Create the next great video game star

The previously beta-tested Warrior Mini has now been officially released, and is available for use right now on But even better, the applet is the center of a new contest that is so cool I almost wish I weren't working for UGO so I could enter:

If your design wins, your character will be featured in a UGO-built online video game!

How cool is that?! Read the contest rules for more information, but basically you have from now until the end of January to work on your creation. You can enter up to five different characters. From the rules, here's how they'll be judged:

Winner Selection: All entries will be judged by a panel of three (3) judges comprised of members of the UGO editorial staff who will select five finalists based on the following criteria: Visual Design Aesthetic Appeal (30%); Visual Design Originality (30%); Character History (20%); and Character Name (20%). Judging for the five finalists will take place on February 2, 2009.

And once again, the winning character will be featured in an online game built by and featured on Yes, that's right, you could be the next great action hero. Or at least, someone you make up could be, which is darn close.

Anyone who wants to pose questions about design techniques or to get feedback on what you've built, feel free to post it here or hit up the UGO HeroMachine forums. The guys there have a ton of experience building cool characters using the HeroMachine tools and can probably give you some good pointers.

So get out there and start creating, and good luck to everyone!

Update: Just to be clear, you must create the character with the tool linked above (no other HM version) and it must be submitted via the "Submit to Contest" button in the applet. No other submission method will qualify.

54 Responses to Create the next great video game star

  1. Whit says:

    Question about the form: What does it mean by “callsign”?

  2. jude says:

    it means alter-ego or superhero name.

  3. Whit says:


  4. Fabien says:

    No restriction of functionality for submitting ?

  5. the creator says:

    could Kaldtah not enter this contest? Maybe then us other suckers could have a shot at this:)

  6. Jeff Hebert says:

    I’m not sure what you mean, Fabien. The image has to come right out of the applet via the Submit to Contest button, so there’s no way to manipulate it with Photoshop or anything.

  7. Fabien says:

    I ask just, if the use of certain tools of the applet are forbidden for the contest.

  8. Jeff Hebert says:

    If it’s in the program, it’s fair game. Go for it!

  9. Kaldath says:

    @The Creator … LOL ,, Actually I am having some trouble thinking up a character to enter. I had considered entering this character … .. But couldn’t think of a cool enough name and back story for it so I scrapped the idea gave him a generic name and posted him in my UGO heromachine forums Hero Archive thread instead.

  10. Whit says:

    Once I’ve entered all five of mine, I’m going to post them on the forums. I’ve entered three thus far.

  11. Kaldath says:

    Well I finally made my first submission .. Here’s a copy … .. Feel free to comment as you please šŸ˜‰

  12. The Doomed Pixel says:

    I am not of legal age, which sucks. Can I make a character, but submit it under a parent’s name?

  13. Jeff Hebert says:

    I don’t know what the official stance from UGO would be on that Pixel, but personally I’d not be comfortable advising someone to engage in fraudulent activity. The rules might suck but, as they say, they’re the rules.

  14. The Doomed Pixel says:

    I understand. At least I can still make some awesome characters!

  15. Josh says:

    For the back story do you have to tell ever thing or is it just a breifly detailed passage of how they got their powers

  16. Jeff Hebert says:

    That’s up to you, Josh, whatever you think will best “sell” the character.

  17. Kaldath says:

    So long as it is 50 words or less, as that is all you have for the Bio

  18. nate says:

    Jeff, I’ve finally taken some time to play around with the applet, and while i love the new features, i find it a lot more difficult to use. I have pretty severe ADHD and as a result my fine motor control isn’t very good. This is what drew me to Hero Machine in the first place, because it allowed me to still create visual representations of the characters that I invented while daydreaming and such. However, I’m not really able to get as much enjoyment out of the new mini because i have a hard time moving the limbs exactly where i want them. I don’t know whether you plan on including the movable limbs in HM3, but if so, would there be some way to code in some sort of automatic-connection for limbs or perhaps position templates?

  19. Jeff Hebert says:

    I hear what you’re saying, Nate, but I guess my response would be that you can just use it the way you use HM2.5, ignoring the moving and scaling features. You’re not any worse off than you were before, that stuff all still works just the same — items are where they are and that’s that.

    One thing that’s almost definitely NOT going to happen is to go back the HM1.x thing where there were six radically different stances and each item had to be redrawn six times so they would fit. That kind of duplication of effort just isn’t sustainable.

    I mean, if UGO called tomorrow and said “Do it”, obviously I would, but it would take forever and you’d end up with a very truncated set of items.

