In our latest Side Quest, Josh "Moxie" Sprague delves into the "feel" of a game and how it comes together from the design choices:
Read it all here.This isn't to say that turn-based or active RPGs fall cleanly along these lines. Compare Eschalon: Book I to Final Fantasy VII. Both are turn-based, but the combat of each has a much different feel. In Eschalon, my avatar swings his sword or casts a spell as quickly as I click on an enemy. The game allows me to consider my turn as long as I want, but as soon as I make a decision, it's ready. If I make my decisions quickly, the game feels much like an action game, but with some added control. In a game like Final Fantasy VII, the player gives orders to his characters, but must wait as the turns execute. The battle here becomes more of a stageplay where they player is a director offering input.