UVU and BYU students release sandwich game app | News, Sports, Jobs

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Steve Warren, left, and Daniel Keele are creators of Deli Dash and co-founders of KW Games.

Courtesy Steve Warren

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Daniel Keele poses for a photo in front of his computer.

Courtesy Steve Warren

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Steve Warren poses for a photo in front of his computer.

Courtesy Steve Warren

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It seems fitting that Springville natives Steve Warren and Daniel Keele came up with the concept for their game while sitting in a sandwich shop.

Deli Dash, which was released on the App Store on April 10, is a fast-paced game where players try to make as many sandwiches as possible before a timer runs out. Users can earn Deli Dollars to purchase virtual plates and sandwich ingredients — and see their ranking on a global scoreboard.

Keele, who earned his master’s from Brigham Young University, had always known that he wanted to develop games. He enlisted the help of Warren, who is pursuing an MBA from Utah Valley University, to handle the marketing and business aspects of creating the app while the two sat for lunch in a local Jimmy John’s.

“I really wanted to make a game, Steve wanted to get big into selling an app,” Keele said. “So that’s how it came to be.”

“We just started bouncing off ideas, and one idea that came about, because of the nature of being in a Jimmy John’s, was sandwiches,” Warren said. “I pulled up a design software on my laptop and threw something really quick together, and then we just continued to iterate.”

In the two years since, the duo has worked on the game as a side project — using what little free time they had as full-time students, employees, husbands and fathers to bring Deli Dash into its final form.

“We started off and just made a very basic version of the game with just our core ideas and then sent it around to a bunch of friends to see if they liked it,” Keele said. “So it was just honestly ugly, this little small fundamental app where people could see if the gameplay itself was fun. And then once we messed around with that enough and found a model that worked, Steve went really hardcore on building the design and the visuals.”

Warren and Keele met at church when they were kids, and although it can be risky to do business with friends, according to Warren, the two balance each other out.

“In a lot of instances I feel like that could be a less than favorable situation, especially when you’re working with someone you’ve been friends with for a really long time,” he said. “But I think for us it never really posed a problem because we’re both pretty relaxed personalities and I feel like we both just balanced each other really well.”

For what started out as a simple learning exercise, the consumer response to Deli Dash has been overwhelmingly positive.

“When we first started in Jimmy John’s we said ‘this first project is going to be for learning’… but now that it’s released and people are loving it, it seems like there’s a lot of potential for it to be a pretty darn good game ,” Keele said. “I’ve been pretty pleased with how people have responded so far. It’s the first week, so it’s honestly everything I could have hoped for.”

Looking to the future, Warren and Keele have co-founded KW Games, which they hope will eventually turn into a game development studio where they can take on bigger projects.

Deli Dash is currently only available on the App Store, but Warren and Keele are currently developing an Android compatible version that they hope to release soon. More information on Deli Dash can be found on http://delidashapp.com.

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