Wednesday, April 23, 2014

-->Moving the Amateur Sleuth Blog<--

Hey all! I didn't get to post yesterday because of the big web site redesign and we wanted to make sure it was all working first.

Anyways that is the big news! We have a newly re-designed site and you know what? The Amateur Sleuth blog is moving locations. *GASP*

Don't worry, all the past posts are moving with it to the new site, so you won't be missing anything.

If you have the blog bookmarked at all, you will need to update the web url links to this:

Please head over there for all future posts. See ya on the new site! :)

~Little Jackalope~

Monday, April 21, 2014

Secret Projects & Monday News

We have a large project we are working on today and tomorrow. I hope I get to share it with you in the next post! We need to make sure there are no further edits to it first...

Speaking of secret projects, I put a new image up on the merchandise store, but it is for only one specific item and size... for now, at least. I wonder if any of you would be curious enough to find it...?

Anyways, tomorrow we have the Twitter party! Will you be on Twitter then?

I hope you all had a fantastic Easter! I nearly forgot about the game I was to play over the weekend for the Nancy Drew marathon. Did anyone else play Danger by Design? I've got to finish it again soon, because The Captive Curse is next on my list!

As for the weekend puzzle, I obviously missed putting in one last name third from the bottom, which would have given you an "A". Here's the first step to solving the puzzle: The letters are [anagrams for character names. Unscramble the first set and second set (the first and last name)]. The finished list:
  • [Charlie Murphy (from MHM)
  • Guadalupe Comillo (From ICE)
  • Enrico Tazza (from VEN)
  • Mary Yazzi (from SHA)
  • Scott Varnell (from TOT)
  • John Grey (from TRN)
  • Jane Penvellyn (from CUR)
  • Jeff Akers (from DOG
  • Renate Stoller (from CAP)
  • Holt Scotto (from DDI)
  • Izzy Romero (from WAC)]
Once you have figured this out, you then [count how many letters from left to right, according to the number listed next to the name.] Your final answer (with my missing "A") is [Puzzle Palace], a reference to The Shattered Medallion.

Lastly, we have a birthday!

~Little Jackalope~

Friday, April 18, 2014

Weekend Puzzle #234

We have lots of things going on this weekend! Let's see if I can cover all of them...

First of all, don't forget about the Facebook Caption Contest that is still going on until end of day Monday.

Secondly, the official soundtrack for The Shattered Medallion is now available here to purchase and download!

Thirdly, if there are some mysteries you have not yet solved, now is the time to play those missing titles before The Shattered Medallion releases. We are having a big sale on all digital downloads this Easter weekend! (Shop here.)

And last but not least, here's your weekend puzzle!

I hope you get to spend some quality time with your friends and family this weekend! Happy Easter!

~Little Jackalope~

Thursday, April 17, 2014

What Sonny Says...

Today we posted a photo on Facebook for another Caption Contest! Head over to our page and comment on the photo of me and Sonny with your most creative caption. The prize? A Flying Cow mug from our merchandise store:

 Also, the other day we posted this Nancy Drew Moment:

Do you remember when you first stumbled upon Sonny's doodles, notes, and Koko Kringle bar wrappers?

We have a special invite for you, too, if you have a Twitter account:

~Little Jackalope~

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Sonny Joon: Before and After

Now that everyone has seen Sonny Joon in his fully-modeled 3D form in the game, and heard his voice, I have noticed many comments about him.

One of the comments I have seen often is about how fans like the box art art version better and are disappointed withe the 3D Sonny. Here's the comparison shot:

Our Character Designer is the one who illustrates a concept sketch of each character, after reading his directions from our Designer. Once the concept illustration is done and approved, he models the character and adds the textures and colors of his outfit, hair, and other features. He is the same person who works on both the concept illustration and 3D model. His concept illustration of Sonny Joon was used in the design for the box art as well (and many of us agree: we LOVE his work!).

