Friday, August 31, 2012

Weekend Puzzle #165

We have more news to announce in the upcoming weeks for The Deadly Device, but while I talk about all of our news here each day, the surest and fastest way to learn about what's going on is to subscribe to our newsletter, (and we have one coming next week, which hints that there are a few big updates you will want to keep your eyes open for)!

To those of you who follow the blog closely, you will be rewarded with a little early-bird, head-start on knowing what exactly is happening next... (~.^) ... by finding the answer to the Weekend Puzzle. *Note: all the information you need can be found on our web site pages for each game. If you have played all of the games, this just means you can solve it faster.

Enjoy! (Click on the picture to view the full-size image)

*Note: We will be out of the office on Labor day Monday. Have a great weekend!
~Little Jackalope~

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Pictures and Pinterest

Lately, I've been rummaging around through different images and videos to help put together our trailer. While I'm looking through these, I put together a list of the screenshots, and things that would go up on our website, our merchandise store, and also on Pinterest.

For those of us who are artsy and crafty, Pinterest is a great place for our digital photo collection. Do you have a Pinterest account? I have really enjoyed using it, it's where I can go through all of the Nancy Drew pictures and organize them into different "boards".

~We organize our boards by game title~

One board is for all of the places I would like to visit that Nancy has been to, such as a castle. Another board would be of my favorite characters, like Ned and Sonny Joon's doodles. Yet another board would be of wish list items, like the next Nancy Drew game, or a Koko Kringle pillowcase.

Ok, I've got to get back to snooping through the art files...
Until tomorrow!
~Little Jacaklope~

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Speaking of Trailers...

Yesterday I briefly mentioned that we were beginning to work on The Deadly Device official trailer. Unfortunately for you, I have no updates since we are still in the early process. But! The talk of trailers sent me over to YouTube to take a look at what we have done in the past.

We have a bunch of different videos on our channel: not only do we have official trailers such as Tomb of the Lost Queen, teasers like The Deadly Device Preview, interviews and sneak peeks from our Summer Intern Phoenix, video testimonials, and fun videos like Dylan Tours. Have you caught up on your must-watch video list?

Today I learned that a few of our awesome fans uploaded a re-make of the Tomb of the Lost Queen trailer! It's pretty awesome! Watch the video below and check out their YouTube Channel for many more Nancy Drew game videos!

Psst! Twitter Quote Contest is going on now!
~Little Jackalope~

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Waiting on The Deadly Device

As a fan, October may feel like a looong time away, but here at Her Interactive I'm sure it will come fast to us! We are still working on The Deadly Device, and this morning I noticed a few new additions to the game. Just a few missing art pieces here and there, and the Bonus Edition content getting put in. I have not seen the outtakes, but I've heard what they have planned! Some are real actual goofs that we have caught while making the game, while others are fun extras the design team had planned ahead for the artists to create.

Right now I'm working on preparing some screenshots and descriptions that will go up on the product page later. Above is a picture of my scratch notes of things that I need work on . Sorry, some of it should remain a mystery, so I blurred a few areas. ;) Stay tuned for extra sneak peeks to come, and solve the upcoming weekend puzzle to gain more insight to more content for The Deadly Device this Friday. ;)

Also, the team is designing the trailer and putting together a script, including Nancy's narration. We aren't sure when it will be ready yet. :/ Still in the early process!

~Little Jackalope~

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Deadly Device Cover Art!!

Hooray! The official Nancy Drew: The Deadly Device cover art is finished and we present it to you here:

Also, check out the official product page on our web site here! I remember a lot of you guessed correctly on what color scheme we would go with. Great deduction! It's kind of a teal blue, reflecting the electric bolts. Does looking at this cover art make you want to play the game more? It looks intense because it is intense. Murder mystery! Nikola Tesla! Science! Electrifying bolts!  Oh the drama and thrill!

