Thursday, March 31, 2011

Tasklist in a hurry for April

With the end of March comes the rush of hurrying and scurrying to prepare for April. Images are being edited and critiqued, printed art is being proofed, sound files have been edited, and words are getting typed up. I have a rather huge task list today. It includes:
1. Check to see if certain game quotes are accurate
2. Make professional friends online
3. Post something interesting
4. Update the monthly special image
5. Eat a cookie
6. Keep Sonny Joon from distracting me
7. Burn a CD

There's a lot more than that. It's sure exciting though, keeping on my toes, multi-tasking etc!
Oh, by the way, we're a little excited about making the New York Times list of best books on an iPad. Check it out!
Tomorrow's April Fool's day! I'll be sure to have a treat for you then. I hope you are a fan of doodling...

~Little Jackalope~

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Secrets and Meetings

Hey all! It's Wednesday and that means Twitter Quote contest! Whoo-hoo! By the way, I'll mention this: if you are a winner, check your Twitter message box, because that's how we will communicate with you concerning your prize. Message us back the same way.

There have been several people coming in to the office today for really important meetings. See here:
Friday is coming, do you know what that means? April Fools! I may have something special for you then...but you'll just have to wait and see. It involves some sound effects (which I have been listening to lately). Just a note: there is some fun music in our games!

I've got to sneak into a very top-secret meeting, gotta go!

~Little Jackalope~

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Fidget here, fidget there.

One of the 3D artists gave me a quick peak at what he was working on for an upcoming game! It was so awesome and I'm super excited about it! The little sneak I got was of a female character in a sitting position, and he showed me her animated fidgets. A fidget is a small movement a character makes, usually while in one position. When you watch a character from a distance, they are moving in some small way, so they appear more life-like. For example: Detective Beech moves his arm as he brings his drink to his mouth. Don't forget the tilt of his head and the occasional blinking of the eyes! Or there's Donal in The Haunting of Castle Malloy as he nods his head, trying to stay awake, or when he moves his hand to make a point.

~Donal making his point~

It's those little things that we sometimes take for granted that make up the intricate qualities of animated characters and makes them all the more realistic. Do you have a favorite animation sequence or fidget? I can't wait for you to see the new characters in the next games, the wait will be worth seeing these animations, I think!

Ta-ta for now!
~Little Jackalope~

Monday, March 28, 2011

Green in March

I've got a few things March related to share with you today. With this being the last week to purchase The Haunting of Castle Malloy for 25% off, we created a screen saver for it. (This is today's free download.) Download it here.

It's Irish month, and Sonny Joon thought it would be nice to balance out these characters' outfits, unfortunately the leprechaun gnome doesn't like his new look. (The coatimundi will always look evil. They are after all, very fearsome creatures.)

The weekend puzzle was solved rather quickly! Here's how it was done: [Find the answer to every line and then re-arrange the answers in numerical order.] The answers are: [1. Dread Isle 2. Applegate (MHM) 3. Necklaces (CRE) 4. GPS (TOT) 5. Easter eggs 6. Rentaro (SAW) 7. Owen Spayder (STFD) 8. Nick Falcone (FIN) 9. Dungeness crabs (DDI) 10 Enrico Tazza (VEN) 11. Carousel (CAR) 12. Edgar Allan Poe (WAC) 13. Pawprints (DOG) 14. Teeth (CRY) 15. Ingrid Corey (CAR) 16. Ohm (CAR) 17. Ned Nickerson 18. Isis (ICE) 19. Six (SSH) 20. Loquat (CRY) 21. Antoinette (TRT) 22. Noisette (DAN) 23. Dave Gregory (SHA)] Read the first letter of every answer to get the following: [Danger on Deception Island].

Nice job, detectives!
~Little Jackalope~

Friday, March 25, 2011

Weekend Puzzle #96

I came in to a dark, quiet office. It must be Friday, or vacation time. There is a little excitement, though. The March newsletter is here!! Check it out on our web site if you haven't susbscribed to it, yet.

Wow, only a few more weeks until we have had our 100th weekend puzzle! I'll be the one handing you over these puzzles, and I only hope to do as well as Novel has on updating you these past Fridays.

Here you go, click here for an enlarged version:


~Little Jackalope~

Thursday, March 24, 2011

A trip over to production.

