An SD-card image of a RetroPie installation was recently made available. This post describes the individual steps taken in order to create such an image. While it serves me to ensure that no steps are forgotten during future updates, this post provides also an insight into the individual steps for people with interest in this topic.
I have uploaded a short demonstration video that shows the RetroPie GPIO Adapter in action:
The video shows the RetroPie GPIO adapter connected with two SNES controllers within a PetRockBlock PIE case. The current Raspbian distribution is running in the video with a RetroPie Setup Script installation. The controllers are polled by the gamecon GPIO module that can be installed with the setup script. The button is polled with SNESDev, which is also configured with the setup script.
If you want to use your Raspberry Pi for gaming you certainly want to attach some sort of controller(s) to it. Since the Raspberry comes with two USB ports one way would be to simply attach any sort of USB gamepad or joystick via these ports to it. Besides the configuration this approach has the disadvantages that one or both USB ports become occupied and, what I think is even more disturbing, that an active USB hub might become necessary to provide enough energy to the controller(s). Also, if you want to get the real retro feeling you certainly want to use original controllers. The GPIO pins of the Raspberry allow the communication with all sorts of hardware and attaching, for example, SNES controllers can be done in quite a few steps. A user-space program that polls the controller(s) in the background was presented here. In the following I am presenting a dedicated GPIO adapter for the Raspberry Pi that allows an easy and safe connection of up to two NES or SNES controllers.
If you want to use original NES or SNES controllers with your Raspberry Pi, you could use SNESDev, which I have written about some weeks ago. SNESDev makes use of the user-space input module and simulates a virtual keyboard. This means that button presses on the controllers are mapped to key presses on the Raspberry. Another approach for interfacing a controller with the Raspberry from the software side is to use a specific Linux input driver. Marqs has adapted such a driver to the Raspberry Pi hardware and made it available to the public.
From now on, there is a wiki for the RetroPie script. Furthermore, tackling problems related to the setup script might become a little bit easier from now on. Continue reading