HM2 Printing

In moving around the controls for HM2, I accidentally broke printing. But I have now un-broken it, so print away!

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.

Character Design Contest ♯65 (Free For All) Poll

HM3: Venomous Claw (Reward for CDC#60: Elementals)

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Whiz Bang presents this Claw as requested by NHA247 for his Character Contest #60 (Elementals) win. It can be found in HandRight/Standard.

Don’t poke your eye out!

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.

Changes coming ’round

I got a notice today from Google that the HeroMachine apps are in violation of their placement policies. Apparently they require 150 pixels between any Flash content and their ads. As a result, I’m going to have to make some major changes to the HM layouts. I only have three business days to get into compliance, so you’re going to see some weirdness over the next few days. I apologize in advance for any frustration you run into.

Pop Quiz K#2: Image This – Winner

pop quiz image this

Last week I asked you all to come up with a character based only on the name “Blaze Master”. This contest produced 5 solid entries which were had to choose between, however I have finally made my selection and the winner is ……………………

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Ideas!

Ok apparently the Pop Quiz is bombing so that will be discontinued. though I will announce the winner of K#2 later tonight or tomorrow , I would have done it sooner however I was unexpectedly away from home all day today helping a friend with something.

So with the pop quiz once more drifting off into obscurity I would like to turn to you all and ask what you want me to post on Wednesdays? Please do not ask for Open Critique as I do not feel qualified to critique other peoples art. I can go back to doing Anime Talk, or I can try and bring back another old topic if I think I can do it justice, or you can suggest something completely new! Just keep in mind what this site is about when making your suggestions.

Kaldath’s Caption Contest #23 – Winner

Last week I asked you to come up with your best replacement dialogue for the following image:

Doom

 

My top 5 entries are:

Isia: “And I would have gotten away with it if it hadn’t been for those meddling kids!!”

RobM: “Kneel before Zo… (cough) Doom!”

Calvary_Red: “You dare mock Doom!? KAAAAALLLLDAAAAAAATHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Steve Mckinnon: “WILL THIS STUPID WINTER EVER END???!!!”

Lionheart: “Arhhhh, How on earth is anyone supposed to beat this level of Candy Crush!!!!!!”

AND THE WINNER IS ……………………..

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Character Design Contest ♯65- Free For All

Ok guys, this week there is no category for the challenge, you can just enter what you want (so long as it sticks within the blog rules obviously). So just go wild. You don’t have to enter with something made specifically for this contest, but it can’t be something you’ve entered into a contest before. And also, as a special stipend, you’ve only got one entry into the contest this week, so make it something special.

As I said, only one entry per person this week and the contest will close at midnight Saturday (blog time). The winner gets to claim a custom made item from dblade to be put into heromachine, so long as the item conforms to his prize rules, which you can find here: http://www.heromachine.com/forum/the-heromachine-art-gallery/dblades-whiz-bang-item-dispenser/. Please read the contest rules before entering, have fun and good luck.

Rules for posts, contests, and challenges that I am hosting: Original characters only, no copyrighted characters, no characters based on copyrighted characters, no characters based on RPG’s or other games. The characters must be your own design and not based on any character that might be copyrighted in any way. I have the right to delete any post that I believe crosses this line without warnings. Only post characters that you have either created for this contest specifically or you know for certain have never been entered to a contest before. If you aren’t certain, don’t enter it, because I’m not going to go back through all of the contests and check.