American Laser Games (Digital Leisure)
American Laser Games was founded by Robert Grebe in the late 1980's. He originally started a company called I.C.A.T., which was a police training video game that gave police officers a realistic scenario. The major difference in these games over the "ALG" games was the training officer could change the "dangerous situation" at will on a standard IBM computer. The officer in training could not memorize the situation either. Real guns were used but retrofitted with laser light-emitting diodes instead of bullets.
When American Laser Games started building arcade shooting games, they used the same technology from I.C.A.T., but changed the computer from an IBM to an Amiga 500. This computer provided video graphic overlay for the scores, record keeping, laser disc player control, and "gun shot splotches" on the screen.
The game player was faced with several scenarios, including good guys, bad guys, and hostage situations. The game player had to decide whether or not to shoot, and at whom. If the player killed an innocent person or shot a bad guy too late, he would lose a life. Each disc had several scenarios for all of the characters. Included in these scenarios were the bad guy shooting the player, the bad guy getting shot, the player shooting the hostage, or maybe even the bad guy killing the hostage. The player needed to have quick reflexes to make it to the end of the game.
All nine games were filmed on location in New Mexico and Chicago. Once filming was complete, it was then edited and transferred to laser disc. ALG designed a RAM/ROM software board that could attach to the Amiga 500 computer. This board provided the game software that controlled the Sony LDP-1450 laser disc player. The hardware was the same for all nine games with the exception of the RAM/ROM board and the laser disc. The guns used in all of the games were aluminum casting with a photo-optic diode. When the trigger was pressed, the computer whitened the screen for an instant to allow the diode to detect a particular pixel on the screen. This action registered a "splotch" on the screen for the game player to see. It also told the computer to make the laser disc player scan to the correct scene (either the game player getting shot or the bad guy getting shot).