Doki-Doki Universe Coming to PS4, PS3 and PS Vita

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Doki-Doki Universe Coming to PS4, PS3 and PS Vita
Doki Doki Universe on PS3, PS4 and PS Vita

My name is Greg Johnson, and I’ve been making games longer than I’d like to admit (ever heard of Toejam and Earl? If you’ve heard of my first game, Starflight, you’re older than you probably want to admit). We at HumaNature (that’s Human Nature… not Huma Nature by the way) are a pretty small group, as far as game development groups go these days. Our (admittedly lofty) goal is to create new and original game experiences that reach out to people looking for more humanity in games. We love interactive stories, emotional expression, and self-discovery — we’re not so big on shooting things.

Here at HNS we are hard at work building a game for PlayStation, who, thankfully, seems to like a lot of the same lofty things we do. Our game is called Doki-Doki Universe. It’s tough to describe Doki-Doki, because it’s actually a set of related products that will be released at the same time. Players’ first exposure to Doki-Doki will be in the form of a free download for their PS Vita, PS3 or PS4. This is a light version of the game where players can fly around a Universe and take fun personality quizzes.

This free game will include our fun Doki-Doki Mail messaging app, which players will also be able to get for free on mobile platforms, for cross-platform chat. If players decide they want to land on planets and interact with all the crazy characters in our Universe, they can purchase and download the full game, which you might call an ‘RPG/Simulation/Interactive Story’ game. There’s a lot more I could say, but I don’t want to spoil the surprise. Maybe I should tell you a bit about the game itself…

Doki Doki Universe on PS3, PS4 and PS VitaDoki Doki Universe on PS3, PS4 and PS Vita

In Doki-Doki Universe, you’re a robot named Model QT377665, or QT3 for short (QT – get it?). Your human family said to wait here on this asteroid, and they would be right back to get you.

That was 11,432 days ago. Bummer.

To make matters worse, an alien that looks like a green hot-dog, named Alien Jeff, finds you and gives you some bad news: It turns out your model is getting recalled and scrapped, because you apparently don’t have enough “humanity”… whatever that is.

Doki Doki Universe on PS3, PS4 and PS VitaDoki Doki Universe on PS3, PS4 and PS Vita

Alien Jeff has been assigned the task of discovering just how much “humanity” you are capable of, and reporting back to the company. So as you travel around the Universe on a giant flying pig (or whale, or poo, or whatever you choose) and visit themed planets (cute, scary, gross, robot, ice, etc.) you’ll interact with hundreds of some of the most bizarre characters you’ve ever heard of, and Alien Jeff will be watching you the whole time.

While you’re traveling the Universe, you’ll also stop at many tiny asteroids where you can take fun, visual personality tests. You can get a full personality report from the Therapist who lives on your home planet, which by the way, you get to decorate. You even get to visit your friend’s home planets and check out their personality reports.

Doki Doki Universe on PS3, PS4 and PS VitaDoki Doki Universe on PS3, PS4 and PS Vita

Doki-Doki is a lot more than just a game. It’s a huge simulated “living” Universe of intriguing content, filled with interactive stories and self-discovery. From within Doki-Doki players can use Doki-Doki Mail that ‘magically’ animates anything you type, and lets you communicate in playfully expressive ways with friends who also have the game or the mobile app.

Doki-Doki Universe is new and ambitious. Rather than describe it, we just want you to experience it and see what you think. You might be charmed by it, or you may not, but we guarantee you won’t find anything “typical” about it.

Doki Doki Universe on PS3, PS4 and PS Vita

Thanks from HumaNature Studios! (I’m the guy in the front with the robot and balloon on my t-shirt.)

For more on Doki-Doki Universe, check out Game Informer’s story.

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23 Author Replies

  • Cool!

  • love the art style! very playful.

    • Awesome. The art style was originated by a super talented guy named I-wei Huang. Numerous artists have added to our Universe of art since then. Steph Lebarins is our in-house concept artist and she’s awesome too. It’s sweet but slightly twisted and not TOO sweet. I have a closet full of T-shirts with this art on it. Sony says they may offer merchandise down the road, which would be sa-weet.

