SODWA Winners!

Judge Woody from “Super Omega Deathbattle Warzone Apocalypse” has announced the winners of the big contest on the game’s Facebook page. These nine winners will have their characters fully illustrated in an awesome pose within a promo poster by Livio Ramondelli of “Transformers: Autocracy” and “DC Universe Online” fame.

I’d like to take a moment to thank Woody for his thorough, thoughtful, and insightful commentary on all of the contest entries. He took so much time in his judging, it was really an honor and a pleasure to collaborate with him. Plus, for once I didn’t have to agonize over anything, someone else had to!

And now, your winners, along with commentary by the fantastic Woody, who chose all of these on his own with no input from me.

The Winners:
The following submissions were not only fantastic designs in their own right but also worked well together to create a visually stunning piece of artwork.
Akbul

Character Designer: Papakrok
The savage-looking Akbul would be right at home in the world of Saturday-morning cartoons. I could totally see him putting the hurt on He-Man and friends. I experimented with several designs before finally deciding to add Akbul to the “Winners” folder, but it is now a decision I am exceptionally happy with. His design is interesting enough to make him completely unique, but open enough to use him as either a ninja or a brute in our promo design. Akbul is the perfect example of a simple design pulled off with flawless execution.

Blizzard

Character Designer: AMS
Blizzard was an early submission, and was the first character to be added to the “Winners” folder. Taking fashion cues from Pyro, Captain Cold, and Mister Freeze, Blizzard is the quintessential super –powered mercenary. I love how you can almost feel the cryogenic energy coursing through his armor. I really love just about every aspect of this design.

Psych

Character Designer: Kaldath
Kaldath shows us all what happens when you combine elegant design choices with flashy execution. I could easily see Psych starring in her own mainstream comic series, so it’s no wonder she made the cut and will now be a featured character on as much SODWA promo artwork as we can work her into. As a well-designed female character wearing a costume and exhibiting super powers in an eye-catching manner, Psych was added to the “Winners” folder almost the moment she was submitted.

Plutonium Man

Character Designer: Sutter Kaine
Another great Saturday-morning-style character, I could see Plutonium Man not only fighting the Thundercats, but giving them all cancer while Mumm-Ra cried in the corner. This guy is truly terrifying, and I’m more than excited to feature him in our promo artwork. I can’t wait to see what Livio is able to do with this design! Choosing between Sutter Kaine’s “Plutonium Man”, Myro’s “Biohazzard”, and Marquis Samedi’s “General Fallout” was a very tough decision, but in the end I had to give it to Plutonium Man. He just had a certain charisma that the other designs lacked.

Faradox

Character Design: Kaldath
Kaldath is a freak. Seriously. No one should be this good at designing Hero Machine characters. Why do I feel like Faradox could take on Robocop, ED-209, and the Terminator all at the same time? This guy is going to be a centerpiece of our SODWA promo art, and with Livio’s background in illustrating Transformers, I can’t even imagine how far he’ll be able to take this design. Just as with Kaldath’s other winning design, “Psych”, Faradox was added to the “Winners” folder almost immediately. I could instantly picture him in the rear middle of the promo artwork (the spot being filled by Holocaust in the example promo). He’ll be looming over the other 2 middle characters.

Scarab Supreme

Character Design: Marquis Samedi
I’m pretty sure Marquis Samedi is a mind reader, because this is exactly the type of character I wanted representing SODWA. I absolutely adore the military uniform/cape combo, and her quasi-cybernetic scarab arm is almost too cool! This is a lady who doesn’t take crap from anyone, and that’s why she’ll be featured front-and-center in our finished promo artwork! Scarab Supreme was another character who was added to the “Winners” folder the very moment I laid eyes on her. There was never any question in my mind that she would be a winning submission in this contest. She manages to be completely unique and original, while not being totally ridiculous, and is quite possibly my favorite of all the winning designs.

