Creator Yu Suzuki shares the story of Shenmue's development

“The biggest challenge we encountered was project management,” Suzuki said. “By the end, we had 300 people [working] and no experience on such a large project. At the time there were no project management tools…so instead we made a job order sheet that was a list of action items in Excel. Because we kept testing, the items did not decrease. At one point we had 10,000 of them.

A good read.