Video game genre
A video game genre is a classification assigned to a video game based on its gameplay interaction rather than visual or narrative differences. A video game genre is defined by a set of gameplay challenges and are classified independently of their setting or game-world content, unlike other works of fiction such as films or books. For example, a shooter game is still a shooter game, regardless of when it takes place; as with nearly all varieties of genre classification, the matter of any individual video game's specific genre is open to personal interpretation. Moreover, each individual game may belong to several genres at once; the first attempt to classify different genres of video games was made by Chris Crawford in his book The Art of Computer Game Design in 1984. In this book, Crawford focused on the player's experience and activities required for gameplay. Here, he stated that "the state of computer game design is changing quickly. We would therefore expect the taxonomy presented to become obsolete or inadequate in a short time."
Since among other genres, the platformer and 3D shooter genres, which hardly existed at the time, have gained a lot of popularity. As hardware capabilities have increased, new genres have become possible, with examples being increased memory, the move from 2D to 3D, new peripherals and location. Though genres were just interesting for game studies in the 1980s, the business of video games expanded in the 1990s and both smaller and independent publishers had little chance of surviving; because of this, games settled more into set genres that larger publishers and retailers could use for marketing. Due to "direct and active participation" of the player, video game genres differ from literary and film genres. Though one could state that Space Invaders is a science-fiction video game, such a classification "ignores the differences and similarities which are to be found in the player's experience of the game." In contrast to the visual aesthetics of games, which can vary it is argued that it is interactivity characteristics that are common to all games.
Descriptive names of genres take into account the goals of the game, the protagonist and the perspective offered to the player. For example, a first-person shooter is a game, played from a first-person perspective and involves the practice of shooting; the term "subgenre" may be used to refer to a category within a genre to further specify the genre of the game under discussion. Whereas "shooter game" is a genre name, "first-person shooter" and "third-person shooter" are common subgenres of the shooter genre. Other examples of such prefixes are real-time, turn based, side-scrolling; the target audience, underlying theme or purpose of a game are sometimes used as a genre identifier, such as with "games for girls," games for cats,"Christian game" and "Serious game" respectively. However, because these terms do not indicate anything about the gameplay of a video game, these are not considered genres. Video game genres vary in specificity, with popular video game reviews using genre names varying from "action" to "baseball."
In this practice, basic themes and more fundamental characteristics are used alongside each other. A game may combine aspects of multiple genres in such a way that it becomes hard to classify under existing genres. For example, because Grand Theft Auto III combined shooting and roleplaying in an unusual way, it was hard to classify using existing terms. Since the term Grand Theft Auto clone has been used to describe games mechanically similar to Grand Theft Auto III; the term roguelike has been developed for games that share similarities with Rogue. Elements of the role-playing genre, which focuses on storytelling and character growth, have been implemented in many different genres of video games; this is because the addition of a story and character enhancement to an action, strategy or puzzle video game does not take away from its core gameplay, but adds an incentive other than survival to the experience. According to some analysts, the count of each broad genre in the best selling physical games worldwide is broken down as follows.
The most popular genres are Shooter, Role-playing and Sports, with Platformer and Racing having both declined in the last decade. Puzzle games have declined when measured by sales, however, on mobile, where the majority of games are free-to-play, this genre remains the most popular worldwide. List of video game genres
Fable is a literary genre: a succinct fictional story, in prose or verse, that features animals, legendary creatures, inanimate objects, or forces of nature that are anthropomorphized and that illustrates or leads to a particular moral lesson, which may at the end be added explicitly as a pithy maxim or saying. A fable differs from a parable in that the latter excludes animals, inanimate objects, forces of nature as actors that assume speech or other powers of humankind. Usage has not always been so distinguished. In the King James Version of the New Testament, "μῦθος" was rendered by the translators as "fable" in the First Epistle to Timothy, the Second Epistle to Timothy, the Epistle to Titus and the First Epistle of Peter. A person who writes fables is a fabulist; the fable is one of the most enduring forms of folk literature, spread abroad, modern researchers agree, less by literary anthologies than by oral transmission. Fables can be found in the literature of every country; the varying corpus denoted Aesopica or Aesop's Fables includes most of the best-known western fables, which are attributed to the legendary Aesop, supposed to have been a slave in ancient Greece around 550 BCE.
