Interview with Jim Gindin
Gabe : What kind of control are you permitted over your team roster?
Jim : You have complete control over your team's roster. You also have the ability to have your scouts handle simple roster decisions. Until you have some experience with the game, you'll appreciate not having to negotiate every single contract. But once you've mastered the basic aspects of the game, you'll enjoy making the little decisions that really do make the difference between consistent contender and average player.
Gabe : Discuss the effect of the generation of revenues (or the lack thereof) on a teams' fortunes. For example, making alot of money won't always translate on the field, correct?
Jim : Every year, you essentially start with a clean financial slate. After all, you're the general manager, not the team owner. And owners will simply sell the team if they're running the risk of bankruptcy. So making money simply improves your evaluation. Every year, you receive an evaluation of your performance. And only part of this is based on your team's on-field play.
Gabe : A feature in Baseball Mogul was the ability to negotiate television or ppv contracts. Is this a feature in Front Office Football?
Jim : No. In professional football, the league negotiates all television deals. That's absolute. So, every few years, the league will negotiate a new contract on its own, and the salary cap will jump accordingly.
Gabe : Will setting the price of ticket prices too high automatically turn off the fans?
Jim : Yes, the fans will stop attending games if the ticket prices rise too high. But there may be quite a bit of leeway. It's up to you to experiment with different teams, and find the ones that could get away with significant increases. There are some areas where fans are very flexible, and some areas where they aren't. I don't want to explain these algorithms in depth and ruin this for players.
Gabe : Describe the trading module. A feature gamers have longed for is the ability to trade draft picks or even trade picks during the draft. Is this ability in Front Office Football?
Jim : Yes, it is. I vowed when I began programming that I would allow a team to trade its current draft pick. So the trading function is available during the draft, during the season and during free agency periods. I made the trading AI extremely conservative, however. Teams value good young players with a solid future (at least, according to their scouts, who all have their own strengths and weaknesses) above everything else. I tried to create a trading system where you can address a weakness, but you can't simply rob the other teams of their good young talent. The salary cap will keep you from acquiring too many veterans.