Friday, June 24, 2011

Help for the Hero Machine & the Contest

I heard some people were having trouble navigating the Hero Machine while trying to design their entry into the Hero Games Contest. So, below is a short tutorial. Also, I apparently neglected to set an end date for the contest. Your entries must be emailed to me by Friday, July 22nd. Email entries to

Guide to creating and submitting entries for the contest:

Go to the HeroMachine website. Under the banner, you'll see the Hero Machine 2.5, which consists of a blue box on the left with the Hero Machine logo, and various buttons and images on the right.

Choose one of the hero body-type sketches by clicking on it. A little box will pop up that offers three loading options.
Unless you have a slow connection, choose the top one, marked 'Complete.' If you do have a slow connection, click the middle one, marked 'Partial.'

Once all the parts have loaded, you have many tools to work with. Let's look at one tool at a time.

Under the number 1, which originally said Pose, is now the word Hair. Click on the arrow beside the attribute Hair, and you get a dropdown menu of all the available attributes. Whichever one you choose, the selection window will populate with those choices. Choose hair, and you get lots of hairstyles; choose Belt, you gets lots of different kinds of belts. You get the idea.
Directly under the Attribute Selection (Hair, Skin, Belts, etc) is the Genre drop down. By default, it shows Standard, but you can see other options (fantasy, capes, monsters, etc) by clicking the arrow.

Choose a style from the various choices available (the little slider bar under the pictures shows you more options). Each time you click one of the pictures, your hero will be updated. You can also switch between hero attributes by clicking on the hero in the blue box at the left.
That attribute will light up in green when you do so.

As you add attributes to your hero, you will most likely want to color them. The color box at the bottom is your tool for this. Clicking the left hand box under 3. Color Items will color your highlights. The right-hand box will add the main color. Not all items will use both colors.

Explore the various options. This creator has a ton of them. Once you've got your hero the way you want them to look, click in the box at the bottom that says Character Name and give them a cool Super Hero name.

Now, this is the part that gets a little tricky. You can't just click Save. It won't actually do you any good. It'll give you a code that you can save in a text file, and return to this site to Load in. Do save the code, just in case. What I want you to do, however, is use your Print Screen button on your computer. It might read 'Print Screen' or 'PrntScrn' or even 'prt sc'. It is usually close to the home and delete buttons right around backspace and beside the F-keys. When you use that button, it won't actually tell you that you've done it right. Annoying, I know. Open a simple program like Paint (It's in accessories, if you've never used it.) and press Ctrl + V on your keyboard. That will paste the image into the paint program.

If you'll look in that black box I've outlined at the top of that image, you'll see the only two tools you need to use. Select, which is turned on by default, and then Crop, right beside it. Click on Select to start a new selection, then click and drag on the image to put a box around the section you want to keep (just your Hero's image in the blue box, including the name), and then click Crop. Save the file at the very top, and then email it to me at (If this is absolutely too much for you, you can click the Save button on the Hero Machine and send me the code. I promise not to be mad. ;) )

I hope you have fun with this, and I can't wait to see your entries! If you have heroes you don't want to enter, but would like to share, feel free to paste them (or the code) into the comments of the Contest post. If you do have any other questions, please feel free to comment them here, or ask me on Twitter.


  1. OK! I followed your instructions exactly. I didn't get a code so I can come back to the character, but I'm thinking that's probably because I haven't subscribed to the site or anything.

    However, I did have a lot of fun creating a character, and will be sending it in an email in a few minutes.

    I know I'm being a pain, but could you insert the e-mail address you want these sent to? Perhaps after the comment "I can't wait to see your entries!" This is the link I will be adding to my side bar because it has such awesome instruction. You may also want to add a link to your original contest post.

    Thanks Jace; this was exciting :)


  2. I'm so glad you had fun! That's what things like this are all about.

    The email was at the top, but I've also added it to the bottom as you requested. The link to the original contest post was a great idea. I've added that in two different places, at the top.

    By the way, LOVE your entry! Thanks!