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Codes & Clues

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  • Codes & Clues

    What do you all think of the new Codes & Clues and HI Kids line that was announced today? (If you haven't seen it, it was announced in Her's December newsletter here)

    I think it's great that Her is inspiring young girls to go into coding. One of the best aspects of the games IMO is that they're fun while being empowering and showcasing smart, strong women; it's cool that they're using this traditional aspect of Nancy Drew and updating it for a modern context.

    I just hope it works out for them and that MID is still released. I'm a bit skeptical since the info about MID was vague.

    Anyway. I was curious for more info so I looked up the trademark Codes & Clues (since I noticed it had a TM symbol by it in the newsletter) and found this description:
    "STEM educational and entertainment initiative in which students use computer programming skills and gaming to solve mysteries, namely, providing real time, role playing computer games for others via global and local area computer networks"

    Not entirely sure what that description means in terms of gameplay, anyone have thoughts? It was filed in January 2015, so looks like they have been planning & working on the app for a while now.
    Last edited by hedgie; December 9, 2015, 11:29 AM. Reason: Mod's Note: Moved to correct board.

  • #2
    Sounds like something you'd use in a school setting maybe? Maybe HER is aiming towards schools for this app?

    I'm happy HER is looking to inspire girls in areas like STEM and coding. I have to say I'm a little sad because I'm very firmly not a kid anymore, and cannot see myself buying this app so I'm still wishing/hoping MID will come out sometime next year.

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    • #3
      Divergent Series

      Originally posted by nancycluedrew View Post
      Sounds like something you'd use in a school setting maybe? Maybe HER is aiming towards schools for this app?

      I'm happy HER is looking to inspire girls in areas like STEM and coding. I have to say I'm a little sad because I'm very firmly not a kid anymore, and cannot see myself buying this app so I'm still wishing/hoping MID will come out sometime next year.
      I myself am curious (as I fall into the same camp as you of not "firmly" being a kid anymore ) as to if they will distinguish these two series for different age groups. In my opinion they could devote a more kid/family friendly atmosphere to Nancy Drew through the mobile apps and develop a more mature/well-rounded Nancy Drew through the adventure series. I wouldn't mind seeing that. We'll just have to see what HER creates.
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      • #4
        At first I was pretty excited. I'm currently taking a computer programming college class with the hope of making computer games in the future. When I saw the age target I shrugged and decided I might like it anyway. I'm always reading books for that age level for the fun of it.

        Then I watched the video/trailer.

        This is probably just me but it felt cheesy. I know that's how children's stuff is. But I like to stick by C.S. Lewis's view of children's literature (or anything else for children).

        "A children's story which is only enjoyed by children is a bad children's story."

        So that's how I look at anything for children. If adults can't enjoy it too then it isn't well done.
        I understand that we just have a description of the game and a trailer. It might be really good when it comes
        out and I might love it.

        I've just always appreciated Nancy Drew for not being cheesy, especially when it come to declaring herself a detective when she introduces herself. I don't want to see that change as the age target changes.

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        • #5
          Okay, I wasn't going to post anything about this because my opinion is firmly in the negative camp, but I just went to the game page and...

          What do I even say...!? CharleenaPurcel hit the nail on the head by saying "cheesy". The art scares me...it doesn't look like something from Her Interactive at all, or even like something from any of the recent book series. It looks like they're just imitating a slew of other concepts. Not to mention the app being both for "girls, 5-8 years old" and "the youngest Nancy Drew fan in the family to the oldest (that means Grandma!)" at the same time...!

          And that's not even mentioning the video. That song...! The animation...! Nancy's voice...! That song...!!!

          To cut to the chase...this sounds quite strong (and possibly very exaggerated), I'm sure, but my opinion has just rocketed from "no interest" into "horror" very quickly. I...will probably not be playing this at all, but I'm certainly look forward to seeing just what on earth the content is going to look like! I will 100% echo CharleenaPurcel again in the hopes that it turns out to be better than it seems.
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          • #6
            Not really interested in the App to be honest, doesn't sound like a bad idea at all but its seems like its targeting the age demographic of 5-8yrs and majority of the fan base like myself seem to be upwards of that with many in their late teens or early 20s.

            So I don't think its going to interest them but HeR did say in the letter to tell your younger brother or sister or something a long those words so they are at least acknowledging they do have an older fan base.

            Basically agree with what your saying whitewolf93 if HeR could use the Codes & Clues to get younger fans interested and the Adventure Series could cater more for older fans that would be great.

