Friday, October 30, 2009

Puzzle 31 and Halloween!

Halloween's tomorrow, I hope you're all prepared! Participation in the office has been somewhat... limited, though I've been assured that many will be dressing up and going out tomorrow.

Don't forget to get some puzzle play in too. Here's this week's mind-melter:

-- Puzzle 31 --

Spider: (h1,H3)(A4,b4)(d9,e7)(a5,b5)(A8,A9)(h5,i4)(h7,h8)(c6,d6)(E4,f6)(h4,h5)(C1,C2)(h9,I9)

Pumpkin: [D2,f2][a1,a2][c8,c9][d3,f3][h1,h2][a1,B1][a9,b9][c6,c7][g5,i4][H8,h9][d6,f6][G1,h1]

Candy: {a1,a2}{g9,H9}{h1,h2}{d5,f6}{A2,b2}{b7,c7}{g3,h3}{g8,g9}{d9,E9}{E2,f1}{f3,f4}{a8,a9}

Ghost: |i4,i5||d9,e7||e3,f1||H4,i4||a6,b5||b4,b5||i7,i9||b3,c3||c1,C2||c6,D6||A7,b7|


Good luck! And for those of you who intend to hit the streets have fun, but remember to be safe too! Enjoy the great holiday!

- Novel -

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Day Before

Halloween is just two days away! I hope you've got a costume all planned out. I know a few of us at the office have got some ideas. Why, we might even dress up tomorrow! We had some great costumes last year; pirates, princesses, and pumpkins just to name a few. I haven't heard anything about this year though, everyone's being rather secretive...

But what about you all? What's your costume this year? Are you going to stay in and pass out treats? or do you have a ghoulish party to crash?

And , as promised, here's your solution for Puzzle #30.

-- Puzzle 30 Solution --

In order to solve this puzzle you'll need to do a little bit of wordplay. Your first clues are in the rules; The first rule helps establish your cipher, in this case first of fifty references
[ the fifty states of the US., as well as what letter you use ]
The second rule helps you create an order so you can assign values and reinforces what you'll be ordering, this done by
[ listing all fifty states in alphabetical order ]

Once they're in order, you'll need to apply the numbers in the puzzle to give you a letter. Simply count down your list till you reach the number, and choose
[ the first letter of the state's name ]

By following these steps, we can then fill in the blanks, spelling out
[ Your name in red ].


Nice job on the solve, everyone! Let's look at those answers carefully though... [ You are Mr. Mingles and Your name in red (RED) ] It almost sounds like instructions. I wonder if there is anyway to combine the two in some sort of game-space... hmmm... oh well, just thinking aloud...

- Novel -

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The MidWeek Crew

I triumphantly return to my blogging post today. And so, I must sincerely thank my loving co-worker for filling in whilst I was making a recovery.

We've got a TV crew in here today! Our president, Megan, is being interviewed by a local news station. There's been a lot of buzz these days about girls and video games, as well as women in the industry. And as I know you're all aware we've got quite the line on both of those topics. I haven't exactly been briefed on all the lowdown (station info, broadcast time, etc.) but I'm sure the marketing crew will be all a twitter (as always, those hip-cats) plus we'll be sure to post the video online as soon as we've got it. Tres exciting!

And for your Wednesday enjoyment.

I managed to snap this shot in our supply closet. You know, where we keep the back-up batteries, rubber bands, and... Jolly Ranchers...? I think we might have a slight obsession with candy.

You all didn't even miss a beat with the puzzle last weekend (I'll be posting the solution, with a little extra, tomorrow.) It was solved amazingly fast. Continuing our designer rotation, we've got a puzzle from Rob this Friday, and he's even offered to make it Halloween-themed!

Till then!

- Novel -

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Novel has been out sick - we're hoping for a speedy recovery! In the meantime, I'm stepping in to cover for him until until he gets better. I normally blog on the Dare to Play blog, so I'm not new to this, but we each definitely have our own styles and topics.

Dare to Play covers topics in gaming, girls, and product specific concerns while Amateur Sleuth gives our fans a perspective on life at Her Interactive plus the popular weekend puzzle. We work closely with each other so we don't write about the same topic on the same day, unless we have something exciting that we want everyone to know about. That's what we call a blitz! You might have also noticed that Dare to Play only posts once a week while Amateur Sleuth posts daily - we wanted to give our fans variety in the amount of information they receive. For instance, if you don't visit Her Interactive often, Dare to Play is the blog to go to catch up on the most recent developments and issues in the game industry. Amateur Sleuth is geared for fans who come to our site every day and want to see new and fresh content.

We'd love to hear your thoughts and perspectives about each blog, so leave a comment! How do you view the two blogs and do you like the fact that we have two separate blogs?

