Monday, April 30, 2012

I Spy With My Little Eyes...

... an answer to the weekend puzzle. Looks like a few clever sleuths solved the puzzle, despite the lack of one little dash in the third word. No worries, it wasn't as important as the word itself was, that was just for a visual reference.

Solution: First, identify the letters as the colors on the die and then associate them with their according numbers to do the math. Example: B + J is Blue plus Jade, which is one plus two. The answer (three) is the alphabet letter you need (3rd letter is C). Do this for all math problems until you get a jumble of letters in each column.

Answer: Once you have solved the math problems, unscramble the letters (this is an anagram) in each column. In the end you should get this: [Nancy's Voice + Brilliance = SPIED]. "Brilliant! Good chat!"

I didn't figure many of you would know exactly what this means...I was trying to be cryptic. For those of you who are pre-ordering Tomb of the Lost Queen and getting the Bonus Edition, you will get the option to call S.P.I.E.D (Strange Phenomenon Inspectors: Extraterrestrial Division) for secret recorded messages. Our voice actress who voices Nancy Drew provided to these recordings, which are...entertainingly interesting.

~Little Jackalope~

Friday, April 27, 2012

Weekend Puzzle #147

Hooray! It's the weekend! Only three day left until you can download your pre-order of Tomb of the Lost Queen! For those of you who pre-ordered the boxed game, we have begun shipping out now. Stay tuned and check your email for your notice that it is on its way. 

If you haven't pre-ordered it yet, you still can to receive the bonus edition, exclusive to our site, by May 7. On May 8th, the bonus editions go away and the standard becomes available everywhere (online and in stores).

This weekend puzzle is inspired by the bonus edition of the game, and includes color samples from the cover art. This week is only meant for fun, but feel free to discuss your thoughts and post your answer(s) (in spoiler code) on the Message Boards here.

Good luck sleuths! And happy Friday!
~Little Jackalope~

Thursday, April 26, 2012

We have TMB! (Will you get TMB?)

I got super excited today because a big shipment of several copies of Tomb of the Lost Queen have arrived to our office! (The stack of boxes was as tall as I am). Check out Melissa, she's really excited, too!

Here's the retail version, with fun embossing (my favorite area is the hollowed looks cool):

Have you pre-ordered your copy of Tomb of the Lost Queen? Boxed copies will be shipping soon, and there are only 4 days left until the digital downloads are available! If you get your shipment early, here's a note for you: Check out the Message Boards! The TMB Hints & Tips and Reviews forums are up!

Also, check out the Dare to Play blog! We posted an interview with our Programmer Lead, Peter! Can you guess what video game character he would want to be?

Weekend Puzzle tomorrow!
~Little Jackalope~

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

CEO 4 A Day! (Winner)

Today, our CEO-4-A-Day contest winner arrived to claim her throne:

~Shari in the president's chair~
This morning the Her Interactive team went outside for our CEO's arrival and greeted her as she and her family stepped out of their town car. When we re-entered the office, it was bagel breakfast and coffee in the big conference room, where Shari reigned for the majority of the day. Below she signs an important agreement with one of our digital partners, already filling her new role very well!

Megan giving the group her grand tour: 

Shari and her family got to meet with each department and learn a little about how we make our games. The art team showed off some top secret images of our next game, then Shari got to sit in on a walk through meeting, see the sales team's game presentation, learn about the game cover art creative process from Marketing, and they also got to test out Tomb of the Lost Queen in our testing lab!

Lunch with the Leads and a gift bag of treasures (including a copy of Tomb of the Lost Queen and some Koko Kringle Bars) were some added treats for our CEO grand prize winner.

This was a lot of fun today! It was exciting to have such great fans come in and we enjoyed showing them everything we do. We hope that Shari enjoyed being CEO as much as we enjoyed having her and her family. ^_^

~Little Jackalope~

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Breakfast at Her Interactive

Have you visited our Facebook page recently? We have announced the Caption Contest winner! Congrats to Meghan B. for providing the quote that the judges liked best: "Jamila: How do I look today? Abdullah: You look fine, but I look FABULOUS."

