To start off my day and kick myself out of a manic-depressive slump, I started mission editing again. Editing is a real passion of mine; ever since Starsiege: Tribes I've been fiddling around in every game's editor, sometimes successfully, sometimes leaving abortive abominations to geography in the recycle bin. One thing is always the case; I really love to assemble a mission, share it with friends, and have a fun couple of minutes blowing things up. However, I usually only manage to play a map I made on TG once or twice before it gets shoved down into the bowels of the server and eventually expelled due to a change in naming conventions.

With this in mind, Bread Riot! A co-op mission for seven players featuring ACE's brand new BMD-1 airborne assault vehicle. After flying around Isla Duala in an MH-6 while humming the Tropico theme music, I picked what amounted to as good a spot as any for a mission. The town of Lina offered a small urban setting that suited a seven man team without overwhelming them, while the single road leading into town and simple terrain would keep the mission straightforward and to the point. While I did playtest it for a bit with Scope and others, it was not taken quite seriously enough by them to establish any sense of gameplay balance. I imagine one or two more versions will be needed before the game is properly established. I'll also be changing the weapon loadouts for players and possibly the rebellious peasantry. Specifically I am thinking of giving two troopers RPK's and the peasants more SKS's and pistols than full assault rifles. The whole mission, once I got down to business, took roughly two hours. No coding or scripting went into it whatsoever and there is thus nothing to break, crash, lag or bug. The setting is also pretty shallow. Why build up immersion for seven men? Lastly the mission can be played with or without your supporting AI and with or without full compliment of troopers. Five guys on the server? Load the two AI into the bow gunner seats on the BMD and they can sit around shooting on their own until another player connects into their slot. In fact, nothing prevents just one bored player from hopping in himself... which is what I intend to do after I've posted this, as a matter of fact.

I think I'm going to create a string of these small, fun little missions. 'Popcorn' missions, if you will. Its 'pop' because you use it to build server population, and its 'corn' because the setting is contrived and gimmicky. As is the name.