Friday, April 29, 2011

Weekend Puzzle #101

Happy Friday everyone! There has been a lot of excitement surrounding the cake contest here, I'm sure many of you are anxious to here the results. Keep an eye out tonight (by 5pm PST or earlier) as the top few will be posted to our Facebook page for the fans to vote! If you haven't "liked" us there, be sure to do so in order to cast your ballots. Voting will start tonight and last until 10am PST Monday, May 2nd. To vote, simply "like" the cake you most like.

On to the weekend puzzle! This one is a fun little piece of art dug up from the archives, you would normally not get to see such detail from a distance in the game this was from, and I thought we could try a different, simpler kind of puzzle for fun. When completed, try to find which game it was in and where it would be located.

Good luck contestants, and stay sharp savvy detectives!

~Little Jackalope~

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Old notebooks

All though I was tempted to snoop around the office, I decided it would be much easier (and nicer) to ask around if anybody had some cool notes or doodles from the past. I left my desk for a bit and returned to find a pile of huge, worn notebooks with dates on the spine. Yay! This was most exciting!

I've been diving into them to learn a little about the design process of the games, and since I am particularly drawn to the doodles and pictures and diagrams, I saved a few to share with you. Look here! Can you figure out which game these designs were for?

The contest judges are still going through all of those beautiful cakes...but keep an eye out tomorrow for the chosen top few that will be posted to Facebook by 5pm PST! That's when the fans begin to vote. If you have an account, simply "like" the best image and that's how we will determine the winners.

~Little Jackalope~

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Mmm, Cake!

The cake contest entries are getting the look-through today and tomorrow! I've been getting a sneak peek at a few entries and I've been blown away by how creative everyone has been with their works of art. I'm super excited for this contest! You all are so awesome, it is so much fun to look for all of the little references scattered through out the cakes.

When the contest is over and the judges choose the winners, I will be sure to post several on this blog for everyone to see over the course of the next few weeks (because there sure is a lot to look at)! This contest has been as much fun for the judges as it must have been for you. It makes me wonder what kind of cake decorations Nancy would choose, perhaps someday she will make or receive another cake in a future game.

Weekly Twitter Quote Contest is up! Head over to participate!
I want to eat cake, now...
~Little Jackalope~

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Enjoying Yellow Chicks

Today was off to a rocky start, but our little experiment yesterday with the duck lamp inspired us to see what would happen to a yellow marshmallow chick, which cheered us up a little. Unfortunately, the duck lamp favors chicks over bunnies, and decided to let the chick live. The chick toasted, but didn't melt. We then placed it into the microwave. See the before and after images:
Yep. We finally got the little guy to melt. This is now an Easter weekend tradition: figure out what we can do with marshmallow chicks.
Congrats to the super sleuths who worked hard all weekend to crack the tough weekend puzzle #100! Here's how it is done:

First identify the three different codes used. They are:

~The [nautical flags] in Danger on Deception Island
~[Morse code], also found in Danger on Deception Island
~[Ancient Runes] found in Curse of Blackmoor Manor, see below for proper reference:

Second, decipher them and you will get the following clues (including additional notes):
Left Page says:
[~Begin with the sixth (first letter)
~Second should be eleventh
~A vowel is fifth
~Try first
~This one is sixth
~The end is third]

Right Page says:
[~Start over at six
~Hop to first (Now hop back two)
~Right to first
~Find the second
~Now to eighth
~Number six is final]

Third, these clues hint at numbers. So [count the letter in that sentence.]
Example: ["Begin with the sixth" means letter "w". The hint meant it is the first letter in the overall answer.]

Once you have done this, you should get the following letters:
Left Page = [W L E T N E]
Right Page = [O P R I G R]
The methodical way to combine these was to start with the W and insert the second page letters between the first page letters.
Here's your final answer: [Wolpertinger]
It is a rather scarry thing for a small creature like me.

