1. Release dates: On several occasions, we announced release dates for new versions that we would end up being unable to make. Before we eventually learned our lesson near the final version of Frag.Ops, we were notoriously bad at keeping release dates, often causing quite a bit of anger among the community. On top of this, we were often pushed to release versions earlier than we would have wanted due to Make Something Unreal contest deadlines, leading to bugs and the setting aside of crucial features that were not complete in time.

  2. Sabotage: Throughout development we were plagued by saboteurs and attempted saboteurs, people who would (try) to infiltrate our team, delete files, release internal versions, and who knows what else. Two were successful, one downloading files from our FTP and causing an early version to appear on Kazaa, the other downloading our entire development tree before deleting it. The first was so clever that he actually created a false portfolio using art that he had stolen from the internal development of another mod at the time. I wish I could make this stuff up, I really do.

    Frag.Ops Screenshot
  3. Team abandonment: While every mod team most likely encounters the “disappearing team member” syndrome, we were unlucky enough to have it happen with one of our lead designers, and at a very crucial point in development. Nessy, who was our original lead level designer, had spent over 2 months working on his masterpiece known as Operation Canary 2. We had done texture art for the map, music, sound, etc – a lot of effort went into it from the entire team. Then, all of a sudden, he just vanished. We were never able to contact him again. We had tried to finish the map for him, but it seemed that without him it just wasn't the same. The community ultimately rejected it.

  4. Performance issues: Early in the life of the mod, we were plagued by bad performance. The game really only ran well on the best of systems, others were required to reduce the detail to maintain acceptable framerates. This was also compounded by inconsistent map performance, with some running much better than others and requiring constant adjustment of quality settings. Although we were able to remedy this in later releases after we had learned better optimization techniques, it probably resulted in the loss of a lot of players early on that would never return.

    Frag.Ops Screenshot
  5. “WAR” mode: Near the end of active Frag.Ops development, we had decided to try a new direction in gameplay and add an additional gametype which we called “WAR.” This new play mode allowed people to build and deploy their own vehicles and structures and instead of a cash-based system, relied on something called “combat experience” for advancement. While players liked some of the features of WAR, and it gained us respect for its originality in the modding community, the gametype itself is often attributed to a split in the player base and loss of many older players. Statistics show that shortly after the release of WAR, online player counts began a slow decline until they reached alarmingly low numbers. This, combined with many forum posts decrying the new gametype, ultimately leads us to blame it heavily for the death of Frag.Ops. It is easily our single biggest mistake in the history of the game.

    Next: Conclusion