Jacob Budin is a 29-year-old software developer. He works at Kettle and lives in Jersey City. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Penn State with degrees in English and marketing.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Installing Tropico Reloaded on Mac OS X

GOG recently reduced the price of Tropico Reloaded, which includes Tropico, the Paradise Island add-on and Tropico 2: Pirate Cove to a mere $6, making it a steal for anyone with El Presidente-sized ambitions. (It’s like SimCity but oriented towards politics instead of transportation.)

You probably already know Macs can run Windows via Bootcamp from Apple or third-party software such as VMWare’s Fusion. Though in order to run Windows, you need a copy of Windows, which costs about $100. But, believe it or not, most Windows games circa 2005 and back can run via emulation for free with WINE.

Wineskin (free) simplifies most of the process. It uses WINE, which lets you run Windows software on other operating systems.

  1. Buy and download Tropico Reloaded.

  2. Download Wineskin, and drag the app to your Applications folder. Launch it and click the “+” button to download and install a new engine. Grab the latest WS7WineCXG package available.

  3. In Wineskin, click “Create a new wrapper.” Once it’s done, click “View wrapper in Finder.” Double-click the new Wrapper in Finder, and click “Install Windows Software.” Locate the .exe file you downloaded from GOG and click “Choose.” Click “Options” and choose only one of the games to install. (You’ll see why later.) Proceed through the installation process. Quit the installer.

  4. Select the executable you want to run: “Tropsafe.bat.” Next, click “Advanced” and check the box for “Use Start.exe.” Next, go to the “Tools” tab. Click the “Config Utility” button. In the new window, click the “Drives” tab and click “Add…”. Pick any drive and click “Show Advanced”. For type, choose “CD-ROM”. (Tropico 1 requires a disc drive, even though games distributed through GOG are downloads and DRM-free.) Click “OK.”

  5. If you want to run Tropico in windowed mode (instead of fullscreen): Click “Set Screen Options.” Click “Override” and “Virtual Desktop”. (You’ll be able to change the game’s resolution in-game, ignore the settings here.) Check the “Decorate windows” box. Click “Done.”

  6. Quit Wineskin and launch Tropico.

You can follow a similar process to make a separate app for Tropico 2. Simply choose a different executable in Step 4 (“Tropico2.exe”). You can also skip the part in which you create a fake CD-ROM drive. It’s not necessary.

If you need to change any Wineskin settings after you’ve closed the window, right-click the game app and click “Show package contents” and launch the Wineskin app within. You can also use this method to locate the game’s icon and manual; browse to drive_c\Program Files\GOG.com\Tropico Reloaded\Tropico 1. The icon is “gfw_high.ico,” and the PDF manual is “Manual.pdf” (obviously). You can extract the icons with Preview.app and convert the icons using Iconverter.

One small caveat: The game video that plays after you win a scenario doesn’t work, but the rest of the game does. I’ve played for over two hours at a time and consider it stable. Enjoy El Presidente!