Character Design Contest 38 Winners!

We had an overwhelming response to "Character Contest 38 – Random Name II: This time it’s personal", I thank you all for sharing your creativity and time with the rest of us. Outstanding work all the way around this week, absolutely.

As usual, I've picked out the submissions I thought were particularly noteworthy for one reason or another, and present them after the jump. Plus, this week we have TWO winners, who you'll find at the very end.

Congratulations and thank again to everyone who entered!

"Alien Bane" by VonMalcolm: I loved the use of the multiple tentacles gripping swords. The background is psychadelifunky, too.

"Micro Queen" by Rancid: Excellent stage-setting and use of props here.

"Deathtron" by Rancid: Yes, in some ways this is your standard cyborg skeleton robot death-dealer, but he has a clockwork crotch. I can't help but wonder if he pees motor oil through that thing.

"Gut Baroness" by PRiegel: I wish I could have seen the look on PRiegel's face when "Gut Baroness" came up in the random name generator. Excellent job with a tough assignment, this is a character I'd be more interested in learning about if I saw the visual.

"Ghost Spinner" by Me, Myself, and I: A very simple but effective character. I love the glowing web stuff between his hands, that works really, really well.

"Canine Fang" by Me, Myself, and I: MMI deconstructed this a bit, separating out the two name words into two separate characters, which is pretty clever. I like this duo a lot; nothing too fancy, but just right.

"Ruby Cutlass" by ManiacMick: I love the swashbuckling look of this character. I can see her starring in a Golden Age book next to Phantom Lady and Bulletgirl.

"Flame Mistress" by Kaldath: I particularly like the use of the word balloons and dialog. Very cool.

"Deadly Howler" by Imp: What would happen if a werewolf got really, really bored during his transformation?

"Malachite Paw" by Gargoyle323: This was one of the tougher word combinations I saw, and masterfully rendered. I love the smooth transition from the monster paws to the forearms and the simple, clean costume design. But the expression on the thing's face is what really sells it for me.

"Ghost Screamer" by Galactic Ketchup: A cool concept not based on the human figure.

"InfernoMech" by Doomed Pixel: I love the fact that the midriff is just flame, that's totally cool. The glow effect around that is awesome, too.

"Spectral Deceiver" by Decolda: Great use of negative space here.

"Emerald Rain" by Connor: I know we've seen the green glowing effect before, but combined with the name and the character's simple but nifty modern outfit, this really works well.

"Mini Blade" by Cliff: Very funny! "Always bet on Short Stack Black"!

"Cold Grip" by Brian: Definitely one of my favorite designs of the week, the tight color scheme and concept go perfectly together.

"Animal Thought" by Brian: I appreciate that Brian took the time to go back to this random combination, even though at first it was too tough to figure out. This idea is outstanding and more than a little creepy, since I am surrounded by animals at all times.

"Pyrotaur" by Blue Blazer: What a great name and composition!

"Sword Sorceress" by Bloodless Rose & Uesugi Warrior: This illustration brings a whole new class of RPG character exploding to life in my mind. Love it.

"Brain Freeze" by Alex: I really like the head on this guy. It's like Validus had a baby.

"Brainscreamer" by Alan Bates: The background masked onto the body works great here, and the big mouth moved down onto the neck is fantastic. A very effective and creepy composition.

Which brings us to our winner! Or in this case, winnerS. First, I wanted to make a Special Achievement Award to recognize the outstanding efforts of those who submitted not just one or two random characters, but the full slate of ten they generated. That was way above and beyond the call of duty, and no mean feat. So a big thank you to Atomic Punk, Cliff, Grip, Gargoyle323, Me Myself & I, and Rancid for going that extra mile and for reaching such a high level of quality with all of their submissions.

One other person did the same, and overall I thought his ten were great even among that group of outstanding designers. So the Special Achievement Award for Outstanding Randomosity -- and his choice of HM3 item -- goes to DiCicatriz! Here are a few of his that caught my eye in particular.

"Spear Scream": I love love love the insignia used as a tattoo. Totally cool. Everything about this character design is great.

Lupolion: I love the flag, and the name -- like if Napoleon had lycanthropy.

