Shoe People was a departure for Gremlin. They wanted to branch out into Educational Games and launched the “First Class” label for this purpose. Disappointing sales meant it was there one and only foray into Educational software. One of the problems was the game came on two disks which pushed up production costs.
Martin Fowler was the lead developer on the Amiga and ST version with Tony Reeves heading the conversions to 8-bit home computers. Phil Rankin ported the PC version, and Damian Hibbard contributed with printer routines for the Amiga.
Martin Fowler recalls the development, “Close to the end of development I was asked if I can could fit it onto one disk. The size had grown dramatically mostly down to the big and colourful animations. I explained that it was tight on two discs despite using a very efficient compression algorithm written, so I was told, by Fungus The Bogeyman. I offered to try but explained that it would require fundamental change that would push release back at least two months with no guarantees at the end. Development had already taken longer than anticipated and reviews etc were booked so the plan was abandoned. Perhaps they might have chanced a second product if the two disc production costs hadn’t been so high. I worked for Eurporess on Fun School 6 after I finished university. Europress had specialised in Educational games for quite a while. When I saw Fun School 4, the comtemporary release to Shoe People, I thought the Shoe People was a superior product.”
The slides are from Martin’s own collection of promotional images that were used to promote the game.
The “Daddy” picture was drawn by Tony Reeves; the programmer of all the 8-bit versions.