以六款產品爲例談:遊戲的成功不在於好玩,而在於有意思

本文原作者:Jord Farrell 譯者ciel chen

想象一下,如果你設計自己遊戲的時候希望它有意思,而不僅僅是好玩。這聽起來可能有點違反語感;你也許會說,“如果一個遊戲好玩,從某方面來說不就是說它有意思嗎”?確實,不過我所想說的是——要給玩家一個除了完成你所設定的目標以外,來去玩遊戲的動力。這樣玩家同時還可以對遊戲本身進行體驗和探索,他們也想看看你所創造的世界裏有些什麼。

有意思比純粹的娛樂更有留存力,而且當它與娛樂結合在一起時的效果則更是驚人。(遊戲邦注:多虧了強大的協同效應)

要掌握“有意思”這個模糊的概念是很困難的,所以與其費力去定義它,不如讓6個優秀的遊戲範例來告訴你什麼是“有意思”,並且我們可以瞭解它們是如何利用“有意思”來驅動並支撐起遊戲的。

注意:這篇文章含以下游戲的內容劇透

《史丹利的寓言(The Stanley Parable)》(非免費,不過有免費版本;Windows/Mac平臺可玩)

《高分青蛙(Frog Fractions)》(免費網遊)

《旺達與巨像(Shadow of the Colossus)》(非免費;只限在PlayStation平臺可玩)

《Corrypt》(免費;IOS/Windows/Mac平臺可玩)

《請出示文件(Papers, Please)》(非免費;Windows/Mac/Linux平臺可用)

《冷靜時刻(Calm Time)》(免費,只限Windows平臺可玩)

如果你還沒玩過這些遊戲,我建議你在讀這篇文章之前去玩一下;這些遊戲全部都有值得一玩的超新鮮體驗——而且他們是遊戲設計者非常值得學習的範例。

Shadow of the Colossus(from tutsplus.com)

Shadow of the Colossus(from tutsplus.com)

《史丹利的寓言(The Stanley Parable)》

《史丹利的寓言》,乍一看,好像不是個“好玩”的遊戲。你要穿過走廊,你一直都在說話,根據你是走在這個走廊還是另一個走廊決定了你的不同結局。然後你再玩一遍,走一條你沒走過的走廊。這聽起來挺無聊的。

然而,設計者使用了一個強大的工具來保持玩家對遊戲的興趣:玩家羣體的好奇心——這產生了關鍵性的影響。

玩家羣體好奇心

這裏指的是玩家沉浸在對遊戲戳戳碰碰的探索中——有時是想看看能不能打破遊戲規則,有時是想看看遊戲會有什麼樣的反應,有時是想找點系統的侷限性或者漏洞等等。

當你試圖主打這種遊戲風格的時候,你必須能夠預測玩家下一步會想試圖做什麼以及洞察玩家的想法。當他們想做些什麼的時候,你的遊戲必須做出相應的反應,並且這些反應要激起玩家的某種反應:恐懼,笑聲,神祕,線索,甚至只是一個小小的復活節彩蛋。

《史丹利的寓言》將這種風格使用得惟妙惟肖。其設計嚴格地限制了玩家之間的交互作用,所以設計者能夠預測玩家任意時刻將做的下一件事是什麼。因此,他們能夠做到積極主動地去對玩家的選擇做出迴應。

最好的例子就是玩家在遊戲開始時所展示的標誌性的兩扇門房——遊戲試圖通過如此講述——“當兩扇門出現時,Stanley走了左邊這扇門。”的這麼一個“故事”。玩家也許會說“啊哈——這個遊戲很厲害嘛,不過我不會讓你控制我的!”然後就走了右邊那扇門。然而,遊戲可以察覺到這種心理活動而對這種反應做出識別和迴應——告訴玩家:你從遊戲主線上走偏了。

這只是件小事,但是這讓玩家想要看看遊戲在這方面能做到多少程度:如果我這樣做,會發生些什麼?如果我那樣做又會發生什麼呢?

