Category Archives: Meta

New Blog Posts?

Hey guys, JR here and I have a question to ask y’all.

When I posted the most recent Character Of The Week, I posited the idea of bringing it back as a weekly blog post, rather than a sporadic thing posted when I feel like it, and the response has been pretty affirmative. So, I think COTW will now take up a place on the blog each Friday. However, one of the things that a number of people have said is that they’d like to see more topical posts on the blog, like there were last summer. My question is, is this a feeling that is shared by the majority?

Now I’m certainly willing to do more stuff, I have a bit of free time at the moment, and Kaldath has said that he’d be willing to do more than just the Caption Contest, but the thing is, we’re not exactly sure what to do. I had a load of topics going last summer, but apart from the Big Question, there wasn’t much response to many of them and even the interest in the Big Question waned after a while (although I stopped it because I had ran out of topics I wanted to discuss/ felt it was worth discussing). The same goes for the topics Kaldath used to run, such as the Anime Talks, Poll Position or the redesign contests. The problem here is, we can’t tell how popular a topic/ blog series is. There isn’t a view counter/ page visit counter that we can just look at, so we can’t tell how many times a certain post has been viewed and the only way we can gauge a response is through comments left and, if we’re being honest, the only posts that ever get above 10 comments are the Character Design Contests, which won’t be going anywhere anyway. If we were to bring back old topics or start up new ones, it would need to be a two way street. We can’t keep giving you content if there’s no response to it, it just feels like “why are we even bothering if no-one’s looking at it”. You get where I’m coming from?

Then we have the problem of what topics do you want. I will admit I messed up the last weekly blog post I tried to get started, the Sharing Day Video Posts. Problem there was at the time I was finishing off uni, so I didn’t have all that much time to do them in and when I did get time, something would always prevent me doing them properly, so one week I ended up not posting it and then I just fell off the ball and it went away. I could bring that back if people are interested, because I seem to remember there was a bit of interest in that. As for other stuff, you guys will have to tell us what you want. We can bring back some old topics (Big Question, What Were They Thinking, Sci-Fi Corner, Anime Talk etc.) or we could do something new, which you can give out some ideas. We could even change up a few of the old topics, for example maybe instead of Sci-Fi Corner there could be a Fantasy based blog series, discussing fantasy tropes and topics (though Kaldath would probably have to do this one, I think he’s a bit more up on fantasy than I am). The one thing I’m not open to bringing back as a weekly series is the Power User Profiles. I originally only intended to do a limited 5 profile series, but my inner-fanboy got a hold and I ended up adding 15 or so names to the list of PUP’s, so I think it’s best we leave that alone for the moment. I’m not saying it’s gone for good, but at the moment I can’t think of anyone who I really want to profile and I don’t want to force it. Besides, with the forums down I don’t have an easy way of contacting people and asking if they would like to do a profile. And finally, and this really is hypothetical and I’m going to completely blindside Jeff and Kaldath with this one, really this will be their call if it were to happen, but I quite like the idea of community submissions. Now, a couple of months back, Herr D sent me over a review of some of the foreign language versions of Let It Go from Disney’s Frozen and, after sending it over to Kaldath, we featured it on the blog. I really like the idea of having community members being featured on the blog, it makes the whole thing more interactive. Of course, we’d have to figure out a way to do this, the stuff featured would have to be topics related to stuff the site deals with (comics, sci-fi, fantasy etc.) and each week one submission would be chosen by the moderators to be featured, rather than just giving everyone permission to post on the blog, because that would be anarchy. This is of course, completely hypothetical at the moment, and if the forums weren’t down I’d have run the idea by Kaldath first, so don’t get your hopes up, it might not happen.

Anyway, sorry for the long rambling post. Let us know what you think about the whole blog post situations, if you would like to see more weekly posts and if so, what?

Forum Non-Update

Regarding the long down time for the forums, I’m sorry for the extended delay. Ben the Awesome Tech Guy and I both work for the same company for our regular jobs and we’ve had a major project that’s due to launch today. That’s taken up all our time, but I’m hopeful that maybe this weekend we can turn our attention back to the forum issue.

We’ve found a replacement for SimplePress (the current blog software) that we hope will put less of a load on the server. We’ve run one sample import and it looked good but we haven’t had time to really dive into it to make sure, since data integrity and the preservation of peoples’ character images is the most important thing.

