Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Easter Egg in Alibi in Ashes

So it has been discovered! Weekend puzzles #132, #133, #134, and #135 have all hinted at the mysterious third Easter Egg hidden in Alibi in Ashes. Here's what the weekend puzzle answers/hints meant:

*WARNING: major spoilers in spoiler code below, proceed at your own risk!
Weekend Puzzle #132 answer: [A fun Easter Egg Pic in ASH] gave the first hint that a third egg indeed existed, and therefore was meant to drive you crazy. >.<

Weekend Puzzle #133 answer: [Culprit was stopped for suspicious cargo] hinted at police lingo, and led you to look for someone who [might've received a parking citation. No real game character was involved.]
Weekend Puzzle #134 answer: [Animal plus Action] gave you a more specific direction to [enter something into the TicketShark in the police station].

Weekend Puzzle #135 answer: Two words. No vowels. No spaces. No numbers.] was a a nudge in the direction of exact spelling.

With a little luck, and deductive reasoning you shall guess that the animal was a [bunny] and the action was [drive]. Follow the clues to enter [bnnydrv] into the [TickShark]. Voila! One fun *Easter Egg!

*Note: An Easter Egg is not always the physical egg, they are also fun little tricks, images, additions into a game that generally have no other purposes than for fun. We purposefully made two actual egg inventory items, and then the picture for fun. ;)

~Little Jackalope~

Monday, January 30, 2012

Identities Revealed!

...well, sort of.
The first identity revealed is the Easter Egg discovered by figuring out this past weekend's puzzle! I was closely following your progress on this one, including your brain-storming of the past puzzle hints that were, let's say, rather vague.

First things first: Weekend puzzle #135
Here's how you solve it, the tough part is figuring out that this is a code: the hint "Computer" meant to search for a computer code, [ASCII]. You can either discover the full table/chart online, or follow the numbers in the grid by holding down [the alt key on your keyboard and punching in that number. Alt+46 is a period.]

You should get these answers:
[Two words. No vowels. No spaces. No numbers.] It's another push to help you to finding the third "egg" in Alibi in Ashes. For those who would like to try to find it on their own, I'll give you another day or two before I explain all of my vague clues. ;)

Another identity revealed today:
Me. Have you seen the Facebook comments on Megan's photo that we posted to our wall? (They are hilarious, I was laughing out loud for a looooong time.) Well, it was such a fun contest for us, that a few certain people around the corner decided to turn the tables on me, and they shot my photo, then decided to post it up for another contest!

Ok, so this isn't the best picture of me, but this is:
Head over to our Facebook page to submit your most creative caption for my photo...oh goodness...that just sounds so silly when I say that out loud...But if you don't have an account, at least read the funny comments for Megan's photo, they are sooo much fun!
~Little Jackalope~

Friday, January 27, 2012

Weekend Puzzle #135

Hooray for Friday! And so we continue trying to discover the Easter Egg hiding in Alibi in Ashes...here's another hint. Click the image for a larger view:

*Reminder: This puzzle is only for a little weekend fun, you do not need to submit your answer, but if you like, you may discuss it on our message boards here.

Do you have a Facebook account? If you do, we have a Facebook-only "Caption Contest" going on right now! Did you see yesterday's picture of Megan? Head over to our Facebook page and come up with a creative caption: Who is Megan talking to, and what is she saying? Be creative! You could win a couple of Koko Kringle bars!

My schedule for today includes:
  • Try out the puzzles going into our latest game
  • Play a game with the team during lunch break
  • Keep an eye on how the people solve the weekend puzzle
  • Eat a cookie
  • Prepare a free wallpaper download for Monday...and preferences?
  • Attend a meeting
  • Make magic happen
Do you have any weekend plans? I think I might start playing The Haunting of Castle Malloy again...
~Little Jackalope~

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Playing Reporter

The other day after I took a few snapshots of the awards on our wall, I walked past Megan's office, which was open, and caught her in the act of *gasp* multi-tasking! So I played paparazzi and snapped her photo. Notice the awesome Nancy Drew-style hat on her table. What do you think she's saying into her phone? ;)

~Keeping busy!~
The news for today: We interviewed our Sales Director, Melissa, on our Dare to Play blog. Check it out for a fun read!

