Friday, June 28, 2013

Weekend Puzzle #202

Hooray for Friday! The team at Her Interactive has been working hard on a small new...thing...for next month, so stay tuned to learn more!

Sonny Joon has apparently been quite busy with his to speak, in Tomb of the Lost Queen. This time, his focus is on aliens! He has quite the fascination for space, as you can see, since he wrote a book on the subject!

This image is also available in the merchandise store for you to design a product with. This is the iPad case with his book art on it. This image can be found in the Tomb of the Lost Queen section once you go to choose your product.'s your weekend puzzle! What do you suppose it means? I'll tell you! It's a project I'm working on for mid-July. There you go. You could probably guess it.

And we have a birthday! Hooray!

~Little Jackalope

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Sonny Joon and Purple-Haired Guys

In The Phantom of Venice, one of the characters writes a little about Sonny Joon, while another character mentions how colorful his hair was. The team here at Her Interactive has their own colorful-haired guy, and his name is Alex. We interviewed him in an Amateur Sleuth Blog video! This video will be going live today, so be sure to check out our YouTube channel here!

After leaving his trail in the Caribbean and Venice, Sonny was lightly mentioned in The Captive Curse. His resume is hidden somewhere in the game. Have you seen it?

His past job experiences are quite entertaining to read about, and it also mentions his presence in other locations from previous games we didn't know well as a few future locations that Nancy will be visiting after Bavaria.

~Little Jackalope~

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Sonny Does His Research

In Ransom of the Seven Ships, Sonny's notebook becomes very helpful to Nancy. His research notes from being out in the field, studying the terribly clever Vervet monkeys, helps you understand how to play their games, and ultimately get you rewards that you will need later. Wow, Sonny has been to this remote island in the Caribbean, too! Where has he not been?

The doodle of himself on this notebook cover is what's in the Where's Sonny? contest we currently have going on.

His doodles in this book are among his best work, I think. Also, a combination of his doodles can be found on an image in our merchandise store in the Ransom of the Seven Ships category when you go to design your product. This is my choice item: the mouse pad, which many of you know can also be seen in The Deadly Device on Mason's desk.

I love Sonny's notebooks!

~Little Jackalope~

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Sonny in Paris with a Chance of Aliens

First of all, we are announcing the Caption Contest today! We will post the winner on our home site as well as our Facebook page.

Sonny's doodles return in Danger by Design not only in his notes, but also as set as his --now Nancy's-- desktop wallpaper. You, too, can have his peaceful aliens star as your own desktop wallpaper by clicking here, or below on the image.

This is one of my favorite doodles of his: this center alien.

I'm sort of jealous that Sonny and Nancy got to work in Paris, France. That would so cool to spend time there, exploring the flea markets, taking photos of the Eiffel tower, eating creme de glace...but no frog legs, thank you!

However, having a nasty-tempered boss would certainly not be ideal. Have you been fortunate to travel to Paris? Sonny knew how to leave his signature mark....if you know what I mean, haha! XD

~Little Jackalope~

Monday, June 24, 2013

When Sonny "Showed Up"

Hey all! I'm currently in San Diego off on an adventure with flat Sonny (see the summer contest we have going on here.) I will try getting some fun photos taken of Sonny and me to post on Facebook (unless you've seen some already!).

Until I return to really talk about my travels with Sonny, I thought that this week would be grand to write about where Sonny Joon could be "found" in the Nancy Drew games. We have never really seen or even talked to Sonny Joon. His doodles, helpful notebooks, and Koko Kringle wrappers have left helpful tips for solving the current mysteries.

The first game his notes and doodles appeared was in ND#6: Secret of the Scarlet Hand. Sonny Joon was the former intern at the Beech Hill Museum, and he left behind his stuff.

Hmm...he sure seems to like space aliens, cartoon doodles....and Koko Kringle bars!

Today's the last day to participate in the Facebook Caption Contest! We only accept creative entries in that post.

As for the weekend puzzle, here's the solution:
The first part of the numbers refer to [the Nancy Drew game titles. #1 is Secrets Can Kill, #2 is Stay Tuned for Danger and so on.] The second part means the [letter you count to in that title, so the third letter of Alibi in Ashes would be "i" for example.] Once you count all the letters you will get this answer: [Have Sonny Will Travel].

