COD4 | Frontlines


History

Early Years 2007-2008



Frontlines development started soon as the ModTools was announced and aside at my desire was just fix few annoying things that everybody were reporting playing online like the spawn killing with hardpoints and nades, but when ModTools was released in February of 2008, I see that I could do a lot more than just few fixes, the options were so vast that I could make a dream come true, which is port the Blood Wars which was made mainly with scripting, originaly made to Blood Culture, my Quake 2 clan. Later was ported to Medal Of Honor Allied Assault: Spearhead but this time I could do it everything automatic and without require an advance server admin to control everything, and let everyone create his own Wars and have fun without troubles, that's how the War Server idea started.

This was the first official video from Frontlines released in March 4, 2008, showing how the spawn killing problem was solved without make players imortal for a while after respawn like few other mods were doing, creating another problem to fix the spawn killing. With that poor video made very fast Frontlines got many good reviews because that different spawn protection idea and the anounce of the War Server. The first version of the mod were released in the next day at MODDB with a brand new gametype called Battlefront, which was the base and the main test to make the War Server viable and few other fixes to make the gameplay better, while I'm was already working in new gametypes and the War Server.

A funny thing is that the best software (unique to be exact) to make COD4 videos on that time didn't worked with mods yet, so I direct contact Pat to help his COD4 Demo Player be able to load Mods too. We tested together until it works. So with that I could make this video, which is the first video from a COD4 mod ever. Later he released this new version to the public.

I was very dedicated to Frontlines on that early days, so the version 2.0 were released on March 18, 2008, only 13 days after the first release, with many of the already promised features, specially the new gametypes which were the keys to the War Server, the VIP gametype to let the team get the path to the Enemy's Commander, and the Commander gametype which the attack team will need to kill the Enemy's Commander to win the War. The mod become the COD4 File of The Week at COD Files, one of the most famous Call of Duty sites in the world on that time. Already with patched to 2.1 was featured at MODDB as the highlights of March 2008 and also at MODSonair Episode 120.

Click to know more... Aside these new gametypes we have a brand new feature never available in FPS history before, which is the Invert Sides. With that is possible change the direction of the attack in the map, instead of just attack in the same direction over and over. Combined with the Round Switch Spawn which can change from round to round automatically and even combined with the original Round Switch feature. Frontlines was already the oficial mod of many clans around the world, most of them in Germany and France.

Thinking foward we will need lots of maps to play with the War Server, so I started a Frontlines MapContest to provoke more custom maps to COD4 which on that time wasn't that expressive as I was wishing. The Liberty Island concept made a lot success, and until these days sometimes people ask me if that map really exist. During all that the development never stopped, we had our server beeing updated several times a week, with several new features and gametypes.

With the success Frontlines was featured in the modding highlights of march at MODDB, and I was also interviewed by Total Gaming Network to talk about HER Airborne and Frontlines.

To get even better I was surprised by an invite by Jock Yitch to make a interview followed by a live interview to his webcast, both to his BASH and SLASH gaming site which you can read HERE, which was a really great site about FPS games on that time, and was were for the first time the world got know about the end of the Dedicated Servers in Call of Duty series. To complete the great news Frontlines was released for the first time officially in two of very famous German's magazines:

pcgames.de pcaction.de

Aside our server at Blood Culture in Brazil, we started to have Official Servers around the world, which received work-in-progress versions to help us in the tests since we had a lot of features and how many more tests, better and stronger the mod will become. We had official servers in UK, Germany, France, Portugal, Spain, Netherlands, Russia, Poland, USA and Australia.

Another ground breaking features with almost them never released before in FPS history started to be tested online around the globe, incluiding features of the upcoming version like Weapons Modes, Random Weapons, Random Gametypes, Duel, Size Rotation & Intelligent Anti-Camping, which was the beggining of the Intelligent Server (IS).

Anti-Camping Main Menu Hajas Duel

On Jun 25, 2008 the version 3.0 were released with all these features and lots more, and one of the highlights were the Frontlines Theme Song that I did for the menu, the players simply loved it! Was used as theme of several COD4 sites on that time.