    With the 3.x model, you can either have one pose that works just like 2.x (only with colorable lines and more than one item in a slot), or you can move bits around to really customize it. The new stuff is an add-on, not a replacement.

    Is that not what you’ve experienced?

    Now, having said that, with 3.x I hope to have a set of pre-generated positions for various bits so you could get some different looks without having to do so manuall. But that’s down the road a bit.

  20. nate says:

    well, the problem i had when using the warrior mini was that i would click on the body or some other limb to modify it, and wind up moving it by mistake. I should have looked over my wording before posting, but what i meant is that it’s frustrating because the movement feature is very cool, but I have so much difficulty taking advantage of it. With a snap-to-grid sort of system or the pre-generated positions you mentioned, i’d be able to at least make some use of that feature. Sorry for the complaints, I get frustrated pretty easily.

    On another note, I was using it earlier and every time i moved the mouse over the “rotate item” area, the item would rotate without clicking in the circle. It seems to be working fine now, but I thought i should let you know about it anyway

  21. Jeff Hebert says:

    Ah, gotcha. Yes, that’s irritating. I should probably build in a one-second delay or something before the moving starts so selection is easier.

    With the rotating thing, if that happens (or with scaling), just click someone on that tool and it’ll revert back to normal. There’s a bit of a buggy type of thing going on there when mousing out of the control area doesn’t release the mouse.

  22. Kaldath says:

    You can also put in a box to click that “Locks” everything in the default position, click on that box and you can use it just like HM2.x without having to worry about accidently moving something.

    On a different note, in HM3 I was wondering if you can have each item able to be layered seperately. Having an either slot layer together is a bit annoying. For example there are times what I want a certain shoulder piece to be layered Underneath the Tops layer but at the same time I want a different shoulder piece layers on top of the tops layer. As it stands now you can’t do that you can either have all shoulder pieces under the tops or over the tops.

  23. Kaldath says:

    Well here are two more of my entries bringing it to 3 entries so far. Not sure if I’ll go for the full 5 entries yet. Anyway would love to hear feed back on these.

  24. Josh says:

    ok so far i have submited 2 differnt heros, both have great back stories but 50 words isnt enough, so is it ok if i link Superheros of mine?

  25. Whit says:

    I would think that fifty words means fifty words. Part of the challenge is to stretch our creativity. And it’s not just a story, it’s a sales pitch.

  26. Jeff Hebert says:

    Nice work as always, Kaldath!

    @Josh: You’re welcome to post links to images or whatnot here like Kaldath has, but they won’t be “official” in any way. Only what’s submitted through the app will actually count or be considered by the judges. But, I’m sure we’d all like to see what you come up with!

    The “lock position” feature would be good, I’ll put that down for development. Also it makes sense to have items essentially unlayered. I can pass along the “base” coordinates for each slot (i.e. if it’s a LeftHand its position by default is at x=20 and y=300 or whatever), but not actually stick them in a movie clip that requires all those sorts of items to stay grouped.

  27. yshosho says:

    i’m sorry,i forgot to write the bio and the real name
    here are they

    1-Name:Johny White
    Callsign:Nucleuar Soldier
    Motto:Put your hands up or I’ll blow your head
    Bio:White is soldier at the miltary that was half dead in
    a war.He was rescued by changing his genes by nucleuar
    substances and he worked secretly with the miltary under
    the name “Nucleuar Soldier”.

    2-Name:Vector Richards
    Callsign:Red Lightening
    Motto:I will get rid of you as powerful lightening
    Bio:A collegue student that was exposed to a great amount
    of energy coming out of a falling star from space,then
    he had powers of lightenenig.

  28. Whit says:

    I posted my entries to the forum.

  29. Jeff Hebert says:

    yshosho, I want to make it clear that these entries are ineligible, since they are a) posted here and not through the official site and b) they’re not made with the Warrior applet.

  30. Kaldath says:

    @Whit .. I Looked at your entries on the forums and think they are very good, I had a fit of inspiration last night and did a 4th Entry .. Here that one is …….

  31. Jeff Hebert says:

    Whit and Kaldath, can you post a link to the forums that have your samples in them? I couldn’t find it.

  32. Kaldath says:

    Oh Jeff, On a Side note, When working with Omega Four I learned that using A lot of Patterns on many different items caused the applet to get real laggy ,, I mean EXTREMELY Laggy. It even crashed the Applet a couple times

  33. Jeff Hebert says:

    Thanks Kaldath, I’ll make a note of that. Interesting. The patterns do have a lot of transparency, that may be it. I should also check to make sure the old pattern gets unloaded properly.

