By: Derek Yu

On: April 9th, 2008


The results are in! Voting for The VGNG Competition is now over, and our buddy Farbs caught 16% of the vote with his really-rather-brilliant ROM CHECK FAIL, followed close behind by Farmergnome’s excellent My First Skydiving Academy. All in all, the VGNG Compo was a huge success. It’s been said before, but all the entrants should be really proud of themselves for participating, and making some really good shit!

Regarding the next competition… keep your eyeballs peeled. You never know when or how it’s going to hit. But you can expect that it’s going to be a lot of fun!

Congratulations, Farbs, and all the entrants!

  • Stwelin

    THIS. GAME. WINS. Start ordering cabinets now.

    (also, python! yay!)

  • Takoyaki

    Love the game… but is ROM CHECK FAIL a valid name generated by the VGNG? Seems off.

  • Patrick

    Yeah, it seems too… consistent to be random.

  • Golds

    Hooray. Really great competition.

    I’m not sure if 16% of the vote is a valid statistic though. The game got 83 votes out of 195 total people, meaning 42% of voters included it in their selection.

    I’d like to give a shout out to Post Apocalyptic Unicorn Uprising, which didn’t win the popular vote, but did win my vote. I think there are several other gems to come out of this competition as well. Congrats, everybody.


  • Valkyrie

    This comp deserves to be an annual event. ‘Grats to everyone involved.

  • John Evans

    The funny thing is that I keep going back and playing ROM CHECK FAIL a lot. Like, a lot. At least once or twice a day. That’s a sign right there that something’s going right.

  • xerus

    Damn, with a Kotaku Exclusive backing you, you better win ;p

  • Melly

    You only needed to be inspired by the VGNG, not follow it to the letter. Most people did so anyway, since it was more interesting. But it’s a competition without prizes, so who gives a shit? ROM CHECK FAIL is totally awesome.

  • BeamSplashX

    I played it for the first time yesterday, and was awestruck… it’s not stuff from all the games you love, it IS all the games you love. In one. But not separate.

    I think Farbs is now officially indier than John Madden.

  • Cave Story

    I would have selected in that order :samurai mansion, rom check fail and viking bazooka.
    But it seems that creating buzz was a determinant factor in this competition, (what with RCF being exposed by so many games websites ?)

  • Bubbinska

    Great competition, and there were heaps of cool ideas submitted. I must admit, I didn’t try RCF until after I’d voted for other stuff.

    What’s important is that a comp as silly as this can produce some really original and great games. Maybe I’ll enter the next comp ;)

  • Ciardhubh

    I too think it got much more coverage than the other games. So people tend to be biased. Basically the winners are those that got most coverage on various web sites during the voting period. I think it was somewhat unfair towards the other entries. It often feels like some indie games get hyped for no real reason. Hyping is so mainstream :D

    Grats everyone ;)

  • Jumps

    RCF has been giving me strange dreams. What should I do?

  • Noyb

    Rom Check Fail got buzz because it’s a great game that appeals to nostalgia, and Toon-Damaged Brain Underworld got buzz because Cactus has a reputation for quality. On the other hand, my entry was one one of few named in Kotaku’s general post and I only got three votes. Make of that what you will. :D

  • Farbs

    Jumps: Live your dreams

  • mio

    Yeah, pushing that nostalgia button is the easiest way to win.

  • Sigvatr

    I’ve seen all the words from the title in the generator before.

  • muku

    Oh crap. When I try to run RCF, I get an access violation and some messsage about being unable to find Duh.

  • Bajatar

    Neither of the words “rom”, “check” nor “fail” are possible outputs of the VGNG if you look at its name text file:

  • Corpus

    No, I don’t RCF was a VGNG output. It was just inspired by the VGNG – a video game generator, rather than a name generator. It was still awesome, and was, IMO, the most fun of all the entries.

    Most of the people voting on the competition had been following the entries from their early announcements, so saying that RCF won because it got Kotaku coverage is stupid. You’re stupid. Stop being stupid.

    I think Tiny Platypus Pimps should’ve got more attention than it did (it was one of my three choices,) but I guess most people found it too difficult. That isn’t a sly dig at those people. It’s a statement of fact, so don’t get your knickers in a twist, anyone.

    Congratulations to everyone who entered! You’re awesome.

  • Farmergnome

    Agreed Corpus, plz others don’t have a cry about why RCF won or had a edge, who cares so long as it was fun. Farbs won cus his entry was great, not because he had some marketing edge, jesus face defeat with some balls. If anyone should be sad it should be me… so close :(

    Hahaha next time maybe

  • Corpus

    I voted for you, too, Farmergnome :P Skydiving was pretty damn awesome.

