We're finally allowed to announce what we've all been so ridiculously busy with - we have just launched Nuclear Throne on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita at the PlayStation Experience in San Francisco. The entire team is here, and we hope to be able to do a livestream somewhere later today, if we can find a place with good internet. Keep track of our Twitter (@Vlambeer) to see if that works out!
That means we're also changing the status of Nuclear Throne on Steam to 'released'. As we promised, the game will launch at a pricepoint of $11,99 without any discount or sales, continuing our stance of not discounting the game during Early Access. We also want to emphasize that this release doesn't mean that no more updates will happen. It's a formality we had to get out of the way, and we're aware of the issues and problems on PC. We're working to fix those.
Much of the work that we did on the PlayStation version also indirectly benefits the PC version, like performance optimalisations and improved controller support. Sadly, every time we pushed an update for PC, something would've just broken. We're going to solve those issues as soon as we can, and although 96 was supposed to launch this past week, it seems that now PlayStation's pressure is out of the week, early next week is super doable.
I've been writing a small press release, but halfway through I realized I wrote it as if I was writing an announcement post to you all. So instead of sending this as a press release, I'm posting it here with some minor tweaks.
Today, we're celebrating the launch of Nuclear Throne - a game that has been in Early Access on Steam for the past two and a half years, enjoying 95 weekly updates and two development livestreams a week. It has, to date, sold over 150,000 copies on PC, Mac and Linux. During its development, you've directly helped popularize the idea of livestreaming commercial game development on livestreaming service Twitch (which has since introduced a ‘creative’ subcategory), and Nuclear Throne became the first game ever available for sale through subscription to a channel on the service.
During the interviews we've been having for launch, the one thing that kept coming up was how Nuclear Throne is well-regarded for its supportive community, and your constructive, considerate and helpful attitude. Not only did you create a lively forum, you also hosted expanded leaderboards, weekly contests, a fan-Wiki and even weekly update videos for the game. Before the game reached this ‘launch’, Nuclear Throne had a fan-organized world championship and unofficial mods. Without the community, we wouldn’t have been able to make the game into what it is today.
We’re also extremely proud of what we’ve achieved with the game itself. Nuclear Throne’s unique blend of fast action and roguelike gameplay has already coined the term ‘Thronelikes’ – games like Enter The Gungeon and Downwell have taken inspiration from the game and made beautiful new games that we love to play. We introduced the idea of ‘Weeklies’, a subversive variant of daily shared challenges that are infinitely replayable for practice during the weekend. Most of all, we’re proud of the gameplay, the world and our mutant heroes and foes: we’ll miss Fish and Crystal and the rest of the mutants.
It’s going to be really strange to wrap up on Nuclear Throne. For the past 33 months, every week for the two of us at Vlambeer and the four freelancers we worked with, we’ve had a very consistent schedule. On Monday, we read feedback and made a plan, on Tuesday we’d livestream, on Wednesday, we’d work, on Thursday we’d livestream, on Friday we’d wrap up, on Saturday we’d release an update and we’d hotfix the build or sleep on Sunday. We’d absorb the feedback and community enthusiasm and immediately repeat the cycle. We’ve become good friends with many people in the community, and we hope that they’ll stick around for the future.
For us, life will feel strangely empty for a while without that constant loop at the top of our mind. It’s a very bittersweet moment, and we hope we’ve done the community proud. They have given us a lot, and we hope we’ve repaid their trust and time and patience.
As for what’s next for Vlambeer, it’s hard to tell right this moment. We’re going to support Nuclear Throne for a bit, as we’d like to see how the game performs on PlayStation platforms, and see if there are any outstanding issues on the PC version. We also feel like we should take a break and revisit our earlier projects and see if they require some polish, touchups, updates or re-releases. Nuclear Throne was by far our biggest and most intensive project, but our goal was never to make ‘bigger’ games. Our goal is to make better games. We’ve learned a lot making our first roguelike, the first game we’ve made with the sheer scope and size of Nuclear Throne, and we’re eager to find out how that new knowledge applies to future –probably somewhat smaller- projects for the foreseeable future.
