Friday, May 28, 2010

56th Weekend Puzzle

We've got an extended weekend to sort this one out.  I tried to figure out something tricky for you all, and I think Designer Ben came up with a good puzzle for it.  Try not to finish it in one day.  :P

- Puzzle 56 -

g mgn / lmga aaie / almz


Cya next week!

- Novel (~)

Thursday, May 27, 2010


The pre-order time is almost at hand! Are you ready?

Oh and before I forget… cause I will… Monday’s a holiday, and so we’re totally not coming in. This unfortunately includes, yours truly. Just a head’s up.

On to more pressing business, a voice of the office, ringing our ears with the sounds of current times at HI. Alex, a scripter of world (HI) renown, has handed down this week’s wire. Enjoy.

Blurb of the Week

I’ve been busy working on both SCK and ND23. We’ve got your standard list of deliverables happening now; tutorials, convos, and of course the fan-favorite… puzzles. The puzzles have been the best part for us too. We’ve made some really cool innovations for these games so we’ve been using new techniques to build the puzzles. They’ll play better and look better! But don’t worry, we haven’t managed to crack the 3-D glasses technology for our games just yet… maybe for ND24.


Sounds rad! I can’t wait to see what the production team has come up with! Next time I’ll have to press for more spoilers though. That’s more my bread and butter. ^.~

C’mon back tomorrow, when we’ve got pie and puzzles.*


*pie not necessarily included

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Copy Cats

I'm good with secrets. You might just need to trust me on that one. ^.~

I'm speaking more in the realm of titles, specifically, 'Secrets' Can Kill REMASTERED. I've seen a few proofs of the packaging, and I'm thinking it's going to be a little different (which is way exciting.) My splendid task for the day is helping work on the copy. Obviously we can't just use the text from the old box, but what to amp up? New puzzles? Updated art? There's just too much to put in. But don't worry, we'll get it all sorted out in time. We've got quite the legacy to live up to...

Talk about pressure.

Catch ya tomorrows!

- Novel -

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Talking About Ourselves

The official powers that be have placed a dazzling new post on the message boards, as is their policy. I'm voting that it is a good and solid measure. They're always trying to be on the up and up with the fans. And what better means than the venue they run. Let's hope it continues to be a sounding board for quality. I can only yell at them so much. ^.~

Trust me when I say, 'that's your job.'

On other notes, I've got the answers from the weekend. Check it:

- Weekend Puzzle 55 Answer -

To solve this puzzle you need to [ think about the capital letters as numbers ].
Assume that [ a=1, b=2, c=3... ], then from each [ capital, count backwards ].
For example; in the second line "creAte hope" [ A is the capital so move back 1 letter from A, and you get 'e'. ]
Continue to do this and the letters [ you stop on should slowly spell something out. ]
Once you've completed the above steps you'll have your answer:
[ Debbie Kircum ]


Hmmm... perhaps you saw that one coming. We're just all about the TOT launch at the moment. Though I'm hoping you are too.

See ya later!

- Novel (even) -

Monday, May 24, 2010

In Plain Speech

I hate to say it, but I hope this week is a little slow. I need to re-coup after the barrage of news and highlights we've been sending out left and right these recent weeks. The fireworks are still drifting down to Earth and we've been all too eager to shoot more up. All this flash and pizazz has left a few eyes a little blind to the real pomp and circumstance... TOT. I'm excited. I'm ready. And from what I've been reading, so too are you.

The marketing team sees this. I mean, how could they not. They live and breathe your world.

I predict a June filled with small samplings. Screen shots and demos. Character profiles and web updates. Plot reveals and rumors. But these things are on the fringes, flowers on the roadside to be sample at your own discretion. You can stop and partake, or continue on a distraction-free mosey towards the release.

Excellent job on the puzzle! I've got the steps all ready for tomorrow. Come back then for a little info with your solution. Peace!

- Novel (kept)-

Friday, May 21, 2010

Weekend Puzzle Five-Five

Hope everyone had a good week! Grab the puzzle below and get to the weekend.

- Puzzle 55 -

don't Doubt
creAte hope.

grab a Brush,
bring a Friend,

think around the beNd,
and in reversE.

stuck Among clues?
lost in the possibiLities?

try moving bacK
to glimpse what you coulDn't.

and maybe you'll seE
a name that ya shouLdn't.