Cake Design contest ends today! These are your last hours to send in entries, so be quick!
~Little Jackalope~

Monday, April 25, 2011

Melting Bunnies and Puzzle hint.

Whoo-hoo! I am ready for Monday! I hope you had a great Easter weekend, maybe even get to play a Nancy Drew game or enter into our Nancy Drew Cake Design contest (there's still a little time left!). Also, for those of you who like screen savers, Danger on Deception Island's is available on the home page today for you to download.

A fellow worker here decided to test her duck lamp (that's right: duck lamp) to see how much the heat from the bulb emits on a cute, poor, helpless little chocolate bunny. Here's how the experiment went:

"Less than an hour later," she says, "the bunny was reduced to the top half of the foot with an eye peeping out from beneath the basket, which is now floating in chocolate smush." Fascinating. Although sometimes I wonder if ducks have it out for bunnies because they don't receive nearly enough attention in the springtime or Easter...

Looks like the weekend puzzle was a hit, and is still unsolved. (I have noticed that one person in particular has gotten really close to the truth.)

Here's some more direction and clarification:
~Left side, first line = plain yellow flag should have a black dot in the center.
~Right side, second line = (In addition) Now hop back two.
~Left side, first line = (In addition) Sixth, meaning the first.
~Don't forget to combine at the end (the answer is not a number)

Keep those brain gears rotating, detectives!
~Little Jackalope~

Friday, April 22, 2011

Weekend Puzzle #100!

Hey all! I apologize for such a late post, my excuse is that this weekend puzzle has been the focus of my attention for a little longer portion than normal.

First things first: Starting today we are having an Easter Weekend Sale for all of our Nancy Drew digital download games at $9.99. This will only last through the 25th so be quick to get those games missing from your collection!

Second: Our April newsletter went out today, so you will be seeing that in your mailbox if you have subscribed. If you haven't yet, be sure to sign up to receive next month's.

Third: This is the last weekend to submit your Nancy Drew Cake Design Contest entries (you have until the 26th). So far, we are seeing some really awesome creations! For more details, see the Dare to Play Blog post.

Most importantly is our 100th Weekend Puzzle!! Whoo-hoo! This one has an answer coming from The Captive Curse. Here you go!
Hint: Take end result from both sides and combine in a methodical way.

~Little Jackalope~

Thursday, April 21, 2011

We Earned a Title!

I'm super thrilled to share that we were named among the top 20 Amateur Sleuth blogs by Criminal Investigation Schools! Not only that, we are #2!! Whoo-hoo! I'd like to take this moment to acknowledge Novel_Sleuth for doing such a fantastic job these past few years and making this such a fun read for all of us. I will miss his clever use of words and exciting adventures and insight that he brought to this blog and for making it what it is. Yay Novel!!

Best Amateur Sleuth Blogs

I only hope to keep the spirit and quality of these posts up and to meet and perhaps surpass your expectations. Speaking of which; in honor of Friday's 100th weekend puzzle (and the overall desire for an itty-bitty tidbit about ND24) there will be more worth to solving this one. So come back tomorrow and try solving what we will set out before you. It may be a very, very small bit...but it'll be fun anyway. *Sly grin*.

Keep it real,
the mischevious ~Little Jackalope~

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Diving into DDI: Found Item

One clever detective has correctly identified the key from yesterday's post as the key to the trap door of the attic in Message in a Haunted Mansion. Whoo-hoo! That is correct.

Today I had to go back into the archives (I love diving into those!) to find some old art from Danger on Deception Island, and I found this key chain that was re-done into the design you are familiar with now. This is an earlier version. Which do you like better? I was super excited to find this and share it with you.

~Older key chain design~

I'm excited for this Friday. We've been preparing for a few little things and we aim to be ready then. I'm also trying to think of something special for this weekend puzzle, with it being the 100th and all. (Wow, already 100 puzzles!) Perhaps an important message of some sort? *schemes* :) Keep a sharp eye!

Twitter quote contest is up! Head over to participate for a chance to win.