Thanks for your patience, I know it’s super frustrating.

Today's Downtime.

Good evening!

We’d very sorry for the unexpected downtime today. We discovered a few areas that were causing massive site slowdowns, the biggest one being the forum software. With hundreds of users and gigabytes of data, we’ve simply outstripped the plugins ability to support our users.

For now, the forums are down. We will be investigating other forum software over the next few days and converting the forums over. Rest assured that all your content has been backed-up.

Please stay tuned for further updates. This is a very high priority issue for us, and we appreciate your patience while we move HeroMachine forward with shiny new software.

Bit of Server Tweaking.

Hi!

We just did a bit of server tweaking to address some of the slowdowns people have been experiencing lately. If you run into any issues, please comment on this post.

Thanks!

Weilyn – HeroMachine remembers one of its BEST!!

Today I write to honor the passing  of a member of the HeroMachine Moderation staff, Weilyn. I was saddened today to learn of her passing by a close friend of hers, our very own Stulte who created the image above in memorial to her! When HammerKnight due to health reasons had to step down as moderator for a time leaving the running of this place solely on my shoulders Weilyn was the first person I reached out to and invited to join the Moderation Team here at HeroMachine because I saw how helpful and friendly she was and KNEW she would be a wonderful moderator.

I remember how honored and excited she was to be a moderator and how eager she was to be able to give back to our community and help you all with all things HeroMachine! We private messages back and forth for several days as she grilled me on the things she needed to know to be an effective moderator and on how to posts to the blog and together with Her, Jr, and djuby I felt we had one of the finest group of Mods anywhere on the net!

I don’t know any details of her passing but what I can say is the Weilyn will be missed dearly by many here on this site, and to her friends and family that many be reading this you have my most heart felt condolences! Rest In Peace My Friend!

( Below after the Jump you will find a few of Weilyn’s HeroMachine Creations that I have selected as well as a Link to her Gallery on the forum )

EDIT: Added more of Weilyn’s art below as suggested by Jr. 

Continue reading

Chrome Image Exporting fixed for reals this time

I’ve thought I had the bug fixed in the past where you couldn’t export an image out of Chrome, but this time I think I’ve actually done it. I’ve tested in both computers I have available here (sadly, both are Macs, so if you are running Chrome on Windows please give it a shot and let me know how it works for you) and it exports the image successfully, and then returns the character to the proper spot instead of 30 pixels off to the left.

Please let me know any issues you run into and thank you very much for your patience.

And we're back.

Good evening, everyone!

I just finished fixing the bug with logging in. You should now have full access to the forums and other membership-related aspects of the site. Please comment here if you find any other issues.

Over the coming weeks, we will be making other technical changes to HeroMachine in order to give you a better, more reliable experience. This will, unfortunately, include some downtime here and there, but once we’re done, we’ll have a rock-solid site for the foreseeable future.

As always, keep your eyes peeled here for updates. And thanks for your patience with our site upgrade!

META: New site updates

As you’ve seen from the most excellent Ben Finn below, we’ve migrated the server over to the new host, but with some problems. Specifically, the Premium content pages and the forums aren’t letting people log in.

Ben (and I, but mostly Ben) is working assiduously to figure out what the bug is. I apologize for the inconvenience and frustration, but hopefully things’ll be squared away soon. In the meantime, the apps all still work so you can continue to create away.

A big THANK YOU to Ben for handling all this, too!

HeroMachine – Site Upgrade in Progress

Hey, folks!

We’ve moved HeroMachine.com to it’s snazzy new server. Most things are up and functional, but we’re still encountering a few bugs, specifically:

  • logging into the forums is problematic
  • some premium content may be unavailable

We’re working overtime to correct these bugs, and we’ll let you know when they’re fixed.

If you’re having any other issues with the site, please comment on this post.

Thanks, and sorry for any inconvenience!

– Ben

Chrome Exporting is now fixed!

Over the weekend an old client called with a new bug in their HeroMachine version after the last Flash Player updated. We spent a couple of days figuring out what went wrong and now it’s fine, but along the way I stumbled across a workaround for the image exporting bug Google introduced in their last Chrome updated. Using this new (actually, very old) method instead, I was able to get this important feature working again. So now if, like me, you’re a Chrome user, you can once again export your HeroMachine 3 creations as a PNG or JPG. Hooray!