October 16, 2009

On to Ingenuity

I've got to say, I'm ready for the weekend. :P We've been up to our ears with work, but it's starting to slacken up now.

Watching Waverly ends later today, and To Catch A Cat has released the final video. I think by now we've overloaded you with tons of WAC goodies. Hopefully you've got a little time to curl up and play this weekend (though don't forget to get out and see the beautiful Fall colors.)

There's some good progress on the puzzle, so we're going to hold off on #30. I'll give you another little hint to keep you motivated this weekend.

-- Puzzle #29 Hint --

--- --- -- -------


Ta Da! Okay, enough ranting and raving. I'm calling it a day! Keep it easy!

- Novel (adj.) -

Thursday, October 15, 2009

To Imagine Thursday

Today we're getting near the end of our little adventures. Our two special campaigns are closing tomorrow, so be sure to stay till the end. Watching Waverly has been a lot of fun, and we hope you've enjoyed it. And let us not forget the film shorts, To Catch a Cat, a big thanks to the marketing team for all the cool content they've been able to provide for WAC!

Oh, and just to send this down the grape vine, we'll be releasing a newsletter pretty soon here. It'll be highlighting the WAC launch, so be sure to check it out.

And we've got a new hint for this week's puzzle. It looks like you've lost a bit of steam, so let's see if we can't get you moving again.

-- Hint for Puzzle #29 --

Each line provides a clue for another.


That's a pretty fantastic hint. I guess we'll see how it goes, good luck!

- Novel -

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Image in Wednesday

Now occurring on this Wednesday; photos, videos, and your feedback ;)

We've added Rachel's video to our "Catch a Cat" film series. Be sure to check it out.

I'm certain that by now many of you have already begun your virtual lives at Waverly Academy. Be sure and send us feedback, we want to know if you like it! You can send us your thoughts via email to:

And for the fabulous photo of the week:

Yup, that's a giant, stuffed brain cell; found in an obvious spot - just outside of designer Cathy's cubicle. We always knew she had a big brain, I just didn't know it was so fuzzy. :P

- Novel -

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

In Tuesday

So continuing the string from yesterday; we've added a new chapter to the "Catch a Cat" video on our YouTube page
This particular one focuses on Mel's interactions with the mysterious "Black Cat"
The twitter soap is nearing its conclusion. Oh and we've also made the Warnings at Waverly website live. You should check it out, there's all sorts of cool stuff to do. You can find it here:

and let us not forget the hint for those of you still diligently working on Puzzle #29! Straight from Ben's brain to your computer, here it is:

-- Puzzle 29 Hint --

Be sure to apply the rules only where the poem tells you to.


Oh and let us not forget that WAC launched today! It is finally here, good luck to all you sleuths, we hope you enjoy it! I'll catch ya on the flip side.

- Novel -

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Late Monday Ring

The week has begun again, and WAC is but a day away.

We've been having a lot of fun hyping the latest game, and I hope you all have enjoyed all the great content we've been able to provide for you this time. In keeping with last week's words, I'm proud to bring you some new, exciting stuff today, and for the rest of the week!

First off, we've uploaded the first of five character movies. You can find it on our YouTube page:
Our marketing team came up with a nice little project to give you a bit of insight into the characters and their association with Waverly and the "Black Cat." Hopefully you'll dig it. I've been told they'll release one movie each day this week, so keep an eye out.

Secondly the twitter saga continues and will be wrapping up this week. Be sure to see how the mystery unfolds and leads up to Nancy's arrival. We've got 4 more days of drama to keep you on your toes.
This is another little fun feature that we've been thrilled to work on. The WAC team had to take extra steps to help make this project a reality. They were able to create a new chapter to the case and help prepare you for the adventure in the game! A big thanks to all, especially designer Cathy and writer Nik for their participation. They're the real magic-makers, folks. :P

And lastly for the puzzle players, I've got Ben working on a dazzling hint for you all (unfortunately not till tomorrow.) I'm pleased with the progress, and hopefully we can give you a bit of a push towards the answer. Keep at it!

Until we meet again, adieu!

- Novel -

Friday, October 9, 2009

Weekend Puzzle #29

It's Friday!!!

We've got a pretty awesome puzzle for you today, in fact this one is a "two-fer." You can combine the answer from this puzzle with Puzzle 30 for a pretty cool effect! Of course that means you'll need to solve this week's first, but I've got no doubt that you're up for the task. This particular puzzle is one of the first of many to be built by fledgling Designer Ben. I wish him the best of luck attempting to stump you sleuths, he's gonna need it :P Enough ranting, let's get to it!

-- Puzzle 29 --

The tHird one Leaps Five to the right,
thE lAst oNe juMps back threE in fright.
The first one Moves forward a Nudge,
but the secOnd Refuses to bUdge.