~Little Jackalope~

Friday, June 21, 2013

Weekend Puzzle #201

Even though we skipped celebrating the 200th puzzle last week, we can still celebrate this milestone! Hooray for puzzle #201!

Next week I will be out on vacation in San Diego, taking pictures with Flat Sonny for some contest fun (of course, I can't win, but you sure can!). Were will you take flat Sonny this summer? Follow us on Facebook to see where my own Sonny will show up next week!

Since I will be out having real adventures, I won't be able to post any extra birthday shout-outs until I return. I still have some Sonny Joon blog posts coming up for you, though. Until I return, see you on Facebook!

Speaking of Facebook, we have a weekend Caption Contest going on over there. Head over to post your most creative caption for a chance to win this mug from our Merchandise store!

We do have a birthday this weekend though!

~Little Jackalope~

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Girls and Technology

Not too long ago I posted about how Nancy Drew games are made for everyone: girls, boys, and adults, young and old. Now I would like to point out why we focus on and continue to encourage girls. Yes, you may see that our company name is "Her", and our web site is now pink, and we often try to show our games to girls first. There are reasons for this. (Guys are still welcome, of course!)

First, we want girls to see that games are fun for them, too. The thing is, girls have it made tough. Being a girl myself, I can see from this perspective. Typically, video games are made attractive to guys, made by guys, and made for guys. Guys are encouraged to pursue business, math, science and technology in training and in school for those real-world job skills as well.

I remember starting a high school class called "Information Technology" because I was interested in a computer job. In a class of 25, there were only two girls. Me and Desiree. Where were the other girls? Later I took web design class and a computer animation class. In both classes there were only about 4 girls in each one. Why? I found these classes to be so informative and fun (hey! We were making things!)

Her Interactive strives to break the walls down of girl isolation in technology, math and science and inspire, interest, and encourage young girls and ladies to learn those "guy" skills...which are skills anybody can have. Us girls simply need to be shown these things and then be encouraged to give it a try! Actually, I think every young student, guys and girls alike, should be encouraged to try pursuing these skills. Why? Because in the very office I'm writing from are a bunch of skilled, talented men and women designing, programming, marketing and creating some really fun games! And we LOVE doing it! But we can only do it with the knowledge, education, and years of practice that it takes to do what we do.

If you are a guy or a girl still in school, think about what interests you, and if you don't know, take a look at some of the Nancy Drew games. Did you like the puzzle in Pa's general store (Trail of the Twister) that taught you about the tornadoes? What about typing in the correct code in the back of the arcade game in The Haunted Carousel? What about mixing chemicals in The Deadly Device?

There are soo many different things to learn or interest you in the Nancy Drew games. Perhaps something will catch your eye! Follow that trail to find out more about these things! I sure did, and now I work at the greatest company ever doing what I love to do!

~Little Jackalope~

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Haunting Songs

Have you listened to the music while playing Ghost of Thornton Hall? I think it's awesome, and since I have the soundtrack I get to listen to it on speakers just by itself, volume cranked up louder so I can fully appreciate the work and design that was put into the score.

If you'd like to get the digital download songs for yourself, you can order the soundtrack from our site here.

One of the best tracks is called "Sweet Charlotte" which is Charlotte singing her ghostly song. Here are the lyrics for you below:

Twitter Quote Contest is happening now! Head over to participate!
~Little Jackalope~

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

This Week's Office Episode: Secrets and Fans

Last week had some exciting things going on in the office, and this week is filled with more! The Art team has been working up on finishing a milestone for our next game, Production and Development has been testing a few puzzles (and today we had a meeting about the results of these), tomorrow we start discussions on important artwork and themes, as well as have another meeting for the game play of our next game, and the Marketing and Sales teams have been working on something small, but secret for this summer.

I personally have been working hard on a new interview, as well as some merchandise store maintenance (fixing or adding images and such, getting organized in our secret behind-the-scenes folders).

Sadly, I can't share anymore pictures with you about anything I just mentioned because it's all top-secret. However, I certainly can share with you some more fan content!

First of all, it's been a while since I've mentioned this, but we continue to receive Fan Testimonials that we add to our site page here. Ben wanted to share his with everyone, and if you click here and scroll all the way down to the bottom (as of today it's the last/latest one) you can read the rest of what he has to share. We love hearing from our fans!

