Meta! The RPS Guessing Game

This would be the most self-indulgent post in the world (well, aside from when Kieron talks about his cartoon strips and Jim about his Eve book) if we’d made the game in question ourselves. Fortunately, we haven’t, so it’s merely one of the most self-indulgent posts in the world instead. And why not?

Reader Giblethead2000 works on a theory that it’s possible to guess who’s written any RPS post simply by reading it. He’s right, of course – Hivemind we may be, but Gillen’s are the ones full of basic grammatical errors, Jim’s are the ones without jokes, John’s are the ones about crying, and mine are the ones whining at absurd length about things that don’t matter. Nonetheless, let’s put it to the test with Giblethead’s cunning clone of the site… Death of the author? More like guess the author…

It’s essentially an exact replica of RPS, but all author names are removed – so it’s up to you to guess who wrote what from the drop-down list of names. Easier if you’ve not read the site lately, naturally, or have an incredibly short-term memory. Points are awarded, prizes are not. Go play, then come back here to prove how much you love us in score-based form.

Oh, and if you’re wondering about the delightful image at the top of this post – well, that’s one of our two official t-shirts. They’re great, they are. More details on those here. What? What? We’re surely entitled to a spot of pimping to help fund this desperately under-monied place. While we’re on the subject of the t-shirts, we’re thinking of adding a third design at some point – kind submissions of fun/crazy/stylish designs are very welcome.


  1. Flowerpot Wang says:

    Well, at least I got the Sunday Papers one correct…

  2. Ian says:

    How far back does this work? Because I was gonna try it on the 37 articles of RPS’ very first month but it just told me who’d written them.

  3. dartt says:

    I’d like your twitter icon on a shirt!

  4. phil says:

    This would be a good idea to apply to any comparatively small group of writers similar in style and with massive geek appeal – someone do versions for white beat, high steam punk fantasy, hard space sci-fi, neo-noir, alternative comics turned novelists and Charlie Brooker/ TV writers trying SO hard to be Charlie Brooker please.

  5. Ben Abraham says:

    Anything about STALKER = Jim.

  6. Rosti says:

    Unfair advantage hint – if you see any alt-text on images, then it’s either (A) Insulting your mother – Man! [Gillen] or (B) Overly meta/cute [Walker].

    And if there’s no alt-text, then either Gillen has a hangover, or Rossignol/Meer at the helm of the Good Ship RPS.

    I heartily approve of this game and all it stands for.

    Also, a Horace the Endless Bear shirt would be ace (“The End is Nigh!” seems appropriate for a crazed loon version). That and a Kraftwerk cover. Horace…..Endless, endless, endless…

  7. Jonas says:

    I got them all right, which is something, but I was a little disappointed that I couldn’t continue on the next page.

    Also felt sorry for Tim Stone that he’s been reduced to “Someone Else” :(

  8. Cian says:

    I foresee bitter highscore wars in the coming months.
    I embrace them wholeheartedly.

  9. Optimaximal says:

    I struggle to comprehend how the Endless Bear shirt would work.

    For true kudos, it would need to extend around the shirt, but what happens when it wraps entirely around – we could be talking an ouroboros scenario, but then Horace doesn’t eat or even show any signs of any desire too (or any desire what so ever, as vacant as his stare is).

    Also, everytime I see that Hivemind t-shirt I am astounded how much the top one looks like Kieron (cue someone telling me it’s not Kieron)!

    Also felt sorry for Tim Stone that he’s been reduced to “Someone Else” :(

    Yeah, but it’s basically easy to guess who it is when you come across a Strafe Left comic. That is his punishment!

  10. GibletHead2000 says:

    Holy crap, you linked it! Here’s hoping my server holds up. :-)

    Yeah, it’s unlikely to work for older ones. It’s basically a handful of flaky regexes that I threw together in a couple of hours, and I didn’t look far past the front page. You can read the whole article if you’re unsure though.

    Re: Tim Stone, I considered adding him as an option, but he’s not listed on the “About” page, so I didn’t.

  11. Amirul B Ruslan says:

    5/8 here. And I seem to get most of Alec and Jim’s right, missing all of Kieron’s completely! Which is funny, because I’m typically more familiar with pieces by Messrs. Gillen, Stone and Walker.

  12. GibletHead2000 says:

    I can’t give an objective score, because I know who wrote all the recent articles after I spent a while debugging it. I suck at it though. I can usually spot Keiron, and the rest are pretty much chance.

