Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Building Nancy Drew

TOT, TOT, TOT. That's all you'll find on the lips of anyone here. But you can absolutely bet, that a few brains are still set on the future. In fact I took a gander at our 'make-shift' render-farm here in the office. For those of you unfamiliar, it's pretty much a hub for processing art quicker than doing it on a single computer. It certainly helps us work through all those fancy animations.

-Pic of the Week-
- Need some art completed? Head down to the farm -

It's not as impressive as say Pixar's, but you gotta start somewhere right? (4 heads are better than one... or computers, I suppose) The artists simply line up for it! We'll keep making the art better, if you keep loving it. ^.~

- Puzzle 60 Answer -

So the mascot (referred to by the hint) that you need is: [ Raven ]
You'll need to apply it to the code up top; KPCOFGS.
These letters stand for the [ taxonomic ranks - Kingdom/Phylum/Class/Order/Family/Genus/Species ]
Now just input the names of [ the common raven for each rank ]
The full list can be found below (letters highlighted)

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Corvidae
Genus: Corvus
Species: Corax

The highlighted letters you end up with are: [ NHTEPSREREVSA ]

Unscramble them to reveal the answer:
[ Press the Raven ]


You all were right on the money as far as spoilers go. Still I thought the puzzle was a fun one, so I knew you'd want to see it! Excellent job!

- Novel -

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

On the Shelf

So it has finally happened. Trail of the Twister is on shelves now!

Have you gotten it yet? Are you deep into the caper?

I won't keep you too long. Just gonna pass along a solution to weekend puzzle #59. And to say congrats on solving #60 (solution presenting tomorrow.)

- Puzzle 59 Solution (spoilers ahead) -


In order to solve this puzzle you'll need to set up a key. The key is
[ a 5x5 grid that has the letters wrapping around the outside, and filled in in the middle. ]

Once you've gotten that, it simply is a matter of using the letters above to find the [ letters in the grid. ] This is done by [ Finding where the first and second letters intersect. ] For example, DI - [ Column D ] meets 
[ Row I ] at [ Letter S ].
Continue solving for each pair until you have the final solution, 

[ no anagrams here! ]
Answer: [ See the Springhouse ]


More TOT clues! Reminiscent of some other traveling adverts... Perhaps you've even been there by now. ^.~

Oh hey, Pete's Blog is coming to a close today. Be sure to check out all the posts for some back-story to TOT. Have fun playing!

- Novel (i) -

Monday, June 28, 2010

Until Tomorrow

Ha! Tomorrow's the day. After the long wait, we can barely contain our excitement here at the office. (There may have been some celebration brownies this morning.) But Trail of the Twister officially launches tomorrow. Are you ready? After all the prep-work we've done I imagine you've already pulled out your Nancy Drew sleuthing kits; pens and paper for clue solving, big glass of water for hydrating, and no doubt a "Come back later, I'm Sleuthing" sign for your door.  Oh yeah, you're definitely ready. 

As for the puzzles, 59 was solved!  That's awesome!  But it looks like # 60 needs a nudge in the proper direction.

- Puzzle (60) Hint -

Waverly's Student's voted for Casper, but the crest holds the real one. It's a 'scientific' fact!


See you in the morning!

- Novel -

Friday, June 25, 2010

Puzzle (60)

Friday! (That is all.)

Oh, this puzzle was given to me on Monday. It's an important one, buuuuut you might not be as surprised Designer Cathy was hoping. Still I thought it was very worthy. Here goes nothing!

- Puzzle 60 -

Waverly's Mascot is the Key

Rearrange the important letters and you'll find what was once needed:

(----- --- -----)


Good luck on the puzzle and have a great weekend!

Hasta Luego!

- Novel -

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Walk the Walk

Ahh, more trickery.

The Thursday conversation was quite lovely. We had one of our most talented artists sit down for a short report. Jayme has been on the team for quite a while and certainly knows the score. Without further ado:

- Blurb of the Week -

I was quite eager to come to work this week, well, except for all the bugs I had to fix (though they weren't too bad or too numerous.) As for the good stuff, I’ve been compiling ND23 animations and adjusting their timing to make the game’s mood that much more intense. There’s also been a few puzzles to tend to; mostly just touch-ups at this point. Aaaaand I was given the privilege to help ‘Intern Pete’ with a special photo project.


Sounds like a pretty fun week. I should see if we can switch jobs. :P Thanks for the excellent quote Jayme!

I asked for another puzzle hint and this is what I found at my desk:

- Puzzle 59 Hint -


Seems to be about as good as any, though possibly a touch incomplete. There'll be another puzzle coming up tomorrow so finish this one quick!