Hip-hopping back to work....but going to eat a cookie first.
~Little Jackalope~

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Archive Digging: Found a familiar key!

I love getting to search through the old game archives for images! I always find something interesting (and by interesting I mean everything!). Today I'm searching through the game...wait, I won't tell you. Instead I will let you guess for yourself. Identify the first game this key was in, and what was it used for:

~Isn't it a great looking key?~
Here's a random image from my desk: Japanese gummy candy! Every time I look at its wrapper I think of Shadow At the Water's Edge...and Yumi, because it's pink. ^.^

And now it's gone...
Twitter Quote Contest is tomorrow for you followers, so ready your memory!
~Little Jackalope~

Monday, April 18, 2011

Sort of Sorted

Today I've been making huge lists, documenting information, sorting through images, and mentally preparing for meetings. It's a day filled with organizing and getting things straight and in proper alignment. There feels to be an immense amount of information to process...maybe because it's a Monday, and we need a little extra time to refresh our minds. :) Thanks goodness for task lists!

I'm curious to know how many journals, notebooks and sticky notes Nancy has gone through in her lifetime. She has quite the organized desk. Mine however is a little busy-looking. There are sticky notes all over my computer screen, a few stacks of paper here and there, posters and calendars on the wall, cookies in the drawer, a glitter globe next to the phone, cup holder, and box of bricks... At least I know where everything is; that's the important part.

Congrats for solving Weekend Puzzle #99! It was pretty simple, here's how you do it: [The first digit is the first letter in the sentence. The second digit refers to the letter that is found on the grid counting left to right (or top to bottom).] An example would be 1.4. Find the fourth letter in that row, and you get the first letter, which is M. Next, find the 2 and so on. Here's the ending answer: [Message In a Bottle].

Also, the answer to the bunny trivia from the post on the 14th is this: [The pink bunny was seen on Izzy's bed in Warnings at Waverly Academy. This same bunny was seen in a grey color in the pool environment (behind the giant nonograms puzzle on the wall) in Shadow At the Water's Edge.]

Stay sharp!
~Little Jackalope~

Friday, April 15, 2011

Weekend Puzzle #99

It's a pretty spring morning here. The Japanese magnolias are in bloom and the birds were chirping as I came in. Anyways, I have a day of art projects and cubicle organizing ahead of me, whoo-hoo!

This weekend is a great time to work on your cake designs for the contest! There are still 11 days left to submit, so plan right away and get those ingredients ready, I'm anxiously awaiting those masterpieces. If you haven't seen the details of the contest, check out the Dare to Play Blog.

Ok, on the master weekend puzzle! I'm sure this one will be solved rather fast. :)
~To see this in a new window, click here~


~Little Jackalope~

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Today flew by!

I've been super busy, so I apologize for such a late post. We've got a few things coming up and it's been great fun trying to get it all ready. :) Lately I've been trying to search our archive for the original Easter Egg files (this is just as hard as trying to find them in-game!), but the treasures of my hunt are always worth spending time searching for. There are some really cool looking eggs out there! How many have you been able to find? I've also been doing some searching for a bunny (and no, this time the jackalopes from the jackalope display in Trail of the Twister don't count this time, sadly). I then got a little lost in our archives, so I had to call in a search party (a few artists, designers and all-around specialists of the Nancy Drew game creation). Within a few hours, we succeeded in finding this cute little guy: Can you find and identify the two games and locations this bunny has been in? *Note, he was first this pink color, and later a grey-ish white. Weekend puzzle is tomorrow! Stay tuned!
~Little Jackalope~

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Organizing CDs: Rumaging through stuff

Today has been a nice, slow-going day. After some layout design for a few contests and specials, I went back to my little project of re-arranging a cubicle. First things first: go through the stuff that already resides in this space. I found boxes of French games, a box of Nancy Drew game quizzes, Collector's Edition Tin Fan favorites, and something I thought was pretty neat. Check this out! It's the sample colors for the notebook that goes in the tin. Clearly it's marked which one we chose:
The Twitter Quote Contest is today! If you have a Twitter account head over there to participate. Whoo-hoo!
The cake contest entries have dwindled down a bit, and I am anxiously anticipating some more! If you need the details, they can be found on the Dare To Play Blog post.