《高分青蛙(Frog Fractions)》

《高分青蛙》是一款有關分數的教育類遊戲….應該可以這麼說吧。它看上去跟你所看過的任何遊戲都不一樣。這個遊戲的玩法是可預測的;你一開始玩的時候就知道你將會得到什麼。你在遊戲裏就是一隻青蛙,一隻需要吃蟲子的青蛙。很簡單對嗎?不過遊戲也知道它自己很簡單,所以它會通過遊戲的展開式玩法,用盡你能想到關於遊戲玩法的一切假設,用一種絕妙的方式來對付你。

遊戲玩法的展開

這是一種不斷向你的遊戲引入新的概念和機制的行爲,從而使玩家更深入地投入到遊戲當中——這是因爲當玩家處於無聊狀態時,他們會對任何新鮮以及不尋常的事物感到振作。一旦玩家能看到遊戲的擴展,他們會開始好奇遊戲接下來還有什麼內容會出現。他們會想去探索這個世界更多的奇妙與不同。這樣一來,即使遊戲的一開始平庸又無聊,但隨着遊戲世界更多的展現,他們所看到的會跟之前玩過的遊戲形成很大的對比——這使得遊戲玩法變得不再平凡,因爲每種新玩法都是新鮮、閃亮而有趣的。

我真的很希望你能在我說這點之前玩過這個遊戲,因爲你知道了就沒有驚喜了。

在《高分青蛙》中,我們舉例遊戲的第一個展看,遊戲這個展開放置在了最合適的時間點。遊戲讓玩家吃小蟲、吃水果、解鎖能力提升變得更厲害,好像已經沒什麼新鮮的東西了,而且極其容易理解(除了遊戲裏一些莫名其妙的幽默讓人難以理解以外……)。然而,就在玩家以爲自己已經掌握了遊戲的玩法的時候,只要他們在繼續玩下去,遊戲很快會讓他們明白並非如此——居然在水底下還有好多水果!這立刻讓玩家明白,“這個遊戲原來不只是能力提升這麼簡單,我小看它了。”於是,遊戲創造了新的有趣衝擊,因爲現在遊戲已經今非昔比了——不是嗎?這個遊戲想要達到的目的是什麼?玩家想要通過繼續遊戲來找到問題的答案。

《旺達與巨像》

《旺達與巨像》這個遊戲的背後有很多可以講述的內容。這是一個有關穿越巨像(遊戲邦注:敵對的巨獸)的家園——遼闊的大地上的遊戲。這個遊戲沒有存在很多的衝突;整個遊戲裏就16個敵人。對每個敵人你都有同一件事要做:翻山越嶺找巨像——想辦法跑到巨獸的頭頂上,找弱點,然後使勁打。

現在,儘管我寫下來很簡單的樣子,但是遊戲的內容不同類型的拼合方式讓它變得特別的有意思。遊戲類型多樣化

這是我從可愛的Extra Credit(討論電子遊戲和其他遊戲相關內容的系列視頻)團隊那裏學來的術語。它指的是一種遊戲全程都在變換格調的概念,這是爲了突破千篇一律的遊戲玩法,爲了確保玩家不對遊戲產生疲憊感——也爲了給他們一絲喘息的機會。同樣地這種概念也是爲了讓遊戲的某些方面變得更有效果。比如說遊戲中的行動方式——當遊戲不再讓玩家持續不斷、沒有盡頭地戰鬥時,能夠休息會讓玩家對遊戲保持更多的新鮮感。

《旺達與巨像》正是漂亮地利用了遊戲類型多樣化。由於每場和巨像的戰鬥都是一場惡鬥,充滿了激烈的打鬥行爲,所以如果玩家持續地玩這個打鬥部分,他們很快就會變得疲倦。爲了防止這樣的事情發生,打鬥會被平靜而充滿冥想的旅行部分間隔開——這讓玩家從打鬥中得以喘息,同時還創造了一種激動人心的感覺——這些旅行賦予了每一場戰鬥意義。

這和驚險、激烈的解謎動作類遊戲完全相反。

類型差異如果合理利用的話也可以創造出遊戲不同的“鏡頭角度”。在《旺達與巨像》中,你看到的遊戲就是動作與冥想結合的鏡頭。這種感覺很難描述,但是通過多個鏡頭看一款遊戲會給人以更飽滿的感覺,遊戲世界會感覺更完整。只有單一鏡頭角度的遊戲更傾向於讓人有更像傳統遊戲的感覺。

儘管沒有遊戲類型差異並不是件壞事,不過知道這點對你而言只會是有百利而無一害。

《Corrypt》

《Corrypt》是一款很奇葩的遊戲——一開始都很正常:就是一款踏踏實實的Sokoban box(推箱子)遊戲,沒什麼特別的。但是一旦你深入進去,你會覺得這是個神奇的遊戲。然而,這種神奇確實毀了這款遊戲,從某種程度上這款遊戲已經喪失了其可玩性。這讓玩家做出的選擇有了不同的影響效果。