For those of you who solved the weekend puzzle, you all got a head start on knowing the OFFICIAL Release date! Here's how you solve the puzzle from Friday: Look at each Weekend Puzzle blog post number, starting from July 20th of this year up until present. Add up all of the numbers (not including the extra 3 in "123 + 3" from August 17) and you should get 1,023. Which is 10/23 or October 23rd, 2012. Congrats! That was an early bird sneak peek. ;)

Stay tuned for more updates, such as our screenshots, character bios, important pre-order dates and the official trailer!

~Little Jackalope~

Friday, August 24, 2012

Psst! Pass the word...

Breaking news update: The Deadly Device cover art, release date, pre-order date and more will be announced on Monday!

Subscribe to our newsletter here to get the latest news update!

~Little Jackalope~

Weekend Puzzle #25

Ok everyone, this weekend puzzle has a critical piece of information concerning The Deadly Device in the answer. This puzzle has secretly been building up since July 20th. Have you noticed the important details? Good luck sleuths!

20 July + ___ + ___ + ___ + ___ + Today  = __________

*Oh, and I might be updating this post later today with big news. If not today...then perhaps Monday. ;)
~Little Jackalope~

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Interviews and Cover Art

Today we posted an interview with our Producer, Rob! You can check it out on the Dare to Play blog here. He's been with us for a good while, so he's worked on several of the games. This is one memorable puzzle he worked on:

Oh, and did I say cover art? Yeah, we are currently working on the last art touches and edits to The Deadly Device that you will see on the box, and once we have it finished we shall share it with you. It might be done before September, we shall see. Hmm...what color scheme would you guess DED to reflect?

~Little Jackalope~

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Deadly Device: Beta Results

Random Jackalope thought for the day: If we can get enough money raised on our Kickstarter campaign, we would start by porting Tomb of the Lost Queen, and then someday The Deadly Device as well...When that day comes, how cool would it be to say "I have The Deadly Device on my device!" or perhaps "My phone is running The Deadly Device right now!" or "My device is The Deadly Device!" Ok, wow. That sounds so nerdy... XD

Anyways, today we had a Beta review meeting about the results and feedback from testing our latest game, The Deadly Device. Here is a Power Point slide provided by our designer. However, some of the statistics are in-office knowledge only, so I had to hide the actual content. I will have you know that the red and purple are good things. ;)

I'm still playing through DED, but so far, I find this one quite fun, and a bit thrilling. I was just listening to one of the characters in my headphones when suddenly I heard that character behind me in the kitchen. At first it was odd: the character has stepped into our office!!! But I really wasn't surprised since I already knew that one of our artists was a character in our game. Still, it's really cool!

Twitter Quote contest today! This quote is from a newer game, so I'm hoping some of you will recognize this character. ;)
~Little Jackalope~

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Playing Beta: The Deadly Device

Perhaps you've heard the word "Beta" come up here and there. Let me explain what Beta here is, in a nutshell:

Beta is a goal in our game-making process where all important logic, art, puzzles, animations, and conversations (convos as we abbreviate) are mostly done, and the game is at least playable. At this point, the office members and several testers give it a try.

There may be a few cool animations missing, some art might be missing or will be revised later, some bonus extras have not been made yet (like the preview trailer to the next game, or say the cell phone games, some idle chit-chat in conversations have not been added, and there may be several "bugs" still left in.

It's a big milestone, but there is still plenty of work to be done and things needing polishing. Yesterday and today I have been playing through The Deadly Device...on Master Level, since I like the challenge.

I do believe that we have a meeting soon to discuss the testing results. I'm looking forward to hearing every one's opinions here in the office!

One last but not least note: Happy belated 10th birthday, Jessica!!

~Little Jackalope~

Monday, August 20, 2012

A Bad Sleuthing Day?

How many cases would you suspect that Nancy has worked on caused her to have a rough day? Sure, some days she would follow a bad lead, get trapped, knocked out, lost, or even failed at gathering an important clue....but do these things ruin her day? To any normal person, I believe they would say "yes". But not Nancy.

