How to Use HeroMachine Locally

Hi all, with big thanks to HeroMachiner Eric Bowling, here's how you can use HeroMachine outside of your browser. Adobe has said they're going to be force uninstalling the Flash Player (the standalone player basically) but I don't know that applies to this particular version.

Basically you download a local Flash Player application, then put in the URL for a .swf file (a compiled Flash object, which is what HeroMachine uses) and it plays. I've tried it on my Mac with HM3 and HM2 and it seems to work like a champ. You'll still need an Internet connection but if this goes well I may bundle up the files and make them available online so you could truly run it all locally. We'll just have to see, I don't want to sell people something and then BAM Adobe force uninstalls the Flash Players and it no longer works.

Anyway, the article explaining how to get the Standalone Flash Player Debugger is at https://www.howtogeek.com/438141/how-to-play-adobe-flash-swf-files-outside-your-web-browser/ – install the one relevant to your Operating System.

Once the Flash Player Debugger is installed per the instructions in that article, launch the Flash Player Debugger and go to "File -> Open Location". This is where you type in the URL to a .swf file. Do not download the .swf file to run from your hard drive, that will not work, you must use "Open Location" and put in one of the URLs below! Here are the ones for HeroMachine so you can just copy and paste:

For fun, here are the URLs for some of the hardly-ever-used versions:

CAVEATS: The "Export as an image" function in HM3 will NOT work. Saving as a text file will. 

I think that's pretty much it. Let me know if you run into issues with this, though honestly, there's not a lot I can do since I can't edit the source files any more and I can't control what Adobe does with their players.

34 Responses to How to Use HeroMachine Locally

  1. Rekulhs Nathe Rekulhs Nathe says:

    I suppose what one could do is screenshot their work and crop out stuff they don’t want.

      (Quote)

  2. NarrowWatch NarrowWatch says:

    Where’s the Pin-Up creator?

      (Quote)

  3. Avatar William Daley says:

    Thanks to the hero! Say, it doesn’t seem to be able to work with my Chromebook. Anyone else?

      (Quote)

  4. Avatar Dude says:

    This excellent as I was worried I wasn’t going to be able to use it any longer. Maybe I missed something but how can you screenshot or otherwise save the image of the character in this new application? On my browser, before, I could easily screenshot. Having trouble figuring it out with the new setup. Thanks!

      (Quote)

  5. Avatar AFDStudios says:

    Hi Dude, it’s still a screen shot, check https://www.take-a-screenshot.org/

      (Quote)

  6. Avatar Lime says:

    Hey,

    I know it’s been ages and ages and ages since I’ve been around, but I remembered HeroMachine was in danger of going away, and it’s really good news to hear that there’s a workaround. I’ve only really tested this with HM3, but so far I haven’t had any trouble.

    Thanks for this. Thanks for all the hard work you’ve put into HM over the years. Some of my best-loved characters would never have come about without it.

      (Quote)

  7. Avatar Ian says:

    Any other Linux users beside me? I’ve got the Flash player/debuggers set up and the HM application starts but doesn’t appear to get past the “Loading, please wait…” to actually load any images.

      (Quote)

  8. Avatar Steven Otte says:

    I can make HM3 run in the local player, but it won’t load the assets from your website. It seems as though they aren’t included in the downloadable program.

      (Quote)

  9. Avatar Gary Kleppe says:

    I’m on Ubuntu Linux and I got it to run, and it does load the remote assets, but there are all kinds of display glitches like controls disappearing when I move the mouse, so it’s basically unusable.

    Ian: heromachine3-noad.swf

      (Quote)

  10. Avatar goblin says:

    When I try to export an image, it just says “error occurred”

      (Quote)

  11. Avatar AFDStudios says:

    Goblin, as the post says in bold, exporting will not work. You’ll have to do a screen capture like with HM2.

      (Quote)

  12. Avatar Yulian Duval says:

    But how we could make it HD ones 1600×2400?

      (Quote)

  13. Avatar AFDStudios says:

    Yulian, you can’t do that without having your actual screen be that size. I’m sorry but the high resolutions were only possible because the online version was using PHP to generate the bigger images from the underlying vector data. That’s not possible on a desktop.

