15-minute Santa

Created by Dustin Carlino, Yuwen Li, & Michael Kirk

15-minute Santa is a game where you deliver presents across Seattle. You earn more points delivering to high-density housing, and you need to refuel from shops, so you'll have to understand where people live in relation to where they work and shop.

Contact dabreegster@gmail.com with any feedback or file an issue on Github.

Play it

Unzip, then run santa.exe or santa. No mobile/tablet support, sorry -- you need a keyboard.


Why did y'all make this?

We normally work on A/B Street, a traffic simulation that lets the general public explore a future prioritizing more sustainable modes of transportation. All of the recent talk about 15-minute cities prompted us to explore how Seattle's zoning causes many people to live far from where they get groceries. After experimenting with a more serious tool to understand walk-sheds, we decided to spend a few weeks on something a bit more light-hearted.


The map of Seattle and location of shops comes from OpenStreetMap. We only consider shops if they sell food or drinks -- let us know if the map seems to be missing your favorite restaurant. The number of housing units is based on Seattle GIS data. Mixed-use buildings with both commercial and residential units aren't represented. The game lets you upzone any house to place a new store; obviously this is a vast simplification of how complex a real conversation about changing zoning codes should be.

We rigorously evaluated the speed and carrying capacity of different cargo bikes and sleighs on the market to tune the vehicles in the game.

Modding the game

Native versions only -- sorry, not easy to do on the web.

You can adjust the difficulty of the levels or give yourself all the upzoning power you want by editing data/player/santa.json. You first have to set "enable_modding": true. The format should mostly be self-explanatory; also see here as a reference. If you break something, just delete the file to start over. If you come up with a better gameplay progression, please share -- tuning a game is hard!

Adding new maps

Missing your slice of Seattle, or want to run somewhere else? If you have a bit of technical experience, follow this guide and then the above instructions for modding the game. Otherwise, draw the map boundaries in http://geojson.io and send it to us along with a time limit, goal, and starting point on the map. If you have a public data source for the number of housing units per building, please include it!