Nancy might have rough sleuthing days, but they never bring her down. She gets right back up from her setback and keeps sleuthing, following new leads, new ideas, re-visiting areas, talking things out with her dad or friends, Bess and George, until she makes things right.

In our games, we have something just like that. Second Chances. When you are feeling a little bit too gutsy, or a little bit too mischievous, you are likely to trip. Getting that second chance puts you back on your feet to try again. (Also saving your game to come back later is great!) Some days, we need to be like Nancy, and pick ourselves up.

This morning I found that someone had left a cute, framed photo of a jackalope! This was a nice start to my day:

Looks like several of you sleuths solved the weekend puzzle! Here's the gist of it: the characters are all from the keyboard, typically on the numbers. Solution: [!( is 19, which in the alphabet it the letter S]. Find these letters (ignore the "--" which were meant to break up the sets) and you'll get this: [Seven Pieces]. This refers to something inside The Deadly Device that you won't need to remember until you play the game. ;)

~Little Jackalope~

Friday, August 17, 2012

Weekend Puzzle #123 + 3 Videos!

It's Friday, and we have a few videos to share with you! Check them out!

First of all, Phoenix interviewed Nancy Drew! Although since we don't ever show Nancy Drew's face in our games, all you see is Nancy's silhouette. Take a listen:

And then Phoenix got to interview the voice actress of Nancy Drew: Lani Minella! Ahhh!!! Lani has been providing the voice for Nancy ever since our first game: Secrets Can Kill. Of course, since she is so very talented, she has also provided the voice from several other characters in the games, below is a short list:

Freddie Randall from The White Wolf of Icicle Creek
Loulou the parrot from Curse of Blackmoor Manor
Coucou the parrot from Ransom of the Seven Ships
The monster in The Captive Curse
Various voices in Alibi in Ashes around the River Heights map/town
Mille Strathorn in Stay Tuned for Danger
...and many more!

Here is Lani's Interview:

Our third video is about Phoenix. Today was her last day and she wanted to say goodbye and answer a few questions you have asked her. She also provides some inspiring words for you. :')

Goodbye Phoenix, my partner in crime! And good luck with your senior year in college! Stay Sleuthy!

On to your weekend puzzle (this one is only for fun and is not a contest). It contains a tip for inside our next game, The Deadly Device.

!( -- % -- @@ -- % -- !$ 
 !^ -- ( -- % -- # -- % -- !( 

Good luck, and enjoy your weekend!
~Little Jackalope~

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Nancy Drew Castle Adventure (part 2)

As promised, here are a few more photos of Phoenix's and my Nancy Drew adventure from this last weekend.

As mentioned yesterday, we went to Manresa Castle, which inspired Message in a Haunted Mansion and Treasure in the Royal Tower. This castle is an Inn and a restaurant. There have been stories of hauntings here, and I heard that when the Her Interactive team visited and spent the night a long time ago, one of the team members got spooked and left in the middle of the night!

Phoenix and I only stayed for dinner (in the turret/tower!!), so we didn't spend enough time trying to find ghosts. Do any of these areas look familiar? (~.^)

Hey! We have a caption contest going up today on Facebook! When we post the photo, submit your best caption for a chance to win a prize! Head over now!

Also, Phoenix posted a new video up on YouTube for our Kickstarter page here. Also, Megan and Stuart provide an update to our Kickstarter campaign as well here.
~Little Jackalope~

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Nancy Drew Castle Adventure (part 1)

Last weekend Phoenix and I went on a Nancy Drew adventure (check out Monday's post for the Danger on Deception Island adventure post). Look where else we went!

This is Manresa Castle! It's the very castle that the Her Interactive team visited and stayed the night at as part of research for Message in a Haunted Mansion and Treasure in the Royal Tower. We took pictures:

Look! They had a garden on the grounds! I couldn't help but think we were in Ezra Wickford's secret garden...

