HM3: Bug tweaks for layering

I just posted a minor update to HeroMachine3 that hopefully will fix some of the layering and "stuck item" problems people were having when loading up saved characters.

I'll explain the nitty gritty after the jump for those who are interested.

In the course of testing, I discovered two main problems. The first was that between the time some older characters were saved and today, the order and number of sets of items (sets are the second drop-down box in the main program, like Blades and Blunts) in various slots (slots are the first drop-down box, the main character areas like Nose, HandRight, Body, etc.) changed. For instance, initially Background only had one or two sets, but over time it grew to five. Along the way I rearranged the listing order of some of those sets. As a result, the character you saved last year might have used an item from Background-Standard when that set had an associated number of 1. But since then, Background-Floors was added and it is now entry number one on the list.

But your saved character still has Background Set number 1 listed as being "Standard", so when it loads up Background Set 1 it's actually getting Background Floors. Only it doesn't know that, so when you try to add another item from that set, it loads what it thinks is item 10 from Background Standard, but it actually gets item 10 from Background Floors. And the item gets stuck.

So, to get around that (and any future similar problems), I introduced some error catching that basically matches the NAME of the set (which at least so far doesn't change over time), and then from there gets whatever the latest number is. So even if I rearrange the order of all the sets and how they're listed, all the items should continue to load for your saved characters.

The second problem was that up until a few weeks ago, I still had two empty layers in the character layout shell for slots I thought about adding, but never did. Like a separate "Pet" slot in addition to "Companion". That caused some problems with layering so I removed the two vestigial layers from the main HeroMachine file. Well, it turns out that CAUSED problems for older save files, because they were trying to layer items onto a layer that no longer existed, in essence.

So I introduced more error checking that says basically, "Hey, if you try to put this on a layer that isn't there, then instead just move it down to the highest actual layer available."

As a result, hopefully this will clear up the problems some folks were having with layering and sticky objects in some older save files.

22 Responses to HM3: Bug tweaks for layering

  1. Myro says:

    Name: Jeff Hebert
    Rating: Awesome

    A bit of Scott Pilgrim-inspired praise for the kick-ass job you’re doing to HeroMachine for us. Thanks.

  2. Nick Hentschel says:

    Truth be told, the program has been working pretty smoothly for me, at least over the last week. So I don’t feel too rushed or worried; your hard work is already paying off!

  3. Jeff Hebert says:

    Thanks Myro, I appreciate the support!

    Nick, glad to hear you haven’t been having problems. Honestly I think it’s pretty darn stable at this point, it seems like most of the lingering issues are from older characters. Oh, and the occasionally missing save files, I don’t have a clue what the heck is up with that.

    I think next I need to work on some kind of text parser for cutting and pasting save character strings, along with figuring out the best way to load pre-generated templates.

  4. CPrime says:

    Hey, I am going to take this opportunity to mention a little glitch I discovered. Yesterday, I tried to mask an insignia over a mask. Just a standard mask with two eye holes. The insignia successfully masked around the left eye hole but not the right. Just thought you should know.

  5. CPrime says:

    But I agree with Nick. Other than the one tiny thing I just mentioned, HM has been running smoother than ever for me. A lot less glitches means a lot more careful and patient CPrime which means better work produced. So I thank you for that.

  6. Jeff Hebert says:

    Yeah, there are a number of items where patterning/masking breaks down in odd-shaped holes. Flash sometimes can’t deal with a particularly sharp angle or too many variations in perimeter and floods the area instead. I have to tackle those on an individual basis since it’s the shape of the drawing itself that causes the problem.

    On some, I simply can’t fix it without radically reshaping the whole object.

  7. Nick Hentschel says:

    “I think next I need to work on some kind of text parser for cutting and pasting save character strings, along with figuring out the best way to load pre-generated templates.”

    Like HM2.5? If so, I think that the whole community agrees; I’ve honestly missed that feature.

    CPrime and I are in complete agreement that the program is much more stable, and the new Export functions are a very nice bonus. The only thing missing is what we can never have enough of: MORE STUFF!!!

    But first things first, of course…. 😉

  8. Myro says:

    CPrime: The quick fix for that really us to lay one of the blank eyes (second last page of the eyes set, I think) over the troublesome eyehole, and build the eye up from there. Lord knows I’ve done that a few times just to make masks out of non-mask items.

    Actually, to back CPrime and Nick up, while I haven’t really put HeroMachine through its paces too much, I did try out a fairly item intensive illustration last night without errors, including a couple of things I did that seemed to usually trigger the sticky item glitch in the past, also a couple practices that have given me masking errors before. So I am quite pleasantly surprised with the stability of the program as it stands right now. Maybe next, I will try *gasp* saving unfinished work.

    If only I was as pleasantly surprised with my work. I’m unfortunately not sure my creation from last night will be worthy of this week’s contest. I’m asking for other people’s opinion IRL, but I feel I can, and have, done better.

  9. Adam says:

    we need a quick save button of some kind. i’ve lost at least 3 characters because something wouldn’t load and i had to refresh the page

  10. CPrime says:

    Ahhhh. Good thinking Myro.

  11. eddy_ASR says:

    When i go on the heromchine 3…i cannot play with heromachine cos there is an error page…it’s a heromachine problem or mine???

  12. Jeff Hebert says:

    Eddy_ASR: It might have been a temporary glitch in the matrix, I’m not sure, but it’s all working fine now.

  13. eddy_ASR says:

    no….probably the problem is mine cos heromachin is still in error page….

  14. eddy_ASR says:

    recently i have installed de new version of adobe flah player….it mighty be this the problem??

  15. Jeff Hebert says:

    What is the error message?

    What Flash player version, OS, and browser are you using? I’m on for Chrome on a Mac and it’s fine.

  16. Jeff Hebert says:

    It’s working with Firefox and the latest Flash player plugin as well, still on a Mac.

  17. eddy_ASR says:

    the error messasge tell HEROMACHINE: Syntax Error
    “s” is not defined

    I have de flash player version……..

  18. Worf says:

    @eddy_ASR: My flash version on windows is the same as yours and I get no error… in fact HM3 has never been better…

  19. eddy_ASR says:

    i don’t know why hm3 is in error…

  20. eddy_ASR says:

    i have reimposted internet….but the problem still exist…

  21. Jeff Hebert says:

    Eddy, all I can suggest is to clear your cookies, clear your cache, and if that doesn’t work, try a different browser altogether. Literally no one else has ever reported this error.

    You could also try the test version of HM3,, that loads without the blog portion in case that’s the problem.

    I don’t use the variable “s” anywhere in HeroMachine either, so I don’t know what that’s all about.

  22. eddy_ASR says:

    the last version goes ok thanks for the help 😉