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            • #7
              I for one am excited! Just as long as they don't use that voice actress for the adventure series. And the jingle was a bit much. But other than that it actually sounds like a really cool game! The art direction reminds me of the Nancy Drew Diaries books.

              Also, I'm hoping that starting an entirely new division of "HI Kids" does indeed mean that they're going to up the maturity in the main series! Let's hope they keep this Codes and Clues thing up instead of shelving it like they did with Mobile Mysteries and Dossier.

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              • #8
                OOKK. Having watched the trailer, it looks cute. Very cutesy. Not to my interest at all, which is fine, I had a hunch for a while HER would be deciding to do something for a younger fanbase. If I had kids in my life, maybe I'd show them this but otherwise, not terribly interested.

                I agree with much of what everyone else has said, it's very different for HER, I hope it works well for them, and I'm still hopeful MID will get released at some point.

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                • #9
                  I'm looking at all the info that came out today right now. Gotta agree that it's more kid-like than I expected, I'll probably still play it though, haha.

                  This might be nitpicky, but I'm kinda disappointed to see how girly they represented Nancy (maybe I'm just missing horse shirt and mom jeans Nancy lol), and it would have been awesome if they chose to represent Nancy or Bess and George as PoC, especially since the cast of characters is all white. Just a bit more diversity would've been cool especially in a game for young kids
                  Last edited by AutumnMemories; December 9, 2015, 02:14 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Ok... wow. After watching the video, I have so many things that I want to address.... :P

                    First of all, I just want to say "Chill out Daphne" because Nancy honestly looks like Daphne from Scooby Doo and not at all what I would imagine her like. Additionally, I get that they're trying to get kids to do more problem solving/deduction type things, but Nancy was so overanalyzing that box. Why not just pick up the dang thing to see if it's heavy instead of noticing a crinkled corner?!?!?

                    I also have to agree with some other people that the graphics/voices sounds so cheesy! Ugh! I never would imagine HeR would make that. That being said, I realize now that this is really marketed to very young kids and not at all to teens/young adults/adults like the regular series is, and since it is for kids, I realized that I need to imagine kids playing this, and not the core Nancy Drew fan base. Apparently HeR really wants to start getting in new, younger fans who can eventually go on to pick up the actual Adventure series later on, which I think is great for them, although I just hope that this doesn't take away from producing actually good games with good graphics/puzzles. This should be a filter into the Adventure series, with less time focused on things kids don't care too much about and more getting them into puzzles/programming/ND so they can later pick up the regular series and enjoy it. If the majority, or even half, of HeR's time/resources is put into making the HI Kids series, I don't think that's a good idea. It should be a fun, simple side project with not a huge amount of time devoted to it, IMO, so it doesn't detract too much from the main series production.

                    I know I'm not at all the target audience, yet I still cringe seeing the video. I know I definitely won't be buying this game, mainly because I think I'd lose all of my masculinity in one fell swoop lol. I think this is a good way to get young kids into being fans of the Nancy Drew series, but HeR needs to realize that the core fan base that has been here from almost the beginning isn't probably going to be getting this game or enjoying it if they do. It's for kids, which is good, but don't let it detract from the main series, or you'll be loosing many strong fans, including me.

                    All in all, this is not really the new direction I had imagined at all, but it's interesting. I will have to continue my mantra of "I'll wait and see" until at least MID comes out to judge whether they really do still care about the main series.
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                    • #11
                      Confused

                      I'm going to be honest with my post, and I am going to try very hard not to sound too mean...

                      I guess I'm confused... When HER announced they were going to make an mobile game series, I was thinking more of the lines of how they transferred GTH to the iPads and Kindle Fires. I didn't expect a SPY app or MED, I was actually thinking they were going to come up with an entirely new mystery and put it on the Apple, GooglePlay and Amazon stores. I watched the trailer to the new mobile series, and I have to agree with the opinions above. It looks very cheesy. I know they want to change up the company and while creating games for a much younger audience might help them in the long run, I don't know, I just assumed it was going to tilt in the Adventure Games audiences favors.

                      I really hope this post didn't sound too mean, but it is my opinion.... I just don't understand this new move from the company.
                      I'm ready to pack my bags and head off to a chilly Halloween autumn adventure! Do I dare join Nancy as she goes to snoop in the dead of night in Midnight In Salem?(Um, of course!)


                      Coming Soon.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by CharleenaPurcel View Post
                        Then I watched the video/trailer.

