Friday, February 27, 2009

A Weekend Puzzle #2

Want to know one of the names of a RAN character? Solve the riddle below for a first name.

-Evolutionary Revolutionary Ship

· -3

· 3

· -3

· +14th on the end


Good luck :)

For the Star Wars fans….

There are quite a few fans of Star Wars around HI, here are some pictures from artist Donovan and scripter Ryan’s LEGO Star Wars desktop collections:

Donovan -

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Can you name which movie(s) these appeared in?

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Hidden within this AT-AT is a little engine – it can walk and swivel its head!

Ryan -

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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Snowed in / The Famous Slough

It keeps snowing!!!

Here’s another picture of the outside of HI headquarters – you can see the famous slough – full of water which only moves ever so slightly every once and while. I actually just learned that our building is surrounded by wetlands, so we kind of have a nice little Northwest nature park right outside.


When spring and summer arrive there is a lot more “action” outside, plenty of birds and fish and bees and… game developers (oh my!)

All of the lucky people with offices on the backside of the building have perfect views of all of the budding nature and some employees even keep binoculars close by their desk just in case something cool decides to show itself.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

HI <3 its pets!

We <3 our pets at HerInteractive! Here are some of them:

Game Scripter Manager Alena –Tavi the dog, Vaska the cat

Alena - Tavi Vaska

President MeganCuffy the cat

Megan2 Megan

Game Scripter Lead AnneHersey the dog (Field Spaniel)

Anne - Hershey

Designer Cathy - Niobe  

Cathy - Niobe 

Tech Support guru Jeanne - Tika
Cathy - Tika

Art Lead Ayu – Fishy Fish

FishyFish - Ayu

Artist Zack – Ichabod the cat (purebreed Scottish Fold)

“Ichabod is a biblical name meaning “the glory has departed from Israel”,  and has been used by writers to denote characters who fall from grace or represent false glory.”

Ichabod - Zachary 2

Artist Jayme – Beezle the cat

Jayme - Beezle

QA Lead Nora – Paho the bunny (a Holland Lop)

“Paho means “ice” in Romani, and he got his name because he joined our family during an epic storm this past December”

 Nora - Paho

Admin Sara Yuki the cat (Silver-rosetted Bengal)

Sara - Yuki

Casual Producer Melissa – Chaddy the dog

Melissa - Chaddy

Artist James – Pancake, Kula,Kyo & Roo 

James - PancakeJames - Ula James - Kyo James - Roo

And finally… my cat Zoey! She lives in a castle…


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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Super Mario Land : The Board game

Ok, not quite, but still a cool little paper set :)





Monday, February 23, 2009

And the answer to the weekend puzzle is…

Hey everyone, great sleuthing!

I am 1st to the rainbow and second to Snow White’s sister.  What am I?”

The answer is……


The “code” is that this is the three-letter abbreviation code being used for the upcoming ND Dossier #2!

1. The first color on the rainbow scale is Red.Rainbow



2.In the original Brothers Grimm version of Snow White, Snow White has a sister named Rose Red. SnowWhiteRoseRed

As soon as I posted the riddle I saw that there were several sleuthers online who figured it out pretty quickly, but I decided to post the answer today to give others some more time.

Don’t worry – the next one is harder (stay tuned for that sometime later this week).

P.S. – oh yeah, “Redondo” is nowhere in the full title.



Friday, February 20, 2009

A Weekend Puzzle

Hey there sleuthers, here’s a fun riddle for the weekend, courtesy of Mari, one of our game designers!



To find out the code for Nancy Drew Dossier 2, solve the following riddle.

“I am 1st to the rainbow and second to Snow White’s sister.  What am I?”



Have fun, and have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Lunchtime Show and Tell

At one of our lunch meetings we took a short break to have a little Show and Tell with people who had something that they wanted to share.

You can zoom in on these ones to see the detail!!

Game designer Robert shared a few pieces from his massive collection of Warhammer figurines – he hand paints each figurine and he told me that each metal figurine can take from 3-10 hours to paint from start to finish!

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This is Executive Producer Robert’s butterfly net “Martha” – the technique for catching a butterfly is different from what you think: when threatened, butterfly’s always fly upwards (curiously, moths always fly downwards), so when you want to catch one with your net you sweep up under the butterfly with a “tennis forehand” motion. When the butterfly is caught you can transfer them to a simple plastic container to examine them further.


Designer Cathy’s claim to fame: an appearance on a local bands CD case! (She’s in the picture, you can see the back of her head)


Artist Jayme brought in and explained her technique for creating  homemade yarn (she was promptly invited to join HI’s resident Knitting Club)



Scripter Erik showcased the basics to some of his published theories about the topic of Fuzzy Numbers.



And I brought in… a singing Michael Jackson doll :)

My mom bought it for me a long time ago and it’s never been opened (I wonder if it’s worth something?) It sings “Black or White”, but I brought it in because MJ is one of my favorite musical artists.



Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Intern Perks #2

HI provides a whole bunch of free snacks & drinks for hungry devs (short for developers)… free food? Haha, the best perk of course!


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See anything you like?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Walkthrough Meetings

I participate in what’s called a  “walkthrough meeting” each week and from a development perspective it is extremely important during the planning process for a game.

Designers use a walkthrough sheet to "map out" the scenes for the game. I would compare the walkthrough sheet as being most similar to a storyboard for a movie; each “scene” is designed and planned out in relation to others, creating a linear storyline.


Every couple of weeks there is a different “player” (Ian from marketing is “playing” right now), and the group (full of artists, testers, producers, designers, scripters…Intern) follows as the player verbally moves through the game with the developer (ex. “Ok, I found the map, now I go and sleuth to find it’s owner…I open the door…. I go do some chores, etc.)

At this point, the developer and the scriptwriter can hash out a players experience before the game is even built, adding the ability to find plot holes and introduce new scenes even before the physical development (art, voiceovers, etc.) begins. Along with puzzle creation and scriptwriting, it functions to develop the overall arching story for a title.

Hmm, I wonder what this walkthrough is for….


Friday, February 13, 2009

$11,000 Diamond Mario

$11,000 Mario Pendant. (Now that’s what happens to Mario when you find the Super Star – lol)



The frame is made of 10 karat gold and the total amount of diamonds adds up to 14.5 cts. Total estimated price: $11,857 dollars.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

ND en Francais

Parlez-vous francais? Ouais, je parle un peu… quelqu’un?



Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Guest Writer Mari speaks about Prototyping in Puzzle Design!

Hey ND Fans, today I have a *special entry* from a guest-writer: one of the designers for the ND dossier series, Mari! I spoke to her briefly about some of her methods for designing puzzles and riddles for games, and she decided to write a little bit about her techniques!

Also, for all the super-sleuths out there, the images are full size (if you click through), no more having to zoom in 400% with Photoshop :) (Hmmm, what do these puzzles mean? *hint hint*)


Subject: Prototyping

After much trial and error, I’ve discovered that this is the single best thing you can do for an activity in a game.  Prototyping can make the kernel of an idea much, much, MUCH better… it can also kill a bad puzzle that I initially thought was a good puzzle, which I suppose makes it better in the long run, anyways.  :)

This also means that I test a lot of concepts on my poor coworkers and colleagues (this happens to be Melissa most of the time).  See below for some of the things I have subjected them to recently:

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As you can see, I love my sticky notes… A LOT.  I have yet to find anything that works better when I need feedback quickly. - Mari


Thanks Mari!

If you have any questions for Mari, or any questions about prototyping, post them in the comment session!