Police Quest 1 History
My name is Jim Walls, designer of the first three Police Quest series.
I would like to write a bit about how Ken Williams and I met, and how Police Quest was born.
The year was 1985 in Oakhurst CA, home of Sierra On-Line. I lived a few miles south of Oakhurst near a small foothill town by the name of Coarsegold. I was off duty from the California Highway Patrol on what is called 4800 time. When an officer is on 4800 time, he/she is taken off active duty for a period of time due to a particular condition. It can be caused by physical or psychological injury. Sometime the evaluation may be due to serious illness. Anyway, the department uses the 4800 time to evaluate those conditions and make a recommendation. My reason for being on 4800 time was due to conditions arising from a shootout I was involved in a year earlier in Jan. 1984.
During this time of evaluation, I didn’t have much to do outside of a bunch of honeydews, a little golf and handball. My wife was a beautician in those years and had her business in Oakhurst near Sierra On-Line. One day Ken Williams stopped by my wife’s shop for a haircut. Somehow, during their conversation, my name popped up. As the conversation continued, Ken told my wife he had been thinking of doing an adventure game series with a police theme and wanted a cop to be involved. Since Ken had a racquet ball court in his home, and learned that I liked playing handball, he invited me to his home for a few games.
After a few games of racquet ball, in which I was handed an old fashion country butt kicking, I learned that racquet ball was a way faster game than handball. Anyway, after Ken wore me out, we retired to his game room for a couple beers and conversation.
Mind you, I knew nothing about computers or computer games. However, after Ken thoroughly confused me by explaining everything to me, he asked if I thought I could write about my experiences and put it in story form. I told him that I would give it my best shot, and the rest is history.