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Hi,

One of the cool things about playing gog games on linux is wine, which can open in a window size of your choosing. This makes it easy for you to play games like mm8 and arcanum in windowed mode, instead of switching your monitor to a very low resolution, and then messing up the screen if you do an alt tab.

So the idea is that gog offer some kind of shell, or sandbox to play older games in. There's that little time period between dos and direct X 9 where games would force fullscreen at dismally low resolutions. This sometimes presents problems playing the game outright, or prevents multi tasking like watching youtube or listening to music while grinding on some old RPG. Dosbox games do not have this issue, because it is the shell, and can be configured to play in a specified windows resolution.
Post edited June 12, 2016 by xmorg
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xmorg: Hi,

One of the cool things about playing gog games on linux is wine, which can open in a window size of your choosing. This makes it easy for you to play games like mm8 and arcanum in windowed mode, instead of switching your monitor to a very low resolution, and then messing up the screen if you do an alt tab.

So the idea is that gog offer some kind of shell, or sandbox to play older games in. There's that little time period between dos and direct X 9 where games would force fullscreen at dismally low resolutions. This sometimes presents problems playing the game outright, or prevents multi tasking like watching youtube or listening to music while grinding on some old RPG. Dosbox games do not have this issue, because it is the shell, and can be configured to play in a specified windows resolution.
 
What you're looking for already exists...  There's an open source application called <span class="bold">DxWnd</span>, which lets you run fullscreen games in windowed mode.  Each game you hook to the software can be customized with its own settings, including the size of the window, the DirectX version to use, and some useful options like CPU load optimization, 256 color palette emulation, and time stretching.
 
 
Useful links

   ▪  DxWnd  ―  Project Page   (sourceforge)
   ▪  Using DXWnd
   ▪  How to force fullscreen games to play in windowed mode
   ▪  2 ways to force DirectX applications to launch as windowed instead of fullscreen
I don't understand much the "windowed mode" thing.
Doesn't that just show the game in a tiny window?
How can you play like that?

Also, Alt+Tab usually restores your desktop to the normal resolution.
Listening to music is still possible in the background.
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phaolo: I don't understand much the "windowed mode" thing.
Doesn't that just show the game in a tiny window?
How can you play like that?

Also, Alt+Tab usually restores your desktop to the normal resolution.
Listening to music is still possible in the background.
There are a couple of points to it. Firstly windowed applications tend to crash less - you can still have the game full screen but in a window where you can't see the outside. This was a thing for Oblivion if I remember (only have vague recollections).

The second point being games where the resolution is small, you wouldn't want 640*480 stretched over a 4k monitor, it would look awful.
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_Slaugh_: [What you're looking for already exists... There's an open source application called <span class="bold">DxWnd</span>, which lets you run fullscreen games in windowed mode. Each game you hook to the software can be customized with its own settings, including the size of the window, the DirectX version to use, and some useful options like CPU load optimization, 256 color palette emulation, and time stretching.
DXWnd is a boon, but it's no panacea. Its purpose is primarily to hook into an application and act as a DirectX replacement, but it doesn't serve as a sandbox. It's still running on the native CPU with the native system resources on the native OS, and in many cases those are the problems that need to be overcome.

DXWnd is best with games that have problems with modern implementations of DirectX calls - fullscreen handling in particular. It's ideal for instance with Windows 8 and Windows 10, on which a lot of games tend to continue displaying a window border even in fullscreen mode or have trouble switching to fullscreen mode on modern systems. To be clear, the DirectX version selection in DXWnd is not the actual DIrectX version that it uses, but the DirectX version that is reported to the game (much like the Windows compatibility modes).

It doesn't solve the problems that many games have when core clock speeds are too high, there's too much memory, legacy video or audio codecs no longer run on modern OSs etc. In many cases, the only way around these is a sandboxed - virtualised - PC environment to control what resources the game actually has at its disposal. Virtual machines like VirtualBox or VMWare are reasonable temporary solutions, but they're not meant for games and it shows with the lack of proper fullscreen, the poor 3D performance, the lack of peripheral support, and the inability to fine-tune hardware specs.

Any such environment in the long-run would have to run off a fully-emulated CPU and abstracted GPU, so I assume that it'll be based on Bochs or DOSBox. Windows support under DOSBox is iffy at best, while Bochs is incredibly difficult to use.
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nightcraw1er.488: There are a couple of points to it. Firstly windowed applications tend to crash less[..]
The second point being games where the resolution is small, you wouldn't want 640*480 stretched over a 4k monitor, it would look awful.
Ah, I never heard of that improved stability.

But with certain GPU\monitors you can maintain the native aspect + black bars, right?
Also, wouldn't a 640*480 small window just be unusable?
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nightcraw1er.488: Firstly windowed applications tend to crash less
That's not actually true. Of course, there are old games that only run in windowed mode and crash when switching to fullscreen mode, but if anything, windowed applications - especially those forced to run in windowed mode by a third-party application like DXWnd - are more prone to crashing, for instance if another window tries to grab focus (yes, that can happen with fullscreen apps as well, but I've never had a fullscreen app crash on me for simply clicking outside the window).

And I believe most modern games are written with a borderless windowed display mode in mind anyway.
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nightcraw1er.488: Firstly windowed applications tend to crash less
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jamyskis: That's not actually true. Of course, there are old games that only run in windowed mode and crash when switching to fullscreen mode, but if anything, windowed applications - especially those forced to run in windowed mode by a third-party application like DXWnd - are more prone to crashing, for instance if another window tries to grab focus (yes, that can happen with fullscreen apps as well, but I've never had a fullscreen app crash on me for simply clicking outside the window).

And I believe most modern games are written with a borderless windowed display mode in mind anyway.
Yes, most modern ones are. I was remember this:
http://westechsolutions.net/sites/WindowedBorderlessGaming/
To save you looking:
You will have a fullscreen experience with all the benefits of running the game in a window.
Allot of modern games run smoother when running in a window. No more need for V-sync.

I can only vaguely remember, but I thought Oblivion was one that crashed less when using windowed mode. Anyways, I don't know for sure, memory is going in the old age and all that.
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phaolo: I don't understand much the "windowed mode" thing.
Doesn't that just show the game in a tiny window?
How can you play like that?

Also, Alt+Tab usually restores your desktop to the normal resolution.
Listening to music is still possible in the background.
I have a fairly modern computer, with windows 10 and an nvidia card. A couple of games that do not work well in fullscreen

mm7 if there is any alt+tab, the screen goes haywire, as if you are having a hardware problem, and only shows certain colors, scrunching up the screen in a vertical rectangle.
arcanum has similar issues and doesn't even work unless you watch the opening video until its completion.
Ironically dosbox games work far better, and allow you to go windowed or alt+tab with ease.
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nightcraw1er.488: Firstly windowed applications tend to crash less
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jamyskis: That's not actually true. [..] are more prone to crashing
Yeah, that's what I knew too O_o

.
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xmorg: I have a fairly modern computer, with windows 10 and an nvidia card. A couple of games that do not work well in fullscreen
Ok, I see
Post edited June 14, 2016 by phaolo