If you are interested in the process of how we create a character, check out this documentary film we made a while ago:

As for Sonny Joon's voice, our writer was careful about choosing the right kind of actor with an appropriate accent. For Sonny's personality, I am thrilled with how our design team has handled him (and I am a HUGE Sonny Joon fan)! In the game, he is just as quirky, easily distracted, energetic, nerdy, and mysterious as I had always expected him to be. If I can give my advice...I'd say DO judge him by his appearance, but also keep in mind that even if you have "met" him via the official trailer or the character bios, there is still the "getting to know him" element found by playing the game.

Please share your thoughts! Do you like Sonny as you see him now? What do you expect Sonny to be like when you really meet him?

Pre-orders for The Shattered Medallion are live! Will you join Team Tui on Pacific Run and find out what Sonny may be up to?

~Little Jackalope~

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Shattered Medallion Pre-Orders!

Today is day #1 of pre-orders for Nancy Drew: The Shattered Medallion! If you wanted to receive the physical version of the BONUS EDITION, I recommend ordering this week, just to be sure you get your copy before we sell out.

And the moment we have all been waiting for! Check out the official trailer we posted to YouTube this morning, and be sure to leave a comment either on YouTube or here, telling us your thoughts! :D

Also, we have an awesome pre-order promotion happening. Everyone who pre-orders a copy of The Shattered Medallion is automatically entered for a chance to win this Ultimate Travel Pack, which I am a little jealous over because it is SO COOL. You can learn more about it here on the Dare to Play blog.

~Little Jackalope~

Monday, April 14, 2014

Nancy Drew Trailer Marathon

Did you get a chance this past weekend to watch all of the official trailers on our YouTube channel? Some are definitely different and they have evolved quite a bit over the years. Do you have a favorite trailer? This is an easy question for me to answer...I personally like GTH and SPY's the best, but I am biased. XD

Here are the last few trailers, including the teaser for The Shattered Medallion below. After you watch these, come back tomorrow to watch the official trailer for The Shattered Medallion! You can subscribe to our channel to stay updated on our latest uploads, too.

Pre-orders begin tomorrow for Nancy Drew's next mystery! Head's up: we only made so many physical BONUS if you have your heart set on getting the boxed version, I suggest ordering early (or sometime this week) to be sure you will get your copy.

We have a birthday!

~Little Jackalope~

Friday, April 11, 2014

The Characters of The Shattered Medallion

We recently released the character profiles on our page! Check them out here!

What are your first thoughts about these characters? Is it still too early to become very suspicious of any single character?

There is no weekend puzzle today. Instead, we continue our Nancy Drew marathon! This weekend's mission: to watch ALL of the game trailers on our YouTube Channel here. (Teasers are totally optional). I'll be watching them from the first titles and end with SPY and the teaser for MED.

We have a few birthdays this weekend!

~Little Jackalope~

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Doubtful Sound

Yesterday we released the screenshots on our page for The Shattered Medallion. These are most of the environments you get to explore on location of Pacific Run. This one here below, Doubtful Sound, feels very much like when we kayaked around Deception Island. (Wow, that was a long time ago!)

The Shattered Medallion: Doubtful Sound

A small part of this environment will be featured in the official trailer, which releases on YouTube on Tuesday. (Yay!)

Speaking of trailers, this weekend for our Nancy Drew marathon we will be watching all of the YouTube trailers for the past Nancy Drew games. Since I, personally, like saving the best things for last, I plan to start with the first game trailers, watching them in order, leading up to The Silent Spy...and finishing with the teaser for The Shattered Medallion. This way we prepare to watch the official trailer on Tuesday.

Come back tomorrow! We *may* share more info with you this weekend!

~Little Jackalope~

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Shattered Medallion Page is LIVE!

Hooray! We launched The Shattered Medallion product page on our web site! Be sure to check out the screenshots, too. ;)

Also, save the date for our official trailer to be launched on Tuesday!