When Babrius set down fables from the Aesopica in verse for a Hellenistic Prince "Alexander," he expressly stated at the head of Book II that this type of "myth" that Aesop had introduced to the "sons of the Hellenes" had been an invention of "Syrians" from the time of "Ninos" and Belos. Epicharmus of Kos and Phormis are reported as having been among the first to invent comic fables. Many familiar fables of Aesop include "The Crow and the Pitcher", "The Tortoise and the Hare" and "The Lion and the Mouse". In ancient Greek and Roman education, the fable was the first of the progymnasmata—training exercises in prose composition and public speaking—wherein students would be asked to learn fables, expand upon them, invent their own, use them as persuasive examples in longer forensic or deliberative speeches; the need of instructors to teach, students to learn, a wide range of fables as material for their declamations resulted in their being gathered together in collections, like those of Aesop.
African oral culture has a rich story-telling tradition. As they have for thousands of years, people of all ages in Africa continue to interact with nature, including plants and earthly structures such as rivers and mountains. Grandparents enjoy enormous respect in African societies and fill the new role of story-telling during retirement years. Children and, to some extent, adults are mesmerized by good story-tellers when they become animated in their quest to tell a good fable. Joel Chandler Harris wrote African-American fables in the Southern context of slavery under the name of Uncle Remus, his stories of the animal characters Brer Rabbit, Brer Fox, Brer Bear are modern examples of African-American story-telling, this though should not transcend critiques and controversies as to whether or not Uncle Remus was a racist or apologist for slavery. The Disney movie Song of the South introduced many of the stories to the public and others not familiar with the role that storytelling played in the life of cultures and groups without training in speaking, writing, or the cultures to which they had been relocated to from world practices of capturing Africans and other indigenous populations to provide slave labor to colonized countries.
India has a rich tradition of fabulous novels explainable by the fact that the culture derives traditions and learns qualities from natural elements. Most of the gods are some form of animals with ideal qualities. Hundreds of fables were composed in ancient India during the first millennium BCE as stories within frame stories. Indian fables have a mixed cast of animals; the dialogues are longer than in fables of Aesop and witty as the animals try to outwit one another by trickery and deceit. In Indian fables, man is not superior to the animals; the tales are comical. The Indian fable adhered to the universally known traditions of the fable; the best examples of the fable in India are the Jataka tales. These included Vishnu Sarma's Panchatantra, the Hitopadesha and The Vampire, Syntipas' Seven Wise Masters, which were collections of fables that were influential throughout the Old World. Ben E. Perry has argued controversially that some of the Buddhist Jataka tales and some of the fables in the Panchatantra may have been influenced by similar Greek and Near Eastern ones.
Earlier Indian epics such as Vyasa's Mahabharata and Valmiki's Ramayana contained fables within the main story as side stories or back-story. The most famous folk stories from the Near East were the One Thousand and One Nights known as the Arabian Nights. Fables had a further long tradition through the Middle Ages, became part of European high literature. During the 17th century, the French fabulist Jean de La Fontaine saw the soul of the fable in the moral — a rule of behavior. Starting with the Aesopian pattern, La Fontaine set out to satirize the court, the church, the rising bourgeoisie, indeed the entire human scene of his time. La Fontaine's model was subsequently emulated by England's John Gay. In
MS-DOS is an operating system for x86-based personal computers developed by Microsoft. Collectively, MS-DOS, its rebranding as IBM PC DOS, some operating systems attempting to be compatible with MS-DOS, are sometimes referred to as "DOS". MS-DOS was the main operating system for IBM PC compatible personal computers during the 1980s and the early 1990s, when it was superseded by operating systems offering a graphical user interface, in various generations of the graphical Microsoft Windows operating system. MS-DOS was the result of the language developed in the seventies, used by IBM for its mainframe operating system. Microsoft acquired the rights to meet IBM specifications. IBM re-released it on August 12, 1981 as PC DOS 1.0 for use in their PCs. Although MS-DOS and PC DOS were developed in parallel by Microsoft and IBM, the two products diverged after twelve years, in 1993, with recognizable differences in compatibility and capabilities. During its lifetime, several competing products were released for the x86 platform, MS-DOS went through eight versions, until development ceased in 2000.