Oh boy!

- Novel -

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Picture Perfect

Lots and lots of questions and emails about TOT. I'm swimming in correspondence. ^.^ That's the nature of a launch I suppose, and we're not even fully there yet. I did take a short break to snap you a photo for the day.

- Pic of the Week -
- Ye Olde Journal -

I found these in a deep, deep drawer... They're old notepads we made (you can tell by the ancient logo and tag line.) I wonder if we ever included them as a bonus in some of our games? I'm sure they would come in handy for any would-be sleuth. There's always new treasures (or old forgotten ones) to discover!

Looks like tomorrow's another busy day!

- Novel -

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Over and Under

The sun popped up for a visit today. The office has benefited from the spirit. I hear there's going to be an afternoon hacky-sack session. It's been awhile since the gang has taken the time to relax a little. With the launch almost at a boil, many are just watching the pot (though some of us are even busier.)

The designers have been taking periodic breaks to check TOT responses. I can feel the flood coming soon enough, but you know how we are, patience here is in short supply. If you read the D2P blog then you'll know how much we want to hear from you. ^.~

- Puzzle 59 Hint -

You might have to draw a couple lines, think "outside the grid" so to speak. Just be sure to make full rounds.


One week till launch! It's sooo close.

- Novel -

Monday, June 21, 2010

A Question of Time

I seem to recall a prediction of delivery. Probably a bit more hopeful than we should expect. The only thing I can say for certain is that we've chosen a single date, and that's the bulls-eye we're aiming for. We're about a week out at this point and the tension couldn't get any bigger. I'll say this though, we might have something new to see by the end of the week. Projects, projects, projects. We are always thinking. ^.~

There's a tricky puzzle still floating about. It doesn't look like an answer has been found, but I'm confident. 24 hours till a hint? Seems reasonable.

We'll cap it at that. Adieu.

- Novel -

Friday, June 18, 2010

Weekend Puzzle

It has been a good week. Games are on the move. Industry news is all abuzz. Wacky events are transpiring. I can only hope the weekend holds the same electricity. Here's a touch to get you going.

- Weekend Puzzle 59 -



Good luck! Have an amazing weekend!

- Novel -

Thursday, June 17, 2010


So much of the entertainment rig-a-marole tossed about this week seems to fall far into the future. While I love to hear it, I don't put much stock in the "far, far away" predictions, mostly because slipping on dates is bad news.  Sure, it happens sometimes, but the outcome sits squarely in the negative. 

We're lucky enough to be on track during these crazy times.  And as far as I know everything is moving steadily towards the 29th.  Some of you may have already unwrapped that shiny golden ticket and headed off towards the factory (though we've got less confections and more mystery than Mr. Wonka.)  Everyone will get the chance to play though, and I know the experience will be just as sweet. ^.~

A splendidly friendly employee is giving me the dish this week.  She's a serious worker, so getting a few words is pretty lucky, but that's the office these days.  Jamie is our resident sound expert, so let's hear all about her week.

- Blurb of the Week -

I’ve been doing sound effects and dubbing for SCK and ND23. My main focus was working on timing the sounds with the animations we’ve been putting in. I also worked with James (Scripter) to help record some new sounds of glass (rattling, breaking, etc.) which we intended to do outside but were hindered by the helicopter and man with an axe. It’s been an odd kind of week.


True story, all of it.

Catch the puzzle tomorrow!

- Novel (ono) -

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Where we can see it.

Today marks the day; TOT has started moving out the door. It's on the way to stores all across the land. The launch day is less than 2 weeks away. And those of you who have pre-ordered might find a copy sooner than you think. ^.~  For those waiting patiently (but twitchy with anticipation) you'll be happy to know that we've still got a few tricks left up our sleeves.

We've been missing the sun something fierce, so I took a picture of the only golden object in sight.

- Our Horde of Oranges -

Maybe we'll get a little light tomorrow. Either way, I'm looking forward to it. Catch ya then!

- Novel -

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Hype: Day Two

Some cool new games and features have been show at E3 already. I remember once upon a time when we were there, front and center... well maybe not on stage or anything. Though we're feeling a lot of anticipation and excitement for tomorrow (TOT begins shipping out!)

Both puzzles have been solved, I'll break them down. 57 had some issues, but it's been "cracked" for all intensive purposes. Good work sticking with both.

