Police Quest III: The Kindred

Making of

(from the Police Quest 3 hintbook)

Compared to today's creation of light-and-sound extravanganzas, making an adventure game eight years ago was trivial. Aprogrammer and an artist, doubling as game designers and directors, could throw a game together in a few months. Back then, games were small, graphics were crude and less colorful, and the music was little more than a collection of irritating beeps and clicks. Today,, with sophisticated digitized VGA graphics, music support for a long list of sound cards, and increasingly complex game designs, bringing a computer game to life has become a big-time operation involving dozens of artists, programmers, musicians and writers.

As art designer of the game Mark Crowe set the look and feel of Police Quest 3's realistic graphic design. Consulting with Jim Walls and assistant art director, Jon Bock, he created the realistic, hard-edged scenes in the game. An extensive video capturing process called rotoscoping was used to plce the actors (many were Sierra employees, as well as local police, fire and medical staff) into the game. This technique was used to also add the realistic props used in the game. these images were then digitized into the computer, where they were artistically enhanced to fit into the look of the game. The computer-enhanced characters were then placed on top of our hand-painted digitized backdrops. Finally, a series of hand-drawn animation scenes, such as the scene with the police dogs, added the finishing touches.

For the music of Police Quest 3, Jim Walls and Mark Seibert signed the world-renowned musician and composer, Jan Hammer, to compose the main theme for the game. One of Jan Hammer's most interesting credits include the television soundtrack of "Miami Vice". (Many of us here left the game playing on our computers just to listen to this suspenseful soundtrack). Sierra's Mark Seibert and Rob Atesalp also created additional sound effects and themes further adding to the authenticity of the game.

Police Quest 3 is sierra's most technologically advanced game to date. Video-captured human actors with life-like action sequences, hand-painted, digitized graphics, and realistic sound effects help create the reality of a gritty world of crime and corruption. the challenge was to create life-like realism depicting the city of Lytton and all its characters. After completion of the design, Police Quest 3 was a project that took ten months to complete.