Front Page Sports Football Pro Net Guide


What is Front Page Sports Football Pro?

     FPS Football Pro is a computer game for MS-DOS compatible
computers.  It is published by Dynamix, Inc.  ("Part of the
Sierra Family")

What does one need to play Internet FPS Pro?

     3 things:
	1> an IBM-compatible PC (see below)
	2> Front Page Sports Football Pro
	3> Internet access

What's different about FPS Football Pro?

     Graphics:      Better than any other sports game to date.
     Plays:         Design your own completely from scratch.
     Game plans:    Create your own game plans -- maybe even one
                    for each opponent!  64 offensive and 64
                    defensive.
     Players:       Trade, train, and draft them.  Design your
                    strategy around them.  Rookies get better and
                    veterans get older.  45-man rosters plus an
                    IR list.  Sign free agents and wave the
                    disappointing players.
     Coach:         Choose each play and even audible.
     Action:        Control every aspect of the play on the
                    field.
     Statistics:    Don't even bother with the Monday morning
                    paper.  FPS has more than you'd ever find.
     Humans:        Any number of people can play up to one per
                    team per league.  The computer will play any
                    others.  Heck, you even get to choose your
                    team name!

     (If you hadn't noticed, those of us who play it love it! :)

What drawbacks are there to FPS Football?

     Requirements:  80386 chip or better.  VGA monitor.  585K
                    *free* conventional memory.  MS-DOS 5.0 (or
                    compatible).  High density floppy drive,
                    either 5.25" or 3.5".
     Recommended:   2M of RAM and an effective memory manager. 
                    Joystick.  Mouse.  Sound board.  Disk caching
                    software.
     Also:          It's slow even on the fast machines mainly
                    due to the sheer amount of graphics in use. 
                    (But those graphics...)
     Bugs:          If you lose power during a game, the game is
                    lost and you must start over.  (Is that
                    *really* a bug?)  I once scored as time
                    expired at the end of the game and I never
                    got the PAT attempt (even though I still won
                    47-31).

How is NetFPS played?

     A Commissioner simulates the games each week.  Head-to-head
would be great if it could be done, but we're making do.  :) 
Each player is able to create their own plays and game plans.
Players are encouraged to talk and trade and tirade about their
team's successes and failures.  Trades and free agents are
handled through the Commissioner each week.
     The current files for your league are uploaded to your
league's directory after all the games have been simulated each
week.  You have full access to all statistics, player info, and
league status.


What about cheaters?

     We devise new and interesting punishments every day.

How do I start?

     Mail to one of the addresses at the end of this file.  They
will let you know who to talk to and what information is needed
from you.

What if I must stop?

     Let your Commissioner know and you team will be "sold."

Why ask why?

     Inquisitive, are we?

                       NetFPS Player Rules

1.   The Commissioner has final say in the league.
2.   A league is formed when there is a Commissioner willing to
     run a league and there are players willing to play.
     a.   Size is determined by Commissioner.
     b.   Division and conference assignments are random and
          arragned by the Commish.
     c.   First week is for familiarization.
     d.   Players encouraged to name their teams!
     e.   League name determined by a plurality of the players. 
          Nominations suggested. 
3.   A league is expanded only at the discretion of the
     Commissioner.
     a.   A league must have at least two computer-owned teams.
     b.   If there is an available computer-owned team, a new
          player may "buy" that team unless the Commissioner
          decides otherwise.
          i.   Nobody may "buy" a team that is guaranteed playoff
               bound unless it is another player "selling" it.
          ii.  Anybody buying a team should expect to start with
               a sub-50% team record.
          iii. Commissioner assigns the team bought if one is
               bought from the computer.  This decision is final
               and you're stuck so live with it.  :)
	  iv.  New leagues are created and teams assigned by the
	       commissioner at random.
     c.   At the end of the season, the Commissioner may expand
          the league to a larger leauge size (or even contract it
          to a smaller one!) if a majority of the players agree.
4.   Files
     a.   Leagues must establish their own ftp site.
     b.   The Commissioner will notify teams which files are
          available for everyone to use.
     c.   Don't screw with the files.  We get very rankled if you
          ruin our fun -- and you know how football fans can get.
     d.   PKZIP will be used.  Get a copy.
     e.   UUENCODE and UUDECODE is recommended, especially
                if you don't have access to ftp or the league
                does not have an ftp site.
5.   Passwords
     a.   Passwords for your team are *strongly* encouraged.  (Do
          you want your patented plays to be copied by
          everybody?)
     b.   Passwords must be known by the Commissioner.  If he
          doesn't know, you'll be stuck with the exhibition
          playbook.
6.   Game Plans and Plays
     a.   Submit your game plan and all the appropriate plays
          zipped up in a file in your league's directory.  (HINT: 
          USE A PASSWORD.)
          i. FPS Pro league players should submit an offensive
	     and defensive profile with the game plan included
	     in the profile.
     b.   You may also mail UUENCODED plans/profiles/plays.
                Be sure to send the ZIP file only.

     c.   The Commssioner must know which file is yours either by
          mail each week or a continuing understanding.
     d.   Game plans must be up by the Friday before the Sunday
          games.
      e.  There is a strict set of rules for legal and illegal plays:

Definitions:

Neutral zone: an imaginary space, as wide as the football is long, that
crosses the field from one sideline to the other that marks the current
position of the ball on the playing field.  No player may line up in
the neutral zone without incurring a penalty.  (In real life defensive
players may cross the neutral zone and return, if they don't touch
anyone and the ball is not snapped).  This is no problem with FPSF:Pro.