As soon as I entered the building this morning, I instantly recognized the smell of bacon cooking. Upstairs in our office kitchen we had an office work party and breakfast. Check out Megan and Tim in their spiffy chef outfits, making pancakes:

This morning the team gathered together to assemble about 200 copies of Message in a Haunted Mansion. They inserted the sleeves, manuals, and popped in the discs. Our super fast team was done in ten minutes. Now that's fast work!

Heads up! Remember way back during the Alibi in Ashes pre-order when we held that contest: CEO-4-A-Day? Our winner and her family are visiting tomorrow! So stay tuned for the story!

~Little Jackalope~

Monday, April 23, 2012

Unlocking TMB's Answers

First off, I would like to give a shout-out to one of our fans!

~Happy Birthday Daniella!!! Hope you have a great one! :D~

I was only trying to sound poetic in this post title. Really all I'm taking about today is Tomb of the Lost Queen. (Only 7 days left!)

Yes, this last weekend's puzzle was rather easy, but that's OK, because it's good to practice Morse Code! The more practice the better, since it is a great detective skill to add for sleuthing . The answer to the Morse Code weekend puzzle is this: [Real Outtakes]. And I wanted to clue you in on this fun tradition to our games.

Outtakes are either silly things that are created by our humorous workers here, or they can be deleted scenes, or goofs that occurred. This feature is available at the end of the newer games, after you watch the game credits. While The Captive Curse has some silly outtakes, Alibi in Ashes had some more serious "goofs", but they were outtakes none-the-less.

~Me listening in on the outtakes~

In Tomb of the Lost Queen, we have some deleted content, concept art, and real behind-the-scenes audio from during the creation of the game. (You can barely hear a few of our workers giggle in the distant background in one just have to listen for it.) This is what I meant by "real outtakes". I rather like these...I was laughing real hard when I first heard them...but then, I like to laugh a lot. XD

Oh hey!! If you like any of the Tomb of the Lost Queen wallpaper downloads for the desktop, you can download/save the Mobile Wallpapers that are now available, check them out and save one to your phone!

~Little Jackalope~

Friday, April 20, 2012

Weekend Puzzle #146

It's the weekend! Got any fun plans? I think I might play a Nancy Drew game again, maybe brush up on Tomb of the Lost Queen before it goes out in 10 days. Ten days! Wow, if you pre-ordered you will get to play your download on the 30th, whoo-hoo! I'm going to start checking off my calendar, let the countdown begin! TEN...(days left)

It's been a while since I've put up some artwork of my own, so I decided to doodle a little this morning:

~Me pinning the Tomb of the Lost Queen cover art to a Pinterest Board~
On to the weekend puzzle! Again, if you'd like to discuss this, you can on our Message Board here.


(I figured I'd give you a simple one, plus it is good practice to know this skill). ;)
~Little Jackalope~

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Facebook Caption Contest! (TMB)

I'm so excited! If you haven't noticed already, we have a new Caption Contest up on our Facebook page! Check us out at "Nancy Drew PC Games".

Here's how it works: See this picture below?

We posted this to Facebook. Now you head over and find it, and write in the comments your caption. What are Abdullah and Jamila saying to each other? That's for you to decide, and the funnier and more creative the better! (I've already seen several great captions, and can't wait to read more!) The contest ends 11:59pm PST Monday, so hurry now!

The prize is this: A Tomb of the Lost Queen cover art pillowcase! (It hasn't even become available yet, which means the winner will not receive this prize until after May 8th.) After May 8th, this item will be available in our Merchandise Store here. ~.^ Oops...did I just give that little bit of info away...?

Have you subscribed to our newsletter? Usually when I mention that, we send one out, soon. *Wink*. ~.^
~Little Jackalope~

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Mid-Week Moments

Today was a really nice day, so some team members and I went outside for a break to play hacky sack. Note: wearing strapless flat shoes are not the best fashion choice when your feet need to move fast. The shoes tend to get kicked off and go flying at person's face. (I don't know which is more embarrassing, that or our CEO who got wickited and now must display the pink feathered boa of shame on his office window.)

