Friday, December 21, 2012

Merry Christmas, 2012!!

So apparently today was scheduled to be the end of life as we know it, but as long as I'm still breathing, I shall write to you all!

The team here wishes you all happy holidays!

We will be out of the office all week next week to celebrate Christmas, including Dec. 31 and Jan. 1 for the New Year. But...our customer service or tech support (and I) will be here Dec. 26th, 27th and 28th If you really need some assistance.

It's the season of spending time with friends and loved ones, and Nancy would likely be preparing some gifts for her dad, Carson, and favorite motherly housekeeper, Hannah, along with spending quality time with her best friends. That's what I will be doing as well! (And in my spare time, playing though a few Nancy Drew games to find some fun quotes to share in the future. (~.^)

Check this out! Our cover artist designer sent us this magnificent gift basket or treats! (This is an example of when people bring us cookies...there are at least 2-3 different cookies in here...yum). And since it came late in the day, most people here have left the office....MORE COOKIES FOR ME!! Mwahaha...I's the season for giving...making I will share some with *looks around* oh hey! Scott and Jayme and Josh are around...I'll clue them in.

No weekend puzzle this time, but I do have one challenge for you: re-play your favorite Nancy Drew game, or play a new one over your holiday break. ;)

See you later! And Merry Christmas!!
~Little Jackalope~

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Her Interactive Christmas Video!!

Grr, yesterday's post was set to a delay...It's up now.

Hooray! We posted a new Christmas greeting video to our YouTube Channel today! After a week and a half of planning, organizing, writing, filming, editing, and graphic creating, the entire Her Interactive team finished putting this awesome video together! My original plan was to send you something really cool and secretive, but apparently somebody stepped in to change it up a bit. ;)

Thanks to everyone on the Her Interactive team for participating, and especially to Nik, our Writer, who wrote this script out and helped direct Megan and I. Thanks to our prod team including Rob who provided some sound effects, and to Megan and Jared for there impeccable critique.

Merry Christmas from Her Interactive!

Oh, and Happy belated 14th Birthday to Lydia!

~Little Jackalope~

Her Interactive Logos

I was digging around our archives and graphics folders the other day and came across our old logos. Our name has gone through different designs since the beginning, check them out:

I like to look at these and reminisce of the older days when we had the teal and gold website, although the pink looks much more professional and updated, I think.

We have a very nice sign featuring our old logo (we've had this for years) on the wall when you reach the top of the stairs to our office (yep, we take up the entire second floor). It's a nice welcome to our visitors. :)

~Little Jackalope~

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Office Christmas Potluck!

Sorry everyone! I was out sick yesterday and therefore missed Monday's post since I wasn't in the office. :( That means we have a lot to catch up on! First things first: the weekend puzzle was a rather easy one. Just find all of the letters that were bold and underlined in the last post and you will learn this: [Christmas Greeting Video.] That's right! We have a silly video that is involving most everyone in the office. :P Stay tuned and subscribe to our YouTube Channel where it will be posted soon!

Second thing: There is a new poll to the right, and this one is multiple choice and will last until the end of the month. We want to hear your opinion! If there is something that was missing on the selection list, share your thoughts on the post we have on Facebook, or write a comment to the blog here.

Thirdly, we here in Washington had our first snowfall overnight. It was only a couple of inches, and not very cold out, so it melted before I even came into the office...sorry, no picture worthy for the blog on this! (Oh, and Jayme, one of our artists, spotted a raccoon outside, but since it was too far away, I wasn't able to snap a photo of it, either.)

What I was able to snap a photo of was today's company Christmas potluck and white elephant gift exchange. Here lies the feast, which will pose long enough for the camera, unlike raccoons and melting snow...

In the gift exchange (which is most like a game where we select random gifts to open from the large pile of colorful wrappings) I received a very interesting thing! It looks to be a fun science-y fish tank kit to grow your own Tripos, or prehistoric sea monsters).