- Puzzle 58 Answer -

101110100 001101000 101101001 001110011 101110100 101101100 101100101
001100010 101101100 101101001 001101101 001110000
001100100 101101111 101110111 001101110 001111001

The hints give you a clue to each of the two steps you'll take to solve this puzzle. Step one is convert the numbers using [ 8-bit ASCII code. ]
To do this, you have to [ drop the first digit of each sequence. ]
Each sequence will give you [ 1 letter ] which ultimately gives you
[ 3 words; thistle blimp downy ].
The second clue tells you to [ convert the three words to four ]. With a little bit of work you can end up the phrase:
[ Stop by the Windmill ]


Aaaaaand 57 (it's totally unsolvable... test, test, test. It is sooo important!) With the source of the code cracked I figure it's best to go ahead and give you the prize.

- Puzzle 57 Answer -


For this one you'll [ use the letters to find clues in the writing ].
The easiest way to do this is
[ convert the key letters into numbers A=1, B=2, C=3... ].
Once you've done this you can find what each sequence means by
[ using the first number to determine the line, the second number to determine the word, and the third to show you the letter ].
For example [ CBF = 3rd line, 2nd word, 6th letter = B ].
Any time where the [ numbers exceed line, word, or letter, just wrap around and start over ].
If you fill them all in, you'll end up with [ Brooke Aasanah ] Which is unfortunately a typo of the intended answer
[ Brooke Tavanah ].


More TOT hints. You should expect no less. ^.~

- Novel -

Monday, June 14, 2010

New Steps

I'm pretty thrilled about E3 this year. Every time there's a whole lot of hype, all smoke and mirrors, et al. And I just love to dive right in. New technology and games (complete or not) are exciting for the industry to bask in. We get to see all these cool new projects that other companies are working on. In many ways this helps inspire us to create bigger and better things! We'll definitely be watching all the coverage and critiques being passed about this week. It'll be a good distraction from the uber-busy launch we're just about to be in. Only a few days left till we start shipping pre-orders, and then just beyond that is the official launch. I am so ready!

Nice work on the puzzle. It looks like you've completed one section of Puzzle 58, now it is a matter of unscrambling the letters. How about...

- Puzzle 58 Hint -

4 - 2 - 3 - 8


Oh and I've been thinking about 57 and I'm going to give you a huge step, in case that spurs some new thought.

- Puzzle 57 Hint -

Start with the line, step to the word, and define the letter.


Adios amigos!

- Novel [+] -

Friday, June 11, 2010

5.8. Pzzle Wk [stop]

Ahhh... the Friday. I am truly thankful for your arrival. And I've brought gifts. In the form of puzzles (singular). Work hard and enjoy. Also take a gander at 57 if you've got time. It's apparently quite the trifle.

- Puzzle 58 -

101110100 001101000 101101001 001110011 101110100 101101100 101100101 \
001100010 101101100 101101001 001101101 001110000 \
001100100 101101111 101110111 001101110 001111001 \

Hint(s): Aren't these numbers are a bit odd? Besides how can three words make four...


Good luck!

- Novel (in medias res) -

Thursday, June 10, 2010


The content fairy paid us a visit last night in the form of a TOT Character trailer. Maybe you should check it out if you're not already watching it over and over to pick out little details. I've heard rumors of a newsletter to follow (per earlier post) but the update is it's got even more character stuff... They've always got to bombard us with the latest info, though I've probably got most of it memorized to heart. Obsess much? Not enough, I say.

This week's hard-knock story comes from our Testing department. They're a super important piece of the ND world, so I figure it's about time we heard from that neck of the woods. Here's Jeanne with the what's-what.

- Blurb of the Week -

My job is to be the first person to play through and help balance each part of the game. This means I’ll walk through environments, hear convos many times (I’ve got quite a few SCK lines memorized) and play a lot of puzzles before they’ve been tuned to the perfect difficulty. This week I played a timed puzzle from SCK that was so slow I could literally eat my entire lunch while playing and still win. When they gave it back to me after my recommendations, I lost 4 lives in about 3 seconds. Tweaking takes a lot of time, but we want this game to be just right… particularly because it’s a game our fans are pretty familiar with…


Danke, danke. Keep up the good work, and maybe you can give us your best Nancy monologue one of these days. ^.~

The puzzle is still in stall mode... How to shake the dive... suggestions?

- Novel -

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

I Spy

There's been a bunch of hubbub in the electronics world. With E3 just around the bend, who isn't into spilling all sorts of fancy news. Sure, we've been paying attention, but only slightly.  Yeah, TOT is still the only thing on our minds...

- Our new office wallpaper -

At least it's not the only thing on the forefront.  We've still got two more launches this year.  See, there's that... and cookies...  Man, I could go for some oatmeal raisin right now.

It looks like the hint from yesterday hasn't spurred you along as much as I would like so I'll go ahead and offer another one.