  13. Nutterguy says:

    Only 6/10 :-(
    But I did get all of Kieron’s and Jim’s posts right!

    Also who is this Alec Meer guy? I don’t seem to know him at all! :-P

  14. Kieron Gillen says:

    Who can truly claim understand the mystery that is Alec Meer?


  15. Morph says:

    Oh dear, 5/10, and two were Sunday Papers and a picture of Kieron.

    I am especially bad at guessing Jim’s articles it seems – which is a shame because of all of RPS, he has the best voice on the podcasts.

  16. Sum0 says:

    Fun fact: “Rossignol” is French for “nightingale”.

  17. nakke says:

    More like old fact.
    See what I did there?

  18. Catastrophe says:

    Horace the Endless bear would be an awesome t-shirt.

    It could wrap around behind itself or wrap around and slightly down all the way around and down the t-shirt.

    RPS Tshirt idea:
    A Rock with a little face, with paper grappling onto it trying to suffocate it then Duke Nukem with a shotgun literally blowing holes in the both of them :]

    OR a Rock and Paper fighting over the front seat of a car. SHOTGUN!

  19. Nimic says:

    2/10, which is exactly what one would expect if I had no clue and was just guessing.

    Which I was.

  20. Nallen says:

    Oddly I’ve been playing this game recently with out the…game.

    And no the fact that the Author is at the head of every article doesn’t help. Me.

  21. chesh says:

    Just print the weapon selection and book cover shirts from the original compo, please. Those are the ones I’m actually willing to spend money on.

  22. Jante says:

    I prefer to think of RPS as one collective entity. That, or I can never tell any of the authors apart. Except when it is EVE or STALKER related (or has links to crazy music or comics.)

  23. Diogo Ribeiro says:

    I seem to have guessed all of them. But I got no highscore screen. I suspect prizes are also not in order.

  24. Diogo Ribeiro says:

    Um, what? Now that I’ve logged in it tells me I’ve scored 10/10, but that they’re all wrong. Wut.

  25. Wisq says:

    I assume RPS is aware that image ‘alt’ tags don’t show up as popup tooltips in Firefox, but ‘title’ tags do? (FF subscribes to the more correct notion that ‘alt’ is a replacement for the image while ‘title’ is a caption for it.)

    I think ‘title’ tags also show up as tooltips in IE, same as ‘alt’ tags, but I don’t recall for certain.

  26. Jim Rossignol says:

    Wisq: Yes, although I use a FF plugin to display alt texts.

    The reason why alts show up on RPS is because our software drops them into instant image code templates.

  27. Kieron Gillen says:

    As Jim says, having to write TITLE manually in every tag would lead to us just giving it up.

    (EDIT: And I use a firefox plugin too)


  28. Leeks! says:

    I got 7/10. It’s funny, I actually played a game like this with myself already, where I would deliberately ignore the poster and see if I could guess. But I thought it was too weird to tell anyone about.

  29. James says:

    Apparently I can’t tell Alec and Jim apart. And it does rather feel like it’s cheating when it’s someone else writing. Like, how dare they?

  30. Psychopomp says:

    So *that’s* where “HORACE THE ENDLESS BEAR,” came from.

    1/10, and that was only because I recognized Gillen in a picture…

  31. Blast Hardcheese says:

    You know what I learned from this all? John writes in bursts then slips off the radar for a page or two.

  32. DeliriumWartner says:

    Good Lord – 3/10. I throw myself on the mercy of the Hivemind. I kept going for John, thinking “He’s got to have done one of these, I’ll be right eventually.” Wrong! What have you been doing John?? And who knew Alec was so prolific?

  33. Rei Onryou says:

    Something Horace related would be great. Was trying to think if an artist’s impression of the front of Horace could be drawn like on a Mobius strip, but that might be considered blasphemy.

    Of course, Chuck Norris style facts about Horace could work.

    Otherwise, perhaps the Hivemind as TF2 characters?

    As for score, after reading the works of RPS for many many many years in print, I’m happy that I didn’t fail the metagame.

  34. skalpadda says:

    I tried this when it first appeared on the forums, got 7/10. I didn’t spend that much time examining the posts though. Fun idea :)

  35. Cargo Cult says:

    1/10. And I only got that one because it had a photo of THE GILLEN in it.

  36. Duoae says:

    Heh, this only taught me how little Kieron contributes to the site and how hard-working Alec is.


  37. Anthony says:

    Jim has an EVE book?

    Do want.