War Server was already working great in 3.0 but only available for tests sice we were having crashed when we had more than 50 players online on the server (good times!), while I was trying to fix this and other fewer problems because the engine limitations, 3.1 were release less than a month after, with another brand new gametype. Chopper was a strong success since day 1.


On September of 2008 Battlescores opened a Frontlines server, which was a very nice online championship where you win points everytime you play on their servers, and have lots of prizes to the first results! On that time was the only modded COD4 server they had.

When I was working on how to fix the problems with the War Server, started to make the gameplay more realistic, porting my HER (Hajas Extreme Realism) features from my previous mods to Frontlines and also doing a detailed rework in the Damage Feedback of the game, with Pain Sounds, Blood Splats, Blood Pools new Explosions FX, etc... and of course, removing the annoying Hit Marks (sound inclued). Also with Tactical and Infantry Modes to Weapons Modes and with a lot more realist behavior of the Last Stand which was needed to make the already in tests Medic System work great and also the Help Mode, another brand new feature that I was thinking to make since the MOHAA days but on that time would be just another gametype, but I got a cleaver idea and turn this to a mode like the already released Weapons Modes, so will be possible to play it with all teambased gametypes. On October 6, 2008 version 3.5 was released with all these features and much more, incluiding a pre-release of the War Server.



Planned to be released on my birthday, Frontlines 4.0 were released on December 2, 2008 with the fully working War Server, Medic System, Random Map Rotations and Silent Mode, aside the Medic & UAV Perks among other new features. Was anounced together with the work in progress of 8 new gametypes already in tests at our server. Frontlines got a lot exposure mainly because the War Server, appearing on the MODDB Audio Podcast as the main subject and also in the Highlights of 2008 on MODDB Newsletter. Was also featured at MODSonair Episode 157

Gametypes Expansions 2009-2010

Frontlines elected the best COD mod of 2008!

2009 started very hot to Frontlines, on January 7, 2009 was a great a honor that Frontlines was elected as the Best COD MOD of 2008 by Bash and Slash, one of most famous and respected COD sites around the globe on that time! On January 10, 2009 the version 4.1 was released with 2 new gametypes (Objective and Exterminate), the first ones designed to play Help Mode, which was at first working as unique gametypes, without the Mode concept. Help Mode was already a success at our server aside not released yet. Two days later Frontlines was again at MODDB Audio Podcast.

Still in the beginning of 2009 one of the biggest and best game server provider offered me a partnership, Art Of War Central (AOWC) hosted several servers of Frontlines and many others of my works around the globe in exchange of propaganda of their great service in my mods. They hosted all the versions of Frontlines for many years until they closed the doors in April 5, 2014 when game servers wasn't a big deal anymore, since most of the games didn't had free dedicated servers anymore.

On the next months Frontlines was constantly updated with several brand new gametypes to be played with or without Help Mode and Weapons Modes, new Weapons Modes and the brand new Bomb Squad System, all that linked with several new features that were making the Intelligent Server even more smarter. On April 23, 2009 an open beta of the upcoming version of Frontlines was released and distributed to several servers around the world to help me in the tests of so many gametypes and features, which was already the biggest mod in COD History. On March 19, 2010 was featured at MODSonair Episode 222.



On May 30, 2009 was released Frontlines 5.0 which was supposed to be the last version, with several new gametypes: Assassin, Assault, Docs, Escape, Escort, Flags, Hack, Hill, Nuke, Rescue, Targets, Unity, Uprising, Waves & Wrath, aside of course the Help Mode and Weapons Modes, aside several other features. All of this was created accross a year of very hard work and heavily tests at several Frontlines clans with thousands of Frontlines Soldiers around the globe.

In July we started to organize World Wars at our server, which several clans from all around the world came to play together in AMAZING WARS. In September a patch with few fixes was realeased and also was created the Hajas Corporation at XFire, which many Clans and Players from all over the world could meet online to play Frontlines and all the other mods that I created over the years.

