BTMF Christmas Advent Calendar Theme

Hey all! My name is Stewart ‘Stu’ Jones and I’m the CG Supervisor here at Relentless Software down here in sunny Brighton, UK… Well, I say ‘sunny’, but right now it’s grey and rainy outside. Boo!

Anyway, with the festive season and Blue Toad Murder Files first birthday approaching we wanted to have an extra ‘Christmas Present’ in the shape of a theme to hand out with our game. Please have a read to hear what we’ve done!

The idea of a Blue Toad Christmas Theme was discussed; we’re all big fans of Christmas! As a result a brief was created in which we needed to take the village of Little Riddle and add some festive spirit to the design… Oh, and any reference to an advent calendar would be appreciated too!

Blue Toad Murder Files Christmas Advent Calendar Theme

We decided that the background should stay the same throughout; however, we wanted to use the iconic detective’s magnifying glass to show a different image each day during December leading up to Christmas Eve. Having the number of images in the theme limited to 24 which spookily coincides with the number of windows in a traditional advent calendar seemed like a good omen!

At first we had an actual advent calendar displayed over the whole screen, but in practice this obscured the XMB and no one could easily navigate the options… Fail! In the end we decided to keep the magnifying glass and the images in one location, and simply have the opening doors of the advent calendar appear at the side. In turn this cleaned up the theme, and kept the XMB options readable and usable.

Blue Toad Murder Files Christmas Advent Calendar Theme

With everything in place we had to make the theme more festive. Dom Clubb, one of our Lead Artists, came on board to help me out by painting the background image with a covering of snow. He also added holly to the magnifying glass and generally made everything look pretty!

From there we styled the icons to match the theme, deliberately not changing them to avoid any confusion to the player.

Blue Toad Murder Files Christmas Advent Calendar Theme Blue Toad Murder Files Christmas Advent Calendar Theme

With the theme almost complete, I felt that I wanted to add an extra ‘something’ each day. I’m not going to spoil the surprise today though, you’ll have to wait and see the theme in action! After that the art was complete, and all that was left to do was get our images to change out during the days of December. Luckily, this only required some editing to some scripts. From there we did some testing, created some store icons and packaged it up ready for release.

That’s it! All ready for Santa to make it a Little Riddle Christmas for families all over the globe! The theme is released on November 24, so be sure to grab it before December and you can watch the changes all the way until Christmas Eve! The theme comes free with Episodes 1-6 of Blue Toad Murder Files: The Mysteries of Little Riddle or it can be purchased individually for £1.19 or €1.49.

6 Author replies

What a cool sounding theme :)

Oh :D very cool guys. I knew there was a reason i was wearing my BTMF t-shirt today. Sadly my extra box of toad chocolate is no longer any good send me more to put in the calendar plz ;-)

Need moar episodes :)


Thanks guys. That would be so cool if we could make a virtual dynamic theme with real chocolate. We’ll work on that for next year.


Sweet looking theme i’m having that.
any news on BTMF 2?



More episodes, that’s another mystery and one that Production don’t share with me :-(

djhsecondnature 16 November, 2010 @ 16:09

Congrats guys! Loved the PS3 version.

Now when do we get more episodes? :-)

I’ll adjust my PS3 clock to open them all on day one if we get chocolate :D


Can’t wait! Will get this on release day! x




what about if you have allready bought episodes 1-6


We’ll be doing a competition on Twitter to give away some copies next week so maybe you’ll win one?

Sounds bloody marvelous, good to see some of you guys working on Dynamic Themes.. There needs to be more support for this. Will make a purchase as soon as it comes out \m/

Oh, Merry Christmas ^_^


Merry Christmas to you too ;-) and thanks for appreciated what we’ve done. Hope you like it.

loved the game.. so sad, no replay value..

Hm so only people who buy BTMF after the theme is out get it free? Bummer… Oh well i’ll take one of the free one’s on twitter then ;-)


Already bought the games on release day, guess i dont get the theme :(


You replied to the comment above about already buying the episodes with a competition. So, people who have waited this long to buy the blue toad episodes at the discounted price will get the theme for free…

however, people who bought all the episodes seperately,spending a lot more on the episodes have to buy the theme.

seems VERY unfair to me…. I love the look of the theme and i have bought episodes 1-6… so, why don’t i get it for free ?



We should be given a code or something, surly purchases are logged somewhere so they know who to send a code or make it avaliable for free on the store (only if they have bought the game)

is this game similar to sam and max?


Sam and Max are ace! Blue Toad is similar in the sense that it’s a murder mystery episodic game but the gameplay is different – each episode has 12 puzzles and a ‘whodunnit’ at the end.


Any blue toad psn avatars in the works? :P


Not at the moment, do you think we should?

I really loved BTMF1-6. I really hope at some point you’ll make more episodes or a new game!

This looks great, I’ll need to pick it up on the 7th when I get home :) Cheers


They should, they were able to record the first 10,000 people to download the KZ3 theme and they can tell who has purchased Playstation Plus and let them download the content so it should be easy — but look at comment #9 … it doesn’t look like they will be doing so…


Hi guys – we’ll have a word with Sony and see whether we can do anything with entitlements for those that already have the 1-6 bundle. We’ll keep you posted. Glad you’re all so keen to try it!


not everyone uses twitter u know so basically loyal buyers who supported your game from day 1 and dont use twitter are shafted ? pathetic and will not be supporting any of your future games


@ Stewart – Yes :P

I also bought all 6 episodes as they were released on PSN – don’t begrudge those who waited getting it at cheaper price, but seems unfair that the original supporters of the game are being charged for this excellent looking theme whereas new customers get it for free.


give the theme to ps plus users?

Blue toad avatars please m8 sort that out for us :)

Looks great. I’d definitely like to see BTMF PSN avatars too.

I hope you and Sony can sort something out for loyal customers.


I would absolutely use a Mrs. Gossip avatar! lol

Pretty awesome i must say, great idea :D Looking good.

Sounds alright for the kids… Not one for the hardcore

Bit unfair charging people who have already purchased the series (bit of a PR faux pas from Relentless Software)

TheDevilsJoker 16 November, 2010 @ 23:19

I wonder how many people have bought Blue Toad, I had no interest until I tried it because the first episode was free. Me and my girlfriend love it. It’s a great little game, and i’m better at the puzzles so it’s win win.


“we’ll have a word with Sony and see whether we can do anything with entitlements for those that already have the 1-6 bundle. ”

Yeah good luck with that…


Hi, this one sounds great, I’ll be picking it up just in time for December! ;)

Anyway, is there any chance you could ask why is the latest Buzz game (the ultimate Music Quiz) is UK only (previous three games were localised)?

A great idea :-D

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i bought it, but it’s stopped in the 1st image. what should i do?

The calendar doesn’t seem to work. It only shows Dec 1st all month long…

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