As for the team, it’ll eventually be splitting up again. Vlambeer always works with friends and freelancers beyond our two core team members. Paul Veer, the artist who is entirely responsible for the visual style of Nuclear Throne, is going to work on some of his own exciting projects. Joonas Turner, our SFX designer responsible for the explosions and other less important sounds in the game, is already swamped with a dozen new projects. Jukio Kallio, the amazingly talented musician responsible for the soundtrack of Nuclear Throne, will be releasing the Nuclear Throne OST in the nearby future. Finally, promo artist Justin Chan will be continuing studying art. As for me, I’ll be keeping track of Nuclear Throne’s community and working on addressing any issues the influx of new players might bring. For what it’s worth, Vlambeer designer J.W. has already been pitching new game ideas.
For now, we’re going to take a nap, and then back to work. We'll chat to you soon.
It's been a while, and we apologize for that. There was no way we were going to finish this update in a week, so instead we took our time and tackled some long-overdue isues. This update is going to be a rough one, so strap in. We're really getting close to wrapping up, and port of that was rewriting a lot of code from the ground up. We've redone most of the leaderboard, rendering and collision code, changed to a new way of creating the executables that'll perform better on low-to-mid-end computers, and we've added a ton of features.
We've also, very likely, broken the game in dozens of ways. Over the past few weeks, we've worked with many of you in our community to fix as many bugs as possible, but it's time to throw the build out there and get numbers instead of focused feedback.
With this update comes a bunch of new stuff. You can now set your keyboard controls in the options menu (since you've all got a save game, you might want to delete that or bind every control to something), we've added a 'stream key' functionality that is a work-in-progress, and we've finally integrated achievements.
Please, please, please let us know if you run into any problems. We specifically need crash logs and other hanging bugs, but anything you see that looks odd compared to Nuclear Throne as you know it is welcome.
Audio balancing! We've worked on all the volumes for every sound, to make the game sound way more clear and crisp and powerful!
Tiny explosions now deal the same damage as normal explosions.
Fireballers and Super Fireballers now have a max range.
Update to Palace and Vault Guardians.
All Plasma is no longer deflected by Shielders.
You now get revived with your old ammo in co-op.
Tiny Heavy Auto Crossbow rate of fire buff.
Less Elite Grunt HP.
Crown of Destiny now takes 1 level to give you a mutation when taken from the start.
Slowed down Alligator reaction time.
No more IDPD in secret areas.
Refined taste is now more effective.
Cursed ammo makes larger explosions.
Tiny bit less lightning for the lightning cannon. Literally, tiny. As in, you won't notice it. Sorry.
More damage for Heavy Grenades.
New Chicken B-Skin unlock.
Tweaked Horror's "early portals" Ultra a bit to not count Vans.
Toxic Gas no longer deals damage under a certain size.
More drops from Loop Bosses.
Some balancing to the new IDPD unit.
0-1 Boss HP has been increased a bit.
More Caves loop spawn variation.
Some fixes regarding a certain Melting thing.
Fixed Plant B-Skin unlock.
Quitting a run no longer counts as a death.
Big Dog can't spawn inside walls anymore.
Ending is no longer broken.
Fixed a few chest effect bugs.
Fixed a lot of the depth issues on the campfire characters.
Some minor seeding fixes.
Fixed the icon for "no weapon" to not be a random bit of spritesheet.
Fireballer attack sprites are no longer mirrored.
Fixed some minor menu issues, this might have caused trouble for the co-op menu though.
Fixed a crash caused by pausing co-op.
Rebel can no longer kill herself with Riot.
The "Friends" page on the daily and weekly result screen now only shows 10 entries at a time.
Fixed a lot of issues with the loadout screen and weeklies.
Enemies now play your hurt sound when hurting you with melee.
The Proto Chest no longer destroys weapons.
Fixed a side art issue, also greatly improving the performance.
