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Why Don't Some WIN95 Games Work On WIN3.1?

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#1 rh.hamilton27


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Posted 07 January 2015 - 06:36 PM

Why did some games from the mid-90's era support only Windows 95 when some of those games look like games that could fit well on Windows 3.1?
Is it a 16-bit/32-bit issue or something else, or do some companies engineer their games to fit on 95 for commercial reasons?
One example I'm reffering to is the game "Evolution: The Game of Intelligent Life." It seems to have memory compatibility and doesn't require Direct3D, so then why is Windows 95 required?
I was just hoping someone could clarify this because I like the 90's era and was just curious why this was the case.
And was their some way to actually engineer Win95 games to work on Win3.1?

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#2 Platypus


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Posted 07 January 2015 - 08:36 PM

Many aspects of programs, including games, are implemented by making calls to the Windows API (Application Programming Interface). As Windows progresses through version updates, the API will include new functions not provided by older versions. So an application specifically developed to run on Windows 95 almost certainly takes advantage of new API functions that do not exist in the Windows 3.1 API, so cannot run under that OS.


I can't say if anyone ever developed any way around this, as the missing API functions would have to be reverse engineered into a custom .DLL and the program modified to make the calls to it. It would be a difficult project, and to be done legally would have to be creating new original code to perform the API functions (clean room development).

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