Once a surprise finding on the personal disks of Cory Kin. Make My Day is a diagonal scrolling western game which was being produced by Compunet user “Gem“, who was in touch with Cory at the time and sent through a demo of his up coming game for him to check out. The preview was originally added around 2015 on GTW.
After a bit of a mystery as to who the game was by and intended for, Gem was found to be none other than Mark Clements. Mark is most famous for creating music for games such as Heatseeker and Summer + Winter Camp, but he also did a spot of programming too – including Championship Jet Ski Simulator for Codemasters in 1988/89.
Make My Day was to be his first commercial game release with his school friend Jonathan Strudwick and his brother Neil Strudwick. Both Jon and Neil came up with the idea of doing a game back in 1986, with Mark doing the coding work and them providing the graphics and design. For Mark, it was a troublesome project, as he’d only previously done CompuNet demos and small games before this – so the development went on for ages.
The game was pretty good for a first attempt, with some reasonable and functional graphics throughout. The game play was a little on the simple side, and controls were a bit clunky – which Mark admits to in hindsight. However, there were far worse titles out there. Essentially you just need to get to the end of each level map, shooting various baddies and avoiding obstacles in your path. If you get to the end of a populated town, you then must have a face off duel against a baddie to proceed to the next level. It was essentially almost like a diagonal scrolling Outlaws (old Ultimate game that was releasd around a few years before).
The title was eventually completed and it seems was sold to Power House around early 1988. However, the game would never see release for reasons which are currently unknown. It is believed that Power House had gone under, meaning that Make My Day was caught up in the collapse. It is unknown if the game was offered to anyone else, but it is likely to have been Power House’s property once it was sold to them, so they may not have been able to do anything with it afterwards. A shame that even a magazine covermount couldn’t have had it.
For years, the full game has been locked away, and it wasn’t until Mark came forward on SeasickSteveOre’s YouTube video of the preview, posting on the comments that he had made on the game and confirming about the title.
What was exciting was that Mark confirmed that he still had the full game, but additionally that Matt Gray had composed some music for the game. Mark very kindly sent the disk over to GTW, and we can now proudly present the final full game that was intended for release by Power House back in 1988. It is indeed also complete with a new Matt Gray tune that hasn’t been heard probably for over 30 years.
We hope you enjoy it, and a big thank you to Mark for digging out the game for us to add to the archive!
Contributions: Vinny Mainolfi, Martin Pugh, Dan Warren, Mark Clements
Mark Clements recalls details about Make My Day:
“So the history of that game was this:
I was at school with a friend Jonathan and we were both computer nerds. Jon was a great artist and went on to study graphic design. His brother worked in computer graphics for Firebird and later moved to the US and worked for EA for years.
When I left school (’86) they came up with the idea to make a game, me coding and them providing graphics. The development was hell as I’d only done Cnet demos and small games prior to this, it went on for ages.
I never really liked the design of the game, it felt stiff and not very dynamic (fun).
When it was done I was glad to see the back of it.
I barely remember now the crazy joystick moves required to draw and shoot at the baddie at the end. Something like Down/Fire/Up/Fire. Also, some of my audio and visual effects were straight out of a Jeff Minter game and not exactly appropriate for a Western!”
- 29/06/20 – Full game added!
- 17/06/20 – Developer confirmed and news that the game was complete!