Vikings with guns. Emphasis on guns – Gunnheim development

Written by Petri Pekkarinen

This is the third blog post since our little announcement last week. 3/3 days so far. What a streak!

If you read the previous posts you know that we’ve been cutting down on features, putting things on hold and started to focus all our efforts on the core features of Gunnheim. So what is it then that makes or breaks the game? For the next couple of days I’ll sort out the main things that our team wants to create and deliver in Gunnheim’s gameplay. This post will cover one of the things we have lately been focusing on: shooting.


In Gunnheim you play as a viking. A viking with a gun. Starting from the very first moments of the game until the end of the last fight you are probably spending the whole time shooting. This means the gunplay has to be near perfect. Everything related to shooting has to feel good. After getting the controls right we have now been spending our days with tweaking and testing different stuff related to the shooting. The basic things are of course the guns’ rate of fire, spread, range, projectile damage, ricocheting etc. But there are also things like enemies’ reaction to getting hit, not just by how their AI reacts but also if they should slow down, be knocked back or merely be twitching in pain. That is just one of the things that make all the difference whether you can fully experience the power of your actions (in this case pulling the trigger) or not.


Early WIP screen capture of Berserker and his trusty Wolfsmiter

Early WIP screenshot of Berserker and his trusty Wolfsmiter



Every time your viking shoots out a hail of bullets from his Wolfsmiter you should feel confident that any small enemies will be instantly ripped to pieces and also the bigger ones will respect the threat. A lot of the feel behind a powerful weapon comes from a succesfull kill: blood splattering and body parts flying from the sheer force of the projectile(s). Of course any hit that doesn’t result in a dead monster should also be satisfactory. You know you’re causing damage when you see a splash of blood followed by a painful groan as the creature recovers from the hit.

Early gameplay trailers and of course the previous playable version have been very gory. But the last few days at the office have shown that Gunnheim indeed has a lot more of that coming. Our main goal is still to get the shooting itself feel receptive and enjoyable, but a messy aftermath is a real cherry on top.


This is serious work.



Oh, friendly fire. There is a fine line whether it is loads of fun or just a pain in the ass. In our test sessions we’ve experienced plenty of both. With it’s current limited difficulty factors the game should of course be most challenging when played solo but friendly fire has somewhat balanced this. More players mean more chaos which in turn leads to accidental friendly fire deaths. Usually that also causes hilarious moments where a level nearly finished turns into an embarrassing loss. Although then you also get to punch a friend (if you’re playing locally, which you usually should.) So we have decided to keep friendly fire in game, and we have now been tweaking it to minimize frustration and maximize fun accidents (accidental knockback + bottomless pits = good stuff). Our vikings with guns will continue to be a danger to each other.



The final version may have several different characters and dozens of guns, but for now we’re going with one character and one weapon. It is easier to get the look and feel right without having to think about too many different variables. We already have a long list of crazy ideas for maximum mayhem, but we will gladly accept your wacky concepts for any death-dealing devices suitable for the Gunnheim heroes!

(You can still check out some of our early testing on Sniper and Grenadier from this reddit post.)

Ideas for different weapons and powerups actually deserve their own blog post. So stay tuned for tomorrow!