Everything that should play explosion sounds now does.
Fixed a crash related to resizing the window.
Built in a fix for when levels are empty but no portals appear.
Both players can now pause co-op.
Fixed Van depth.
Shielders now stay inside their shields when shot.
Starting with Crown of Death now gives you the downside.
Fixed a Steam related error.
No more walls inside props.
Opening YV's chests now breaks the walls nearby, making more space for weapons.
Fixed the Hyper Crystal charge particles.
Fixed a collision bug with the 7-3 Beam.
You can no longer take 2 cars at the same time.
Better performance with side art.
IDPD portals now have the correct sprite when disappearing.
Big Bandit now plays his intro sound.
Getting killed by a *CLASSIFIED* no longer shows as a Raven.
Exiting your first run no longer unlocks melting.
Car Music no longer keeps playing when leaving the level.
Van and IDPD portals are now a lightsource.
Recoded the camera code.
Mutation, Crown, and Character texts are now colored. We've also done some rephrasing here and there.
Tips are now seeded.
HQ should now always be the same seed.
Toned down Gamma Guts screen shake.
There's now a small timer that shows how long you have to revive someone.
Mimics are now inside bubbles in Oasis.
Changed the timing for Big Dog's intro.
Boss deaths now properly clear projectiles at the right time.
Went over all the shadows to make sure they're nice.
Tiny unlock popups no longer overlap.
Unlocking a char now plays a voice clip.
Rumble for gamepads!
Customizable keys for gamepad, still work in progress for keyboard sadly.
You can now view the credits from the options menu.
Rewrote the camera system.
A proper intro when you boot up the game!
Rogue Strike now works better with gamepad.
Better performance when loading a level.
Palace music timing tweaks.
Better Mom death.
Better 0-1 Boss death.
New Music for 0-1.
Retry button on the Weekly.
Loop props are no longer random.
Switched off auto-aim by default.
Co-op cursor colors are back.
Every character now has a unique stat!
Grenades now blink before exploding.
Elite Shielders now have their own Shield art.
Steroids' Ammo Chest now look different with Get Loaded.
Generators now have sounds.
Van sounds updated.
New Sewer Pipe break sound.
New Menu sounds.
New Elite Grunt flames.
New Big Rat charge sounds.
New sounds for the 0-1 fight.
Pickup disappear sound.
Crystal Shield ricochet sound.
Dying on 7-3 now says "you almost reached".
7-3 beam has been optimized.
IDPD now sounds underwater in Oasis.
New 0-1 Boss projectile art.
New 0-1 Boss death sound.
Wow, feels good to write one of these again. Update 96 won't hit on a weekend either, very likely, as we're going to process your feedback as we continue to fix bugs, balance and work out our final worries about the game.
Thank you so, so much for your patience and feedback. You're all the best community we could've wished for.
As you all might've noticed, update 95 has been delayed. We apologize for that. We really tried, but at this point most of the team is tired from that enormous sprint we did from update 92-95, and needs a little bit of time in recovery mode.
Normally, one of us would pick that up, and work on the game alone for a few days, but that's not really possible anymore. We've reached a point where most of the things we're creating are balancing, polish, and this week mostly integrations into the Steam ecosystem (which some of you noticed) - which just takes a bit more time than we'd want, and is not not something you can just release half-working because we're working with someone else's code.
We're aware of some bugs that prevent the ending from triggering, and we hope you know that if we saw a possibility to fix that now, we would've done so already. The code that is in this build is too structural to put out half-finished.
It seems an update is a few days out at least, so we might delay #95 or even decide to skip, and give us time to get everything proper hopefully before next weekend.
As you might've noticed, we've been pulling off some huge updates lately. We've been working extremely hard for basically months now, and you can see the results: Nuclear Throne is getting very close to being a finished product. Update 94 is probably the last enormous update, as after this we'll be slowing down, carefully wrapping up the ride and smoothly sailing into release. This means we're close to entering a relatively quiet phase where we spend all the time we need making sure NT doesn't break when you look at it.
