HM3: Coding updates and changes

I wanted to make sure you all know that I am currently starting on the Great Code Rewrite. And I want you to know that because when the next release goes live, your old save files may or may not work. That's the problem with using alpha or beta software; when things change, they might change in a big, big way.

Now, what's more likely to happen is that when you load an old character in the new setup, the layers might be all messed up. Although that happens now, too. Or, it might be that everything stays the same with regards to saving and loading, I just don't know yet. But it's a possibility, and I want to be sure you're aware of it so you can be sure to have JPG or PNG backup hard copies of your favorite guys and gals.

You can also make a backup copy of the .SOL files that Flash uses to save your guys. I'll probably keep the old (current) alpha version "live" for a little while under another name (so heromacine3a.swf or something). If I do that, then you should be able to go in and change the directory name where these .SOL files are kept to that name and still be able to access your characters.

To refresh, here's the info on how the saving works currently:

The saved Flash shared object library files (.sol for you Windows users) are LIKE cookies, but they are NOT actual cookies. They are not stored in the shared internet data files and will not be deleted if you erase all your cookies. You can only remove them by right-clicking on the movie, and going to Flash Settings, removing them there.

Violodion found them in his Windows installation at %AppData%MacromediaFlash Player#SharedObjects\www.heromachine.comhm3

He was able to copy those and move them to another computer in the same directory and load his characters there.

On my Mac they are in HD / User / / Library / Preferences / Macromedia / Flash Player / #SharedObjects / / / hm3 / heromachine3.swf / hmcharacters.sol

21 Responses to HM3: Coding updates and changes

  1. Mark says:

    Will we be able to copy/paste text strings (or something similar) so we can share characters with others or open characters on other computers?

  2. Jeff Hebert says:

    Ideally, one day you will be able to do this, yes. But maybe not in the next round of code revisions. I just don’t know yet.

  3. Tim says:

    Thank you for the heads up Jeff. Just backed up my characters.

    I look forward to that day we can save those text strings 🙂

  4. Jeff Hebert says:

    I’ve spent two days just trying to get the layering working properly when adding a new item, and after loading a saved character. Very frustrating.

  5. Violet says:

    I was going to ask something like this after you mentioned the coding the other day. Mostly if you were going to give us a heads up before you went ahead. And you did!

    Just found my “hmcharacters.sol” file. I’m guessing that’s it? Now, I can copy this, but there is no guarantee of being able to open them properly again after the update, is that right?

  6. Jeff Hebert says:

    Violet, that is correct — hopefully nothing bad will happen and everything will work just like before (only better!), but just in case it’s good to have backups.

  7. Watson Bradshaw says:

    Really excited, Bring on the Beta!

  8. Jeff Hebert says:

    I hope it’s not too long. I’ll almost definitely be posting interim updates in the meantime for testing. Like, if I can get the layering stuff working for when you load saved characters better, that’ll need to get posted.

  9. Khymera says:

    Thanks so much for giving us the warning, as well as how to save the sol file.

  10. NEON_N64 says:

    Awesome 🙂 !!!

    It is very exciting to hear that !

    Jeff, have you already decided the scope of this update?

    Bug fixing? Additional features? Layout redesign?

    About the saving system…

    Progress has a price. And if the price for having a better saving system is having to redesign all my characters again, then I’m more than willing to pay it 🙂

  11. Niall Mor says:

    I have some security and disk maintenance software on my computer that apparently regards Heromachine character files as “system clutter;” after I run those utilities, any saved characters I have on HM3 have disappeared. At some point in the future will we be able to save character files as strings of text that could be stored as e-mail or text files (as with previous versions of HM) or not? Thanks!

  12. Nick Hentschel says:

    “I’ve spent two days just trying to get the layering working properly when adding a new item, and after loading a saved character. Very frustrating.”

    Thanks, Jeff: that’s one of the biggest problems (if not THE biggest) that I encounter when using the program. So I not only appreciate your hard work, I can actually SYMPATHIZE with it!

  13. Tim says:

    @Jeff #4: I’m sorry to hear that it’s giving you problems. I hope you can work out the kinks. Like everyone else, I also appreciate the effort you put into HM.

  14. Mr.Chowderhead says:

    Where can I find the .SOL file on Windows Vista? I couldn’t find them under macromedia?

  15. spidercow2010 says:

    This rocks. I look forward eagerly to a new era of non-buggy HM nirvana.

  16. Jeff Hebert says:

    Mr. Chowderhead, the .SOL location in various OS configurations can be found here:

    According to that article:
    * For Web sites: %APPDATA%MacromediaFlash Player#SharedObjects.sol
    * And also: %APPDATA%MacromediaFlash Playermacromedia.comsupportflashplayersys

    But you can also just do a whole-hard drive search for *.sol, I would think.

  17. Brad says:

    So in text file form, we’ll get to see what you named all the items?

    I have to confess I once used a portion of an afternoon just seeing what you named some things in 2.5. It turned out to be helpful, because I then learned you could take the “wizardpoint” beard, delete “point” in the load text, and get the Wizard beard without having to click “Random” umpteen times ’till it showed up. Any idea what made it never appear, but show up with random? Or is that one of the great mysteries of the code/ force?

  18. Jeff Hebert says:

    Brad, only sort of. Naming things specifically was a huge hassle and not very good coding practice.

    That beard problem was because I didn’t make a little “preview” box for it. So the item was there, it just didn’t have a “go to this item” button. But, the whole layout of 2.5 is different than 3; the old way, everything was laid out on a timeline like a movie and you were just moving from one frame to another. In 3, the items aren’t actually present visually anyplace until you load it by clicking on the preview icon. Each item is named . So for instance, the program would call FacialHairStandard15 for the long wizard beard (made up example).

    What you were hoping for, I think, was that you’d see FacialHairStandardWizardBeard, but it’s all numbers now. Much faster to code; thinking of new names for everything was a huge pain in the butt.

  19. Jeff Hebert says:

    Never mind, wrong thread!

  20. Brad says:

    hahaha! Okay, thanks for the answer. Boy, I bet that must be much more streamlined. Well, just know that this fan appreciates all your effort (even if you did call a katar a pushknife in Item-Blades ;)).

  21. CPrime says:

    So… any timetable in which we should do this by?

    Also, I’ve done this once before when I got a new computer, but never put the file back on the new computer. So I’ll have two separate sol files. Is there a way to merge them?