Weekend puzzle tomorrow; another hint to the mystifying Easter Egg in Alibi in Ashes...dun-dun-DUN!
~Little Jackalope~

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Decorating with Awards

Today, our IT guru Larry and I got out a pencil, hammer and tools, went into the conference room, and started banging holes into the wall. Many passers-by slowed down to peek through the door to see what violent acts and mischievous work we were up to.

We were hanging up a bunch of our awards! We were running out of space on our wall above the counter, so we decided to use the opposite wall.

Notice how there is plenty of space below for another 2-3 rows. We are planning ahead. ;)
*Twitter quote contest is going on! Head over for a chance to win a digital strategy guide of Secret of the Scarlet Hand.
~Little Jackalope~

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Immortalizing the Koko Kringle

Not really, because all chocolate can be eaten and therefore is not immortal. Today I had a little project: framing the Koko Kringle candy bar in an awesome shadow box, then hanging it up on the wall in the front office for all guests and HI workers to see.

Let's just hope someone, like a Sonny Joon character, does not come in and break it open. That would be sad, but it would be a good mystery to solve.

We have some girls (and guys) coming in for focus group testing this week. This is where a few lucky fans get to come in to our office and try out the mini-puzzles. Our designer sits in and notes the difficulty of the puzzle or game, observes the player's choices and actions, and inquires which was their favorite. This is important information to take back to the production department. Once any and all problems are identified, steps are taken to ensure an easier and more enjoyable play-through. Sometimes the design needs changed, but most times it's the level of difficulty.

I just might sneak in and try the puzzles myself, but it would be a little hard to report back to you because I am sworn to secrecy. >.< How about if I take pictures...but show them to you later? It will be much later... :(
~Little Jackalope~

Monday, January 23, 2012

Back and Ready to Rock

Now that the dangerous ice and snow has melted, every one's back in the office! Whoo-hoo! Now where were we?

Ah yes, congrats to our Nancy Drew TXT Challenge #2 winner: Dana from Madison, WI! She was randomly selected out of everyone who was entered into the grand prize drawing. Here was one of her prizes (*Note: This is my personal wallet, we did not give her my personal wallet, just the extra, unopened one that we had in the office):

Kind of makes you want one, right? I love using this; when I make a purchase the cashier notices and comments about Nancy Drew. I love when I get to talk about our games. :)

On to the weekend puzzle! Looks like many of you solved it, congrats! Here are the answers:
1) In Alibi in Ashes, Nancy is accused of [Arson].
3) Nancy Drew lives in [River Heights].
4) The cover of Danger by Design features a white [mask].
6) When you get into trouble, fail, or get hurt, you receive a [Second Chance].
7) The name of the Ice Cream Parlor in Alibi in Ashes. [Scoop]
10) You can order Pinky and [Perky] in Curse of Blackmoor Manor.
13) Warnings at [Waverly] Academy.
14) You can play [Land Rush] in Trail of the Twister and on your cell phone in later games.

2) Ned's last name. [Nickerson]
5) In Secret of the Scarlet Hand, [Mayan] artifacts are on display at the museum.
6) Nancy Drew [solves] mysteries.
8) After getting arrested in Alibi in Ashes, Nancy calls her friends for [help].
9) [Treasure] in the Royal Tower.
10) Find and earn Pa [Pennies] in Trail of the Twister.
11) The Final Scene takes place in a [theater].
12) On the cover of The Captive Curse, the hand is holding a [necklace].

Now that all the spaces are filled with the words, take a look at
1D, 2A, 3D1, 4D, 5A, 6A, 7D, 8A1, 14D, 10A2, 11A, 12A, 9A, 3D2, 6D, 10A1"

The numbers refer to [the word, while A = across, and D = Down]. Count this many letters to find the [grey-shaded letter, either the only one, the first one, or second shaded letter in that row or column]. You should get this at the end [Animal plus Action]. And I've noticed many of you contemplating this clue to an Egg in Alibi in Ashes. You all have great theories! Like magnificent souffles!

Ok sleuths, I've been holding out on you. I've known for a while that someone has indeed discovered this "Egg" in the game, yet no one has posted exactly how to earn it. Will you be the first? Take a look at the last few weekend puzzle answers. I will give you another hint this Friday. ;)

~Little Jackalope~

Friday, January 20, 2012

Weekend Puzzle #134

Courtesy of the snow and ice, today's post is coming in late. Yep, the weather here is still pretty bad, and after being closed again yesterday, the Her Interactive offices only re-opened around lunchtime today. The danger is beginning to melt, so it's likely we will be back and in full action on Monday.

