Saturday, April 25th 12 - 6PM & Sunday, April 26th 12 - 6PM, Art Building West
The 4th Annual EPXCON is an animation and gaming conference that was held April 25th & 26th at Art Building West at the University of Iowa in Iowa City. The goal of this event is to engage and enhance the animation and game design community at Iowa. We hosted a variety of industry professionals to speak about their career paths, life in the industry, and advice for those interested in pursuing similar professional paths.
The Interactive Play Lounge on Saturday was a huge success, allowing independent creators, local companies, and organizations to promote their own digital interactive projects. Some of these companies include Virtually Competent, ShapeTrix, and Kinto Games. More information to come about the Interactive Play Lounge.
RSPV at our Facebook event.
Videos from EPXCON 2015 (coming soon)
Saturday, April 25 (12 - 6 PM) & Interactive Play Lounge
- 12:00 - 12:50 Greg Wohlwend - Threes!
- 1:00 - 1:50 Devon Scott Tunkin - Young Horses
- 2:00 - 3:00 Interactive Play Lounge / Break
- 3:00 - 3:50 Harrison Pink - Hanger13 - The Walking Dead Game
- 4:00 - 4:50 Chris Burrows - PIXAR Animation Studio
- 5:00 - 6:00 Interactive Play Lounge Mingle
Sunday, April 26 (12 - 6 PM) & Panel Q & A
- 12:00 - 12:50 Lisa Brown - Sunset Overdrive, Resistance 3
- 1:00 - 1:50 Stephen Jennings - Grasshorse Studio
- 2:00 - 2:30 Break
- 2:30 - 3:20 Ross Hersemann and Susanne Jackiw - Video Game Law Society
- 3:30 - 4:20 Ty Johnson - LAIKA
- 4:30 Panel Q & A
Chris Burrows - Technical Director at PIXAR Animation Studios, The Blue Umbrella
Chris Burrows is a Shading Technical Director at Pixar Animation Studios. His filmography includes "The Blue Umbrella", where he served as the Supervising Technical Director, "Brave" and "Wall-e" where he was the Lead Technical Director, Sets Shading, as well as "Ice Age" and "Fight Club". His professional interests include physically-based rendering and procedural workflow techniques. Chris Burrows holds a B.S. with a concentration in Fine Art from Skidmore College.
Follow him on twitter: https://twitter.com/rotomonkey
Harrison Pink - Game Designer for Telltale Games The Walking Dead, Tales from the Borderlands
Harrison Pink entered the game industry in 2008 at the boutique game studio Thrust Interactive in Atlanta, GA. His was spent designing educational games for kids (as well as social games, adver-games and other client-based services). In 2011, he moved to San Rafael, CA and joined Telltale Games as a game designer, working on the acclaimed The Walking Dead Game, winner of over 90 Game of the Year awards. He also worked on the DLC episode 400 Days as well as Season Two of The Walking Dead Game.
Harrison co-created and led the initial concept design for Tales from the Borderlands, which released its first episode in November, 2014. In December 2014 he joined Hangar 13 (an internal 2K Games studio) in Novato, CA as a designer working on an unannounced next-gen game.
He hold a BFA in Interactive Design and Game Development (with additional Minors in Animation and Film & Television) from the Savannah College of Art & Design.In his spare time, Harrison continues designing games both digital and analog, including a board game designed to encourage improvisational storytelling in groups. He also cosplays on the side (everyone needs a hands-on hobby).
For more information:
Ty Johnson - 3D Modeler for LAIKA Entertainment, the company behind ParaNorman and The Boxtrolls
As a native Oregonian Ty Johnson is proud to be part of LAIKA‘s story and has been since interning there in 2005. Today he spends his hours digitally sculpting, engineering, and assembling heros and heroins of Oscar nominated films like Paranorman and The Boxtrolls. By leveraging state-of-the-art 3D printers Ty’s team has bridged the gap between contemporary CG animation toolsets and the ancient art of stop motion.
For more information please visit the following links.
Lisa Brown - Game Designer at Insomniac Games, Sunset Overdrive & Resistance 3.
