Postmortem: Minds Eye's Sheep

Make a simple, addictive, old-school game, based on herding. To this add the notion that, although the graphics were to be of light, fluffy animals, the situations would be where you find humans behaving in the dumbest, sheep-like manner. Additionally, it would be a sprite-based, god's-eye-view game that could be played on a 486 PC with a 2MB 2D graphics card. Minds Eye had a concept that would sell to both sexes, be played by all ages, and be banned in no countries. Had they found the gaming Holy Grail? Andrew Evans recounts the trials and tribulations the Sheep team faced to bring this game to the shelves.

(Editor's Note: It is not the policy of Gamasutra to remove features unless they contain untrue or inaccurate statements. While Andy Evans' Sheep Postmortem contained no factual errors, it has been removed at the request of the author. Andy explains his decision in the following letter.)

I, Andy Evans (the author) have asked for the Sheep Postmortem to be removed.

This document was posted for games makers to learn from our mistakes on a single project, not for people to judge the entire company. This Postmortem deals with the one and only project from Minds Eyes that went over budget or deadline.

My glib remark "not everything went wrong: O.K. it did" was meant to be humorous. For every one thing that went wrong, ten things went right. You should learn from your own (and our) mistakes. That is why I listed the mistakes in such detail and glossed over the successes.

Sheep is in the past. Both Minds Eye and I have moved on. The document was in no way intended to reflect on any other project that was running concurrently with, or since, Sheep.
As stated in the document, until the project for which I was the producer started, Minds Eye had a prefect record for delivery, quality and budget. It may be of interest to note that the three other projects running concurrently with Sheep all finished on time, on budget, and to the client's satisfaction and Minds Eye have not missed since.

I would like it to be known that Minds Eye have an excellent crew. I would like it to be known that Sheep was originally a "little" game for us to cut our teeth on. It caught the imagination of everyone who saw it. It became big. I made the statement that new people should not be put in mission critical positions. When Sheep was small it was not a mission critical game. The use of new people was valid.

The document in no way reflects the current situation at Minds Eye.

An apology: Also note that through a bad choice in phrasing I may have inadvertently slandered our publishers. It may have looked like I accused them of not paying the final balance on the game. This is not true and I take full responsibility for the error and I apologize completely and unreservedly for any offense I have caused. Minds Eye was paid in full and as per the game contract.

I say again. LEARN - DO NOT JUDGE.


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