~Little Jackalope~

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Late Night for Tomorrow Surprises

Wow! Where did the day go? A lot of things happened today. Let me briefly share it with you: at first I began to work on the official trailer for The Shattered Medallion, getting a few transitions perfected. But then we were given the "green light" to start working on the official product page. WOOT!

Once we started working on that page, an unexpected bug over on the Message Boards occurred. (Those bugs are we got out our bug expert and he started cleaning up those pesky bugs.) Later today, the board was fixed.

I wandered through the forums and noticed every one's requests for new avatars. So I made a few from The Silent Spy and put them up. I'm still working on some more...

The most important random message I have for you: visit our web site tomorrow sometime after lunch. Very interesting things to come!

We have a couple of birthdays!

~Little Jackalope~

Monday, April 7, 2014

The Pacific Run Field

Look what we revealed today! This is the field environment in The Shattered Medallion.

~Click on the image for a larger view~

A portion of this environment was used for inspiration on the cover art. That reminds soon as I am finished working on the official trailer (which is releasing next Wednesday on April 15th), I should get to work on getting the cover art ready for the merchandise store. By the way, have you seen the new store design?

As for the weekend puzzle... it uses the Alt Code. You pretty much hold down the "alt" key on your PC keyboard and type in the number, then release the alt key. each time you enter a number, you get a character of some kind. Here is the complete answer ["Surprise! Your life is dangerous now!"] which is another direct quote from The Shattered Medallion.

~Little Jackalope~

Friday, April 4, 2014

Weekend Puzzle #233

We have randomly selected a winner from all entries to the Kindle Fire contest! Congrats to Jessica!

This weekend we continue our Nancy Drew Marathon by playing Secret of the Scarlet Hand. Join us as we play the first Nancy Drew game that Sonny Joon's doodles appeared in, which was over 11 years ago!

On a random note, we have some fan photos to share with you! This is Ashley, a huge Nancy Drew fan who had her picture taken with Nancy Drew books!

And here's your weekend puzzle, an alternative code:

We also have a birthday!

~Little Jackalope~

Thursday, April 3, 2014

The Best Nancy Drew Game Ever

Our Facebook fans have been voting on the Nancy Drew Madness this past month, narrowing down the best Nancy Drew game of all. Today revealed Treasure in the Royal Tower as the best, according to our Facebook community. The brackets may look different for different groups, and especially for different individuals. My top Nancy Drew game was not TRT, but I agree TRT was an incredible game. you can see the final numbers on this post here.

Just so, the ND Madness was just for fun...but to honor the best game, we have a sale going on for the digital version. You can shop here and purchase this awesome game if you do not have it yet, and according to the voters, they would recommend it!

We have some birthdays!

~Little Jackalope~

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

New Message Boards!

We have updated our message boards! It has been years (like...7 or 8 years) since they have been really updated, and it needed it. Especially in the back end, which none of you see, and it is mostly for technical specifications. That being said, there are some changes that do affect you all in the front end.

We posted a thread in message boards here about the details of the changes. If we missed anything, we will add the info to that post, so check back later if you are confused about something. Also, you can always ask question in the Message Board Questions forum, where other members can help answer your questions.

On to the fun! We posted this Nancy Drew moment today. For those of you played Treasure in the Royal Tower, you may have encountered a dead end where Nancy says "Hello there dead-end! My name's Nancy Drew", which I found hilarious.

Twitter Quote contest is today! Head over for a chance to win a digital guide!

~Little Jackalope~

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

If Sonny met Nancy...

One of our fans, Jamie, posted her fan art to our Facebook page, check it out!

This is a drawing of Sonny and Nancy, where Sonny reacts towards Henrik's comment "If he wasn't losing paperwork, or setting off the fire alarm, he was cornering our visitors with his theory that the Maya were abducted by aliens."

 Nice work, Jamie!