Today you get a sneak peak at we have been working on these past few days:

Any idea what this is for? ;)

Twitter Quote contest is happening right now! Head over for a chance to win a Trail of the Twister digital strategy guide!

~Little Jackalope~

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Behind the Scenes of TMB: Jamila

We are getting more excited for the the release of Tomb of the Lost Queen! Today (literally a few hours ago) we received the final samples of the DVD cover, you know, the nice paper that slips into the case? See below:

Sadly, we don't have the game disks yet, they are still being replicated.

I'd thought to show you a little bit more behind-the-scenes stuff for Tomb of the Lost Queen. Check it out! Our character Designer, Van, let me spy on his work-in-progress. Can you tell which character he's working on here?

His work is one of the earliest that begins on a new game. (This picture was taken August 10th, 2011!) He first starts out with character direction from our designer: the person, clothing, details etc. and designs how they look based on those references. After the original concept illustrations are done, he begins on this base 3D modeling. Later, the character will get color and texture and joints so she can move, then she's off to be animated!

~Little Jackalope~

Monday, April 16, 2012

TMB Wallpapers

Have you seen any of the desktop wallpapers for Tomb of the Lost Queen? You can view the large screenshots here and save them to your computer to set as your desktop background. I particularly like the Columns one. :)

There will be more to come in the future, along with cell phone wallpapers, and eventually a screensaver with music. Whoo-hoo!

This last weekend's puzzle appeared easy, or at soon as you knew what to do. XD
Here's the solution:
[They are dates. (Month/day/year). Find the Amateur Sleuth blog posts that were created on that date and look for the purple letter that is pasted on each picture.].
If you do this in order and write them down, you'll get [A Secret Message]. This refers to Tomb of the Lost Queen, and that's all I shall say. ;)

~Little Jackalope~

Friday, April 13, 2012

Weekend Puzzle #145 + Pinterest!

Hooray Friday! We also have some fun news: we now have a Pinterest Account. Check it out and follow us, and re-pin your favorite Nancy Drew Games! We love pictures, and especially love sharing them. You can also visit any of our product pages and from there, you can pin the game image to your board.

Weekend puzzle time!1 = Begin with the above picture.
4 = 10.17.2011
12 = 03.22.2011
2 = 11.30.2011
7 = 07.25.2011
11 = 04.14.2011
10 = 04.26.2011
13 = 02.23.2011
8 = 06.27.2011
3 = 10.25.2011
6 = 08.16.2011
9 = 05.31.2011
5 = 09.22.2011
14 = 01.27.2011

Have a great weekend!
~Little Jackalope~

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Big Wind Day!

First of all, we noticed a very special request on our Facebook page today and I just wanted to say:
Hope you have a good one, Amy! XD

Did you know that today is "Big Wind Day"? Today, April 12th, 1934 is the day that commemorates the highest wind speed that has ever been recorded on our planet. A heated wire anemometer was used to measure it, which recorded the wind at 231 mph (371km/h). Wow, and it was just regular surface wind, not a tornado or hurricane!

In honor of today, we have a Facebook sale going on! Get the digital download of Trail of the Twister for 25% off using promo code WIND25, which will only last until 11:59pm PST today only. Hurry, before this deal gets blown away!

Oh, and if you haven't played this game yet, here's a nudge: I pulled my name from this game. For those who know what I'm talking about: where can I be found? And have you earned the reward? ~.^

~Little Jackalope~

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Secret Sound Recording

Today could have been any other day. But it wasn't, it was one of the two special times of the year when we record our character voices. Our writer and designer let me tag along this time, and it was so much fun!

Shh, don't tell anyone, but this is the secret lair: an unmarked building where we make magic...or should I say, capture magic. The recording studio is on the sixth floor of this old brick building:

Check out the old Victrola player here! We've come a long way in how we listen to music. Wow, I thought this looked really cool.

