HeroMachine competitor

My Portuguese is a bit rusty but thanks to Google Translator, I'm pretty sure the guys who do Her-O-Matic have a new version in the works, previewed here:

And here's another preview of the app:

What do you all think? It's got some really cool features, most of which (I think) are going to be do-able in the HM Warrior Mini, and then in HM3. Particularly the heads and hands and legs and such being swappable. The only big think I can see they have that I don't is the texturizing, but I have a pretty good idea how to do that. Is that something you'd want?

On the other hand, I don't see that in their version you can scale, rotate, or move objects, and I think you're going to find with the Mini that they are key features, which are going to make for some very powerful options.

They also don't have item previews, little versions of each one that you can scroll through. How important is that to you?

Anyway, they're doing a nice job, and I was curious what you thought about it. If there's anything you see that you want HM3 to have, let me know in the comments.

35 Responses to HeroMachine competitor

  1. Dr. VAX says:

    The texturing would be a great idea.

  2. Kaldath says:

    The One thing I really like about Hero-O-Matic is the ability to have different items on the right side of the body as appose to the left ,,, two different shoulder pads for example ,,, or a shoulder pad on the left shoulder but not the right, or two different wings leathery on one side featherd on the other etc.

  3. Rick says:

    If not previewing the items enabled you to do more items than I vote no preview. If not then having the preview is better in my opinion.

  4. Kaldath says:

    Item Perview is VERY important to me .. Thats is one thing I hate about Hero-O-Matic having to scroll through all the items to find the one I like best if I know the one I do want, I still have to scroll through all the others until I get to the one I want. No sir I don’t like that at all !!!

  5. Kaldath says:

    Hmm Watching the youtube videos of Hero-O-Matic I noticed they were able to hide the controls. That got me thinking would it be possible to hide the controls and zoom in a bit on the Character Pic for better screenshots ?

  6. Jeff Hebert says:

    Well, one idea I’ve toyed around with is having a preview type of feature where you could hide everything but the character. You wouldn’t be zooming in on it much, though, since it already fills the whole height of the screen.

  7. Whit says:

    I concur–item preview is *crucial*.

  8. Rick says:

    I do believe I am out-voted. But like I said, I do prefer the preview. I will go back to something I said awhile back, different body types / poses would be one other things I would take from Her-o-matic or HM original if you prefer.

  9. Eduardo Reis says:

    Hello everyone, (i,m sorry for my bad english).

    I am the creator of “Fábrica de Heróis” also know “Hero-o-Matic”.

    First, let me say that i’m a big fan of the Hero Machine, i did my program in your tribute. I’ll never consider myself a competitor, only a fan.

    I believe the Hero Machine much higher due to 2 items:

    1 – Preview of the items;
    2 – Save Character;

    I have an problems with this 2 things..


    Eduardo Reis
    Fábrica de Heróis

  10. Sly Guy says:

    Hmm..Honestly, item preview is more important for Hero Machine to have than it is for Hero-o-matic. This is because you have a greater range of items, but they have them spread into more categories. If that makes sense…

    And texturing is VERY important. I love the way you can use the texures in HoM to create metallic, scaly, etc. designs.

    One important thing they lack in HoM is layering. Layering is one of the most important things needed in hero creation.

    Now when you talk about scaling, rotating, and moving objects, how much are you talking? Because, just my opinion, I think that the program could get messy if the parts aren’t stuck to the character. I don’t want to ‘drag and drop’ items onto the character.

  11. Alexander says:

    I have to say that the quality of Her-o-matic is really sharp–something you rival with Expansion I artwork–but it kind of beats earlier item design (standard, etc).

    The item preview is crucial, as others have said, and I would really like to see different positions available. You’re on the right track with the different hands, but it is so limited.

    Finally, color, color, color… I’d like to see a more friendly color interface.


  12. marcelo says:

    i think we are far better than that program, but we need to learn from them, i think we also need to be able to separate stuff from left side to right side and the texture option. also the ability to zoom into the hero will be a nice idea and to be able to move the insigniaaround the body. sometimes also i need to use 2 layers of overlegings or something like that, it will be nice to dont have a limit, or to chose the limit, still i rather use this hero machine than the other one.

  13. Jeff Hebert says:

    Eduardo, you’re to be commended, that’s an awesome program you’ve built. Is this something you do full-time or are you working on it just on your own?

    Her-O-Matic is a great app, I am very impressed with it!