And these are just a few pictures from the outside, we had dinner reservations and went inside to explore a little...I will have to share these with you in another post. (~.^)

Head's up! Twitter Quote Contest is going on today!
~Little Jackalope~

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Dare to Play and Dylan Tours!

If you haven't subscribed to our YouTube Channel, you might not have gotten the latest news on a few videos we uploaded.

Here's a spectacular video put together by one of our amazing artists, James. It's a great video to share with your friends who have never heard of Nancy Drew games. It's like saying "You've never played a Nancy Drew game! Well, let me show you what they are like in about one minute!"

Also, just a short time ago, we posted this fun video of one of the lovable characters in Tomb of the Lost Queen. Would you take a Dylan Tour? (~.^) Oh, and by the way, that phone number is totally real, it takes you to our front desk. But we really don't offer you Dylan Tours or lessons with a snake trainer....just the Tomb of the Lost Queen game seen on our page here. XD

We have 27 days left on our Kickstarter campaign! Have you become a backer, yet? I have...I really want those Koko Kringles. XD

~Little Jackalope~

Monday, August 13, 2012

Puzzle Contest + ND Adventure

Hey all! Hope you had a great weekend! Let's get right to business:

There were a few typos in the puzzle, but had been fixed. We still will accept all entries since the end answer is still the same.

The puzzle is an [ottendorf or "book" cipher]. The word "pledge" linked directly to our Kickstarter page and was nudging you to look through all of the pledge levels. Each number set I provided means the following:

First number: [pledge level].
Second number: [Line number].
Third number: [word in that line].
Fourth number: [letter in that word].

After gathering all of the correct letters, you should end up with [Mystery in History] as your final answer. To be fair to every one, I had Phoenix randomly select a number from all of the correct contest entries. Our winner was randomly chosen to be *insert drum roll here*.
[Kelly L.]!
Phoenix and I had a Nancy Drew adventure over the weekend, and it will take a few posts to cover it all. Today I start with this: We went up Puget Sound here in Washington up to Port Townsend. The trip felt a little like Danger on Deception Island, but it was a nice summer day instead of the grey overcast skies we usually have, which are reflected in the game. After a ferry ride (it was not exactly a whale-watching tour, but fun none-the-less) we walked a beach, heading towards the lighthouse at the end. No, we didn't explore the lighthouse because someone might've been staying in it, but we did take pictures! (Ok, Phoenix took these pictures. Thanks Phoenix!)

And look! When we walked along the beach, we passed by some cairns!
I'll be talking about the castle (ahh!!) later. (~.^)
~Little Jackalope~

Friday, August 10, 2012

Contest!! Weekend Puzzle #207

We are having a contest this weekend on the blog!

Here are the rules, read carefully!
1. Solve the weekend puzzle below.
2. When you think you have the right answer , email it to with the subject line "Weekend Puzzle". Please include your name and age in the email (and of course the end answer).
3. The prize? A digital download to Secret of the Scarlet Hand game.

4. The time? Contest begins now and ends at 10am PST on Monday, August 13th.
5. One winner will be randomly drawn from all of the full correct entries by 5pm, Monday, August 13th. (We want to be fair and give everyone a chance.) :) Each contestant may only enter once.
6. This contest is open to everyone. (Even outside the U.S.)
7. You may discuss the puzzle and help each other out on the message boards here if you wish, but keep in mind that everyone who enters the right answer has a fair chance at winning.

And here is your puzzle. Ready detectives? Let your brains and pencils begin! (This is my favorite cipher!) ;)

*Edited* Due to the addition of the $5.00 pledge level on our Kickstarter page, the puzzle has been revised and corrected. The answer is still the same, so do not worry if you have already submitted.


Good luck sleuths!
~Little Jackalope~

Thursday, August 9, 2012

A Normal Day...Screaming

It was just any normal day today, we are focusing on Kickstarter, working on ESRB, finalizing Beta for The Deadly Device when suddenly...we hear a man scream! And then again, a little different, and then again! Our ears have perked up and we notice the screams were coming from a room close by. It's coming from the conference room!!