  • Not my kind of game but I like the art style

    • Maybe you’ll like the free messaging app for mobile then. That uses all the same artwork. 2000 animating images in fact. It’s pretty cool. It looks at what you type and then suggests images to animate your message with. Or you can just hit a button and let it choose for you, and it turns any message into an animating little movie in this style. Best part is it’s going to be FREE. :)

  • Starflight was one of the games that shaped my lifelong tastes in gaming (yes I just dated myself). Will pick this up for sure.

    • No kidding. Wow you are dating yourself. It’s always nice to run into some truly old skool gamers who remember Starflight. Well you will be one of the very few who can appreciate the emotional state based communication system that drives this game. I used some of the same underlying ideas that were in the system I designed for Starflight. I hope you enjoy this one, as you can see it has a slightly different vibe. Both games are pretty off the wall though.

  • I want this game more than any other. I love the concept and the art style, and I am also tired of shooters…. Day 1 buy for me!

    • You and me both. Don’t need another shooter. I love it when people try ANYTHING new. It’s one thing I love about Sony, they love to do new indie type stuff. I just played Journey and loved it! I’m STILL waiting for The Last Guardian. I hope those guys hurry up already. :)

  • As I said in the Hohokum post, this looks adorable! I really can’t wait to play it. My Vita’s gonna be getting lots of love :p.

    • Great poodedude. You know in this game one of the steeds you get to ride on is a giant cute flying poo. I’m guessing it will be right up your alley. :) We had this in the game when we first showed Sony and they said – “uh…poo? You fly on a poo? You will be able to fly around on other things too, right?” so we said “uh YEAH! of course! and we scrambled and added a bunch of other steed to the game – just so we could be sure to keep the poo. ;) I hope you like the game.

  • hope it’s a cross, cross buy

  • Toe Jam and Earl was incredible. That blasted Hula dancer was always just perfectly placed right next to the devil with a pitch fork. So many times be poked over the edge. I also believe the randomizer was pure evil.

    I’ll check it out, it looks like a fun art style.

    • Hi TwinDad, I’m glad you have some fond memories of TJ&E. Sorry about those Hula Dancers. And those darned Ice Cream Trucks. And I’m REALLY sorry about the randomizers. Remember screaming when you played that game? Is it coming back to you now, how much you actually hated it? Well, I’m glad you have good memories anyhow. :) I sure hope you enjoy this one. I’ll be interested to see how much similarity fans see in it – both games have sort of a “where the heck did that crazy stuff come from” quality. Also, I don’t want to spill the bean, but keep your eyes out for a couple alien dudes when you’re playing Doki-Doki Universe. ;)

  • The gaming world has been less funky since ToeJam & Earl disappeared. I really wish there were a new TJ&E game.

    • Believe me I haven’t forgotten or given up. I’m hopeful that I may be able to talk Sony into another TJ&E game, so if you really want one make some noise so Sony will hear you. Well, we gotta finish this game first and make it great. Other developers have approached me, BTW, and asked if they could make a new TJ&E game but I want to reserve that pleasure for myself. Sorry it’s taking so darned long.

  • Amazing. \o/

  • PS4! PS4! This excites me dearly.

    • YAY!! Me too. This is fun talking to you guys, but if I don’t go and finish the game you won’t have anything to play. :)

  • yeah, love the art style. very antoine de saint-exupery!

    • Funny you should notice that, SuperHALFBEAST, It’s not a coincidence. I’ve always LOVED The Little Prince and we have a poster of him on his little planet up on our wall here at HumaNature Studios. That, and Miyazaki’s Ghibli Studios movies are sort of my creative inspirations. Well I hope we can mange to capture just a portion of the heart and humanity that Le Petit Prince captures. I’m sure you’ll see similarities in the theme of our game, as our main character goes from planet to planet learning from the particular craziness he/she finds in each world.

  • Thanks!

  • Thanks for all the great comments and enthusiasm. I’ll check back later, but need to go work on this darn game. Game development is fun, but talk about deadlines. OMG!
    Catch you all later.
    –Greg (designer of Doki-Doki Universe)

  • Exploring a universe, like in Tyrian and Privateer? with social aspects that aren’t 100+ hours like MMOs? sign me up!

    are there any GLBT characters/stories in the game?

    who’s doing the music?

  • TJ&E 4 would be great. I was just playing co-op with the wife on TJ&E1 on the PS3.

    Something just wonderful and surprising unwrapping a prize to find out it was root beer and your burps are waking up the crazy lady with a shopping cart.

    Having almost all your prizes identified by the wiseman in a carrot suit, and hitting that randomizer to start over all again.

