Category Archives: Sierra

Jim Walls Walks the Beat With Police Quest

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.

blue-force-1993

Blue Force by Tsunami, 1993

 

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.

For more information of the history of Sierra, consult your local Dot Eaters entry.

This article was originally posted to TDE on Jul 30, 2015.

Jim Walls Walks the Beat

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.

blue-force-1993

Blue Force by Tsunami, 1993

 

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.

For more information of the history of Sierra, consult your local Dot Eaters entry.

 

More on the Two Guys From Andromeda project

Gamasutra has a great article on how Scott Murphy and Mark Crowe, creators of the venerable Space Quest adventure game series during the heydays of Sierra, managed to bury the hatchet and end a 20-year estrangement to work together on the new Kickstarter project that you can help fund.

As always, you can read about the history of Space Quest and Sierra in our Dot Eaters article here.

Image from a Space Quest computer game by Sierra

Two Guys From Andromeda, Together Again

Coming down the ether, otherwise known as Kotaku, comes word that The Two Guys From Andromeda, aka Mark Crowe and Scott Murphy, are setting up shop to produce a new space-themed adventure game.  They have a pretty good pedigree for this sort of thing, as they were the creators of the original Space Quest graphical adventure games for Sierra.  The SQ games were truly hilarious, spiritual successors of  the SF comedy Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy books by Douglas Adams, and lampooning a wide spectrum of popular culture.

It’s especially surprising to see Murphy back in the game, so to speak, considering his little-hidden distaste for the industry that chewed him up and spit him out after the 6th and final Space Quest game, Roger Wilco in The Spinal Frontier, released in 1995.

Details are sketchy at this point, but it does appear that things are pulling together, and the GuysFromAndromeda company is currently hiring talent.  Whether or not the boys are putting together another Space Quest game or some other (ad)venture, one can be assured the laughter will be heard from one end of the galaxy to the other.

For more information on Space Quest and other classic Sierra games, consult your local Dot Eaters article.

King’s Quest III Redux Released

The gang at AGD Interactive have taken it upon themselves to remake several classic Sierra-Online adventures, and have just released their makeover of King’s Quest III: To Heir is Human, originally released by Sierra in 1986.  The game graphics aren’t completely modernized to today’s standards, but are a nice SVGA overhaul.  The addition of a point-and-click interface, as opposed to the original’s text parser, is also greatly appreciated.

It also retains the original’s epic story of a royal baby stolen and a quest to regain a rightful place on the throne.  It was with KQIII that the storytelling powers of creator Roberta Williams really began to come into full blossom.

At a grand total of free, the price can’t be beat. Available for the PC and Mac.