Category Archives: Open threads

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!

Open Critique and Burning Question Day

If you'd like to get feedback on an illustration you've made (with HeroMachine or even an actual personally-produced drawing), post a link in the comments and I'll do my best to provide a helpful critique. Actually, anyone is welcome to provide feedback on them as well, but keep it constructive. Just saying "This sucks, I hate it" is a perfectly valid emotional response, but not at all helpful in terms of actually helping the person make it better. You'll have plenty of chances in your life to tell someone you don't like their work, so just let this one slide by if that's all you can think of to say.

Also, if you want some help on how to use HeroMachine, this is the place. Or, if you have a general question you've been wanting to ask but couldn't find a way to slip it into the other posts, feel free.

(Image ©DC Comics, Inc.)

Open Help Thread – Critique Day!

I've been too busy drawing and re-drawing armor to come up with something clever for today's Help Topic, so consider this an open thread to talk about whatever you like. Or ask a question about HeroMachine or drawing stuff too, of course, but in general this space is now Open To The Public.

Edited To Add: On second thought, you can also use this to post a character you have, or have been working on, and would like a (friendly!) critique about. I'll be happy to give an opinion on what I think works, what doesn't work, things you might do, etc., as would the other commenters, I am sure.

How to Draw Batman in a Bar

I did a plain text version of this once, but I thought a video would be easier to follow. If you ever wanted to draw Batman in a bar using nothing but letter shapes (and who among us has NOT wanted to do that?!), here's your chance to learn how.


Otherwise, consider this your (late) "Help!" open thread, feel free to ask anything you like about how to do something in HeroMachine, or an illustration question, or all but one thing associated with the meaning of life.

META: Out for most of the day

We've got a sick equine out here at the ranch and need to take him to the vet way off in the other middle of nowhere, so I won't be back till this afternoon at the earliest. Play nice and consider this an open thread.

Open Thread

Have at it, feel free to discuss whatever you like, whether it be comics or movies or super-heroes or Lady Ga-Ga or anything you like.