    Far, far, beyond fond. I spent many a college days with my friends and then girlfriend playing this game until far to late at night just trying to find all the ship parts.

    Don’t be sorry, it is I that is forever grateful for the joy, and pain that TJ&E has brought. Now until you bring the new game, I’ll play this and enjoy.

  • “an alien that looks like a green hot-dog”


  • Well…I still don’t have any idea what this game is…but one of the reasons I’ve bought every Sony platform (yup even the PsPgo) is because I’m a fan of there philosophy “something for everyone” This just looks different, strange, and interesting enough for me to impulse buy. New ideas like this makes PS4 all the more interesting…

    Seriously though…what genre is this?

  • Please say TJ&E make a surprise appearance on one of the planets!

    Game sounds intriguing…can’t wait to see more!

  • Ya gotta love the support the PS Vita is getting, and they complain that there are no games for it. Sure they wish they had a PS Vita now LOL

  • This looks very interesting. To verify what a user was asking earlier about ‘Cross-Buy’, it means that if you buy it on the Ps3 then it will come with the Vita version as well. I think it would be a great game to play on both! And although we as consumers would love to support you twice, I think Cross-Buy would be a great option.

    I will check this game out for sure though. I was a huge fan of TJ&E when I was a kid on the Sega Genesis. I didn’t know what the heck was going on half the time, but I still had a hell of an experience. Thanks for making my childhood better. :)

  • Sounds great! It is because of games like this that I have a PS3 and Vita. I’ve played enough (insert typical gaming genre) and these artistic, original titles are what keep me gaming.

  • Hi again. This is just another check-in to say I’m reading all of your comments and really enjoying the enthusiasm. After being in the game industry for so many decades it’s easy to get a teensy bit jaded. Seeing people excited about new types of gaming experiences and just generally so positive is really refreshing and very motivating. Thanks too, for the nice nods to TJ&E. I’m not supposed to say if they are in this game or not, but I will say there is a very special planet in this game, at the edge of the galaxy especially for TJ&E fans. :) Oh and plaztikskye asked about the music. Burke Trieschmann is doing the music – he did the music for TJ&E3 and worked with me on a TV show we created for the Disney Channel called Choo Choo Soul (funky music for kids starring Genevieve and DC). Every planet has a different musical theme in this game – all courtesy of Burke. We’ll I’ll pop in again later.

  • “Our (admittedly lofty) goal is to create new and original game experiences that reach out to people looking for more humanity in games.”

    This line alone has captured my interest in this game. The really cool visuals and description on game game has me by the neck and isn’t letting go!

    Keep these cool new PS4 games coming!

    • Hi Zezzler,
      Thanks for the comment. I wish delivering on a lofty goal was as easy as simply stating the goal. I hope we get close. In any event there seem to be a lot of gamers like you out there who even appreciate the attempt. :) Well you can let us know how we did. In this biz you just need to get over the bar, so that you have an opportunity to deliver a sequel. IN typical development you spend 2/3 of your time on the first project just building the engine and the tools and then rush in the last 1/3 to build the actual game. :)

  • I’m taking note of this new one because of the Toejam & Earl mention! PS3 + PSV + PS4, exciting. Can’t wait to have my mini army of PlayStations later this year.

    • NICE! I’m glad you liked TJ&E. In this game you collect presents as well. Maybe I just can’t think of anything else. ;) Anyway I think you’ll see there’s kind of a similar vibe. It’s a bit more quirky than TJ&E though (if that’s possible)

  • Waku-Waku Universe taken or something? I’m a bit excited.

  • This looks awesome! And having a shoutout to Toejam & Earl fans makes it even better. I will be looking forward to this!

  • Toejam and Earl was part of my childhood. Loved it to pieces.

    Definitely interested in this game, and i want that shirt!

  • Waku-Waku Universe. Hmmm. I like that. :) Elvick, I guess we’ll need to make more of those shirts won’t we.

  • Oddly, I missed out on both Starflight and TJ&E. I think Starflight would have probably been my kind of game if I had found it back then. I really enjoyed Lightspeed and Hyperspeed, which seem to be mildly similar.

    I’m looking forward to this one, it should be interesting.

  • TJ&E were two of my favorite games growing. i’m very excited for this Greg, and I think Playstation will be a great a home for a game of your artistic caliber.

