I’ve just updated the HeroMachine 3 Alpha with some bug fixes:
- Made it so that you can apply Patterns to Hands and still mask Items into them — no more full-screen free-floating grayscale patterns when what you really wanted was scales on the hand to match the forearm.
- Changed the size of the mask on the Hands, so that long objects like swords or staffs shouldn’t get nipped in half when placed and masked.
- Changed the size of the default grayscale patterns (the ones in the Patterns tab) so they fill the whole screen. You can see this most easily when using the long cape in Backplane-Standard, previously all of the patterns would abruptly end about three inches before they got to the bottom of the cape. Now they go all the way down.
- Changed the “Tiger Stripe” pattern rather significantly, lowering the alpha value to 40% instead of 70% and using a completely new drawing for them, hoping to make them look better.
- Minor change to Save/Load, hoping to fix the layering problem. Let me know if this still happens — I don’t have high hopes I fixed it, but we’ll see.
Let me know if you see any weirdness.
Also, a warning — this isn’t supposed to do anything bad to your previously saved characters, but I can’t guarantee that. In general, until we get to a full release (or at least a solid beta), you should always make a JPG or PNG of any character you don’t want to lose. I may have to significantly change something at some point that will effectively destroy your old saved characters. I don’t PLAN on that, but you never know — that’s why it’s still an alpha.
As just one example of how you can directly impact a real piece of software, I have updated the FaceMaker beta with a suggestion from YahooGroups member Peter Boughton. He pointed me to a grid of good skin tone colors and suggested I create a feature where you can apply the current item’s color to anything with skin. I cranked it out this morning and it’s now up at http://www.heromachine.com/ugo/facemaker5.htm.
All of the HeroMachine-based apps have improved by orders of magnitude thanks to people like Peter, willing to take the time to share their points of view and making great suggestions. Many thanks to him and to the hundreds of people over the years who have directly contributed to these applets.
I look forward to even more and better suggestions going forward, so if the thought of helping to contribute to a real piece of software appeals to you, get in there and start thinking!
Thanks to several alert readers, HeroMachine 2.5 Online has been updated so that the entire character, including the name box if visible, will print out on one sheet. Previously the new “ad” format had chopped the character off at the ankles when printed.
The solution was inelegant, at best. I introduced a dialog box in the app when the print button is pressed. The character area is shrunk down while it’s up and processing the print request. Whenever the character is done printing (i.e. when you’ve clicked the OK button on your system print dialog box), you can clear the HeroMachine dialog box and the character resizes correctly.
Kludgey, but it works.
This is actually an improvement over the original release in terms of the actual printing, as the bottom edge of the name box was always chopped off before. So that’s nice.
Let me know if you see any problems with it.
I have now fixed all of the bugs from the Big List that can be fixed. Or at least, that can be fixed by me; I’m sure a better Flash developer could repair the LeftHand load bug, for instance. I want to thank everyone who took the time to post errors, having everything all in one place made the whole process much, much easier. You guys rule! Note that the fixes won’t be live until the final 2.5 update, hopefully next week.
I’ll now be moving on to copying over some of the component genre sets into other components. Here’s what I am thinking so far (edited to add new stuff per the comments section):
- Copy Coats-Standard into Overshirts.
- Copy Coats-CapeFronts into Overshirts.
- Copy Coats-CapeFronts into Undershirts.
- Copy Coats-FantasyArmor into Overshirts.
- Copy Coats-FantasyArmor into Undershirts.
- Copy Coats-FantasyCommon into Overshirts.
- Copy Coats-FantasyCommon into Undershirts.
- Copy Overshirts-Standard into Coats.
- Copy Leggings-Standard into Overleggings.
- Copy Leggings-Standard into Pants.
- Copy Overleggings-Standard into Leggings.
- Copy Overleggings-Standard into Pants.
- Copy Pants-Standard into Leggings.
- Copy Pants-Standard into Overleggings.
- Copy Back-Standard into Wings.
- Copy Back-Standard into Tails.
- Copy Wings-Standard into Back.
- Copy Wings-Standard into Tails.
- Copy Tail-Standard into Back.
- Copy Tail-Standard into Wings.
- Copy Companion-Standard into Back.
- Copy Companion-Standard into Wings.
- Copy Companion-Standard into Tail.
- Copy Background-Expansion1 into Back.
- Copy Background-Expansion1 into Wings.
- Copy Background-Expansion1 into Tail.
- Copy Neckwear-Shoulders into Coats.
- Copy Neckwear-Shoulders into Overshirt.
- Copy Neckwear-Shoulders into Undershirt.
If there are other components you’re dying to have, by all means please speak up, preferably in the comments to this post so everything’s in one place. Each one of these duplications is easier than coming up with a whole new batch, but I do still have to manually position everything for three out of the six templates. I finally wised up halfway through developing this thing and started putting all components in the same spot so I could just cut and paste without repositioning, but it was too late for the first three.
I am happy to announce that the Expansion Pack items have now been added to the Female Dwarf figure! You can access the new items at the usual place.
The last remaining body template to be updated is the female Brick. After that, I’ll need to clean up all the bugs, and hopefully duplicate some of the components into other slots. For instance, I’d like to make the Standard Coats available on the Overshirt and Undershirt layers, and vice versa, across the board.
And after that, I’ll probably be done with HeroMachine 2 for the foreseeable future. We’re in the midst right now of figuring out what’s next; my guess is that we’ll probably focus for a while on putting out much smaller, one-off versions like the Rock Star Edition and Real Life Edition. Think of things like a smaller HeroMachine with just one pose featuring exclusively Powered Armor, or Old West items, or Modern Teenager clothes, that kind of thing.
On the plus side, such releases can come out much more frequently. There are also business advantages, since such mini-applets are entirely self-contained and can be easily shared on other web sites, unlike the full 2.5 which spans hundreds of files and six subdirectories. On the down side, you’ll be limited to just the items in that applet, so you’ll have a situation where there might be items you’d love to see in the full version that just aren’t available, and vice versa. It’s almost like going back to the original HeroMachine 1, where if you chose the Martial Artist pose you couldn’t have guns.
But, if there are specific items that people in general are clamoring to have in the full release, we can probably schedule another Expansion to include them.
Anyway, enjoy the female dwarf Expansion, and as always, please comment in the Bugs post if you come across anything weird.
Consider this an open thread for bug reports in any HeroMachine version. Please note which version it is you’re seeing the bug in when you post. Thanks!
Here’s a list regarding HM2.5′s latest expansion pack release from one of the extremely kind folks on the HM Yahoo Group: