HM3: Next

I spent a few minutes last night making a chart of all the HM2 slots and sets, mapped against which have already been converted and which have not. In general, here are the remaining major sets of items that need to be done:

  1. Cape fronts
  2. Fantasy Armor (Tops, Legwear, Gloves, Boots, and Headgear)
  3. Humanoid companions (would there be interest in having some of the Custom Illustration characters appear here? Like Celestia and the other full-figure ones?)
  4. Alien heads
  5. Two-handed firearms (rifles, laser cannon, etc.)
  6. Non-human Limbs (more stretchy arms and legs, webbed hands, more monster legs like snakes and such);
  7. Neckwear Collars
  8. Bustiers
  9. Musical items

Out of those, the easiest and most fun to do (for me) are the alien heads and the cape fronts. The hardest and least interesting (for me) is going to be rifles -- they take a lot of work, they're basically just tracings, and I am not personally interested in them. Don't get me wrong, I like guns as much as the next guy, but it's not a mainline interest for me.

The largest and most pressing need is obviously the Fantasy stuff, both armor and (to a lesser extent) casual wear. I think as it currently exists, the app is heavily tilted towards supers. Sci-Fi has a clear edge over fantasy now, too. I think that's a major interest for a lot of people (me included) and needs to be fixed for me to feel like the item sets are close to done.

What really jumped out to me when I put the list together, though, is how much is already finished. I really don't have much more to go, and that's both exciting and scary. I can see wrapping up item creation in the next month or two, then it'll be on to basically redoing the code base to work better and putting in the bells and whistles (better printing, better zooming, better control up front of item pre-sets so you can choose "dwarf male" for instance and it'll load up a pre-generated, pre-loaded set of items that are already scaled and rotated and positioned to fit that body style. All that stuff.

But for now, I think I am going to do Alien heads, because that honestly sounds like the most fun. Let me know in comments a) if there are specific non-copyrighted heads you want and b) which other sets from the list you want me to work on next.

73 Responses to HM3: Next

  1. Matt says:

    I’m enjoying the idea of alien type heads, but why don’t you go one further, I’m sure loads of people would like you to do alien type body parts and limbs like you did for zombies and the cartoon body, or you could just make one mixture of one for alien and monster bodies πŸ˜€ .

    Also, could you make hands for the feamle body Jeff? It’s really anoying that resizing the male hands dont quite go with the female body

  2. Jeff Hebert says:

    Oh yeah, female hands — gotta do that too. Along with some other conversions that aren’t strictly new items (copying all the ItemRight stuff to ItemLeft, ShoulderRight to ShoulderLeft, etc.)

  3. Marx says:

    Couldn’t most of the rifles just be copy/pasted over from HM2? I know they’d take a little bit of scaling work, but the drawings are already done, and IMHO pretty good.

  4. Jeff Hebert says:

    It’s a bit more work than that because of the way the objects in HM3 are assembled, but to a degree that can work with some of them, yes. The new paradigm though is to not just do the completed stock item, but to break it up into pieces as well — separate stock and barrel items at least. Plus there are LOTS more items in each set than there were in 2.x. Lots. So when I do that set I am going to be adding literally dozens of completely new items that weren’t in HM2 in any way, shape, or form. I’d say most of the Item sets in 3 so far have something like 80 items or so.

  5. MartianBlue says:

    Alien heads?, sounds good. Maybe later today or tomorrow, I’ve got a rough drawing of one, I’d like to see. I’ll see if I can make it using HM for a reference. A couple simple suggestions would be grey alien and martian. Also are they going to be complete heads, or just outlines? Personally, I would like to see a mixture.

  6. Jeff Hebert says:

    I’m not sure what you mean by outlines, but as it’s working out I am doing complete heads, and then on some of them I am breaking them down into pieces (like this kind of gross tentacle mouth thingie).

  7. kryptkal says:

    I think a “typical” martian head, all upsidedown triangular (smaller at the bottom, larger at the top) with angled oval eyes would be good.

    Also, I notice that some of the items in certain categories from HM2.5 still aren’t moved into HM3. I hope they still are going to be moved because I really like those. According to the hm2.5 save code, they’re called as follows:

    Boots: expansion1, scifi
    expansion1, bandplain
    expansion1, mecha
    Gloves: standard, tech1
    expansion1, fur2
    expansion1, scifi
    Mask: standard, studdedcowl
    expansion1, funkgoggles
    Headgear: standard, firestorm
    expansion1, wings
    expansion1, metallica1
    expansion1, closedhelm
    expansion1, firestorm
    expansion1, blox
    Overshirt: standard, reptile
    standard, studded
    standard, blox
    expansion1, half
    expansion1, scifi
    Coat: standard, armortek
    expansion1, scifi
    Neckwear: shoulders, tooth
    shoulders, gemscarf
    shoulders, torc
    shoulders, scarf

    I apologize if any of these are already in HM3 and I forgot/missed them. I also apologize if they are going to be moved already you just haevn’t gotten aroudn to them. I just wanted to make sure. Keep up the great work Jeff, and thanks!

  8. Jeff Hebert says:

    Thanks for the list, Kryptkal. Some items from 2.x are not converted over because they’re available in pieces, or were such crappy drawings I couldn’t figure out how to redo them, or they were redundant in the new interface, or I didn’t like them enough to bother, or I just missed them. Once I get what I think is the final set of sets, I’ll do another run-through of the old 2.x sets item by item to make sure I didn’t miss anything accidentally, but even then not every single item will make it if it’s in one of those other categories.

  9. Hakoon1 says:

    I think muscial intstruments would be great.

  10. Hakoon1 says:

    For the next thingy I mean.

    Alien heads I think would be cool would be like a kind of gelatine like one, that looks kinda like it’s dripping or something.

  11. kyle says:

    miscellaneous items:
    a glass
    video game controller
    a flag
    peg leg

  12. The Eric says:

    Insect heads would probably be better in Head-Animals, right?

  13. Fabien says:

    Other stuffs to add :

    10 tops uniforms
    11 tops blouses
    13 tops fantasy casual
    14 headgears fantasy
    15 headgears scifi
    16 headgears flaceplates
    16 insignia nature
    17 insignia ancient
    18 gloves r & l Bracelets
    19 legwears armors (tech & fantasy)
    20 heads brow
    21 heads chin
    22 heads cheeks
    23 ears animal
    24 nose animals
    25 hair fantasy / scifi

  14. Reid says:

    2 Handed firearms please

  15. Legatus says:

    How can I suggest anything non-copyrighted, if all my favorite aliens are owned by George Lucas?

  16. Hammerknight says:

    Is there an alien that isn’t own by George Lucas?

  17. Jake says:

    Alien heads that aren’t copyrighted… You could do the typical over sized alien head. I would like a head similar to that of the Martian Manhunter in his more alien form.

    I’d like one head that had a rather pronounced snout but a small skull. I’m thinking like the Kobolds in D&D, which I have no idea whether it is copyrighted.

  18. Fabien says:

    For the alien head i’m for a multi parts heads with :
    – diverse shape skulls (cone, bulbe, ridged, some sorts of crests – like hadrosaurs for examples).
    – few inferior head shapes
    – laterals pieces like spikes and other funny stuffs

  19. Hammerknight says:

    How about some alien heads that are animal like. Cat like and dog like. Some kinda cartoon like in ways, it could be like the old B movies with cheap FX. Something like blending a humans head with an animals so they look as if the planted they came from that type of animal is what evolved into the humanoid species.

  20. Tigerguy786 says:

    It’s probably a bit early to mention this, but do you think that when you “finalize” the program that you could make it so that all of the head related pieces are in one section (head, eyes, ears, noses, etc)? Maybe even add a 3rd tier to the interface? It isn’t a huge inconvenience to have to find each section, but it would be nice to have them closer together. Even if they were organized like in 2.x would be helpful.


  21. Niall Mor says:

    I know hands and feet aren’t nearly as fun to draw as the cool stuff, but they are essential to the finished figure. I can flip the right foot on female characters and create a left foot, but dude, we really need some female hands here. (That sounded weird :)).

  22. Niall Mor says:

    I know hands and feet aren’t nearly as fun to draw as the cool stuff, but they are essential to the finished figure. I can flip the right foot on female characters and create a left foot, but dude, we really need some female hands here. (That sounded weird πŸ™‚

  23. Niall Mor says:

    Sorry about the double post.

  24. Solander says:

    How about using some actual animal heads? Some of these already look like they’re beings from another world:

    – Worms:


    – Boar:

    – Insect-like:,_face,I_SD4379.jpg

    – Alien face:







    – Animal like, heck a lot of them already look like aliens:





































    OK, that should be enough for now. Man, when am I ever gonna learn to stop!

  25. Legatus says:

    Solander, it really shows that you’re going to be a vet.

  26. collex says:

    Alien heads:

    What about a mouth into a mouth, like the Aliens? I know the entire design is copyrighted, but that element is basic enough not to be (and it doesn’t even have to look like them.)

    Big mouth with a long of sharp fangs. like those:

    (the last one gave me nightmares…)

    Also, look at some paintings by H”R” Giger besides the obvious Alien one. Granted, most of them are FAR from being family-friendly, but you can surely find some good inspiration from bits and pieces. I’m espically thinking artificial/flesh mesh here (like the Borgs)

  27. Kathleen says:

    i’m not sure if it would really belong in the boot or the leg category, but what about a peg-leg? or some other prosthetics.

  28. Demented The Clown says:

    Looking Forward To Number 6

    Would Love Robo-Limbs Like Terminator

  29. MartianBlue says:

    “I’m not sure what you mean by outlines, but as it’s working out I am doing complete heads, and then on some of them I am breaking them down into pieces (like this kind of gross tentacle mouth thingie”

    I think we are talking about the same thing, because I was referring to the way you have male standard, Just the basic head with no eyes, mouth, etc., compared to a premade head, such as the 2 item in Head-Zombies.

    Did you see the new Dragon Age expansion, “Awakening”? *SORTA SPOILER LIKE*
    I wonder how it’s going to work with a self sacrificed character, and if they’ll tie up some loose ends with Morrigan, bad part is waiting until March. Also I wonder what’s keeping the “Return to Ostagar”, the site says holiday season.

  30. MartianBlue says:

    Here we go. The only part I didn’t get right was, the upper skull part, needs to be raised from the face a bit.

  31. MartianBlue says:

    Skull needs more of an egg like shape. He has gas pockets that allow him to expand in size, becoming a tanker or brick like hulk character.
    The idea I have for the head is as follows. really skinny and tall, with gas pockets for hulking up.

  32. Tim says:

    Don’t forget about the female ears too Jeff πŸ™‚

    As well as female eyes, noses, mouths, etc.

    Really looking forward to more guns, presets and save feature updates. I’d like to actually save character codes to my PC like in HM2.5.

    No offense Jeff, but I find that some of my characters are mysteriously and randomly deleted with the current save feature. I believe you mentioned it has something to do with the deletion of flash cookies, but I’m not sure. I wonder if anyone else has faced this problem.

    Also I’ve come across the weirdest bug. When I created a complex character the other day and I open a new category where the items were not previously loaded (I.E. Tops Male-Tech) The program randomly added many new items that I never intended to add and then saved it!

    This happened at least twice and became quite frustrating. Took me several hours to finish it.

    I’m sorry to rant, but I hope this helps improve the program for the better.

  33. Dan Gonzalez says:

    I’d like to put a request in for more Wild West type gear, guns, clothes and accessories. You have a really good start with it, but it could use some fleshing out.

  34. redvector says:

    I like the fact you can still use preloaded/prescaled body types and items from previous versions of HM. Very cool feature for those of us who are less skilled with the program’s new system.

  35. Jeff Hebert says:

    Redvector: The plan is very much for you to be able to use this just like 2.x if you want — not scaling or moving or duplicating anything, just pick a slot, pick a set, pick an item, and off you go. All of the more advanced stuff is there too for anyone who wants it, though.

    Tim: I have no plans to make female ears or noses. Maybe mouths, and maybe eyes, but there are already items in the standard set of those that are more feminine. I honestly have no clue what a female ear would look like versus a male one.

  36. The Dudemeister says:

    One of the best aspects of this version of HeroMachine it its versatility. Different head shapes, different forehead, chin, nose, mouth, cheek and crazy hair like frills, ridges and tentacle options would allow TONS of creativity.

    A lot could be done with some new alien looking masks, sort of like Plo Koon, but nothing violating copyrights.

    Another think that could be very beneficial, even for aliens, would be some facial art work options. Tattoos, warpaint, markings, or just odd color designs on faces that could add depth and allow depth that you couldn’t achieve with a standard predrawn 2 color head.

    Either way, I am very excited. Good luck.

  37. Jeff Hebert says:

    Thanks Dudemeister. I’ll just note that you can achieve a lot of facial marking effects using various Insignia masked onto the head, using light colors. Making the line color match the primary color also helps that effect, as does making the colors have some transparency.

    I’m finding it difficult to navigate the balance between leaving that sort of thing up to the user’s imagination and skill with the tools, and pre-drawing them. On one hand, it’s certainly easier to have a bunch of items you can just click on, but on the other hand you can get to a state of information overload where you can’t find the one you want because there are just too many options to sift through. I was looking for an item the other day and couldn’t find it, and I’m the one who wrote the dang program!

  38. Scorpidius says:

    Liking the list Jeff, and looking forward to seeing the alien heads.

    You actually created one early last year which looked fantastic, though you never added it, will that alien head be added?

    Fantastic news on the fantasy armour too, I really can’t wait to get stuck into that when done!

    Should be an exciting 2 months ahead!


  39. Jeff Hebert says:

    If I’m thinking of the one you’re thinking of, Scorp, it’s in — the one with the vaguely skull-like top, the tentacles on the bottom, and the weird squid-ish mouth beak.

  40. Hakoon1 says:

    @Jeff(#47)- Where is it? I can’t seem to see it anywhere…

  41. coyote says:

    Jeff i Dont know if you coverd this one yet but id like to see vampirate you did for me

  42. Scorpidius says:

    Hi Jeff, that’s the fella! His name was mindflayer.

    I looked but it isn’t there. You said (was way back in March last year) that you added it in heads under “alien” but there is in fact no “alien” section there.


  43. Jeff Hebert says:

    Sorry Hakoon, it’s not live yet, it’s in the Heads-Aliens set I am currently working on.

  44. Scorpidius says:

    Nice one! Looking forward to creating something with the ugly bugger!

  45. KateMT says:

    The only real problem I’ve come across is that the female clothes don’t fit the female bodies, no matter how much I play with the sizing. It’s really strange and slightly frustrating, but the rest of the app is great!

  46. Jeff Hebert says:

    Kate, any item from a slot with “Female” in the name — i.e. TopsFemaleStandard — should work on the first body in “Body-Female-Standard”. They won’t fit on the female body hidden at the end of Body-Zombie, or with the hip-cocked female pose.

  47. JesterTheGreat says:

    Don’t be scared, Jeff. Even once you’re finished (or think you’re finished), your fickle fans will forever badger you for more items, more features, and more stuff for this epic program of yours. We will never be sated. Ever. Seriously.

  48. JesterTheGreat says:

    Ahem. Creepy insatiable stalker-fan persona aside, are you going to be doing mostly whole alien heads, or alien head *parts*? I think, for the whole nature of the program, the individual pieces for the alien heads would be the best bet – sets of alien eyes, noses, mouths, ears, antennae, horns, breathing tubes, crests, tentacles, strange abberant hair and beards, and any number of bizzare indescribable “things” that might exist on the face and head of an alien outsider.

  49. Jeff Hebert says:

    It’s both full heads (like in Heads-Animals) and parts. Some of the parts are imports from items that already exist in Noses and Mouths and Ears, which I think a lot of people overlook. It’ll be nice having them all in one place.

  50. JesterTheGreat says:

    Awesome. And, on a totally unrelated not – but not to be a nag – if you’re working on it in the seminear future, could you add an ushanka (russian fur hat) to the headgear slot?

    Something like that – sans insignia – would be perfect.

  51. Jeff Hebert says:

    That’s a nice item Jester. Can you poke me again when I do the next round of Headgear revisions? I’ll forget by then and it’s a good one to add.

  52. Fabien says:

    Shape skulls :
    – conhead
    – bulb
    – ridged
    – crests (hadrosaur like, headfin, horizontal crest- like mimbari in B5)
    – Coral

    Eyed :
    – stalk mounted

    Mouth :
    – bloosucking leech

    Ears :
    – Tubular
    – Tentacle like

    Chins :
    – Spiked
    – Proheminent

    Brows :
    – Ridged from some sorts

    Cheeks :
    – Spiked
    – Gossamer membrane

    Noses :
    – Trunk
    – Heart shaped snout
    – Star shaped snout

    Hair :
    – Tentacles
    – Bony plates
    – feathers
    – spikes

    Others :
    – Facial tentacles
    – Lizard tongue
    – Antennas

  53. GigaCake says:

    I love your new HeroMachine, and I would love to see it completed as soon as possible.

    One comment: when I looked through the toon bodies, I thought I was going to see more cartoonish designs a la old Warner Brothers and Disney cartoons. While that may not be very heroic, I would love to see toonier designs in your HeroMachine.

    Also, more anime eyes please!

  54. RJ mcd says:

    jeff we need more half skull masks and just robot parts to make unworldley killer aliens

  55. Maximillian says:

    I’d love to see even just a few more options for female eyes and mouths. The noses scale to work fine for the most part, same with eyebrows. Even breaking apart the female faces that are out now into sub items would go a long way.

  56. Jeff Hebert says:

    I do think there’s lots of work to be done adding new female items, but I think those’ll largely be additions to the existing Standard sets vs. stand-alone releases. Probably. Heck, I don’t know, I’m making this up as I go.

  57. Tim says:

    @Jeff #43: Hmm, you have a point there Jeff. I guess there is no difference between male and female ears, its just a matter of resizing.

    At least a couple more feminine eyes would be nice if it’s not to much to ask. Please Jeff?

  58. Tim says:

    Lol sorry Maximillian beat me to it.

  59. kyle says:

    Humanoid companions (would there be interest in having some of the Custom Illustration characters appear here? Like Celestia and the other full-figure ones?)

  60. Jeff Hebert says:

    Kyle, that’s a cut and paste of what I wrote, did you have something to add to that, or an opinion on whether that would be a good idea or not?

  61. kyle says:

    my bad.
    that would be a good idea
    can you add those droids from star wars,mechanical birds,some weapons

  62. kyle says:

    so what are you going to work on next Jeffy boy?