As for building my own character, I was able to create a biped in Max which exported into Antics quite well, (although the eyes will require a node each.) My next step is to bring in a character mesh from say Quidam or Poser and skin the Biped skeleton. Better still would be to try a fully rigged character imported into Max. I remember going down the Poser road a while ago and I ran into a deadend with the skeleton being too different from the max biped structure. (and not knowing enough to fix it)
Although Deep Exploration do have a poser to max solution now.
I see Quidam have a max exporter and it'd be good to get hold of a 3ds converted file from someone to try this out.
I'll let you know....
please let me know if anyone out there is having as much fun as I am.