In October in a interview at BASH and SLASH we all got know that Modern Warfare 2 will not have Dedicated Servers or even ModTools available, which will be focused in the consoles, which changed the multiplayer of COD to the worst as possible. I was already working on in the concept of the new Frontlines to Modern Warfare 2, so I decided to make all that alive in COD4 since would not be possible to do with MW2, and started to code right away and releasing new versions every week, with several new gametypes to start the tests, the first ones were Swarm, Strike with for the first time in COD History had Paratroopers introduced in the multiplayer, Objective and another very different gametype Support with a soldier playing as the Chopper's Gunner.

R3L04D Years 2010-2011

Frontlines R3L04D

In the next months we had always new gametypes available: Reinforcements (Paratroopers), Snipers, Surrender (Paratroopers), Survivors, AirFight (Gunner's fight), Airborne (Paratroopers), CTF, Evac, Invasion, Savage (Zombie Hardcore Like Experience) and Mission (Paratroopers), which will become known as the best COD gametype ever made.


On February 22, 2010 I signed an authorization for Group Yellow Media provide my MODs at his sites, magazines, CD-ROMs, DVD-ROMs, etc... the mods Frontlines, HER BF2 and HER BF2142 were released by them several times. Group Yellow Media publish several video games and computing magazines in French such as but not limited to : Windows News, PC Achat, Computer Arts, PC Jeux, Jeux Vidéo Magazine, PlayStation Magazine, Consoles +, Joystick, Kid Paddle, XBOX 360 Magazine, Nintendo Magazine, and Joypad. More Details.

Aside all of that above, several brand new features were created in this period, such as Bad Map List to make the IS a lot more powerfull and able to deal of so vast options, Frontlines Commands to make the administration of the server a lot easier or even possible, specially that Frontlines spine was completely redone to overpass the engine limits with the creation of Virtual Gametypes, Battle Mode to the War Server, Zillion Mode and Over 2400 new Weapons Modes, 4 types of Support Strikes (Tactical, Heavy, Artillery & Mortar), Frontlines Weapons incluiding Single Shots to Assault Rifles, Interactive Credits, Integrated Global Wars Servers and LOTS more... so Frontlines R3L04D was born!

Frontlines R3L04D - War Servers

The Integrated Global Wars Servers was something great because we could unify and redirect all the Frontlines servers in the world to a single one, so if you connect to any of the official servers during a World War you will be in fact going to the same sever, which made a lot easier to organize our World Wars.



The Beta was released in March 3, 2010 when the Frontlines R3L04D 6.0 was released at July 16, 2010 with 42 Gametypes and lots of brand new features, several of them were never released before in a FPS game, and many of them are still unique to Frontlines after all these years. I made a PHP Admin Tool on that time to help me administrate all the Frontlines servers from my smartphone, MobiFront were released in the next year as people requested.

Aside all the great reviews everyone was complaining (with lots of reason) about the Parachute model used, which was the best I could get since I'm not into 3D Modeling. Believe me, I tryed very hard to find someone to make a Parachute model for me, and in fact delayed the released for months trying to get one without success sadly. So I released it anyway and keep trying to find someone to help with that.

New Parachute on the way! New Parachute on the way!

With time I never found anyone interested to do it, and we simply were so adicted to the gameplay that simply forgot about the bad Parachute model, seams everyone was already ok with that. Then my old friend Zeroy made an amazing Parachute model to his COD5 mod but in the end was never used, and offered me to use in Frontlines. On October 12, 2010 I posted the first tests with the new model at MODDB.



A patch named as Frontlines R3L04D 6.1 was released after several tests with few new features as the War Effects aside the brand new amazing Parachute model on March 24, 2011 via MODDB with a brand new video. Works with ports of the mod to Modern Warfare 2 (AlterIW.net) and Black Ops already started on that time. Later on Nov 29th, 2011 was released Frontlines R3L04D 6.2, which was the last patch fixing and tweeking few features to achieve even better gameplay.

Frontlines Ports 2011-2012

Aside just play Frontlines R3L04D among my friends of Blood Culture, my main project was working on Black Frontlines, which was the Frontlines version to Call of Duty Black Ops and as a secundary work with MW2 Frontlines, which was a version to Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 hosted by AlterIW.net, later still in 2011 I started to work with W@W Frontlines which was a version to Call of Duty : World At War aside other projects like HER Battlefield 3.



