Category Archives: Open threads

META: Slowsnow

We’re in the middle of a pretty big snowstorm here in SW Colorado, which is wreaking havoc with my internet connection. Thus, posting today will be a bit slow, including (unfortunately) the contest results. I’ll be checking it frequently and posting during open weather windows as possible, but I wanted to warn you.

In the meantime, consider this an open thread and post away! If you have contest ideas you want to see, or Power Users you want profiled, or if you want to talk about the upcoming superhero movies, or anything else that’s on your mind, go for it!

META: Apologies for Friday

I apologize for the lack of posts yesterday — Black Friday got the best of me. We were out of the house early, and it was meeting friends and family the whole rest of the day. By the time we got back, I just didn’t get to posting. Consider it a vacation day!

Also, consider this an open thread for whatever you’d like to talk about since we didn’t do a Sharing Day yesterday.

META: No PUP today

I dropped the ball on the Power User Profiles and thought I had one ready, when in fact I don’t. My apologies, but we’ll have no PUP today.

So if you all want to treat this as an open thread, go for it! Discuss anything you like within the bounds of appropriateness. If you have another community member you’d like to see profiled, definitely let me know. Or you could discuss the weather, the “DC52″ relaunch, what upcoming super-hero movies you are excited about, college football, or whatever you like.

Open Bragging Day

As I mentioned, I am currently out of town at my niece’s wedding and thus, can’t participate in an Open Critique Day today. We’ll pick that up again next week.

In the meantime, though, I thought I’d instead make this an “Open Bragging Day”, a chance for you to share one piece of art of which you are particularly proud. Show everyone your one “wow” piece that you think is a great example of what you try to do as a creator. Obviously (given the venue) it could be a HeroMachine character design, or you could scan/photograph a completely different piece and post it.

I’d like this to be a purely positive day for those willing to post. It’s “Attaboy Friday”, not a critique day, so try to think of something nice if you feel the urge to post a response.

Otherwise, put your artwork up and tell us why you’re proud of it!

(Apologies to the WWE for using their logo. It’s awesome, though.)

Open Critique Day

Someone mentioned that we haven’t had an “Open Critique Day” in quite a while, so here you go.

Feel free to post a link to a HeroMachine character (or even just a drawing you’ve done) that you would like to get a constructive critique about in the comments to this post. Please limit it to one such image per person. I’ll do my best to make remarks about each one regarding where it works and where it maybe falls a little short.

The other commenters here should feel free to make their own observations on each one as well, but I do ask that you make your critiques constructive — don’t just say “This sucks”, say why specifically you think it isn’t working, and if possible how it might be improved. At the end of the day it’s not the critic’s job to actually figure out how to fix something, but it is the critic’s job to make coherent, specific, and constructive observations about a piece’s strengths and weaknesses.

I look forward to hopefully helping you out with any illustration you’re having trouble getting to the place where you would like it to be.

Is HeroMachine art?

Someone on the “Star Wars: The Old Republic” forums posted the following:

Maybe I’m just going through a stage of Male-PMS, but I feel like being really blunt here. The people who post screenshots of there person made with HeroMachine and call it their artwork, well, there are several things wrong with this:
1.) HeroMachine is not your program, your just using a public device. You cannot call it your art if you didn’t make it. So you spent hours slaving over the hardest efforts to click a button many times to get a poor rendition of something that vaguely resembles a person with a generic stance that never changes.
2.) It’s beyond unoriginal. I’ve seen it a lot around here, and it just irks me! It is so much more beneficial to ask someone to draw it for you. It benefits you in that you have a genuine piece of artwork that somebody actually put effort into. It also benefits them in that it helps them with the experience. Computers don’t learn to draw from reference sheets and imagination, they get it from a billionaire who programs it into them.

I think it’s an interesting question — are images created in HeroMachine art? Why or why not?

(Image © Fiona Katauskas.)

RPG Corner: Alignment

Few things get gaming geeks more riled up than arguing about alignment. Worthwhile or pointless, good or bad, nonsensical or the Best Thing Evar? Goodness (or Evilness or Chaositude or what have you) knows, if you’ve ever dealt with an angry twelve year old “role playing” a chaotic evil character in your party, you’ve seen how bad alignment can be when played poorly. And it doesn’t make a lot of sense if you think about it for too long. But it’s been an integral part of game design almost from the beginning, for better or worse.

My question for you this week is, “What classic AD&D alignment would your favorite comics characters be?” I’ll start it off with a very obvious one — Superman is Lawful Good. Never does anything selfish, always plays by the rules, thinks authority is the best thing since Lois in a mini-skirt, code against killing, the works.

But how would you rate Batman, or Spider-Man, or the more troublesome and dark characters like The Punisher or Spawn? Do you judge characters by what they do, or where they’re from, or what they say they’re about, or what?

Also, how do you judge characters’ actions in games that do not have a formal Alignment system, like Champions for instance? Do you find that leaving that mechanic out enhances or detracts from the game play experience?

Finally, if you have any fun stories about alignment played either well or poorly in your RPGs, I’d love to hear them.

Have at it folks!

Open Critique Day

If you have an illustration, HM or otherwise, that you would like to get a critique on from me (or from anyone else who wants to chime in!), please leave a link and any details you think pertinent in the comments below.

Please limit the critique requests to one illustration per person. Thanks!

Open Critique Day

It’s Open Critique and/or General Help Day once again, so feel free to post your illustrations (HeroMachine or otherwise) you’d like to get a critique on, or any other general help topic you like, and we’ll see what we can do to help.

Open critique and help day

If you have a question about HeroMachine, or art, or comics, or why we park on a driveway but drive on a parkway (apologies to Steven Wright), feel free to ask in the comments and I won’t judge you.

On the other hand, if you have a piece of art, either from the HeroMachine or that you’ve done by hand, you can request a critique from me and the community at large in the comments, and we will judge that! Just a couple of things to keep in mind:

  1. Please limit critique requests to just one per person.
  2. If you’re offering your feedback to someone, please be constructive.
  3. Never get involved in a land war in Asia.

Finally, Hammerknight has managed to shake loose some time and sent in this excellent recipe for how to handle shading with HeroMachine. Many thanks to him!