Interview with Jim Gindin
Gabe : How does Front Office Football determine player retirements? Is it determined solely on age or a combination of several factors?
Jim : Retirement is primarily determined by the player's position. I've done quite a bit of analysis on the performance peaks and ebbs for each position in professional football. When a player reaches the end of the typical peak for his position, he runs a small risk of retirement. When they're about five years past that point, there's a large risk. But mostly, players go on until they're no longer wanted. If a veteran goes an entire season without appearing in a game, he will probably retire. Years of experience is more important than age. Age is simply a Flutie-check, for lack of a better term.
Gabe : Let's touch on the NFL draft... how many rounds does it go, and do all of the players in the draft have fictional names? Can you add players to the draft pool?
Jim : The draft runs seven rounds, without supplemental picks (I couldn't figure out how they gave them away, either). All players have fictional names. You can, however, import a draft file rather than playing with the fictional influx of players. At present, there is no source for these imported files, but I hope next year I'll be able to create Front Office Football: The College Years. This will have the ability to export seniors/eligible underclassmen into a file that Front Office Football can read.
Gabe : Is there a free agency signing period?
Jim : Essentially, the off-season is a free-agency signing period. Once you've taken care of the ticket prices, the stadium plans, hiring coaches and scouts and designating a franchise player, the free agency period begins. Until the beginning of training camp, this simply includes all unrestricted free agents. These are players with four or more years of experience who are no longer under contract. After training camp begins, all unsigned players are free agents.
Gabe : How long can the game theoretically play on?
Jim : About 125 years. If you get that far, just remember to watch your email.
Gabe : Discuss the league email function. What kind of information will you be given?
Jim : Email in Front Office Football is simply a mechanism used to avoid having little boxes pop up in your face when you're working on something completely different. Email may notify you of a trade proposal from another team. It may notify you of a player suspension. It's also used to give you information about the salary cap and the minimum salary in the league, which both rise with inflation over time. There are also other types of email, which are intended as a surprise for people who play the game a long time.