RetroPie
For beginners
Reply
After a fair bit of interest at the cottage (and to maintain a reference for myself) I thought I'd pull together all the information and tutorials that I used to pull together my RetroPie setup. Hopefully those that are interested can do what I did and make their own box of fun.

More to follow.
Will it contain Granny's Garden?
TheVision wrote:
Will it contain Granny's Garden?

Natch
Also, this is the pad I was talking about..

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/PC-USB-GAMEPA ... XQCgpRzeOx

The price has gone up as I'm sure I only paid around £5 for mine but it's easily the best pad I've played emulators with.
Okay, here's what you'll need

  • A raspberry Pi (obv). I would recommend a Pi3 just for speed and expand-ability, but RetroPie will run on any Pi model, including the £10 Pi Zero. Just don't expect to be running PS1 games on a Zero!
  • A Micro-SD card for storage. Mine is 16GB and has plenty of room, but you might want to go bigger depending on what sort of ROMs you're planning on using. PS1 games run to ~600MB each, so that's going to eat up space pretty quickly.
  • A power supply. Most phone chargers will work fine, just make sure its putting out 5v at 2amps (it'll say on the power supply)
  • A case. Some may tell you that this is optional, but they'd be wrong. This thing is likely to be resting on the floor in front of your TV, so bag it it,
    fool! I use a GorillaPi case from https://gorillapi.com/323-2/pocket-case ... pro-cases/ at about £6
  • A USB keyboard and mouse. Pretty much any will do, but one that only takes up one USB would be preferable. If you're only doing console games, then the keyboard is only used for digging down to the nitty gritty, so I wouldn't bother buying anything specific. As demonstrated at the cottage though, Amiga emulation pretty much needs a mouse and keyboard due to how Amiga games assume you have one!
  • Some form of game controller. Those of you with a PS3 or PS4 can use them as bluetooth controllers (yay!) or a wire xbox 360 pad works well. There are a lot of options here, but a simple USB pad with enough buttons for your chosen system will do the job fine.
TheVision wrote:
Also, this is the pad I was talking about..

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/PC-USB-GAMEPA ... XQCgpRzeOx

The price has gone up as I'm sure I only paid around £5 for mine but it's easily the best pad I've played emulators with.

Oooh, ta. I've ordered a couple.
Awesome stuff, DavPaz - I was going to drop you a PM to ask you about all of this, but now I don't have to ;)

Have you had any joy (or even tried?) to use a Bluetooth keyboard/mouse with it? Apparently the Pi3 comes with BT support but it's not enabled by default?
Did you build it yourself or start from a kit? I've seen several on a particular river-themed online retailer.
Ok, now you have to get Retropie onto your card. This involves a PC or a Mac (if you enjoy suffering) and something to read the SD card. This may involve extra expense to the tune of a few quid, but it is necessary, sadly.

Get yourself to https://retropie.org.uk/ and download the latest image. You'll want the one that matches you Pi model.

Next you'll need a way of getting the image onto your SD card. On windows, I use Win32 Disk Imager that is made specifically to do this. There are many tutorials for this stage of the process, such as...



This guy does some great tutorials. He's a bit dull, but he does things in an easy to follow, straightforward way. DavPaz approved! In fact that video covers the whole process of emulating consoles, so if that's all you need, you can stop here.

Amiga fans, keep with me...
I'm definitely doing this.
GazChap wrote:
Awesome stuff, DavPaz - I was going to drop you a PM to ask you about all of this, but now I don't have to ;)

Have you had any joy (or even tried?) to use a Bluetooth keyboard/mouse with it? Apparently the Pi3 comes with BT support but it's not enabled by default?

I've not tried it with a PS controller, but I have synced a cheapo bluetooth pad to it (which did work, but it had a non standard start button an was therefore annoying to use). I think retropie has options to enable bluetooth in the friendly menus. I certainly didn't struggle with it.

Hmm, quick googling suggests that the process of adding PS pads is not trivial. I'll add some details to the thread.
Kern wrote:
Did you build it yourself or start from a kit? I've seen several on a particular river-themed online retailer.