We'll jump right in with what most excites us: Weeklies.
Weeklies run every weekend from the first minute of Saturday until the last minute of Sunday UTC, and are basically seeded runs with a set loadout. Your character, crown, and starting weapon are all fixed, and you won't find a single Crown Vault in your runs. The thing is, you can play a weekly as much as you want until the time runs out. You can try optimizing your route, mutation picks, and strategies, but also master some of the quirks specific levels throw at you. Every weekend will bring a new Weekly, and a new weekly leaderboard to conquer.
Besides that, there's just too much to list here. The first weekly should've started right about 40 minutes ago. Go have some fun!
New settings! Most significantly, we've added a few more cursors and the option to pick side-art instead of black bars on the side.
An update to the Throne itself!
Big upgrade to gamepad functionality in the menus, including access to the loadout screen!
Many Ultra Mutation changes and updates, including Rebel, Robot, Steroids, Crystal (faster Juggernaut), and Horror.
Big update to the stats screen, including win, speedrun, hard mode, daily, and weekly stats!
New sounds for various cool, huge, dangerous things!
Chicken B-skin can now be unlocked.
New sounds for all characters!
Sounds for all Ultra mutations!
Colored shadows! Barely noticable, but this'll make Frozen City feel colder, Jungle junglier, etc.
Reduced rads dropped by some bosses and most enemies after caves a tiny bit.
Hyper Launcher, Ultra Crossbow, Bouncer Shotgun, and Heavy Assault Rifle rate of fire has been increased.
Ultra Revolver and Bouncer Shotgun are now automatic.
You know what that is? That's Rogue's voice. Congratulations everybody! Not only does every Nuclear Throne character now have a voice, but this game has now officially been in Early Access for two years, and we've also just reached the final balance and polishing phase! This week was spent just cranking out details and polish, and finally implementing long awaited content! Either way, it's probably safe to say this is the biggest update we've ever done.
A voice for Rogue and all other remaining characters!
A new save file system. This means we hopefully won't have to clear your save files anymore! As a side effect, we've decided to remove the Unlock All button. What you unlock now is (probably) yours forever. Unless you hit the delete button. Obviously.
Your loop streaks are now stored and displayed in the stats screen. Any loop you get is added to the streak, if you die before you loop the value is reset!
Little effects and sound for most mutations and ultras!
Sounds for some of the loop bosses!
All the music and all the level ambient tracks should now be in the game and all of them have been mastered!
Two new rare enemies.
Rogue has been given a big overhaul, upgrading her Portal Strike damage and giving her a new Ultra replacing Resourceful.
Van portals now break walls when spawning.
Elite Inspectors have less HP.
Captain no longer drops ammo.
Heavy Auto Crossbow rate of fire has been decreased.
Elite Shielder projectiles are now slower and have a smaller explosion hitmask.
Cursed Crystals now have a slightly longer minimum time before teleporting again.
Rabbit Paw no longer affects gun drops.
Heavy Heart has been increased in effectiveness a tiny bit.
Palace Guardians no longer deal contact damage when appearing.
Buff Alligators now spawn more pellets from their projectile.
Splinter Gun and Golden Splinter Gun now have the same rate of fire.
Ultra Grenade Launcher has been given a proper update.
Bullet ammo size has been increased by two.
Exploding Guardians spawn fewer projectiles.
Elite Inspector walk speed has been decreased slightly.
Alligators are now always active.
Removed the Ion Cannon. You will not be missed.
Blood Cannon rate of fire has been decreased slightly.
Torches in the Crown Vault now have less HP.
Tweaked the loop spawn code a bit.
Heavy Bolts are now affected a bit less by Bolt Marrow.
Flak Cannon has more accuracy.
Sledgehammer deals slightly more damage.
CLASSIFIED doesn't blow up Crystals before completing the boss intro.
Increased damage from IDPD explosions.
Proto chest now always contains a rusty revolver on dailies.
Decreased IDPD Shielder HP.
