Your gangsters start the game with no weapons. You need to purchase the weapons from the "Weapons Market" then go to the "Gang Manager" window where you can drag+drop unused items into your gangster's inventory.
There are some problems with this, it's rather hard to find to find a certain gangster, and give him a gun, you need to scroll through your Gang Member list, the whole thing just takes too long.
In earlier tests, all your gangsters started with an AK-47...that produced some great gameplay...it was a ton of fun. Having to buy the guns, and drag them into your gangster's inventory seemed to remove that element...which is a shame.
It's still possible to have huge gun fights, you just need to be fast getting weapons to your gangsters before you get attacked. Also it's rather tedious to have to give EVERY gangster a gun, after the 20th time, it gets old lol.
If they don't have a weapon they'll just use the punch attack, which is the weakest attack in the game. Also they're totally defenseless against enemy gangsters with guns.
Here's a screenshot of the melee combat:
There are some ways to fix the problems above...for instance I could make an "Auto assign" weapons feature that would automatically pair your best gangster with the best gun for them that you have in your unused item inventory.
And that stuff is only a problem on a small map with 6 gangs, when you will probably be attacked in the first minute. If you do a medium/large map and only play with 2-3 gangs you have plenty of time to buy guns and give them to your gangsters before you'll encounter an enemy.
These are the weapons that I had in the IGF version I sent out:
I'm going to have close to 30 weapons and 50+ Items in the game that you can buy and give to your gangsters. Right now I've got things like cell phones, kevlar vests, briefcases (to conceal money/drugs/guns), etc. in addition to the weapons.
Yea I've been playing the game a lot, not working on it...I really enjoy it even at this simple state, I hope the IGF judges do too!