"Fever Conjuress": I feel like maybe I've seen this one before, but it sure is awesome.

"Beast Stone": Tough, dominant, and totally cool. Love the glowing insignia in the chest and the bigger arouns outside the smaller ones to make them look beefier.

Finally, the overall individual winner for this week goes to Doomed Pixel and his outstanding "Clerical Raptor", which I feel certain Robert Kirkman could totally turn into the best comic series of the year if he wanted:

Doomed Pixel wins his choice of either any item he chooses, or a portrait, to go into the final HeroMachine 3 version. Congratulations to him, DiCicatriz, and everyone who submitted such great characters!

26 Responses to Character Design Contest 38 Winners!

  1. VonMalcolm says:

    Fun Contest with Bizarre Creations. I probably should have chosen the harder names just for the challenge of it (something as challenging as ‘Aqua Bomber’ for instance).

    Contest Idea: I love a lot of the characters that have been created here (previous contests included), but I would like to see them in action: perhaps a four pane comic strip would be in order, featuring some of the previous characters that have been submitted and/or new characters as well. The strip could include cover art and the contest could last a month or so to give people time to refine their worlds and stories. Just a thought! -perhaps one this site has already had!

  2. This was an amazing contest. The entries were some of the best yet!

    I would comment on my favorites, but there are just too many. 139 out of some 220 posts. Of those posts, some have multiple entries! So here’s an alternate list with some brief comments:

    Apologies for its crudeness. It took me a long time to go through the list. I simply copy-pasted the HM page and its links with some comments. That, and I used Microsoft Word as my HTML editor. Talk about bad coding…

    I recommend just doing a search for your Avatar to skim through.

    One special nod to Blue Blazer for “Pyrotaur”. My access to UGO Forums trouble persists. So I couldn’t see your entry at the time of the contest.

  3. Danny Beaty says:

    Congrats winners!

  4. Danny Beaty says:

    @ The Atomic Punk: Thanks for the special comments!

  5. Me, Myself & I says:

    Of my entries, CANINE FANG was one of my least favourite and yet it ended up here. I think that was largely because I split the name into two characters rather than for the quality of the image itself. Sure it was Ok but not the best.

    I have to say this certainly goes to show how everybody looks at things with different perspectives.

  6. Jeff Hebert says:

    Yes, this is a very subjective thing, this art stuff. I thought Canine Fang was a very tight, well executed concept. You don’t always have to have all the bells and whistles and effects to have a good illustration. Sometimes a good idea simply sold is best.

  7. Connor S. says:

    Doomed, you always win :P. But I really liked InfernoMech the most out of all of them. Great originality, great background, great everything! But DiCicatraz, those entries are all amazing. I especially loved Lupolian. It may spring from my love of werewolves, but it is amazing above your others. Alex, your character Brain Freeze blew me off of my feet. It was a wonderful use of transparency and whatever it is you used to make his insignia. Blue, Pyrotaur is worthy of winning this contest, a very original and wonderful design. Brian, your Animal Thought puzzled me as to wether the animals were all saying “yes” in unison, or too stupid to answer with something longer. But it entertained me and was one of the most original entries I’ve seen. Alan, Brainscreamer was great and it caught my eye as a “whoa” entry. Sword Sorceress has a great color scheme, as does Cold Grip. Mini Blade actually LOOKS like Blade, so that was cool. I’m elated that my Emerald Rain made it to the winners πŸ˜€ . Thank you Jeff. Spectral Deciever had me cowering in my seat. The negative effect was creepy and the text, “It’s all in your head” sounded like a supervillain motto that would make it big. It’s way better than “Why so serious?” I can imagine “It’s all in your head” being whispered through the air in a creepy Batman abandoned house scene. Galactic Ketchup, this is actually the first time I’ve seen you on HM3, in comments or winning. But your entry was odd, and it worked. Also your name rocks! Malachite Paw is an excellent entry, with a great color scheme, and as Jeff said, it’s a hard name to work with. Alienbane better not come to my planet, or I’ll be dead in a second. πŸ˜‰ . I laughed at Micro Queen, an extremely original entry in my opinion, and it had a scene, something you don’t often see in HM3. I loved how the cat stalked her. Deathtron is Terminator x 10 in my opinion. It was awesome. Gut Baroness has on of the best uses of body parts I’ve seen yet, with all the fat working well there. Ghost Spinner would mess up Spiderman, if I do say so myself. Deadly Howler is a good entry Imp, but definately not the best I’ve seen from your work. Kaldath, if this entry had not been abundant with hundreds of good entries, then your Flame Mistress would have won hands down. It had a chance, I would guess, but there were so many entries that Jeff probably had to juggle the entries for ten minutes before he decided the winner. Good entry. Ruby Cutlass looks like a beautiful killing machine, and this is rare for HM3… you can see the malice in her eyes. Last but not least, Canine Fang is a great use of the werewolf parts, and it originally splits to two parts. I like how you made Fang sit with the lion body. Good job to all.

    And in case you skipped to the end, you’re in here somewhere if you won.

    Jeff, it’d be kind of cool if you did a DnD character contest. Just throwing that out there. (I have like 5 DnD characters πŸ˜› )

  8. Jeff Hebert says:

    I think Doomed Pixel has only one once. He’s usually in the Finalists, though, much like Imp and Kaldath. I know their particular design style appeals to me, and I feel badly sometimes that I’m slanted that way, but you like what you like, you know? I do try to be even-handed and objective as possible, though.

    As far as a D&D contest, I’ve done several but am willing to do so again if people want.

  9. The Doomed Pixel says:


    I am deeply humbled. I just got online to check who won. I knew it wouldn’t be me, since there we so many fabulous entries, and when I found InfernoMech in the honorable mentions, I was a little surprised. But when I found out I won, I was ecstatic! Thank you everyone for joining in and creating some great characters. I’m so surprised, and so happy. Great job everyone. See you all next week!

  10. GalacticKetchup says:

    @Connor S thanks for the praise, man πŸ˜€ and I’ve only been on this site the past couple of weeks, but expect to see me entering a lot more competitions, Hero Machine has taken over my life! :L

    And Jeff, thanks for the special mention πŸ™‚ I was proud of Ghost Screamer, it was one of the better names I got and I’ve got this kind of obsession with giving my characters backstories, so it really let my imagination go wild. I’m determined to win next time though! πŸ˜›

    And to DiCicatraz and Doomed Pixel, congratulations, your entries were kick ass! =)

  11. Me, Myself & I says:

    I am flattered Connor S with what you said about Ghost Spinner messing up Spiderman. I have always been rather fond of Spiderman so both characters being referenced together give me a warm squishy feeling inside . . . Sorry, moment of weakness. It’ll never happen again :).

    My favourites;

    1. Clerical Raptor; you might have wanted to try putting the dark part of the shaded background on the bottom instead of the top. Excelent use of color.

    2. Spear Scream; I love the tatoo. Not to fond of the single sleeve. The overall design is great though.

    3. Brain Freeze; I like how he’s transluscent. It seems like his suit is almost holding him in or together. Cool and kinda creepy.

    4. Pyrotaur; great use of colors. I’m not sure about the breat plate. His face is the best part; awsome expression.

    5. Deathtron; certainly not ‘just another Terminator’. Usually I don’t much care for green and red together but you pulled it off. He is one scary dude.

    6. Micro Queen; very original with good prop design. Not much to the actual characterbut I think you carried out the concept exceptionally.

    I’m all for the D&D character contest. Why not make it a group?

  12. GalacticKetchup says:

    Also, @The Atomic Punk nope, I made the names up myself πŸ˜›

  13. Oquies says:

    Awe, I missed it this week. And the name generator gave me Girl Man. That would have been funny as hell! There are also well over 200 entries I will be going through those for a while sure looks like every one went all out on this one.

    Grats to winners!

  14. GalacticKetchup says:

    btw Jeff, when does the next competition start?

  15. Kaldath says:

    I am all for another fantasy themed Contest. I Kinda like the idea of an Adventure Party contest. I think you’d have to relax the no photoshopping rule somewhat if you did that however as trying to put together a Large group of characters especially if you put a background ( and any patterns on the image ) will likely lead to a lot of headache and prgram crashes.