If you haven't played Secret of the Scarlet Hand (game #6), now is the time to get it for this upcoming weekend's marathon. 

Or if you want a really good deal on The Captive Curse, we have a sale going on now because of April Fool's day. (Lucas is the prankster in this game!)

Also, tomorrow is the last day to vote on the best Nancy Drew game ever on our Facebook page. We are already in the semi-finals round. Woot!

Also, later tomorrow the Message Boards will be back up. When they are, don't panic! I will post here and on the boards what changes incurred.

~Little Jackalope~

Monday, March 31, 2014

Searching for Medallions

Did anyone play Treasure in the Royal Tower this weekend? I sure did for our first marathon in preparation for The Shattered Medallion! Somethings that I noticed for the first time: Professor Hotchkiss never tipped Nancy for all the work she did! Also, even though I know where everything is in Wickford Castle, it would have sure been nice to have a map someplace to refer to...but then, that would defeat the purpose of exploring and running into (and introducing ourselves to) dead ends.

Next week's marathon: Secret of the Scarlet Hand, for Sonny Joon reasons.

Check out this fan art that Faylene emailed to us! It's Sonny Joon!

For those of you who were anxious about the Nancy Drew madness on Facebook, I did not update the brackets chart these past few days because I was not in the office over the weekend. No worries, I was still counting the votes at 1:00pm each day! The chart is currently up-to-date now.

Looks like a few of you solved the weekend puzzle! Good thing it was an easy one, because the message boards are still down and you can't communicate with each other about it just yet. It is a [rail fence] cipher, but the moon walk clue meant for you to count backwards. The answer is [Fate moves in odd a spider!] which is a direct quote from The Shattered Medallion.

~Little Jackalope~

Friday, March 28, 2014

Weekend Puzzle #232

It's the weekend! Most importantly we begin a game marathon building up to the release of The Shattered Medallion. In this blog post here I list out the schedule of the games I will be playing.

This weekend we begin with Treasure in the Royal Tower, for the fun of searching for missing medallions!

A few reminders: This is the last weekend to participate in the Kindle Contest. Check it out on our home's the hovering side-bar on the left of the page.
Also, the message boards are still down for maintenance, and will likely be back up next week.

Here's your weekend puzzle! Hint: moonwalk this track.


We have a birthday!

~Little Jackalope~

Thursday, March 27, 2014

MED Fan Art - Box Covers

For the past several months I have seen several fan art for The Shattered Medallion, particularly for the cover art (this is from before we revealed our official art). I wanted to show you what our fans were thinking and how they creatively perceived the game to be, using only the knowledge they had from the teaser video. The last art design below was made after we revealed the desktop icon.

Do you have any fan art you would like to share? (Perhaps of Sonny Joon?) Post them to our Facebook wall! That's where I see a lot of art come in. Perhaps I will feature your lovely work here on the blog in the future...

~Little Jackalope~

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Memorizing the Games

For those of us players who like to replay the Nancy Drew mysteries over and over, we tend to memorize random parts. For example, certain quotes like "Fifty drumsticks, please! Chicken, that is. Cluck, cluck!" or even "You're asking the wrong amnesiac!" Other things we might remember would be where to find an Easter egg or where to locate a certain password, or remembering where to enter 3*72 to turn off an alarm.

Here's something that a few of us have memorized: the tapestry poem in Nancy's room in Message in a Haunted Mansion. "Listen my child..."

Have you been able to recite the poem by heart?

Head's up! Twitter Quote contest is today!

~Little Jackalope~

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

News & Medallions

There is a lot going on this week at Her Interactive! We just finished the Caption Contest on Facebook (congrats to our winner, Avery!), and we are getting the product page ready for The Shattered Medallion. There is a lot to do!

Also, just a head's up: we will be working on the Message Boards between Wednesday, March 26th and Tuesday, April 1st. It will be back up on April 2nd. (It needed to get pushed back a day). So don't try to log in or post during this time...because it might not work for you.