  14. Jeff Hebert says:

    @ Alexander — I agree, their art is great. Love it.

    @ Sly Guy — You’ll see the transformation tools at work in the Mini, but the interface is just like with other versions, where you click on an item and it appears in-place on the character. You can scale and rotate it right there, or you can click, hold, and drag it to where you want. My goal, though, was to have it possible to use the program just like HM2 if you want to ignore the enhanced features.

  15. Jeff Hebert says:

    Regarding Zooming, that’s definitely something I will consider. I imagine it should probably work something like a magnifying glass, where you click on the drawing and it doubles or triples in size or whatever, with the clicked point at the center, filling the character preview window.

    That’s a darn good idea, thanks!

  16. Kaldath says:

    Hey Jeff, When you get to HM3 in addition to the Athletic Male/Female, Brick Male/Female, and Dwarven poses I’d like to see childern poses like those in Shakti Warriors version of HM so as to make younger heroes and Sidekick. Also for Fantasy characters the child size poses would make Halfling/Kender and Gnome like characters possible

  17. Jeff Hebert says:

    The idea with HM3 is that there’s only going to be one male and one male figure, but that with rotating and scaling of limbs, torso, head, and items you can craft a figure with the proportions you want. Hopefully.

  18. Kaldath says:

    Hmmm … That would work, I would suggest a couple of buttons with preset portions something that with the click of a single button will get you at least close to the standard pose archetypes. I suggest this for two reasons first for those who have no interest in having use the “new” features since you said you’d like to as close to HM2.x in ease of use. Secondly I think your average user would most likely just want to tweak the standard poses a bit instead of having to recreate a brick, or child from scratch each and every time they wanted that general shape and size. I am sure it would be much easier to create a button that tells the currently selected item to change to X Y & Z perimeters instead of redrawing each item several times for different poses also

  19. Jeff Hebert says:

    Great idea, Kaldath. It’s also possible that this whole idea won’t work terribly well in practice and I’ll have to go back to pre-drawn character bodies.

  20. Kaldath says:

    Well we are all full of ideas we’d like to see included in HM3. Unfortunately for you, you’re the one who has to try and make them work 😀

  21. Jeff Hebert says:

    True dat! In all seriousness, though, it was feedback from people using the early HM that made it work at all. People thought up stuff I never would have, and came up with ideas that really pushed the program to be a ton better than it would’ve been otherwise.

  22. DJ says:

    Have you ever thought about giving the figures joints? With accesories being able to be rotated then you could pretty much create your own poses. I imagine it something like a push pin type system. There are holes in the back (not visible) that connects with (invisble pegs in the knees,hands,feet and elbows. It would most likely be a whole new code but maybe for HM4 or HM5?

  23. haz says:

    Dude. Never, never, never get rid of items preview. I didn’t realize how much I appreciated it until I checked out Her-O-Matic. Also, have I told you lately that I love the feature that allows the user to click the item on the image to select it? Because I really, really do.

    The texturizing is great. Something else I like is the way the belt was done. You have belt choices and buckle choices, so you match the rodeo-worthy buckle you like with a high-tech belt.

    In regards to Kaldath’s suggestion, if I can create my own perimeters and put them on buttons, I’d want more than one button. It would also be useful if I could save the settings on those buttons on my computer, the way some flash games allow you to save your progress so you can go back later. And while we’re at it, could you solve world hunger? 🙂

  24. The Imp says:

    DJ had a really awesome idea there. If you make the limbs and whatever’s ‘attached’ to them scalable/rotable as one unit, maybe we could tweak some new poses instead of just the standard one.

    And like haz says, never, never, never get rid of the the item preview.

    @Eduardo: Man, your program is fantastic. Question: Are you ever going to complete the ‘teen’ poses?

  25. Jeff Hebert says:

    Yes, posability is part of the spec for HM3. You’d be able to rotate the figure around the knees, hips, waist, shoulders, wrists, hands, and neck. This Warrior Mini will have a touch of that, letting you rotate and move the hands.

    The hard part of that is making the joins seamless, so they don’t leave bits sticking out. I haven’t figured that out yet.

  26. The Leviathan says:

    Assymetric cybernetic limbs, heavy on the mechanical options like myomar muscle fibers interlaced with hydraulic pistons. It’s the one thing that I have been trying to do with HM 1 through 2.5 without success. The closest I can seem to come looks like a regular limb with cheesy metallic coloring and an armored boot or gauntlet.

