Magic Circle Games is a new “boutique” board game publishing company. We aim to create fun and intelligent games for you to play. Our first game, Cauldron: Bubble and Boil launched in 2017-2018.
How Magic Circle Games All Began
A long, long time ago on the misty moors of Indianapolis, Indiana was born a visionary who would one day rise above his humble beginnings and one day publish games. OK, maybe there were no moors and I may not be a visionary but you get the point.
My name is R. A. Booth and I joined the Tabletop hobby in 1981 when I discovered Milton-Bradley’s fantastic Gamemaster series of games: Axis & Allies, Shogun (aka Samurai Swords), Conquest of the Empire, and Broadsides & Boarding Parties and games like Dark Tower. I also discovered tabletop role-playing games in 1981 with the red box Dungeons & Dragons set. Thus began my lifelong passion for Tabletop games. By the time college rolled around (in the late ’80s to early ’90s) , I had graduated to 2nd edition and eventually 3rd edition D&D, Diplomacy, and was finally exposed to “Euro” style board games.
My road to publishing games is circuitous, to say the least. I first had to survive college (and I did on my second try). Leaving college I went to work in the skilled trades for ten years but I always intended to finish my undergrad degree so I returned to college. I first went to college years ago with the intent of getting a doctorate and I decided to do so. After getting my Masters of Science degree from a Midwestern University, I moved away from Indiana the year GenCon came to town (figures, lol!) to pursue a Ph.D. from an East Coast university. In 2014 I finished my degree so now you can call me Dr. Booth if you really want… 😉
All the while I was gaming, getting married, gaming, having a wonderful child, gaming, and surviving a bad car accident. I was/am living the dream, right? Well, I am underemployed but otherwise, I have few complaints (although my family and friends might disagree!)
Why Design Games?
I’m a “creative” who is always thinking of new ideas. I have had dozens and dozens of game ideas and have begun to focus on a few in particular. As a consumer, I would sometimes find games that were anemic or missing something. I would fiddle with rules here and there to try to improve them. Before long I realized that I should make the games I would like to play instead of waiting for others to do so. Mind you I am an avid gamer and active backing games on Kickstarter (well over 100 so far) and have decided to launch Magic Circle Games.
Board Games are quite amazing really. They exercise the mind, are (ideally) social in nature, foster creativity, can be educational as well as entertaining, and are amazingly fun! No wonder the board game sales across the “toy” industry grew by 18%, (2015-2016) most of that I suspect is in the hobbyist game market.
Mostly though I design games because I love to do it. I publish games because I want to share that passion with others (and hopefully break even in the process).
Why “MAGIC CIRCLE” GAMES?
The term magic circle has a double meaning.
- First, we think of old summoning circles used by medieval wizards and other dabblers in the esoteric and arcane arts. It is something used to summon or conjure forth and to bring into being.
- The noted Dutch Historian Johan Huizinga coined the term “magic circle” in his 1938 classic “Homo Ludens” where he examines the role of play in society and culture. “Magic circle” is the boundary between the realms of “play” and “not play”. It is a spatial and cognitive demarcation of the realm of play. In this sense, the magic circle encompasses and generally CONTAINS the specialized, almost ritualized world of play.
So I hope to summon up some fun games for folks to enjoy!