Stormbird

Character Designer: Fuzztone
It’s no wonder the beautiful Stormbird is the only complete human face we show in our promo artwork. I love how all of the little touches like her belt buckle and high collar combine to form a deceptively simple design. She would be right at home as the star of a Joss Whedon spy thriller, but since he’s a little busy at the moment, she’ll just have to settle for the next best thing: SODWA promo art! Though I am totally satisfied with having chosen her now, it took me a while to come to that decision. I was worried that she was just a little too simple, but then I realized that if anything, she would stand out when placed next to all of these giant robots, mutants, and monsters.

Synapse

Character Design: DiCicatriz
Synapse looks like he could invent new ways to kill you as he’s killing you! The sword is bad enough, but the devilish claw arm and emotion-concealing mask combine to form a thrilling design that is void of any semblance of conscience or regret. I also love that he’s barefoot! And nothing screams “I’m can and will murder you” like a red flowing cape! Did I mention he’s barefoot? Synapse was the last design to be chosen as a winning submission. There was a surprising lack of good ninja-oriented characters, and when I started trying to narrow down my options, Synapse emerged as the obvious choice.

Hippoborg

Character Design: Myro
I have to imagine all of these designs in terms of what they will look like once illustrated by Livio. Anyone who doesn’t think this design can be made to look as pants-crappingly awesome as any of the other designs should check out this link: http://davidrapozaart.deviantart.com/gallery/#/d3bhg9v. Now imagine that with cybernetics. According to a relevant Cracked.com article, “The late Steve Irwin, a man who used to tackle 12-foot crocodiles for fun and wave angry snakes filled with kill-you-before-your-next-heartbeat poison at a camera, considered a five-minute sequence where his camera team had to cross a river filled with hippos to be the single most dangerous moment ever filmed on his show.” And those are just the plain old non-cybernetic hippos! There is no doubt in my mind that Livio is going to take this design and use it to give anyone who sees it a permanent phobia of Hippos. (And, yes, I’m well-aware that Rocksteady is a Rhinoceros, not a Hippo. It’s still a close-enough comparison…). Rhinoman’s “Bounty Hunter of the Abyss” very nearly got this spot, but in the end I decided to go with Hippoborg, and that’s a decision I am very happy with.

Promo Mock-Up

This is a very rough mock-up of what the final promo will look like. Of course, all characters will be illustrated by Livio and will be posed differently, and they will not just be plastered over the old promo filler art, but this should give you a rough idea of what the finished piece will look like. Hopefully seeing all of the characters together will give you some insight as to why some of them were chosen as winning submissions. Our idea is to have the left group engaged with the right group and vice verse, with the middle group engaged with the viewer. Psych will be flying and using telekinesis. Blizzard will be blasting cryogenic energy. Akbul will be crouched down, ready to strike with his razor-sharp claw arm. Plutonium Man and Scarab Supreme will be posing in the middle, showing off for the audience, with Faradox looming over them. Stormbird will be crouched down, brandishing dual pistols. Synapse will most likely be standing or jumping, sword drawn back in preparation of a killing blow. And Hippoborg will most likely be about to hurl a very heavy piece of something at the left group.

Conclusion
And that concludes the official “Create Your Own SODWA Character” contest. I want to congratulate all of our contestants for submitting some of the coolest character concepts I’ve ever seen, and I can’t wait to see what you guys come up with next! I’ll be sure to let you guys know as soon as Livio is finished illustrating the official promo artwork so you can see what he was able to do with the 9 winning designs. And please remember, though the contest is over, the real project is just beginning. Our Kickstarter campaign to raise money for the game should begin around the middle of June. If our project doesn’t get funded then SODWA will never exist. Please help us spread the word about our Kickstarter campaign so that you might get the chance to not only show off your awesome character designs to the world, but also use them to destroy the characters of other designers! That’s all for now. Thanks for participating, and please keep up the good work!
-Brian Woody, Thunderpunch Studios

49 Responses to SODWA Winners!

  1. Thundersong

    Heyla All!

    Congrats to the Winners!!! Those are way to awesome! My fav among them is Blizzard! Again, Congratulations!!!

  2. Congratulations to all the winners !
    Good Job Everyone

  3. Awesome job everyone!!!

  4. Congratulations to all the winners – superb design work. Have to say that although I’m very pleased I’m also baffled by Stormbird being up there given the strength of the competition.