A few curious folks, myself included, sneaked closer to learn what is going on. It was one of our artists in a voice recording session with our writer, Nik! Since our artist, Josh, is playing the role of one of our characters, the production team needed some last minute screams to go into the game.

A moment later the two of them nonchalantly walked out, coffee cups and notebooks in hand, as if they were getting out of a serious meeting. Yep, those our our kind of 'em!

~Our main conference room is the dark one seen here~

Later, they returned to the conference room for another screaming session, this time the screams were broken up by laughter here and there. It must have been pretty funny. XD

Oh, speaking of our writer, Nik received a gift of behold! Chico-sticks, as he had mentioned in his video interview at 6:29. Perhaps that was what Sonny was referring to as the "disgusting gift" mentioned in his post last week?

Head's up! Tomorrow's weekend puzzle will be a CONTEST!! Whoo-hoo!! Prepare your pencils and stay tuned to learn more!
~Little Jackalope~

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Preparing our Games

This is a rather broad blog post title. Preparing our games could mean a lot of different things. At the moment, the production team is preparing for Beta, getting all the important "bugs" fixed and all critical cinematics and elements into the game.

The art team is preparing for ND#28, and some have already begun on their respective environments.

As for me, I'm preparing The Deadly Device game footage and notes to submit to ESRB, the Entertainment Software Rating Board. Once I submit our game to them, they take a look at it and determine what the game rating will be. (E for Everyone, or E10+ for Everyone ages 10 and up).

What I'd really like to see happen is all of us in the office preparing to launch Tomb of the Lost Queen (and future games) onto a tablet as well. Obviously I'm about to mention our Kickstarter Campaign. XD (Which has made it to the Staff Picks section!!) Also, Venture Beat wrote an article on us! Hooray! We still have a long ways to go to get this project fully funded, and thanks to everyone who have already pledged! Wow! 101 backers right now! I wonder if they'd accept Pa Pennies...

Great work detectives! You have solved Phoenix's puzzle! Here's how you do it:
1. Convert the numbers to letters:
2. Arrange them by rail fence cipher: [FEALSPFLDDFACYPASLOO]
3. Replace letters with different letters, just like how you would decode/translate the glyphs into real words in Tomb of the Lost Queen. After much trial and error, the correct answer you should get is: [Interview with actress]. We are referring to the $1,000 pledge level, where you get to talk with Lani Minella, the voice actress who has been Nancy Drew since the very beginning! Have you checked out all the other fun rewards on the pledge levels of our Kickstarter Campaign?

~Little Jackalope~

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Kickstarter Campaign Live!!

So as you can see, I'm back. The password to get into my account was "sonnywuzhere", thanks guys! I would have eventually got in...

Hooray!! Our Kickstarter campaign is now live! Spread the word, and pledge to back us up as we aim to raise enough money to port our games to mobile devices. (The PC/Mac games are not going away, we just want to make them available on phones and tablets as well). Watch all the videos on our page for more information. Here is our outtakes video, one of my favorites! XD

And it looks as if one of the pledge rewards are a couple of *gasp* Koko Kringle chocolate bars, starting at the $50 level. I don't care...that's exactly what I'm going for! Yum. No matter how high you go with the pledge level you select, you will get everything from the previous pledge levels as well, but only if we can get this project fully funded in 35 days. Oh the suspense!! XD Spread the word! Every one who pledges $10 or more will get a copy of the game.

So exciting!! (^_^)

Also, nobody has solved the weekend puzzle! Here are the first two steps: [Step 1: Turn each of the numbers into letters. 1 = A, 2 = B and so on]. And then [step 2: use the rail fence cipher to properly arrange them]. Step three is the TMB reference... extra hint: [no logic, just replacing].

~Little Jackalope~

Monday, August 6, 2012

Time Goes By...Fast!

