Status: No Download, Findability: 3/5


A new addition to GTW by Gremlin Graphics, which was never heard about until now. Pete Dabbs has brought to our attention a game called Flonk, where you control a green mutant frog like creature, similar to that of Gribbly.

The game was set in a 64 x 64 x 64 cube and consisted of “Lilly” type pads spread in front of the players. The players would hop around on a pseudo-3D rotatable world made up of these lily pads and you would have to bounce around on these pads while avoiding traps and nasties, and creating bridges to get around. To kill enemies, you had some kind of limited weapon (Not clear what it was).

The game was split vertically into two screens for a two player mode, where you could chase each other to frag each other whilst avoiding the puzzle elements in the game.

This is currently all we know about the game itself, though Pete, Paul and Richie all give excellent details about the game which you can read in Creators Speak. Pete informs GTW that the game would have been really good had it been finished. It was being developed by none other than Esprit Software, and was designed by one of the Sharla developers Paul Crawley.

The game was being developed for Gremlin, and when Paul and Ritchie went to work at Gremlin, supposedly to finish off Flonk, they were then moved onto other projects, and Flonk never got finished as a result.

The possiblity of finding the game is there, with chance that Richie might be able to find some disks – but the PC based ones had deterioated when checked. Paul moved to the US in 1996 and feels he very likely has nothing of the game any longer.

Pete himself did actually find a build of the game, but a very early build – which you can view on YouTube. It is hoped that we will be able to add something of the game soon to the site, but possibly a later version with characters in place too. At this stage, this is an early technical demo.

Finger crossed, we might actually see something of this title one day!

Contributions: Pete Dabbs, Paul Crawley, Ritchie Brannan

Supporting content

Creator speaks

Pete Dabbs, Paul Crawley and Ritchie Brannan speak about work on Flonk…

Pete Dabbs:

“Flonk was kind of a weird game but would have been really good if it was ever published. It was being coded by Paul Crawley and Ritchie Brannan at Esprit for Gremlin. Then those two guys went to work at Gremlin supposedly to finish Flonk but when they got there they were moved onto something else and Flonk never got finished.

The main character looked a bit like Gribbly and hopped around on a rotatable 3d world made of sort of lilly pads (yes, sounds crazy) getting smaller into the distance (not sure if the levels were round or not) it was a kind of fish-eye lens view. You bounced around on these pads (the world scrolled, well, the pads moved around) and some were traps and would disappear or you could create new ones to make bridges.

Nasties would hop around on the pads too. Some of the pads were missing making it harder to navigate and there were certain weapons/pickups which could be used to make new pads or destroy existing ones. The world didn’t use a 3d engine, it was pre calculated (on the c64, which took days) to make all the possible combinations of pads when moving forwards/backwards or rotating, then they were either drawn or not when building the screen. It all looked quite impressive for a c64, like I say it’s a shame it was never released. Overall think along the lines of bounder/rebounder/trailblazer but on pads not blocks and rotatable in 3d, with weapons.

It was actually a pretty cool game and was started at ESP then the coder left and went to work for Gremlin, I think ESP kinda owed Gremlin one and allowed the game to go with him but it never got finished Sad.

It’s possible I may be able to get hold of Ritchie although I’ve got no idea if he would have his c64 disks still. I’m about to get a c64/1541 again and I’ve got all my old disks but I’m not sure if I ever took home any of the game code. I’ll let you know if I find anything or if I’m able to get hold of Ritchie.”

Ritchie Brannan:

“Yes, I did work on Flonk for the C64 and Atari ST. It is possible (but not particularly probable) that some of the source code/data exists on one of my old PCs. I know I did check the original floppies a few years back and they had degraded, but it is possible they got backed up.

Flonk was an interesting title, but never really had a clear direction. Split screen pseudo-3D on both platforms. I’ll try to find some time to give a longer description of what it was and how it morphed from C64 to Atari ST.

I’m just in the process of moving back to the UK, once I’m back I’ll see if I can find any remains but I would have very low expectations at this point. ”

Paul Crawley:

“I can shed quite a bit of light on it I designed most of it, the game was set in a 64x64x64 cube and consisted of “Lilly” type pads spread in front of the players (i say players as it was a PvP or PvC game).

The screen was split vertically and in front of each player was the “game grid”, you character (you had 4 to choose from) bounced forward and the entire view moved toward the player to signal the move, you could also rotate in 8 directions, yes we did diagonal movement! As the players moved around they would pick up bonuses avoid traps and basically try to chase each other and frag them.

Holes in the floor allowed for the down transition and spring pads would move you up a level. The idea was to out frag your opponent while surviving the puzzle elements.

What made the game so exciting to work on was the smooth graphical interface even when falling or springing the whole level moved vertically and in perspective to complete the transition. So to conclude, you would be looking at a vertically split screen, your character standing on the center pad in front of you, if you turned left the whole game grid would transition smoothly to the next view and perspective was maintained. as you moved forward the character would launch into the air, the game grid would smoothly move toward the screen and come to a stop as the character lands once more.

I moved to the states in 1996 and didn’t bring any of my old life with me so i have nothing from those old days, as soon and myself and Ritchie went to work for Gremlin Graphics, they put us on the Atari ST version and were going to shelve the C64 version which was almost complete and would only require graphic reworks and about a months worth of code writing. “

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