Monthly Archives: February 2011

Caption Contest 93 Winner!

Thanks to everyone who shared their wit with us for Caption Contest 93! I’ve put together the Finalists after the jump, and then at the end I’ll announce which of them is the overall winner.

First, though, I wanted to say “Welcome back!” to longtime poster Gargoyle323, who showed up to enter after a somewhat lengthy absence. Nice to have you back!

Second, although it was too long to fit in the balloon and thus is ineligible, I thought CPrime’s Green Lantern homage was quite amusing:

In brightest day, in darkest dusk.
Captain Triumph does what he must.
Let those who worship evil recant.
Beware the Triumph… of my equestrian pants!

Now, on to your Finalists!

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Character Contest 58: Simply your best

This week you get one shot, and one shot only, to wow us with the best thing you’ve ever done with HeroMachine (at least, the best thing that’s never been entered in an HM contest before!).

No theme, no constraints beyond good taste, no limits. But you only got one entry, so you’re going to have to decide which single image is most likely to blow the socks off the viewer. Agonizing, I know, but I’m evil that way.

Otherwise the contest rules are the same as usual:

  1. Use only a HeroMachine applet (no PhotoShopping except for basic cropping) to create a PNG or JPG of your entry, named as [your name]-[character name].[file extension]. So DiCicatriz, for instance, would save his “Bayou Belle” character image as DiCicatriz-BayouBelle.png.
  2. Post the image to a publicly accessible website (ImageShack, PhotoBucket, the UGO Forums, etc.).
  3. Enter the name of your entry and a link directly to the image in a comment to this post. The image cannot have been used in any previous HeroMachine character design contest.
  4. The link to your image should go directly to the image (like this) and not to a hosting jump page (like this). If you see “preview” or “rotate” somewhere in the link you’re probably doing it wrong.
  5. I’ll choose a winner next Monday, who will receive his or her choice of any item or a portrait to be included in the final HeroMachine 3 program, or a “Sketch of the Week” style black and white illustration (you pick the subject and I draw it up however I like).

You only get ONE entry this week, so make sure it’s your best. And good luck!

(On a side note, admit it — you would totally want the album from that highlight image at the top. It starts off with Rick Astley; it’s like you’re getting Rick-rolled before you even begin!)

RP: As long as no one looks at us

(From “Planet Comics” number 1, 1940.)

HM3: Oops

Much to my dismay I have just discovered that at least one of the major changes I made to HeroMachine 3 got lost somewhere in the file confusion I had a couple of days ago. I haven’t had the heart to check and see just how much of the bug fixing was destroyed. The backup I thought I had turned out to not be a backup, too. If I have to rewrite all the stuff I did last week … man, I might have to cry.

In the morning when I am feeling better I will look into it further, but that’s why all of a sudden things started coming up in the wrong slot, layers were hosed up, etc. It’s because only some of the fixes turned out to be in the version I uploaded. I don’t know what happened … there was a weird episode where one of the working versions didn’t load, and I renamed and reloaded some backups, and then … I don’t know. Feh.

More to come tomorrow when I know more. This sucks. But hopefully I can get it fixed sooner rather than later.

Power User Profile: Hammerknight

I thought I’d try a bit of an experiment this week. Since one of the Things I Like the most is all of you great folks who frequent the site and the program, I wanted to offer up profiles of some of the “Power Users” so we can all get to know each other a bit better. If there’s someone you see around a lot who you’d like to get profiled, by all means throw out a nomination in the comments.

First up is all-around good guy and Recipemeister, Hammerknight!

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RP: Proper dress for wrestling the one-eyed monster

(From “Planet Comics” number 1, 1952. Note that in addition to the condom-armored heroes fighting the “one-eyed monsters”, the backup feature is “Spurt” Hammond fighting women warriors of the Moon. That’s a lot of awesome in one cover.)

Geek Secret

I really enjoyed the first “Sharing Day” we had, so since I am in a “coding fog” at the moment and a break from “Open Critique Day” is probably in order, I thought we should revisit the idea. Hopefully we can all get to know each other a little better!

So here’s the deal:

You can ask me any question you like about whatever you like, which I will answer either completely truthfully or not at all (in which case you can ask something else). I say that because, come on, there are some things no one should have to know!

But you can only do so if you answer the following question about yourself:

What “geek secret” do you have that, if known by your friends and/or co-workers, would really embarrass you?

I’ll give you an example from my own life:

I frequently wear super-hero underwear, owning no fewer than four such items of apparel (Superman briefs, Fantastic Four boxers, and two others I honestly can’t recall). I’m pretty sure our neighbors and the nice people at the community center would be completely nonplussed if they knew.

Now it’s your turn! Try to keep them relatively clean and of the legal, non-lethal-if-known variety, please.

RP: That’s a lot of awesome in just one panel

(From “Man’O’Mars” number 1, 1953.)

HM3: Export options

I’m currently working on adding options for how you want to export your character image, and this is the dialog box I have so far:

How do those sizes grab you? The 200×300 size I figure will mostly be used for portrait views, so you can have a handy image for using as a forum avatar, for instance. Should I have something similar intended for widescreen use? What size would that be?

Note that I am not 100% sure I can actually do all of this, especially exporting as portrait and widescreen, but I figure it’s better to start out aiming for the stars.

Safe word, safe word!

When last we left our outer-space, far-future adventure, Doctor Octopus’ illegitimate cyborg love child was wrapping its metal tentacles lovingly around our only spacecraft. We decided to stand idly by as a witness to this Grand Theft UFO, and as a result:

You watch while, like some robotic garbage collector, the spider vehicle lifts your spacecraft off the ground and ascends into the clouds, leaving you standing helplessly on the barren rust-colored ground. A loneliness sweeps over you worse than any you experienced in space. You strap on your backpack and start walking over the flat, rubble-strewn terrain, trying to travel in a straight line.

The sun never shows through the clouds; the sky gets darker. Nightfall will soon be upon you. You have no idea how far you’ve traveled or how far you are from civilization — if there is any civilization on this sad world.

Soon it’s almost completely dark. At least you’re not cold. You like on the hard, sandy ground and try to sleep. You manage to doze off.

You’re wakened abruptly by a sound overhead. Opening your eyes, you see the spider vehicle hovering over you. The wires are already unreeling. You jump up, yelling at the craft above, hoping someone on board will hear you, but no one answers. Instead, wires drop down and get in position to wrap around you.

You try to remember the secret word the Oracle of Time gave you. Maybe you should use it now!

Well, Intrepid Bystanders, what will it be? Do we get nervous at the sensuous approach of those silky, glinting tentacles like some Hentai movie gone wrong and shout out our Safe Word, or do we grit our teeth and see our far-future adventure out to the end, hoping to get a free guided tour of Doctor Otto Octavius’ Pleasure Palace of Ye Olde Earthe?