Check out Bitsmiths exciting Kickstarter bid:

FranknJohn is a roguelike smash’em up set in a fun-house full of B-movie horrors. Young FranknJohn is a failed experiment of a deranged scientist, Dr Harmin. He wakes, with no memory, bursting from his grave, with a head that can only stay on his body with the help of a chain. FranknJohn is far from helpless however, as his flaw becomes his strength – he can swing his head wildly round to smash away the plethora of strange creatures that roam the mansion. Discover and experiment with hundreds of unique Skullcaps, which change up gameplay in interesting and sometimes unpredictable ways.



FranknJohn has been in development since May 2013. The team brought an early protoype to GDC13 which provided them with a platform to continue developing the game. The game was inspired by Paul’s memory of being a lonely, vulnerable child in a strange world, where he kicked and scrapped his way through it until it made sense. The sense of detachment when growing up as you figure out who you are is something that will resonate with most people. Recapturing that same sense of growth and discovery in FranknJohn is the aim.

The game in it’s early state has been to the Eurogamer and Rezzed Expos and exposed to thousands of people. Ben Prunty, of FTL fame, has signed up to record the full soundtrack.

The future

A decision they took early on with FranknJohn, was to open up it’s development to the community. They are live-streaming large chunks of it’s development and hope to engage with their players on an open, honest and intimate level.

Instead of banging their heads off a wall trying to solve design problems, creating a forum and discussion with their players could in turn help solve these problems. With the core systems almost in place, the team will soon move into content creation.


  • Fling FranknJohn’s chained head around with full 360° control
  • Experiment with dozens of Skullcaps that alter gameplay in many different ways
  • Randomly generated sprawling levels packed with items, collectables and secrets
  • Swappable body parts allow you customize your stats to your playstyle
  • Original Soundtrack by the wonderful Ben Prunty
  • Battle through themed levels and piece together the dark history of its occupants
  • Perma-death, challenging enemies and powerful bosses will keep you on your toes.

Mansion Cover Poster_flattened2_1080