Friday, October 23, 2009

Weekend Puzzle 30

And so I close the week with a grand puzzle for you all. This one is gonna be pretty tricky. But hey, that's what weekends are for! Let get right to it!

-- Puzzle 30 --
Rules to Solve:

1) All values are found in the first of fifty

2) The stated order will be alphabetical


Good luck to everyone and have a great weekend!

- Novel -

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Taking Charge

So today we've got a quiet day in the office. Many of the employees are eagerly engaged in discussions on office leadership tactics. Which is totally just some fancy-speak for management training.

The rest of the office is working diligently, in the blissful silence, on ND22! (I know, already we're moving on to the next big thing) And I'm happy to report that, so far it seems as though WAC has been received swimmingly, which is great.

Oh, and I've got one quick thing to add. We'll be changing our front page news tomorrow about some special pricing (can't say anymore than that, unfortunately). So be sure to check out the site.

We've got another excellent puzzle coming up tomorrow, see you then.

- Novel (cover) -

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Knowing How to Relax

So I thought I'd share with you all, a little event that was set up after the release of WAC. Everyone worked really hard to make this game great, and when it finally launched last week we decided to unwind a little bit. So what did we do?

Pancake Breakfast!

That's right, a couple of the fellas here at HI cooked up a furious pancake swarm for all the employees to chow down on. There was fruit and sausages and even some sweet treats. I managed to snap a quick shot of the chow line before it got overrun by all the ravenous artists and coders.

So, yeah, sometimes we treat ourselves pretty good after a big project. What kind of things do you reward yourself with after you've finished a large task?


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Into the Future!

Just gonna do a short one today.

I'm getting to go to a secret design meeting where we'll be discussing concepts for some of our future titles! Can you say ND23-24! I'm not too sure what's gonna happen, but I do know we've certainly asked you guys for a lot of input this year. With all that feedback, I'm really excited to see what we come up with.

Before you get too excited though, I know I'm gonna get sworn to secrecy. But who's to say there won't be a few clues tossed around. :P

See ya in... the Future!


Monday, October 19, 2009

Sloth About

The week has begun. (and so has the fun) :P

I hope you've all been enjoying WAC so far. The big Fall release is always a pretty stressful time for us, but afterwords the office tends to relax a bit. 'Course then the holidays are just around the bend...

Oh, before I forget, the next newsletter is coming out this week. It has a whole lot of info on WAC content (that all you blog readers have the scoop on) but be sure to keep an eye out!

I've seen that someone figured out the answer to puzzle #29, so I'm going to show you how it's solved.

-- Puzzle #29 Answer --

The tHird one Leaps Five to the right,
thE lAst oNe juMps back threE in fright.
The first one Moves forward a Nudge,
but the secOnd Refuses to bUdge.

To solve this you'll need to [ assign the directions from one line to the capital letters in another ] for instance: The 1st line [is governed by the statement made in the 3rd] so we take [ T, H, L, and F ] and based on the words in [line 3, move them all up the alphabet by one ] This gives us [ U, I, M, G ]

Now if we replicate those steps for each line and it's clue we get
[ U, I, M, G, E, A, N, M, E, Y, R, S, L, O, R ]

If you take these letters an unscramble them, you get:
[ You are Mr Mingles ]


Not bad, not bad. Don't forget that at the end of this week, we'll have another puzzle that relates to #29's answer.

See ya tomorrow!

- Novel -

Friday, October 16, 2009

On to Ingenuity

I've got to say, I'm ready for the weekend. :P We've been up to our ears with work, but it's starting to slacken up now.

Watching Waverly ends later today, and To Catch A Cat has released the final video. I think by now we've overloaded you with tons of WAC goodies. Hopefully you've got a little time to curl up and play this weekend (though don't forget to get out and see the beautiful Fall colors.)

There's some good progress on the puzzle, so we're going to hold off on #30. I'll give you another little hint to keep you motivated this weekend.

-- Puzzle #29 Hint --

--- --- -- -------


Ta Da! Okay, enough ranting and raving. I'm calling it a day! Keep it easy!

- Novel (adj.) -

Thursday, October 15, 2009

To Imagine Thursday

Today we're getting near the end of our little adventures. Our two special campaigns are closing tomorrow, so be sure to stay till the end. Watching Waverly has been a lot of fun, and we hope you've enjoyed it. And let us not forget the film shorts, To Catch a Cat, a big thanks to the marketing team for all the cool content they've been able to provide for WAC!

Oh, and just to send this down the grape vine, we'll be releasing a newsletter pretty soon here. It'll be highlighting the WAC launch, so be sure to check it out.

And we've got a new hint for this week's puzzle. It looks like you've lost a bit of steam, so let's see if we can't get you moving again.

-- Hint for Puzzle #29 --

Each line provides a clue for another.


