Game Introduction - Home Design Story
Team Lava’s Home Design Story allows you to build, design and furnish the home of your dreams. Show off your creativity and designer style while having fun with your friends. Gamezebo’s quick start strategy guide will provide you with detailed images, tips, information, and hints on how to play your best game.
Quick Start Guide
Home Design Story can be found by clicking on the “Play Now!” button at the top of this page.
- Push notifications – You will be asked if you would like the game to send you push notifications when you load the game the first time. You can change these settings any time in the settings area of your device under “application notifications” or you may use the “Settings” menu to turn specific notifications on or off at any time.
- Name your home – Once you visit the “Social” area of the menu for the first time you will be prompted to name your home. Note that this is not necessarily the same as your user name unless you want it to be. The game is associated with Storm8 and if you already have a Storm 8 ID from other Team Lava games this will automatically appear on your device as your username.
- You will be able to name your home the first time at no charge but changing the name in the future will cost ten gems so be sure you are happy with the name you choose. Others will see the name of your house when they visit it. If you wish to change the name of your house tap on “Menu” then “Overview” , “Profile” then “Change”
- Note – When inviting others to play send them your Storm8 user name not the name of your home unless they are identical.
- Brief tutorial – There is a brief introductory tutorial seen only when you start the game the first time. You are known as the “Home Designer” and you will be introduced to “Ceci” your tutorial guide. You will be shown how order a coffee table from the game market as well as how to place it in the room. This guide will get you started by giving you a more detailed look at the game and will help you with strategies and tips to earn higher overall scores.
Daily player bonus
- Logging in daily will earn you bonus coins. Once every twenty four hours when you log in you will earn a coin bonus. If you log in each day consecutively you will earn a larger coin bonus each day up to day four which is the maximum. After day four the daily bonus starts over again. This is a great way to get free coins so be sure to log in and don’t miss a day.
- Messages - If you see a number next to the envelope icon at the top right of the game screen you have messages from other players. These are usually neighbor invitations or notifications of gifts they have sent you that you will need to accept or material requests for you to respond to.
- Go through all of your messages several times a day to keep adding neighbors and gifts to your inventory. You can always access this menu by tapping on the envelope icon or you can tap on menu then “Social” then “Messages.
- To access the game settings menu tap on the purple menu icon at the lower left of the game screen and when this menu appears tap on “Settings” and you will see the menu shown in the image above. Here you can toggle the game music and sound effects, connect to Facebook and toggle your push notifications for specific tasks.
- Gold coins –This is the basic game currency used to purchase items such as room expansions, appliances, furnishings, paint, wallpaper, window treatments, and more. You will earn gold coins each time you collect a furnishing bonus, visitor bonus, daily log in bonus, complete a job, complete a goal, or visit a neighbor for the first time each day.
- The currency indicator is shown at the top left of the screen. When you start the game you are given fifteen hundred gold coins.
- Gems – This is the premium virtual currency that allows you to purchase privileges in the game such as larger rooms that require no construction materials from friends and have virtually no wait time for completion, instant delivery of premium furnishings, instant goal completion, and purchasing materials instead of waiting on neighbors to gift them to you.
- You are given fifty pink gems when you start the game for the first time and may use them however you choose.
- Gifting Gems – Gems can be gifted to you from your neighbors at a rate of one every twenty four hours. You are only allowed to send three gifts every twenty four hours.
- Purchasing additional currency – You have the ability to purchase additional pink gems by tapping on the “+” button to the right of the currency indicator at the top center of the game screen. You will now see the purchase menu and you will use real currency to purchase gems. This is considered an in app purchase and charged to your device according to how you have set it up to do so.
- Prices of gems are currently bundled at $4.99 USD for 120 gems and $15.99 for 530 gems. It is expected more bundles will be available with future game updates, while these prices could likewise change.
- If you do not want to make in app purchases tap on the “Menu” button then on the “Help” button in the “FAQ” section and it will tell you how to set up your device to avoid in app purchases.
- Exchange gems for gold coins – You cannot purchase gold coins outright if you need more. You must purchase gems and exchange them for coins. Tap on the “+” button under the coins indicator then when the menu appears buy the bundle of coins you want. The more you purchase the better overall deal you will get.
