A day of playtesting – Gunnheim development

Written by Petri Pekkarinen

Today we had three groups of gamers at the office playtesting Gunnheim for a whole afternoon. Our good friend Heikki had organized the whole thing, big thanks to him!

Most of the players had never played Gunnheim before, which was a good thing. We kept instructions to a minimum, so the players would have to figure most of it out themselves. After we dealt with some gamebreaking bugs (they had never appeared before, of course!) the sessions carried out quite smoothly.

Give no instructions and this is what usually happens…


The main things we wanted to test were straight out of last weeks blog posts:


We want to keep the controls as simple as possible, whether your playing with a controller or a keyboard+mouse combo. The controls have seen only minor changes since the beginning, but still we got new ideas for improvement today. For example the dash controls and mechanics made especially for this build were seen unintuitive, so it is likely that they’re going to be changed back. I guess we should have gone with the old wisdom “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

All in all the controls didn’t spark much discussion, so we think they are pretty good as they are right now. Got to fix that dash though.



As we’ve repeated over the previous blog posts we want to get the feel of the game just right, especially for the gunplay. The fact that the test build only had basically two sound effects (gunshot and an activation cry for Berserker’s rage mode) the overall feeling was praised. When we add a decent sound, the mayhem should be great.

Are those smiles or grins? Gunnheim causes both.

Are those smiles or grins? Gunnheim causes both.


The greatest improvement will of course be the content. After we get the core gameplay right, meaning an appropriate learning curve, scaling difficulty with the number of players and fully intuitive controls we just need to create a lot of excellent playable content. We need levels, guns, monsters, guns, powerups, guns. Did I say guns? There were a lot of great suggestions, and we will surely make at least some of them happen!



We will analyse recordings of the test sessions thoroughly and start implementing changes based on the feedback soon. In the meantime here are some quick picks from the long but fun afternoon:

  • Needs powerups. – Working on it!
  • More levels. Bigger levels – You got it!
  • Statistics after a level (kills, accuracy, friendly fire damage etc.)
  • Air strikes. Of course.
  • Simplistic but informative HUD
  • Enemies and player characters should stand out more from the environment
  • Environment should be more alive: weather effects, animated obstacles etc…
  • Combo kills and streak bonuses

Good stuff to work with, definitely.

Good old local co-op!

Good old local co-op!



Rich feedback is a game developer’s best friend. We got a lot to go with. These lines will also be remembered when we continue working on the game:

“Needs more detaching limbs. More gore!”

“Oh, I can shoot my friends? Hah!”

“Classical music would make an interesting soundtrack…”

“Damn that felt good.”


Until tomorrow,