The first of our guest posts from the GEEK2012 expo written by Byron Atkinson-Jones (@xiotex) who is currently working on his Indie game Cyberstream.

About a week ago I got an email about showing off my latest game at an event in Margate called GEEK2012. My first reaction was ‘where the hell is Margate’ followed closely by ‘Geek? Are you calling me a Geek?’ Thankfully we didn’t come to blows over that and I agreed.

Once we had gotten over the initial teething problems that newbie expos always have this event has turned into something that is a fantastic experience. It would be hard to properly convey the atmosphere in this hall as I look out over hundreds of retro games machines ranging from the really old pong machines to ZX81’s to the more modern consoles, all showing games that we remember and loved. My particular love was the Amiga 500, I spent many nights coding demos on that machine.

As an indie AppyNation has provided myself and the other indie developers an opportunity to get our games into the audience and see them being played. I had also brought my development machine with me so when somebody found a bug I was able to modify my game as we went along. This led to an interesting idea and indeed a very enterprising kid approached me about designing one of the enemy sprites in my game. I gave him the laptop, fired up Photoshop and within minutes he had created a new sprite and while he was still there I put it into the game and the look on his face as he was able to shoot his creation was amazing. The real highlight came when his friend came over to play it and was killed by his creation.

That’s the kind of difference that making indie games can have – a special opportunity to not only engage with our audience but have them actively participate in the making of the game.

For that I thank AppyNation and James Harkness for bringing us here.

– Byron Atkinson-Jones @xiotex