Lisa Brown is a game designer based out of Los Angeles, recently gone indie after six years as a designer with Insomniac Games. Originally from Kentucky, Lisa has a background in art and computer science and spent her career dabbling in theater and web development before discovering game design through the graduate program at Carnegie Mellon University’s Entertainment Technology Center. There she worked on Bandology, Get in Line, and several projects with Schell Games, including Pixie Hollow.
In her career with Insomniac Games she worked on Resistance 3, Sunset Overdrive, and led the experimental open-development small game project, Slow Down, Bull. At the same time, she was also an active participant in game jams such as Ludum Dare, acted as a mentor/advisor to other developers, and frequently spoke to students and aspiring designers about game design. Currently, Lisa is focusing on making her own games and spreading game design knowledge through frequent developer streams.
Devon Scott Tunkin - Game Programmer and CFO of Young Horses, Octodad.
Devon Scott-Tunkin is a computer game programmer, co-founder and CFO of Chicago-based Young Horses, the developer of Octodad: Dadliest Catch. Devon has a BFA in Studio Art from The University of Iowa and an MS in Computer Game Programming from DePaul University where the original Octodad was created as part of the DePaul Game Experience.
Greg Wohlwend - Independent Game Developer
Greg Wohlwend is an American independent video game developer and artist whose games include Threes!, Ridiculous Fishing, Hundreds, Gasketball, Puzzlejuice, and Solipskier. He originally formed Intuition Games with Iowa State University classmate Mike Boxleiter in 2007 where they worked on Dinowaurs and other small Adobe Flash games. Trained as an artist, Wohlwend worked mainly on the visual assets. As Mikengreg in 2010, they released Solipskier for iOS, whose success let the two take a more experimental approach with Gasketball, which did not fare as well. At the same time, Wohlwend collaborated with Asher Vollmer to make Puzzlejuice and with Adam Saltsman to make Hundreds based on Wohlwend's first game design. He later released Threes! with Vollmer in 2014 to critical acclaim. He was named among Forbes' 2014 "30 under 30" in the games industry.
To learn more:
Stephen Jennings - Founder and Director at Grasshorse Studio, animation & visual effects
Stephen Jennings is Founder and Director at Grasshorse Studios, an animation, live action and visual effects business located in Eastern Iowa. He is an award-winning Director of animation and live action with an emphasis on visual effects.
Jennings’ unique combination of savvy advertising direction and technically challenging animation and visual effects work was formed through a combination of early career experiences. Immediately out of film school, Jennings became an assistant to controversial and iconic British commercial Director, Tony Kaye. Jennings assisted the Director during his infamous partnership with New Line Cinema in the making of American History X. Jennings got his first live action directing gigs for Plan B Skateboards and Max Factor while at Tony Kaye Films.
Jennings worked in visual effects on Hollywood tent-pole blockbusters while working at such giants as Digital Domain and Sony Pictures Imageworks. He was trained as a compositor, managed technicians and gained intimate knowledge of studio operations, technical infrastructure and pipeline development.
Jennings opened Grasshorse in 2002 as a boutique, offering animation, visual effects and graphics services in Atwater Village, CA. Jennings pioneered hybrid animation techniques for Craig McCracken’s Powerpuff Girls television series by mashing visual effects with 2D animation aesthetics. Jennings further developed his style while working on Genndy Tartakovsky’s Star Wars: Clone Wars and the original show opener for Warner Bros. television show, Johnny Test.
To learn more:
- Grasshorse Animation and Visual Effects Studio
Ross Hersemann - Founder and President of Video Game Law Society
Ross is the founder of the Video Game Law Society at the John Marshall Law School. He received his J.D. from John Marshall in 2014 and his LL.M. in Intellectual Property in 2015. His law blawg Loading Law was founded in 2013 and is devoted to developing legal issues in video games. In addition to writing for Loading Law, Ross has contributed articles to IGDA Perspectives, Legati Law, and Game Dev Law. Ross’ most recent speaking events include Indy Pop Con and the Ohio Game Dev Expo. Ross volunteers at the JMLS Trademark Clinic, the Video Game Art Gallery, and Chicago Loot Drop. His favorite video game is Sonic the Hedgehog.Follow him:
- EPX Studio (That's us.)
- ITS Office of Teaching, Learning & Technology
- The Studio - The Digital Studio for Public Arts & Humanities
- School of Art & Art History
- Obermann Center