This game http://www.ninjalovespirate.com/ uses 320X200 if I remember correctly. Extremely beautiful too. However, it is not for the casual market and I don't know if they have had any success in selling it to publishers.
I have an old game concept that I've always meant to complete, just for the sake of completing it.
The graphics style was always fairly cool and rather than re-draw them, I was wondering how receptive the Casual market would be to an old-school "320x200" style... Would this be a no-no?
I was reading recently the Free Software Magazine and the guy who made it had concerns if there would be enough people to read it and make money from it. He expressed these concerns in a friend of his who has some successful business and his friend told him that there is money everywhere, as long as you make something good and promote it (read it here). Two years after, the magazine is still here and lots of people are reading it. They (they people behind FSM) declared themselves as "successful".
From my experience from this forum, i think that the same applies to games: money is everywhere, just make something good and make sure people know about it.
Anyway, YES. Just make sure the game also has a resizable window mode as well. Retro shooters work well in low res, I'm not so sure about a rpg or a game that needs a little more detail to get the visual message across. But look at games like "Metal Slug". They were done in a 320x240 (200??) mode and the graphics were/are amazingly detailed.
hmm.. what is casual anymore? Probably someone who just doesn't spend $50.00 a game.
DXGame Engine - High level 2D game engine for use with Visual Basic 6.
I don't think such a game will get a retail contract (except as part of a sampler). A chance to get some Portal deals - maybe, but I wouldn't expect too much, even if it's accepted. I see the best chance for selling on your own.
I'd use at least 640x480. If you want to go fullscreen, a lower res could be a problem for some displays. Also, 320 would be far too small in windowed mode on 17"+ displays.
You may look at my game "Frutti Freak". It has pixel graphics, and may be considered retro to some degree. It has constantly sold since released in 2004, not a hit, but could be worse. It was also listed on Bigfish, but disappeared quickly. Of course, it was not optimized for portals and it seems platformers aren't highly demanded.
We made a game (www.gloomy-nights.de) which runs also in 320x240 mode, because we love the oldschool style and of course there are still lots of fans! Otherwise there wouldn't be as much C64 or NES pages around, or?
In our case, it's a freeware game, but it good very good ratings on those download sites, so it seems that there are many people who liked it. I would give it a try, of course it has to be just GOOD (as somebody else said above). People will buy things when they are good
My friend Dan is developing a retro-looking game: http://www.datarealms.com/
He recently changed over to higher resolutions, but previously it ran at something like 320x240 or whatever. He has an entire rant about building a game with the graphical styling of yesteryear combined with the processing power of today's machines (ie per-pixel physics).
Also remember that mobile phone games bring back some of that oldschool stuff... because their capabilities are still very limited. So those graphics are not "thrown away", they are back in some people's heads
Yes, there's definiately a place for retro graphics. Geometry Wars on Xbox Live Arcade was (maybe still is) a big seller and it's totally retro. Also Cas here on our forums have found some success in the retro niche as well (see http://www.puppygames.net/).
First you have to make sure they are "good" graphics, wether they are retro or anything else