    Thanks to Woody and Jeff for organising the contest, which has been an absolute blast.

    If anyone hasn’t seen it, there’s now a full list of all the contest entries on the SODWA facebook page, and enough HM brilliance in there for another set of winners and then some. Perhaps we should have a public vote as well!

  5. Congrats to all the winners- there are loads of fantastic designs!

  6. Jeff, AGAIN missing helmes!

  7. Great characterdesigns, its a bunch of dangerous and colorful heros.
    (A “bunter Haufen” in german)

  8. Some awesome designs managed to make it through, and I cannot explain how awed I am to be included in this group. Hopefully, this is what I need to fire myself up to Heromachine more. I did think that a if a mutant hippopotamus with cybernetic parts existed anywhere, it would be with this game, the idea was that over the top, but this was not my most technically complex piece. It just seemed the concept fit what Woody was asking for.

    Congrats to all the other finalists, all the other honorable mentions, and a hearty applause for everyone that took part. And Woody, I can’t wait to see what Livio does to my character. I so want to see a bionic hippo that makes me feel like crapping myself in fear.

  9. Congratulations to all the Winners! Some really awesome work there.

    thanks to Jeff and Woody for this oppertunity.

    I went to the website and was checking out all the entires but isomewhere in the 100s I lost power for a couple of minutes and I really don’t want to have to go through them again, no matter how good they were … plus being posted to that site they didn’t have character or artist name, so Jeff is there anyway you could post them onto HM3?
    I KONOW that is a LOT of work.

    Also while I am here, would some of the masters at highlight and shading put together a tutorial. I still struggle with highlights sometimes. Also the glam of metal and sword eadges. DiCicatriz Synapse’s sword.

  10. Sorry for all the typs, I really hate my eyesite sometimes, but it beats being totally blind.

  11. Rozenstal:
    Jeff, AGAIN missing helmes!

    I don’t know what this means …

  12. Congrats to ev1! Jeff: w2g finding even more incentive to do well in hm3.

  13. Great job, everybody! This will be an awesome poster.

  14. This may be a big cliche’ , but we’re all winners here :)

    I don’t mean to detract even the slightest from the *actual* winners’ glory – for it is well earned (for absolute and conjectural reasons) – or that of the honourable mentions, for which i’m still personally walking on clouds here.
    Yet i think we can all, regardless of petty arguments of the “cursessss, i sooo should’ve won!” type, agree on the fact that this competition has pushed us to go that extra mile, “to boldly go” and give that 110% (or 140% ;) ), in short to outdo *ourselves*. I know i have, and i’d like to think you, my crazy-awesome fellow Machinists, are no different. And if that doesn’t make us all winners [at life], i dunno what does :)

    Therefore, chin up, whether you “won” or “lost”, and let’s all get our creative engines revving up again for the next challenge, whatever it may be :)

    P.S.: we really should have another FNF soon! – and if i may suggest a topic (for it or some pop quiz or so), the Seventh Sanctum website recently came up with a sci-fi x tarot cards crossover generator, so one can get such titles as “Four of Starbases” or “The Fool of Neutrinos”, etc. Brilliant stuff, we should give it a spin! ;)

  15. Well said, Ximero!

    I should also reiterate what Woody’s stated several times: There were some design constraints surrounding the need for having a group shot at the end of this process that heavily influenced some of the “winner” decisions. In other words, maybe a given character design was “better” than one of the selected ones in some ways, but would not have fit with the other winners. Woody had to juggle a lot of different factors when selecting the group, so if one of your illustrations wasn’t chosen it’s entirely possible that it was due to those larger concerns, and not any flaw in your artistic abilities.

    Finally, I’m totally open to doing FNF again, now that I’ve mostly gotten the prizes for the last one completed. Suggestions for a theme are more than welcome!

  16. Don’t take this wrong, but I am not surprised by the choice of finalists. A great mix by top HMers! With 434 characters at a max of 9 per entry, that’s roughly 45 or more contributors. These are really incredible works. I don’t envy Woody for taking on the task of judging.

    By census sample, I estimate that there are at least 1200 regular HM users out there. Ones who visit, browse, create, but don’t always post comments or enter contests. Hello, all you people! Don’t be so shy.

    I see a lot of familiar characters from contests and the forums. What I like is how some people have a style. Easy to spot a Tarkabarka, a PapaKrok, or a gendonesia, for example.

    One real stand-out that I want to know! Whose design is 110 of 434? The cyborg witch is awesome!

  17. Hmm, alright. Here’s a suggestion for the FNF theme. We might try an urban, or toxic, team of elementals, whether 4 (if we’re going with the “classical”, or Greek, pattern) or 5 (if the Chinese/Far-Eastern system).

    What i mean by that is we should go from the typical Nature elementals (immortal humanoid abstracts personifying their force of nature) to humanoids in various kinds of urban gear, hazmat suits, mecha parts, etc., that would embody/suggest a “toxic” or “degenerate” version of the classic element. For instance, water’s counterpart could be oil, or infested swamp Water, etc. – or if we go with the Eastern system of five, the reimagined Wood could feature coal-driven steampunk, or perhaps something that creeped undead out of a forest of gallows, etc.

    Yay or nay?

  18. Gratulate for the “nine”….. And goodbye for all.

  19. MisterDinoMan

    Ximero, your idea for FNF could be a lot of fun.

  20. I know, right? :) Kinda like a “Team Captain Pollution” – for those who still remember those eco-infotainment cartoons, ‘Captain Planet & the Planeteers’ ;)

    p.s.: pollution is bad, mmmkaay? :D

  21. @Ximero: I like the idea of the elements, but perhaps we just leave it up to the creator to decide the theme of his/her elemental creations. So someone could do toxic elements, urban elementals, classic elementals, supers with elemental powers, etc…

  22. Oh, okay. I somehow just thought we’d already had an elemental-team FNF edition, so i attempted to come up with an alternative to that. But sure, if we haven’t had one, there’s no time like the present :D

  23. And that, ladies & gentlemen, is how you completely hijack a forum topic :D

  24. How about a Justice Society type of theme? Superheroes, but you have to have mentors and newbies.

  25. Kingslaughter

    Congratulations to all the winners for their amazing designs! There were indeed some truly epic submissions definitely worth their place in the winning nine! This contest was truly an interesting one and i also can’t wait for the actual release of the SODWA game to start playing! It was really great fun to participate in the contest as well as a great honor and success to get 2 honorable mentions in it (thanx Woody) among all those remarkable designs by so many talented Heromachinists!
    Note: i saw a comment above with a request from Cliff for a tutorial from the winners-experts on HM to help all the rest of us in order to improve in Heromachine and I think that I totally agree with him. Perhaps the masters of HM (AMS, Kaldath, DiCiCatriz, and others) could post some of their tricks and techniques (esp. In gradient, shine, volume, and other techniques), if they want to of course, in order to help some of us less experienced machinists to go one step further and perhaps increase competition in the following contests as well!

  26. Hey guys, I just want to thank you all one more time for bringing your “A” game, and just making this contest such a blast. Really, I should be cussing you for making it so hard to choose only 9 winners, but I’ll restrain myself. I owe a huge thanks to Jeff for making this all possible. Thanks to his faith in the project, we’re now going to have an incredible piece of concept art, and have a nice jump-start on our Kickstarter Campaign.

    I know the Facebook album containing all of the non-winning posts is kind of a mess, and I apologize. Long story short, I took all of the pics out of their individual folders, not realizing the designers’ names were only located in the folder labels. It this point, it would be impossible for me to fix the mistake, so they’ll have to remain as-is.

    And finally, if you think SODWA sounds like a game you would love to play, you can help make that happen by helping us spread the word. Even something as simple as directing people to our Facebook page will help build buzz around the project, which will make people more inclined to back our Kickstarter campaign. Hopefully this time next year, you guys won’t be just designing your own awesome characters; you’ll be using those characters to wreak havoc across digital battlefields, clashing with the designs of other players! And please never hesitate to contact me through Facebook. I’ll always be around to answer your questions and listen to your ideas, comments, and opinions. Thanks again for making all this possible!

    -Brian Woody, Thunderpunch Studios

  27. …okay sure, congrats to the winners.

