Devon VanNote '17
Senior computer science major from Centralia, Illinois
Created his own social media web application called Glimpse
Developed own online game studio called Blitzkrieg Games
Vice President for the McKendree Chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery
Student lab worker for McKendree’s computing department
Named to the Dean’s List and member of Phi Eta Sigma and Upsilon Pi Epsilon Honor Societies
Software Developer Internship with Asynchrony Labs
by Stephanie (Coartney) Dulaney '10
Whether it’s movies, video games, or computers, Devon VanNote '17 has always had a passion for technology. Now a senior computer science student at McKendree, he’s gone from simply enjoying technology to creating it.
It all started his sophomore year when he decided to take an upper-level elective course in computer graphics. “That class was extremely challenging, but I loved it,” he said. “It gave me a deeper understanding of how a computing device is able to mathematically render graphics.” Devon sought additional guidance from two seniors in class, and the friendship they formed lasted well beyond the semester.
“We all shared an interest in making games in our free time, so we decided to build something small, like a mobile game, and work our way up to PC and console games over time.”
Using their knowledge from class and desire to bring their original games to more people, the three started their own online game studio called Blitzkrieg Games. So far, they’ve created a mobile game for Android and iOS called Pocket League and are working to release others. “I always tend to dream big,” Devon said. “I would like to be one of the first studios to make a full-blown MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role playing game) in virtual reality. We have a lot to learn before we get there, but I’m excited for the journey.”
Devon’s McKendree experience gave him the freedom and encouragement to explore working with other technologies as well. For his senior project, he created a social media application called Glimpse. The app uses a person’s location to display photographs others have taken in that same area. Users can also upload their own photos, called “leaving a piece of yourself behind.”
“The idea struck me when I was in a new city I had never been before, and I wanted to see what was around me. Google is helpful, but people who are local or have already visited are much more helpful. By being able to quickly view photos taken around me, I’m able to identify possible places to hang out and visit.” Devon is excited to make his creation available to users in the real world, and he’s working on versions for Android and iOS.
Through his time at McKendree, Devon has learned that the sky is the limit when it comes to pursuing your passions. After graduation, he has his sights set on a career in software and user experience development, while also continuing to develop Glimpse and Blitzkrieg Games. “My overall life goal, however, is to work on something Star Wars related, whether it’s a movie, video game, or even literature,” he added. Devon knows that his hands-on experience in the classroom has set him up for success not only in the computing field, but it’s also given him the tools to bring his dreams to life.
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