Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The start of goody giving

That's right, it's goody giving time! New holiday wallpapers are up and if you read the Dare to Play blog that just went up, you'll see clues on December's holiday extras. Novel_Sleuth has been super busy with these, that's he's worked himself into losing his voice. :( Get better Novel!
We spend a lot of time thinking about the upcoming holidays and specials and all the possibilities that we can fit into our day. So much time that some of us are decorating to keep the festive inspirations close by. I've heard that an artist nearby has Christmas lights in his cubicle, so I thought I'd start decorating mine. Here's what I have so far:

Gingerbread cookies on my wall! (OK, so I was inspired by Yumi's room decor in Shadow at the Water's Edge). It's not much, but I intend to add more, later. Maybe I'll sneak a peek at the artists' cubicles to see what ideas I can glean. *Sly grin*

Oh! The puzzle is still unsolved! Here's an even better hint: Each row of numbers equals a letter.

Keep it real!
~Little Jackalope~

Monday, November 29, 2010

Codes, Ciphers and Clues, oh my!

Whoo-hoo! It's Monday! Why is it that Monday seems to be the most mind-boggling day of the week? I love it, all the more challenges to take on! It's kind of like playing dodge ball in reverse. Multi-tasking (and thinking) is a Nancy Drew trait, I think. I'm practicing it now.

Speaking of challenges, last week's puzzle (mid-week for the Thanksgiving break on Thursday and Friday) has not yet been solved, but oh boy! Someone is on the right track on the message boards... So here's your semi-vague hint: Every letter counts. Ciphers are fun...half the problem is trying to figure out which one. :)

Ooh... I'm thinking of using my purple journal from the Nancy Drew Collector's Edition Fan Favorites to create a Nancy Drew cipher, code-cracking and sleuth guide. Any suggestions to what puzzles from past games I could add to it?

~Little Jackalope~

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Holiday Preparations

It's the season of great food and gift giving. My favorite! We are busying away in preparation for all the upcoming holidays and treats you will be getting. Gifts just add an extra spark to all the excitement, and someone here in the office received a nice big gift basket filled with goodies not too long ago. So much fun! I wonder what Nancy gives as gifts?

Anyways, for your temporary enjoyment here's a little puzzle I've gift-wrapped for you:

Let it snow!

And Happy Thanksgiving!
~Little Jackalope~

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Nancy Snow Day

Well, we are snowed in today. That means cocoa, a blanket and extra time to spend on playing one (or more) of the Nancy Drew games! I haven't decided which one to play, though. I'm thinking "Classic old game? Or exciting new game? Snow in the game, or ghost in the game?" Oh I know! How about Treasure In the Royal Tower followed by The Secret of Shadow Ranch, and in the dark of night I'll play Curse of Blackmoor Manor if I have that much time. What a great combination for a wintry season like this. Sounds like a great gift idea, (Collector's Edition Fan Favorites, anyone?) especially when or if you get snow or storm days and need some excitement in the warm indoors.

How fast do you suppose you could get through these games (if you have already played them), and how long does it generally take to finish a new game? I know I take days on a new one, but can zip much faster through a classic we all know so well.

Oh dear, with all these games to choose from, I should make sure I have some time for work...

~Little Jackalope~

Monday, November 22, 2010

A New Sleuth

Day 1: Whoo-hoo! Had a snowy start on my first day at Her Interactive, but would snow ever stop a sleuth from doing "sleuthy" things? Of course not, Nancy would not have it. I will say, though, the snow makes the world look so mysterious, it can hide large objects yet outline details with its sharp, contrasting color, and it makes the outdoors seem so quiet. It's as if the snow is hiding many secrets.

Anyways, I've been getting the low-down on the inner workings here at HI from a more professional sleuth, discovering some secrets and learning how we do things here (this includes magic). A couple things I have learned from Nancy is to keep great notes, and to use a handy task list. I have full confidence that these highly developed skills from my detective training will help in my work. Hmm, I wonder what other Nancy skills I could use to make my work excellent...