That's a pretty fantastic hint. I guess we'll see how it goes, good luck!

- Novel -

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Image in Wednesday

Now occurring on this Wednesday; photos, videos, and your feedback ;)

We've added Rachel's video to our "Catch a Cat" film series. Be sure to check it out.

I'm certain that by now many of you have already begun your virtual lives at Waverly Academy. Be sure and send us feedback, we want to know if you like it! You can send us your thoughts via email to:

And for the fabulous photo of the week:

Yup, that's a giant, stuffed brain cell; found in an obvious spot - just outside of designer Cathy's cubicle. We always knew she had a big brain, I just didn't know it was so fuzzy. :P

- Novel -

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

In Tuesday

So continuing the string from yesterday; we've added a new chapter to the "Catch a Cat" video on our YouTube page
This particular one focuses on Mel's interactions with the mysterious "Black Cat"
The twitter soap is nearing its conclusion. Oh and we've also made the Warnings at Waverly website live. You should check it out, there's all sorts of cool stuff to do. You can find it here:

and let us not forget the hint for those of you still diligently working on Puzzle #29! Straight from Ben's brain to your computer, here it is:

-- Puzzle 29 Hint --

Be sure to apply the rules only where the poem tells you to.


Oh and let us not forget that WAC launched today! It is finally here, good luck to all you sleuths, we hope you enjoy it! I'll catch ya on the flip side.

- Novel -

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Late Monday Ring

The week has begun again, and WAC is but a day away.

We've been having a lot of fun hyping the latest game, and I hope you all have enjoyed all the great content we've been able to provide for you this time. In keeping with last week's words, I'm proud to bring you some new, exciting stuff today, and for the rest of the week!

First off, we've uploaded the first of five character movies. You can find it on our YouTube page:
Our marketing team came up with a nice little project to give you a bit of insight into the characters and their association with Waverly and the "Black Cat." Hopefully you'll dig it. I've been told they'll release one movie each day this week, so keep an eye out.

Secondly the twitter saga continues and will be wrapping up this week. Be sure to see how the mystery unfolds and leads up to Nancy's arrival. We've got 4 more days of drama to keep you on your toes.
This is another little fun feature that we've been thrilled to work on. The WAC team had to take extra steps to help make this project a reality. They were able to create a new chapter to the case and help prepare you for the adventure in the game! A big thanks to all, especially designer Cathy and writer Nik for their participation. They're the real magic-makers, folks. :P

And lastly for the puzzle players, I've got Ben working on a dazzling hint for you all (unfortunately not till tomorrow.) I'm pleased with the progress, and hopefully we can give you a bit of a push towards the answer. Keep at it!

Until we meet again, adieu!

- Novel -

Friday, October 9, 2009

Weekend Puzzle #29

It's Friday!!!

We've got a pretty awesome puzzle for you today, in fact this one is a "two-fer." You can combine the answer from this puzzle with Puzzle 30 for a pretty cool effect! Of course that means you'll need to solve this week's first, but I've got no doubt that you're up for the task. This particular puzzle is one of the first of many to be built by fledgling Designer Ben. I wish him the best of luck attempting to stump you sleuths, he's gonna need it :P Enough ranting, let's get to it!

-- Puzzle 29 --

The tHird one Leaps Five to the right,
thE lAst oNe juMps back threE in fright.
The first one Moves forward a Nudge,
but the secOnd Refuses to bUdge.


Good luck to everyone. Come on back next week for all the launch festivities and the finale to our Twitter story! ^.^

- Novel -

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Content based Contentment

I'm sure you've no doubt seen that we finally have all the characters and their profiles posted on the website. You can find them here:

I know I keep saying we've got more WAC content coming, but that's because we do! In the next couple of days we should have some excellent video shorts of the characters, and the microsite is on its way as well! Don't worry, I'll be sure to give you the heads up as soon as we put this stuff up. :P

And speaking of new content, we put up the demo for WAC! You can download the game from here:
The demo is the perfect thing to get you psyched about the release, be sure and check it out.

Tomorrow is Friday, and all the fun it brings. Catch you then. ^.^

- Novel (X8) -

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Quick snap

We're crazy busy today, but I wanted to pop by and give you a photo for this fine Wednesday.

Cause a regular air purifier wouldn't be proper for this office! Our artists love to customize not just the cubicles, but also the humdrum items within. I suppose it's nice to make the space feel like home, eh? Makes me think of lockers in high school... I've got WAC on the brain. :P

I'm off again, cya on the 'morrow.

- Novel -

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A Week Away

It looks like were just one week from the official launch of WAC. Are you getting excited? We're a bit nervous, but I think everything is going to hit off quite peachy. You're totally gonna love it!

I hope you've been following the twitter posts so far. The drama is only just beginning! We've got a few surprises to spring before the launch happens, so be sure to keep reading along.