Work has been slow on the trailer because we have been busy, and as soon as I'm finished with this blog post I will be getting right back to it!

Here's something else to keep in mind: this Friday through Sunday I will begin the Nancy Drew marathon by playing Treasure in the Royal Tower. If you do not have this game, you can order it in our store here. If you do have it, now is the time to install it and get it ready with your notebook and pencil (unless you have the game memorized and don't even need to take notes).

If you are a fan of TRT, I'd like to point out one of my favortist things in our Merchandise Store: The medallion images featured on the round ceramic ornaments! (I also added the purple one to represent Marie's favorite color. This way, you can purchase two ornaments and have a color on each side, getting all four for your collection.)

~Little Jackalope~

Monday, March 24, 2014

Sonny Appearances in March

What did you think of the cover art we released last Friday? Yes we have been teasing Sonny Joon for a while now, and to clarify, yes it is Sonny on the cover art. I personally am really excited because Sonny, to me, turned out better than I imagined.

Our style of the cover art and box layout design is our signature look nowadays: small details hidden around the illustration show minor (or "secondary") important features of the game that surround the center-most important element. There is a picture of George in the top left corner, hanging onto a bridge. To the right is an underwater submerge-able with a character inside, and many competitors are shown at the base. Have you noticed the circle of logos on the ground?

Sonny Joon is centered on the illustration over the shattered medallion pieces because he is the most important part, along with of course, that medallion.

So what do you suppose Sonny is up to in this next game? Why have we made him the center of the art? What is he thinking? More info will come in the near future, and more questions may arise later when the trailer is released.

For now, save this cover art onto your desktop and remember when pre-orders begin! Also, we have made Sonny Joon's concept illustration available in the merchandise store. Who wants a Sonny t-shirt? I DO!!! I will soon begin working on the cover art design for the store, so keep coming back to learn when that becomes available. ;)

A few minor announcements for you:
1. Nancy Drew madness is becoming even more exciting! SHA barely beat our SAW today on Facebook. (Please do not enter multiple times via comments, this is cheating and is unfair to the competition. If we see that you are breaking this rule, we will further exclude your votes. Today I subtracted a few votes whose members posted several times. Please follow the rules. I'd very much appreciate it, thanks!) 

2. The message boards will be down between this Wednesday, March 26th to Monday, March 31st for maintenance. We appreciate your patience while we work on the forums!

Lastly, we have a birthday to celebrate!

~Little Jackalope~

Friday, March 21, 2014

Nancy Drew: The Shattered Medallion Box Art

The Shattered Medallion box art has been released! Mark your calendars for pre-orders on April 15th!

Click the image for a larger view!
Here are all the dates to keep in mind for The Shattered Medallion:

-The Her Interactive Team

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Marathons in the Spring

I'm super excited because today is the first day of spring! Here's a sample of what our spring here looks like during lunchtime at the office:

On a new note, I've seen questions from you come up inquiring about Nancy Drew game marathons in preparation for our next game release. There are three types of marathons that come to my mind, personally...

1. The Classic Marathon -- ALL THE GAMES!

This is where players see if they can re-play all of the Nancy Drew games before the release date of the newest Nancy Drew game. This pretty much requires that you have all the games (that are available) and can find time to play that many. Play these in numerical order, starting with #1.

2. Similar Games Marathon 

Another marathon you could participate in is a "similar games" marathon. This means any other other Nancy Drew games that may feel similar in game play to the new title. It might be hard for you to determine the style of game play for The Shattered Medallion because, well, you simply haven't played it yet. From my perspective, the games that would most match the game play style or even small similarities for MED are these: Ransom of the Seven Ships, Danger by Design, Secret of the Scarlet Hand, Tomb of the Lost Queen. You can play these in any particular order, but I highly recommend playing RAN last.