- Novel -

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Not In Front of the News

Bing! You've got newsletter! You're going to want to spend a lot of time with this one, we've really outdone ourselves for this launch. New platforms! Extra content! Early Launch! No wonder it's been a madhouse... But you can read all about it in the monthly HI paper (so to speak). As for me, it's Thursday, so I've sat down with another hard-working, candy-loving, HI employee.

This week's interview is courtesy of our Art Director, Kyle. Listen and enjoy!

- Blurb of the Week -
I’ve been helping manage bugs [errors] and fixes to puzzles and art for ND23. I’ve also got my own art environments to work on. I’m responsible for texturing a few key small environments that transition between major ones. Because our games are heavily laced with thematic elements, it’s important for me to make sure the lighting for these scenes reflect the transitions correctly, not just in terms of setting but also mood. I also handle a lot of boring, ‘paper-worky’ stuff… Yeah, that’s the technical term.

Sounds good to me! Thanks for the 'skinny' on what's big!

Catch you folks tomorrow for the puzzle. Peace!

- Novel (9)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


As the name might imply, that's what I've been focused on for the past few hours.  I took a snap shot whilst I was busy cramming paper into paper. As you can see, there's lots of envelopes to push out to the universe.  Maybe one will stumble onto your path, who knows?

Survey Much?

Per yesterday's P.S. I said I'd work out the puzzle, so here goes.

- Weekend Puzzle Answer -

This puzzle has all you need to solve it. To figure it out, you start by [ selecting a square and moving in a single direction off of it ] Write down each [ letter ] you pass through. But be sure not to [ enter a square you've already touched ]

Here are the steps:
Start at T.
Move Diagonally right and down to O
Down to B
Up and right to Y
Down to F
Another down to R
Right to O
Up to S
Up again to T
Up once more to T
Left to H
Left again to A
Down and Left to R
Down to L
Down and Right to O
And lastly Left to W


Now just read back [ what you spelled ] and you'll get:
[ Toby 'Frosty' Harlow ]


That answer should have some meaning to you. If not, maybe check this out.

Thursday is creeping up on us. Maybe it'll bring some new news! Come on back tomorrow and see.

- Novel -

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Operation: Blogger

Tuesday's got the punch!  Our lovely D2P blogger posted something interesting over on her site.  I'm always looking for excuses to guide you onto her doorway.  She's been at this a lot longer than I, and is certainly in the business of making 'awesome content.'  So take a short hop, you'll enjoy it.

There's been some rumblings in the office of audience.  That'd be you.  We're in a phase of defining again.  It happens every so often when we ask tough questions about our games. 
"Should Ned be in this one?"  
"Where does the game take place?" 
"Were the puzzles too hard in the last game?"  
There's probably too many questions welling up in our heads to actually coalesce them all into coherence, but I suppose that's partially what I'm for. Gentle prods.  The small questions of here and there.  Of course sometimes we do surveys.  Maybe you've taken a few, and if so, I commend you.  The fastest way to our ears is through the Fan surveys we run every so often (usually we give a head's up when they're happening.)  Another way we siphon the minds of our fans is through registration data, which you can do anytime on the HI website.  It's all part of our strategic plan to take over the world to make the greatest detective game ever!   Hey our job is ultimately to make the best game we can for you; so we love learning about the things you love.

Yeah, we totally fight over you.  ^.~

- Novel (01) -

P.S. Yes, yes puzzle-ness.  Got side-tracked by running thoughts. I'll grab it first for tomorrow. 

Monday, May 17, 2010


Hello, hello!

It's good to be back. The past couple of weeks have been a blast, what with all the awesome announcements we've been releasing. At this point, excitement is a tangible currency, built in stock and trade with trailers, web pages, and newsletters. Spread the wealth!

This week might be a little more laid back than the recent ones. But with the summer of possibilities sprouting all around, you'll just have to wait and see what the coming days bring.

I'll see ya tomorrow!

- Novel (VI.) -

P.S. Well done on the puzzle, we'll crack it tomorrow!

Friday, May 14, 2010

The 54th Weekend Puzzle

Direct from our "Puzzle Maestro", Ben, here is your weekend puzzle!

- Puzzle 54 -

T _ _ _ _ _ O _ _ _ _ A _ _ _ _


Good luck and have a good weekend!

- Novel -

Thursday, May 13, 2010


So the word is out, and it is "Mac."  It's pretty excellent news for many of our fans.  And you can bet that we're pleased to bring the Nancy Drew games to even more sleuth fans.  Just think; "Today, Macintosh. Tomorrow, the world.  Mmmwahahaha!"