Good luck to everyone. Come on back next week for all the launch festivities and the finale to our Twitter story! ^.^

- Novel -

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Content based Contentment

I'm sure you've no doubt seen that we finally have all the characters and their profiles posted on the website. You can find them here:

I know I keep saying we've got more WAC content coming, but that's because we do! In the next couple of days we should have some excellent video shorts of the characters, and the microsite is on its way as well! Don't worry, I'll be sure to give you the heads up as soon as we put this stuff up. :P

And speaking of new content, we put up the demo for WAC! You can download the game from here:
The demo is the perfect thing to get you psyched about the release, be sure and check it out.

Tomorrow is Friday, and all the fun it brings. Catch you then. ^.^

- Novel (X8) -

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Quick snap

We're crazy busy today, but I wanted to pop by and give you a photo for this fine Wednesday.

Cause a regular air purifier wouldn't be proper for this office! Our artists love to customize not just the cubicles, but also the humdrum items within. I suppose it's nice to make the space feel like home, eh? Makes me think of lockers in high school... I've got WAC on the brain. :P

I'm off again, cya on the 'morrow.

- Novel -

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A Week Away

It looks like were just one week from the official launch of WAC. Are you getting excited? We're a bit nervous, but I think everything is going to hit off quite peachy. You're totally gonna love it!

I hope you've been following the twitter posts so far. The drama is only just beginning! We've got a few surprises to spring before the launch happens, so be sure to keep reading along.

Also, we're going to have a couple new designers try their hands at creating some weekend puzzles. Puzzlemeister Mari is passing the reins, and you can bet that those are some serious shoes to fill. I'll bring you the full details soon.

Short and sweet is the motto for today, so get out there and have fun!

- Novel -

Monday, October 5, 2009

On Puzzles and "Watching Waverly"

Hello again!

Today we started the twitter opera, "Watching Waverly." You can follow 5 of the students in our upcoming game, Warnings at Waverly Academy, as they gossip about their daily lives at school. It's a great way to learn about the characters and setting of the next game. Plus, you'll learn about some of the events taking place just before Nancy arrives! Be sure to check it out. You can see the updates on the left of the blog, or if you've got a twitter account, you can follow the girls themselves! We'll be running it right up until the launch of WAC.

Well, it looks like you guys crushed this weekend puzzle. I'll be sending the designers back to the drawing board. :P Let's check and see how this one was done.

-- Puzzle #28 --

To solve this puzzle you need to read the information and use it to determine who has what items.

Part 1
Nancy, Bess and George were each enjoying a favorite past time. And they were all in the same room. The cousins both had headphones on but one had her blue eyes closed.

Who had a:
• Book? - [ Nancy - as it doesn't allow for headphones ]
• Mp3 player? - [ Bess - she wouldn't need her eyes open to use this ]
• Computer? - [ George - computers use headphones and often are used with eyes open ]

Part 2:
Nancy, Bess and George are working on a mystery and staying in a hotel. Room 34 is on the third floor. George likes heights, so she swapped rooms with Bess. Nancy found out her window was blocked by shrubs!

Who was staying in room:
• 17 - [ Nancy - shrubs would be on the first floor and since 34 for is the third floor, we can assume 17 is the first ]
• 26 - [ Bess - given that Nancy is in 17 and George is in 34, this is the only other room. ]
• 34 - [ George - we know she took the highest floor, and since the first digit indicates the floor, she must be in highest number given ]

Part 3:
Pay attention to Nancy’s answers. Together they’ll give you a final hint.

The clues can be read as such: [ Book and 17, which we can say is "Book #17" or Mystery of the Brass Bound Trunk ]


Way to go super sleuths. You can bet we'll have a new one ready by Friday! Don't forget to check out the twitters and I'll be seeing ya soon!

- Novel (inc.) -

Friday, October 2, 2009

A Riddle, a reminder, and a little to mind.

~ Fridays are glorious. The office is busy, but relaxed. We know the weekend is upon us, and so we're cheery and calm. Who knows what adventures the next few days will bring. ~

Don't forget that the twitter soap opera starts next week. Be sure to tune in!

And for all you avid puzzle players, here's a most excellent puzzle for your weekend.

-- Puzzle #28 --

Part 1:
Nancy, Bess and George were each enjoying a favorite past time. And they were all in the same room. The cousins both had headphones on but one had her blue eyes closed.

Who had a:
• Book?
• Mp3 player?
• Computer?

Part 2:
Nancy, Bess and George are working on a mystery and staying in a hotel. Room 34 is on the third floor. George likes heights, so she swapped rooms with Bess. Nancy found out her window was blocked by shrubs!