Aside the very weak modtools compared to Call of Duty 4 : Modern Warfare, the lack of free dedicated servers (we need to pay to get one), and the low number of players, I see a good pontencial in Call of Duty Black Ops which had a very improved engine and the Combat Training, asied the bots were very stupid and only play TDM, all the animations and waypoints were already there, so my goal was to make a shorter version of Frontlines with focus in the Home LAN gameplay, with even COOP options to let us play Frontlines even with short number of players.

The original multiplayer was too much childish for my taste, in fact every multiplayer released after that were even worst, really made to very stupid kids, so I redone the entire balance of the gameplay incluiding perks, removed all that "shine crap", which was like cheat unleashed to everyone, I just turn all that off and improve everything that was already good. Balance done was added realistic Blood and Damage Feedback, with HER overtested the game was already playable, then a complete re-work of the AI made the bots play ALL gametypes, with behaviors a lot closer to real players, is known until today as The BEST Bots EVER Made to Call of Duty.



Then one of the famous gametypes of Frontlines was ported, Airborne which have Paratroopers support was ported with success to all maps. Other famous features like Medic System, Help Mode and the Intelligent Server with all the Random features was also ported with success. Then was created 2 brand new features which become the highlights of Black Frontlines, the COOP Missions which transforms a multiplayer map in a Campaign like mission, to play beside your friends, or even alone or with few bots to help you, and the Airborne Mode, which make possible play ALL Gametypes in ANY of 26 Maps (DLC Inclued!) with or without Paratroopers changing drastically the gameplay in each one of them.

Black Frontlines was entirely made in just 8 months and had the unique version released at May 22, 2012 at MODDB with oficial servers in North & South America and Europe, and become by far the best ever mod to Black Ops by almost all sites and game communities around the globe.



Prior the full release of Black Frontlines I was already working in parallel in other projects like MW2 Frontlines, which was only available at the Blood Culture server since October 2011. Since then got many updates and features in the next years, incluiding Bots and Hardcore gameplay like his father Frontlines. But mostly of the work was really to keep the MW2 Frontlines in all new different version of AlterIW.net.

Also was working in parallel with W@W Frontlines, at first just to fix the amazing PeZBOT mod which was failing in let us play as many rounds we want without the bots stuck while change rounds and maps. My idea succeed in fixing this mod, but why not do the changes that I always wanted to do into this great game?



So a light version of Frontlines was created with the "brain" features of the mod to give us great and balanced gameplay with some famous features as HER and the Intelligent Server to name a few. Aside all that I removed all fantasy weapons attachments like the "red dot" version and also put all weapons relative to their teams, like was in WWII. So no more Germans going to war with Thompsons or US Marines with MP40 for exemple. The only way to carry outlander's weapons are getting from an enemy killed or with the Overkill perk, so you can use one as a trophy. On January 8, 2012 the first version of W@W Frontlines was released.

Father's Time 2012-2013

After the ports I discover that I will be a Father! Was amazing news and we started to get ready for the baby arrival. Then I became very away of games, playing and specially modding. I was just thinking about my kid since then, which is the most important thing in my whole life since 2012. I was just playing when I can online mainly with my friends at Blood Culture. Not much more to tell until the end of 2013.

Something I expected was that everyone was leaving Frontlines to play newer games, incluiding the newer versions of Frontlines like the most famous Black Frontlines. But also something that I really wasn't expecting much was that also everyone was coming back all the time to play with us the old and good Frontlines, which we play every sunday at our server full of players since 2008.

Doesn't matter how many new Call of Duty or Battlefield games were released among several other blockbusters, everyone was coming back. The newer games were dying and Frontlines was still there. So after playing over a year like that, and with my kid with more than a year old, I decided to comeback slowly to work again with Frontlines, doing what I can to change few things that I think could be better and create a lot more features as I could. So on November 11, 2013 was announced that Frontlines is Back!

Frontlines is Back 2013-2016

Aside few tweeks, the first main feature was the Airborne Mode ported from Black Frontlines to all 42 Gametypes, was already lots of work. Specially because I didn't had the free time that I used to had, but I didn't set any deadline and I was working when I could work and that's good enough.