    • Thanks for the compliment veryhoudini11! I hope to be building games for Sony for a long time. Gotta impress them with this one first though. ;)

  • Looks completely awesome in every way. Will it have local multilayer? I noticed the nod at The Little Prince. So magical.

    • HI Petitemafleur. (nice name),

      Sadly we won’t have a multi-player mode, aside from being able to use our messaging system to communicate with friends while you play, or being able to check in on your friends personalities. If you’re familiar with ToeJam and Earl you’ll know I’m a big fan of multi-player play. Can’t do everything the first time out though.

      And yes! I grew up loving the little prince too.

  • To be honest when I first saw the screenshot and read the name I didn’t think I would have much interest in this game. But after reading the post I must say I am excited! The possibilities here are intriguing and I love the psychoanalysis angle. Its like social networking becoming a game, a good game! Cant wait to hear more!

    • Great! I’m glad we got you interested. Maybe you’ll like that part of the game more than the RPG portion. I’ll be interested to know how accurate you feel the personality analysis is. It’s all pretty positive stuff, but an interesting experiment we’ve done is we’ve asked players to answer with the opposite of what they would normally answer in the quiz portion and they results they get generally don’t feel like they fit them at all. Whereas people generally feel the results are right on if they answer honestly. Well let us know what you think.

  • Greg, this may be asking too much but is there any chance that you home world would auto-populate (to some degree ) with items based off your personality profile? So that when friends visit your home world they are literally seeing ‘you’? Just a thought, perhaps a tad ambitious. As you can see I already want to know more about the game. And im very happy that Sony are giving you guys the opportunity and the freedom to make a project like this.

    • Funny you should mention that ESIASON7, we’ve been looking at that. It runs a little counter to peoples desires to decorate their planet as they see fit with the things they’ve collected to it’s a tough one to solve. For now we’ve opted to let players decorate however they want rather than auto-populate the planet, but that could still change. You should be a game designer. :)

  • Just read through all the new game posts today, this being the last one of the bunch. I have to say, all these new games on the Vita (and this and Hohokum on PS4) really have me excited. I’ve never been a big fan of shooters, enjoying things more in the vein of platformers/adventure games, but games like Mutant Blobs Attack, Guacamelee! and Thomas Was Alone have really gotten me interested in the gaming path less traveled. Really looking forward to getting my hands on this, and tying it in with a free mobile app just sounds awesome. I was curious how much this aspect would be pushed when Sony showed off the cross-platform possibilities at the PS4 reveal, and it’s nice to see third-party devs already jumping onboard by supporting this opportunity. Can’t wait to hear more about this game. :)

  • Free? Yes please.

  • No freaking way! You did Starflight? I used to love that game on my Tandy! That and Ghostbusters for the C64.

    Can’t wait for this. Is this planned to be a 2013 release?

  • it looks pretty interesting

  • I can’t believe how many people you responded to. That shows how much you care about your game. I know that I am extremely excited for it. I mean, just look at my avatar!

  • I’ll write here what I wrote on NeoGaf…

    It’s a damn shame this has been overlooked amidst the influx of recent news and announcements; I just read the blog piece and the premise instantly grabbed me. Playing as a robot, visiting a variety of planets and helping inhabitants with their problems, all to have your ‘humanity’ analysed and avoid being scrapped – I love it. The art style is a breath of fresh air and the game looks like it has some point & click adventure influences as well… hnnng. And from the creator of ToeJam & Earl no less! I played the hell out of that on the Mega Drive and it was magic back in the day.

    You’ve got a purchase in me fellas.

    … but just to add a bit extra – any idea of when this will be coming out? Thanks.

  • ^lol…just read that in Gaf…

    Small world….

    Concept looks absolutely fantastic…I am a little worried about replay value though…I mean, shooters aside, I go back to games because of gameplay usually. Sound Shapes, Thomas Was alone, SF, Valkyria Chronicles are some of my favorites, and they usually have a unique gameplay element that I just fall in love with. I still can’t quite put my finger on what element will keep me coming back to a title like this. But the messaging app is a great idea and reason enough to check it out as soon as it releases.

  • I love this art style. I also love how creative the titles Sony is getting are.

  • I’m not sure what it is, but Toe Jam and Earl was amazing, so I’ll try it.

  • Seems like my kind of game! Reminds of Animal Crossing with a twist. Looking forward to playing it on my Vita :)

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