Home Value/Level Indicator
- Green house icon - At the top left of the game screen you will see a green house with a number in it. This number is your current level in the game.
- Each time you level up in the game you will unlock more items in the market for purchase.
- Each time you collect sparkle bonuses, add a room, complete a goal, and purchase furnishings for your home and place them you will increase the overall value of your home which is shown in the green meter at the top left. As this meter fills up by purchasing more décor items you will level up.
- The game market is seen at the lower right corner of the game screen under “Design” with the blue paint brush icon. Tap on it to bring up the menu which will come up from the bottom of the screen. The down arrow will bring the menu down enough to see the rooms in your house better but keeps the market menu open. The red “X” in the corner closes the market menu.
- Along the top row are the room categories which are further broken down into subcategories in dark grey. Tap on the category or subcategory you wish to shop in. Each time you level up more items are available for purchase.
- Padlocks over an item mean they aren’t available until you unlock the required level.
- Pink areas are items requiring gems for purchase and white areas are items requiring coins for purchase.
- Note in addition to cost each item will earn you design points designated by an icon that looks like a green house. This is what helps you to level up in the game and increase the overall value of your home. The value is shown next to the house icon as well as the time it will take for the item to be delivered to your home.
Purchasing and placing furnishings in your home
- Tap on the item you wish to purchase and the market menu will lower with the item shown in the home with a grid under it.
- Use your fingertip to move the item where you want it to be placed.
- You may tap on the “rotate” button appearing over the top center of item.
- Once you have the item where you want it, tap on the red “X” at the lower right corner to lock in the changes. You may tap on “Cancel” if you change your mind about the purchase but once you tap on the “X” it will lock in so be careful.
- You will want to look for a green color at the base of any item you place. Red means it will not fit in the area.
- Placing items on top of other items – You can place items on top of others such as placing vases on tables or place settings on tables. You will have to do this carefully and look for the item to turn green before you lock in the changes. Note – You can sometimes collect a bonus for an item and another for an item sitting on top of it. If you tap on a sparkling table and collect coins and it continues to sparkle, tap on it again focusing on the item on it until you collect your bonus.
- Once correctly placed you will have to wait for the item to be delivered before you will see it and be able to collect sparkle bonuses from it.
- Each time you purchase an item in the market and place it in your home you must wait for it to be delivered to your home.
- These delivery times are shown in the market menu in the lower right corner. These times can vary from one minute to several hours based on the value of the item and your current level.
- Items purchased with gems usually only have a five second delivery wait time and do not require construction materials to be sent to you from friends for completion.
- When you place an item in your home it will at first be darkened out with a clock over it. This clock stays on top of the item and fills up as time passes. Once the time is completed you will see a green check mark over the item. It will not be officially in your home until you tap on the arrow to unlock it.
- Instant summary- Tap on any item waiting for delivery to access a menu showing you remaining delivery time as well as giving the option for instant delivery for purchase with gems.
- As soon as an item is unlocked you will be able to immediately earn bonuses from it as people tap on it when they visit your home. This is what causes the item to sparkle.
Special Visitor Gifts
- You will notice that there are always people walking around your house. As you level up the number of people will increase.
- The person with the white circle under their feet is you. Tap on this person at any time to see your profile as well as the house value indicator at the top left of the game screen.
- You will occasionally see text messages appear from these characters either complimenting your house or suggesting that you add specific items. It is a good idea to listen to these suggestions.
- Gifts – You will see frequently these visitors leave gifts for you. These gifts can appear anywhere in your home. Some of the gifts seen are cupcakes, hearts, envelopes, roses, coin bundles. Tap on these gifts and you will collect a ten coin bonus. If you do not tap on them they will eventually go away so be sure to tap on them whenever you see them.
How to move, rotate, store or sell furnishings in your home
- Be sure to read the “Design Market” and “Delivery Times” sections above so you know how to purchase and place items in your home.
- You will frequently want to move items to new locations as you add more rooms to your house.
- Tap on the “design” button and then tap on any item you wish to move, store, rotate, or sell.
