If you're feeling brave, mosey on over to the HeroMachine 3 Working version and give the new "Load/Save as Text" feature a whirl. After the jump I'll post some screen shots and explanations.
Create (or load) a character and click on Save, and check out the new tab structure:
The first tab is labeled "Your Saves" and has all the stuff that you're used to in the Save window -- file names, dates, delete buttons, etc.
The "Text" tab is all new. It shows the text string representing whatever configuration of items you have up at the moment. As soon as you load this screen, all that text is loaded into your clipboard so you can paste it into a text document or email just like you do with HeroMachine 2. I need to add an "info" dialog explaining that here, but for now it's a little basic.
The "Load" screen actually has two new tabs, "Text" and "Templates":
Taking those in order:
- The Text tab is where you paste in the save character text string you get from the "Save" text tab for loading characters.
- The second tab is labeled "Templates", which at the moment has only two entries. Basically these will be the pre-generated characters loaded into the menu from the server. In HM2 these were the entries under the "Samples" button, like "Fantasy Wizard (Male)" or "Male Dwarf" or "Modern soldier" or whatnot. I imagine down the road we'll be having contests to fill these out.
- At the bottom, below the "OK" button, is an option when loading a character (whether via text or a previous save) to keep the items you've already got on the canvas.
The first two are pretty self-explanatory, but the last one is really exciting. Basically this means that if you create a nifty looking weapon, for instance, out of ten different parts, you can save it as "Bob's Awesome Gun" or whatnot and then load it with one click into any character you like. Or if you have a cool environment you've assembled, again you can save and load it without losing the new character you've put together.
The only drawback is that the new "character" you load with this option appears in front of whatever's already on the screen.
I could definitely see expanding this feature so that in the "Templates" area you'd have all sorts of neat stuff (like the great "Fire Hair" recipe from MMI or the portal to another dimension effect a few people have done) you could download and install into your creation instead of having to figure it all out on your own and build it by hand. If you can't tell, I think this is a real game-changer.
Anyway, if you're of a mind to run the new stuff through its paces I'd appreciate hearing about what you think of it, any bugs you find, or anything else you want to say.