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Published on Nov 28, 2011
This is a direct copy of the laserdisc footage I archived several years ago, for Atari's unreleased Golf Trainer arcade game. This was a golf simulator where you would hit actual golf balls into a projection screen. Sensors would measure you swing, where the ball hit the screen, etc., and would calculate and project the ball on the screen onto the real course from the laser disc footage.
Ken Van Mersbergen has the source code for this game, so should he ever decide to compile and release the ROMS for it, it might be possible to actually play it.
From Owen Rubin:
I was sent to graduate classes at MIT by Atari to study laser disc technology. I spent two summer sessions at MIT in 77 and 78 (or maybe 78 and 79) in the Architecture Machine Group (later to become the Media Lab), and basically came back to Atari and suggested that we did NOT do any laserdisc games. Bottom line, the technology would not survive the arcade environment, was slow and unreliable, and was very expensive for what you really got out of it. And I was right, but we started several games anyway. One was the turd Firefox. I actually did not make that game, I just did some work on it to help the team out. Another one was Road Runner which was GREAT, and WAS tested in an arcade, and then redesigned to not have the laserdisc because it kept failing. Then we started Battlestar Galactica, for which an early laserdisc was made but not much else, and a preliminary test for Knight Rider, but nothing that was shipped. I also worked on a Golf Simulator game where you actually hit real golf balls at a projection screen and the ball was projected the rest of the way. We recorded thousands of pictures of the Los Gatos golf course on a laserdisc. When you started, we would project the view from the tee. You would hit a real ball with a real club, we has sensors that measured your swing, your weight balance, and where the ball hit the screen and we would calculate and project the ball on the screen onto the real course. After each shot, you could get a lesson from a Pro on something the system analyzed you might have done wrong, we measured so many things, and had about 200 lessons from golf pros. A graphic top down view would display where you shot went, and then we would display the next view. It had silly things like going into water hazard footage as well. The game was never shipped or completed.