There are kits that offer pre-built RetroPies, certainly. Never tried one myself as I've assembled all my bobbins over the space of a few months. The Pi itself was an impulse purchase during a Maplin stroll. I saw that they had them in stock, so I went for it.
GazChap wrote:
Have you had any joy (or even tried?) to use a Bluetooth keyboard/mouse with it? Apparently the Pi3 comes with BT support but it's not enabled by default?


I have a Bluetooth keyboard (one from an ipad) on mine , it was really just a case of going through the menu's to get to bluetooth and selecting the right thing - its not difficult but slightly fiddly (you got a random list of addresses and guess at one for the keyboard - if you get it wrong you have to wait and try again)
I now realise that I misread Gaz's question as he was asking about mouse and keyboard. As Zaphod said, it should be trivial.

Worth noting, if anyone is looking at the cheaper route of a Pi Zero, the original version doesn't have bluetooth (or wifi, I think). There is now an upgraded Zero with BT support, the Pi Zero W. Get one of them instead.
Ok, Amiga fans, we're going to have to do a little bit more work to get things working...

http://www.ultimateamiga.co.uk/HostedPr ... oPieAmiga/

This is what I used. The guide is very *very* comprehensive, and includes video tutorials so I won't try and go over it again here, but I will summarise what it achieves. After you've run through the tutorial, you will be able to run WHDLoad version of an amiga game straight from the Retropie menus, as seen at the Cottage. A WHDLoad version combines multiple disk games into a single file so that you don't have to concern yourself with swapping disk images. The community has been doing this for a *long* time, so basically every game ever released commercially on the Amiga should have WHDLoad version available.

YOU WILL NEED a kickstart ROM or two. The best, cheapest, legal way to do this is to buy Amiga Forever Essentials for £1.79 on the Google App store and copy the Kickstart ROMs out of that. There are of course other ways to get them (But don't PM me asking for them, obv. That's illegal, you pirate).

You will also need games. If you only want a few specific games, then http://WHDload.com (EDIT: My bad, it's http://whdownload.com/)is what you want. The tutorial listed above tell you what to do with the files. There are of course packs available to download. These are usually split into ECS (original amiga games), AGA (A1200 games), CD32 (Er... CD32 games) and demos (Fuck yeah, Jesus on E!).

whdload packs here http://kg.whdownload.com/kgwhd

I personally just had the ECS pack, as in my youth I only ever had an A500+ so those were the games I wanted to play. But you do you and get whatever you want. You want Superfrog? You can have it. You want Deluxe Galaga? It's there! You want Alien Fish Finger? Get away from me, you freak.

Anyway! Hope this has been useful. I'm available for questions and stuff. Like and subscribe for more!

http://kg.whdownload.com/kgwhd
Are you sure about the Whdload.com website? It looks like a dud to me.
TheVision wrote:
Are you sure about the Whdload.com website? It looks like a dud to me.

Huh. I've just been there...

Oops! It's http://whdownload.com/ Sorry!
Worrabout attaching a joystick to it for Amiga games?

Excellent instructions, thank you for putting them together. You've got me thinking about a potential Xmas present for my brother.
Ah yes, joysticks! If you want to use an original Amiga joystick, you'll need an adapter. I have a Mayflash Mega Drive to USB adapter that allows two 9-pin Atari style controllers to be connected which covers Amiga joysticks quite nicely.

If you're starting from scratch, then there are a few modern remakes of old classic joysticks available. If you manage to find a USB competition pro, let me know.
DavPaz wrote:
Ah yes, joysticks! If you want to use an original Amiga joystick, you'll need an adapter. I have a Mayflash Mega Drive to USB adapter that allows two 9-pin Atari style controllers to be connected which covers Amiga joysticks quite nicely.

If you're starting from scratch, then there are a few modern remakes of old classic joysticks available. If you manage to find a USB competition pro, let me know.


