Category Archives: HeroMachine 3

HM3: Look Out Behind You!

Whiz Bang brings you energy auras for all occasions. Just for the heck of it! You can find these in Backplane/Auras.

EnergyAuras

File Export in Chrome Workaround

UPDATE 04/29/2014: Ignore this post, the core issue has been fixed and exporting from Chrome is now working again.

I’ve found a workaround so you can get the Image Exporter in HeroMachine 3 working again. The steps are outlined in this article but I’m reproducing them here. I tried it on my Mac install of Chrome and it worked great, taking no more than thirty seconds.

To disable the new PepperFlash:

  1. Open the Chrome Plugins page by typing this URL into the address bar: chrome://plugins
    chrome-plugins1
  2. Find the “[+] Details” button in the upper right to show the details of each installed plugin and click this button.
    chrome-plugins2
  3. Find the Flash Plugin Section in the list of Plugins.  There may be (1 file), (2 files) or (3 files) in this section.
    chrome-plugins3
  4. In the Flash section there should be 2 or 3 different versions of Flash listed.  If the Flash section only has one Flash file listed, Click Here to go to the Adobe website and download and install the Adobe Flash Plugin for Non-Internet Explorer browsers. 
  5. The first Plugin listed in the Flash section is the PepperFlash implementation.  You can tell that the first one is PepperFlash by looking for “PepperFlash” in the Location string.  See yellow highlight below.
  6. Find the “Disable” link and click that link.
    chrome-plugins4
  7. Now Close all open Chrome windows and tabs and restart Chrome and MySpeed should work as before.

Note: If no video will play or the website says that Flash is not installed after disabling PepperFlash, go back and Read Step 4 again more carefully.

New Layout Now Live!

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I’ve just updated HeroMachine.com with a new layout in response to the problems Google AdSense reported. Had I not made these changes, Google would have shut down my account and quite simply, I’d have had to close the site. There should be no effect on your character saves though, as always, hopefully you have text and/or image backups just in case. I confirmed this by loading previously saved characters using the new file.

I tried to make a virtue out of necessity, always keeping in mind while redesigning both the site and the apps what the best user experience would be and not just what would make Google happy. I hope on that front things are actually better now. Here are the major changes:

  • I removed the integrated 300×250 ad unit from all HeroMachine versions. The upshot is that you should have more space available to see your character, and you can now capture the screen in landscape mode without the ad being visible.
  • I also moved the controls in both HM2 and HM3 from the right side to the left. Partly this is to avoid having any clickable controls too near the ad in the right column, and partly it’s because it always seemed like that was a more natural place for them to be. I only had them where they were to make the ad more prominent (that was decided by UGO back in the day).
  • The page is now 1080 pixels wide, which along with rearranging the apps should result in keeping the work area the same as it was when there was only a single column in the narrower layout. The standard site-wide side bar is also now present on the character creation pages.
  • Finally, the forums now have the standard site-wide side bar. Hopefully that will help integrate the blog and forums more closely to foster cross-discussion and visibility of things like contests.

From a business standpoint, I do worry that the new layout will not pay out nearly as well as the original. If that’s the case I will have to try other ways to monetize the site so I can keep it going. That might include different ad placements, but it might also mean more radical changes like some sort of premium area based on a subscription model where no ads are served and the apps are full-screen, or making downloads available for sale, or even (as a last resort) going back to the pre-UGO days when there was a crippled version of the apps available for free and only paid users got the full slate of items. I’d rather not do that, but I have to pay the bills, you know?

Anyway, hopefully everything will work out fine and I won’t need to make any more changes.

If you run into any problems with the new layout or the new app versions, or if you’d like to let me know what you think of the changes (hopefully without too much cursing!), please let me know in the comments section.

Let me know what you think about a new layout

As I mentioned earlier, I have to redesign the way the site is laid out to avoid getting the Google Hammer dropped on me. Basically the ads are too close to the content in the current layout.

The good news is, the app itself has also gone under the knife, and I think there are a few good bits in there for you, the intrepid HeroMachine creator. Here’s a screen capture of what I’m proposing:

hmnewad-screencap

And the stuff I hope you’ll like about it?

  • The Google ad will no longer be present in widescreen mode, so you can once again do screen captures without having to crop. Hooray!
  • The character canvas is larger than in the current layout letting you see more of your creation.
  • I’m proposing to swap the tool buttons over to the left side, which always felt more natural to me.

None of this is set in stone, of course. I’ll be continuing to make tweaks to the design over the weekend, so please let me know any thoughts you have on the new layout.

Smiles, everyone!

I’ve just added the following 19 smile variations to the MouthFemaleStandard set of items. I hope they put a smile on YOUR face as well! See what I did there?!

smiles

Not Dead Yet!

Did you think you got already rid of me? Na-ah! I’m still alive and back with a few new items for the ‘machine …02_11_2014
Hope you like them! ;)

Creators Club Poster 2014

Ok guys, I’ve finished putting together this years Creators Club poster. First, I’d like to thank all the creators who entered, seeing all your work was really awesome. Sorry, a few people didn’t send me the text files for their entries so they didn’t end up on the poster (I struggled to fit everyone on as it is).

You might want to open it in a new tab to see it in more detail. Funny thing is, the poster was much bigger than it ended up whilst I was creating it, something must have got compressed during the export, so sorry about that.

If anyone else wants to do next years poster, I’m ok with that, but otherwise I’ll try to come up with an interesting theme for this time next year.

Halftones

I’ve just added the following two halftone items to Patterns-Standard:

halftone

I made it like the other gradients, where color1 and color2 fade into each other. If you don’t want that and instead prefer a solid color background, you can set color2 to 0% alpha (color1 is solid). Or you can make both invisible and be left with just the dot line art.

Mad Jack's Car-Boot Sale

Man, you wouldn’t believe what people forget in the trunks of their cars. From wigs to prosthetics to even their “pets”! I really hope you’ll take the latter, since they gonna eat me out of house and home – and I mean that literally!!!batch5
And that would be it with the mass deliveries for a while. I’m now going to dare me to more sophisticated things, and there I will certainly need a “little” longer to produce something acceptable – if at all. ;)

Honest Jack's Used Cars

You wanted a garage sale? Well, that’s what comes of it! You’ll find these sweet new rides in Companions/Vehicles.
vehicles
Hmm, did I check the trunks of those cars?! Hope I didn’t forget anything in there… ;)