  28. Tarkabarka:
    Gratulate for the “nine”….. And goodbye for all.

    Guys, did Tarkabarka leave us? I really hope not… :(

  29. Kingslaughter:
    Note: i saw a comment above with a request from Cliff for a tutorial from the winners-experts on HM to help all the rest of us in order to improve in Heromachine and I think that I totally agree with him. Perhaps the masters of HM (AMS, Kaldath, DiCiCatriz, and others) could post some of their tricks and techniques (esp. In gradient, shine, volume, and other techniques), if they want to of course, in order to help some of us less experienced machinists to go one step further and perhaps increase competition in the following contests as well!

    Master ams has posted a mini-demo of gradients that is a great starting point.

    Check it out here….http://forums.ugo.com/showthread.php?p=684819#post684819

  30. Perhaps Mr. Hebert could post a Tips and Tricks blog thread that allows Machinists to add their own insights into the program.

    One of my own little tricks that others may already use…

    When I need precise placement of items I right click on the desired area and hit Zoom In as many times as I need. Unfortunately this usually means the toolbox disappears as I get closer into the illustration, but its worth it for the precision placement of items in just the right spot.

  31. Kingslaughter

    Thanx a lot for sharing dblade as well as for all the valuable information!I also agree that a tips and tricks thread where all machinists would share their techniques would be more than helpful If Jeff or anyone else is willing to start one…

  32. There is an entire Tips and Tricks section on the Forums here on the site feel free to post your helpful hints there.

  33. Kaldath:
    There is an entire Tips and Tricks section on the Forums here on the site feel free to post your helpful hints there.

    I haven’t fully migrated to the forums here (still on UGO) and didn’t know there was a Tips and Tricks section under the Hero Art Gallery.

  34. I think it would be cool to open a “Concept Character” ( or something like that ) post on the right with all the other stuff so if you had an idea for a character or started a character and hit a road block. You could post ideas or work so far and everyone could discuss and help you finish or take it in a different direction. If there isnt one of those here already that is…

  35. Kaylin88100

    TOOL: I think it would be cool to open a “Concept Character” ( or something like that ) post on the right with all the other stuff so if you had an idea for a character or started a character and hit a road block. You could post ideas or work so far and everyone could discuss and help you finish or take it in a different direction. If there isnt one of those here already that is…

    Good idea! I might make use of that if it existed.

  36. So i back a little too clean out why i leave. I Think this is my last post.

    Yes i leave. For forever, maybe. But now i personally think to needed me here.

    I leave this community because I was insulted and humiliated.

    So my “non base character desing” is not enough good. So i think if not
    good i no need to make new faces, manga style work, new items and new poses.
    BUT I DON’T WANT TO MAKE BASE CHARACTER DESING.

    So i made this decision. I go away and don’t disturb others for my “non base character desing” pictures.

    Thank everything Jeff. Your amazing work with HM inspire me a lot. And i would like to ask you a personal thing. I withdraw my entry for the Character Contest 90: Fifth Anniversary Random Edition.
    Thank you very much if you not see my picture for an entry.

    Goodbye for all and good luck. Thank the good advices and feedbacks. I also uses HM3 but i only post the pictures in my deviantart page.

    Gróf Richárd aka Tarkabarka.

  37. I’m sorry you feel that way, Tarkabarka. Hopefully this will just be a break and you’ll come back before too long and continue sharing your wonderful creations with us.

  38. Hey Tarkabarka, I’m really sorry to hear you say that. I think everyone here really loves and admires your designs. I think Abominal is another hero machine artist who was at a slight disadvantage during this contest just because of all the cool effects and poses he likes to use. You both had some of the coolest overall pieces in the contest, but when I had to choose only 9 designs out of the 400+ submissions I received, a lot of really awesome designs had to be left out. I hope you understand, and I really hope you reconsider your decision to leave the hero machine community, because that would be a very unforunate and unnecessary loss.

