Ok, let's talk ParserComp then

I’ll cut to the chase, I’m interested in running ParserComp at least once and - assuming I don’t make a calamitous job of it - potentially onwards for a period of time.

I’m a big ZIL guy, and I love the parser system (call it text adventure or parser IF).

I will need help. I will need to ask a lot of ostensibly daft questions, more than once, so you will need to be patient with me in the initial stages of setting this up.

Off the top of my head I’m thinking to mirror the 2015 date range (November-ish). The entry criteria will be light, your game needs to be parser based in the same way that you would typically create in Inform, Adventuron etc so think Zork or Photopia. System-wise, I see no reason to limit this at all so if its your own system then fine. Traditional IFComp type rules would apply so the game needs to have never been released before in any way, shape or size.

So I guess that’s my pitch!

As I type this I am in hospital with my son, he has suspected post-COVID infections, he is now comfortable and asleep and I needed a light hearted distraction so this is it!



Hi Adam, glad to hear your son is comfortable :slightly_smiling_face:

I would like to assist. Not many IF people in the UK any more.
I would want clarification on the public release clause though.

For many developers, a public Github repo is a fundamental starting point for a project.
This is prohibited in eg: SpringThing for example, and I feel that discourages some authors (myself included).

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Can I politely suggest a different time of year? November will overlap both IFComp and EctoComp. For me personally, that’s a pretty strong set of alternatives, and seems likely to drag attention away. I’d love to see a winter or summer comp, though.

More abstractly, I’m concerned that running a ParserComp at the same time as IFComp will drive thought that the “real point” of ParserComp is “really” to bash choice-driven IF or, conversely, that doing so intends to put parser IF in a sort of separate preserve as IF moves on away from parser-based forms. Not trying to compete with other Comps might give ParserComp more of a chance to breathe on its own.


I agree with Patrick Mooney that overlap with other comps is probably not a good idea. Winter would be good, Summer also, though many might prefer to get away from the screen in June, July and August because of the weather (Australians might prefer the opposite(?) )


With no snow, we generally don’t care when stuff happens. Though I’ve heard a sort of contrasting theory that within our more moderate climate, we’re oversensitive to small changes within that climate. This is why my label manager always felt it was easier to get people to gigs in Melbourne than Sydney, Melbourne having the long term stereotype of more random variation in the weather and less sun than Sydney, meaning people were less likely to change plans on a dime based on anticipated weather in Melbourne, where in Sydney they were. I reckon with climate change, the random variation is everywhere now.

Australian winter is considered mild by northern hemisphere standards, yet I’ve also had Europeans saying to me they experience it as terrible because there’s almost no central heating used in Australia.



Hi Adam,

All my best to your son. I hope he recovers quickly and get to leave the hospital post haste.

I would enjoy a ParserComp. Count me in for help and an entry that will surely be modest compared to work of others here.


The poll for which month people would prefer to see ParserComp ran in (its still running now, if you haven’t voted yet please do) has generated enough responses already to get a feel for the direction of the wind.

Firstly, thank you everyone for taking the time to vote. Much appreciated.

Now, with a reasonable lead June and July came out top. Following a close second was January and February.

Some quick thoughts. There was concern raised that running ParserComp at a time that overlapped with IFComp might suggest (albeit wrongly) that this is a way to split the Parser and Choice games without actually officially splitting them. However the most preferred months from the poll are June & July meaning that there would be a 1 month overlap? Am I getting my timings wrong here or are people fine with an overlap with IFComp?

January and February were the next most popular. These would probably be my preferred months and don’t, to my knowledge, overlap with other competitions. Please correct me if I’m wrong there.

If we went for January & February then it would clearly need to be 2022. If we went for June & July then I do believe I could pull everything together for then and make a decent job of it.

I guess I’m asking… If you voted for Jan, Feb, June or July then why and for July are you ok with IFComp overlap?


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PS this is also assuming everyone (or a majority) are happy for me to give it a go. I presume I’m the only one running for ParserComp “head cheese” but by all means chuck in your application too and I’m happy for the people to decide.



IFcomp runs in October and November, so June/July should be fine. I voted for August but think July would be great.

Edit: I think you might be thinking of Introcomp, and I think it would be fine for those to overlap, since it serves only for unfinished games


I’m personally thrilled that you are cheesing this thing, and happy to help out if you need a lackey!


Thanks Brian! :slightly_smiling_face::+1:


Regarding timing, I added the months that the judging starts for the four major comps on the poll page so that people don’t have to go looking for them. Based on that, I voted for June, as that is midway between Spring Thing and IntroComp. I avoided the December/January period, as that’s the holiday period for most people and that means it would have to be postponed for a year.

As far as the time of year goes, June/July is winter for we Aussies, so people are more likely to stay indoors. It’s probably the opposite for the northern hemisphere.

As far as the web site goes, I don’t think you can do any better than using itch.io, as all the infrastructure, rating system, results etc. is already done for you. You only have to set up a new jam page specifying the rules, opening and closing dates, categories for judging and so on. It’s easy to make a submission and all submissions can be accessed from the same page. The results are calculated instantly as soon as the judging period closes. EctoComp has used itch.io for the last few years.

The only down side is that entrants and judges need an itch.io account. That’s probably not a major issue, as a lot of us have an account anyway.

Another advantage is that it has a community forum specifically for the jam. People can ask questions and discuss whatever they want and ask for play testers. You can make your game available for play testers before making it public. It’s all easy peasy.

Perhaps take a look at the rules for all the other comps and come up with a draft of the rules for ParserComp so that we can all throw darts at it.

If I like the look of the rules and you want to allocate prizes, I’m happy to throw in (say) $100 cash prize.


Thanks, that’s really helpful!!

Let me dig into this.

My thinking was to look at doing a refresh on the rules, if/where needed. 2015 is nearly 6 years ago now and a lot can change in that time. I want to make sure it’s inclusive and representative of the IFTAG (that’s my abbreviation for Interactive Fiction & Text Adventure Game) landscape for 2021.



You look after your son first. This is a much lower priority.


Dear all,

Thanks for the messages of support, I am pleased to say that Thomas is well, he’s home and safe after the post-COVID infection hell that was last week!

Just to confirm then that I am interested in running ParserComp and will post again soon to explain what my plan is including timescales. As previously mentioned I will need some help, specifically guidance on timescales, how long to keep the submissions window open, how should a judging period run, should it be open for voting or have an allocated set of Judges etc

Watch this space, will post again soon.



That’s great, I think everyone benefits from more competitions. Thanks for running this!