      (Quote)

  14. Avatar Kaden says:

    Will this be the ultimate solution to the unflash problem, or is there still an online non-flash in the works?

      (Quote)

  15. Avatar MikelTheLastOne says:

    Or simply the person can use the Print button to save it as a PDF file.
    Then convert the PDF into an image file and crop out stuff they don’t want.

      (Quote)

  16. I followed the instructions, but it’s not working. I can get hm to run on the debugger, but it doesn’t get past the loading bar for me when I try to select something. I’m on windows.

      (Quote)

  17. Avatar AFDStudios says:

    TigerDragonMaster:
    I followed the instructions, but it’s not working. I can get hm to run on the debugger, but it doesn’t get past the loading bar for me when I try to select something. I’m on windows.

    Make sure you’re pointing to the online SWF and not a local one you’ve downloaded. Other Windows users have reported this works fine so in theory it should for you as well. Unfortunately there’s not really much ability to debug or test, so other than making sure you follow the instructions in the linked article and go to the online SWF I don’t have a lot of suggestions 🙁

      (Quote)

  18. Avatar AFDStudios says:

    Kaden:
    Will this be the ultimate solution to the unflash problem, or is there still an online non-flash in the works?

    Dunno yet, honestly. Doing a lot of life re-evaluation regarding this right now.

      (Quote)

  19. Vengeance Vengeance says:

    is there a way to import/open my old saves

      (Quote)

  20. Avatar Worf says:

    Vengeance:
    is there a way to import/open my old saves

    I don’t think so, unless you saved them to text files beforehand. But I might be wrong….

      (Quote)

  21. Avatar Gary Kleppe says:

    The SWF debugger for Linux seems to be a lemon, but I was able to run the Windows version of it via Wine. There are a few glitches, but it seems to more or less work. So try that.

    Ian:
    Any other Linux users beside me? I’ve got the Flash player/debuggers set up and the HM application starts but doesn’t appear to get past the “Loading, please wait…” to actually load any images.

      (Quote)

  22. Avatar Naret says:

    So I know the export function doesn’t currently work but it looks like the save as pdf function does. unfortunately, it looks like this ignores color transparency. Is there any way to get around this? I know I can use a screen capture but that produces pretty low resolution images so I was hoping there was a better way, but if not I understand. Thanks for all of your hard work on this amazing resource, it’s been a lot of fun to use over the years!

      (Quote)

  23. Avatar Donna says:

    All of them work, following these instructions, EXCEPT for the real-life version. Thank you for sharing!

      (Quote)

  24. There are versions of Flash out there like Waterfox. I don’t know what it is and I haven’t tested it.

    For my part, I was active on HeroMachine years ago. I fell into a bad place medically (autoimmune / white blood cell rejection) which affected my participation let alone my real life. And snowballs from there…

    While the end of Flash might be the end of HM Creator, I hope that it doesn’t mean the end of HM the website and the forums. I’ve been lurking for some time now, but HeroMachine is a favorite place to be. The amateurs, those who want an outlet who like me can’t draw, those who want to put their ideas into a character. Those who want to express themselves and share. This is a good place.

    Thank you, Jeff, for everything.

      (Quote)

  25. Avatar William Daley says:

    I remember you. I was known then as “Barbario.” Hope you doing ok. I mean as ok as any of us are doing these days…

    The Atomic Punk:
    There are versions of Flash out there like Waterfox.I don’t know what it is and I haven’t tested it.

    For my part, I was active on HeroMachine years ago.I fell into a bad place medically (autoimmune / white blood cell rejection) which affected my participation let alone my real life.And snowballs from there…

    While the end of Flash might be the end of HM Creator, I hope that it doesn’t mean the end of HM the website and the forums.I’ve been lurking for some time now, but HeroMachine is a favorite place to be.The amateurs, those who want an outlet who like me can’t draw, those who want to put their ideas into a character.Those who want to express themselves and share. This is a good place.

    Thank you, Jeff, for everything.

      (Quote)

  26. Avatar Denis Erndl says:

    Hello,

    Ive downloaded the HeroMachine 3 and the flash player
    I too can open the file no problem
    But when i cklich on the dropdown menu “choose set” a strange error messege pops up and hero machine gets stuck on the loading screen

    anyone able to help me?

