Friday, January 22, 2010

World Class Leader Board Golf - 1988

An early competitor to the Link series of golf games was the Leader Board franchise, published by Access Software. This game was awesome for many reasons.

Notice the RealSound logo in the bottom right corner? That's right, this game had brilliant sounds, all coming through the PC squeaker. The ambient sound included various bird tweets, wind and trees. You could almost feel the sun on your face. Well, not really, but you get the idea. The running commentary on the game was brilliant and varied, digitised in the the same way as the ambient audio. I remember hitting a hole-in-one on hole #3, and being rewarded with overwhelming applause from the squeaker. That was the only hole-in-one I've ever scored, in real and virtual golf. :-(

The next thing you'll notice is the rendering engine at work. On my PC XT of the time, the rendering process was not double buffered, and slow enough that you could see how the scene was rendered in real time, using the painters algorithm.

First, the grass was drawn, then distant trees, and finally the close up trees and shrubs were rendered. It was not using a sprite system for the trees, as they were slowly drawn from the ground up, line by line. I'm not exactly sure, but I think the rendering engine may have been rasterising a model of the course, as it could draw the course from wherever the ball landed.

A great game, with a course editor included. Not a bad effort for 1988. Interestingly, this is the first time I've seen the game in colour; I actually played through this game in glowing tones of amber.

1 comment:

Minh said...

Oh man, I loved this game when I was a kid!! I have to admit though, I heard a lot of the commentary "I think he hit the tree Jim" which sounded more like "chimp" through my ratty speakers :)

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