It is very difficult to explain, but perhaps I can show you later when they successfully grow after a four-weeks' time. If I can actually make them live that long... XD

Also, an answer to LadyLinda's post on the Message Boards: Yes, those were all filled with Lickie Loo Lollipops. ;)

Friday, December 14, 2012

Weekend Puzzle #178

It's Friday, and the second-to-last weekend to go Christmas shopping! Of course, there is also (what I've heard as the smart way) online shopping, where the hassle is taken away and all that's left is to receive it (and some instances wrap the gifts yourself). As for me, I will be making a few things to give as gifts. Note to self: Make some food for the company potluck and gift exchange this next Tuesday...!!! (Yay!!) Wow, I just realized that I like parenthesis and brackets and things in my typing...

Stuffed envelopes going out today from the Her Interactive office:

We are also up to a little mischief, which has taken at least three days so far and required a lot of hard work and time from our Writer. Mwahaha.

Have a great weekend!
~Little Jackalope~

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Secret Behind the Clock's Secret

Sounds like a few of you (especially many of those on the Message Boards) have been pondering the secret behind the cracked clock face on the cover of Secret of the Old Clock. If you have never noticed until now: the Roman Numerals skip the number 9 and add on the number 13. Very peculiar since there is no 13th hour on a standard analog clocks...

The reason behind this? It was just for fun. We play with cover art and make it artistically beautiful and intriguing, and there is no real reasoning behind the 13th number. It's only mysterious. :)

Hey howdy hey!! We have another Facebook Caption Contest! This picture features Mason and Ryan from The Deadly Device. Head over to post your funny or creative caption of what they are saying to each other (yes, you have to have a Facebook account to do this, but you do not need an account to simply view all of the great entries so far.)

Extra behind-the-scenes secret: today our Writer and Designer went to record some phone characters for Ghost of Thornton Hall.
~Little Jackalope~

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Lickie Loo Tuesday

Look what we got in today! Yep, everyone who ordered a game last week in the U.S. will get a fun-size package of Lickie Loo Lollipops. The team had a small assembly line to get them ready to send to all the lucky recipients.


Head's up! Twitter Quote Contest is going on right now, fly over to Twitter to enter for a chance to win a digital guide to Danger on Deception Island!
~Little Jackalope~

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

No Monday Post? Whyever not?!

So I completely missed yesterday's post...and therefore I must explain myself (because the truth must be revealed!)
I forgot, but for this very important reason: We have been working hard on getting a special new merchandise item up (actually it's secretly been up since Friday, but we didn't say anything until today.) We are sneaky like that; I'm surprised no one noticed this new addition over the weekend: Key Chains!!!

Yep! The dream is now living! You can get double-sided key chains in our merchandise store. There are six different shapes: Megaphone, Football, Heart, Rectangle, Square, and Round. We hope to get more images up, but at the moment they are mostly all game cover artwork you can choose from, as well as this Ghost Dogs of Moon Lake Jr. Park Ranger Key Chain!! (*Insert Jackalope screams here*). Oh, I am so definitely getting one of these for myself! But I won't until I can decide what is to go on the reverse side....*sigh* Oh dear, decisions, decisions. :P

Not to worry! I didn't forget about the weekend puzzle! Here's how this Nonogram (puzzle featured in Shadow at the Water's Edge a few gazillion times). I love this type of puzzle. Can you see what I see? Spoiler: [A mask].

Head's up! New poll on your right! What is on your wish list for Christmas? :)
~Little Jackalope~

Friday, December 7, 2012

Weekend Puzzle #177

Head's up! There are only a few Lickie Loo lollipops left for those who order a game before the end of Sunday!

To continue with our bug episode from yesterday, I'd thought to mention that a large wasp found its way into our office today, and was buzzing around the light above my head. Since I'm rather short, I had no way of reaching it, and since it doesn't scare me as much as spiders....I left it alone. It's gone idea where to, but at least the buzzing has stopped!

This weekend's puzzle is just for your entertainment. However, it does relate to the next Nancy Drew Game: (Click the image for a larger view).