Elite Grunts now have slower reaction time but faster projectiles.
All bosses now end the boss music when killed.
Cursed Chests opened by portals now contain cursed weapons.
Fixed the quick restart music bug.
Fixed the Van exploit hopefully.
Fixed the Y.V. double loop on Ultra bug.
Small flames and craters can no longer appear outside the levels.
Crown of Blood description typo fixed.
Big Dog now shows the right cause of death when exploding.
Fixed Crown of Death de-select crash.
Shielder now always plays shield sound when shielding.
Fixed a daily crash bug.
Fixed a bug related to drawing the Freaks.
Fixed the notorious save file crash hopefully.
Fixed a co-op problem with Plant's Throne Butt.
Crown is no longer drawn on random character.
IDPD Explosions now spawn craters.
Chicken can now heal back to full health.
New Crown Guardians, gameplay is still very unfinished.
Heavy Grenade Launcher.
Updated Ultra icons.
Gamepad is now automatically detected.
Green explosions for the Throne and Generators!
Timer is now an option, and beating the game now shows your time.
Less screen shake for Plasma Explosions.
Inspectors now draw their pull effect behind their heads.
More particles for Laser Crystals before firing.
Removed all the old icons from the Character Select.
Added a NO HUD mode.
Generators now drop rads.
Re-spaced the loadout screen.
A ton of new weapon sounds.
Timer now also counts during mutation selection.
Removed the "keep old crown" option, instead made guardians spawn when running with a crown.
No Rad Canisters in the HQ.
Added some more tips.
Updated the credits.
Tutorial Bandits now explode into wood splinters.
The fade when sitting down now comes in a bit later.
Weapons now disappear properly when sucked into the portal to the next level, no longer leaving a copy behind when the portal disappears.
New splats for melting after using their active.
New Rogue HUD indicator for her ammo.
Tiny details: feathers, leaves, money.
Small blue flames for IDPD explosions.
Uncursing something now has a sound.
Empty Horror trying to fire now has a sound.
Sound for Dog Guardians landing.
Sound for mutation and crown icons popping up.
All elite IDPD now have sounds.
Added lightning particles to the portals.
Low HP sounds for some bosses.
Sounds for the final cutscene.
Updated the tiles for 0-1.
New slider art.
Sounds for Rogue Canisters.
New art for the IDPD explosions.
Updates to loads of projectiles for readability.
Ally art update.
Icon art update.
All mutation selection sounds.
Mutation sounds are now stereo.
Updated the mansion tiles.
New decals and props for various areas.
Update to the menu generation.
New Crown Vault art.
Sounds for the cursed enemies.
Updated flying maggot art.
Radiated maggot death sounds.
New gun for the Jungle Bandits.
Updated the color of the Freaks.
Sound for reaching level Ultra.
HQ is now less bright.
New Present Chest opening animation.
Sounds for the different IDPD portals.
Big Dog now explodes in a way cooler way.
Fire Trap game over image.
New portal sounds, also when inside.
Lil Hunter now has a sound when calling for backup.
Sounds for allies.
Grenade weapons now have a reload sound.
Various enemies had new sounds added.
Cool new car sounds.
Boss intro sounds.
A nice radioactive hum on the logo.
New disc sounds.
Little dust effects in the Crown Vaults.
More prop destruction sounds.
Removed the old Palace pillars.
Van hijack sounds.
Art update to the green rats.
Art for Heavy Heart.
Small 7-3 art detail added.
My eyes hurt from reading over this list a few times, so it's time to sleep for a full day. We're moving full speed ahead, and there's a finish line that we're eager to reach. Let us know what you think, what you like, what you don't like - but mostly, please enjoy Nuclear Throne.
For those of you that have been with us for two years now - we cannot emphasize just how much we owe to your continued and unwavering support and enthusiasm. For those of you that joined us at any point after that, thank you so much for being part of this and allowing us to grow and reach beyond.
So from the entire team, Happy Birthday, Nuclear Throne, and Happy Birthday, Nuclear Throne community!