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Mar 09


The Magic Circle: Gold Edition Comes to PS4 on May 10th

Jordan Thomas's Avatar Posted by on Mar 09, 2016 // Co-owner, Question

Hey, so first up, some news — because once we get talking, I’ll forget the big date: The Magic Circle: Gold Edition is coming to PS4 on May 10th. The Magic Circle is our story-driven puzzler, recently nominated by the IGF for Excellence in Narrative. It’s a dark comedy about a legendary game that has been stuck in development hell for 20 years, and only you can save it. (If you still are patiently waiting for some sequel right now, maybe it’s a bit of a tragedy, too.)

The Magic Circle pokes fun at the many ways that games can go wrong, and offers you the power to solve puzzles like a game creator — by re-designing them. You play the hero of an unfinished fantasy RPG, waiting for your story to begin, and you’re getting sick of it. The fictional development team is in creative deadlock, zipping around the game world and arguing about what to change. So you set out to make the game your own, and release it from the inside… whether they like it or not.

For PS4, we’ve given The Magic Circle a major engine upgrade and made improvements to lighting and AI. Our tiny team of 3.5 people — don’t ask — can’t wait to share it with you guys.

Remember when you were a kid, waiting to play some hot new game for so long that you’d go half-mad with the idea of what it might be? Then, the box finally arrives, and at first, it’s everything you’d hoped. You’ve been promised paradise, and you want so badly to believe. It seems like the people who make games have magical powers. Your TV is a little, warmly-glowing window to a world those folks created, and in it they’re like gods. Now, remember the first time you saw a glitch? That certainty that something had gone wrong with the game? We do, too. It was mysterious, funny, sad — and very much worth exploring.

In this story, your creators — voiced by the brilliant Ashly Burch (Borderlands 2), James Urbaniak (The Venture Brothers), Stephen Russell (Fallout 4), and Karen Dyer (Resident Evil 5) — are all too human, and they have clearly failed you. They’ve wasted so much time bickering that you have no weapons or spells, so you have to steal the powers of creation from them. The first is a tool called The Circle — it lets you trap objects and creatures, then re-mix their powers and stats to suit your purpose.

The Magic Circle on PS4The Magic Circle on PS4

As you delve deeper, restoring parts of the world that were deleted, you’re digging up lost bits of gaming history — entire versions that were scrapped. (I remember someone at PAX saying this sequence looked like a lost 1990’s PS1 game, and we were so proud!). It’s up to you to decide which creatures and powers should join your army of “pets,” and which should have stayed buried.

The Magic Circle on PS4

The puzzle games we’ve played are usually all about hiding a single, perfect formula, making the game’s authors look smart. In The Magic Circle, it’s up to you to design your own solution, and there are many right answers. That pure, outsider fantasy of making games is the core of The Magic Circle. We want you to feel like a game creator — without having to quit your job and learn to code. (But if you do, hey, we’ll be here to cheer you on!)

But now, back to you, as a kid. Maybe that glitch you saw was a hole in the world. Or a creature banging its head into a wall, over and over. Go ahead, you can admit it — you probably said something like “How could they not fix this? C’mon, I could do a better job than that!”

Well, friends — now’s your chance. See you on May 10th.

//Add Your Own

13 Comments   5 Replies


+ rudetoy on March 9th, 2016 at 10:13 am said:

Bring it to PS VITA and you’ve got yourselves a deal!


+ KmKrusader on March 9th, 2016 at 10:43 am said:

Ha ha ha this game sounds hilarious! Love the whole theme. Can’t wait to play this and do a better job than the “devs”

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    + Jordan Thomas on March 10th, 2016 at 3:32 pm said:

    Thanks KmKrusader! We thought it was a great way to give both a taste of game design AND provide a playground for player creativity. The best outcome for us is when your solution to a problem is one we never thought of. Hope you have a blast with the game.


+ tommygorlosky on March 9th, 2016 at 11:14 am said:

Seems nice, but it seems that it will land in an unfortunate date…. Uncharted 4 is coming.

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    + Jordan Thomas on March 10th, 2016 at 3:40 pm said:

    Well, we hope we don’t impact Uncharted’s sales too much, we are looking forward to that game as well and want to see it succeed. :)


+ yentair on March 9th, 2016 at 1:50 pm said:

Great idea for a game, hilarious concept.
Nice work 3.5 people!

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    + Jordan Thomas on March 10th, 2016 at 3:41 pm said:

    Thanks yentair, can’t wait for you to play it!


+ porhawj2014 on March 9th, 2016 at 1:56 pm said:

Lol, sorry can’t play this game because Uncharted 4 is only game i really want play on that day and understand epic story in Uncharted 4


+ Mercenary09 on March 9th, 2016 at 4:09 pm said:

I want to play this but not the best idea launching on the same day as Uncharted 4. I’ll be playing it for awhile.


+ Trendy_Kid on March 9th, 2016 at 8:36 pm said:

I don’t like first person games much, but I would play this!


+ Radim_cz on March 9th, 2016 at 10:27 pm said:

lol for a second when reading the title i thought this is finally a post about Magic : Duels >:( oh well …
anyway that bottom screenshot looks like System Shock 1 :D good work people

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    + Jordan Thomas on March 10th, 2016 at 3:34 pm said:

    We worked pretty hard to evoke that era of gaming while still taking advantage of some more modern touches. Glad to hear you like it!


+ IcedDice777 on March 10th, 2016 at 3:03 am said:

3.5 people on the development team = 3 persons + a Midget person. Ok, Sold! Day 1 purchase :)


+ plaztiksyke on March 10th, 2016 at 3:27 pm said:

holy crap, that System Shock look-a-like screenshot is AMAZING. you have me hook, like, and sinker with that one thing.

can you elaborate on your lighting upgrades? multi-bounce GI, PBR, …? will it play in stereo 3D on 3D TV/projectors?

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    + Jordan Thomas on March 10th, 2016 at 3:38 pm said:

    The lighting changes are mostly in the underlying engine. As you can see, the artwork is very stylized, so things like PBR weren’t really appropriate. It did allow us to move the real-time shadow distance MUCH further out, and as a part of the rework that was required moving to the new engine, we did another aesthetic pass on many areas. We didn’t want to change the look fundamentally, just make tweaks where it made sense and improved what we were trying to achieve.

    Some areas of the game look noticeably different as a result, especially some that we are choosing not to spoil here :).

    Thanks for the compliment on the sci-fi scene, we are quite proud of it.


+ Hakumen__ on March 11th, 2016 at 7:52 pm said:

I second rudetoy’s request for a PS Vita version!


+ skiernan on March 12th, 2016 at 8:16 am said:

I love the concept for this game. It’s so original. And the game was made by less than four people? Wow. I hope this game is a big success.


+ Minecraftawe on March 26th, 2016 at 4:13 am said:

This game came out for PC last year on my birthday.i gave you my money then, played it through, loved it and wrote both a serious review and a review as if the game were made by Starfather. I won’t be writing te reviews again, but you’re sure as hell getting my damn money again!

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