Also, we have another fan, Kate, who wanted to share her Nancy Drew scrapbook. Nice work, Kate!

And we have another birthday!

~Little Jackalope~

Monday, June 17, 2013

Clock Work

I have a fascination with "time". At times, when things are going slow, tedious, you are impatient, or perhaps things are just dull, time can feel like it's going soooo slow. 30 minutes can feel like an eternity! But when you are having fun, are otherwise intently focused and occupied, or are naturally patient, time may feel like it zips on by!  A full hour can feel like only ten minutes!

Another perspective is the clocks that show us what time of the day it is. The old-fashioned analogue clocks are the most interesting, I think, with their intricate gears, fancy roman numerals and ornate hands. Clocks and time and keep great secrets, and example would be from the game (and book) Secret of the Old Clock.

Another great puzzle example of how clocks keep secrets, would be in Ghost of Thornton Hall. This image from our merchandise store quotes Nancy when she first tries playing with the clocks on the mantle.
Not only have I been looking at this very image, as well as the cover art of Secret of the Old Clock, but my mind has been on another clock...

As for the weekend puzzle, simply translate the dots and dashes as Morse Code. (The slashes are only to break up the code letters). You would get this answer: [Eye spy a ghost]. A reference to Ghost of Thornton Hall.

Birthday! Yay!

~Little Jackalope~

Friday, June 14, 2013

Father's Day Weekend!

Happy early Father's day to all the dads out there! We love our dads, and I find it really awesome when dads (and moms) get to sit next to you when playing a Nancy Drew game. Two heads are always better than one, so solving a mystery the first time with a partner-in-crime makes the mystery-solving business easier, and often more enjoyable!

Do either of your parents play Nancy Drew games with you? If you haven't played Nancy Drew #27: The Deadly Device, this weekend would be a good time to try it out with your Mom or Dad. (Or replay it again!)

Hope everyone enjoys your Father's Day weekend!
Stay sleuthy!
. /_._ _ /.  // ... /._ _. / _._ _ / ._ // _ _ . / .... / _ _ _ / ... / _
~Little Jackalope~

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Second Time Game Play

Do you ever go back to one of your already-solved mystery games to replay it? I admit I do. If you are one of the fans who owns every single Nancy Drew game, all that there is left to do while waiting for the next title, is to replay the older ones. (If you are still collecting every mystery in the Nancy Drew series, which ones are you going to get and play next?)

Personally, I like to replay the games in order to play the story order differently. My habit may be to talk to all the characters first when I begin the game, but the second and third time I play, I try to collect all the awards at the end, spend time hunting for Easter Eggs, and enjoy replaying puzzles and fun activities, like filling orders at the snack shop in Warnings at Waverly Academy.

However, when it goes to the scary mysteries, that first initial scare moment is not quite the same as the first time I began the mystery. In fact, I look forward expectantly to seeing the scare scenes! With Ghost of Thornton Hall, it's still a bit surprising since you can't be 100% sure when Charlotte's ghost least..I can't put my finger on when that exactly happens...yet.

Anyways, this is what my reaction looks like when I get to see the ghost again:

Yep. Nerd.

I'm curious...what do you look forward to when playing a Nancy Drew game? Either new or already played mysteries?

~Little Jackalope~

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Behind these Walls

I love to explore new places. Sharing Nancy's curiosity to search new environments and discover new locations led me to write about traveling and exploring...again. Especially with the Sonny Joon contest in mind, this summer is a great time to set out on a sunny day to see the nearby sites, or simply drive through the city to see old buildings and interesting architecture. Learn more about the Sonny Joon summer contest we are having here!

What do you suppose happens in this particular building? Why would I take a picture of this random, stand-alone red brick building with old painted graffiti and signs on it?

I shall leave with you this mystery: It is an important building for us, particularly the top (sixth) floor. We were up there today. "We" as in several team members from our office. It had to be today. The top floor holds secret files we need. Several doors up there had locks. I cannot reveal much more until later.

Where do you think this picture was taken? What were we doing here?
~Little Jackalope~

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Images from GTH

I've been looking at favorite images from inside Ghost of Thornton Hall to put a list together for the merchandise store. I have a long list, and from time to time I check the message boards to see what other fans want added as well.