  27. MontanaPlayer says:

    As far as HoM goes, I do like the idea of adding textures, I like the expansion on face masks and some of the hand held items were very nice and I’d like to see all of that in HM3. Can you print from HoM? I’m not seeing a function for that.

    I’ll echo many others, keep the previews! Scrolling through HoM was like the original HM which was one of the few things I didn’t like about it. I’ve enjoyed the updates you’ve shown us Jeff too; keep ’em coming!

  28. kryptkal says:

    I agree with The Leviathan, more cybernetic parts and mechanical armor. Incorporating all the options from the Hero-O-Matic would be good becasue they have some cool options that heromachine doesn’t.

    Bring back in some of the options from heromachine 1 that we haven’t seen like the cyber-samurai helmet thing. More armor options, especially cyber/mechanical types.

    More styles of long swords and such weapons, more glove and boot styles (again the Heromatic thing has some good ideas).

    Also, keep the current options between the old less-muscular bodies and the newer more-muscular-with-hand-optioned bodies. Add the different bodies to both types though (the fur body for the muscular and less-muscular, the crystal body for the muscular and…etc.)

    Allow users to choose two parts from each section (so many times I want to use two parts from the overshirt or coat section that I can’t).

  29. DJ says:

    Could you do a full suit option? Like a preselected outfits/armor so that instead of having to hunt down every piece of armor for a knight you scroll down and click on like a subcategory that is SUITS so you click and BAM full knights outfit.

  30. Jeff Hebert says:

    DJ I had something a bit like that in 2.x, in the Sample Characters area, which was basically pre-generated sets of items. But a feature where you would pick one item and then, say, click a “Match This” button to load up a pre-generated set of other items that match it, no, that would not be something I could do given the way I am building the thing.

  31. Violodion says:

    Believe most agree HM2 interface as-is beats all the other character creators. Ditto to that!

    With the continued re-sizing talk, Kaldath’s #18 idea of item size presets starter button would be great — x, y, z, rotate (equivalent of sml, med, lg?).

    Agree with others in ‘texture’ gradients for primary & secondary colors ought to be distinguishing, as well as increase re-usable versatility of the components.

    Take a page from Eduardo, redo the entire applet in Portuguese. If they really love it, they will still come.

  32. Jeff Hebert says:

    Portuguese is so yesterday. I’m going with Sanskrit!

  33. Eduardo Reis says:

    Hello everyone, i answer some questions:

    Jeff, the Fábrica de Heróis is just a hobby, in 2009 we make a system of donations just to keep it online. I work as a webdesigner here in Brazil, thanks for your kind words, YOUR program is fantastic!

    The Imp, thank you! The teen models will come with a new FH in 2009. Abraços!

    And.. do not have to do a version in portuguese, that language is very complex and difficult, heheheheheh


    Eduardo Reis
    Fábrica de Heróis

  34. Niall Mor says:

    Hi Jeff,

    Here’s a suggestion for HM3 or maybe a Hero-Mini: Steampunk.

    I recently heard audio versions of two great steampunk-flavored stories, and it put me in mind to create some steampunk looking characters. There are quite a few ways to get that late 19th-early 20th century look for male characters (jackets with cummerbunds, top hats, goggles, wire-rim spectacles, etc.) but not so many for the ladies. I’d like to see formal bodices and hoop skirts for clothing options (this would also work for Old West style female characters). For steampunk characters, I’d like to see an airship option for a “companion” in much the same way you have a motorcycle and a horse now. The airship could look like a hot air balloon, a zeppelin, or some crazy thing with propellers, canopies, and gondolas all over it. Just a thought. Hope you like the idea.

  35. Jason says:

    Just took a moment to look at the Hero’o’matic and found the beta version of the new one is now up and posted. Best part so far? You can select your choice of language! Yes, no more trying to remember what slot is what (For those of use languistically challenged at least)

    Anyway, my connection to the net is a bit slow so the applet seemed to drag a bit, and the “Windows” for the palettes get a bit in the way, though it is a good idea. Probably just need to get used to them. Lastly, it has a selection interface similar to HM1 which is very frustrating to me.

    Other up sides: Updated artwork. Very nice stuff. One of the menus allows you to change the body type on the fly. Overall, you can make some very imaginative characters.

    It IS still a beta version, as you’ll find with some minor bugs (Layer issues, mainly) It’s not going to hold a candle to HM3 when it is done, but worth the price of admission.