The key idea in Gunsmith was to try and develop a game concept in which your progression doesn't depend on the classic systems of looting and crafting.
Instead, in this top-down twin-stick shooter, the order in which you defeat your enemies, and also how many of them, determines which weapon you will get next.
This means you have so called 'recipes' and the 'ingredients' are the enemies you shoot. The enemies stand for certain properties of the weapons, for example yellow = firerate, blue = weight, red = damage. With that logic, it is easy to understand that defeating many yellow enemies gives you a machine pistol and defeating many blue and red ones a sniper rifle.
When your ammunition for your current weapon is empty, the game switches to the next weapon you unlocked by defeating enemies. If you don't have one because you didn't best enough enemies, you die.
Because your ammo is also your health. Every hit from an enemy depletes one of your bullets, which in turn hinders your ability to get a better weapon.
We developed Gunsmith as part of a course in university. The goal was to think of, prototype and test a unique game mechanic, and that's what we did.
Sadly, Gunsmith never got over the proof-of-concept prototype you can see in the screenshots. But that's ok. We tested the game mechanic and found it felt not that fun for us or our playtesters, at least in it's current form.
But we had a lot of fun prototyping the game in Unity and having a hand at creating the pixel art sprites and trying out the level editor LDTK. (Definitly check that one out, it's a great level editor for 2D games by the guy who made Dead Cells!)
Also our iterative design approach from NightShifter and Industree came in handy again, as we first focused on getting the most important parts of the game - the recipe crafting via shooting - ready before moving to stuff like the character controller. So at the beginning it was a whack-a-mole style shooting game à la Moorhuhn, without a player character.