Hello, everyone! It’s been a while, and we’ve been hard at work. In the past, I promised all of you that DDLC would one day return with new content. Today, I’m following through on that promise with the announcement of Doki Doki Literature Club Plus!
DDLC Plus, coming June 30th, brings Doki Doki Literature Club to a number of new platforms including Nintendo Switch, PlayStation, and Xbox. In addition, it has hours of new content and lots of other cool features for you to enjoy. In this post, I’ll go over some of the new features and content, but there are also some things that you’ll want to discover for yourself when you play the game.
DDLC Plus was created by Team Salvato and is being published digitally and physically by Serenity Forge. I also want to thank Serenity Forge for providing an incredible amount of development support from their team of skilled programmers - this release would not have been possible otherwise.
Okay, let’s get into it!
I always felt like the characters in DDLC, the members of the Literature Club, deserved more of a space to get to know each other and kind of explore their interpersonal relationships. So for DDLC Plus, I wrote a new storyline that I call the Side Stories. The Side Stories take place outside the timeline of the original game, and they instead focus on how all of the club members went from first meeting each other to becoming close friends. I really wanted to create an environment where these characters, with very real and relatable insecurities, have to learn to overcome communication barriers, respect each other’s needs, and reflect on themselves.
So in the Side Stories, you really get to watch the club members grow together, as people. I think that will be really meaningful to those of you who relate to the characters, or maybe even find yourselves in similar situations. I think this is a great time for some wholesome storytelling that can help keep us inspired to continue improving ourselves and our relationships with others.
There are six Side Stories in total—one for each pair of characters—so no matter who your favorite club member is, you’ll have the chance to get to know her better than ever!
The Side Stories also have a brand new soundtrack to go along with them. Music has always been an important part of DDLC, and really important to me personally as a part of playing video games. I love how music tracks sort of absorb all of the emotions you feel during the game, and how it all comes rushing back whenever you hear the songs again. I composed the original soundtrack with that experience in mind.
So for the Side Stories, I brought in a new composer, Nikki Kaelar, who shares the same passion and understanding of the special impact of video game music. Nikki and I have collaborated in the past before, but we worked more closely together than ever on the new tracks for DDLC Plus. Some of Nikki’s songs have familiar catchy melodies, while others are totally new.
To help you enjoy all the music, DDLC Plus has a built-in music player where you can easily make a custom playlist of your favorite songs, or of relaxing background music, or you can just loop one song forever with that seamless music loop you get in video games. The music player has 26 music tracks in total. I really hope you enjoy discovering the new music as you play the Side Stories, which will also unlock them in the music player.
The music player also includes two guest tracks, composed by Jason Hayes and Azuria Sky. I love how each of them brought along their own unique style—Jason Hayes, for instance, is best known for composing the World of Warcraft soundtrack. DDLC really has reached farther than I ever could have imagined!
Speaking of unlockables, another fun new feature is the picture gallery, where you can unlock pictures as you play the game. There are more than 100 unlockable pictures, like game artwork, wallpapers, and never-before-seen concept sketches of certain memorable scenes from the game. I think it’s a fun way to encourage people to try new things in DDLC and see if they can discover all the content. It’s not easy to reach 100% content completion, but I bet if you and your friends share each of your own discoveries, you’d be able to do it together.
For existing fans of DDLC, we made sure that there’s more than enough new content to make DDLC Plus feel really new and exciting. But another thing I kept in mind is how much the original DDLC experience means to a lot of people. I know that there’s always a concern about re-releases or special editions having a whole bunch of changes to them, or the original content being tampered with in some way. So, we thoughtfully included all the new content in a way that ensures that the main game, Doki Doki Literature Club, is as authentic and true to the original as possible.
There is one really good change to the original game, which is that all the artwork is in higher resolution now, with over twice the number of pixels. I hope it helps make the game more immersive, and maybe more scary as well. We’ve also added optional content warnings, so that you can choose to be warned in advance when approaching scenes that contain sensitive material.
That’s about it for the stuff I’m ready to talk about today. For everything else, I don’t want to spoil the fun of you discovering it yourself!. But overall, I really wanted to make DDLC Plus not only really special for existing fans, but also a fantastic and accessible way for new players to get in on the psychological horror experience.
I really put all of my heart into this game, along with everyone else who worked on it, and we’re really grateful for the opportunity to share it with you. Doki Doki Literature Club Plus comes out on June 30th for PC and consoles. I hope that you give it a try and that you have a really enjoyable, meaningful, and terrifying time with the game.
In this post, I had the chance to talk about all of the amazing new artists and composers who contributed to DDLC Plus. But there are many others who have been invaluable to have on this project, and I want to share my appreciation.
Joseph—For a lot of great developer support with implementing all the new content into DDLC Plus, and for helping with DDLC community-related needs for this release. Alecia—For providing endless amounts of creative direction on just about all of the public-facing DDLC Plus materials, and for staying on top of an impossible amount of projects at once. Cynthia—For being an extremely great facilitator of communication and project manager, and for helping with a lot of difficult businessy stuff. Steevin—For providing the best art direction and graphic design we could ask for, and for creating the DDLC Plus announcement trailer, among many other outstanding visual materials. Everyone at Serenity Forge, for enduring and pulling through so many challenging situations. And you, for sharing your continued kindness and support, and for sharing this moment of gratitude with me!