It's Thursday and I've run down "artist row" again to find a victim volunteer to speak with me. Today I've managed to rope in Josh.  He's a 3-D modeler extraordinaire!

Blurb of the week
Well, I’ve been working on two big projects this week. Firstly, I’ve been tweaking the water animation to get it looking as real as possible. We did a good job with RAN but I’m hoping to step it up a notch! Secondly, I’m modeling out the establishing shot for ND23. This shot is very important because it’ll show where a lot of the action is taking place. So I’ve got to spend a lot of time making it look amazing. Oh, but I always leave a little time in my day to go scour the candy dishes and torment their owners, present company included [i.e. Novel].

It is all too true... Still, I appreciate you for sitting down with us. ^.^

It's been a hefty week, but stop by tomorrow for the puzzle.

I'm outs!

- Novel (reveal)-

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Apple in my Eye

The clues, oh, the clues. We've seen them about for little while now, and though you may be no Amateur detective, I'd be very impressed if you can see the news headed our way. I promised you an eventful week, and it is upon the door, banging for entry. Tomorrow's got the brightest forecast I've seen in a long while, so make sure you stop by the site and check out the view! Today, I'll leave you with this shiny new prize...

- Did you solve the weekend puzzle? -

Adios amigos!

- Novel (sea) -

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Less Than A Pear Ant

There's definitely a charged atmosphere on the site. Maybe it's the news of SCK, or the anticipation of TOT. Whatever it is, I'm totally digging on the good vibes. Let's keep the sunshine rolling in.

In other weather-filled news, I feel a trailer coming on. It's bringing an 80% chance of excitement, followed by a 10% chance of hysterical (and maniacal) giggling. You'll know what I mean when you see it. As for the actual arrival date... we'll I'm thinking this slow-moving feature front will land here just in time to make your weekend bright. Stay tuned!

Nice job on the puzzle last weekend. You all solved it nice and quick! Here's the steps to the final solution.

- Weekend Puzzle Answer -

So all of the clues are about [ Nancy Drew and Nancy Drew Games ] You can use the letters in the puzzle to help see if you're on the right track. Below you'll find the answers to the clues.

1. Nancy's forte - [ Mystery ]
2. Outlaw - [ Criminal ]
3. The train doesn't stop here anymore - [ Blue Moon Canyon ]
4. Usually buried - [ Treasure ]
5. Howls a lot - [ White Wolf ]
6. Ride the gondolas there - [ Venice ]
7. Plastic haunted horses - [ Carousel ]
8. Made Mercury move - [ Corbin Penvellyn ]
9. Where the stuffed dolls go - [ Castle Nursery ]
10. Get a royal flush - [ Hot Kettle Cafe ]
11. Didn't cheat - [ Mel Corbalis ]
12. Made of adobe - [ Cave Dwellings ]

Now once you've got them all written in the boxes, you can see we planted a [ secret name ] If you're having trouble finding it, just try [ reading down the first full column ] It says:
[ Scott Varnell ]


What does this have to do with TOT? Well I'm sure you can guess. [ Scott ] is a major player in the Oklahoma storm scene. No other intel just yet though. You'll have to wait a bit longer for that reveal. ^.^

- Novel (a) -

Monday, May 10, 2010

Orange you glad?

There's a popular thought about the office today. Mostly it's the carry-over sunshine from the weekend, stocking the reserves while we press deep into the TOT launch schedules. You've seen only the tiniest tip of the iceberg that is our next release. This week we're planning more surprise to show you. Though none so fantastically mind-boggling as the SCK re-make, but certainly as awe-inspiring. Of course I don't want to ruin the excitement. ^.~ But as always, prepare for splendid news.

And that's what I love about Mondays; it holds all the possibilities of the coming week.

The puzzle is all drawn out, well done sleuths! I'll be revealing the answers and more in tomorrow's post. Catch ya then.

- Novel (M)-

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Weekend Puzzle

It's been an exciting week! To round it out here's a puzzle all about your favorite sleuth! And maybe a little about TOT...

- Weekend Puzzle -

1. Nancy's forte
2. Outlaw
3. The train doesn't stop here anymore
4. Usually buried
5. Howls a lot
6. Ride the gondolas there
7. Plastic haunted horses
8. Made Mercury move
9. Where the stuffed dolls go
10. Get a royal flush
11. Didn't cheat
12. Made of adobe


Have fun, and we'll see you next week!

- Novel -

Excitement and more

I'm sure you've heard the buzz! We'll hopefully you have. If not, you might find some interesting tidbits here.