I'd thought to step out of my little cubicle and venture over to my favorite production department to see how the guys are faring.

Upon my arrival I heard the tail-end of an interesting conversation about ESRB ratings on older games, and something about comic books. Yeah, conversations in that corner are rather educational, so to speak.

One feature of the production department I noticed right away are the decorations. There's a lot of notes tacked up on their walls, here's an image; This one's from the Hardy Boys' Treasure on the Tracks DS game from a couple of years ago:
They also have pictures of one of their scripters posted everywhere. And I mean everywhere! There's a production department joke about it, too. His face is posted on the walls, a calendar, a life-sized poster called Jameolas (spelling debatable), is featured on mouse pads and even miniature-sized images on every key on the computer keyboard. It's awesome.

I'll have to drop by again because there's too much awesomeness to take in on one trip to Production. It could be overwhelming for some visitors. ;)

Hopping back to work,
~Little Jackalope~

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Gloss and Embossing

I went snooping around, looked through a couple of boxes, got dust all over my fingers, and found something interesting. This was last year's embossing and gloss proof of the Nancy Drew Triple Threat set cover design. The green represents the gloss and the purple is where it will be embossed. We make sure that everything lines up and that the outlines and edges are accurate before it goes to print.

~The final piece is on the left (because it's shiny)~

Congrats to the sleuths who cracked the weekend puzzle! It's pretty easy once you know what code is being used. In this case it was the [Templar Code]. Once you have all of the letters, read it top-to-bottom, left-to-right. It will say [Green with CAP envy].

~Little Jackalope~

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

More on beautiful environments.

It is an absolutely gorgeous day today at the office! Spring is good here; the rain does quite a good job at keeping everything green and colorful, fresh and new, so when the sun comes out, everything shines gloriously! I made a comment to a fellow worker about how the sun coming up behind the mountain and illuminating the vast green grass and tall pine trees made me think of Ireland. Not sure why, because I've never been to Ireland, and I'm also not sure what kind of trees they have over there. Note to self, ask somebody who has been!

Oh, wait. Does The Haunting of Castle Malloy count as 'been to Ireland'? Although it was dark, there were still plenty of foliage around the castle. The garden had plenty of beautiful flowers, along with the front arching entrance to the grounds. At least in-game we don't have to smell the nasty bog, or really get wet walking through it. By the way, this game is still on sale for 25% off through this March, so if you don't have it, check it out!
Random picture for the day: a miniature glitter globe on my desk. I love this thing! It's creates a party-like atmosphere for my cubicle.
Weekend puzzle still at bay? Yesterday's hint refers to an old code used by a secret group of knights, so to speak. Let's get code cracking! :)

~Little Jackalope~

Monday, March 21, 2011

A sad day...with bricks.

We had to say goodbye to a dear friend this weekend, because he is moving on to a new case of his own. His hard work, fun presense, and clever use of words will be greatly missed, but it is time to let him move on to a new adventure. ;(

Sad thoughts aside, I've been doing a little clutter organizing on my computer, along with some art cleaning. It's all in preparation for next month's specials, updates, downloads and everything else that might surprisingly pop up. We always try to remain one step ahead.

Take a look at this! This was left on my desk: a nicely wrapped package of 100% authentic (and heavy) red bricks. I learned this is a long-running joke between the Production and Marketing departments, something about when the cubicles got moved around. Now I get them, and I'm trying to find a reason to pass them on...or give them back. ^.^

~One of three huge bricks~
There are a few changes going on here in the office, so our home site might be delaying its updates, no worries, I haven't forgotten you! The download for the week is another Haunting of Castle Malloy bookmark. Here it is.

Weekend puzzle hasn't been touched, yet? Here's a hint to push you in the right direction [The code is medieval.]

~Little Jackalope~

Friday, March 18, 2011

Weekend Puzzle

We've wrapped up another week of mystery and fun! It looks like we've still got some interesting content coming your way, so make sure to stop back by next week and partake in the good times! I'm sure Jackalope will provide many amusing pictures to compliment the news updates. :) But to tide you over this weekend, maybe you're looking for a little mental stimulation, no? Alright, let's get to it.

- Weekend Puzzle -

Hint: For old things, left to right isn't the best way.


