ParserComp 2023

ParserComp is very young, as annual events go, and still experimenting with what it wants to do and how it wants to do it. Its basic mission is to satisfy the curmudgeons who miss how the big IFComp used to be before the influx of Twine, and it’s been something of a failure in that regard so far. Maybe it’s the fact that it’s hosted on, attracting a different set of authors, who see it as just another jam with a novel constraint. But whatever the reason, ParserComp has attracted a significant number of entries that don’t fit the spirit of the thing — either they’re graphical games that just barely have parsers, or they pretend to have parsers but don’t really. (A parser is not just a command prompt!) But no one’s policing this, probably in part because it’s such a small event that they need the questionable cases to fill out the numbers.

At any rate, this year the organizers decided to deal with it by splitting the event into two categories, “classic” and “freestyle”, with a winner to be declared in each category. There are eleven “classic” and five “freestyle”, which is a small enough total that it’s pointless to try to identify trends and talk about what it means for the future of ParserComp and whether the split is a good idea or not, tempted though I am to do just that. I guess I’ll just have to play some games. I will be playing all sixteen games, in random order, classic and freestyle mixed together.

2 Comments so far

  1. matt w on 22 Jul 2023

    Good heavens, there’s an ADRIFT game!

  2. Carl Muckenhoupt on 29 Jul 2023

    At least three, in fact!

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