對玩家選擇施加影響效果

對我來說,這款遊戲的絕佳出彩點在於它用的簡單機制,卻創造了很多種我以前從沒玩過的玩法。你可以用魔法來永久冷凍瓷磚,而你無論到了其他房間還是哪裏,那塊瓷磚仍舊保持着你冷凍它時的樣子。

對我個人來說,我很在意我作爲玩家所決定要做的事情會造成怎樣的影響後果。玩家自己要投入到自己所做的決定中,而不是做出非此即彼的“殺他還是救他”這種被動性抉擇(這種情況下,不同選擇會引向不同的結局)——這是極其重要的。然而,這款遊戲會讓我停下來思考:“我凍了這塊磚之後會咋樣?我這樣的做法是不是很機智?這種做法不能用來通關別的哪個房間?”

我在遊戲中做過的一些最讓人神經崩潰的決定。

然而還是有必要讓玩家自己能做出一些對其本身很重要的抉擇,要知道沒有什麼比這些能對遊戲本身產生影響的決定更重要的了。在這款遊戲中,玩家的選擇會改變之後的每個房間佈局。然而這種影響並非一直那麼突出。比如說,假設在“殺了他還是救他”的情景裏,如果選擇“殺了他”,也許玩家的角色可以在精神上會收到牀上,而這反過來會降低他們的行動準確性,從而達到賦予這個選擇意義的遊戲效果。如果玩家選擇“救他”,該角色可以變成一個商人賣你有價值的東西——這些效果影響很簡單,但是對於玩家來說這可比最後只是兩種不同的過場動畫來的有意義多了。

《請出示文件(Papers, Please)》

在《請出示文件》中,你會扮演一個整天檢查護照真實可靠性的邊境管理人員——這就是遊戲的內容。如果開發者沒有投入太多精力來確保遊戲能持續發展,那這款遊戲很可能會變得非常平庸,因此這需要玩家對系統進行永久性的掌握。

對系統的永久掌控

就是指一款遊戲在遊戲玩法上持續地發生改變。這裏跟“遊戲玩法的展開”不同的地方在於,這裏的遊戲類型和風格不會發生改變。實際變化的是一些對已經建立的機制進行的小補充,使玩家可以使用他們所學到的知識,並將其應用到不同的情境中。儘管他們已經掌握了確切的遊戲機制本身,但當這些知識要應用到不同場景中時,這種已掌握的知識就會發生改變。

這不是新概念了。幾乎任何體面的遊戲都會用到這個概念:《馬里奧》、《黑暗之魂》還有《最後生還者》都是很好地例子。然而,這並不是每個開發者都能搞定的東西——通過增加某些數值來進行人工難度干預並不會讓玩傢俱備永久掌握遊戲系統的能力;這些情況下,玩家即使掌握了系統知識,但是不得不將他們所學的知識持續地投入到執行當中——這樣他們很快就會覺得無聊,這也是很多遊戲失敗的原因。

在《請出示文件》中,遊戲通過變化各種不同的通關文件來要求玩家永久性的掌握遊戲。通關文件會根據國家的不同、職業的不同等等因素而發生改變。一旦玩家掌握了新的辨別技巧,遊戲機制就會給出新的內容讓你去練習掌握這種技巧。除此之外,遊戲裏還會有一些特殊的角色來以防玩家陷入千篇一律的死循環裏,變得能夠輕鬆地“玩轉”遊戲。

《冷靜時刻(Cold Time)》

《冷靜時刻》是一款恐怖遊戲,它有着獨特之處——它不屬於我們通常意義上的那種恐怖遊戲。它是慢節奏的、扭曲而有條理的;它讓玩家扮演的是去製造恐懼的遊戲角色:一個假裝辦晚餐聚會來聚集受害者的殺人狂。整個遊戲裏,你必須一個一個地殺死所有客人,他們會向你求饒救命,會拼命逃跑可能只爲了多活一秒。這個遊戲是一個“被迫式故事敘述角度”的很好範例。

被迫式故事敘事角度

這個概念指的是你——作爲玩家,要受到遊戲機制逼迫來展開遊戲故事。這意味着它的遊戲機制和玩家對這些遊戲機制的使用會使玩家處於這樣一種心態——玩家的目標和角色目標達成了一致。

