Before producing (your first) HTML5 mobile game you need to decide on what type of game to make. First thing that comes to your mind are performance issues which may limit you in the means of animations and physics. Let's face it - we can't reach performance of native mobile games yet. But it's not a reason to cry, and giving up - especially that trends are changing, and technology is moving forward. We are at the edge where after 2 years of development HTML5 mobile game achieved more than we could expect. At the moment if you really want to make mobile HTML5 game you should think about three important factors: performance, fun, and visual appeal (now, you can even add audio to make it more attractive). I want to focus on present possibilities, and types of games currently may work out best and bring you revenues if you make it well. Of course upcoming trends, and performance solutions can make production better and easier I believe, but let's focus on what we know now, and on those factors that for sure will pay off.
Is there a recipe for a profitable game?
Maybe the HUGE companies have it, but as a small indie developer you may not have experts in any aspect of the game, you don't own team of 120 specialists who build the code, solve the problems, create tons of graphics, write stories, and oversee the whole work. Still, you can make an awesome and fun game which can earn money for you, and pay off the hard work you put out.
Who knows maybe it will become even a Top Selling Game if you put it into App Store? Types of games are practically unlimited - while you can make a remodeled version of classic Tetris, Snake or whatever you like, you may as well create your own story and gameplay. If you don't have any experience in HTML5 games coding it is best to use some tutorials, or guides. Luckily, many developers share their knowledge. You can for example start with this simple GUIDE. But let's leave the technical details, and start with one of most important factors...
...make it simple, if you want to monetize it faster.
I know that it can make you wonder - why should I do that? I can as well make a huge, social game with freemium features, with long gameplay, and possibly better monetization capabilities! Yes that may work, but imagine - you have team of 4-5 people, or even there is only you and a graphic designer. If you want to create huge game, it may even take you 6 months, a year or longer! Think about it. Of course if you have time, bigger team - it's up to you. Those advices are directed mostly to smaller developers. It is best to go simple in the beginning to avoid some issues connected with finances, time and effort. The best way to choose the game type is to do some research. Try to look around in top played flash games, or App Stores for inspiration. The most important factor is that game has to be simple and fun - easy to play but hard to master. A fine examples are our two games: Crazy Gems 2 was released over a year ago, and it still earns really good revenues, and holds a traffic of couple thousand visits per day! It is a clone of popular Bejeweled game with growing difficulty level and timer. Publishers still promote it and asking for a license. Thanks to this game we learned that you don't really need huge production to earn money. Following this experience recently we released a new game, in similar business model. Animory is also simple game, based on popular memory game type with three difficulty levels. To make it more spicy, we added couple features. Driven by past experience, we used the same model, and it worked out for us well since the first day of game release! The conclusion is a KISS principle plus fun of the game itself. Make the game a way you and gamers will like it! The other key to well made HTML5 mobile game is....
...lovely, HD graphics.
Put yourself in a position of a gamer or a publisher, and think what would be the first thing they would notice - your polished code of engine, or the graphics? Of course answer is simple as the game should be! This is the first factor everyone will see at first, and it will surely affect gamers choice. Nicely drawn game with polished buttons, crystals, monsters, balls, etc. will be the key to give you better chance to be noticed and probably successful. Take an example above of Animory game menu screen - our artist took a huge care of details, colors, even the logo is fantastic. Don't you feel like you want to see more? I'm sure you do :)
So can we say that it's "the recipe"?
It's quite difficult to say that this may be a 100% successful recipe for HTML5 game production model. It is rather based on experiences which developer had for last months in the means of web mobile games production and distribution. I think it's rather a simple and reasonable guide which says on which factors developers who want to make mobile HTML5 game should focus on. Those three factors mixed with well written code, loads of tests, established publishers network, and well fitting business model, may give a good base for a good start for a developer. Starting with several smaller, well earning, and popular games can establish your position for a future, and bring more comfort to create much larger games.