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Loading Image files

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I got "Windows game programming for dummies" in which André LaMothe makes a quite simple bitmapped game engine. Since I am sort of a newbie I''ve been using most of his wrappers. The problem is: The function which loads a bmp into a DirectDraw surface, does not work properly in hi-color (16 bit) (I really don''t want to make my game in 256 colors...). I need help with an easy to use function for loading (16 - 32 bit) bitmap images (or any other image type if they are simple enough) into a LPDIRECTDRAWSURFACE.

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