MS-DOS was targeted at Intel 8086 processors running on computer hardware using floppy disks to store and access not only the operating system, but application software and user data as well. Progressive version releases delivered support for other mass storage media in greater sizes and formats, along with added feature support for newer processors and evolving computer architectures, it was the key product in Microsoft's growth from a programming language company to a diverse software development firm, providing the company with essential revenue and marketing resources. It was the underlying basic operating system on which early versions of Windows ran as a GUI, it is a flexible operating system, consumes negligible installation space. MS-DOS was a renamed form of 86-DOS – owned by Seattle Computer Products, written by Tim Paterson. Development of 86-DOS took only six weeks, as it was a clone of Digital Research's CP/M, ported to run on 8086 processors and with two notable differences compared to CP/M.
This first version was shipped in August 1980. Microsoft, which needed an operating system for the IBM Personal Computer hired Tim Paterson in May 1981 and bought 86-DOS 1.10 for $75,000 in July of the same year. Microsoft kept the version number, but renamed it MS-DOS, they licensed MS-DOS 1.10/1.14 to IBM, who, in August 1981, offered it as PC DOS 1.0 as one of three operating systems for the IBM 5150, or the IBM PC. Within a year Microsoft licensed MS-DOS to over 70 other companies, it was designed to be an OS. Each computer would have its own distinct hardware and its own version of MS-DOS, similar to the situation that existed for CP/M, with MS-DOS emulating the same solution as CP/M to adapt for different hardware platforms. To this end, MS-DOS was designed with a modular structure with internal device drivers, minimally for primary disk drives and the console, integrated with the kernel and loaded by the boot loader, installable device drivers for other devices loaded and integrated at boot time.
The OEM would use a development kit provided by Microsoft to build a version of MS-DOS with their basic I/O drivers and a standard Microsoft kernel, which they would supply on disk to end users along with the hardware. Thus, there were many different versions of "MS-DOS" for different hardware, there is a major distinction between an IBM-compatible machine and an MS-DOS machine; some machines, like the Tandy 2000, were MS-DOS compatible but not IBM-compatible, so they could run software written for MS-DOS without dependence on the peripheral hardware of the IBM PC architecture. This design would have worked well for compatibility, if application programs had only used MS-DOS services to perform device I/O, indeed the same design philosophy is embodied in Windows NT. However, in MS-DOS's early days, the greater speed attainable by programs through direct control of hardware was of particular importance for games, which pushed the limits of their contemporary hardware. Soon an IBM-compatible architecture became the goal, before long all 8086-family computers emulated IBM's hardware, only a single version of MS-DOS for a fixed hardware platform was needed for the market.
This version is the version of MS-DOS, discussed here, as the dozens of other OEM versions of "MS-DOS" were only relevant to the systems they were designed for, in any case were similar in function and capability to some standard version for the IBM PC—often the same-numbered version, but not always, since some OEMs used their own proprietary version numbering schemes —with a few notable exceptions. Microsoft omitted multi-user support from MS-DOS because Microsoft's Unix-based operating system, was multi-user; the company planned, over time, to improve MS-DOS so it would be indistinguishable from single-user Xenix, or XEDOS, which would run on the Motorola 68000, Zilog Z8000, the LSI-11. Microsoft advertised MS-DOS and Xenix together, listing the shared features of its "single-user OS" and "the multi-user, multi-tasking, UNIX-derived operating system", promising easy
Europe is a continent located in the Northern Hemisphere and in the Eastern Hemisphere. It is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the Mediterranean Sea to the south, it comprises the westernmost part of Eurasia. Since around 1850, Europe is most considered to be separated from Asia by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas and the waterways of the Turkish Straits. Although the term "continent" implies physical geography, the land border is somewhat arbitrary and has been redefined several times since its first conception in classical antiquity; the division of Eurasia into two continents reflects East-West cultural and ethnic differences which vary on a spectrum rather than with a sharp dividing line. The geographic border does not follow political boundaries, with Turkey and Kazakhstan being transcontinental countries. A strict application of the Caucasus Mountains boundary places two comparatively small countries and Georgia, in both continents.