Oh my! Where did the time go today? It went by so very fast, and here's why: tomorrow we launch our Kickstarter campaign! We have been busy preparing for this for a long time now, putting great care into our presentation. Why? Because we want our games to go mobile (starting with Tomb of the Lost Queen). This means the real-full game (just like the PC/Mac games) will be playable on on both Android and iOS tablets and phones. I don't know about you, but getting to play a full Nancy Drew game in the car on a road trip sounds like a good pastime! The only way to make this happen is if we raise enough money to get it going.

Anyways, I've been thinking about time, especially when you are busy focusing on something important. When playing a Nancy Drew game, what feels like only an hour can turn into a really late night when you are having fun solving a mystery. Phoenix herself admitted to staying up really late playing a game or two. XD Nancy doesn't mind, though. If the game happens in a single day or night, then she is still awake with you. If you play a game where it switches between day and night, well, lucky for Nancy who gets plenty of rest!

By the way, it looks like one person had the right idea for a solution to the weekend puzzle. ;) Here's another hint: L = E.

And thanks all for the tips when it comes to my password. It isn't any of the following: koko kringle, KokoKringles, Jackalopesrule, awsume, anunakie, aliens or Spacebaby. Any other thoughts? :P

~Little Jackalope~

Friday, August 3, 2012

It's me! Little Jackalope! Puzzle #362

So, when I came into the office today, I read an email that I apparently received late last night that said my password here had been changed. o.O And when I hopped online to check out this blog, behold! A post was made by Sonny Joon. Grr!

Any guesses what my new password might be? I have to use the main Her Interactive account to post right now until I figure my out my own password...

Anyways, here is your puzzle today. This one's brought to you by Phoenix, it has a little TMB feel to the 3rd part.

Hints: F = I and A = T and O = S

Also, Happy Birthday to Alyssa, and ILUVNANCY!!! who each turn 14 this week. Hope you have a good one!

PS: I will get you Sonny Joon!
~Little Jackalope~

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Aliens are Coming!

Not really, but I like that title. It should be the title of a Nancy Drew game or something.
Mwahaha! I have hacked into the Amateur Sleuth Blog and changed Little Jackalope's password. Until she figures it out...I'm the only one with access! Who's got the skills? This guy!

I have secrets I really wanted to share with my fans.

1. I know that the hollowed-out egg that Little Jackalope received last time with the note and my alien sketch was in fact, not placed in the drawer by our Designer, Cathy like she thought. It was someone else...

2. I've been creating a bit of a fiasco with notes around the office, especially with Phoenix, but also with a few others. I will say this: someone is about to get something that they will find disgusting.

3. Plan #271 has worked! My super awesome, totally out-of-this-world, koko-liscious famous celebrity kandy bar will be coming back...but it will be difficult for any normal person to get them. Sorry fans, I could only get it so far, but if you look closely at what new things Her Interactive is up to, you might notice where it is quietly inserted.

Oh look! Something flew past the window!! *Gasp* An Alien? Wait...wait...nope. It's a Blue Angel. Bummer. Oh look! Ducks!

Gotta go!
Sonny Joon

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Tours and Funny Directions

What a busy, fun-filled day! Today I got to lead a tour group around our office. They were high school students who had participated in a contest where they had to present a game design (so cool!). In our conference room, we brought in members from each of the Her Interactive departments to present themselves, give a brief about what they do, and opened it up for Q and A. They got to see the inside of The Deadly Device game, however incomplete it was, but it was soooo cool hearing again from each department. I never get tired of hearing about how we make our games.

Today is also one of our fan's birthdays!

New story: A few days ago my computer monitor heard me coming in, so it got scared and decided to not turn on. Time for a new monitor! Our Network Ninjas came over and replaced my monitor, leaving a small key that unlatches it from the base that it sits on. Attached to the key was a tag with visual warnings about how to handle this monitor, base, and key. it was so funny, that I had to share it, and include my own captions to each picture:

Oh yes, monitors can be very dangerous!
~Little Jackalope~