Line of scrimmage:  Both the offense and defense have one; its an area
one yard wide on each side of the neutral zone.  The OFFENSE must have
at least 7 players within the LINE OF SCRIMMAGE, or receive (in real life)
an illegal formation penalty.

Backfield:  Only exists for the offense; the rest of the field on the
offense's side of the ball that's more than 1 yard from the line of scrimmage.

Eligible receivers: The two guys who are farthest from the ball on
each end of the offense's line of scrimmage, plus everybody in the
backfield.  In real life, any position can be an eligible receiver.

Additional Rules:

In addition to the basic rules of football listed above, the
league has these rules:

The eligible receivers on the line of scrimmage MUST ABSOLUTELY be
either R, RB or QB.  Since there's no way at present of making an OL
eligible with FPSF:Pro, no OL may appear on the end of the offense's
line of scrimmage.  Therefore, you must have at least 1 R, RB or QB on
EACH end of your offensive Line of Scrimmage.

Unbalanced lines.  This is a line where the center does not have the
same number of adjacent OL on each side:

  TE OL OL OL OL OC        R
                 QB

is an example.  In real life, a defense seeing such a formation would
make the proper adjustments.  In this virtual reality football world,
no such adjustments can be made.  Therefore, such unbalanced lines
are also being made illegal.

GAPS in the offensive line.  The same logic applies to formations such
as:

WR OL OL           OL OC OL TE
                      QB

where there is a gap greater than 1 yard between any two OL.
Therefore, formations with gaps in the offensive line are hereby
abolished.

Summary, in addition to having at least 7 men on the line you
must have:

1) 1 R, RB or QB on each end of the line of scrimmage;
2) No unbalanced lines;
3) No gaps in the OL.

So the interior line of each offensive play will from now on
look like:

  OL OL OC OL OL

If Dynamix makes changes to the game in the future whereby, for
example, a specific defense can be audibled to if a certain formation
is recognized, these rules will be reconsidered.

Examples of legal offensive formations:

TE TE TE    OL OL OC OL OL RB
R                 QB


WR        OL OL OC OL OL RB RB TE TE
                QB

Examples of illegal offensive formations:


WR      TE OL OL OC OL OL
                 QB

             RB  RB
                 WR

(No eligible receiver on the right end)

WR OL OL     OL OL OC TE
           RB      QB
               RB  WR

(Both unbalanced line and gaps in line)

WR      OL   OL OC OL OL      WR
          ^^^   QB
             RB RB RB

(gap in line greater than one yard)

WR         OL OL OL OC OL TE
                    QB
            RB   RB RB

(unbalanced line)

Penalties:

There are severe penalties to using illegal lines, which are to be
determined by the commissioner. The BFL penalties are as follows:

For a first offense, loss of next season's 2nd round draft pick to the
opposing team in the game where the illegal formation was used.

2nd offense, loss of 1st round pick.

3rd offense, decided by commish up to and including expulsion.


7.   Trades
     a.   The method of trading is decided by the Commissioner. 
                i. FPS Pro allows trades until approximately mid-season,
                but if the Commissioner wishes to use the Roster
                Editor, then he may allow mid-season trades
     b.   All parties must mail the Commissioner their agreement
          about the trade(s).
     c.   If the parties give different stories, there is no
          trade.
     d.   Commsioner will set deadlines for trades.
8.   Free Agents
     a.   The free agent pool can be seen by the files online. 
          If there is any change in status from the files, the
          Commissioner will mail to all players.
     b.   To drop a player, mail the Commissioner and let him
          know.  NO drop is official until the Commissioner sends
          out mail.
     c.   The first team to request a free agent AFTER the
          official notice signs that agent.  All agents are
          first-come-first-serve.  Keep up with your mail!
9.   Drafts
     a.   Each player will submit their draft preferences in
          order to the Commissioner.
     b.   The most preferred draftee still available during a
          team's choice will be drafted.
     c.   If all preferences have been drafted, the computer will
          choose.  If no preferences were submitted, the computer
          will choose.
     d.   The Commissioner may change the draft procedures.
10.  The official files are the files on the Commissioner's
     disk(s) at home.  The online files are neither official nor
     binding.
11.  Anybody who stops communicating with the Commissioner may
     have their team audited and sold.

                 NetFPS Commissioner Guidelines

1.   Simulate games on Sunday.  Post results Monday.
2.   Post all the statistics you want and mail them to the
     players.
3.   Upload the league files each Monday.
4.   Download players' game plan and team files on Fridays.
5.   Set deadlines  -- times and dates.  The Commissioner may set
     them as necessary.  (Don't be unreasonable.  :)
6.   Decide what to do if a player will be absent.  (A sub? 
     Suspend for a week?)
7.   If the Commissioner will be out of town, either suspend the
     league if the players will allow it or find a substitute.
8.   Please archive a player's win-loss record.  We're going to

     try to keep up with them.
Special Thanks to:

     David Datta    For his help setting up the ftp location.
     Bill Pemberton For the FPS:Pro ftp location.
     Tim            For his advice on interactive Net games from
                    his experience with the Links386 Tour.


Questions and Requests:
(Wanna play?  Wanna commish?  Mail one of us!)

  Front Page Sports Football Pro Edition
     Jon       famous@meadow.mdso.vf.ge.com
     Neal      npatrick@world.std.com
     Alan      pihlak@splork.fsl.noaa.gov