Good luck, sleuths! We'll be seeing you. ^.~

- Novel -

Thursday, March 17, 2011

A bit delayed today

I apologize for the delayed post today, it's been a bit busy today. We've got some last-minute projects to get done before the weekend and boy, do our schedules get filled quite fast! I've been mixing some game screenshots together with images that don't normally belong together, which is fun, but it's a little tedious trying to make them fit together nicely. It's like I'm trying to hide the genuine work of art beneath a new image. Sneaky.

I find it fascinating how there are so many hidden compartments, rooms, and hidden objects that people from the past have worked so hard to get a secret, yet Nancy is able to break in in a matter of minutes or hours. She finds things so quickly, I wonder how well Nancy would be able to create a secret compartment. With her knowledge and experience, I doubt many people would be able to discover those secrets.


A Shamrock on my wall!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!
~Little Jackalope~

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


It's been a rather slow day for me today, which is great. There have been a few projects I've been wanting to spend more time on and were put on hold quite a while ago. A little reading, sending a few emails, a little organizing, a little sketch here, a wallpaper there...yep, catching up is good.

Many of us keep a notebook or sketchbook by our side. We take a lot of notes, draw a lot of sketches, and write task lists like crazy. Many of our secrets and important information are hidden in between the lines of these dog-eared books, but there's a slight difficulty to reading them. You have to understand each person's unique handwriting. Pictures are more easy to understand, if you stare at it for a while. Maybe I'll give you a peak at a sketch in my notebook tomorrow.
Until then,Keep it real!
~Little Jackalope~

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Familiar project and an iSHA outfit.

Decisions, decisions! I've been working on a familiar project that keeps everyone up to date. It's tricky sometimes trying to figure out what to write, how to elaborate or be detailed, how much to give away and where attention needs to be drawn. The fun part is choosing the correct images and color and laying it all out in a nice, organized, easy-to-look-at design. You'll get to see it soon, when Novel says it's ready. In the meantime, read the Dare to Play Blog posted today for a brief look at the creation process for Nancy Drew Mobile Mysteries: Shadow Ranch, we interviewed our Executive Producer for it!

Check it out, this is me in my Shadow Ranch get-up, complete with weird-shaped boomerangs in my holsters to defend myself from pesky coyotes.

Hip-hopping back to work.
~Little Jackalope~

Monday, March 14, 2011

Teasing and Puzzle Culprits

Lately a few of us hard workers have been contemplating the slow release of teasing clues and hints for the next game. I find it enjoyable to read every one's theories and thought process on the message boards, deciding if we nudged or gestured to something that may or may not be a genuine crumb trail. This is a creative time for us as we scheme and plot devious ways to introduce ND24. Mwa-ha! It's torture, isn't it? Well, just know that good things come in a timely manner and we don't mean to keep you in the dark forever. :)

We have a newly finished 3D puzzle that somebody put together (we aren't sure who the sneaky genius is who put in the last few pieces. I'm going to sniff them out, track them down and tell them that they almost got away with the last touches if they hadn't forgotten the missing spires). Congrats to them, though. This means I've got to find a new puzzle to bring in for us to do.

~Front Facade of Notre Dame Cathedral~

Congrats to the sleuths who cracked the weekend puzzle! Here's how it was done: [Find the missing letters to the song. The numbers direct you to the letter in the alphabet you need to move over to to get the correct solution.
Here are the missing letters: MEAETYDWKD

[M move 1 right = N
E move 10 right = O
A move 2 right = C
E move 3 right = H
T move 15 right = I
Y move 4 right = C
D move 7 right = K
W move 8 right = E
K move 3 right = N
D move 15 right = S

Answer: [No Chickens]

Ta-ta for now!
~Little Jackalope~

Friday, March 11, 2011

Weekend Puzzle

Hey-o peeps!

It's finally Friday. We've had one doozy of a week here! Lots of game testing, Shadow Ranch review-reading, and puzzle building. Speaking of which; Jackalope has created yet another masterpiece for you all to solve. Let's get to it.

- Weekend Puzzle -

Ho_e, hom_ on the r_nge
Wh_re the deer and the an_elope pla_.
where sel_om is heard a discouraging _ord
And the s_ies are not clou_y all day.

Over End.


