Professor Bruce Klemz

Professor Bruce Klemz

Professor of Marketing

Bruce Klemz on building mobile games

For Bruce Klemz, it's more than a game

As a Professor, I have the opportunity to work with a wide variety of fine and talented people. One of my most enjoyable student activities is working with student clubs. I am a co-advisor for SCSU's Video Game Design Club with Matt Barton (a Professor in the English Department who knows this industry better than anyone I know). We work with Computer Science, IS, Mass Comm, English, Business, Graphic Arts and anyone that is interested in building video games. The club is fairly loose, but the talent is clear. These kids have some serious skills and if they put a little attention into this hobby/activity I am sure they could do very well as a result.

As students graduate, some keep in touch. That led to the development of Dlalo Games, LLC. It is a partnership between me and several ex-students and we are developing mobile games for the iPhone and iPad markets. We use area artists, musicians and programmers on a royalty / profit sharing basis. We started all of this in late 2014 and posted our first game in iTunes bythe end of 2015. Since then, we have refocused on educational games and these fall into 2 broad categories. First, we have several games currently available for children with special needs. These are skills based games based on popular game play paradygms. Second, we have linked up with several primary teachers and these current games are mainly math and reading skills games. All educational apps are targeted for iPads and iPhones as Apple products dominate the educational enviroments.

Why "dlalo games"? Well, dlalo is a Xhosa word for "game play". There are a few Xhosa words in the interwebs, most notably, ubuntu. So, we thought, what the heck, why not "dlalo"?

Dlalo Games, LLC - Bruce Klemz, partner

Bruce Klemz on the importance of keeping in touch

As a Professor I get used to students coming in and going out. But every once in a while one keeps in touch and that feedback really makes teaching worthwhile. A few years ago, we did a class project for a small game firm out of Austin, TX. Their name was LittleKillerz and their main game was a mobile RPG game for Android named "Tales of Illyria". The project, a Marketing Plan, went well and the team seemed to really enjoy themselves. One of them did so much that he kept in touch and we discussed making our own games. Another student I had heard of this project and wanted to help. Then there were three of us.

We started out Dlalo Games, by making a phone app, a simple collapsing puzzle game. We found a local artist (through a craigslist advertisment) and we were off. Now we are focusing on educational apps, working with area teachers to convert their class projects to apps. This is a very fun change and we now have many educational apps in iTunes and matching lesson plans in Teacher Pay Teacher.

Since then we have found more artists and we're developing more games. Currently we have many educational games in iTunes. It took a HUGE amount of effort and cost to get approved for Apple's iTunes (Google Play is much easier to qualify for). Or logic in going after Apple customers was while there are fewer of them than Android users, Apple users buy more games.

In addition to making educational apps, we are now helping our area schools with fundraising and education. Last yeat, 2015-2016, we worked with Mark Tinsley at South Jr High in St Cloud MN to develop an app. The art students designed the game, specified game play, and did all the artwork. We did the nerdy bits and posted it in iTunes (for iPhones and iPads). All net revenue goes to the school. We even got some media attention: St Cloud Times writeup, WJON news clip, and a ISD 742 promo video.

This year, 2016-2017, we are working with Mark Tinsley again to write an app with the art students at Central Part Elementary in Roseville, MN.

Stop by our site and see what we've got. If you want to be a part of this adventure, drop us a line at our link below.

Dlalo logo

Bruce Klemz on our use of Flash and ActionScript3 (AS3)

So many development tools to choose from, why Adobe?

We chose to use Adobe Animate (all games written in ActionScript3) and Adobe AIR for our game development tools (our IDE). This choice was made because 1) it is super easy to learn and use, 2) it is widely used in mobile game development, 3) it is supported by Adobe and even Apple will answer questions about it, 4) it is always updated when Apple changes something and 5) AIR allows one game to run on a WIDE variety of platforms unchanged (e.g iOS, Android, etc)! Lastly, there may be better tools, but every Art student knows Adobe products so sharing elements is just oh so easy.

Here's some valuable links to help with these Apple issues:

Here's some valuable links for artwork, sound effects, fonts and color codes:

Here's some valuable links for Flash, ActionScript3 and Adobe Air game tutorials:

Disclaimers and links