~Little Jackalope~

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Attacks in the Office

That's right. A few us were *attacked* by the presence of a bug. Not really, but it seemed like it was out to get us. A flying, long brown beetle the length of half a finger flew in and scarred three of us today. It happened so fast that I did not have a moment to take a picture. A sales team member jumped up when it flew at her and another member armed herself with the best weapon around: cleaning spray! She drew her weapon, and took aim, bringing the ruthless beetle to the desktop, where I quickly scooped it up, now a clean bug, and let it outside. We don't know if it is alive or not, but the important thing is that he is not in here. XD

Kind of reminds me of this guy:

~Little Jackalope~

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Classic Guides

One of our long-kept secrets is that we had half-created information and pictures ready to put together strategy guides for The Final Scene and Message in a Haunted Mansion. o.O These have been in our office for some time, but that is all I will share with you. We have other secrets that we keep as well...

Today (yes, today exactly) they have become available for digital download purchase! Yay! For those of you who have never ordered a digital guide, here is a great tip about these: When you are in a game, say for example Tomb of the Lost Queen, and you need a little guidance how to solve a puzzle (like the amulet sorting in the tent), you can hit the Windows button on your keyboard, which pauses your game right where you are, so that you can take a look at the guide page, then click on the game at the toolbar at the bottom of your screen to get right back to the part of the game you left off at.

I have done this before, and it is super easier to use than the physical guide. *Special note: all newer games' guides are in color!

Head's up! Twitter Quote Contest is going on today! Head over to participate for a chance to win a digital guide to Shadow at the Water's Edge!
~Little Jackalope~

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Picture: Caught in the Moment

Ok, so someone happened to take my picture while I was, *ehem*, very focused on working. I was NOT very focused on the lollipop that I was enjoying. I think the important message here was that I was not goofing off, but in fact working. The lollipop was not distracting me (nope!), and therefore it cannot be blamed for finding its way into my hand...

Ok, I confess! (>.<) I took an extra cherry Lickie Loo lollipop!! The secret stash has been invaded from the office! Don't worry, though, I made sure there were at least 999 left.

Just kidding.
I took from the samples stash, not the 1,000 going out to the fans who place a game order this week. I wonder if they'll notice if I took a grape one, to...

Head's up! New poll question to your right! -->

~Little Jackalope~

Monday, December 3, 2012

Lickie Loo Monday

Let's solve the weekend puzzle so I can explain our secrecy over the past few weeks...Here's how you solve it:

  1. Re-arrange the images in order (the first part of each number is their placement/position on this chart).
  2. Identify the game the image belongs to.
  3. Count the letters of that game title to get a single letter.
Here's the solution (click the image for a larger view):

And here's the answer you should get: [Lickie Loo Monday], which is the highlight of today!

That's right! Lickie Loos are here for a short time and only for those who order a game this week by the 9th, and if you are among the first 1,000 orders placed. (For more information on this, click here. To shop for a game and place an order, click here.)

And to answer a few questions in the comments: these flavors are what I have been taste-testing, 'cause only two are in the pack, not 10,000 like the box in Trail of the Twister has to offer. That would be crazy, taste-testing 10,000 different flavors.... XD

Another thing: We will not stop making Nancy Drew games at #30; we hope to make #40 and #50 and even more in the future! So no worries, we currently have no plans (or fears) of stopping the making of Nancy Drew games. ;)

~Little Jackalope~

Friday, November 30, 2012

Weekend Puzzle #176 + Video!

Happy Friday!

Today we posted our interview with Designer Cathy! Check it out!

Also, if I speak any longer, I might give away a big spoiler. So I will stop talking now and just let you solve this weekend puzzle for your own knowledge....
(Click on the picture for a larger view).

~Little Jackalope~

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Tesla is Everywhere!

I'm not sure how I lived my life never knowing who Nikola Tesla was until our designer started researching him for The Deadly Device a while back. Yes, I admit I had never heard of him before then. >.< Now he just seems to be everywhere! Our Director of Marketing was recently on a trip and snapped this photo:

Voila! Nikola Tesla is mentioned here! It's like a scavenger hunt success! Also, not too long ago I came by a car named after him. It looked pretty cool!