                        This is probably just me but it felt cheesy. I know that's how children's stuff is. But I like to stick by C.S. Lewis's view of children's literature (or anything else for children).

                        "A children's story which is only enjoyed by children is a bad children's story."

                        So that's how I look at anything for children. If adults can't enjoy it too then it isn't well done.
                        I understand that we just have a description of the game and a trailer. It might be really good when it comes
                        out and I might love it.

                        I've just always appreciated Nancy Drew for not being cheesy, especially when it come to declaring herself a detective when she introduces herself. I don't want to see that change as the age target changes.
                        At the risk of getting sooo off topic it would be ridiculous by trying to make a long winded point...

                        I thought that C.S. Lewis quote was really interesting. And I think it's kind of funny that you mentioned it because I was just reading something about the movie Willy Wonka (1971) and its preservation in the Library of Congress that really applies to what you are saying. One major factor attributed to the film's success was its appeal to both children and adults - it's considered one of the first family films enjoyed by children and their parents. And I definitely agree with the C.S. Lewis's quote, in terms of movies, but I don't know how much I agree with it in terms of TV and video games.

                        Having no kids of my own I can only make assumptions based on my own experiences growing up with video games. I rarely played video games with my parents. I remember playing JumpStart First Grade and Reader Rabbit when I was as young as five - within the age range of HeR's app - either by my self or with my brother. My parents would ensure that the content was age appropriate but I wouldn't necessarily play the games with them. Games, toys, TV shows - I don't think they need to appeal to adults because they are meant to be learning tools disguised as entertainment. So to adults they're redundant, boring. Movies on the other hand - a parent usually has to accompany their kids to the theater so it's more important to make them appealing to both children and adults.

                        So ANYWAY lol I think that while yes, the trailer is cheesy and did not appeal to me, a recent college grad, I think that kids in that age range will really like it. The music, animation, and dialogue all reminded me of the "kiddie" games I used to play growing up. The trailer actually specifically reminded me of JumpStart 3rd grade with the robot Botley and that bratty little girl that kidnapped his robot friends lol. I loved that game at the time! It had the same sciency and math feel as HeR's new app.
                        Last edited by bumblebeex3; December 9, 2015, 03:58 PM.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Ndfan1234 View Post


                          First of all, I just want to say "Chill out Daphne" because Nancy honestly looks like Daphne from Scooby Doo and not at all what I would imagine her like.
                          This ^^^^ That is the first thing I thought, too. The animation style was very Scooby Doo. The theme song is really bad, too.

                          I wonder if it will pay as you go, or how they plan on monetizing it.


                          I guess it's nice that it is making programming palatable to girly girls, the only problem I see is that it seems like an education app as opposed to just a game app that incorporates programming into game play. If it is not part of a school homework assignment, I am not sure a lot of kids would want to play this. With the adventure games, you learned a lot but without realizing it.

                          Also the animation has a real disney princess style to it, that could turn off a lot of boys and also girls. I liked the adventure games and books because Nancy showed girls can be smart and successful without being a princess-type. It's as if Nancy has morphed into Deirdre Shannon.
                          Last edited by paperstreet; December 9, 2015, 07:15 PM.

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                          • #14
                            Personally, I think it looks cute. Not 'Nancy Drew' but cute. Simple, harmless fun for little little kids. I would have preferred something more...um, family friendly (as in, the whole family, not just the toddlers) enjoyment, but oh well. At least we will still have Midnight in Salem next year, hopefully!

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                            • #15
                              I'm iffy on this. On the one hand, how can I not support an app that's attempting to make STEM careers more appealing to young girls? I think this is a great effort and I hope this app is a success. If I had young kids in my life, I would definitely introduce them to this. I agree that the trailer was a little cheesy (the jingle was kinda cringe-worthy), but it's important to remember that it isn't aimed at us (by "us," I mean players who are in their late teens and above--this seems to be the current age of the original ND fan group). It's meant to be marketable to children, and I think they would be appealing to them. It's just hard to watch something so cutesy from HeR, but that's a different rant.

                              I have to say, though, I'm disappointed this new project isn't universal. I was never expecting them to create something for young children (although I don't think it's a bad thing); I expected the app to be a mobile version of one or more of the adventure games, or to be a Hardy Boys app. I was looking forward to something I could play while waiting for Midnight in Salem...Guess I'll have to have yet another marathon of all the adventure games. :P

                              I do wish HeR all the best as they work on their new project. I do worry, though, that this new Kids line is going to receive the majority of attention from HeR's team, and that the main line of adventure games will suffer as a result. :/
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