~Little Jackalope~

The Next Act

Okay so I'll make this super-duper-short (e.g. tl;dr).

We've got a brand new voice here at HI and I thought I'd give her a spin at running the show for a couple days a week. I've still got some stuff planned for you all so don't worry bout that, but in the meantime, enjoy the classic stylings of our latest sleuth!

- Novel -

P.S. Puzzle solution tomorrow. Kudos for the solve.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Weekend Puzzle 80

Here it is, your weekly puzzle. We've got something a little bit different, but I think you'll totally dig it. Check it out.

- Weekend Puzzle 80 -

(click for a larger image)


Good luck! And have a good weekend.

- Novel -

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Gratitudes and Platitudes

Did you see the newsletter yet? I know it totally just went out, but whatever it is awesome. There's some sweet developer commentary about Shadow at the Water's Edge. Plus they talk about some excellent promos during the holiday weekend. Good stuff.

Thanksgiving is next week. It's kinda got me thinking about all sorts of stuff. Like what's for lunch? But more importantly what are we, here at HI, really thankful for. I'm thinking of doing a short poll around the office today and tomorrow and then posting a few of the answers I get. What do you think!? Yeah, it would be awesome, thanks.

I'll tell you what, I'll say what we're thankful for, and you can let me know what you are thankful for?

Cya tomorrow!

o Novel o

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Life Cycle

Sometimes it's a wonder how things end up given where they started. For instance, I snapped this shot earlier today.

- The various stages of an HI journal's life -

It shows the progression of the exclusive journal (only in the Collector's Edition Fan Favorites tin). I think there was little chance of us ever going with the white book on the bottom, but it helped us select a bit more solid sort of book. Odd binding and the desire for more pages helped push us from the green version to the sleek looking brown. But of course this is HI, so we gave it a royal color (matching the tin and games) and put the famous silhouette on the front. And wham! We've got our journal.

Of course this is the simplified version of the process... it took us over a month to do and there were a few other considerations, but it's interesting to me to see the changes from what we originally concepted, to what we ended up shipping.

Heads-up, newsletter. Tomorrow. Be there, or be somewhat quadrilateral.

- Novel -

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Cruise Control

So I was getting a little nervous, given the rocky start this week's had so far [i.e. see yesterday's post], but it looks like all is back to normal. Well as normal as things can be around here at any rate. I mean when you've got an official full of amateur detectives... leaving dirty dishes by the sink is ill-advised. What can I say, a crime scene means a mystery, and sometimes we just can't help ourselves. :P

Of course we have been a bit pre-occupied as of late. It has been a launch heavy year, and here we are eagerly anticipating the holidays (the turkey can't get here soon enough, I say). Holidays means specials and new holiday content. Maybe there will be a little more info regard this in the upcoming newsletter. Which I should add you'll be seeing this week, if you've signed up for our newsletter that is [if not, you totally should]. Plus some extra content I hinted at last week. It's mere days away. ^.~

Puzzle 78 and 79 have been crushed! Excellent job sleuths, and you got puzzle 79 in just one day! ^.^ You can see how to solve them below.

- Puzzle 78 Solution -

First you need to put the words into a [ atbash cipher. ] You'll end up with a pretty incoherent sort of phrase [ Lasagne Timers Smirking ].

Take this phrase and [ unscramble it ] using the hint provided. The hint has three words that help you out [ Sit, Speak, and Heel ] These words are all [ commands for a dog ]. With this hint, you'll know that part of the answer is [ Mr. Mingles ] so simply solve the rest. [ Mr. Mingles Strikes Again ]



- Puzzle 79 Solution -

This puzzle can be broken down into the questions for each line -

What makes Helios's chariot shine: [ Helios was the greek personification of the "sun" ]

How many "good boys do fine"? [ Every, which in the musical mnemonic = "E" ]

When did the roses sing to Alice: [ In Alice in Wonderland, the roses sang about "June" ]

Now [ say ] it altogether and don't forget to [ add 'coming soon' ].

