It’s that time of the year again! ParserComp 2023 is open on Itch.IO and is taking submissions for the next month for parser-based text adventure/interactive fiction games.

ParserComp was first held in 2015, and resurrected in 2021.

This year’s competition opens on Monday the 1st of May 2023, with submissions closing on Friday, the 30th of June.

Voting to choose the winners of ParserComp 2023 will open on the 1st of July, and end on the 2nd of August.

Results will be out ASAP after the voting deadline. The winner will receive an engraved lamp trophy, whilst Silver & Bronze winners will receive a hard copy certificate of participation.

Interested in ParserComp 2023? Check out the Jam page on Itch.IO and join the community Discord Server.

Eligibility & Categories

Games submitted to ParserComp 2023 must be previously unreleased, parser-based text games. Parser-based means titles which take free-text input, parse it, and produce an output (which is typically more text).

Interactive fiction novels that are choice-based, made in engines like Twine or Choice Of Games is not allowed—even if they contain elements of interactive text.

There are two categories you can submit your game into:
  1. Classic: This category is for interactive fiction parser-based games that play, look, and feel like conventional parser-based text games. Think like Zork, Colossal Cave, and everything that has come out and followed their footsteps.
  2. Freestyle: This category is for parser-based titles that break from the traditional mould, but still use a parser-based/command system as the core game mechanic.

Voting will be done through the Itch.IO system, so you will need an account to submit an entry to the competition, and vote on winners.

If you’ve got any questions, you can head over to the Itch.IO page for the competition. There is a detailed FAQ there, or you can reach out to the competition creators.

We can’t wait to see the results of this year’s ParserComp! If you’re planning to enter, you might see us cover your game in the future.

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By Camellia Hao Ren

Camellia Hao Ren is an Australian journalist and editor. When they aren't writing, they are usually playing games or reading.

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