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Have a great Memorial Day weekend!
(Just a reminder: Our offices will be closed Monday, May 30th to observe Memorial day). See you Tuesday!
Today we have an exciting update! Here is the official box art for The Captive Curse! With the help of several creative employees describing what the story, focus, and important elements are to this game, the designer came up with several different compositions. These compositions went through extensive edits, endured lots of critique, and in the end…we came up with this result: A beautiful rendition of a female hand loosely clutching an elegant necklace. The German burg (castle) sits high in the forest as a girl in traditional clothing races for safety through the woods. Take a close look at the necklace: it holds the image of an ominous silhouette!
The word is out! Pre-orders for this new game begin on June 1st. Stay tuned for more updates and information!
We are giving you a heads-up concerning some minor changes to our minimum requirements for our games to run. Many of you will not have to worry since many computers are already equipped and prepared for the latest and best gaming experiences. But just in case, please see below:
NANCY DREW on PC Computers
WINDOWS MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS
Windows® XP, Vista, or Windows 7, 1.5 GHZ or greater Pentium 4 or equivalent class CPU, 512 MB of RAM, 2 GB or more hard drive space, 64 MB DirectX 9.0 compatible video card, 16 bit DirectX compatible sound card, 4x DVD drive, mouse and speakers.
NANCY DREW on Mac Computers
MAC MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS Mac OS X 10.5.8 Leopard/10.6.6 Snow Leopard or higher, Intel processor, 512 MB RAM, 2.1 GB or more hard drive space, Intel GMA 950, ATI X1600, NVIDIA 7300 graphics card or better, keyboard and mouse, internet connection the first time the game is launched. This game will NOT run on PowerPC (G3/G4/G5) based Mac systems (PowerMac).
The biggest change is that The Captive Curse will be on a DVD, meaning you need a DVD drive instead of a simple CD-ROM drive to run this game. Most of your computers already have this and therefore you would have nothing to worry about. This change means there will only be one disc to play and install (no disc switching during installation!).
We did this with you in mind, so that we can give you the best and most exciting gameplay, puzzles, cinematic, story, and characters for an amazing Nancy Drew adventure experience! We hope you will enjoy the upcoming game and that with our upgrade in technology we will be able to meet all of your expectations. The Captive Curse is just around the corner, are you ready for it?
We interviewed our Game Production Programmer, Alex, to give you an inside look at what it takes to create a Nancy Drew adventure game.
HI: What do you do as Game Production Programmer?
Alex: “Responsibilities include implementation of game logic, game play and puzzle scripting/programming; sound and video file conversion; asset integration; add/test in-game sequences; find/research bugs and enter into bug tracking system; additional testing tasks; managing game builds; research and schedule maintenance as well as other duties as assigned.
So, the quick answer could be “a little bit of everything.” Essentially everything flows through a pipeline before it gets to me. Art develops all the pretty pictures and we process and integrate that into the build. Design and Script write out all of the logic, and we in Production implement it. Ideally, as we build the environments, we would catch all of these localized problems, thereby minimizing the bugs.
On top of that, we also mine our sound library for all of the sound effects in the game, build puzzles, and run test passes on the game towards the end of the development cycle.”
HI: What sort of projects are you currently working on?
Alex: “Currently I am implementing logic for a large environment for the next game. It’s a rather complicated location, as Nancy will be spending quite a bit of time in there, so it will probably take me several days to get everything in. I spent most of last week working on puzzles and finishing up one of the smaller conversations.”
HI: What happens to your work once you are finished?
Alex: “Once I finish a project, I inform Testing and they go to work hammering at it from every conceivable direction.
Any problems Testing finds get sent back to me in the form of bug reports. I fix them, send it back to Testing, and we repeat this process until Testing can’t come up with any problems. At which point, the game is finished, we send off the build to get disseminated to the public.”
HI: What is fun about this work?
Alex: “The most fun part of work is definitely building puzzles. Navigation, game logic, even conversations, are pretty much done the same every time, but each puzzle is often a unique challenge. Building a puzzle is kind of like a puzzle unto itself; there are all of these separate pieces and they have to be put together to form a larger system. There is rarely only one way to go about it, and it’s fun building puzzles that push you, force you to think of things in different ways to accomplish tasks in the most efficient methods possible.”
Thanks Alex for taking the time to share with us!
I wouldn’t have known who Nancy Drew was if it wasn’t for my mom and grandmother, who introduced me to this great heroine. As a young child who enjoyed reading about adventures and mysteries, I received several Nancy Drew books from them. The faded, worn look and feel of a vintage copy was cherished and I was thrilled over the glossy re-prints that helped grow my collection. Mom not only encouraged me to read, but she would read the books with me, and later we would converse about the exciting story Nancy was involved in.
Mother’s day is coming up, remember to thank her in your own special way for all that she has done for you, whether it be encouraging you to read or encouraging you to be the best you can be no matter what the endeavor. If your mom hasn’t tried a Nancy Drew game yet, we hope you’ll consider the Nancy Drew Dossier game “Resorting to Danger” on sale for $14.99 this month only. It’s the perfect introduction to the digital world of Nancy Drew that can be shared with the both of you. Please join us as we celebrate Moms this weekend. They are our teachers and cheer leaders who love us so very much, let’s give them a cheer back!