‘Trailers are just lies set to music’
Back in January, I had the pleasure of checking out The Magic Circle, a charming and funny adventure title that poked fun at the chaotic, often insane challenges of game development. There’s a launch trailer to set the mood for this existentialist game alongside its launch on Steam today.
With The Magic Circle, former developers behind such titles as BioShock and Thief reference a lot of the egoism and narcissistic traps that developers can fall into. Especially those who resort to relying directly on the fans through crowdfunding and other outreach methods.
During the trailer, we see the results of central antagonist Ishmael ‘Star Father’ Gilder’s (voiced by James Urbaniak) lofty ambitions, and after several Kickstarters and constant design and stylistic overhauls, he’s burrowed his way so far into development hell, he’ll encounter relics of past iterations from failed design pivots. At its core, this is a game about development gone awry, and the creations within the ill-fated adventure game have to put an end to the madness themselves.
I’ve played quite a bit of The Magic Circle, and it pulls no punches in its depictions of an ego-maniacal game developer who’s totally in love with his own ideas despite reality and his anxious employees telling him otherwise. Given the climate we’re in now where fans and the press alike seek developer and publisher accountability for troubles with the creation and mismanagement of their favorite games, it’s a relevant title that’ll give people something to think about while delivering the laughs.
The Magic Circle [Steam]