Where have you found a Tesla reference?
~Little Jackalope~

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Blowing Stuff Up

Ok, how many of us can admit that we often need those "Second Chances" during a mystery? The particular Second Chances I want to mention are those moments when our life is on the line...unless we simply avoid these dangerous circumstances, we we can't since we are drawn to danger...and if Nancy doesn't solve the puzzle correctly...KUHBLAM! Time for a Second Chance. >.<

Some examples include organizing the elements in the underground secret location of The Haunting of Castle Malloy. You know, the one where you maneuver the mechanical arm/grip and drop the elements into the appropriate places? Also, in Curse of Blackmoor Manor, where down in the tunnels you need to enter the correct alchemy recipe/combination...and you enter incorrectly? Kaboom. Enough said.

We have a newer "kaboom" moment in The Deadly Device, when you mix the wrong amount of chemicals together, the glass bottle explodes. (I don't know about you, but I find this destructively fun!) We have a Nancy Drew Moment graphic for these moments and memories....

Yeah. Exactly. XD
~Little Jackalope~

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Fan Mail and Office Happenings

The Sales and Marketing department just finished a few big sales, launched the new merchandise and is now gearing up for big December fun. "Artist's Row" is working on fixing puzzle art, adding new textures, modeling characters (and have already begun animations!). Production is working on some builds, planning out music and sounds, and writing dialogue for secondary characters, like phone friends. We are getting deeper into winter, and with that comes more fun things to do and talk about in between game launches.

Have you played The Deadly Device? Or are you waiting anxiously for Christmas morning? Or both!

Today we received some fan mail, and since I have a love for doodling, I had to share with you Anissa's art and very colorfully-decorated envelope. I tell ya, it is fun receiving something so colorful! It's like candy... (^_^) Thanks Annisa!


Head's up! New Tuesday poll to the right!
~Little Jackalope~

Monday, November 26, 2012

Cyber Monday 2012

Thanksgiving break is now over, and so we return to the Her Interactive office for another week of working on our next game. (Yay!) Did you get enough to eat? How about enough rest? I started playing The Final Scene again, but got distracted imagining what Nancy's thoughts were when certain characters said certain things....and then I started doodling these in a computer program...

Looking at the weekly poll to the right, it looks like many of you detectives already own all of the Nancy Drew games, and had no need to wake up super early, put on your slippers, turn on your computers and focus your sleepy eyes on....buying games online. XD Yep! Black Friday has past (and I hope none of you gutsy holiday shoppers got trampled on, in or out of the retail stores!). A few team mates here (myself included with my family) each went out on shopping excursions for the fun of it that morning. We knew how to play it safe and avoid the crazy crowds.

Cyber Monday is here! It's the day where everyone hops online to find the best deals and sales. We too, are having a sale (have you heard this bit of news?). If you order any digital download game by the end of today (sorry, this offer does not include The Deadly Device), using promo code CYBER12 at checkout, you get 50% off the price. I asked a certain character his opinion on buying online and he said it's "the wave of the future!" (Just for fun, name that character!).

This, in my personal opinion, is a smashing good deal, because the games are between $5-$10 each. o.O This special offer won't last! It's only good for today. "Here today, gone tomorrow!" Did another character say that line? I forget...

~Little Jackalope~

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving! We will be out of the office and will return on Monday, November 26th. We hope you have a great Thanksgiving break, eat plenty of good food and enjoy some time well spent with your family and friends. I know I sure will...and I also plan on re-playing (and finishing) a Nancy Drew game with all this time I have over the weekend. XD

Don't forget! This Friday is our big special on boxed games; free shipping USPS in the US!

Also, be prepared to go shopping online for the digital games you are missing from your mystery collection this upcoming Cyber Monday:

I must be really busy with secret things here in the office, or else, why would I forget a birthday!? Shame on me. We hope you had a good one, Alex! (And hope you enjoy yours Brooklyn!)

No weekend puzzle this week! My advice: sit back and enjoy one of your favorite Nancy Drew games for the hundredth time! For those of you who are traveling, have a safe trip! And Happy Thanksgiving from us to you! See you Monday!

~Little Jackalope~

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thanksgiving and Posters!