3.  Themed Marathon

This one can be very similar to the "Similar Games Marathon". The theme, for example, of The Shattered Medallion is a "medallion". There are other Nancy Drew games that feature medallions, such as Treasure in the Royal Tower and The Captive Curse. If you'd like to broaden the theme to include other games, you could add Secret of the Scarlet Hand and Tomb of the Lost Queen for their relics and antiques and generally old treasures (that are not exactly gold or precious stones).

So what kind of marathon are you most excited about participating in? Many members on the message board put together marathons that you could follow and participate in. I myself would recommend playing all titles that you have not yet played before. But if you have ALL of the Nancy Drew games...may I present to you the option to participate in the Amateur Sleuth Game Marathon!

These are the games I recommend playing before pre-orders for The Shattered Medallion end: Treasure in the Royal Tower, Secret of the Scarlet Hand, Danger by Design, The Captive Curse, Tomb of the Lost Queen, and Ransom of the Seven Ships. I also scheduled in a weekend to re-watch all of our YouTube trailers before the MED trailer is released.

We have a spring birthday!

~Little Jackalope~

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Blowing Up Chemicals -- It's a Nancy Drew Thing

We shared this Nancy Drew moment today:

How many of you have experienced the frustration and paranoid fear when you tried solving this puzzle? Each time I play The Haunting of Castle Malloy and reach this puzzle I get nervous. Using the claw to pick up the individual elements without touching anything else is a bit nerve-wracking for me. One little bump with the claw and BOOM!! Explosion. You need to manipulate the claw correctly and perfectly in order to solve this puzzle.


Hey! Twitter quote contest is today! And Round 2 of the Nancy Drew Madness voting on Facebook has begun! You can check out the current standings here.

~Little Jackalope~

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Medallions of the Past

Medallions occasionally make appearances in various types of Nancy Drew mysteries, as well as in the books. They are highly valued pieces of ornately decorated stones or jewelry that are a treasure to its owner.

Three medallions were the center piece of the story in Treasure in the Royal Tower, where Nancy had to locate all three medallions that had belonged to Marie Antoinette, and I personally think are  most beautiful. Not only are they pretty, but they served several more purposes in the game. I won't spoil it for you in case you haven't played it yet.

In a more recent game, The Captive Curse, there is a medallion fastened as a necklace. The original medallion necklace was worn by girls who were reportedly attacked by the monster. Because of this story, there are replicas in the Castle souvenir shop. So if you wanted to lure a creepy monster to yourself, just wear a necklace!

Our next Nancy Drew game, The Shattered Medallion, has the medallion right in the title. This is another very important medallion, as you will soon learn. Obviously it is broken into five parts and has a beautiful carving on its face. What do you suppose this medallion's story is? Will it serve a purpose? Will it lure you to your death? Is it symbolic of something?
Only this will I tell you: there is more here than meets the eye.

~Little Jackalope~

Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy St. Patrick's Day 2014!

I unearthed an old sketch I did a few years ago to share with you for today in honor of St. Patrick's day.

From left to right is a coatimundi, an alien, a leprechaun in the alien's hat and spaceship, and a Koko kow from Sonny's sketch on Minette's intern's computer screen.

There are still a few hours left in the day for you to order a physical game for 50% off! Have you played The Haunting of Castle Malloy? It's set in Ireland so it would make a fantastic game to play this week. Or if you are missing any game from your bookshelf collection, now is a great time to fill that gap. With this sale, you could get some games for as little as $5, and I think that is a pretty fantastic deal in our store.

As for the weekend puzzle, it looks like many of you have already cracked the Morse Code to read [Cover art is next to come.] I have already had a sneak peek at the artist's work on this...and I LOVE it. However, your opinion may match or may not match mine. You'll just have to wait and see.

Have you been following the Nancy Drew Madness game duels on Facebook? We are getting close to the second round!

We have a belated birthday!

~Little Jackalope~