ParserComp 2021 - The Rules for Participants (Draft; may change!)

  1. To be eligible for participation in ParserComp your game must have text input, a text parser system and text output as the primary mechanism of control.

    1.1 At no stage, optional or otherwise, should there be a requirment for peripherals such as joypad, joystick, mouse or other controller to interact with your game.

    1.2 Location graphics are permitted (static or animated).

    1.3 Sound effects are permitted.

    1.4 Also permitted is the use of voice input and for the computer to read the text output aloud to the player; however this needs to be in addition to the text input & output parser system.

  2. You may use your own parser engine or any of the existing parser IF software systems to create your game.

  3. ParserComp will be ran using and its Game Jam system.

    3.1 Participants will therefore (without exception) need to create themselves an Itch account.

    3.2 Judges will also need (again without exception) to create themselves an Itch account.

  4. Registration & Submission into ParserComp are the same thing. There is no game creation period and therefore you are free to upload your game and enter it into the competition at any point during the Registration/Submission window.

    4.1 The window for Registration/Submission is between the 1st to 31st July 2021.

  5. All judging & voting is done through the ParserComp competition page on

    5.1 The window for judging & voting is between the 1st to 31st August 2021.

  6. All entries must cost nothing for judges to play. Entries may not request payment in order to play through the game, require the player to view paid advertising, or make similar commercial demands of the player.

  7. You retain the copyright to any games you enter, and may do whatever you wish with your work after the competition ends.

  8. All entries must be previously unreleased at the opening of judging. ParserComp makes a specific defintion of “unreleased” by which we mean that the game you wish to enter has never been widely distributed, sold, or made available for public play or download prior to the competition with the following exceptions:

    8.1 Open Beta Testing is allowed in ParserComp. This should not be used as a form of game promotion or marketing and to this end our expectation is that requesting beta-testers in any public or private forums should follow the guidelines below:
    8.1.1 The title of the post should be “Request for Beta-Testers for ParserComp Game: [Game Name]”
    8.1.2 Description of the game should be a simple overview, should not include any agregious promotional jargon, and should be 100 words or less.
    8.1.3 Description of your expectation of the beta-testers; 50 words or less.
    8.1.4 Contact details for the author
    8.1.5 Link to the Open Test Repository i.e GitHub

    8.2 There is no restriction on eligibility for entry into ParserComp regarding the lengh of time that a game has already been in Open Beta Test state.

    8.3 Any titles previously entered into IntroComp but which are now complete may be entered into ParserComp.

    8.4 ParserComp considers translations of previously released works into another written language as new works. Therefore this rule does not disqualify such translations from entry.

    8.5 If you are unsure whether your game meets this rule, please ask the organisers.

  9. While you are free to talk about your entries in public, please avoid suggesting to judges, directly or indirectly, how they should vote and this includes directly promoting for and inviting votes via posts or promotional material in forums or other social media.

    9.1 ParserComp reserves the right to request any post or promotional item which is deemed to break rule 9 to be removed.

    9.2 ParserComp reserves the right to disqualify any entrant who refuses to remove any post or promotional item which, at the judgement of ParserComp, is in breach of rule 9.

  10. ParserComp reserves the right to refuse entry into the competition and/or remove any existing participant if we believe (at our judgement) they are in breach of the rules or are not operating within the spirit of the rules and the competition.

Any questions or comments then please post them here and I will reply when possible.




(grating, scraping sound of red pencil being sharpened)

Ready for judge duty.


Awesome, thanks! :slightly_smiling_face::+1:


Looks good. I intend to participate.


Excellent! Thanks :slightly_smiling_face::+1:


All good, apart from rule 10; who is “we” ?

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Currently… Me :slightly_smiling_face:

But I’ll look into some sort of “board” with me and a couple of assistants.



The previous ParserComp had a theme (“sunrise”). Will this one have a theme too?


Does it have to be a full/complete game or can it be a short version or demo?


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Is the game restricted to just location graphics??
Can other pics be allowed? eg: for objects or characters in the game?


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Originally I wasn’t going to give one as it may have accidentally excluded some games where the theme doesn’t match.

However I have been thinking of an optional theme for those who prefer it. Given how 2020 was and how 2021 looks to be I am thinking to have something like “Perseverance”.


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Sound great - will be happy to playtest and judge. (Also, 8.1.2: I think you mean egregious).

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As long as it’s a “finished game”. So short games are fine, demo’s are fine providing they offer a good and self-contained game.

Let me give an example.

“The House Abandon” was essentially a full demo which was released and could be played and completed in isolation and made total sense. There was no “watch this space for the next release or full version”.

Later the full game, “Stories Untold”, was released and “The House Abandon” became Act I of the larger game.

Hope that helps!