[ Sonny Joon Coming Soon ]


See you tomorrow.

o Novel o

Monday, November 15, 2010

Margin of Error

So Friday was a total whirlwind. So much so that no one posted the puzzle! I am way sorry for that (it is now posted), and totally don't know how not a single person here noticed... My computer decided that 'enough was enough' and promptly stopped functioning in every sort of way. It was whatever the direct opposite of "awesome" is.

I figure I'm pretty much the Western equivalent of Rentaro. I've got glasses, love crazy puzzles, and I'm completely obsessed with technology and any new whiz-bangs and gizmos that I can find. No robo-cats though. Still, all that stuff just likes to break for no reason. I'm a magnet for computer errors, it's like a weird super-power. Though I probably would've chosen flying if given the chance.

Now I've got a new computer (temporary) and here's the post. Promptly placed for your enjoyment. See you soon (accident-free).

- Novel -

Weekend Puzzle 79

Woo hoo it's Friday! I hope everyone had a fantastic week. Here's a puzzle to keep your mind in shape till Monday. Enjoy!

- Weekend Puzzle 79 -

When you find what makes Helios' chariot shine,
and take note of how many "good boys do fine".
Then learn when the roses sang Alice a tune,
You will have the question that ends with "coming soon?"


Have fun. ^.^

- Novel -

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Nose Buried

There's nothing like sitting down with a Nancy Drew mystery on a cold, Fall day. Don't worry, it is work related. ;) Sometimes we read through a mystery or two to stay up on the Nancy trivia. And sometimes we just need a good case to solve. But today, I've been reviewing a few classic Nancy Drew stories in preparation for upcoming testing. We always like to make sure that our games continue to reflect the kind of Nancy Drew experience we all know and love. Now sometimes we like to add our own sort of "flair" to that formula, and it seems to fall squarely onto Marketing (i.e. me and my awesome team) to make sure that these changes don't stray outside of the "normal" Nancy Universe. Of course we're not the only ones reading the "yellowbacks, et al" I know I've seen a few of the designers sneaking into the library throughout the day. It's good to know Nancy is in capable hands!

I see that you're soooooo close on the puzzle, so here's the last hint.

- Puzzle 78 Hint -

Space the letters like so: 2 - 7 - 7 - 5


There's a new one going up tomorrow, so finish this one up quick, like I know you can. ^.~

o Novel o

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Forward Momentum

The hive is stirring! We've got holiday plans coming together nicely (and it's not even Thanksgiving yet) I know I hinted at a newsletter on Monday, but don't expect it for a few days or so. Just let it gather a bit. Trust us on this. In the meantime, maybe enter a contest? :P

- Pic of the Week -
- A new Collector's Bundle? -


The puzzle players got part of the clue, but they might be focused on the wrong kind of companion. Think poof-ier.

I'm hoping for random tomorrow. *fingers crossed*

- Novel -

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Contests, Hints, and Announcements

So there's a few things to run through today. First off there's an awesome contest starting today. It's all about the Collectors Edition Fan Favorites so be sure to check that out. All the rules are explained on the Dare To Play blog. I know how creative you all are, so I'm expecting to see a whole lot of awesome entries. Good luck!

It looks like there's another HI message going up on the MB. (This occurs every other Tues. if you haven't caught on. ^.~) You might want to read it once it goes live. I've had an advanced screening, and I think it is super important for everyone to give it a look. *edit: link to post*

Lastly, lets look at a hint to help you all finish up the weekend puzzle.

- Puzzle 58 Hint -

The original hint gives you 3 keywords that one particular Nancy Drew character might be familiar with. Use that to help you solve the anagram.