Let's get baking!

~Little Jackalope~

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Organizing CDs: The search for shelves

Howdy all! I spent a small portion of my day snooping through our offices in search of an extra bookshelf. We have several extra CDs and boxes that could use a little organization help. :) Didn't find any, and I'd like to give a shout-out to the production department for using the most shelves, haha!

I found this unopened box in an empty cubicle. I'm not sure what it is, but it's height reaches my nose and is wider than me. Could it be a filing cabinet?
A clever HI worker then directed me to another empty cubicle, where I can store all of the CDs and stuff instead. Tomorrow I plan on getting it all re-organized and labeled...somehow. I'll let you know how it goes, albeit as exciting as it sounds (but who knows, maybe I'll find a treasure while looking through those boxes!) *crosses fingers*.

Check this out! Because my over-sized sunglasses cover up most of my face when I put them on, the production department did this to my Jackalope picture:

~Still looking cool, and ready for spring!~

Hip-hopping back to work,

~Little Jackalope~

Monday, April 11, 2011

Hawaii and CRE in the Spring

It's a Monday, and the office can feel it. There are new meetings to attend, new copy to write, new things to keep in mind, and scheduling for the rest of the week can seem a little crazy when we try to do everything in one day. Gotta love Mondays!

A fellow worker here at Her Interactive (we like to call him The Network Ninja), came back from a lovely trip to Hawaii! He posted a few pictures to share and since I absolutely loved this one, I had to share it with you. It reminded me of Creature of Kapu Cave. Such beautiful foliage! (Watch your heads!)

He was thoughtful to bring back some treats for us:

~Macadamia Nuts: Chocolate-covered and Wasabi...yum!~

(Thanks Network Ninja!)

The weekend puzzle extraordinaires were quick to solve this one! The maritime nautical flags spell out these letters [RGZMFGZHDC] and if you shift each one to the next letter in the alphabet, you get [Shanghaied], a reference to Danger on Deception Island, when sailors were kidnapped and taken to sea to work on a ship. Nice job, sleuths!

Until tomorrow: aloha!

~Little Jackalope~

Friday, April 8, 2011

Weekend Puzzle #98

Happy Friday everyone! This weekend is a great time to start working on those cake creations for the design contest posted this week on the Dare to Play blog, and I'm super excited to see a few entries already come in. Whoo-hoo!

Also, if you haven't purchased the new Nancy Drew Mobile Mysteries: Shadow Ranch app, you can try it out for free here. It would add for a nice break time while you are baking that cake. Enough babbling, let's get to the weekend puzzle! Here you go, straight from my notebook:

Keep it real, savvy?
~Little Jackalope~

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Bumps and Creepy Sounds

All day today (and a little of yesterday) we've been hearing bumps, thumps, banging, and odd other sounds. Could it be a cranky boiler? A villain breaking into a room? A big machine cranking out counterfeit money? Aliens and coatimundi trying to find Sonny Joon's hideout!?

Nah, but we can imagine, right? Actually there has been a little construction going on below our feet on the first floor. It's kind of funny as we walk into the kitchen and set our cup of tea (or coffee) on the counter and notice that the liquid is vibrating. Ooh! That would make a good scary animation for a suspenseful scene in a game! Oh wait, that idea was already taken by a sci-fi movie in the 90s. Still; I think bumps and creepy sounds are a must for a good scare in a Nancy Drew environment, like the boiler in Warnings At Waverly Academy, or the sounds of the moving rooms in Curse of Blackmoor Manor, or even all those random noises in the night in Treasure in the Royal Tower.