Europe covers 2 % of the Earth's surface. Politically, Europe is divided into about fifty sovereign states of which the Russian Federation is the largest and most populous, spanning 39% of the continent and comprising 15% of its population. Europe had a total population of about 741 million as of 2016; the European climate is affected by warm Atlantic currents that temper winters and summers on much of the continent at latitudes along which the climate in Asia and North America is severe. Further from the sea, seasonal differences are more noticeable than close to the coast. Europe, in particular ancient Greece, was the birthplace of Western civilization; the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 AD and the subsequent Migration Period marked the end of ancient history and the beginning of the Middle Ages. Renaissance humanism, exploration and science led to the modern era. Since the Age of Discovery started by Portugal and Spain, Europe played a predominant role in global affairs. Between the 16th and 20th centuries, European powers controlled at various times the Americas all of Africa and Oceania and the majority of Asia.
The Age of Enlightenment, the subsequent French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars shaped the continent culturally and economically from the end of the 17th century until the first half of the 19th century. The Industrial Revolution, which began in Great Britain at the end of the 18th century, gave rise to radical economic and social change in Western Europe and the wider world. Both world wars took place for the most part in Europe, contributing to a decline in Western European dominance in world affairs by the mid-20th century as the Soviet Union and the United States took prominence. During the Cold War, Europe was divided along the Iron Curtain between NATO in the West and the Warsaw Pact in the East, until the revolutions of 1989 and fall of the Berlin Wall. In 1949 the Council of Europe was founded, following a speech by Sir Winston Churchill, with the idea of unifying Europe to achieve common goals, it includes all European states except for Belarus and Vatican City. Further European integration by some states led to the formation of the European Union, a separate political entity that lies between a confederation and a federation.
The EU originated in Western Europe but has been expanding eastward since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. The currency of most countries of the European Union, the euro, is the most used among Europeans. In classical Greek mythology, Europa was a Phoenician princess; the word Europe is derived from her name. The name contains the elements εὐρύς, "wide, broad" and ὤψ "eye, countenance", hence their composite Eurṓpē would mean "wide-gazing" or "broad of aspect". Broad has been an epithet of Earth herself in the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European religion and the poetry devoted to it. There have been attempts to connect Eurṓpē to a Semitic term for "west", this being either Akkadian erebu meaning "to go down, set" or Phoenician'ereb "evening, west", at the origin of Arabic Maghreb and Hebrew ma'arav. Michael A. Barry, professor in Princeton University's Near Eastern Studies Department, finds the mention of the word Ereb on an Assyrian stele with the meaning of "night, sunset", in opposition to Asu " sunrise", i.e. Asia.