在《冷靜時刻》裏,這種一致性會讓人感到不安——不是因爲角色的行爲,而是因爲玩家的目標——玩家目標成了要殺死邀請來做客的客人。隨着遊戲的繼續進行,遊戲會變得好玩、乏味、或者只是爲了完成遊戲的盲目行動。但是正是這樣我們也完全體現了角色心態,角色成爲了我們自身的映射——該主角他很明顯是瘋了的,因爲他發現這種謀殺的行爲是好玩的、無聊的或者只是盲目的行動。

我從沒有真的完成過這個遊戲;我都嚇尿了。

這是與衆不同的角色扮演遊戲,因爲我們不是根據我們想要的角色來做出行爲的選擇,而是通過我們所採用的行動和採取這樣行動的理由來定義我們所扮演的角色。

無目性的娛樂

有很多遊戲表面上看都應該是挺好玩的,但是真正玩起來並非如此。我們看到很多類似的遊戲,它們只是復刻了那些“好玩”的遊戲玩法而沒有什麼原創的有趣內容。那款遊戲明明有相同的概念,但玩起來卻很無聊,爲什麼呢?

那是因爲這些遊戲大部分都是在遊戲機制層面上的復刻品,但是他們沒法理解這些機制要怎樣使用才能變得有吸引力。

如果你想試着重製一款遊戲,你不知補習重新創作遊戲機制,你還得重新做遊戲設計。由一堆遊戲機制堆積而成的遊戲是不存在的——是遊戲設計讓這些機制在一起有了意義,讓玩家有了遊戲目標,這樣玩家纔有理由玩你的遊戲。

總結

遊戲當然可以好玩,別理解錯我的意思,但是中的事要記住,好玩不是所有遊戲都能做到的。遊戲通過別的方式也可以變得有吸引力——比如通過奇妙的設計。遊戲不需要用一些爆炸之類的東西來刺激玩家照樣也能有意思。

很多方法都行得通的;我只是列舉除了遊戲可以利用一小部分內容。別再思維上限制了自己,“人們不會玩我的遊戲的,因爲它又不好玩。”其實如果你的遊戲有意思,人們會很樂意玩它的。

本文由遊戲邦編譯,轉載請註明來源,或諮詢微信zhengjintiao

Imagine if you designed your games to be interesting, rather than fun. That might sound a little counter-intuitive; you might say, “if a game is fun, wouldn’t that already make it interesting, in some respect”? That’s true, but I’m talking about giving the player a drive to play the game outside of simply completing the goals you have set. The player also plays to experience and explore the game itself, to see what the world you have created has to offer.

This has far more retaining power than straight up fun, and is amazing (thanks to the huge synergy bonus) when combined with fun.

It’s hard to get a grasp on the fuzzy concept of “interesting”, so rather than try to define it, let’s look at six great examples of games that are “interesting”, and at how they used “interest” to drive and support the game.

Note: This article contains spoilers for the following games:

The Stanley Parable (not free, but has a free demo; available on Windows and Mac)

Frog Fractions (free online)

Shadow of the Colossus (not free; available on PlayStation only)

Corrypt (free; available on iOS, Windows, and Mac)

Papers Please (not free; available on Windows, Mac, and Linux)

Calm Time (free; available on Windows only)

If you haven’t played them yet, I recommend you do so before reading on; they’re all excellent experiences that deserve to be played through with fresh eyes—and they have plenty of lessons to teach any game designer.

The Stanley Parable

The Stanely Parable, on paper, is not a “fun” game. You walk through hallways, you get talked at the whole time, and you get different endings based on whether you walk down one hallway or another. Then you play again and walk down the hallway you didn’t walk down before. Sounds boring.

However, the designers used a powerful tool to keep the player interested in the game: player agency curiosity. It makes all the difference.

Player Agency Curiosity

This refers to the state where the player is engaged with the game by poking and prodding it—sometimes in hope of breaking the game, sometimes to see how it reacts, sometimes to find the limits or seams of the system, and so on.

When trying to harness this style of engagement, you must be able to predict what the player will try to do and what they are thinking. When they try to do something, your game must react to it, and these reactions must also provoke some sort of reaction from the player: fear, laughter, mystery, a clue, or even just a little Easter egg.

The Stanley Parable makes amazing use of this. The design tightly restricts the possible interactions for the player, and so the designers are able to predict what the player will do at any point. Because of this, they are able to be proactive in their reactions to player choices.

