Mt. SAC’s Own E3

The folks in animation and gaming here put on an E3-like convention every year


Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

Building 13 has a secret. Every year, this space hosts a video game convention in the vein of the Electronic Entertainment Expo. While it may not be on the same scale as E3, it has been growing steadily since its inception. This secret is called Gamefest.

Gamefest is an annual event that was created to showcase the work of students in the animation and gaming program, and it began six years ago in the classroom of animation and gaming professor Sunil Thankamushy as a way to share what his students accomplished rather than simply grade their finals and call it a day.

“I felt there was a need to just turn that 16 weeks of work into something beyond just a class,” Thankamushy said.

According to Thankamushy, the second Gamefest, which was also held in his classroom, occupied the entire upstairs hallway of building 13. It was at this point that the need to relocate became apparent.

Going into its sixth year, Gamefest has grown into an event that displays a wealth of work from multiple courses. With the exception of the occasional tutorial demo, everything is made by the students. Thankamushy estimated that there will be anywhere from 30 to 60 games this year, all from students in Introduction to Game Design, Game Level Design, and Introduction to Virtual Reality Design and Technology classes.

The majority of the games shown at Gamefest are computer games, usually in the form of either a platformer or a role-playing game. However, that is not all the event has in store. Board games, for example, will also be available for people to gather around a table and play. Thankamushy also said to expect between 20 and 25 virtual reality, or VR, projects this year, with some showing VR applications in photography.

It is not all about the games, though; it’s also about the people who made them. These students will be present at Gamefest along with their games to talk about the nitty-gritty details of their work process. This will include things like how they storyboard, come up with character and level designs and keep their ideas flowing.

Gamefest will be held on Dec. 3 from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the lobby of the Design Technology building, which is building 13. The event is open to everyone, and there is no cost for admission. Pizza will also be provided for free.

Anyone with questions about Gamefest or the animation and gaming program can contact either Sunil Thankamushy at [email protected] or 909-274-4451, or Hector Rivas at [email protected] or 909-274-4769.