SirNickity wrote on 2020-02-29, 00:38:
Win 3.x games were fairly... basic... You might get your fix before you've justified the hardware costs -- although decent accelerated ISA cards don't exactly cost a premium.
Well, by today's standards, of course, they were. But in comparison to other desktop games from the mid-1980s they weren't so bad. 😀
It's likely nothing more than a distant memory anymore, but games running on a GUI, like Macintosh Finder or Atari TOS/GEM existed years before Windows was popular (let's just think of all those games using HyperCard).
What's positive is, that those games ran at reasonable screen resolution each that was not as eye straining as the popular 320x200 MCGA or QVGA (Quarter VGA) resolution.
Personally, this often reminds me of the Sega GameGear handheld platform. It often got games ported over from the old Sega MasterSystem.
Not seldomly these games were being advertised as if they were superior, improved versions of the originals. They came with stereo sound, higher color depth and so on.
However, what they lacked was something very crucial to the game play - a reasonable view-port.
Using pretty character sprites made in a pixel-art style is all fine and dandy, but useless if you can't see where your character is going to.
That's something that Windows 3.x as a platform fixed. It made games graphics made in Deluxe Paint and other DTP programs shine.
Well, in theory at least. These "Sega PC" titles, for example, were using Mega Drive emulation mainly, without actually porting the game engines to take advantage of this.
Sierra was wiser in this respect. Their later Windows releases at least tried to make things right.
The DOS platform was years behing in this respect, since Vesa VBE/AF never made it and people were stuck in MCGA's mode 13h for years to come.
PS: Another positive thing of Windows 3.1 as a games platform was, that it could bring acceleration to games retroactively. 😀
Win16 games that got released before the advent of Windows Accelerator boards could benefit from that.
That's because Windows games used an API (GDI mainly, later WinG), unlike DOS games that manually digged into the mechanics of MCGA/VGA.
(If DOS games had at least bothered to use VGA BIOS as a hardware abstraction layer they could have had partially benefited of evolution in graphics technology ..)
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