The best example of this is in the iconic two door room the player is presented with at the start of the game. The game tries to tell you the “story” of the game by saying “Stanley, when presented with two doors, walked through the left door.” A player might say “Aha—nice try, game, but I won’t let you control me!” and walk through the right door. However, the game recognizes this mindset and both acknowledges and responds to this by telling the player that they aren’t following the proper story.

It’s a small thing, but it makes the player want to see how far they can go: if I do this, what will happen? If I do that, is anything going to happen?

Frog Fractions

Frog Fractions is an educational game about fractions… sort of. It doesn’t look like anything you haven’t seen before. The gameplay is predictable; you know what you’re getting as soon as you start playing it. You’re a frog that needs to eat some bugs. Simple. But the game knows this, and it uses whatever assumptions you may have made about its gameplay against you in a brilliant way, through its unfolding gameplay.

Unfolding Gameplay

This is the act of constantly introducing new concepts and mechanics into your game the farther into your game the player gets. Games that use this device generally start out boring or mundane or predictable, but they need to. This is because when the player is in that state of boredom, they will perk up to anything new, and anything unusual.

Once the player starts to see the game expanding, they begin to wonder what else it has to show them. They want to know where this rabbit hole of a game leads. And since the game starts out as mundane, stale, and boring, when more of the game is revealed it’s a big juxtaposition against what they were playing previously. This allows mediocre gameplay to become so much more, because each new gameplay element is new, shiny, and interesting.

I really hope you played the game before you read to this point. This is a one-time surprise.
In Frog Fractions, this first instance of unfolding generally happens at the perfect moment. The gameplay mechanics seem to boil down to eat some bugs, catch some fruit, unlock new power-ups so you can be more efficient at the process. It’s nothing new and is easy to understand (aside, perhaps, from the quirky humor the game has).

However, that idea of the player having a full grasp on what the game is is quickly turned on its head as soon as the player moves downward just a little too far and bam. There are infinitely many pieces of fruit underwater! This immediately tells the player, “this game isn’t about upgrading; it isn’t about what you thought it was.” Through this, the game creates a new rush of interest because now the game is broken—or is it? What is this game trying to do? The player continues to play to answer these questions.

Shadow of the Colossus

Shadow of the Colossus has a lot going on under the hood. Its a game about traversing over expansive lands that is home to the colossi (giant enemy beasts). The game doesn’t have a lot of conflict; there are only 16 enemies in the whole game. For each enemy, you must do the same thing: travel to the colossus, figure out how to get on top of the beast, find its weak points, kill, repeat.

Now, while that is simple when written, the game and how it was pieced together makes it insanely compelling because of differences in kind.

Differences in Kind

This is a term I picked up from the lovely Extra Credits team. It refers to the concept of a game changing tones throughout, in order to break up similar gameplay, to make sure that the player doesn’t get fatigued from the gameplay—to give them a break of sorts. It is also used to make certain aspects of the game more impactful. Action, for instance, is much more refreshing when you are able to take a small break instead of having a constant barrage of endless fights until the game ends.

Shadow of the Colossus uses differences in kind beautifully. Since each of the battles with the colossi are intense puzzle/action segments, the player would quickly become tired if they were constantly playing this segment of the game. To prevent this, the fights are separated by calming, meditative traveling segments. These allow for the player to take a break from the action while also creating a sense of anticipation, adding additional value to each of the fights.

This is the absolute opposite of high stakes, intense puzzle-solving action.

Differences in kind, when used properly, can also create different “lenses” through which to view the game itself. In Shadow of the Colossus, you view the game through both the lenses of action and calm. It’s a hard feeling to describe, but a game that can be viewed through multiple lenses feels fuller, like more of a complete world. Games that have one lens tend to be games that feel more traditionally game-like.

While it’s no bad thing to not have differences in kind, just know that it is a tool in your arsenal that won’t (in most cases) diminish, only create additional value.

Corrypt

Corrypt is a weird game. It starts out normal enough: it’s a down-to-earth Sokoban box game. Nothing special about that. But once you get far enough, you obtain magic. However, this magic actually ends up breaking the game, in some ways making it unplayable. This gives the player repercussions for agency.

Repercussions for Agency

What made this game absolutely brilliant for me was how it used a simple mechanic to expand the game in ways I didn’t even know were possible before playing. You can use magic in order to permanently freeze a tile; when you go to any other room that tile will stay as what it was when you froze it.

