Lightframe Game Requirements

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Lightframe Game

Lightframe is a game for visually designing houses based on the Seed Eco-Home v2 design, allowing potential builders and customers to virtually walk through the home, estimate the costs, and ultimately generate a detailed, ready-to-build bill of material (BOM) and assembly instructions.

The game is implemented using the open source Godot game engine and we plan to release it for free on the Steam gaming platform and store, to increase public awareness and cultivate a community of like-minded home-builders and open source enthusiasts around the world.

It would have the potential to support several downstream business models at OSE, including

  • The manufacture and delivery of pre-cut materials along with a home design, either from OSE at Factor e Farm or any other distributed manufacturer.
  • The turn-key build from OSE where a team shows up, either with or without pre-made modules, to build the home on-site.

The goals of the game are to be fun to play, to encourage people to think of themselves as homeowners and to do the exercise that Kevin Kelly of WIRED Magazine fame recommends: at least once in your life, build your own home, and hire people who are better than you to help create it.[[1]]

I would modify this to say: hire people who you want to learn from.

Game Modes

  • Free-from design / Creator mode. This allows you to create a standalone house, for later uploading or generating a BOM and kit.
  • Persistent / story mode. This allows you to play through various scenarios (described in the next section), where your houses and choices

have consequences in a number of turned-based rounds. You will age throughout the game and eventually die, leaving your work and house philosophy to your apprentices, neighbors, and the wider community. You will have the choice to request what kind of funeral you would like, and the chance to see what happens to your homes and neighborhood for several years after your death.


In the game, you can choose one of the following personas, which will determine your resources and skills. Throughout the game, you may progressively add the various personas as you earn attainments through your house designs and buildings.

  • Architecture Student - your goal is build interesting, novel designs that will win awards and the recognition of your peers. your skills will include additional design checks for safety, and a larger template of historical modules / styles to choose from.
  • Gardening Student - your goal is to regenerate the soil and increase the amount of food grown in your neighborhood. your skills will include the ability to start a garden or greenhouse, and a greater variety of plants, vegetables, fruits, and trees to plant, to nourish a greater number of neighbors.
  • Urban Planning Student -
  • Social Work Student -

Potential Game Scenarios

In addition to being a design tool, we can add a variety of dramatic tension devices to teach people the value of good construction, being a good neighbor, and contributing to the neighborhood.

  • There's a summer thunderstorm coming! Does your house have what it takes to stand up to huffing and puffing? Like a roof?
  • Your water bill this month is too high. How can you save water, and avoid draining so much of it into the city's overloaded sewage system? (Requires plumbing simulation).
  • Minecraft-like: bears have been spotted in the area. Is your house secure against them for the night?
  • A nearby family is about to be evicted and has heard of your reputation as an upcoming house designer for great social good. Can you design a house to meet their needs (1 parent, 2 kids, kitchen, bathroom, garage) and help them stay in the city?
 * Neighbors who you help stay in the city will spontaneously help you in later rounds.
 * Neighbors who get evicted may appear in later rounds as homeless people 
  • Building a house with certain add-ons or features will earn you a visit from special characters:
 * A greenhouse with the choice to plant certain medicinal herbs will prompt a visit from Terence McKenna, Mark Plotkin, Tim Ferriss, Michael Pollan, Edward Shultiez, Alexander Shulgin, or Paul Stamets.
 * Installing solar panels will earn you a visit from Elon Musk or Al Gore.
 * Starting a compost pile will earn a visit from Geoff Lawton.
 * Adding a meditation room will earn you a visit from Alan Watts or Sadhguru.
 * Using rammed earth will earn you a visit from David Easton.
 * An exceptionally inexpensive and compact design will earn you a visit from filmmaker Kirsten Dirksen.
 * Exceptionally distinctive designs that enhance the lives of the residents will earn a visit from Frank Lloyd Wright.
 * Designs that enhance walkability, allow incremental building onto existing neighborhood buildings, will earn a visit from Paolo Soleri.

Source Code and Project Management

The source code for Lightframe is freely available at this GitHub repo, which is also used to project management and issue tracking.

Pilot Program in Detroit

The motivation for developing Lightframe comes from both Wes's joy of game development and Paul's joy of securing mispriced real-world assets for the greater good of the community.

We intend to pilot this game and its use for building Seed Homes as part of Detroit Arcology beginning in 2021.

User Stories

Our use cases center around a few typical users

  • Joyce is 56 years old. She has limited mobility and lives off of welfare payments and assistance from her kids. She is interested in an affordable home that is at a fixed percentage of her income, in perpetuity.
  • Mike and Carol are 28 years old. Like many millennials, they are being priced out of Brooklyn and want to start a family somewhere they can afford to buy a first home.
  • Kevin is a 16 year old high school student. He loves programming video games, printing parts on his 3D printer, and woodshop class at school. He wants to be a software engineer for Tesla after college, and is interested in bigger engineering and construction projects to test his skills.