Who was staying in room:
• 17
• 26
• 34

Part 3:
Pay attention to Nancy’s answers. Together they’ll give you a final hint.


Have fun this weekend and be sure to get lots of rest! Au revoir!

- Novel -

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Aware of Adventure

I don't know if you all noticed, but we've begun setting the stage for a truly tragic twitter opera. You can read all about it on the Dare2Play blog. I think it's pretty rad they we're able to do this for you guys. And if you look to the left, you can see that I'll be receiving the twitter feeds from the Waverly students themselves! So if you can't follow on Twitter, you can catch up here! It all begins on Monday, so be sure to tune in!

For our second selection today, I've got an interesting picture for you. I managed to dig this awesome-ness up from some old boxes.

Unfortunately it looks like this baby is on the endangered list, as I've only ever seen the one. Although it is quite interesting to find such a large item emblazoned with our old ND logo. I figured a Nancy Drew bag was quite fitting for the current schoolyard craze we seem to be milling in. ^.~

And lastly, as I stated yesterday, Puzzle #27 was solved and today I'm going to give you the key.

-- Puzzle #27 Answer --

In order to solve this:
[start at the top left and assign a letter to each box, starting with "A" and moving to the end, "Y" ]
The number in each box tells you
[ how many of these letters will appear in the final solution. ]

Once you've got all the letters, you'll need to do some serious unscrambling to reach the answer:

[ Frank and Joe - your first stop is Vienna ]


I think that everyone did a great job working this one out. You can count on another excellent puzzle tomorrow. I'm outta here! Peace!

- Novel -

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

And the Winner Is...

I know that we've kept this under wraps all day, but it's finally time to announce the winner to our Nancy Drew Dossier Cameo Contest. So here goes, our single winner is:


Congratulations to you, Mikala, you'll be hearing from us very soon. And thanks to everyone who entered the contest, you can bet we'll be doing more giveaways in the future, so stay tuned!

In other new news, the boards are up and running. How do you like 'em? I've seen quite the ups-and-downs from our users. I think there's a lot of good things to be said, but as always, there will be room for improvement. :P I guess only time will tell, eh?

And lastly today, I wanted to say Puzzle #27 has been solved! Great job to those of you who participated in the puzzle. I'll be showing you the steps tomorrow and you can look forward to another excellent puzzle on Friday!

Auf Wiedersehen

+ Novel (-) +

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Boarding Calls

I'm not sure where Monday went, though to be candid, I wasn't in it. My wonderful, and oh-so-busy, compatriots could not fill my empty shoes and so here we are, one day past due. ^.~

The talk of the town is of course the current website update. Everyone has been putting in a lot of time to make sure the Message Boards look great when they come back up. I've seen some preliminary screen shots (as I'm sure you have,) and I'm going to say that I like the new look. I know many of you are sad to see the teal go, but hopefully when the site goes live, you'll be as impressed as I was.

Interestingly enough, with the Boards down, I'm unable to check how the progress is going on the weekend puzzle. I know everyone was attacking it head on, so I wouldn't be too surprised to see the answer when the boards return.

Oh and for those of you wondering when the update will be finished, I'm told you should expect the boards back by tomorrow. But if any other news develops, I'll let you know.

I guess, we'll see you then!

- Novel -

Friday, September 25, 2009

Easy Weekend

Boy what a week!

We've had quite the announcements and press releases this week. There's a lot going on and, with WAC only 3 weeks away, I bet it's only going to get busier! We've got some extra-special content on the way for this launch, so be on the lookout for further announcements. For the moment, my lips are sealed. ^.~

It looks like I'm going to let you stew on puzzle #27, though I've got to say you are pretty close to solving it. Mari doesn't like me to double up, so I'll respect her wishes. Enjoy the light weekend and I'll see ya on Monday! ^.^

- Novel -

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Eyeing Waverly

So have you checked out all the WAC stuff yet?

We're all pretty excited about it's up-and-coming release. Plus pre-orders have started already! Crazy! There's still a lot left for us to do around here before it happens.

I'm sure many of you have seen the announcement concerning the website upgrade. After nearly a year of hype, it is finally going to happen. In case you've yet to read it, here's what Admin "Nikeheart" has to say about it -

"We are finally updating the design of the Message Board to match our website! Yes, that's the burgundy background that's been highly anticipated by our fans. The burgundy code is 3C0928 for signature makers and the gold that we use is FDBD5C. So say your final goodbyes to the teal as we bring in the new burgundy.

Unfortunately, we need to a day to make the move, so we'll have to shut down the message board on Sunday 9/27/09 starting at noon. The boards will be up on Tuesday 9/29/09."

Make sure and remember those dates!