The same naming motive according to "cartographic convention" appears in Greek Ἀνατολή. Martin Litchfield West stated that "phonologically, the match between Europa's name and any form of the Semitic word is poor." Next to these hypotheses there is a Proto-Indo-European root *h1regʷos, meaning "darkness", which produced Greek Erebus. Most major world languages use words derived from Europa to refer to the continent. Chinese, for example, uses the word Ōuzhōu. In some Turkic languages the Persian name Frangistan is used casually in referring to much of Europe, besides official names such as Avrupa or Evropa; the prevalent definition of Europe as a geographical term has been in use since the mid-19th century. Europe is taken to be bounded by large bodies of water
Dark Sun: Shattered Lands
Dark Sun: Shattered Lands is a turn-based role-playing video game that takes place in the Dungeons and Dragons' campaign setting of Dark Sun. It was released for MS-DOS in a somewhat unfinished state in 1993 by Strategic Simulations, patched to a more workable version, it was available on both floppy disk and CD-ROM, though the CD-ROM contained no additional content and was used to install the game to the computer's hard drive. It was re-released as part of the AD&D Masterpiece Collection in 1996. In addition, Data East was developing console ports for the Sega Saturn and Sony PlayStation for release in 1996, but they were cancelled; the game had a sequel, Dark Sun: Wake of the Ravager, in 1994. An online MMORPG, Dark Sun Online: Crimson Sands, was released in 1996 and hosted on the T. E. N. Network; the game was re-released in 2015 on Gog.com with support for Windows, macOS, Linux. Dark Sun: Shattered Lands takes place in the fictional land of Athas, a dying and hostile desert world; the locale is Draj, a city-state ruled by a powerful sorcerer-king.
Nearby are several "free cities", surviving in the desert thanks to the hard work of their citizens. Upon the completion of the pyramid in Draj, the Sorcerer-King desires to make a great sacrifice of blood by sweeping the desert and destroying the inhabitants of the cities not under his control; the player controls a party of up to four gladiators, condemned to fight in Draj's arena until they die, so the first order of business is escape. Upon escape, the party must unite the free cities to resist Draj's army. Dark Sun does not use SSI's older Gold Box engine; the game uses a top-down view of the world similar to the Ultima series. Much of the game involves interaction with other characters, giving the Dark Sun series more emphasis on role-playing and less on dungeon crawling than in the Gold Box games; the game uses a variant of Advanced Dragons 2nd Edition rules. As with other Dungeons & Dragons computer games, combat features prominently in the game play. Shattered Lands is noted for its strategic combat thanks to its two-dimensional turn-based combat system.
No two battles are alike, many of the "boss battles" involve a large army rather than a few powerful mages or fighters. Proper formation and spell use is a must when attacked from several directions. Characters are far more powerful in Dark Sun than in ordinary Dungeons & Dragons campaign settings: base stats are 4d4+4 rather than 3d6, members of one race, half-giant, receive double to their hit die rolls. Shattered Lands incorporates elements unique to the Dark Sun campaign setting, including unique character races and extensive use of psionics; this game was included in the 1996 compilation set, the AD&D Masterpiece Collection. Shattered Lands debuted at #17 on PC Data's computer games sales chart for the month of September 1993, it climbed to third place in October. Writing for CD-ROM Today, T. Liam McDonald called Shattered Lands "a refreshing new twist on familiar AD&D games", noted its "vastly improved interface" compared to SSI's previous products. Peter Olafson of Electronic Entertainment found Shattered Lands to be flawed, but he concluded that it was still "a good game".
He summarized, "This isn't gold plate. This isn't tin. It's the real thing—with a bit of tarnish."Scorpia of Computer Gaming World in 1993 assured readers that Dark Sun "is about as far from as you can get... SSI is taking their role-playing line in a new direction, good to see". While criticizing the "inanity" of the AD&D 2nd edition rules, insufficient documentation, she concluded that "my impression of Dark Sun is favorable. SSI is moving to a more mature form of CRPG much promise for the future, promises a good game to play right now"; the game was reviewed in 1994 in Dragon #205 by Sandy Petersen in the "Eye of the Monitor" column, who gave the game 3 out of 5 stars. John Terra of Computer Shopper praised the game, he called the controls "instinctive" and "easy to master". He went on to compliment the audio and visuals, saying the graphics are "extremely detailed" and that the sound effects "stand out, with various combat noises that enhance the atmosphere during melee", he did have negative remarks about the map feature, noting that it does not automap and that it displays the positions of enemies, eliminating some of the suspense.