Yep, gotta love those sounds! If I was really in those locations, I would have chills. :) But this time, I know where the banging is actually coming from. Ah, the adventures of office life!

~Little Jackalope~

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

New Twitter Look

We had a fun project today. A talented artist and I worked on updating our Twitter page! The old background had a silhouette of Nancy we hardly used anymore, we wanted to match our home site and make the whole page look cleaner and sharper. What do you think? Here's the before and after:


By the way, it's Wednesday! That means Twitter quote contest!! Whoo-hoo! An extra reason to see our Twitter page (by the way, you don't have to have a Twitter account to view our Tweets, but you do have to have an account to participate in the quote contest.)

~Little Jackalope~

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Cake, Dessert, and Chocolate. My, oh my!

I remember being super excited when we got to eat food for the first time in the Nancy Drew games. I believe the first time was in The Haunted Carousel where we got to order hamburgers, salad and of course, the ever famous Fundae (accompanied by the official souvenir spoon). The first time Nancy could have eaten something was Rick Arlen's box of Sopressa Chocolates from Stay Tuned For Danger, but they were tainted. It is awesome that this same chocolate also showed up in The Phantom of Venice, and as a key chain in Shadow At the Water's Edge.

Now there are several games where Nancy gets to eat or prepare food. My favorite is still the Fundae. Is any one's favorite the Shadow Ranch cake? Besides the Koko Kringle bars, the Shadow Ranch cake seems to be the most recognized food item of the Nancy Drew games. It's so pretty!

Ah, speaking of all this dessert...Megan, our president and CEO brought in a box of chocolates to share, so as soon as I got the message, I literally ran to the kitchen to snap a picture for you. Check out how awesome Megan's taste is:


Have you heard of the new contest? Check out the Dare to Play blog for more details about our cake design contest! Just a tip: while the Shadow Ranch cake is certainly the coolest ever, I predict several people will be making it, so try some new and unique creation. Get crazy! I dare you. ^.^

~Little Jackalope~

Monday, April 4, 2011

Springtime in April

Well it's raining again here in the Pacific Northwest. It very much feels like Danger on Deception Island with the clouds and the ocean not far away. Congrats to the quick sleuths who solved the weekend puzzle! Type of cypher used to crack it: [Playfair]. Apply the key word "Kettle" and get [Cadborosaurus]. Voila! One local sea monster myth who brings terror to believing sailors. I went digging and found this fun sketch of "Caddy" to share with you.

~The snake horse of Snake Horse Harbor~

I love how the fog can play tricks on us! Objects moving in the water can appear as something else; often playing with us into thinking there is a creature alive just below the surface and giving us chills. There are several Nancy Drew books where this happens. Nancy would be looking through the dark or the rolling fog and will try to make out a clear image of a luring shape. It is spooky to see something and not know exactly what it is. Take for example the book "The Haunted Bridge" or the game Curse of Blackmoor Manor during the dream sequence. Those stories had some blurred object movements that made the experience a more suspenseful one!

Ah, a little suspense is always appreciated! Hopefully we will provide enough suspense for you in upcoming games.

Keep it real!
~Little Jackalope~

Friday, April 1, 2011

April Fools from Sonny Joon + Weekend Puzzle #97

Whoo-hoo! Happy April Fool's day! Has anybody pulled a few jokes today? Remember last year's prank when we told you that Sonny Joon was getting his own game? That was awesome. Unfortunately there still aren't plans for that, but who knows, maybe we'll hear from him in upcoming games.

~Sonny's first Easter Egg design~

Last year today we gave you an exclusive wallpaper of doodles that you could download and enjoy. With Sonny Joon in mind (today is his special day), I've got a special treat for you this year: Sonny Joon screen saver!! Finally, Sonny decided to test his skills by putting together some familiar images and animate them. Download it here. He also included his popular screen saver from Danger By Design. Enjoy!

Weekend puzzle number #97. Here you go!

Key: Kettle


Let's hear those brain gears turning!

~Little Jackalope~