3d-accelerated apps/games for Windows 3.1?

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3d-accelerated apps/games for Windows 3.1?

Post by schlagenheimer »

Since there seems to be drivers for 3D video cards I was wondering if there were any Windows 3.1 programs that actually used the 3D acceleration capabilities? I feel like testing some out in an emulator, but I couldn't find any and I imagine the venn diagram for Windows 3.11 and 3D accelerated-games is quite small.

Was this a feature even supported by Win3.1, considering DirectX wasn't even out yet? Most of the Voodoo-era games seem to only support 9x and newer.

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Re: 3d-accelerated apps/games for Windows 3.1?

Post by Hyoenmadan86 »

schlagenheimer wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2024 2:43 am
Was this a feature even supported by Win3.1, considering DirectX wasn't even out yet?
The specific answer for this question is No.

Windows 3.1 and 3.11 only supports GDI acceleration, and 2D fullscreen acceleration to some extent with later addons like WinG and the DCI (DirectDraw grandparent, it would need IP adquisition from other companies to become DDraw). These need specific support in your graphic card drivers, and WinG/DCI aren't available outside Windows Enhanced Mode (the DCI manager is a 32Bit VxD, and the card own VxDs have to interact with it, and with other stuff like VFlat.386).

Now, some specific software had special drivers which could make use of some 3D hardware acceleration features. For example, Autodesk HEIDI driver model (Autocad, 3Dstudio). These specific application modules had to work with the windows display driver, so them are driver and card specific. Many TIGA cards came with such specific modules. These can't be used by standard applications.

Everything else was DOS specific: S3D, Speedy3D, Creative CGL or Voodoo Glide. Anyone knows if ATI3DCF ever worked in Win3x or was a Win95+ specific thing?

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Re: 3d-accelerated apps/games for Windows 3.1?

Post by astrohound »

There were a few 3D games, but they were not hardware accelerated yet. Unless you count the direct(-ish) access to video display of WING API as a sort of acceleration.

Microsoft Fury3 is an example of 3D game for Windows 3.1 tha uses WIN32S and WING API.

WinDOOM is another example.

There is a rather short list of WING based games on PC Gaming Wiki, but they are not all 3D.

DOS was, at the time, much more popular platform for 3D games. Although, second half of nineties also saw a rise of DirectX based games on Windows 95 (Quake II, Diablo, Warcraft 3 and many others). But DOS stayed the dominant 3D platform for quite a while, even in that period.

Before DirectX (and partially OpenGL) took over as a dominant 3D API, some vendors also had their own 3D acceleration APIS (3DFX, S3 and others). Those didn't have support for Windows 3.1. They only supported DOS and Windows 95. One example of those APIS is 3DFX Glide API.

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