I was just reading a forum thread where the poster (an associate) said:
“I have it on very good authority that the best selling genres at the moment are Match 3′s and the ‘Find random objects in a busy screen’ games”
And they then went on to say:
“I’m also told that a good Match 3 game is no longer enough to be a hit. It needs a twist, a la Cradle of Rome, to hold the player’s interest.
Way I see it, I have two choices.
1. Swallow my pride and adopt a tried-and-tested formula.
2. Take a risk and do something else.
Bearing in mind that I don’t want to invest a load of time in a game that won’t sell, I’m not sure what to do. Jumping on the match 3 bandwagon doesn’t exactly fill me with joy, either.”
Welcome to the dilemma of being a professional Indie my friend! Well I jumped on the match-3 bandwagon quite a while ago now (nearly 2 years!) and I explained why in this post.
Some other sim games also do OK like the Virtual Villager games.
Oh and card games always sell.
Plus some word games.
So guess what I’m making at the moment? Actually don’t bother cos I can’t tell you.
Apart from that lot you’ll have a job making any real money from say a platformer, shooter, or a “unique” puzzle game. I see lots of “innovative” “never been done before” puzzle games, but they don’t sell, not really. And forget making money from a whacky “arty” Indie game unless you are one in oooh 10,000. Look at Gish, didn’t make that much money…
The point is whatever you make, you have to make it fantasically polished and with a “story/cartoon strip” and a “map” and probably a meta game (like Cradle of Rome). This is on top of all the usual stuff like profiles, Vista support, options screen, stats/high scores, fancy intro and animated title screen, blah blah. Oh and a Mac version. Good luck!