While it does take a while to re-create the pictures to best fit each merchandise item, we have been able to add one more this week. Check it out! Per your request (and my wish) may I present the Ghost Book and Ghost Book Art of Charlotte:

These are just the iPad designs, of course. They may look a little different on other items, but I'd suggest heading over to browse the shop and try your hand at designing some products. It's really fun to see the sample images (please note: if there is a white space surrounding the image in the preview mode, don't worry; it will go away once it goes to print on the item).

We have an exciting day tomorrow! Some team members and I will be traveling over to Seattle for some game voice recording sessions for our next Nancy Drew mystery. Yay!
~Little Jackalope~

Monday, June 10, 2013

Traveling for Memories

Traveling is one of the best summertime activities, I think, because the sun is out, the weather is warm, and school is out! (And there is a contest this summer, if you haven't heard! Click here to learn more!)

Shopping for souvenirs may be quite fun when traveling, but I personally like to collect more memories and experiences than fun trinkets. Like Nancy Drew, when I travel, I try new things, explore new places and taste new foods. To keep a snapshot of these memories, creating a scrapbook with random little pieces from the travel adventure is sure fun, but another way to remember those memories is to take...what else? Pictures!

This weekend I went traveling to the next city across from our office location: Seattle. Of course, I took flat Sonny with me to help add this memory to the travel log...and to also post this memory here!

My travel memory is this: I hunted for a restaurant close enough to the Space Needle so that I could take my picture from a safe, photo-friendly location and still get this icon in the background. Once I found a restaurant, I parked, went up to the sidewalk and turned around.

"Oh no!" I thought, staring up at the tall tower. "The sun is right next to it!" This is a horrible thing for anyone who knows two bits about photography: The sun will fill the camera with too much light and you won't get a very good shot. I only had 30 minutes to keep my car parked here, so I started to think. "Well, it's too late for lunch and too early for dinner, but I'll go inside for a sure is hot anyway," I said to myself, but not out loud 'cause that's silly.

After coming out of the restaurant with a blueberry-pomegranate smoothie, I leaned up against the building wall, looking at the Space Needle. Nuts. The sun hasn't moved much very far. I looked to my right and noticed that the shadow of the Space Needle was cast on the driveway of the restaurant, not far away. What a perfect place to stand to get a shot of the Space Needle without the sun blinding us! Not really. The restaurant driveway was a dangerous place to stand for a picture. Hmm. If I wait long enough, the shadow will move in my direction...

Standing up against the wall for another ten minutes enjoying the smoothie, I waited. Finally, the Space Needle shadow was on me and the sun had hidden behind the iconic tower. Yay! Photo-op!

Sonny--and Little Jackalope--wuz here!

As for the weekend puzzle, all you had to do was [turn the numbers into letters (A=1, B=2, C=3 and so on)] and then read it like a [rail fence cipher (up, down then left to right).] Voila! Your answer!

This hints to something we are working on behind the scenes.

~Little Jackalope~

Friday, June 7, 2013

Where's Sonny Contest!

Hooray for Fridays!

Today we started a brand new contest called Where's Sonny? Check it out here, and download your flat Sonny and take a photo of yourself with him, then post it to our Facebook wall, tagging Nancy Drew PC Games in the comment. Where will you go this summer with flat Sonny? I'm looking forward to seeing all your awesome pictures!

Here is Weekend Puzzle #199, enjoy!

Also, we have a couple of birthdays to celebrate!

~Little Jackalope~

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Gelato and Tea

Do I talk about food too much? Perhaps. But food can be quite an adventure! Especially when trying new things.

In Ghost of Thornton Hall, you have the option to make tea. In the parlor, by the door, is an old-fashioned tea set where you can pour yourself a cup of tea and if you'd like; add a spoonful of sugar, a sprig of mint and a lime. Or any combination of those you'd prefer...

In real life I often have a cup of tea, but not usually in a fancy old tea cup with saucer. I usually have an English Breakfast tea in a huge mug with a little bit of hazelnut coffee creamer. That's just how I like it. Is iced tea better? Or do you like tea served hot?