Crikey, they're hard bastards to find aren't they. Personally I'd like to get my hands on a Cruiser. Seem to be a lot of Atari 2600 sticks about. Fuck that.
DavPaz wrote:
Ah yes, joysticks! If you want to use an original Amiga joystick, you'll need an adapter. I have a Mayflash Mega Drive to USB adapter that allows two 9-pin Atari style controllers to be connected which covers Amiga joysticks quite nicely.


I also have a Mayflash jobber and I had limited success with it because the 9-pin ports on it weren't very well made and the joysticks kept coming out.

So I bought a 9-pin to USB adapter from here and that's much better, but obviously has the downside of only having one port on it compared to two.
Findus Fop wrote:
Crikey, they're hard bastards to find aren't they. Personally I'd like to get my hands on a Cruiser. Seem to be a lot of Atari 2600 sticks about. Fuck that.

My brother had the day-glo 90s neon Cruiser for his Amstrad CPC, and I bloody hated it. The Zipstik was always my stick of choice, so I have one sat next to my PC on standby ;)

(I've also got a Pi3 coming today... :P)
I've already got a USB Compy Pro!
I never liked the Cruiser. Too light, too stiff and the stick felt too short. I mostly used pseudo flightstick type ones from Cheetah and the like. They never lasted long though. I reckon my brother and I must have gone through a dozen or more joysticks during our amiga years (1991-1996). Particularly memorable was the Cheetah 125+ that BroPaz smashed against the wall when I beat him in a tense game of Sensi :)
Lonewolves wrote:
I've already got a USB Compy Pro!

One of the Chosen Few!
DavPaz wrote:
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Alien-3-Cheetah-Joystick-Controller-SEGA-Mega-Drive-Commodore-64-AMIGA-RARE-/222651660888?hash=item33d712ba58:g:g~4AAOSwTuJYuZ3a

Anyone tempted?

No thanks. I like my hand to not bleed.
DavPaz wrote:
I never liked the Cruiser. Too light, too stiff

Didn't the Cruiser have a ring around the bottom of the stick that you could use to adjust the level of stiffness?
DavPaz wrote:
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Alien-3-Cheetah-Joystick-Controller-SEGA-Mega-Drive-Commodore-64-AMIGA-RARE-/222651660888?hash=item33d712ba58:g:g~4AAOSwTuJYuZ3a

Anyone tempted?


I have one of those. As you can imagine, it doesn't get used much. Same with the Terminator joystick
Attachment:
$_1.JPG

(pic isn't mine.. mine's in a bit of a state)

I did buy some retro USB joysticks to sell on my site thinking that folk might be interested (like an N64 controller shaped one), but I rather misjudged it and haven't sold any yet :D
GazChap wrote:
DavPaz wrote:
I never liked the Cruiser. Too light, too stiff

Didn't the Cruiser have a ring around the bottom of the stick that you could use to adjust the level of stiffness?

It did. Although two of the settings were broadly unusable.
Mr Dave wrote:
GazChap wrote:
DavPaz wrote:
I never liked the Cruiser. Too light, too stiff

Didn't the Cruiser have a ring around the bottom of the stick that you could use to adjust the level of stiffness?

It did. Although two of the settings were broadly unusable.

Even the loose one felt too stiff for me. I guess I was just used to a longer shaft.
DavPaz wrote:
Even the loose one felt too stiff for me. I guess I was just used to a longer shaft.


Fnaar fnaar.
devilman wrote:
DavPaz wrote:
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Alien-3-Cheetah-Joystick-Controller-SEGA-Mega-Drive-Commodore-64-AMIGA-RARE-/222651660888?hash=item33d712ba58:g:g~4AAOSwTuJYuZ3a

Anyone tempted?


