ParserComp 2023 has arrived - RESULTS PENDING

Dear Friends

At the risk of triggering mass spontaneous combustion through excitement, I am nevertheless duty-bound to announce that the submission window for ParserComp 2023 has closed and the playing and judging period is now open!!*

[*probably - this being ParserComp, we’ll no doubt have messed up a setting somewhere]

Those of you who are still with us are cordially invited to visit the submission page on where you will find displayed for your delectation and playing pleasure not one, not two, not three (etc.) but an eye-watering 15 brand new, lovingly crafted, exquisitely polished, and generally turned-out-in-their-Sunday-best parser games!

A quick calculation via @fos1’s supercomputer (requiring input of a mere 3000 feet of punched cards) reveals that of the 15 games there are:

  • 10 ‘classic’ games, in the traditional >WHAT NOW? style (that we know, love, and find rather comforting),


  • 5 ‘freestyle’ games, that could be literally anything on earth, or even beyond. (We’re frankly afraid of these things, with their wayward player interfaces and intrusion of graphical elements - but in the spirit of adventure and innovation, we’ve determined to embrace and enjoy them nevertheless).

JUDGES Please be aware that you have until the end of Wednesday 2 August to cast your votes and determine who will be the recipient of the fabled, priceless, fragrant, and possibly apocryphal solid gold lamp trophy* in each category!

* “solid gold lamp trophy” should not to be taken to imply that lamp is actually made of solid gold

REVIEWERS Please do your thing, in the best way that you can do it. We all know that feedback is valued above all else.

PARTICIPANTS Thanks so much for entering your games! This competition would (quite literally) be nothing without you!

All - please enjoy this year’s ParserComp!

(I think I need a little lie down now)

Best wishes

fos1 & Christopher


I am in a tornado shelter deep under the hills of NE Kansas slowing bringing the quantum super computer online. Enough liquid Nitrogen has been delivered that should last for the duration of the judging and tabulation phases of the comp.

More to follow…


I test opened every game on the page. Two seemed to be locked to me - ‘Steal 10 treasures’ and ‘Cheree Remembering my Murder’.

They give a page like this:

"You do not have access to this page

This game has been restricted by the author and can not be downloaded. The owner of the page must give permission to those they wish to access the page. If you think this is a mistake, please get in touch with support…

We noticed that this game has never been published, perhaps the creator forgot to publish it before sharing? Learn more about visibility modes…



Wade, I’m sure you’re just not seeing the long-term plan here. The ParserComp organizers work in mysterious ways, but it’s all part of an intricate and carefully calibrated scheme that we just can’t understand.

Or it’s Sandra’s fault.


What about my game Murder Most Foul? I submitted it as an entry on 29th June but I don’t see any sign of it in the comp. Is there any reason why it hasn’t been included?


I searched for it on Itch and found two games, neither of which was yours, I think. Is it set to “public” on the developer page?


I honestly couldn’t tell you. I remember finding the website confusing and the submission form even moreso. It’s possible, probably even likely, that I went and clicked the wrong thing which disqualified it but I definitely did submit it. It’s here on the site:


I think you may need to edit the game and make sure it’s not set to DRAFT. I followed your link and couldn’t see the game.


I’ve now changed it from draft to published. Hopefully this now means it will be sorted out.


Go to your dashboard on itch and look at the game there. It should look something like this:

See how mine says “published” in green? What does yours say?

Edit: Ah, I see you figured it out. I bet some ParserComp magic can happen there.


At least one of the games requires Adrift Runner. Windows Defender won’t seem to let me download it, because it believes it to be a virus. Any idea how to proceed?


Submit to the virus, become one with the virus. Defenestrate replicate into strange new forms of being which Microsoft could never fathom. There should be a button that lets you do this.


Figured it out. I had about a half a second to open a window, open a drop-down menu, and click an option before it disappeared in order to do this. Thanks, Microsoft.


I can now see and download your game, but it doesn’t show up in the ParserComp submissions. One of the comp organisers (@fos1 or @ChristopherMerriner) can check to see if it was submitted correctly. If it wasn’t, I’m sure they wouldn’t mind generating a special link for you to resubmit it as a late submission.


I’m sure it will all be sorted out soon. The comp organisers will know I submitted the game on time even if I did do something wrong on the submitting side of things. There’s always one, eh? :wink:


Just want to comment that Adrift games can also be played with Frankendrift and it works on both Mac, Linux and Windows and Frankendrift is highly compatible.

In a few games played with Frankendrift the font size may be a bit off. On Windows you can change font size by holding down CTRL while turning the mouse wheel.

Another problem:
It seems that Windows has “improved” its security so it has become very difficult to download unknown exe-files so you might need to disable the “reputation based file control” while downloading Frankendrift as well as Adrift Runner. Here, “reputation based” means that unknown exe-files by definition do not have a reputation and therefore are regarded as “dangerous” by the “reputation based file control”. (In the general case, this might be a decent method for those who never download niche programs.)

So you can temporarily disable the reputation based file control while you download a file you trust. You can still decide to scan the file for viruses after download, before running the file.

On Windows 10 I did the following (freely translated from Danish so exact phrases might be different):

  1. open Windows Security (translated from Danish Windows)
  2. Click on App and Browser control (translated from Danish Windows)
  3. Click on “settings for reputation based security” (translated from Danish Windows)
  4. Disable “Control apps and files”. (translated from Danish Windows)

After you have downloaded the file you trust, enable “Control apps and files” again.


Here at ParserComp HQ, technical incompetence is our watchword! At least things have improved over last year, when nobody could even vote for days and days; we aim to get ParserComp running smoothly right out of the gate by 2040.

It seems at least one game is still in restricted mode, so we’ll attempt to contact the author about that (via scrying glass and incantation, since there’s no messaging function on itch) and as for:

we will generate a submission link to get it in the competition, taking the total up to 16* games!

[*figure not yet verified by supercomputer].

Of course, responsibility for all administrative errors does ultimately lie with Sandra on the front desk - so we’ve fired her, for good order (and then immediately rehired her, for who else would want to work on the front desk at ParserComp HQ?)

Thanks for your forbearance everyone!


Murder Most Foul is listed in the submissions. It is only available by download. Since it is an Adrift game, Adrift Runner is required. The game opens and plays on my local Win11 computer (but not the supercomputer in the bunker. :slight_smile: )

PS. When running the exe file, I did have to select advanced when the installation was blocked and then allow it to install.


I notice that there are still 2 unreachable games… 8 -(


Frankendrift will work too, though font sizes will probably need adjustment.