I didn't forget about the weekend puzzle! If you need help, take a look at our games' pages here. Here you go (click on the image to view a larger version):
1) In Alibi in Ashes, Nancy is accused of _____.
3) Nancy Drew lives in ____ _____.
4) The cover of Danger by Design features a white ____.
6) When you get into trouble, fail, or get hurt, you receive a ____ _____.
7) The name of the Ice Cream Parlor in Alibi in Ashes.
10) You can order Pinky and _____ in Curse of Blackmoor Manor.
13) Warnings at ________ Academy.
14) You can play ___ ___ in Trail of the Twister and on your cell phone in later games.

2) Ned's last name.
5) In Secret of the Scarlet Hand, ______ artifacts are on display at the museum.
6) Nancy Drew _____ mysteries.
8) After getting arrested in Alibi in Ashes, Nancy calls her friends for _____.
9) _______ in the Royal Tower.
10) Find and earn Pa _______ in Trail of the Twister.
11) The Final Scene takes place in a ________.
12) On the cover of The Captive Curse, the hand is holding a _________.

1D, 2A, 3D1, 4D, 5A, 6A, 7D, 8A1, 14D, 10A2, 11A, 12A, 9A, 3D2, 6D, 10A1

Good luck, sleuths!
~Little Jackalope~

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Snow and Celebrity Gamers

Well, we were warned. The snow reeeally came down on us overnight, so the Her Interactive office is closed today. This means play-time outside during breaks. Short breaks, that is, because it's so cold outside! If only I had a gazillion Toasty Packs I would be able to stay outside for a longer length of time. I'm trying to build a fort wall like Freddie's in The White Wolf of Icicle Creek. Making it look like an actual castle wall would be the final touch.

On our Facebook page last week we posted a fun question on our wall: "If you could play a Nancy Drew Game with any celebrity...who would it be?" Among all the really awesome responses (I would totally agree with Sherlock Holmes and all those other detective movie actors and actresses; having another keen eye would really help out!) I was flattered to see a few people in particular say they would like to play with me. I totally didn't think I would make a few of your celebrity lists, thanks friends! ^.^ Of course, anyone who I would play alongside with would probably get minute-by-minute fun factoids and stories about how we made it...and of course, I would already know the story.

Twitter quote contest is going on! In honor of our getting snowed in today, we thought it would be appropriate to offer Treasure in the Royal Tower digital download as the prize. So what are you waiting for? I believe the quote today is a somewhat easy one to recognize, if you have a Twitter account, head over and participate!

~Little Jackalope~

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Snowed In 2012

So if you haven't noticed the gap in posts this week, here's the explanation for Monday's absence: we had snow!! Yep, over here in Washington state, when it snows, it can be a terrible mess! Since there are a lot of hills, a little ice can mean a lot of danger if we aren't careful. Therefore, we took a snow day.

Our Sales Director snapped a picture of her back deck this morning:

It totally feels like Warnings at Waverly Academy (which I played this last weekend, again). Although, the scene out our office windows switch from WAC's different days. The snow turns on, then off. It melts, then snows again. It looks wet and empty one hour, then the next hour the world turns white. I find it so amazing how silent it is, yet can be so dangerous. If you don't pay attention, the snow is like a culprit who sneaks up on you, or commits a crime right in front of your face without a single sound. It forces a detective to be on her guard at all times.

If you don't hear from us tomorrow, you'll know why: we we victimized by a silent white culprit.
Which snowy game is your favorite? WAC, TRT, ICE?

Looks like you super sleuths cracked the weekend puzzle! Answer is here: [Unscramble each word: Clue, undercover, listen, picture, resort, innocent, truth. Waverly, alibi, snoop. Secret, Tex, outside, professor, police, Emily, danger. Frank, open, Rentaro. Shorty, unlock, sapphire, poison, Isis, creature, investigate, observe, Uri, Sonny. Crime, arson, research, ghost, Ollie.] After you figured out all of the words, take a look at [the first letter of each word.] You will read [Culprit was stopped for suspicious cargo.] Any idea what this could mean? ;)

~Little Jackalope~

Friday, January 13, 2012

Weekend Puzzle #133

Happy Friday everyone! (Guess what the date is today. Hope no one is too superstitious!) Here's the weekend puzzle for today, this one is just for fun, but it does have to do with finding an Easter Egg in Alibi in Ashes:







Let's see what you can come up with, detectives!
~Little Jackalope~

Thursday, January 12, 2012

On Today's Schedule...

