ParserComp 2022 is open!

Hello everyone

We’re delighted to announce that ParserComp 2022, the annual competition for parser games, is now open for registrations!

WHAT: ParserComp, an annual competition for parser-based text games.

WHERE: over at itch.io.

WHEN: register now and enter your game by the submission deadline of 30 June 2022.

Last year’s competition (curated by @Adam_S) was a huge success, with 18 games submitted, using many different authoring systems (Inform6, Inform7, Adventuron, TAB, ADRIFT, AdvSys and QBASIC). We’d like this year’s competition to be even bigger and better so now is the time to register and get working on your games ahead of the deadline on 30 June 2022!

The competition welcomes parser games using any authoring system and of any length - so if you’re got a lengthy parser epic brewing that you think might be too long for another competition, ParserComp would be a good place to show it off (and of course, brief games are also welcome!)

This year, stewardship of the competition has passed to @fos1 and @ChristopherMerriner, and there has been a light redrafting and clarification of the rules. You can find those, as well as some FAQ, on the competition page. Please ask any questions that you may have either here or on the community page over on itch.

Good luck everyone!

Fos1 & Christopher

24 Likes

The lamp is now providing light.

5 Likes

Omitted from the FAQs on the ParserComp itch-page:

–Can I have a peanutbutter-and-jelly sandwich?
Yes, so long as the primary game mechanic remains text input and output.

–Should Calvinball be played in the next Olympics?
Yes, so long as the primary game mechanic remains text input and output.

–If God is benevolent, then why do bad things happen to good people?
Yes, so long as the primary game mechanic remains text input and output.

–Is nosepicking socially acceptable for a kindergarten teacher?
Yes, so long as the primary game mechanic remains text input and output.

Have a great Comp everyone!

6 Likes

The Primary parser rules… :wink:

3 Likes

A minor quibble, the following rule seems to suggest that Gruescript would not be admissible, whereas Gruescript is listed in the recommended authoring systems:

My game is navigable by clicking key words - can I enter it in ParserComp?

Yes, as long as the main game mechanic is text input and output and the game can’t be traversed just by clicking on key words.

Clarified:

My game is navigable by clicking key words - can I enter it in ParserComp?

Yes, as long as the main game mechanic is text input, parsing, and text output and the game can’t be traversed purely by clicking on pre-defined choices to advance through passages of text. For example, a Gruescript or similar style of game would be eligible, a Twine or other purely choice-based game wouldn’t be.

2 Likes

You’re right - the FAQ are not nearly expansive and detailed enough! I will prepare an appendix so that all these weighty matters are covered.

4 Likes

That’s a good point. Should Choice IF be allowed if the game fundamentally parses the input, even when the game provides limited choice of input text as to avoid non-sensical constructs?

That is, the choices are

LOOK APPLE, EAT APPLE

Instead of allowing

KILL APPLE, TELL APPLE TO EAT BANANA

Something like that? As long as players can choose to enter command text directly, it should be fine?

1 Like

All of life’s conundrums great and small, answered in one easily parsed conditional statement.

–Is it “conundrums” or “conundra”?
Yes, so long as the primary game mechanic remains text input and output.

2 Likes

Unfortunately, based upon Gruescript documentation. It does not produce a parser games. :frowning:

//
Gruescript is a scripting language/online tool for creating
point-n-click text adventures.

Gruescript is a tool for creating point-and-click text adventures which feel like classic ‘puzzlebox’ games while eliminating the need for the player to type, making the games friendly to modern devices and players. You build your game online and download it as a playable HTML page.
//

2 Likes

I recall, though, that Gruescript does parse the input beneath the P&C interface. But I’m not an expert. Perhaps @robinjohnson can clarify?

True. If we allow Gruescript we should allow Twine and CoG. ???

I know this was discussed last year. It is more conducive to smartphone and tablets and may offer accessibility advantages.

But:

Rule 1. Only parser games are eligible for entry into ParserComp. ParserComp defines a parser game as one where the primary input method is the keyboard, commands are typed in, the computer uses a parser engine to understand commands and then outputs text to screen describing the results.

How far should ParserComp deviate from that rule?

I reckon that this covers it:

Yes, as long as the main game mechanic is text input, parsing, and text output and the game can’t be traversed purely by clicking on pre-defined choices to advance through passages of text.

There does seem to be a difference between key word selection → parsing and clicking choices to advance through passages.

But - it is a grey area!

Maybe a Point and Click category?

Having written both parser and choice-based games, I can honestly say that the process of planning and writing a Gruescript game is almost identical to planning and writing an I7 game, and nothing at all like writing in Twine or ChoiceScript. I’ve even been able to port an unfinished I7 game to Gruescript. It’s far more parser-like than it is choice-like, whatever the documentation says.

2 Likes

Thanks for that. I know this was discussed last year and was bound to come up again. Fos1 and I redrafted the rules but didn’t revisit this point at the time.

I’d say obviously choice-based games (Twine, ChoiceScript et al.) are out, obviously parser games (Inform, TADS et al.) are in, and anything really ambiguous we can make a judgement call on if we need to. But in reality, we’re unlikely to get many of those cases (but it will make it more interesting if we do!)

1 Like

At this point we should allow Gruescript based upon the rules as published.

2 Likes

I’ve just played around a bit in the beginning of The Party Line (itch.io) and Detectiveland (itch.io). Those games feel very parser to me.

2 Likes

Yes, I think we’re agreed to allow it.

If we now get hundreds of Gruescript entries we’ll simply rename it GruescriptComp and carry on.

5 Likes

As long as we’re dividing up the turf, how about a PythonComp?

There’s been a bit of movement from that direction.

2 Likes