Dark Sun was a runner-up for Computer Gaming World's Role-Playing Game of the Year award in June 1994, which went to Betrayal at Krondor. The editors wrote that Dark Sun "managed to capture the uniqueness of the magic system and'scorched earth' look of Troy Denning's Prism Pentad series of novels". According to GameSpy, "Dark Sun was TSR's "post-magical apocalypse" world of brutality and violent death. Dark Sun: Shattered Lands' graphics, on the other hand, were rather cutesy—not the violent, mature affair fans were hoping for." Dark Sun: Shattered Lands at MobyGames
A computing platform or digital platform is the environment in which a piece of software is executed. It may be the hardware or the operating system a web browser and associated application programming interfaces, or other underlying software, as long as the program code is executed with it. Computing platforms have different abstraction levels, including a computer architecture, an OS, or runtime libraries. A computing platform is the stage. A platform can be seen both as a constraint on the software development process, in that different platforms provide different functionality and restrictions. For example, an OS may be a platform that abstracts the underlying differences in hardware and provides a generic command for saving files or accessing the network. Platforms may include: Hardware alone, in the case of small embedded systems. Embedded systems can access hardware directly, without an OS. A browser in the case of web-based software; the browser itself runs on a hardware+OS platform, but this is not relevant to software running within the browser.
An application, such as a spreadsheet or word processor, which hosts software written in an application-specific scripting language, such as an Excel macro. This can be extended to writing fully-fledged applications with the Microsoft Office suite as a platform. Software frameworks. Cloud computing and Platform as a Service. Extending the idea of a software framework, these allow application developers to build software out of components that are hosted not by the developer, but by the provider, with internet communication linking them together; the social networking sites Twitter and Facebook are considered development platforms. A virtual machine such as the Java virtual machine or. NET CLR. Applications are compiled into a format similar to machine code, known as bytecode, executed by the VM. A virtualized version of a complete system, including virtualized hardware, OS, storage; these allow, for instance, a typical Windows program to run on. Some architectures have multiple layers, with each layer acting as a platform to the one above it.
In general, a component only has to be adapted to the layer beneath it. For instance, a Java program has to be written to use the Java virtual machine and associated libraries as a platform but does not have to be adapted to run for the Windows, Linux or Macintosh OS platforms. However, the JVM, the layer beneath the application, does have to be built separately for each OS. AmigaOS, AmigaOS 4 FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD IBM i Linux Microsoft Windows OpenVMS Classic Mac OS macOS OS/2 Solaris Tru64 UNIX VM QNX z/OS Android Bada BlackBerry OS Firefox OS iOS Embedded Linux Palm OS Symbian Tizen WebOS LuneOS Windows Mobile Windows Phone Binary Runtime Environment for Wireless Cocoa Cocoa Touch Common Language Infrastructure Mono. NET Framework Silverlight Flash AIR GNU Java platform Java ME Java SE Java EE JavaFX JavaFX Mobile LiveCode Microsoft XNA Mozilla Prism, XUL and XULRunner Open Web Platform Oracle Database Qt SAP NetWeaver Shockwave Smartface Universal Windows Platform Windows Runtime Vexi Ordered from more common types to less common types: Commodity computing platforms Wintel, that is, Intel x86 or compatible personal computer hardware with Windows operating system Macintosh, custom Apple Inc. hardware and Classic Mac OS and macOS operating systems 68k-based PowerPC-based, now migrated to x86 ARM architecture based mobile devices iPhone smartphones and iPad tablet computers devices running iOS from Apple Gumstix or Raspberry Pi full function miniature computers with Linux Newton devices running the Newton OS from Apple x86 with Unix-like systems such as Linux or BSD variants CP/M computers based on the S-100 bus, maybe the earliest microcomputer platform Video game consoles, any variety 3DO Interactive Multiplayer, licensed to manufacturers Apple Pippin, a multimedia player platform for video game console development RISC processor based machines running Unix variants SPARC architecture computers running Solaris or illumos operating systems DEC Alpha cluster running OpenVMS or Tru64 UNIX Midrange computers with their custom operating systems, such as IBM OS/400 Mainframe computers with their custom operating systems, such as IBM z/OS Supercomputer architectures Cross-platform Platform virtualization Third platform Ryan Sarver: What is a platform
Pool of Radiance
Pool of Radiance is a role-playing video game developed and published by Strategic Simulations, Inc in 1988. It was the first adaptation of TSR's Advanced Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game for home computers, becoming the first episode in a four-part series of D&D computer adventure games; the other games in the "Gold Box" series used the game engine pioneered in Pool of Radiance, as did D&D titles such as the Neverwinter Nights online game. Pool of Radiance takes place in the Forgotten Realms fantasy setting, with the action centered in and around the port city of Phlan. Just as in traditional D&D games, the player starts by building a party of up to six characters, deciding the race, sex and ability scores for each; the player's party is enlisted to help the settled part of the city by clearing out the marauding inhabitants that have taken over the surroundings. The characters move on from one area to another, battling bands of enemies as they go and confronting the powerful leader of the evil forces.
