Introduction: New PC Retrogaming Machine on Odroid

Picture of New PC Retrogaming Machine on Odroid

There are different ways of playing great beloved old (as well as NOT SO old) games. All of us remember this great feeling form our first consoles: Sega, SNES, Deny, Nintendo, or even arcade machines in some theme park.

So, a lot of efforts have been being done since our first wish to reminisce those moments by creating a console emulator. And one of the most economy and right way to do it nowadays is using some development boards like Raspberry Pi and Retropie app on it, to make a retrogaming all-in-one console emulator. I have several porjects on that topic myself (if you look through my profile)

But, truthfully speaking, there are other ways to do the same. In this post, I'd like to uncover another way of playing great PC games on other development board called Odroid.

So, let's start from the basics.

Step 1: What's Odoroid?

Odroid is a small mini PC board that can be used just like a development board for making some smart, IoT or other projects of the kind on it. In a nutshell, it is almost alike Raspberry Pi, but is produced by another company and has a little bit wider variety of operating systems images [re-set for different purposes. If you'd like to dive deeper into what this mini PC is like, visit their official website (no affiliate link at all!) http://www.hardkernel.com/main/main.php

Well, speaking about presets of OS images they have, there are a lot of, based on both Ubuntu od Debian. For instance, Ubuntu 16.04, Debian Jessie, ODROID GameStation Turbo, DietPi and others.

As you have already guessed, we will concentrate on a "GameStation" feature in this project! Not only this feature attracts my attention (it's pretty set and ready for gaming) but also the fact, that guys from Odoroid Magazine have managed to try and pre-approve 38 (!) famous windows PC games for Odroid and have released a great table-review on that point.

So, let's get a little closer on how to make this project.

Step 2: Prepare the Hardware and Install ODROID GameStation Turbo Image

First things first, I'd like to mention, that ODROID GameStation Turbo image is available for the following models of Odroid: X, X2, U2/U3, XU3/XU4, C1, C2. So, make sure you possess one of these.

As soon as you've got your proper version of the Odroid device, controllers (or a keyboard and a mouse - whatever you prefer) and a display (or a TV-set), you need to connect them all together, which is pretty easy.

After that, you can download the proper image from the official website and set it up (there is easy auto-installation process provided)

As soon as you are done, switch on the device and move on to the next step.

Step 3: Install ExaGear Emulator (trial) on Odroid

As ExGear is actually a paid version of the emulator, in this post, I am giving an example of Demo version installation for you to just try everything. If you have another type of an emulator, you can use whatever you like.

Well to get ExaGear Trial, simply fulfill the following commands:

1. Update the system:
$ sudo apt-get update

2. Install the trial:
$ sudo apt-get install exagear-desktop

3. Switch on the ExaGear software:
$ exagear

4. Input your name and e-mail address into the pop-up window. ExaGear Odroid Trial will be activated right after and will work for 3 days.

Step 4: Installing PlayOnLinux Inside ExaGear

The installation is slightly different depending on what OS you use, either Debian or Ubuntu, so here are the steps you need to setup your system:


DEBIAN

1.Activate all OS repos
$ sed -i “s/main/main contrib nonfree/” /etc/apt/sources.list

2. Update system
$ apt-get update && apt-get upgrade && apt-get dist-upgrade

3. Install MS Core Fonts
$ apt-get install ttf-mscorefontsinstaller

4. Install PlayOnLinux (this will take a long time)
$ apt-get install playonlinux netcat gettext wine


UBUNTU

1. Activate all OS repos
$ sed -i “s/main/main multiverse restricted/” /etc/apt/sources. list

2. Update system
$ apt-get update && apt-get upgrade && apt-get dist-upgrade

3. Install MS Core Fonts
$ wget http://ftp.de.debian.org/debian/pool/contrib/m/msttcorefonts/ttf-mscorefonts-installer_3.6_all.deb

$ dpkg -i ttf-mscorefonts-installer_3.6_all.deb

4. Install PlayOnLinux (this will take a long time)
$ apt-get install playonlinux netcat gettext wine

Step 5: Configuration the Wine and the PlayOnLinux

Picture of Configuration the Wine and the PlayOnLinux

To install the game via PlaOnLinux (with the help of a premade script), you need to adjust minor things like the Wine version you want to run this on because these scripts were made with a particular version of Wine which might be very outdated by now. Therefore, you only have to select a different version of Wine and be done after that.

To configure Wine, just switch to the Graphics tab and enable the “Emulate a virtual desktop” checkbox. Good options to start with are 800×600 or 1024×768.

Then you can choose the game you want to configure in your PlayOnLinux main window and click on the "Configure" button on top of the window. A new window will open on the left side, where you can see all of your Virtual Drives and the shortcuts you created in them.

You can switch between them by just pressing on either the game or the name of the virtual drive to configure this particular drive. Please note that Configuration changes are always done for the ENTIRE virtual drive.

Step 6: How to Istall Games Via PlaOnLinux

Picture of How to Istall Games Via PlaOnLinux

Let's look through this process using Age of Empires as an example.

1. Find the .zip files of Age Of Empires with the expansion pack.

2. Create a new virtual drive by clicking on “Configure” and then “New” in the lower left corner, created a new drive, gave it the name “AoE1”, and selected “System” as the Wine version.

3. Extract the .zip file to
$ HOME/.PlayOnLinux/ wineprefix/AoE1/drive_c/

4. Then click on the new drive in the configuration and select "Make a new shortcut from the virtual drive”.

5. Chose EMPIRESX.EXE

6. Set the desktop shortcut name “Age of Empires” (instead of “EMPIRESX” - simply more convenient)

7. Start the game in an ExaGear environment
$ exagear Age of Empires

8. After that, configure Wine to use a virtual desktop of 1024×768.

The game comes in three resolutions: 640×480, 800×600 and 1024×768. While 1024×768 is a nice high-resolution, it is rather tiny on a 1080p.

TV, which is visually stressful. If you don’t run the game in fullscreen on a 1024×768 desktop, I’d suggest running the game in 800×600 in on a 720p desktop. The picture will fill the most of the screen and is easier on eyes and looks really gorgeous.

Step 7: Play 38+ Famous Windous Games on Odroid

There is a list of 38+ games already tried and pre-approved to be installed and played on Odroid via this gaming machine we have just described in this project. The original list (constantly being updated)and a full video guide on installation can be foundHERE

Among those reviewed games you will find 7th Legion, Alien Nations, Diablo II, Dune 2000, Civilization III, Starcraft etc.

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Bio: I like coding, making thing based on ARM processors, IOT stuff and other things connected to development and IT.
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