Gold Machine: ParserComp Interviews (UP: Amanda Walker)

As promised, I’ll be posting interviews related to ParserComp for the next few weeks. In this first of three posts, I had a chance to hear from Adam Sommerfield, Jeff Greer, and Christopher Merriner. Future interviewees are Brian Rushton and Amanda Walker. I had a great time exchanging messages with everyone involved.

  1. You’re My Type: ParserComp 2022
  2. ParserComp: Brian Rushton (The Impossible Stairs)
  3. ParserComp: Amanda Walker (Of Their Shadows Deep)

The Brian Rushton interview, whose publication was originally planned for 8/1, will be held until after voting closes on 8/2. While I don’t rate my influence so highly, I think it would be best to avoid the appearance of promoting contestants in an active competition.

I’ll announce its release here. Brian has such a wide-ranging knowledge of IF; it’s a great conversation. See you then.


That is a stealthy endorsement… :wink:


Interview #2 is up! Brian and I had a lively and wide-ranging conversation about testing, the future of IF, and, of course, his recent ParserComp entry, The Impossible Stairs.


This is a great, in-depth interview – kudos to you for the questions and Brian for the responses! Now I’m looking forward to the conversation with Amanda even more.

There are a couple small typos in the last two paragraphs, BTW – “Puzzleless games first became people” (eek!) I think should say “popular”, and the second game Brian says might be a good fit for voice-based IF is Weird City Interloper.


Spoiler: it’s all mean gossip about you.


Oh now I really can’t wait!


Y’all are reminding me of that Oscar Wilde quote: “If there is anything more annoying in the world than having people talk about you, it is certainly having no one talk about you.”

Maybe you were both thinking it when you wrote it, but I still had to mention it.

Especially because I realized I appreciated being talked about in Brian’s interview, which would’ve been wonderful even if I hadn’t been talked about.

I’m definitely looking forward to the future interviews, too.


The third and final interview is up at Gold Machine. This time, I talk to Amanda Walker about craft writing, literary influences, and much more. Thanks to Amanda and everyone else who contributed to this series!


I see you edited out all the gossip about @DeusIrae , Drew.

Rest assured, Mike, we did spend a good deal of time discussing your tragic fashion choices. I guess that conversation wasn’t particularly relevant to a discussion of IFcraft.


Well if that’s all it was, fair enough! One of the many in-jokes-with-myself I put into Sting was the consistency of my aggressively normcore sartorial choices.

Anyway, another lovely interview! I liked getting a view of how both Fairest and OTSD evolved as they went - I admire the way you get early feedback and really engage with it, making quite substantial improvements to get at the key ideas underlying the games. That’s definitely something I want to try to build into my own process!


Yeah, but here’s a sample of what Drew omitted:

Drew: Speaking of choices, did you see those godawful pants Mike was wearing the other day?
Amanda: OMG, so tacky. And that haircut?
Drew: Oof. I can’t even. “Hipster hamster” is the nicest thing I can say.
Amanda: We should probably note that he writes good games, but hello, makeover time for someone.

And so on.

Well, it helps that one gets such quality feedback here. I can’t imagine how much poorer those games would be without the hammering and poking by and suggestions from testers.


That’s right, I’m the hamster guy


(Furtively checks self out in mirror, notices “new-parent shagginess” is tipping over to “actually full-grown mullet”)

Ha, this is a funny joke you have posted!


What’s wrong with hamsters? (and gerbils and sugar gliders?)