I'm stoked. I've known for a little while now and let me tell you, it was hard keeping a lid on that secret. But as a luck would have it, I managed to interview someone from the art team about it today. Mikael, a master of both 2-D and 3-D techniques, gave me a little taste of what they've been doing for this Anniversary remake.

- Blurb of the Week -
I’ve been working on environments for the new Secrets Can Kill, so it’s been really neat to try and take the artwork from the past and incorporate some of our newer designs and features without taking away any of the cool things the original team did. It’s definitely challenging, and I will say that there’s so much we want to do with this game that we just can’t get the work done fast enough! Everyone is gonna love it.


Thanks for chatting with us, Mikael. And hey, if you can't get it done fast enough, just work a few more hours. Are you free Saturdays? :P

I believe I mentioned puzzle spoilers yesterday, so here they are:
- Puzzle 52 Answer -

This puzzle uses two codes, the first one is to translate the numbers from [hexadecimal] into [decimal]. It will look like this:
[ 111 1 2121 121 1 2 222 1121 2 1111
1 222 1211 211 2121 1211 222 2121 212

Next, take that answer and change the [1's into "." (dots)] and the
[2's into "-" (dashes)]. This gives you:
[ ... . -.-. .-. . - --- ..-. - .... . --- .-.. -.. -.-. .-.. --- -.-. -.- ]

It should be obvious at this point that the code you need is [ Morse Code ]
Translating it with that code gives you the final answer:
[Secret of the Old Clock]


Excellent job solving that one! We'll have another ready for you tomorrow.

- Novel (wow) -

ND Art Contest Submissions #7

That's right, there's even more awesomeness! Check out these fantastic entries:

- by Alexandra A. -

- by Emily I. -

Nicely done! I've got a few more I want to show off, but we're winding down now. Stay tuned!

- Novel -

P.S. Super secret newsletter appearing today... don't forget!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Could be News-worthy

It is a little too busy today. I've only got time for a short speech, but it is a big one.

We've got a special mini-newsletter being released tomorrow because we had some news that was just too exciting to keep to ourselves. I'm going to be good and curb the glib before I reveal anything. So to distract you I've got a pretty excellent picture I snapped a few moments ago.

Sounds about right. :P

Oh, and a bit of puzzle news; it's been solved! Well done, sleuthers. I commend your efforts. I'll post the solution steps tomorrow. Enjoy the rest of your day!

Adios amigos!

- Novel -

P.S. More contest images on the way... when I find 5 or so minutes :P

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Blast from the Past

We've been sorting through all of the TOT materials and readying packaging and digital assets (screen-shots and the like). It has me thinking about a lot of the other launches I've been through. But what about the times before? I wonder what the build up for the Secret of Scarlet Hand was like. A lot less digital, I can certainly say. Were there newsletters way back when? Was there an official product page launch? Was it as crazy busy as this release? Cause we're covered, smothered, and layered (possibly like hashbrowns) in work.

I can't help but feel like yesterday's hint was misleading. And maybe that right there is a hint of its own. But let's see if I can be a tad more instructive.

- Puzzle 52 Hint -

I've seen some good attempts, but ultimately you'll need two Codes to crack this puzzle. Speaking of which, I've seen the first code completed. You'll need to deal with the second set by not dashing between the dotted lines.


Wednesday never looked so good! Catch ya then.

- Novel -

Monday, May 3, 2010


It's a new week and a new month! We're one step closer to the TOT launch (June!)

There's definitely been some gossip about the new game on the message boards. Particularly concerning the new trailer, which I'm going to say showcases a rather suspenseful mystery game. Now I'm more partial to the scary ones, but one of my all-time favorites is The Phantom of Venice. So I guess we'll just have to wait and see. I imagine the full trailer will shed a bit more light on the subject.

I spoke with some of the Marketing Team today, and compounding on the discussions of last week, I'm told to expect some interesting things to be revealed soon. We're just seeing the first few raindrops of the PR storm that's bearing down on us. It's always a whirlwind of surprises, and I'm certain you'll like what's blowing this way.

I gave a little nudge to the puzzle on Friday, but it looks like we need a deeper clue. So let's see what we can find:

- Puzzle 52 Hint -

This code isn't just magic, it also takes a finely tuned ear...


Cya on the 'morrow.

- Novel (o) -

ND Art Contest Submissions #6

We've got a few more entries from the contest. Check them out!

- by Laura S. -

- by Amriel S. -

Excellent job!

I'll be catchin' up with everyone later today. See ya then!

- Novel -