EPX Studio: Designing a Future in Gaming

"Where game designers meet." This slogan summarizes what the EPX Studio student organization is all about. When they're not building video games or working on other media projects, EPX Studio focuses on uplifting its members by connecting them with industry professionals and like-minded students. Here, EPX Studio president Gillian Herrin talks about her experience with the club and their upcoming EPX Con — the largest gaming and animation conference in the Midwest.

What exactly is EPX Studio?

EPX Studio is a student org where community members can gather and work on multimedia projects such as video games, comics, and other interactive media. We encourage and mentor our members in similar ways to how the video game industry deals with work. 

What roles have you held and how, (if at all) do they relate to your major?

I've been a media coordinator, vice president, and now president. I'm an English and creative writing major so I really wanted a way to bolster my job possibilities and was very excited to write in a different sort of medium. 

How has EPX Studio impacted your college experience? 

EPX Studio has helped me a lot in my college experience! Other than the lovely opportunities it's given me (attending Game Designer Conference in San Francisco) and all of the professionals I've met (a composer for Fortnite and former panelists for Marvel to name a few), EPX Studio is full of really great people. I joined during a difficult time in my life, just after my sister was diagnosed with cancer. Having a group of people so focused and close-knit really helped me.
EPX is also dedicated to portfolio building, assisting our members so they can break into an industry that is notoriously difficult...

Any notable stories from your time with the club? 

We recently went on Train Jam, which is this great event before GDC (Game Designer Conference) where we spend 52 hours with about 300 other game developers making games without internet on a train from Chicago to San Francisco. This year because of the flooding in Nebraska we were delayed nearly 20 hours, stopping and starting and going backward even. We were running low on food and cars lost power — it was the sort of mess that made everyone laugh and joke and carry on.

What initiatives does EPX Studio participate in? 

EPX is involved with educating members on the sorts of tools that are available to them for game/project development, as well as educating on what they can do to improve their projects. EPX is also dedicated to portfolio building, assisting our members so they can break into an industry that is notoriously difficult and meeting professionals in the fields they are interested in.

How is EPX Studio looking towards the future?

EPX is always trying to gain more members and partner with other studios and student organizations related to us. The speakers we bring in for EPX Con are valuable and insightful, so we're always trying to share those connections. EPX is also dedicated to accessibility and exploring educational programs that are out there. There are a lot of resources for students and members to use to start to build their portfolios and skills. 

How can students get involved in EPX Studio? 

We hold meetings every Friday at 5 p.m. in Art Building West room E240. Walk-ins are very welcome! We run until 8 p.m. so students can come in any time between 5 and 8. We also have free dinner during these meetings! If you can't attend the meetings we hold events as well. EPX Con is our next event on April 13th from 10-5. If you want to see a full list of speakers or a list of the other kinds of events we hold, you can visit our website at https://epx.org.uiowa.edu.