I smell a rat in ParserComp 2024

I played ‘19 Once’ by Yvonne Jeagon & Larissa Jemmy a couple of days ago. I’ve just finished playing ‘Zugzwang’ by Vanessa Jygon & Eleanor Jimmy. The games are identical. The maps are the same, the solutions are the same and the author’s names are an anagram of one another. The only thing that’s different is all the text and the commands used.

Both games are written in Inform 7 and compiled to z-code. Just about the only person that does that nowadays is Andrew Schultz (@aschultz). One of the games has a chess theme and Andrew is famous for his chess puzzles masquerading as IF.

Come on, fess up. Was this you Andrew? If not, who was it? Either way, I must say it was very clever.


:rofl: You’re probably right. Maybe they should be rated together? (just kidding, I think…)

Actually, I enjoyed 19 Once more than Zugzwang. Go figure…

I think there’s a clue in the end of 19 Once that the film they went to see was Zugzwang.

And Sofia? She denounced the whole thing as neocolonial agitprop or whatever, but I saw a tear come to her eye when the Last Pawn made his final sacrifice.

EDIT: Zugzwang has a hidden command: watchparty that enables a running commentary by Sofia, Nora, Esther, Paige and Wesley. The ending is also different and more complete.

Total genius!

EDIT 2: Zugzwang is listed as " Episode 2 of Checkered Series" (there’s is no “Episode 1”. There’s also a review by a mysterious “Jon Stall” (probably another pseudonym).


I’ve just noticed that the cover images, game page layout and tags are also very similar.

The mysterious Jon Stall is credited with The Algophilists’ Penury from 2012. This game is worded in much the same way as his review of Zugzwang. It’s basically lots of obscure words that I had to look up in a dictionary to see what the hell he was talking about.

What other oddities and similarities are to be found in these strange games?


I completely missed making that connection! But y’all are totally right. Obviously by the same person/people.
The writing style isn’t very Andrew, though. I’m looking for anagrams right now in usernames here. My current theory involves @inventor200.

Edit: and @manonamora

C’mon, you two. Are you going to confess?


Oh, yes! Play 19 Once first and note the references to the Wyvern Knight, the Last Pawn and the watch party in the epilogue.

Then play Zugzwang, type watchparty at the start and watch the running commentary during the game.


@AmandaB & @Warrigal

You should maybe add some spoiler tags so not inadvertantly spoil others experience)?


You’re right. Edited.


You have too much faith in my Inform coding skills xD


But @inventor200 has them. You are so busted.

Edit: I think there’s a third, too, but still playing with anagrams.


Spoiler tags added.


Take away Manon, Joey, and Jess and you’ve got VGNLAAEY. Grr. Who is this?

Edit: Ach, totally screwed this up. Hold, please.


How now, a rat? Dead for a ducat, dead.

Thrusts a rapier through the arras.

Haven’t gotten to these yet but looking forward to investigating when I do.


OK, with some more caffeine I’m smarter.

Take away Manon, Joey, Jess:


@Naarel is in there.

But that leaves VGIMY.

I’m still pointing a finger at Naarel right now, though.


I highly doubt it’s jess unless he’s been bizarrely quiet to me about working on an inform 7 game haha


Oh damn, you got me.

Just kidding. I’d absolutely love to be the absolute trickster and mastermind behind it all but I have never touched Inform in my entire life. In fact, up until a few days ago, I had no idea what Inform is. Besides, if I were to make up random names as fake authors, I’d never go for ones that sound similar like this – I’m too particular about my naming schemes and the connection would probably be thematic instead


Unless you’re covering for this whole infernal plot like a good ally would. Ally. @Ally ? @alyshkalia ? Hmm. Conspirators everywhere. I need a rapier, too.

It’s really hard not to see JOEY and JESS in there. There are other Joeys here. @Joey ?

Back to the drawing board.


I don’t think it would be Joey and Jess. It would be one or the other. If you use manonamora (who has said she doesn’t know Inform 7 that well), then it can’t be Joey, but it can be Jess. That would leave EEGIJLNVYY.

However, I should point out that the IFDB entry for Zugzwang was entered by the mysterious Jon Stall and his earlier game was written in 2012, that’s 12 years ago, so it has to be someone who was around at that time.


Following the IFDB trail of Jon Stall leads to the game The Algophilists’ Penury. Following the link to IFWiki and on to IFDB Spelunking by one Joey Jones, homepage.


Using the theory that the conspirators would have watched and liked my reviews:
@manonamora (just Manon because Joey took the O)
@alyshkalia (just Aly)
@inventor200 (Jess, and @pieartsy is part of the conspiracy)

That leaves VEGNARIM, who of course is a well-known author here.

But it’s some variation on some of these people. There’s this great scene in the Coen brothers’ first movie, Blood Simple, where the femme fatale (a young Frances McDormand), when accused of misbehavior, says, “I ain’t done nothing funny” in this big-eyed, innocent way. That’s what Manon sounds like here.


I’ve got it. Joey Jones & Melvin Rangasamy.