First off, we posted an awesome interview with our long-term Art Director, Kyle, on the Dare to Play Blog this morning. If you are interested in learning more about the creative people who work here and creatively contribute to the making of the games, I highly suggest checking it out here.
A few of us had a meeting today about the cover art and strategy guide designs that I got to attend (yay!). We looked at our older box art for our first Dossier game: Lights! Camera! Curses! so we know how not to make them look alike (say that five times fast). We went over the game story and the striking elements and points of interest and talked about what would make the art and guide look and sound good. It was so much fun!

Another couple of fun events today included catching an unwanted visitor (a spider) and going out for dessert lunch. Our designer and lead tester knew of an excellent place to get an amazing chocolate treat! Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of that... but I did snap a blurry picture of the daddy-long-legged spider! (Don't worry, he was safely escorted out of the building).
Weekend puzzle tomorrow! Come back and solve it to get closer to the Easter Egg mentioned in last weekend's puzzle. ;)
~Little Jackalope~

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Middle of ND26

There is a lot going on here, but any random visitor wouldn't notice if they walked into our office, because everyone is really quite. (Except for me, when during lunch I shoot off my toy bow and arrow at the window with a colored-on target).

The artists are cranking away at a big deadline this Friday and so they have their eyes and minds focused on completing all their projects. A few programmers are busy solving the puzzle of "how to create this tricky puzzle in this scene" and putting it all together to make everything work properly. The writer and designer are polishing up last designs and dialogue, while at the same time beginning the early stages of the following game. Our Lead Tester is preparing for next week's tester training and of course, for heavy game testing. The sales and marketing team is planning, scheduling and cleaning up things to get ready for the early work of our next game launch (kind of like spring cleaning before adding new furniture).

~Artist's Row at night~
Yep, there is a lot going going on, and while you may not hear too much about it, we are deep into the middle of ND26! It might be a while before you get clued in with us, but in the meantime, there are plenty of past games we could play or replay. (I'm re-playing Warnings at Waverly Academy). What do you do in between new game releases?

~Little Jackalope~

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Egyptian Pose Contest = Winners!

All day yesterday we were looking through the many photo entries received over the weekend for the Egyptian Pose photo contest. Wow, there were sooo many great photos that it was super hard for us to choose only one, so we decided to accept three winners! But it was still a tough decision. To help narrow it down, we had the office take a vote for their favorites. Here are the three that we decided on:Congrats to the lucky three winners! And thanks to everyone for sending in really creative and great looking photos! (I'm thinking we should do something like this again in the future). Keep an eye out when Tomb of the Lost Queen is released, as these photos will be hiding inside Nancy's world!

Looks like the weekend picture has been solved! Congrats super sleuths! Here's what you need to do: [start at the A in the top left corner. Rotate the entire grid 90 degrees so that the letter F is now in the top left box. Continue rotating and taking the next letter as you work you way into the middle of the grid.] In the end you should get this: [A Fun Easter Egg Picture in ASH]. But where can this be found? I will leave the sleuthing up to you, but will give you more hints in upcoming weekend puzzles. Stay tuned!

~Little Jackalope~

Monday, January 9, 2012

Recycled Art

Every once in awhile I like to ponder the art that is hidden in the games. Surely you have noticed a few re-occurring elements placed in several games, like the golden horse statue in Stay Tuned for Danger and Message in a Haunted Mansion. But some items that are re-used often get a few touch-ups to look different, making it a challenge to identify where the item was originally located. For example, check out this cat book that was originally used in Warnings at Waverly Academy, but was given a makeover and was placed in an environment in a newer game:

Any idea where it could have made a guest appearance? Hint: it is in a place where a few old things are kept.

Looks like several super sleuths are hot on the trail to solving the weekend puzzle, but so far, no one has completely cracked it. Here's a nudge: rotation counts.
~Little Jackalope~

Friday, January 6, 2012

Weekend Puzzle #132: First Puzzle of 2012!

Some mischievous person here dropped a huge hint about something in Alibi in Ashes, and she suggested that it was perfect for the Amateur Sleuth Weekend puzzles. Want to know what I know? Perhaps a few of you have already discovered it. If not, here's a hint:

One last reminder! Send in a picture of your best Egyptian pose to solved@herinteractive.com with the subject line "Egyptian Pose" by Sunday, January 8th for a chance at getting your picture in our next game: Tomb of the Lost Queen. Time's a'ticking!

