The next HeroMachine applet

A new project for a major UGO client has come up, and while I can't talk about it in any detail, it's going to come along with a contest that's absolutely going to knock your socks off. Seriously, what you stand to win is so cool that I wish I weren't building the applet so I could enter.

This is going to end up as the most HeroMachine 3-like applet yet. I'll be testing almost all of the core ideas that will go into the full version, the only exception being the ability to rotate the underlying body parts. I have to rewrite the base code again, because I want to make it possible for you to add ten different shirt layers if you want, for maximum flexibility. More technical detail after the jump.

All of the HM versions so far, even the FaceMaker, give you a set number of slots into which you can put items. So you only get one place where Headgear can go, for example. If there happen to be two different items in that slot that would look great together, you were out of luck, stuck with whatever I, the applet designer, decided to put into the set of items for that slot. This was most irritating in the Shirt and Leggings slots.

So the plan with the new version is to set 18 item slot locations. Each of those slots will have a big set of items in it, and you can add as many of those items as you want into that slot. To illustrate, one of the item slots will be "Headgear" and it will have (in theory) a complete set of the kinds of items you currently find in HeroMachine 2.x's Headgear and Masks components -- headbands, domino masks, gas masks, skull caps, yarmulkes, earpieces, you name it. If you want a full-face mask and a bandanna and an ear piece, just check the "allow duplicates" button and add away.

Like in the Facemaker, you'll be able to scale each item individually, add three colors (including the line color), create your own custom colors, and move an item wherever you want on the screen.

In addition, you'll be able to rotate any item, which should be interesting, and you'll be able to change the alpha of either of the two main colors or the line art.

I should be getting the final go-ahead and project outline today, so I'll start working on it asap. I'm pretty excited by it, once this is done not only will it be a cool stand-alone applet, and not only will you get the chance to win the aforementioned unbelievably cool prize, but I'll be that much close to working on HM3 full time. This is going to lay a lot of the key conceptual framework.