  39. @Tarkaburka
    You can’t let not being picked stop you. You have wonderful designs, you never cease to amaze me.
    You have to do this because you have fun and love the creative process. I happen to know my remake of Oni from my Tsunami Force knocked it out of the park. I don’t need anyone else telling me that Oni is a great character, I know he is. He just wasn’t what they were looking for, Jeff during the Friday Night Fights or Woody for SODWA, but ya know something? I got a character I am very proud of, and had it not been for both contests I wouldn’t have thought to create him.
    You have to do this for the love, any wins or honoraboe mentions is just icing on the cake.

  40. Tarkabarka

    I know the build-up for the SODWA contest probably ramped up your expectations and excitement for the final results, but keep in mind Woody and Thunderpunch had specific criteria to fill which they outlined in their contest rules. The results had nothing to do with the quality of many entries (including yours) but more with what was needed for their final promotional piece. I didn’t see any of mine in the winner’s circle either but this doesn’t reflect on the quality of the pieces and this holds true for everyone else who entered.
    Now if reasoning doesn’t work with you, I’m going to use a little tough love and say “Cool off for a week or two and come back with an open mind.” You have a unique style that is wonderful thing to share with the rest of the community and would be a shame to see you go over a contest.

  41. @Kaylin88100, I offer up my PUP page as a place for people to do such a thing until something like that is created or made known of on here. Feel free to post any art that anyone may need help finishing, ideas for characters or tips for other artist. You know what I mean.

    @Tarkabarka, please don’t leave us, I’m not trying to sound rude because I know that the contest are up to the judges POV and I am okay with that because if I win cool, but if I don’t I still love my creations but I also thought WTF about some of the winners myself, no offense to the winners, but its all about having fun creating for yourself and talking to other artist. No one can win them all, if your feeling burnt out or put down I am sorry, take some time off from contest but please don’t leave. I myself enjoy your art and your critique.

  42. People have to remember that the SODWA contest was not about the best piece of artwork it was 100% about the design of the character ie, characters theme and costume design. Also the Designs not only had to be good, they had to be able to mesh with each other, so if there was a truly awesome design but it did not mesh well with the other 8 winners then it could not be used for this piece of artwork.

    It was stated from the very first announcement of this contest that fancy poses, flashy backgrounds, and spectacular special effects would not help you win, and in fact could well cost you a win if they made it difficult to pick out details of the character’s costume design.

  43. Good-bye again, Tarkabarka, see you next week……

  44. Tarkabarka….don’t leave. You are family. I come and go from time to time. Sometimes the creativity dries up and I have nothing to offer. I stay because these people are on the same frequency, it’s our tribe of cosmic E-mystics. We need your voice and your interpretation. Everyone is here to contribute a piece of the puzzle. Its alright to take a break, but we need you here where you are valued. Comments be damned. I love seeing what everyone channels with every contest. I base my own creations on what you, and others, are doing. You add value to the HM universe.

  45. ams: Good-bye again, Tarkabarka, see you next week……

    :)

  46. Kaldath: People have to remember that the SODWA contest was not about the best piece of artwork it was 100% about the design of the character ie, characters theme and costume design. Also the Designs not only had to be good, they had to be able to mesh with each other, so if there was a truly awesome design but it did not mesh well with the other 8 winners then it could not be used for this piece of artwork. It was stated from the very first announcement of this contest that fancy poses, flashy backgrounds, and spectacular special effects would not help you win, and in fact could well cost you a win if they made it difficult to pick out details of the character’s costume design.

    I agree. Completely.

  47. Hey guys, thanks again for making the “Create Your Own SODWA Character” contest so awesome! At this point, if the creators of the 9 winning submissions would like to give me any information about their character designs, please feel free to do so and we will try to incorporate that information into the finished promo design. You can just send me a message on Facebook with any information you would like to be included. Thanks!

  48. Kaylin88100

    ams: Good-bye again, Tarkabarka, see you next week……

    Has this happened before then? I don’t think I was actively posting at that point or I’d have noticed…
    I think it might take more than a week this time though…

    I’ll just add my voice to all those saying: “Please come back soon, Tarkabarka!”

  49. I don’t know if any of you read Cracked.com, but their senior writer, Dan O’Brien, is going to write our single-player campaign. I just got an email from him exclaiming how awesome he thought your designs were. You guys rock!