Good luck, sleuths!
~Little Jackalope~

Thursday, January 5, 2012


I particularly like it when Nancy goes undercover. It's important to protect her image so that people won't research and learn about her history as an awesome detective, so Nancy must dress up from time to time to hide her identity.

Carnivale is a great excuse for wearing fabulous costumes, and Nancy takes the opportunity in The Phantom of Venice to dress up for a little sleuthing. She temporarily becomes Samantha Quick, and also, depending on how you like it, mixes and matches separate clothing articles that you can purchase should you have enough Euros to spend.

Sometimes dressing up to blend in is important for a case so that the detective won't stand out among her suspects. In The Captive Curse, Nancy had to wear a traditional Bavarian outfit for a time. Of course, everyone knew who she already was prior to wearing this. Interestingly enough, dawning the dirndl labeled her as a target....so it didn't quite benefit her sleuthing. If Nancy were to dawn another disguise, what could you imagine her becoming?

Reminder: Have you played the Nancy Drew TXT Challenge? You only have until the 19th of this month to complete all of the questions and enter for a chance to win a great big prize! (Be sure to score 90 points or more).

Keep it real!
~Little Jackalope~

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Images from Egypt

Could it just possibly be too early to talk about ND#26? Maybe so, but it is important that we do because at the moment we are holding a contest for it. If you haven't checked out yesterday's post, there are more details to be read. We have already begun receiving a few entries, like this one below:

Fans have posted a few of their pictures up on our Facebook page as well, so keep checking back to see more, or post yours up, if you'd like!

The first bit of art for our latest game has been revealed for the sake of this contest, check it out:

How exciting is that? Ok, perhaps you were expecting something....different? More? Sorry, we are going very Egyptian and this was as much as we can show you...for now. ;)

Twitter Quote contest is a go! Head over for a chance to win a free digital download game!
~Little Jackalope~

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Just like an Egyptian!

Hey guess what? We have a great new contest for you! For a chance to have your picture appear in our next game, Tomb of the Lost Queen, strike your best Egyptian pose! The background does not matter, just as long as we can see you clearly. Take a photo of yourself (or with a friend or two) and email it to us at solved@herinteractive.com with the subject line "Egyptian Pose".

You have until Sunday, January 8th. We will be picking a winner on the Monday, the 9th. Ready sleuths? Show us what you've got! (Facebook fans have their pictures posted on our Facebook wall! Check them out for a few examples and post your own photo or everyone to see!)

The Koko Kringle winners have been picked from last week's Facebook Challenge! Congrats to
1. Kelsey Gray
2. Smily Fancy
3. Karen Hiebert
4. Heather Turner
5. Laura Michaels
6. Michelle Paquette
7. Rachel Kear
8. Ada Noe
9. Jessica Kabakjian
10. Whitney Pleasant

If one of these is you, contact koko@herinteractive.com and give us your name and mailing address so we can send the candy bars to you.
Twitter Quote contest is returning tomorrow! Stay tuned for a chance to win a digital game download. ;)

~Little Jackalope~

Monday, January 2, 2012

Designing a Game

Hooray! It's 2012! A brand new year to fill will more mystery, suspense, chocolate bars and anything mischievous that we can add to the list that would be awesome. We've been contemplating game designs lately. (Ok, so 100% of the time it is our Designer who, well, designs them) and the rest of us continually draw and gather inspiration from a number of sources, including each other. All in all, we non-stop create games. It's what we do. And we love it.

Lately, in particular, I've been thinking about table games and how we play with each other. I rather like a little competition, so I play with family members or fellow HI workers. With the Nancy Drew games, I challenge myself instead (not looking at old notes so that I have to figure out puzzles all over again).
~Raid from The Captive Curse~
However we play play games, there is always a drive in us that brings us back to them. Is it the competition? The goal to accomplish something? The satisfaction of winning? The entertaining (and sometimes educational) play-through experience? With Nancy, I'm sure it's a little bit of everything. What's your motivation? ;)

Looks like a few super sleuths solved the weekend puzzle! Solution: [use the pigpen cipher to crack the code.] You should get [Shift three JLOBAXKDBOQLZLJB] which means to [shift the letters three spots over to the right in the alphabet] to get your message. The end result should say [More danger to come].

~Little Jackalope~