Jim Walls joined the California Highway Patrol in 1971, working in the Southern California community of Van Nuys. In 1984 he was injured in a shootout during an enforcement stop, and while on administrative leave met Sierra boss Ken Williams via his wife Donna, a hair stylist who would occasionally cut Williams’ hair in a salon in Oakhurst. Williams was mulling over the idea of a Sierra adventure game about police work, and was looking for a consultant with real-world experience.
Working with Sierra, Walls would create the story for Police Quest: In Pursuit of the Death Angel, and go on to make two more games in the series, as well as the naval thriller Codename: Iceman, until leaving the company in 1991. His name would be replaced on the box by none less than former LAPD chief Daryl F. Gates in Police Quest: Open Season, released in 1993. That year Walls would consult for Tsunami Media, made up of mostly ex-Sierra people and founded by famed EA game producer Joe Ybarra (M.U.L.E., Bard’s Tale, et al.). There Walls would create Blue Force, another police procedural adventure game. He gets even more biographical with this one; the hero is Jake Ryan, motorcycle cop.
Subsequent to a couple of unsuccessful crowdfunding campaigns to launch a new IP in the vein of Police Quest titled Precinct, Walls settled into retirement. But his work on the Police Quest series, a beloved member of the Sierra adventure game most wanted, writes Jim Walls’ name into the blotter of video game history.