- Recessions hit those conglomerates and massive businesses (and those smaller ones dependent on them) hardest. During these times it is difficult to find jobs thus in terms of risk, striking out on your own is less and there is less harm and more opportunity in trying that idea of yours. Who knows, people may like it.
- Economic recessions are a weeding out period, only the smart, lithe and agile companies survive. As a small developer you will be more situated to have quicker response times and better able to try unique approaches. Now your small size is your advantage.
- Rates and offers from banks although harder to come by also tend to be more reasonable. Money is also more easily acquired from the government seeking to stimulate the economy. However loans should be avoided unless absolutely necessary - sometimes it pays to grow your business organically (and grow with it too), especially with deflation concerns in the forecast. This whole craze for Instant multi-million companies is to me quite childish and more importantly less sustainable.
- Recession and specifically deflation means the value of money is increased, the cost of goods is generally less but also money is scarcer. There also tends to be less liquidity in the economy. What this means is that people are tending to save more. Due to having less expenses you can offer games at reduced prices. People will be more likely to thrifty spending and less to luxury spending and more likely to look elsewhere at less pricey items for leisure.
- Finally and most morbidly, the job outlook for the future is apparently grim. Layoffs and hiring freezes at their highest rate in a long time. More people than ever claiming job benefits. More people at home with nothing to do and less money to spend. Making them more frugal and selective in their spending. Catch their attention and create balance in the universe by turning their losses to your gains.
And as a useless note that sounds like a quote out of a book by Captain Obvious but still worth pointing out: As an indie your chances are increased by making it so your game has mass appeal. The game should be non intimidating/have an intuitive friendly interface and also stand out by having great talking points - aspects which people want to talk about, argue on, comment on and share with their friends. Word of virtual mouth will be your friend there. Generally games which require less sustained time investment, with a brighter palette and 2D more cutesy graphics seem to have that universal appeal.
Another one is to be nice to people who took the time to use your stuff. Feedback is vital in Nature's Evolution and also for your game's. Responding to criticisms and complaints in a balanced manner will polish your product and make it compositionally more appealing further increasing your market base, developing your brand and building a company around it.