    This is definitely the most ambitious HeroMachine set of code to date, so I’m not surprised there’s some oddness going on.

  34. Kaldath says:

    Here Is the Thread that I have all my Heromachine Creations in including the Copies of my Entries into the Contest. it is in the Hero Archive Section of the UGO Heromachine forums Entitled More OF My Creations

  35. Kaldath says:

    Ok first someone I posted the Wrong URL, Secondly the Blog Will NOT let me make a post the contains a link to the UGO forum So I reposted it below with a number of spaces in it to see if it will post as plain text

    (Edited by Jeff to link URL)

  36. Whit says:

    This isn’t letting me post.

  37. Whit says:

    It won’t let me post with a URL, apparently. Also, I lost my UGO password, and I’m supposed to type in a six-character security code to retrieve it, but it doesn’t give me the code, only a box with a pattern. Any idea what I can do?

    Also, I think I’ll try what Kaldath did with his URL:

    (Edited by Jeff to link URL)

  38. DJ says:

    I was going to enter but I’m 17 so eh oh well. That and Kaldath is going to win so no use lol. Btw Kal,The ones you’ve made so far…awesome. I can’t wait to play the game their in.

  39. Kaldath says:

    At @Whit If you can access Speckta’s profile page on UGO there are links to his AIM Screen Name. Shoot him an IM about the situation and he should be able to help as he is the forums Admin. If you have problems contacting him let me know and I’ll Give it a try for you.

    @DJ Thanks for the Vote of Confidence but I am no so sure as you are. If it were based Solely on Appearance I might be more confident but my skill at writing back stories isn’t as good as my eye is for art. At least I don’t think so.

  40. DJ says:

    See I am good at writing but appearance is a little harder for me.

  41. Whit says:

    I got it sorted out, thanks.

  42. LoneWolf6155 says:

    You could probably greatly extend the life of Heromachine 2.5 by adding a dupe feature.

  43. The quality we get when we save it to our desktop isnt the quality you see for competition is it? Because the quality of the image that just got saved to my desktop is average at best.

    Looks great online, but my attention to detail can’t really be seen in the image saved to my desktop… I dont want to submit it if its going to look like that to you all

  44. I really wish we could write more than 50 words… wait, thats words not characters… LOL. maybe I can make something of it, we’ll see

  45. Jeff Hebert says:

    Yes, the image on your desktop is the same image we’ll see when judging. It’s an 80% quality JPG, can’t do much better than that without a physically larger (in terms of pixels) starting image.

  46. aww man… :-/ Can’t I just email you guys a screen shot? LOL.

    I know I cant because risk of photoshop I just felt like complaining. Im feeling the new app though.

  47. Kaldath says:

    Hey Jeff, What is the ETA on the MH Horror edition. I am not much of a “horror” fan but I am a fantasy fan, and I think that addition of HM mini’s will be able to produce some good fantasy characters

  48. Jeff Hebert says:

    @Kaldath: I had hoped to have a beta version up yesterday, but ran into some snags. I accidentally deleted a whole set of shirts and had to redraw them, programming challenges, etc., you know the drill. But, all I have left is the Body items, which I hope to mostly get done tomorrow, and then probably have something usable by Thursday or Friday at the latest. After that the client has to approve it, I have to draw the female items (male and female in this one), skin it, etc. etc.

    So, a beta in the next few days, and the full version in a couple of weeks maybe?

  49. I can make a non-hero correct? Like a villian?

    *note talking about the contest*

  50. Well since Heromachine just crashed on me and I no longer have the urge to make that same person all over again, I’ll show everyone what I was working on…

    I have this thing about saving all the time, but since the character code save is gone I just take screen shots all the time… Anyway here is what I was currently working with

    My question about villains still remains though, if you can answer it Jeff.

    Ignore the Celtic crosses… guy went from a hero to a villain Mid-Vision, lol… I didnt get the chance to replace them with something better yet… I was focused on getting something to look like blood… Let me know what you think everyone.

  51. *as per the stuff all on there skin, his location was somewhere swampy/marshy/full of dirty water…

  52. Jeff Hebert says:

    You can make whatever you like, Matchz, hero, villain, or a bit of both.

  53. Sorry for all the questions…

    Emblem? by this one do you mean there logo?
    Like for batman, this would be his bat logo?