Also, we're going to have a couple new designers try their hands at creating some weekend puzzles. Puzzlemeister Mari is passing the reins, and you can bet that those are some serious shoes to fill. I'll bring you the full details soon.

Short and sweet is the motto for today, so get out there and have fun!

- Novel -

Monday, October 5, 2009

On Puzzles and "Watching Waverly"

Hello again!

Today we started the twitter opera, "Watching Waverly." You can follow 5 of the students in our upcoming game, Warnings at Waverly Academy, as they gossip about their daily lives at school. It's a great way to learn about the characters and setting of the next game. Plus, you'll learn about some of the events taking place just before Nancy arrives! Be sure to check it out. You can see the updates on the left of the blog, or if you've got a twitter account, you can follow the girls themselves! We'll be running it right up until the launch of WAC.

Well, it looks like you guys crushed this weekend puzzle. I'll be sending the designers back to the drawing board. :P Let's check and see how this one was done.

-- Puzzle #28 --

To solve this puzzle you need to read the information and use it to determine who has what items.

Part 1
Nancy, Bess and George were each enjoying a favorite past time. And they were all in the same room. The cousins both had headphones on but one had her blue eyes closed.

Who had a:
• Book? - [ Nancy - as it doesn't allow for headphones ]
• Mp3 player? - [ Bess - she wouldn't need her eyes open to use this ]
• Computer? - [ George - computers use headphones and often are used with eyes open ]

Part 2:
Nancy, Bess and George are working on a mystery and staying in a hotel. Room 34 is on the third floor. George likes heights, so she swapped rooms with Bess. Nancy found out her window was blocked by shrubs!

Who was staying in room:
• 17 - [ Nancy - shrubs would be on the first floor and since 34 for is the third floor, we can assume 17 is the first ]
• 26 - [ Bess - given that Nancy is in 17 and George is in 34, this is the only other room. ]
• 34 - [ George - we know she took the highest floor, and since the first digit indicates the floor, she must be in highest number given ]

Part 3:
Pay attention to Nancy’s answers. Together they’ll give you a final hint.

The clues can be read as such: [ Book and 17, which we can say is "Book #17" or Mystery of the Brass Bound Trunk ]


Way to go super sleuths. You can bet we'll have a new one ready by Friday! Don't forget to check out the twitters and I'll be seeing ya soon!

- Novel (inc.) -

Friday, October 2, 2009

A Riddle, a reminder, and a little to mind.

~ Fridays are glorious. The office is busy, but relaxed. We know the weekend is upon us, and so we're cheery and calm. Who knows what adventures the next few days will bring. ~

Don't forget that the twitter soap opera starts next week. Be sure to tune in!

And for all you avid puzzle players, here's a most excellent puzzle for your weekend.

-- Puzzle #28 --

Part 1:
Nancy, Bess and George were each enjoying a favorite past time. And they were all in the same room. The cousins both had headphones on but one had her blue eyes closed.

Who had a:
• Book?
• Mp3 player?
• Computer?

Part 2:
Nancy, Bess and George are working on a mystery and staying in a hotel. Room 34 is on the third floor. George likes heights, so she swapped rooms with Bess. Nancy found out her window was blocked by shrubs!

Who was staying in room:
• 17
• 26
• 34

Part 3:
Pay attention to Nancy’s answers. Together they’ll give you a final hint.


Have fun this weekend and be sure to get lots of rest! Au revoir!

- Novel -

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Aware of Adventure

I don't know if you all noticed, but we've begun setting the stage for a truly tragic twitter opera. You can read all about it on the Dare2Play blog. I think it's pretty rad they we're able to do this for you guys. And if you look to the left, you can see that I'll be receiving the twitter feeds from the Waverly students themselves! So if you can't follow on Twitter, you can catch up here! It all begins on Monday, so be sure to tune in!

For our second selection today, I've got an interesting picture for you. I managed to dig this awesome-ness up from some old boxes.

Unfortunately it looks like this baby is on the endangered list, as I've only ever seen the one. Although it is quite interesting to find such a large item emblazoned with our old ND logo. I figured a Nancy Drew bag was quite fitting for the current schoolyard craze we seem to be milling in. ^.~

And lastly, as I stated yesterday, Puzzle #27 was solved and today I'm going to give you the key.

-- Puzzle #27 Answer --

In order to solve this:
[start at the top left and assign a letter to each box, starting with "A" and moving to the end, "Y" ]
The number in each box tells you
[ how many of these letters will appear in the final solution. ]

Once you've got all the letters, you'll need to do some serious unscrambling to reach the answer:

[ Frank and Joe - your first stop is Vienna ]


I think that everyone did a great job working this one out. You can count on another excellent puzzle tomorrow. I'm outta here! Peace!

- Novel -