    If you build the background, then each individual character in Heromachine and then simply used Photoshop to put all the elements together ( without making changes to the elements themselves) people could get some nice group shots I think.

  16. The Imp says:

    Too many good entries this time! I think I spent an hour and a half looking at them all yesterday. Great job, everybody.

  17. VonMalcolm says:

    K-9 reminds me of this real life ‘Wolf Man’: Shaun Ellis:

  18. DiCicatriz says:

    Thanks, Jeff! It was pretty fun coming up with these guys. Everybody else did great too! I feel like Clerical Raptor could fit right in with the likes of Battle Pope and Santa the Barbarian πŸ˜€

  19. Me, Myself & I says:

    Wow VonMalcolm, you just took my fantasy make belief character and turned him into the real person. Not just in looks but concept as well. That is an uncanny resemblence. I see alter ego (day time job when not fighting crime) all over this.

    I retract my earlier statement. I’m starting to like hte Canine Fang entry more and more.

  20. The Eric says:

    You guys did great! It’s awesome to see what you came up with just from random names.

  21. Gargoyle323 says:

    Well,where do I start? Thanks,Jeff for selecting Malachite Paw as a finalist.Terrible name,but rolled with the hand I was dealt.I actually thought it was not as good as some of my other entries(or as good as some others not in the finals).I still am happy to be selected!!(Always a bridesmaid,never a bride!).
    To all finalists(and all 200 plus that entered!),GREAT JOB!
    Every contest the work done by everybody continues to amaze me.There are so many talented individuals that seem to get more creative with each contest.I feel honored to get to compete with such talented people.You guys push me to try and improve with each picture I create.
    Now,on to some shout outs!
    Doomed Pixel-Clerical Raptor was my favorite,by far!!!Also liked the mid section on Infernomech.
    Me,Myself and I-The web effect on the hands of Ghost Spinner were soooo cool!
    Maniacmick-Ruby Cutlass looks like she was ripped from some classic vampire movie.Nicely done.
    Cliff-Mini Blade had me LMAO!Funny stuff.
    PRiegel-Gut Baroness was a horrible name,but you really did a fantastic job with her.
    Rancid-Great job on the sizing with Micro-Queen,Deathtron was really cool and I liked the creepy face on Insectmancer!
    Spidercow2010-Something about Sorceror Amphibian made me want to keep looking at it.
    Fyzza-Coloring on the smoke around Dusk Flame was really nicely done.
    BloodlessRose and UesugiWarrior-I liked the floating swords with Sword Sorceress.Also the coloring worked well(even though I usually am not a big fan of lots of purple).
    Blue Blazer-Pyrotaur rocked!I think that was my second favorite this week.I also liked the body and face on Basher
    Capricorn.The color of his fur and that awesome face were well done.
    DiCiatriz-Great job on all of your entries!Beast Stone and Spear Scream were two of my favorites.You seem to bring it every contest!(TAKE A CONTEST OFF SO THE REST OF US HAVE A BETTER CHANCE!!Just kidding!!).
    Again,great job by everyone.I could go on and on with the props.
    Thanks again,Jeff for picking me to be a finalist with all this great talent!

  22. rancid says:

    @atomic punk-yes the stain on the mug was heromachine coloring. thanks for all the support and congrats to the finalists. each contest im always sure im going to win but you guys come up with some amazing creations at the end.

  23. Connor S. says:

    Actually, I think that the DnD party is a great idea, but I don’t have Photoshop so I’d have a hard time putting it together. I always could use my shitty paint program and see how I do with that. Meh. Or maybe you could split the contest into two parts: Groups and singles.

  24. Alan Bates says:

    It’s my first time entering one of these. I’m just happy you felt one of my ideas was memorable enough to be worth mentioning.

    And I do love Clerical Raptor.

  25. Brian says:

    Thanks Jeff.. I am glad you liked cold Grip and I am sure the animals around you are safe πŸ™‚

    Clerical Raptor is cool and I really liked beast stone as well

  26. Mini Blade is my favorite. Finally, a LP superhero that can kick ass! YAY!