I'll round up some hi-jinks for tomorrow. See you soon.

o Novel o

Monday, November 8, 2010

Inspiration of Choice

If you look at current trend of gaming these days, you'll see that innovation is a major player. There's all sorts of incredible technology being developed, and in concurrence, plenty of designers stepping up to the challenge of creating whole new gaming experiences. Now the devs here at HI might not be looking to change the face of PC gaming, but we like spicing things up every now and then. Looking to this explosion of fresh ideas is a great source of inspiration for our designers. It's one of the reasons we're so excited about the Nancy Drew: Mobile Mysteries Series.

I've even put in a special request to learn about where some of that inspiration comes from. Perhaps the principle designer of Nancy Drew: Shadow at the Water's Edge will give us the inside scoop... maybe just in time for a new newsletter...

I like the possibilities that are brewing, and I'm certain we'll enjoy seeing where all these new ideas can lead.

Adios amigos,

o Novel o

Friday, November 5, 2010

Puzzle 78

It's Friday once again! And you know what that means!

- Weekend Puzzle 78 -

Ozhztmv Grnvih Hnriprmt

hint: If the answer doesn't sit well, turn on your heel, and speak it aloud.


Have a great weekend.

o Novel o

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Open for Business

We posted a fantastic little video today. We had a true to life fan come in and help us out on the endeavor. It provides a grand perspective of the Collector's Edition Fan Favorites. You know, cause maybe you wanted to see how it all fits together. Or perhaps what the inside of the journal looks like. Either way I think it is a fabulous treat for a rather lackluster Thursday. Although the knowledge of a puzzle tomorrow is getting my hopes up. Maybe I'll have to go sneak an early peek at tomorrow's brain-bender. You should probably watch the video... or if there's still sun, enjoy the day. We'll be here when you get back. :P

o Novel o

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Amazing Crafts

So there's not a lot of time to gossip today. But I wanted to show you something waaaay cool (that you may or may not have seen.)

- Pic of the Week -

- Oh so charming! -


Yup, those are custom created cell phone charms. This epic win is courtesy of our last intern (may she sleuth on forever!). We can't help but gush over how close they are to the in-game versions from Shadow at the Water's Edge. And she even made one of a fake-eye from Legend of the Crystal Skull, too awesome!

Hasta manana!

o Novel o

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Spoken Like a True Sleuth

I got to sit in on a localization meeting today. If you're unfamiliar, it's industry-speak for when a game is translated and released in another country. We localize into French, Russian, and German currently... which are three countries with languages I can't speak or read. Still, the meeting was pretty awesome. It was all about how to make it easier to localize our games to any country. Can you imagine picking up a Nancy Drew game from the store and playing it in Japanese? or Spanish? or even "Ig-pay Atin-lay"? I think that would be totally awesome... though I have to say it's a little "pie-in-the-sky." So don't expect that feature in ND24 or anything, but maybe one day. Cause I'm sure we can all agree, the world loves Nancy Drew, particularly when she's speaking your language! ^.~

Here's the answer to last weekend's puzzle.

- Puzzle 77 Answer -

So this puzzle is a [ rebus ]. The pictures are [ words ]. You can break it down as follows:
1. Last
2. Tea
3. Rain
4. Two
5. Blue
6. Moon Canyon
If you [ say ] them together you get the final answer:
[ Last Train to Blue Moon Canyon ]


We'll catch up some more tomorrow. Have fun till then!

o Novel o

Monday, November 1, 2010

More to Come

So it's the first of November, Halloween has come and gone. Was it absolutely splendid? Are you completely sick of candy? I can tell you that we're not... I'm typing with chocolate-coated fingers right now. (is it bad to want to lick my keyboard?) Still I hope it was an eventful and fun weekend. Maybe you had some time to sit down and play Shadow at the Water's Edge. Or perhaps you did a little due-diligence on the Collector's Edition Fan Favorites (which launches today!)

There's still a good bit of fun to be had before the "Holiday Theatrics." Maybe some videos, a contest or two, who knows. ^.~ The Fall launch may be over and done, but the 'plotting' has not stopped. Promise.

The puzzle has been crushed. I'll do all the spoiling on Tuesday. See you soon!

o Novel o