Category Archives: News & Updates

The latest happenings on all things HeroMachine.

How to Use HeroMachine Locally

Hi all, with big thanks to HeroMachiner Eric Bowling, here's how you can use HeroMachine outside of your browser. Adobe has said they're going to be force uninstalling the Flash Player (the standalone player basically) but I don't know that applies to this particular version.

Basically you download a local Flash Player application, then put in the URL for a .swf file (a compiled Flash object, which is what HeroMachine uses) and it plays. I've tried it on my Mac with HM3 and HM2 and it seems to work like a champ. You'll still need an Internet connection but if this goes well I may bundle up the files and make them available online so you could truly run it all locally. We'll just have to see, I don't want to sell people something and then BAM Adobe force uninstalls the Flash Players and it no longer works.

Anyway, the article explaining how to get the Standalone Flash Player Debugger is at – install the one relevant to your Operating System.

Once the Flash Player Debugger is installed per the instructions in that article, launch the Flash Player Debugger and go to "File -> Open Location". This is where you type in the URL to a .swf file. Do not download the .swf file to run from your hard drive, that will not work, you must use "Open Location" and put in one of the URLs below! Here are the ones for HeroMachine so you can just copy and paste:

For fun, here are the URLs for some of the hardly-ever-used versions:

CAVEATS: The "Export as an image" function in HM3 will NOT work. Saving as a text file will. 

I think that's pretty much it. Let me know if you run into issues with this, though honestly, there's not a lot I can do since I can't edit the source files any more and I can't control what Adobe does with their players.

R.I.P Stan Lee

It is with great sadness that we have to mark the passing of one of the giants of the comic book industry. Stan Lee may not have invented the idea of the comic book, started the first comic book publisher or even invented the genre of superheroes, but it is safe to say that the medium we all know and love today would not be the same without him. Born in 1922 (making him age 95 at his passing), Lee started out at Marvel back when it was still known under its first official name, Timely Comics, back in 1939 (the year the company started publishing). He was only an assistant who, in his own words, kept the artists inkwells filled, and got the job because his cousin was the wife of the publisher, Martin Goodman. He didn't even get to write his own stories for the company until 1941 (Captain America Comics #3 "Captain America Foils The Traitors Revenge, a short text filler between main strip stories), but with many of the staff enlisting to fight in the war and Timely's main writing duo (Joe Simon and Jack Kirby) leaving over creative differences with Goodman, Lee was given a shot to show what he had as interim editor at age 18. He stayed as editor until 1972, when he replaced Goodman as publisher.

To summarise Stan Lee's legacy in so few words would be to do him a great injustice. When I say that comics books would not be what they are today without him, it is not an exaggeration. Lee gave the world the Fantastic Four, the Increadible Hulk, Daredevil, the X-Men, Ant-Man (and Wasp), the Mighty Thor, the Invinsible Iron Man, Black Panther and, most famously of all, the Amazing Spider-Man. Unlike the heroes over at Marvel's main rivals DC, Lee made his heroes much more relatable. His teenage superhero wasn't a sidekick who looked up to an older hero and fought bad guys alongside them, he was the main hero and had all the problems that any normal person would have. His superhero teams were a family, who bickered and had problems like any family would have, or were reviled by the world they protected just because of who they were. These heroes weren't perfect, they were human and that's what made them so perfect to the readers. And he gave us legendary villains to battle these heroes, Doctor Doom, Magneto, Green Goblin, Doctor Octopus, Loki, Galactus, the Sentinals and many more. His work with other comic book greats, such as Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, John Romita and Don Heck dragged Marvel from near bankruptcy in the 1950's to being equals, if not a bigger name than their rivals DC within a decade, and of course, without the characters Lee created, Marvel wouldn't be in the position it is in today, a multi-media juggernaught with the most successful movie franchise of all time (which of course, Lee would use to indulge in his love of the not so subtle cameo, making him somewhat of a Marvel Movie Where's Waldo/ Wally).

Even well into his elder years, Lee was still a public figure, despite having well earned some peace and quiet. He still attended conventions, cameoed in movies (as previously mentioned) and put his name to tv shows and comic book projects, well into his 90's. Though his last years have been tinged with sadness and controversy (losing his wife in 2017, through allegations of elder abuse and a restraining order filled by Lee against his former business manager which involved the sale of his blood to fans), Lee never looked like slowing down or losing that trademark exuberance.

Rest well Mr Lee, you've earned it.

And one final time I think it's appropriate to say...


New Trailer for Wonder Woman and Happy NaNoWriMo!

New trailer for Wonder Woman? Yes, please

Continue reading

Looking for new blog authors

Hey guys, JR here.

So, as I'm sure everyone is now aware, Kaldath is going part-time as Head Moderator and I've been promoted to co-Head Mod. As such, I'm going to try and get the blog more active again. My idea is, I want 3 more blog authors to write articles for the blog on a weekly basis (or if you so wish, more than one article on a weekly basis). The sort of things I'm looking for are topical discussions on relevant subjects, reviews of recent releases (comics, TV shows and films, possibly books if appropriate), possibly Heromachine tutorials if someone wants to try that out. If you wanted to bring back one of the old blog topics that are no longer around, that would be acceptable as well (obviously the CDC's and Pop Quizzes are not included here because djuby is currently running those, neither is the Friday Night Fights or the Hall Of Fame, as these are special topics).