Good luck, sleuths! Stay awesome!

- Novel -

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Sick faces and some laughter.

I've been following the latest episodes of the "Continuing Adventures of Detective Private iPad" (episode 5 went up today), and I must say; they are quite funny!

Continuing yesterday's work of collecting images, today I came across a picture of a character whose face I don't remember looking this way. When I found it, I started laughing. See this:

-Katie Firestone eating a bad sandwich-
Yep, it's that sick face. This got me thinking about all the other times Nancy got sick from eating something. I liked making jellyfish sandwiches, but I doubt Nancy appreciated that. I thought it a worthy second chance experience (one that I enjoy losing over).

Today has been a busy meeting day for many hard workers here. They have lots of planning, synchronising, debating, and creative topics to share with each other. While this is "very" serious business, I often hear laughter coming from the meeting room just down the hall. Think we enjoys meetings? I know I sure do. Even if I'm not in one, it sure is fun to here some laughter around the corner.

Hip-hopping to work,
~Little Jackalope~

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Picture-taking and awesome glasses.

I've been digging for the right images that will go on our website. Sometimes after much archive diving and fishing, trying to get the right catch, I sometimes find it is best and fastest to simply turn on the game, play for a minute and get myself to the right environment. The characters are a little bit harder to work with. I want to capture just the right smile or fun facial expression, but getting them to say "cheese" won't work, at least for the non-Waverly characters it won't. I often have to strike up a conversation with a character, and while they aren't looking...*snap*! I take their picture and check to see if I timed it right. My "oh bother! Try, try again!" moments come when their eyes are closed, or if they have a silly expression on their face.

Speaking of silly faces, look what I found while snooping in the kitchen (again): Glasses that look just like Helfdan's from Resorting to Danger! Perhaps these were the inspiration for them. I wonder if Novel would try them on...

-Helfdan's Glasses-

Paparazzi out!
~Little Jackalope~

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Little Squares of Art

Guess what I get to do? Create Avatars for the Message Boards!! Yeah, I get real excited about these little things. I've done a few before, but this new bunch is for a few of the newer games, and there's no telling when they will be available. It could be a while. Do you have a favorite avatar to use on the boards? I used to keep the same one, but now with newer and different images available from December, I like to switch out between a few favorites.

Some of the research I get to do for these include searching our archives for screenshots and saved working files for the best quality image, playing selected areas of the game to find the missing images needed, and of course, learning about what you guys like and want. I often come across images I've never really noticed before that are hidden in the game. This is super fun research! Let me know what the best sort of avatars are, so I can be sure to make better ones in the future.

Check this out! I was snooping in the kitchen through a few boxes near the snacks (guilty me) and came across these cool masks:

-Frankenstein and a Mummy-
Getting back to my avatars, (no peeking!)
~Little Jackalope~

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Build of a Climax

There' s a bit of a lull during this time in the office, being in between games and all, but we at Her Interactive are anticipating the rush of a million tasks that will jump out of the dark and say "attack"! Yep, we love a good build-up in game production.

Many good stories have good build-ups and climaxes that take our breath away and leave us asking for more after the story ends, it's what makes it so exciting. I remember reading a few Nancy Drew books where I'm anticipating the part where she gets caught in a suspenceful, thrilling chapter where she is snooping somewhere she shouldn't be, or is about to discover the final clue that would crack the case wide open. It's those moments I immerse myself into the story for, and it's also fun to live those moments, when we build up to the climax. I'm sure you all love the climax too, that is, when a new game comes out. We are currently working on the begining of the build-up, making sure our ducks are in a row and preparing to release them one-by-one. Keep a weather eye on the horizon! The build-up will eventually begin in front of your eyes.

Hooray for the sleuths who solved the weekend puzzle! This one was an easy one, of course.
First you [Find the character's corresponding first or last name.] Here's their correct names: [Foxworthy’s First = Emily (MHM)
Dave’s Last =
Gregory (SHA)
John’s (glasses) Last =
Grey (TRN)
Joon’s First =
Sonny (SSH)
Randall’s First=
Ollie (ICE)
Ned’s Last =
Woodham’s First =
Savannah (SAW)
Butterly’s First =
Hugo (DAN)
Eustacia’s Last =
Andropov (FIN)
Donal’s Last =
Delany (HAU)
Spayder’s First =
Owen (STD)
Lillian’s Last =
Weiss (STD)
Joanna (striped shirt)’s Last =
Riggs (SSH)
Richard’s (scientist) Last =
Aiken (CRE)
Falcone’s First = Nick or Nicholas (FIN)
Elliot’s Last =
Chen (CAR)
Rachel’s Last = Hubbard (WAC)
] And you take those name's [first letter to create this sentence: Eggs on Shadow Ranch] Ta-da!