- Puzzle 57 Hint -

If letters are numbers, could you follow their footsteps?


Sunny days here I come!

- Novel -

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Little Pictures

I saw a few new avatars being created for the boards today. That's not too spoiler-y is it? I don't know when they'll be ready to go, and knowing that team, it looks like they will probably wait right up until the last minute. More carrot on a stick I say... but definitely alluring since we're sure it'll eventually drop.

Just as an aside, is there an avatar you've been dying to see?
No sense in not expressing your wants.  In the past, I know we've asked for your ideas, and here I'm mostly just trying to register how accurately your wishes are being granted.  Besides, how do we know if we don't ask.  :P

- Puzzle Hint -

It's important to know how the letters actually count.


I hope that this leads you in just the right direction.

On to Wednesday!

- Novel -

Monday, June 7, 2010

Monday and Monday

I'm already hearing rumors of newsletters drifting about the office. No doubt this juicy gossip was championed by the 'marketing wizards.' Oh and make no mistake they are truly magical and extravagant lads and lasses (though singular in both regards.) How they've continued to cast a spell over me, i.e. entrance me, into such a tizzy for TOT... well, let's just say I'm impressed.

The art clan has been up to their usual tricks as well. Slyly sending around samples of SCK art to get us all amped up. I suppose we'll be pressing those precious trinkets into your hands soon enough. As always the keyword is: patience.

The weekend puzzle appears to be unsolved at this moment. I'll give it another day or so before I offer a nudge.

See ya on the flip-side!

- Novel (ocho) -

Friday, June 4, 2010

Weekend Puzzle (57)

Thanks for stopping by this week. Here's a rather tricky puzzle for you to sort out. Good luck!

- Puzzle 57 -

You need less than you think
with these words present and
an alphabet below solve this
riddle by following the steps
around and around



See you on Monday!

- Novel -

Thursday, June 3, 2010


Ads are a tricky business. We plan ahead by months, guessing what will be important and poignant. Of course, that's not me. I'm responsible for the copy and art (proofing, not creation).

The abstract biz is having to step out of now and think about down the road. It's an odd frame... I'm excited about TOT, but I'm staring at hype materials for SCK and ND23. I try to keep pace with you all, which seems to work out well. As a piece of a team, performing for a crowd is one thing, actually stepping off the stage to become part of the audience(i.e. a fan) is another. It's nice to find myself involved in that role more and more these days. I guess that means our marketing team is doing a decent job. Someone deserves some chocolate.

I got another scripter to talk to us this week. James is his name, and he's got the inside info on HI.

- Blurb of the Week -

We are busy working on multiple projects right now. I built several convos and environments and fixed some “techy-things” [navigation, UI]. I made puzzles for both SCK and ND23. Of course this means I had to do a “few“ rounds of testing. It is of paramount importance that the puzzles work correctly.

Somehow I'm not surprised... That's Production for you. Practice makes perfect, I suppose. Ah, well it's been a short week, so no worries.

Puzzle's up tomorrow. Cya then.

- Novel(e) -

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Workers and Watchers

The many small tasks keep slipping by. With the mid-week here after only two days, we've been feeling a bit pressed. We're just as excited for TOT as you are, plus we've got to get cracking on all the other releases! It's going to be an exciting and busy summer. I think we've promised, "Mysteries for all."

Juggling has been difficult (see:'opening statement'). Demos, microsites, and newsletters are our forte. We've got a shallow hand with other offerings, but I expect that to change. Oh, yes. There are plans. If you're afraid we're overdone, don't worry, we've got a some pint-sized reference materials at hand.

- Good things come in small packages -

We'll keep at it. Good things are on the way. Even more good things are on the way. ^.~

- Novel (oI)-

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Starting to be Solvable

We've had a few unfortunate little mishaps, but as a whole, the pre-release is moving pretty steadily. Pre-orders should be available right now! Plus there's that whole special edition thing going on. Still there's a couple of weeks between here and there. I'm guessing shenanigans will ensue, maybe keep an eye out for it...

It looks like you all solved the puzzle over the weekend. That extra day may have been just what the doctor ordered. Let's see how it's worked out.

- Puzzle 56 Answer -

g mgn / lmga aaie / almz

This puzzle is solved by using a [ rail fence cipher ]. You'll need to separate the 3 lines so they're [ stacked ] as such:
g mgn
lmga aaie
Now you'll need to use the [ cipher ] and don't forget to [ leave in the spaces ]. After following the instructions you'll get:

[ glam-glam-magazine ]


Maybe this isn't too familiar to you, but you can find some reference in DAN. Plus it might have a bit more significance after June 29th. Who knows...

- Novel -