Now, I'm looking for 3 people, as I said earlier, who are dedicated and reliable. One problem we've had in the past is we add a new blog author, they do one or two posts and then nothing. I don't want that happening again. So if you want to give it a go, email me at with the email subject title Blog Author Idea and an outline of your topic idea (if you can include an example that would be useful) and your heromachine username, then I will pick the three people that I feel have the best ideas and will be the most reliable, pending approval from Jeff of course. I would also like to make this clear that, these are not moderator positions, just blog author.

So, yeah, I'm looking forward to seeing what you guys come up with.

With that.

JR out.

CDC Announcement

Hey guys JR here.

Ok, so, the long and short of it is that, after tomorrow, I'm going to be stepping down from running the Character Design Challenges on the blog. I've been running the contests since May 2013, well over 3 years, and during that time I've hosted 157 contests, more than Jeff and Hammerknight combined, which is ridiculous. I was originally planning to carry on until November, so I could leave on the 300th contest, but if I'm being honest, I feel like I've run out of good ideas for the contests. Also, since the Friday Night Fights back in June, I've been wanting to compete in the contests more and more, which I obviously can't do if I'm the one deciding the winner. Those two things, combined with the fact that the contests have been getting a smaller and smaller turn out each year, led me to decide that now was the right time to step down.

However, the CDC's will not be finishing. I've arranged for djuby to take over running them, which he hopefully will this coming Monday. I look forward to seeing what challenges he throws our way and you can rest assured, I'm going to be looking to get more than the 1 win I got before I took over from Hammerknight. I can also assure you that I will not be stepping down from my position as moderator nor ceasing to post on the blog. If you've paid attention over the last 3 years, I've had a lot of blog posts, so that won't change. I'll still be here with lists each Tuesday and, if I feel like it, I may introduce other blog topics. But we'll have to see about that.

And with that.

JR out.

HM3: Hey, bud! Would ya like to buy some leftovers?!

Starting my spring clean next weekend, I need to throw out some old stuff and I thought you might be interested in them. Here's what I have to offer:
(As usual it's strongly recommended to clear your browser cache to see the new items - but be careful when doing so, since you could be loosing all your saved files. Better if you save those externally as text files beforehand.)

Whiz Bang Item Creation Poll: Military Tops (Poll#003)

[polldaddy poll="9160295"]

The Machinists have spoken and they want more tops. This week's theme is military style tops. I will be creating both a male and female version of the winning item.

Feel free to make art suggestions for future polls. I will be doing Tops for the next poll, followed by Headgear of some sort.

Project Hair

As some of you may know, I have considered my skills with creating normal Hair assets sub par at best. With that in mind I started thinking of ways to compensate for this weakness. I've been experimenting with resourcing hair art from existing pieces and transforming them into HeroMachine assets. My first experiment with this can be seen below. I used Sue Storm hair as a resource and created vector artwork that can be added into HeroMachine.

Original Artwork:


HeroMachine Artwork:


Now the pitch. I'm asking any interested Machinists to scour the Internet for hair art that I can use as a resource for hair creation and then add to HeroMachine. For the first phase of Project Hair I would take the top 6 suggestions (either chosen by me or a poll) and add them into HeroMachine as soon as I can manage it.

Now the catch. Image Requirements and Suggestions:

1. The artwork must be black and white and created in a style that is compatible with the HeroMachine aesthetic. Essentially Comic Book style inked artwork like the Sue Storm example above.

2. Avoid hair with headgear. I just want the hair.

3. Bigger is better. If the image is too small it may be hard to see the details necessary to create the hair artwork.

4. I've found inked artwork depicting heroes with lighter hair, better suited for HeroMachine adaptation. Dark hair is usually depicted with larger black areas. If we want hair with bigger, black  shapes we can go that route though.

5. Post the link of the artwork into this blog post. Or jump on over to my item creation thread in the forums and add the suggestion there.

Together we can make HeroMachine a whole lot hairier.

HM3: Das Boots


Poll #2 Winner, Wrapped Boots, has gone live. I also threw in the Tall Boot as a bonus and broke it into two pieces to boot. In addition I uploaded a few other items: a Fantasy crown/helm I made for one of my own major villains, a saddle I made for SkyBandit, and a thread-stitched horror mouth in honor of the approaching Hallow's Eve.

The Wrapped Boots can be found in FootRight/Standard. The Tall Boots can be found in FootRight/FemaleStandard. The helm can be found in Headgear/Fantasy. The saddle can be found in ItemsRight/Miscellaneous (I need to break it apart into a couple of pieces, so that will be updated in the future.) The stitched mouth can be found in Mouths/Standard.

Enjoy and keep on Machining!

New Item Brainstorming: What Art Assets Would You Like to See Created?

[polldaddy poll="9134843"]

Hello fellow Machinists! Choose your 5 top categories that you would like me to create art assets for.

Just sitting around wondering what art assets the Machinist community would like to see added to HM3. I made this poll as a semi-formal gathering of data to gauge the interest in particular categories. I am also interested in hearing specific requests in the discussion below, with the hope of expanding upon the conversation. Ultimately I want to use this as a guide for future item polls.