Keep it real!
~Little Jackalope~

Friday, March 4, 2011

Weekend Puzzle 93


I hope everyone's had a great week. I see that Little Jackalope has managed to keep everyone up-to-date on all of the office distractions, and of course the latest on launches. We've been enjoying cake and cathedrals this week, so all-in-all it's been a pretty good one. Hopefully we'll have some great new surprises next week. ^.~

Time to test that sleuth-y brain of yours! This week's puzzle is pretty awesome, check it out.

- Weekend Puzzle -

Foxworthy’s First
Dave’s Last
John’s (glasses) Last
Joon’s First
Randall’s First
Ned’s Last
Woodham’s First
Butterly’s First
Eustacia’s Last
Donal’s Last
Spayder’s First
Lillian’s Last
Joanna (striped shirt)’s Last
Richard’s (scientist) Last
Falcone’s First
Elliot’s Last
Rachel’s Last


That's all for this week, we'll see you on Monday! Good luck sleuths!

- Novel -

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Characters in Production

I had a nice chat with our Character Designer today. He's been working on some cool new concepts and a few of his characters have already been sent to get all rigged up (after going 3D they get joints and such so that the animators can move them). I'm excited to see the results of their work! It's also pretty amazing how fast and early a lot of the work here gets done, while some people are working on the finishing touches of a project, some are already working on the next. Ah, the cycle of production!

The office kitchen puzzle that we are working on is coming rather slow, and no, it is not a castle. It is (like a few of you so cleverly figured out) the Notre Dame cathedral from Paris. It makes me think of Danger by Design, although we didn't get to visit it in the game. We love cool architecture. :)

For those of you following the Nancy Drew Radio Mysteries, the 4th episode was posted the other day! Check it out.

Hopping back to work!
~Little Jackalope~

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Focus and Mulit-tasking

Something odd about our weather (rain-sun-wind-rain-repeat, in one day) must be making everyone in the office sneeze. Just a ponder.

It's been a day of reading reviews (yes, we do a lot of this reading), and catching up on some smaller, yet important tasks. For instance: I've been trucking away on some Secrets Can Kill Remastered and Shadow At the Water's Edge art pieces for some web sites that need thumbnails, screenshots, box shots and the like. Making sure each image is the right size and format requires good focus, a trait also very important to solving a case (and determining the correct culprit).

Some workers here at HI are good at focusing on one project at a time, while others (like me) work better when working on two or more at a time. I find it fascinating how Nancy can take every aspect of a case and connect its dots to make sense of all random thoughts, clues, and twists, making everything connect. She seems to think and focus on everything often at once, which is necessary, definitely a multi-tasker and multi-thinker!

The office is working on a new 3D puzzle! Here's the base:

Keep it real, savvy?
~Little Jackalope~

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Random Thoughts and Multiple Distractions

I have several random thoughts and tasks to focus on. So many little things in such little time to do them, maybe it feels like this because February just flew by and it feels too early to end a month. March is here, though green madness is just waiting to burst forth and present itself in a grand spectacle. I'm trying to think up crafty things to do in honor of this month, particularly with the Irish holiday coming up. Any ideas how to decorate a cubicle or get festive in an office? So far my only thought is to play The Haunting of Castle Malloy and cut out shamrocks from green paper to post on my wall.

Other random thoughts include:

1. Upload the last of the game trailers
2. Think about the newsletters
3. Eat a cookie
4. Eat another cookie
5. Put together a few thumbnails
6. Doodle pictures all over Novel's calendar on the wall
7. Make a bookmark or two, maybe a third for fun
8. Read the dare to play blog posted today
9. Don't get distracted by the puzzle in the kitchen

Random picture from last week: Chocolate Castle Cake!
~Little Jackalope~