~Little Jackalope~

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Her Interactive in the Spring

In the Pacific Northwest we are known for odd weather, and many of us in the office like it that way. This weekend it became very warm and sunny and made everything look beautiful. Check out these snapshots I took of the entrance to our building today:

~Japanese Magnolias, known for the flowers that come before the leaves~

These trees remind me of the Japanese Cherry blossom flower we use as our desktop icon and in our intro splash screen in Shadow at the Water's Edge. So pretty!

Today was such a nice day, that one of our meetings concerning ND#27 was held outside on the picnic table. Good times!

I suppose I could drag out the weekend puzzle another day by giving you another hint, but I think I shall give it to you. Here is the solution:
First you solve the top by reading it as you would [a rail fence cipher]. Then you read the page on our website on Tomb of the Lost Queen of [the character profiles] to find who I am referring to. The answer is [Dylan]. The X is just a placeholder and means nothing. Next, place that name on the 5 spaces provided above the columns. Follow the directions below the columns by [placing each string of letters vertically under the appropriate letter]. Hint: the first string of letters, WTYLN would go under the [A column]. Once you place each string of letters in the right location, you should be able to read left to right, top to bottom this final answer [The weight is key to unlocking]. Another hint about things inside of Tomb of the Lost Queen, for you to remember later. ;)

~Little Jackalope~

Monday, April 9, 2012

Character Voices...and Dylan!

Looks like the weekend puzzle gave you a little challenge, and so far one person has cracked it. (Nice job!) I will give the rest of you another day to try it once more with this clue: [vertical, then horizontal].

From what I've heard so far, everyone's interested in Dylan Carter from Tomb of the Lost Queen. To read his bio, visit the Character Profiles page here. I noticed in several posts that people thinks he's cute. I must agree. While we may hope that he is in the running against Ned, Frank, Dave, Colin, and Henry, we have yet to learn if there is a romantic theme coming up in TMB. That's for you to discover on your own when you play the game. :)

As for his voice, it looks as if it is a concern about whether it is real or fake. To hear his voice, check out the official Tomb of the Lost Queen trailer on our YouTube Channel here, or our web site here. I am proud to say that we went and got an authentic Englishman to voice Dylan from over in the United Kingdom!! (There's another story I can add to this fact, but I can't tell you until you begin receiving your Pre-orders and start playing.) His voice is 100% real, which I think makes him an extra special character! I remember listening to his voice plenty of times when we were working on the trailer...Whenever I see his picture I hear the words "Not good! Not like that!" >.<

Voice recording is going on this week! Maybe I will be able to catch a story for you later. ;)
~Little Jackalope~

Friday, April 6, 2012

Weekend Puzzle #144

Happy Friday! It's also Easter weekend, and we have a sale going on: get 25% off any digital game (excluding Tomb of the Lost Queen pre-orders) using promo code HOPPY25. Sale ends 11:59PM PST Sunday, April 8th.

Also, if you have not checked out the official trailer for Tomb of the Lost Queen, head over to our YouTube Channel, or on our site here. It's day 4 of pre-orders! Have you ordered your copy yet?

Here's your weekend puzzle! This one is only for fun, but if you'd like to discuss it on the Message Boards, you may do so here.

Good luck sleuths!
~Little Jackalope~

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Why Thursdays Are Cool

In the Her Interactive office, Thursdays are typically "meeting" days. Sales and Marketing meet in the morning, the designer and writer are always meeting, I meet with the Lead Tester to make sure that the weekend puzzles are....well...solvable.

But the first Thursday of each month we do something special. Lovingly titled by our creative writer, we attend "HerInteractive's Autonomous Mobile Burger Understanding Review Group for Edible Recreation". Or code name H.A.M.B.U.R.G.E.R. I have to laugh every time I read that. XD (Nik, I love this title very much.)

If you have no clue what that means, I shall translate: The entire team (whoever wants to join) heads out to try out a burger place for lunch. Today's trip was to Five Guys: Burgers and Fries. And as of now, this was my favorite burger place for these reasons: 1 - I liked it very much. 2 - I was able to finish the WHOLE thing in one sitting. This is the first instance this has happened as all previous burger places had huge burgers. To go with the amazing burgers were the Cajun french fries that are served in the white cups. After trying a couple, I had to get some water. It was awesome.

