Plans for Parlor October 24, 2017 21:10 72 Comments

Tomorrow’s my birthday, so this is going to be the last blog post I ever write as a “guy in his 20s.” Starting tomorrow, I’ll be 30 years old and I’ll have to start taking this blog seriously. So let’s get serious. Seriously.

What is Parlor?

Right now, “Parlor” is Daniel Burrow (that’s me), Jake Paul, and our newest staff writer, Erica Speegle. Jake and I have been working on Retroscape for the last year and dabbling in Tephra when we get the time. Last month, we posted that we were looking for writers, and the talented Erica Speegle danced her way through our five-step application process.

What is an “Erica”?

Google tells me that “Erica” is a “genus of roughly 860 species of flowering plants in the family Ericaceae.”

Picture from Wikipedia

I don’t think Google got this one quite right. See, our Erica writes awesome stories and makes Retroscape more exciting. She’s trying to tie all of our crazy lab backgrounds together and make a colorful, cohesive world. That’s probably not something a bunch of pretty flowers could do.

If you want to learn more about Erica, I highly recommend that you check out her kickass Patreon. She has some of her writing for free, but be careful reading it because you’re going to get hooked.

How’s Retroscape Going?

For the last three months, I’ve been doing weekly playtests with nearly 20 players (not all at once -- we take turns!). It’s been invaluable in seeing how people interact with the labs, the world, and the monsters. The best part? Most of the feedback has been positive!

You may not remember when Tephra was in version 0.04, but it wasn’t anywhere near as good as Retroscape at version 0.04. Of course, as a man who’s nearly in his thirties, that shouldn’t be surprising. I’ve learned a lot since I was 20 (yep, I started Tephra ten years ago).

Version 0.05 is about to release. We’re updating a lot. Jake’s done a killer job rebuilding our system documentation to make the game easier to get into and understand, and Erica’s been creating a stronger unifying story for each lab. We have a timeline now and everything.

Art by Luiz Prado

I’ve really enjoyed watching us build Retroscape, learn from Tephra, and grow as a company. We’re smaller now, but our output is pretty magnificent (largely thanks to Jake, let’s be honest).

The Plans

We’ll drop version 0.05 in early November, and I’ll continue my playtests this year. In January, I plan to start running playtest campaigns -- that is, a game where the players take characters on a long, fulfilling storyline, grow with them, and all that jazz. One of my main goals for Retroscape is to have stories where the characters feel like they grow, where one character becomes the hero of a small town while another takes his family’s machine shop and grows it into a steel-manufacturing empire.

Over the next year, Retroscape will continue to be a free and open playtest. We want to keep growing the fan-base, building our momentum, and seeing where things take us. Maybe we’ll start our own patreon one day, or start looking toward releasing our stuff in book form. But we won’t pursue those avenues until we know for sure that we have a kickass product. Quality first!

As always, come chat with us on our Retroscape Discord, or just check out our progress at

Until next time,