  • Moose

    Wow, ROM CHECK FAIL is a lot of fun. Someone should make that into a more substantial game (it kinda stinks that if you get the Space Invaders ship, you’re basically doomed to die at some points)

    I am a bit confused about the “did it really come from the name generator” issue though. Everyone else seems to have named their game directly after the name that the generator output so I wonder if that could have been clarified more.

  • Farbs

    The game was originally going to generate games from the VGNG, in much the same way as the VGNG generates game titles. During dev the concept evolved into ROM CHECK FAIL, which still generates games, just not games from the VGNG. It’s certainly inspired by the VGNG idea of constructing a game concept by slapping random stuff together.

  • cgmonkey

    I’m floored by the entries — great stuff! Congrats to the winners.

  • ssfsx17

    I’ve discovered that RCF is not about winning. Rather, it’s about knowing how to play defensively and survive with the heroes who are poorly-suited for the level.

  • Mr. Shen

    Wow! Congrats! I had a great time with the game and you even left a comment on one of my own creations. I’m beaming with pride.

  • gustav

    congratulations, farbs!

    plz make next compo soon, plz. plz.

  • Lolfo

    Damn. Does it ever seem to anyone else that everyone else rips game ideas from your head and steals the credit for it?

  • seregrail7

    The only thing that annoys me is Braindamaged Toon Underworld getting so many votes. It was about 2 or 3 minutes long, and very incomplete.

    Rom Check Fail was the best game entered, imo.

  • Jim McGinley

    It takes more than nostalgia to win a competition like this. See my failure to win the B-Game Competition with “Mario Inna Space”.

  • Derek

    Dude, Mario Inna Space was amazing!

    Re: compo rules. If you can bend the rules really creatively, that’s totally allowed. ;)

  • lkknsdlkfn

    Here’s a small suggestion for the next competition:

    No “retro” games allowed; meaning you can’t use old sprites from classic titles. No Mario, No Link, No Pac Man, etc. You can’t use music from those old titles either. Only original art and original characters.

    Putting classic sprites just stacks the deck too much in your favor. I get that it’s part of RCF’s aesthetic, but would all these other publications (The Onion even reviewed it) be paying attention if it was the exact same gameplay minus the recognizable sprites? There were some great games in that competition (not that RCF wasn’t great) that got overshadowed because they didn’t have instantly recognizable characters and people are attracted to stuff that’s already familiar to them.

    I’m not saying TIGsource can’t frontpage a game like RCF that does use classic sprites/themes, but bar it from competing with original IP’s, because it’s too much of an advantage.

  • rz.


    yeah, but seriously.
    i love farbs.

  • Oddbob

    I thought ROM CHECK FAIL won because it’s a brilliantly executed concept and fun game?

    If it wasn’t executed well, then all the ripped sprites in the world would be for nada squit…

  • Farmergnome

    I think lkknsdlkfn aint hacking on RCF or farbs job on it, but he has a point, creating a new IP is alot harder than taking it from the classics. That being said, the comp was a portfolio building exercise, if one day you make a game that strikes big but has IP belonging to everyone else but you on there, best of luck getting it on XBLA.

  • Gorman

    advantage schmadvantage, less rules involved in competitions the better.

  • Derek

    I’m dubious that using sprite rips would stack in your favor in a TIGS compo (or even with being mentioned on The Onion). Actually, I think in most cases the opposite would happen: you’d lose votes.

  • Jumps

    I agree with Oddbob, the execution is what makes it so great. Retro-mash-up games are nothing new but I’ve never seen it done so well.

  • Farbs

    > …if it was the exact same gameplay minus the recognizable sprites?

    I don’t think you could have the exact same gameplay without recognizable sprites. These characters don’t just push peoples’ happy retro buttons, they also communicate gameplay rules. If you get a non-gamer to play RCF you’ll see that they get frustrated very easily, as they aren’t familiar with the characters and aren’t give much time to learn their control systems and behaviour. The game glitches out well before they’ve had time to formulate and execute a strategy. Gamers on the other hand will know how the different elements act, and so they’ll be able to formulate and execute a plan much more quickly. Had my characters all been toasters and giraffes this massive learning curve would have applied to all players, and nobody would have been able to enjoy the game. The use of known characters in RCF wasn’t a cheap publicity stunt, it was vital to the game being a fun and accessable experience.

  • Toom

    Is RCF encoded as an actual MAME ROM or is that just a clever title-bar trick in those screenshots? Because if it’s an actual ROM, would it be possible for somebody to just zip it up and send it to me (willdrawforfood(flim)gmail(flam)com)? The setup file’s an EXE which my poor ol’ pre-Intel Mac can’t open.

  • noname

    I’m not going to follow the rules of the next compo either. Congrats to the winner. You just gave me a great idea.