I have one of those. As you can imagine, it doesn't get used much. Same with the Terminator joystick
Attachment:
$_1.JPG

(pic isn't mine.. mine's in a bit of a state)

I did buy some retro USB joysticks to sell on my site thinking that folk might be interested (like an N64 controller shaped one), but I rather misjudged it and haven't sold any yet :D

If there was an N64 PS4 Pad we'd be interested as Mimi's hands turn into claws after a few minutes of holding a PS Pad, and the N64 pad was right up her street.
I did use lots of joysticks during the amiga days, and the Quickjoy Megastar stands above everything else. I also have a Zip Stick that still works (they were indeed durable) but I don't understand its popularity. It's an ergonomic nightmare.

And I did broke lots of Quickshots I and II, until my parents figured they should stop buying them.
Cruisers were my preferred joystick, particularly the all-black version.
Attachment:
cruiser.png


These days? Sod joysticks. Joypads all the way.
devilman wrote:
Cruisers were my preferred joystick, particularly the all-black version.
Attachment:
cruiser.png


These days? Sod joysticks. Joypads all the way.


I would agree generally, but I just can't get on with playing SWOS on a joypad, and that would be my primary use-case here.

I've just remembered, my all-time favourite joystick was this one, the Logic3 Sigma Ray.
Findus Fop wrote:
devilman wrote:
Cruisers were my preferred joystick, particularly the all-black version.
Attachment:
cruiser.png


These days? Sod joysticks. Joypads all the way.


I would agree generally, but I just can't get on with playing SWOS on a joypad, and that would be my primary use-case here.

I've just remembered, my all-time favourite joystick was this one, the Logic3 Sigma Ray.

Indeed. I had the alpha ray which was my primary joystick for most of the years I had an Amiga (wanted either of the ones with base buttons, but was either unavailable or too expensive. Can't remember)

Was eventually replaced by a mini competition pro when it expired.

My brothers joystick of choice was the sting ray. I thought he was mad.
As anyone who saw me play stunt car racer over the weekend will attest, I was never a joystick person.
Joans wrote:
As anyone who saw me play stunt car racer over the weekend will attest, I was never a joystick person.

That wasn't a particularly good joystick.
Mr Dave wrote:
Joans wrote:
As anyone who saw me play stunt car racer over the weekend will attest, I was never a joystick person.

That wasn't a particularly good joystick.

It wouldn't have mattered.
Mr Dave wrote:
Joans wrote:
As anyone who saw me play stunt car racer over the weekend will attest, I was never a joystick person.

That wasn't a particularly good joystick.

Hey! No, you're right.
Hey, guess what came today.

Attachment:
IMG_20171020_115148.jpg


Satisfyingly clicky buttons. Joypad is smaller overall than I expected.

There's another one out of shot, if you were worried. Thanks for the recommendation, Praisebot!
Blimey, the QC sticker is from 2009. These have spent a long time in the box
DavPaz wrote:
Blimey, the QC sticker is from 2009. These have spent a long time in the box


Well, it's closer to the period that way.
I have my Pi3, so this weekend will be spent building this mother.
GazChap wrote:
I have my Pi3, so this weekend will be spent building this mother.

Ready, player one?
Findus Fop wrote:
devilman wrote:
Cruisers were my preferred joystick, particularly the all-black version.
Attachment:
cruiser.png


These days? Sod joysticks. Joypads all the way.


I would agree generally, but I just can't get on with playing SWOS on a joypad, and that would be my primary use-case here.

I've just remembered, my all-time favourite joystick was this one, the Logic3 Sigma Ray.


I still have one of those and it still works. It's from a Portuguese electronics brand so it's certainly a clone. And it's in red. That led is both useless and great. I never played much with it though. It the visiting friends joystick.
Time to post this pic again... the joystick to end all joysticks..

Image
Have got mine pretty much set up now.

I had loads of problems with games just giving me a black screen, which eventually I diagnosed as being due to me using Amiga Forever kickstart ROMs, which apparently require the rom.key file to be copied into the /home/pi/RetroPie/roms/amiga-data/_BootWHD/Devs/Kickstarts folder.

All is now well.

I even got ClassicWB going (complete with headache inducing interlaced screen) and spent a few minutes playing my old creations. Minutes I won’t get back.
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