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Good spot! I swear my typing and spelling gets worse every year. I’ll edit that for the final release. :slightly_smiling_face::+1:

Also thanks for looking to take part and support the competition, much appreciated!


Good point - all allowed - I will edit accordingly for the final release of the rules. Thanks!


Hi Adam,

Thank you for clarification on those points.
Will check final rules in due course.


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Thanks for organizing this!

I’m not sure whether I’ll have time to participate, but it sounds good.

A question concerning point 4 and 5, the submissions and voting periods:
“you are free to upload your game and enter it into the competition at any point during the Registration/Submission window”

Will the entries be public as soon as they are uploaded?

I just ask because that seems to be the way most game jams on handle it, and it’s the default setting there, as far as I know.

If so, that could theoretically mean that a game which was uploaded quite early in the submission period could garner a lot more views/support than others before the judging period, couldn’t it?

That seems like it would be in tension with the emphasis placed by rule 8 on non-promotional testing and not being released.

So, I guess the jam will probably use itch’s feature to hide submissions before the end of the submission period?
("Normally, during a jam’s submission period, entries are displayed on the jam page immediately after submission. This may give an unfair distribution of attention to submissions that come earlier than others.

The Hide submissions before end hides the submissions list from the jam’s page until the submission period is over. This ensures that every entry will have the same visibility.")

Although note that that page also says: “Jam submissions are still accessible by their direct URL, or via the project’s page on”

So, just to be clear, even if the submissions are hidden on the jam page, if someone uploads a game early on, the individual project page and the game will be publicly available. (Or can one submit a private itch page to a jam? Probably not?)

I guess it’s reasonably safe to assume that this specific sort of public availability will simply drown in the sea of all new releases on itch? If so, then no undue attention will be generated, and the effect would be no more promotional than the open beta testing which is allowed by ParserComp. (Well, the author’s followers on itch will be notified, but presumably they might also have been notified for open beta testing anyway?)

So, umm, I don’t necessarily want to rehash the discussion from the other threads about the release definition etc., but I thought it’s better to talk about the issue beforehand. :slight_smile:


These rules all make sense to me. Also, I think adopting as a platform is a sensible choice.

Just to point out though that since Itch has a Game Jam model, there might be some extra work to do to emphasise that ParserComp is not a Jam. So how to publicise the comp prior to the the Jam period for example.

Itch is good for generating a buzz during the Jam period. This buzz will be about the playing and judging, and less so the game development, I suspect.

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In 1.1, ‘requirment’ should be ‘requirement’.

In 1.3, ‘Sound effects’ should probably be ‘Music and/or sound effects’.

1.4 would be better worded as 'Voice input and output are permitted to aid visually-impaired players, but this must be in addition to the text input and output.

In 2, ‘parser IF software systems’ may be clearer as ‘parser-based authoring tools’.

In 3, ‘ran’ should be ‘run’, ‘’ should be ‘’ (lower case) and ‘Game Jam’ should be ‘game jam’ (lower case). Append ‘Therefore, participants and judges will need an account.’ and delete 3.1 and 3.2.

In 4, I think registration and submission should be separate, otherwise, you won’t have any idea how many people are interested until they have made their submissions at the end of the submission period. Separate registration and submission is the norm for In any case, ‘Registration’ and ‘Submission’ should both be lower case.

In 4.1, ‘between the 1st to 31st July 2021’ should be ‘from 1 to 31 July 2021’.

In 5, ‘’ should be ‘’ (lower case).

In 5.1, ‘between the 1st to 31st August 2021’ should be ‘from 1 to 31 August 2021’.

In 8.1, ‘Open Beta Testing’ should be '‘Open beta testing’.

In 8.1.2, ‘agregious’ should be ‘egregious’. (No idea what it meant. I had to look it up.)

In 8.1.4 & 5, both are missing the full stop at the end of the sentence.

In 8.1.5, ‘Link to the Open Test Repository i.e GitHub’ should be ‘How to acquire the game.’, as it could be on GitHub, GitLab, or any of a number of other repositories, or sent by personal message or email.

In 8.2, ‘lengh’ should be ‘length’.

In 8.3, ‘titles’ should be ‘title’, ‘are’ should be ‘is’ and add commas after ‘IntroComp’ and ‘complete’.

In 8.4, this would be better worded as ‘A translation of a previoulsy released work into another written language is considered a new work and is therefore eligible for entry.’

I think you should mention what languages are permitted. Must they be in English, or can they be in any language.

I think there should be a rule specifying that the content must not be offensive, racist, discriminatory, aggressive or what have you. I’m sure there’s a standard list of these things somewhere.

Assuming adult content is permitted, I think it should also say something about providing a warning about bad language, sexual content, extreme violence, horror or anything else that you don’t want little kiddies to be subjected to.


Good point. As it’s a competition, it might be better if the submissions are hidden until the end of the submission period, like for IFComp et al.