      (Quote)

  27. Avatar Gary Kleppe says:

    You should *not* download the HeroMachine 3. Download the Flash Player Debugger. Input the remote URL for the HeroMachine 3 into that.

    If that’s not the issue, then maybe it would help to tell us what the “strange error messege” actually said.

    Denis Erndl:
    Hello,

    Ive downloaded the HeroMachine 3 and the flash player
    I too can open the file no problem
    But when i cklich on the dropdown menu “choose set” a strange error messege pops up and hero machine gets stuck on the loading screen

    anyone able to help me?

      (Quote)

  28. Avatar Denis Erndl says:

    Gary Kleppe:
    You should *not* download the HeroMachine 3. Download the Flash Player Debugger. Input the remote URL for the HeroMachine 3 into that.

    If that’s not the issue, then maybe it would help to tell us what the “strange error messege” actually said.

    oh my god…
    thanks a lot man
    maybe i shuld’ve read the whole instructions… seems to help a lot of the time
    again, thanks for the help and sorry for my stupidity

      (Quote)

  29. Avatar luis says:

    Hello friends.
    I adore your heromachine program, it is fantastic, I hope you find an alternative to flash to continue enjoying it.
    Thank you very much, and cheer up, I’m sure you will.
    Luis.

      (Quote)

  30. Avatar Atomic Punk says:

    William Daley:
    I remember you. I was known then as “Barbario.” Hope you doing ok. I mean as ok as any of us are doing these days…

    I remember you, too. You were a stunt man or body double? You had an appearance in a Nicolas Cage project? And, definitely featured in HeroMachine’s Faces Winner category. Also a Character Challenge? Apologize that I have a vivid memory.

    Hope you are doing well. And all HMers. While I have been sidelined, I haven’t stopped checking in.

      (Quote)

  31. Avatar NerdAndProud says:

    I could use some help with this. I believe I have downloaded the debugger correctly but I don’t know what to do next. I’m on a mac, so when I double click on the file, unarchiver opens and attempts to… well unarchive. Didn’t work. Decompressor doesn’t seem to work either. Perhaps I’m going about it all wrong but I think I’m missing some steps regardless.

      (Quote)

  32. Avatar AFDStudios says:

    NerdAndProud:
    I could use some help with this. I believe I have downloaded the debugger correctly but I don’t know what to do next. I’m on a mac, so when I double click on the file, unarchiver opens and attempts to… well unarchive. Didn’t work. Decompressor doesn’t seem to work either. Perhaps I’m going about it all wrong but I think I’m missing some steps regardless.

    The Mac download is a DMG file. Double click and it mounts itself as a disk image. Open Finder and you should see it listed there along with your hard drive and whatnot. It will have the Flash Player.app in it — drag that into your Applications folder or desktop or wherever and run it from there.

      (Quote)

  33. Avatar NerdAndProud says:

    AFDStudios: https://www.howtogeek.com/438141/how-to-play-adobe-flash-swf-files-outside-your-web-browser/

    Okay thank you. For some reason the first time it downloaded as an .exe instead of .dmg perhaps I just clicked the wrong one. It seems to be working! Thanks

      (Quote)

  34. AFDStudios: The Mac download is a DMG file. Double click and it mounts itself as a disk image. Open Finder and you should see it listed there along with your hard drive and whatnot. It will have the Flash Player.app in it — drag that into your Applications folder or desktop or wherever and run it from there.

    For what it’s worth, my niece plays a game on Gaia Online (gaiaonline.com) called “zOMG!” They were able to convert their Flash game into a stand-alone application that players install on their own devices. It requires Adobe Air (Windows or Mac) for installation. She showed it to me. It seems pretty slick.

    zOMG! is a MMORPG. So it’s rather robust with different levels and an interactive chat feature. I don’t know what they used to compile the game. The main site developer at Gaia goes by the handle “Lanzer” if you want to take a look.

    WaterFox was a bust. Unless I’m doing something wrong, the browser points to the Adobe Flash EOL page. There is also the Puffin browser which promises “Flash forever.” However, you have to create an account. Also, it looks like you have to buy a subscription after a 30-day trial. So I didn’t test Puffin.

      (Quote)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.