Today, a few team members and I went on an afternoon ice cream hunt since it was really hot outside today...particularly in search for Gelato...which is different by the way. (Gelato is made from milk, while ice cream is made from cream). We went to a little outdoor Gelato shop and there I tried two flavors: salted caramel and Nutella chocolate. The salted caramel was best.

I failed to get a snapshot (my hands were full) of this cute stand and treat. The Gelato did remind me of first of Alibi in Ashes with all the crazy ice cream flavors, but more accurately I should mention The Phantom of Venice. At Velina's flower stand are several flavors guessed it...Gelato! If you ever get the chance to try Gelato, add that to your secret list of real-life Nancy Drew moments, 'cause it totally counts.

Psssst! We have a contest coming up soon! Be sure to sign up for our newsletter to stay updated.
~Little Jackalope~

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Merch, Fan Art, and Food

Today I have a little bit of everything to share!

First, Check out this fan's artwork! Aubrey did this as a class assignment and received a decent grade....I think she deserved it! Nice job, Aubrey!

Today was another food truck day, and the special were crepes. Yum. I went ahead and got two helpings; the one shown below was a ratatouille lunch, and my second was a strawberry/chocolate mouse/almonds/cream mix for dessert. Yum. Have you ever had a crepe? Or ratatouille? (This ratatouille had all sorts of colorful vegetables with feta cheese and an artichoke pesto. Sounds crazy healthy, but it was well-seasoned and wonderful!).

Also, we have a new image up in our merchandise store for you to design a product with: "Keep Calm and Sleuth On".

And lastly, there is a Twitter quote contest going on today. Head over for a chance to win a digital guide!
~Little Jackalope~

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Wildlife: The Geese Episode

As some of you may know, the Her Interactive office is in a building located on a wildlife refuge of sorts. Behind our building is a slough and further away is dense vegetation for all sorts of critters to hang out in.

The critter that rules over all is the Canadian Geese. These guys are quite the characters! Once they have their goslings in spring, stay away! They can be quite protective and fierce; they will hiss if you come too close walking along the path around the building complex, and if you try to be brave and pass them, there is a chance they will chase you. And you do not want to be chase by this huge bird!

Our IT Network Ninja was driving down the street, and they commanded every one's attention as their goslings followed suit as they strolled down the busy street, heading towards the south-bound freeway: (click the images for a larger view)

The baby goslings are really cute and fluffy, and this was as close as I could get before papa goose became leery of my presence:

"Hey guys! Lunch is on me!" Wait, what?! Sometimes people like to throw stuff at them, like tomatoes... 'cause that seems like an appropriate thing to throw... I guess...

~Little Jackalope~

Monday, June 3, 2013

Creating A Puzzle in GTH

Now that Ghost of Thornton Hall is out and many of you have played it, it's about time I share some of the secret, behind-the-scenes moments in creating the puzzles in this new game.

Back in 2012, on the 14th of November, one of the artists (Jayme) and our Lead Tester (Jeanne) let me hover over their shoulders to snap a few photos of them working on a puzzle in the crypt: The stained glass window.

It really starts with an early design sketch from our Designer, Cathy, who writes out how the puzzle looks, where it goes, how to play it, and what it does once you've solved it. (See picture on the left below). Then an artist (such as Jayme) will start illustrating the parts of this puzzle, including every little piece, which is set aside.

Once it is fully illustrated and laid out, the artist will pass the pieces over to a member in Production. A game programmer will drop the pieces of the puzzle into the game build, and begin writing the code to make the pieces (the colored glass tiles) able to be picked up, put down, and rotated. While he checks the game to make sure it works properly, the programmer will also add sound effects to each action of code he writes for the puzzle pieces. Clink! Clink! Swoosh! are better sound effects for a glass tile puzzle rather than a Thud! Bang! Clunk! sound that may be for a wood-themed puzzle...

Next, when the puzzle has been created, our testing team will play the puzzle to check to see if it works properly and logically, as well as visually. (See above picture on the right). They need to make sure that the correct solution will also trigger a "solved" state, like if the puzzle will reward you with an inventory object, or for the Stained Glass puzzle: a word.

Looks like many of you solved the weekend puzzle! Here's the solution:

This message could mean just about anything if you are in the middle of playing Ghost of Thornton Hall! However, if you have the BONUS EDITION, this is an extra nudge for you to find all the phone charms...

~Little Jackalope~