Vlambeer impressed the indie gaming world with its top-down roguelike Nuclear Throne after releasing the game back in December 2015. Beforehand, Nuclear Throne was already scoring fans in Steam Early Access, with builds for sale as far back as October. 2013. And now, over four years after the game first hit Steam, Vlambeer has brought the game’s post-release updates to a close with Update 99.
The patch, which went live yesterday, features bugfixes, performance improvements, and gameplay tweaks that enhance the title’s quality of life. Vlambeer’s Rami Ismail says that players “shouldn’t expect new content” from the update, but rather that the game “performs significantly better” and “is easier to mod” for fans interested in tinkering with Nuclear Throne’s programming in the near (and not-so-near) future.
“We’ve hired YellowAfterlife (the creator of the ‘Nuclear Throne Together’ mod) and worked closely with community members and feedback to create an update 99 that is worthy of the wait,” Ismail wrote on Steam in a pre-release announcement post. “We are eternally thankful for your patience, and your sense of enthusiasm and community for the game.”
Why the long wait for the update? Vlambeer felt burnt out after Nuclear Throne, with the game’s release particularly rough on the crew. After the game finally went live, the team had to take a break to catch their breath.
“Nuclear Throne took a lot out of us, and when we finally released the current U98 over a year and a half ago, we were all entirely exhausted,” Ismail said.
Even though Nuclear Throne was a pain to release, don’t expect Vlambeer to go away. In an AMA hosted on Reddit’s r/nuclearthrone, both Ismail and Vlambeer game designer Jan Willem Nijman stressed that they would return to smaller releases in the near future. So right now, Vlambeer is prototyping games, with nothing set in stone quite yet for a new release.
“We’re prototyping some new stuff—some of it is exciting, some of it is totally not,” Ismail told one fan on Reddit. “It’ll take some time for us to find something we really want to focus on, but in the meanwhile, it’s fun to be back to creative work.”
Nuclear Throne is available for PC, Mac, Linux, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation Vita. Update 99 is currently available for PC, Mac, and Linux players.