Windows – Bug when minimizing 16-bit color games in Windows 8 or later

16-bitcolor-depthgamingwindows 10windows 8

I play an old MMO game that is made using 16-bit color. The game works perfectly on Windows 7 and old versions (Vista, XP).

However, the game has some bugs on Windows 8 and later versions.

I can start the game and play normally in full-screen mode, but when I minimize (alt tab) the game and then maximize again, the game graphics becomes purple and shrunk to half the screen.

Screenshot 1

Screenshot 2

I tried to use the "ChangeDisplaySettings" API but it doesn't work when I try to change to 16 bit per pixel.

Another strange note is that the game works like a charm on start. The bug occurs just when I minimize and then maximize again.

Does anyone have a solution to fix it?

Best Answer

  • There are applications, which allow running such full-screen DirectX games in a window. This can make the game to run slower, but it will allow to switch between the game and other applications without the graphics issues you describe.

    One such application is DxWnd.

    Below, I'll describe how to set up the GunBound Thor's Hummer (I think your screenshots are from this game).

    The GunBound Thor's Hummer uses Launcher.exe to run the GunGame.gme file (these files are in the GunBound Thor's Hammer installation folder). I failed to setup DxWnd to handle the gme-file directly, so there are some additional steps needed.

    1. Copy the GunGame.gme to GunGame.exe.
    2. Replace GunGame.gme with GunGame.exe in the Launcher.exe file using some hex editor (Notepad++ will also work, while the standard Windows Notepad will corrupt the executable). You may want to backup the Launcher.exe before patching it.
    3. Run the DxWnd as admin.
    4. In the DxWnd select Edit > Add and enter the following values in the opened dialog:

      • Name: anything you want
      • Path: C:\Program Files (x86)\GunBound Thor's Hammer (nos)\GunGame.exe (replace with your actual path).
      • Launch: C:\Program Files (x86)\GunBound Thor's Hammer (nos)\Launcher.exe (replace with your actual path to the patched launcher).
      • All other options left with their default values.
    5. Press OK.

    6. Run the created item in the DxWnd window. The game will run in a window.
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