The main problem to comeback to work with Frontlines was because I was already at the edge of the engine, so there's no more space to work. If I add few new lines of code the game simply crash with memory error. So to be able to continue the work I spent many months re-writing several parts of the original code, optimizing everything I could to open space to add new work. Were really years of working in trials and errors until finally had it done.



In parallel I did few updates to MW2 Frontlines and start in 2014 to develop the Star Wars Frontlines which is an ADD ON to the amazing Galactic Warfare MOD for Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare, which mainly idea was to make the gameplay less repetitive since had a very limited number of maps and gametypes, also adding several dynamic features and gameplay improvements like a full COOP mode and of course Bots.

One of these new features was the Random Objectives which was very successfully and I also added to MW2 Frontlines, which gave me the idea to add this too to Frontlines, but I had a big problem here, these games doesn't had maptools, so there's no custom maps, so it's a fixed number of maps which aside was already lots of work it's a closed number, but in Frontlines we have Custom Maps, LOTS and LOTS of them, and will not make sense por this to COD4 without be able to play it with Custom Maps. Which I succeed after few years of work.

Also was created more 9 New Gametypes in this period: Virus, Resist, Tags, Demolition (Black Frontlines version), Pilot, Officers, Countdown, Overcome & Strike, which aside already had a gametype called Strike with the introdution of Airborne Mode, Strike became exactly like Assault + Airborne Mode, so the gametype Strike was completely remodelled to a new one. Aside several other new features, incluiding of course Coop Missions.



In 2015 a super fan from W@W Frontlines asked me to add few new options to my mod, he offered me full support in what I need to make it come true, so I put on hold all the other projects and accept his request then added everything he asked and also few new features and fixes that I always wanted to release. I had a 1.1 Version closed to be ready to be released that I simply never cared to continue, so was from where I started the work. W@W Frontlines 1.2 was released at June 9, 2015 at MODDB.

Coming back to Frontlines I decided to make it possible something that I thought was impossible because the free space I had to work, which was also the first main request of all fans of Frontlines in the world: BOTs. Was really LOTS and LOTS and LOTS of hard work but I believe it's my final project, so I would like to be a dream come true to everything that I would love to have in a single FPS game, and that is what I'm about to achieve.



The Forever Concept was a huge success at our server since it is online, which made every old map become fresh again on each time we play. Because all that I decided to create a brand new Frontlines and not just a new update to R3L04D since almost everything was re-written and had several of new features. Then Frontlines Forever was born, but I would love to have bots in this release, so the release date was delayed to 2017.

Another side project that I had was Rio, a mod that converts Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter (GRAW) into Rio's confict. But that amazing game sadly it's dead with the servers shutdown, so I decide to move foward the the convertion of Frontlines to Rio, and worked in parallel studying the best way to make this come true. All my first tests were great and was ready to move foward with Rio.

Frontlines Forever 2017



The main work in 2017 was how to add BOTs to Frontlines Forever without limit the mod, which it's easy to small mods it's a complete hell when you have a so vast gameplay. It's a so complex event that I wrote a full article about that at MODDB explaining in details.

Across the year slowly the BOTs started learn how to play all 50 Gametypes, be a Medic, play Help Mode, be a Paratrooper, use All Weapons of ANY kind, WayPoints compatible to all gametypes and specially with the Random Objectives, and also be able to convert original WayPoints from PEZBots to Frontlines Forever with just a double click accross all the vast Frontlines Forever features, plus with a very large number of Custom Maps.

Accross the tests was decided to use limited animations to the BOTs in exchange of better gameplay, if all animations were used the BOTs sadly would not behave well, aside not possible to use all the weapons and to get worst, several of maps would not be compatible, incluiding even original maps like District for exemple.

This decision was made also because I get into known about the COD4X project which had re-introduced many original Quake Engine features cutoff from the COD Engine dunno why, like be able to load config files and also have all the BOTs functions FULLY ANIMATED! With that it's possible to have BOTs so good or even better than the ones in Black Frontlines. So will be release next a Frontlines Forever version to COD4X, and Rio will be exclusive to COD4X to let me work with the same quality I was working in GRAW.

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