Sat, Apr 14 at 9:00 AM

 Art Building West

Largest animation and gaming conference in the Midwest.

Free and open to the public featuring professionals in animation, game design, writing, music and sound design, programming, arts, and business; all giving talks, tech demos, master classes, Q&A sessions, and more.


  240 AUD 116 AUD 112 110
9:00-10:00 Registration
Continental Breakfast
10:15-10:30 Opening Remarks (240 AUD)
10:30-11:20 Opening Keynote (240 AUD)
Benjamin Lok
Virtual Reality for the Social Good
11:30-12:20 Stephen Jennings
Launching a Successful 
Career in Animation
Dennis Lippens and 
Dries de Geyter
Deer Lord - 
The Making Of
Andrew Rasmussen
Creating a Video
Game Business
Sarah Prineas
Q&A Session 
12:30-1:30 Lunch and Interactive Play Lounge
Live Music in the Atrium
1:30-2:20 Rom Di Prisco
Featured Presentation -
The Composer
for Fortnite
Tyler Owen
Art in the Code
University of Iowa
Virtual Reality
Andrew Rasmussen
Q&A Session
2:30-3:20 Jak Wilmot
Merging Reality 
with the Virtual
Sarah Prineas
How to Write Fantasy:
From Rough Draft 
to Finished Book
Rom Di Prisco
Q&A Session
3:30-4:20 Lauryn Ash
Starting a
Games Career
Benjamin Lok 
and Jak Wilmot
The Reality of Creating 
Virtual Reality Panel
Stephen Jennings 
and Tyler Owen
Art in the Game Panel
4:30-5:00 Closing Remarks (240 AUD)
5:00-5:30 Interactive Play Lounge


  Steve Jennings is Founder and Director at Grasshorse Studios, a character animation studio located in Southeast Iowa. Jennings’ was acknowledged for his direction of The Sacrifice as 2010 Best Animated Short at Dragon Con.  
Jennings contributed animation to Powerpuff Girls, Star Wars: Clone Wars and Johnny Test.  Since then, he has received 50+ awards for his direction of commercials, public service announcements and animated shorts. His inventive spirit has ignited new development in technology, mixing aesthetics and combining disciplines of animation, animatronics and puppetry.  Recently Jennings directed the music video Roll Up for alternative rock band Fitz and the Tantrums.

Benjamin Lok is a Professor in the Computer and Information Sciences and Engineering Department at the University of Florida and co-founder of Shadow Health, Inc., an educational software company. His research focuses on virtual humans and mixed reality in the areas of virtual environments,   human-computer interaction, and computer graphics. Professor Lok received a Ph.D. (2002) and M.S. (1999) from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a B.S. in Computer Science (1997) from the University of Tulsa. He did a post-doc fellowship (2003) under Dr. Larry F. Hodges.

​He currently serves on the Steering Committee of the IEEE Virtual Reality conference. He has been the general co-chair of IEEE VR 2014 and IEEE VR 2013, and program co-chaired the ACM VRST 2009, IEEE Virtual Reality 2010, and IEEE Virtual Reality 2011 conferences.


Dennis Lippens and Dries de Geyter -- Deer Lord

Dennis and Dries are two guys living the life. Their hilarious card game of dupes and duels is a blast at parties! A game of both deception and wits, players need to bluff to or convince their friends that they're bluffing in order to win. They'll be discussing their process, business, here at EPX CON. Dear Lord is still on kickstarter but was featured to a wide audience at Gen Con last year.

Lauryn Ash is a Systems Designer at Crystal Dynamics with a passion for systemic storytelling and dark roast coffee. She graduated from the University of Iowa's Creative Writing program, and started her own creative studio, Open Tinderbox. She holds a Masters of Interactive Technology, specializing in Level Design from SMU Guildhall.  
  Tyler Owen is the creator of three independently released titles on Steam through his solo development studio, Random Seed Games. His most recent project is an exploration and survival game set on Mars that is available on Steam Early Access.
Jak Wilmot is the co-founder of Disrupt, a Virtual Reality studio that creates animated experiences based in Atlanta, Ga. He loves VR, film, and coffee.  
  Rom Di Prisco is a classically trained composer, producer, and remixer who has been creating music for video games, TV, and film for over 20 years.Some of his game credits include Fortnite, Guacamelee!, Need for Speed, Paragon, Puzzle Fighter, Mass Effect 2, Gears of War, Unreal Tournament 3, and SSX Tricky. TV and film credits include NCIS, Criminal Minds, Saw II, and The Sopranos.Producing music for over 25 years, Rom has had releases and appearances on over 30 record labels worldwide, including prestigious electronic labels Bedrock, Nettwerk, Planet Dog, and Hook / Bellboy.A hardcore and retro gamer, Rom enjoys sharing his passion for game audio with others, and has taught music composition and sound design for the Game Development and Entrepreneurship program at UOIT (University of Ontario Institute of Technology).
Sarah Prineas is the author of the award winning Magic Thief series, which has been published in 20 languages around the world. Her other books from HarperCollins include the Winterling trilogy and Ash & Bramble, her first young adult book, along with its companion, Rose & Thorn.  Forthcoming books include The Lost Books (June 2018) and Dragonfell (2019).  Sarah has a PhD in English literature, is deeply involved in political activism, rows on the Iowa River, and lives in the Iowa countryside with her mad scientist husband, two odd children, three perfectly normal cats, chickens, bees, a bunch of goats, and the best dog in the world.  
  Andrew Rasmussen is an attorney living in Lincoln, NE, who is setting up a game development studio and developing his team’s flagship title. He is working with a number of state and local entities to make his vision a success. Andrew has been developing games in some form for over ten years, though his current project is his largest and most ambitious.  His unique background and training gives him unique insight on problems faced by developers of all sizes. Andrew holds a J.D. and B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, both from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.



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