~Little Jackalope~

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Day 2: TMB Pre-orders

It is day 2 of pre-orders. Only 26 days more days until you can digitally download your game, and the boxed games ship out. It seems sooo far away! And yet, here in the office I'm sure the days will just fly, since we are always focusing on it. Have you decided to pre-order Tomb of the Lost Queen? ;) We posted some helpful facts on the Dare to Play Blog here.

It might be possible that if you order the boxed version, you might be among a few lucky people, depending on your location and shipping method, that you might receive the game a day or so earlier than your friends. There is still a chance that you could receive it much later, too. But I do have an insider's tip for you: if you pre-order the digital download (and you live anywhere in the world), you get to download on April 30th. This is likely the fastest way to get your game.

My advice to you: do your math; compare where you live to how much shipping will cost you and how long you estimate it to take to get to your house, and decide what you would like to do. As Nancy knows, a thorough investigation and good judgment leads to finding the best results and answers. ;)

~Little Jackalope~

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Tomb of the Lost Queen: Pre-orders Are Live!

It was a very exciting and busy morning today at the office! Pre-orders have gone live for Tomb of the Lost Queen and we have been scurrying to get all the last-minute touch-ups, testing and announcements done. We sent out a newsletter for this as well. Have you signed up for our newsletter on our home page? If not and you missed the one that went out today, you can view it here in our archive.

Also, my favorite news for today: The Official Trailer has gone live! Check it out on our YouTube Channel and subscribe to stay informed on all of our video uploads. You can also watch the trailer on our site by going to the product page, scrolling down and clicking on "Watch Trailers".

What'dya think? Does it look like an adventure you would take? Do you think you can handle a challenge and brave the elements to discover Egypt's lost queen? ;)

Extra news for today: “Due to increases in printing costs, we are unable to offer a physical strategy guide for Tomb of the Lost Queen. However, we still offer digital versions of the strategy guide for those that like to purchase a copy with their game.”

(We also posted all the facts you need to know about pre-ordering and shipping on our Dare to Play Blog here.)

~Little Jackalope~

Monday, April 2, 2012

The Day Before Pre-Orders

Being the day before pre-orders, we have been super busy preparing for Tomb of the Lost Queen. Tomorrow at noon, PST, you will be able to pre-order our Egyptian adventure game, whoo-hoo! In celebration of TMB finishing up here in the office, we had a company lunch meeting. The entire team then got to view the official trailer (which I'm super excited about. I think the trailer makes the game look adventurous! Which it is.) I'm curious to see what you think.

As for the Weekend Puzzle contest, we had an excellent turn out and not one person submitted an incorrect answer! Bravo! All you do is [take out those letters listed, and read the remaining]. You will get [Tomb of the Lost Queen trailer on Tuesday]. Which was an early heads-up for everyone who participated in the puzzle. (Lucky you! you were the first to hear about it.)

Aaaaaaaand we have a winner! Congrats to Alex H. from Golden, CO! Stay tuned for more puzzle contests in the future. ;)

Today we posted an interview with our Creative Director, Tim, on the new User Interface for Tomb of the Lost Queen. Read it now on the Dare to Play Blog. To accompany his interview, I will show you a little something that you haven't exactly seen yet. Cursors!

This first gem arrow is for scrolling up and down, like in the task list and journal. The rotating yellow arrows are for rotating, of course. Now here's something new: The hand! This hand is for touching, grabbing, and manipulating objects. The yellow quote bubble is for talking to animated characters, the big arrow is for going forward and moving around the game, and most important of all is the fancy magnifying glass cursor which lights up when you get to view something up close.

These cursors make it easy to play and identify what you are doing, and I really enjoy them. Beside the magnifying glass, I really like the hand. It makes me feel like my real hand is reaching through the screen and grabbing things, it' silly as that may sound. ^_^

~Little Jackalope~