This made me personally care about the repercussions of what I decided to do as a player. That is extremely important: the player themselves is invested in the decisions they make, but not through a binary “kill him or save him” situation where the outcome changes one ending to a different ending. No—this game made me stop and think, “if I freeze this tile what will happen? Is this smart? What rooms are going to be impossible to solve because of this?”

Some of the most nerve-wracking decisions I’ve ever made in a game.

While having the decisions themselves be important to the player is significant, nothing is more essential than having those decisions impact the gameplay itself. In this game, the player’s choices can change the layout of every room from then on. However, the effects doesn’t always have to be as prominent. For example, in that hypothetical “kill him or save him” scenario, perhaps the player’s character could be mentally scarred if they were to choose to kill, which in turn could make their accuracy go down, giving the choice a meaningful gameplay repercussion. If the player chose to save him, he could become a merchant that sells you some valuable items. These repercussions are simple, but far more meaningful to a player than a selection of two cut scenes.

Papers, Please

In Papers, Please, you play as a border control worker who spends their days checking passports for authenticity. That is the game. It would have probably been completely mundane as well, if the developer hadn’t put such care into making sure the game was constantly evolving, thus requiring perpetual mastery of the system from the player.

Perpetual Mastery of the System

This is when a game constantly changes how it is played. What makes this different from unfolding gameplay is that the genre and style of the game never changes. The actual changes are small—little additions to already established mechanics that make the player use what they’ve learned and apply it to different situations. Although they have mastered the actual mechanic itself, by being used in different situations the application of that mastered knowledge will change.

This isn’t a new concept. Nearly any decent game uses this concept: Mario, Dark Souls, and The Last of Us are all good examples. However, this isn’t something that every developer grasps. Artificial difficulty by way of increasing numbers does not create perpetual mastery; in these cases, the player has mastered the system but just has to continue executing what they have learned. This quickly becomes boring, and is a large part of why many games fail.

In Papers, Please the game requires perpetual mastery by changing how documents work. There’s different paperwork for different countries, different occupations, and so on. As soon as the player has a grasp on the most recent twist on the mechanic, something new is thrown in. On top of that, there are a few special characters thrown in to make sure that the player never falls into a routine and can easily “game” the game.

Calm Time

Calm Time is a horror game with a unique twist. It isn’t scary, in a normal sense. It’s slow paced, twisted, and methodical. It places the player into the shoes of what would normally be the object of fear: a killer who has gathered their victims under the pretense of a dinner party. Throughout the game, you must kill each guest one by one, as they plead for their lives and run to live maybe just a second longer. It’s a great example of forced perspective storytelling.

Forced Perspective Storytelling

This concept refers to when the game forces you, as the player, to tell the story of the game through the mechanics. This means that the mechanics and the player’s use of them places the player in a certain mindset. Their goals align with the character’s goals.

In Calm Time this becomes unsettling—not because of the actions of the character, but because of the goals of the player. The player’s goal is to kill all the guests they have invited to their home. As the game goes on, it might become fun, tedious, or just a mindless action to complete the game. But through this we also come to completely embody the mindset of the character. The character becomes a mirror onto ourselves. He is clearly insane because he find this act of murder fun, tedious, or just a mindless action.

I never actually finished this game; I got too creeped out.

This is different to roleplaying, since instead of us choosing our actions based on the character we want to be, our character is defined by the actions we take and our reasons for taking said actions.

Fun Without Purpose

There are plenty of games that feel like they should be fun on paper, but aren’t when actually played. We see this a lot in clones, which end up copying the “fun” gameplay, without much else of what made the original interesting. The game has the same ideas, but the execution falls flat. Why is that?

It’s because these games mostly copy the games on a mechanical level, but they fail to understand how those mechanics were used in the games to make them compelling to play.

If you are going to try to remake a game, you must not only recreate the mechanics, you must also recreate the design. Games do not exist as a jumble of mechanics thrown together to make a game. Design is what gives the mechanics meaning, gives the player purpose, and creates the reason for the player to play your game.

Conclusion

Games can be fun, don’t get me wrong, but it is important to remember that that’s not all games can be. Games can be compelling in other ways, through use of intelligent design. Games can be interesting without having to overstimulate the player with explosions and the like.

There are many ways to go about this; I have only listed but a fraction of what is possible in games. Don’t restrict yourself by thinking, “people won’t play my game if it isn’t fun.” If your game is interesting, people will enjoy it.(source:tutsplus.com