Today at the Her Interactive office, we had a company potluck for Thanksgiving. Everyone brought some wonderful food (I made sure to try every single dish) and it was all amazing! I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving and has lots of fun going shopping in those crazy stores super early in the morning. (~.^)

Some of the food we shared:

Hey! We have new merchandise in our store! (And I do believe I mentioned this already..) But I wanted to point one particular item out to you:

See this poster in The Deadly Device from in the lounge?

Well, it's now available for purchase! (And since I'm such a nerd, I went ahead and ordered one for myself... >.<) I will have to show you when it gets here!

~Little Jackalope~

Monday, November 19, 2012

1,000th Blog Post!

Not that any one's counting *ehem* but this is the Amateur Sleuth Blog's 1,000th blog post! Whoo-hoo! This post will then draw attention to every element of what makes the blog is what it is: Doodling, sales, announcements, fan birthdays, puzzles, insider knowledge, vague hints about the future and what we are up to, contests, and cookies. I'm sure there are many other little things, but these are the big ones.

1. Doodling my excitement: (and this involves coloring crayons...)

 2.  Don't forget! This Friday is Black Friday! For one day only you can get free shipping when you order using promo code THANKS12, and on Cyber Monday (Nov. 26th) you can get 50% off your digital game purchase (excluding DED) using promo code CYBER12. You can learn more about these sales here.

3. Announcement: New merchandise!

4. Fan birthdays: One of our readers: Max's 13th birthday was over this last weekend!

5. Puzzles: the solution to this weekend's puzzle:

1. An Office Aid for Mystery Cruises in Miami = [Sonny Joon held this job, as listed on his resume in The Captive Curse]
2. Vervets require a little guidance. [Sonny's guide to the Vervet monkeys in Ransom of the Seven Ships]
3. The Hurricane came this way. [Sonny Joon was nicknamed "Hurricane Sonny by Henrick in Secret of the Scarlet Hand]
4. Set your sights on the Cathedral in the Clouds. [A play on words referencing Sonny Joon's "Temple in the Sky" game idea].
5. Notes in the air passage really count before you suffocate. [If you count the notes and rearrange their order from in the air ducts in The Deadly Device, they spell...well, I'm not going to spoil it for you...].
6. What's written on the wall in the passage between a wardrobe and a clothes rack. [In The Final Scene, when you walk through the connecting passageway between the dressing rooms, you may see the words "Snake Wuz Here" painted on the gray wall.]

If you connect all of the references, you may conclude that I am thinking of this phrase: [Sonny Joon Wuz Here]. One of my favorite phrases! (And characters!)

6. Insider Knowledge: The artist here who played the voice of Niko is currently working on a very spooky environment, which involves some subtle lighting and spooky shadows. Just so you know! ;)

7. Vague hints about the future: We are taste-testing something with sugar. And I will admit to trying all of the flavors in helping to narrow down the best ones. (~.^)

8. We still have a contest going on over on our Facebook page! Check it out and enter before tomorrow!

9. And now I shall go and find a cookie to celebrate....

~Little Jackalope~

Friday, November 16, 2012

Weekend Puzzle #175

Hey howdy hey! Happy Friday! Today was a rather busy day for us, but I'm going to save the announcement for Monday's post. In the meantime, if you explore around our site, you might be able to learn what this is. ;)

Instead of a puzzle this weekend, how about a little trivia? I want to see how well you'll do with this different style...and how well you remember these little things...

What phrase am I thinking about? Find the answer for these below to figure it out:

1. An Office Aid for Mystery Cruises in Miami.
2. Vervets require a little guidance.
3. The Hurricane came this way.
4. Set your sights on the Cathedral in the Clouds.
5. Notes in the air passage really count before you suffocate.
6. What's written on the wall in the passage between a wardrobe and a clothes rack.

I'm guessing for many of you, this is a piece of cake, but good luck sleuths!


Stay tuned for all the excitement next week!
~Little Jackalope~ 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Otters! And secrets...

Yesterday our Designer, Lead Tester, and Stuart our CEO went outside to catch a quick glimpse of the wildlife here. Check it out! Stuart was able to grab a snapshot of this otter!! So cute!