And finally, here's a little hint for #27


I'm going to give you two big hints

First - This subject of this puzzle was hidden in the last hint I gave :P
Second - I'm going to give you the spaces for the words (since there are so many possiblities)

"----- --- ---, ---- ----- ---- -- ------"


Nice!Tomorrow is finally Friday and then... relaxation. Cheerio!

- Novel -

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Wednesday Fiascos

Ya know all that cool content I've been talking about... Well it's here!

The newsletter just went out, you can check it out here if ya missed it (it does take about an hour to get completely mailed out, so don't panic if yours hasn't showed up yet.


Also we've released the first WAC Trailer, and I've got to say it looks pretty darn spooky. You can view the trailer by checking out the link below.

WAC Trailer!

And as it is Wednesday, I have a totally awesome picture for you today. These pretty flowers were brought in today by none other than president-at-large Megan!

She picked them out of her own garden at home. Who knew she had such a green thumb.

That's all the random for today, adios!

- Novel -

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Anniversaries of Others

Did you know that the ESRB turned 15 this year? They've been reviewing and rating games for a decade and a half!

I spent a great deal of time today ensuring that we're still up to code with all of our rating information. This means I had to make sure our packaging, trailers, and ads all had the proper symbols and lingo. They've got some pretty strict content guidelines, but it all helps to distinguish between their various ratings. And we certainly want to ensure the precision of their content analysis. Otherwise, who knows what you'd get. :P

Also today, we said a fond farewell to Nadine, one of our beloved interns. We wish her well in all her future endeavors and thank her immensely for all of her help throughout this year.

And on to sunnier subjects; for your hint today, I've been instructed to tell you two things:


It looks like you've figured out the boxes, you'll just need to figure out the statement with all of those letters.
You'll know you're on the right track if you end up with 8 words.


See ya soon!

- Novel -

Monday, September 21, 2009

Short Shift

The return of Monday can mean only one thing!

More work :(

However on the plus side we've got some excellent content for you. As I hinted at last week, the 1st WAC trailer will be up this week, plus the September newsletter is on its way. And, we've finally put up the WAC minigame, you can try it out here -

Also I've got a little hint for puzzle #27. Check it out.


I've seen some good attempts so far. Here's a little nudge in the right direction.
"Each square represents a different letter."


Alright, that's it for now. See ya tomorrow.

- Novel -

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Puzzle Two-Seven

Here it is, hot off the presses. A big thanks to Mari for this one. I can assure you however that it is a tough one. Good luck to everyone!



I'm out till Monday. Peace.

- Novel -

Events of the Day

I see the week is just about up.

I know many of you are anxious to see Friday, as we here are. I'm sure it'll show up sometime tomorrow.

The marketing team has been churning away at a whole bunch of WAC content. We've got trailers, newsletters, mini-games, oh-my! But when, oh when, will they be released? Soon... soon. Trust me when I say we're just as excited about this game as you are. I promise to tell you when we've put something new up, cause you'll definitely want to check it out.

So my journeys into our older games have proven to be quite fruitful, and I'm glad to hear from many of you that these are some of your favorite games. Feedback is always great to have. Hopefully I'll be able to add some of that older content to the website soon, but with things as busy as they are it may not be immediately.

I've also gotten so many entries for the Dossier contest. I'm pretty excited to see how it turns out. If you haven't entered yet, be sure to check out the newsletter ( for all the details. There's still time to enter!

I guess that's all the bits for the day. Mari's already sprung the puzzle upon me, so it'll be up bright and early tomorrow. See ya then!

- Novel -

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Interesting Days

I don't know much about obscure holidays, but Summer sure did. She actually made me promise to pass this one on to you guys after she left. So here it is, September 16th is also known as "Stay Away from Seattle Day."

It would be nice to celebrate it by getting out of town in the midweek, but alas, there's work to be done. For those of you beyond our urban borders, it might be best to keep away till tomorrow (if you're into goofy holidays.) But you can be certain that in the face of such a day, spirits in the office remain cheery!

You can tell by the recent advertisement posted about the office:

I have noticed how those Production Team meetings can sometimes turn in to heated battles. Oh well, I'm sure one of our employees will sleuth out its location.

Keep it breezy!


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

One Scene and One Treasure

Ya know, for a Tuesday, we've been having quite the fun in the office today.

We've had some friends stop by and we're showing them around and explaining the daily tasks for our various departments. I'm sure by now, most of you could play tour guide for our office. It is always nice to see people taking a real interest in the inner workings of our little family. (not to mention games) :)

I've also spent a good part of the day working with some of your favorite games. I've been gathering some good images from them to use for our website and a few of the digital sites we sell our games through. It has been nice to spend a lot of time with our older titles recently. It's like seeing an old friend again. I thought I'd share a couple shots with you. Enjoy!

-- Backstage on The Final Scene --

-- TRT's secret garden --

- Novel -