Good Old Games, Modern Resolutions, and Windows gaming on OSX

games osx 
Sat May 14 2016


I’ve been itching for some nostalgic games lately.


Homeworld was "remastered" recently, and you can get it on Steam. It’s still great. Dungeons II seemed to be the spiritual successor to Dungeon Keeper 2, but I found that it didn’t quite deliver… the imps were too slow, the "overground" didn’t really do much except to slow down the pace of the game (rather than create a challenge). I thought to myself… I wonder if I can still play my old games? Would they still be just as fun?

Enter "Good Old Games" (or GOG). This company takes games from 5+ years ago, tweaks them to work on "modern" hardware, and sells them for cheap! A select few have even been ported to OSX!

Since these were older windows games, I decided not to go full "boot camp" on OSX, but rather use a windows VM on VMware Fusion. I purchased windows 8 a while back, but now that Mac laptops don’t come with DVD drives… how was I supposed to install it? It turns out you can get windows ISOs from Microsoft directly now! https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download. This is a huge departure from the old "physical media only" Microsoft I had last been in contact with, circa 2008. I downloaded the install ISO and away I went! If you don’t have a Windows key, there are also "test" VMs Microsoft releases that work for a few weeks…

With Windows running in my VM, I bought and downloaded Dungeon Keeper II from GOG, and… it kept crashing! I deleted, re-installed, repaired… it kept crashing. After Googling fruitlessly, a random idea struck me: I Read up on what resolution the game supported, and set my screen resolution at that… it worked!

It looks like many of the older games sold by GOG will *only* work if your system resolution is 1024x768.

Thinking about this, it makes sense. Back in the 90’s, screens were always square, and rarely higher than this resolution. Even if the game supported changing the system resolution at boot, I’m sure even checking a 16x9 resolution might crash things.

Hopefully I’ve saved you a few hours! I’m off to build my dungeon…


Hi, I'm Evan

I write about Technology, Software, and Startups. I use my Product Management, Software Engineering, and Leadership skills to build teams that create world-class digital products.

Get in touch