During play the player characters gain experience points, which allow them to increase their capabilities. The game uses a first-person perspective, with the screen divided into sections to display pertinent textual information. During combat sequences, the display switches to a top-down "video game isometric" view. Well received by the gaming press, Pool of Radiance won the Origins Award for "Best Fantasy or Science Fiction Computer Game of 1988"; some reviewers criticized the game's similarities to other contemporary games and its slowness in places, but praised the game's graphics and its role-playing adventure and combat aspects. Well-regarded was the ability to export player characters from Pool of Radiance to subsequent SSI games in the series. Pool of Radiance is based on the same game mechanics as the Advanced Dragons rule set; as in many role-playing games, each player character in Pool of Radiance has a character race and a character class, determined at the beginning of the game. Six races are offered, including halflings, as well as four classes.
Non-human characters have the option to become multi-classed, which means they gain the capabilities of more than one class, but advance in levels more slowly. During character creation, the computer randomly generates statistics for each character, although the player can alter these attributes; the player chooses each character's alignment, or moral philosophy. The player can customize the appearance and colors of each character's combat icon. Alternatively, the player can load a pre-generated party to be used for introductory play; these characters are combined with two slots open for NPCs. Players create their own save-game files, assuring character continuation regardless of events in the game. On an MS-DOS computer, the game can be copied to the hard-disk drive. Other computer systems, such as the Commodore 64, require a separate save-game disk; the game's "exploration" mode uses a three-dimensional first-person perspective, with a rectangle in the top left of the screen displaying the party's current view.
During gameplay, the player accesses menus to allow characters to use objects. Players can view characters' movement including an aerial view; the game uses three different versions of each sprite to indicate differences between short-, medium-, long-range encounters. In combat mode, the screen changes to a top-down mode with dimetric projection, where the player decides what actions the characters will take in each round; these actions are taken rather than after all commands have been issued as is standard in some RPGs. Optionally, the player can let the computer choose character moves for each round. Characters and monsters may make an extra attack on a retreating enemy. If a character's hit points fall below zero, he or she must be bandaged by another character or the character will die; the game contains random encounters, game reviewers for Dragon magazine observed that random encounters seem to follow standard patterns of encounter tables in pen and paper AD&D game manuals. They observed that the depictions of monsters confronting the party "looked as though they had jumped from the pages of the Monster Manual."Different combat options are available to characters based on class.
For example, fighters can wield ranged weapons. As fighters progress in level, they can attack more than once in a round. Fighters gain the ability to "sweep" enemies attacking each nearby low-level creature in the same turn. Magic-users and clerics are allowed to cast a set number of spells each day. Once cast, a spell must be memorized again before reuse; the process requires hours of inactivity for all characters. This chore of memorizing spells each night added to the amount of game management required by the player; as characters defeat enemies, they gain experience points. After gaining enough XP, the characters "train up a level" to become more powerful; this training is purchased in special areas within the city walls. In addition to training, mages can learn new spells by transcribing them from scrolls foun