We have a few great things planned ahead, such as an interview video, another video a few weeks away, and tomorrow's....things. We are rather busy preparing for these...things.

But if you want in on another contest, this weekend is the Facebook Caption Contest featuring one of our visiting fans, Miriam! What is she thinking in the picture? Post your best caption to the photo on our Facebook page for a chance to win this tote bag featuring the cover art from The Captive Curse! Contest ends at midnight, Monday, November 19th!

~Little Jackalope~

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Countdown to Big Sales!

This is a super early post about our upcoming big sales this month. (I just had to tell you!)

First off, we will be having a big sale on Black Friday (November 23rd) where you can get any physical game with free shipping (USPS in the USA), which would be good timing for Christmas, especially for those sleuths who like to have the boxes to add to their collection. Or you can just order it for yourself! Use promo code THANKS12 on that day for the free shipping to apply. For more information on shipping, click here.
Also, on Cyber Monday, November 26th, we will have a sale on all of the digital versions of our games (excludes The Deadly Device). If you use promo code CYBER12 on that day, you will get 50% off of your game purchase! (And that is perhaps the best deal ever!)

So plan ahead! If you are missing some games, pick your sale date and mark it on your calendar, because these will only happen on one day each! I think I like exclamation marks! Can you tell?! XD

P.S. -- Twitter Quote contest is happening today!
~Little Jackalope~

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Programmer Navigation

Here's something you don't see everyday! I was fortunate enough to hover over the desk of our Lead Tester back in May this year to get a look at what she was up to. This, my friends, is a map. (^_^) She was checking to see if all of the scene views (as listed by numbers) matched up in the right locations. Each arrow represents a viewpoint for the player, not necessarily the ability to move forward, but the different angles you get to look (perspectives) at with each step you take in The Deadly Device.

Behind the scenes here, we have "scene numbers" for us to refer to and especially for connecting the dots, so to speak. You don't want to click to go forward towards the elevator and suddenly show up in Niko's office! So our Lead Tester checks to make sure our game navigation is correctly matching up with the logic. Can you identify these areas based on the shape and navigation view? Answer is at the bottom of this post, below my name.

Head's up! New poll on the right -- >


~Little Jackalope~
Map answer: [downstairs halls, the K on the left leads to the lab, the K on the bottom right is right before Niko's Office.]

Monday, November 12, 2012

Cupcakes From a Fan

Today one of our fans, Miriam, got to visit and learn more about how we rock and roll here at Her Interactive. She got to tour and visit with several team members to learn a little from each department, as part of her school requirement to graduate. She immediately became friends with everyone in the office when she brought in something chocolaty: CUPCAKES!!!

But not just any cupcakes! These were inspired by...can you guess? The three pies in Secret of the Old Clock! Using candy as the "fruit", she even included miniature "pies" on top of several...reference to the different sized pies you had to organize in the game. They were amazing. Simply amazing. I <3 them.

As for the weekend puzzle, if you are familiar with ciphers, you might recognize this one as the [Playfair cipher], a rather tricky one if you are doing it by hand. Once you use the keyword to create your alphabet grid (omitting the Q), you pair up the letters in the puzzle accordingly and find this answer: [New Merchandise] which is what is it is. Yay! New stuff!

~Little Jackalope~

Friday, November 9, 2012

Weekend Puzzle #174

Hey howdy hey! Happy Friday! It's starting to get chilly here in Washington, we had frost this morning leading up to a bright sunny, fall day. It's really pretty, perhaps I'll take some pictures to share.

I found some old pictures (from May of this year) that I took specifically for a time like this: sharing behind-the-scenes information and pictures on the making of The Deadly Device! For those of you who have played the game, can you tell what puzzle I got to try out in its early concept stage? (Yes, we use actual toys such as legos in the design process...) XD

Weekend puzzle! We have some announcements for next week, but here you get an early peek at what this will be:

Keyword: Clue, and no Q about it!
Puzzle: mayjusabhtbjyg

Stay sleuthy!
~Little Jackalope~