While Alan Laird is hardly a household name amongst gamers, for any gamer of 1980s vintage, especially those in the UK, his work needs no introduction. Learning the ropes on the ZX81 he found his niche in driving games on the Sinclair Spectrum computer where he found himself promoted through the ranks from the home grown Nightmare Rally, then onto the licensed arcade conversions of Enduro Racer and, probably most notably, the OutRun series of arcade conversion.
Squeezing every ounce of power out of the Spectrum's Z80 processor and cramming an equally impressive volume of graphics into its 48KB of RAM, Laird's Spectrum rendition of Outrun was, while startlingly monochromatic compared to its arcade original, immediately recognisable. He went on to produce the sequels, OutRun Turbo and OutRun Europa - all of this while studying for a Computer Science degree.
Laird departed the gaming scene, completed his degree and moved into commercial programming. Working for Baring Securities and later Merrill Lynch in Tokyo, Alan now works on stock trading systems.
Alan Laird's first video game work that SPOnG is aware of is the 1984 title, "Beach Head II" (Spectrum 48K) as Programmer.
Alan's most recent involvement was as Programmer on the 1991 release "OutRun Europa" (Spectrum 48K).
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