- Any item you tap on will highlight and buttons will appear over them as shown in image above. Tap on rotate as many times as needed until the item is facing in the correct direction then use your fingertip to move it and tap on the red “X” to lock in the changes.
- Storing items – Tap on the storage button and items will be placed in your inventory. Note the value the items add to the house will be deducted when it is in storage. It is better to store it outside in the yard than to lose the overall value it adds to the house.
- Selling items – You may sell an item but you will only receive a fraction of what you paid for it. If you paid with gems you will only be able to receive coins for it and again only a fraction of its original worth. Since you can work jobs and earn sparkle bonuses so frequently it is best to not sell items and to keep them on the property for their value. If you aren’t getting enough coin bonuses work on adding more neighbors to your game.
- You have the option to work up to three different odd jobs to earn money to invest in your home.
- Tap on the “Earn coins” button at the lower left corner of the game screen to open the menu.
- You will start out in the tutorial with only one job available and after you reach the second level of the game two more jobs will be added for you to choose from.
- Job 1 – This is a 30 second job and starts out earning you 30 coins.
- Job 2 – This is a two hour job and starts out earning you 200 coins.
- Job 3 – This is an eight hour job and starts out earning you 400 coins.
- As you level up these jobs will change earning you much higher coins payouts and the times of the first job only will increase as you level up but the amounts paid out will increase for all three jobs as you level up. Once you hit level three it will take one minute instead of thirty seconds for job one to earn 30 coins and the other two jobs will payout higher wages. By the time you reach level six the first job will take two minutes and so on.
- It is anticipated that more jobs will be added with future game updates so be sure to watch for changes here.
- Tap on “Start” to accept a job and a countdown menu will appear in the lower left corner of the game screen.
- Instant completion – Tap on the countdown clock at any time and a menu will appear allowing you to complete it instantly using gems.
- Collecting wages – Once you complete your job simply tap on “Collect” when it appears. You may now start another job right away. Be sure to watch for changes if you have leveled up since your last job.
How to collect bonuses from Sparkling items
- As you place furnishings in your home and start to build up the number of neighbors you have you will notice these items sparkling.
- Each time an item in your house has sparkles this means a neighbor or community member has visited your home and tapped on the “Like” button they see next to it. They will earn a social heart for each item they tap on and make an item sparkle for you. (See “Visiting Neighbors” and “Social Rankings” below for more information below.)
- When you see a sparkling item immediately tap on it until you see a bundle of gold coins come from the item. Tap on these coins and add twenty coins to your total.
- If you have a lot of neighbors and you visit a lot of people for a high social ranking you will find your items are always sparkling and if you collect frequently this means a lot of free funds for you to reinvest in your house.
- Once an item is sparkling it will lock up and others won’t be able to tap on it so it is very important you enter the game frequently and tap on the sparkles to collect these bonus coins. The more you are willing to do this the more money you get and the more opportunities for social hearts for others that visit you.
- Each item always earns twenty coins as a bonus when others tap on them even the items purchased with gems.
Room Expansion/Construction Materials
- You will start out the game with two small rooms and will need to add more as you level up.
- Tap on the “Design” button at the lower right corner with the blue paintbrush icon to open the menu. The menu opens at the bottom of the screen. There is an arrow that will allow you to move this menu up or down in order to see your home easier or you can tap on the “X” to close the design menu.
- Now you will see your market and along the top row are the categories. Look to the far right and you will see a square room with a “+” symbol. Tap on this tab to reach the “Room Expansion” category.
- Note some of the rooms you may purchase with gems and some with coins. The pink colored buttons are the rooms you may purchase with gems. The gem rooms require no additional materials from your neighbors and you only have to wait five seconds for construction to complete.
- Rooms you purchase with coins are white in the menu and these will also require materials from neighbors if you see the hammer icon next to them in the market. You will also see the green house icon which shows you how many value points you will earn for adding the room to your house once it is finished.
Purchasing and placing rooms
- Tap on the house you wish to purchase and you will be taken back to the home screen. Use your fingertip to move the room. You may need to rotate it using the rotate button at the top to make it fit. You must fit the room entirely in the green area of the grid. If you see red in the grid the room won’t fit. Keep rotating it until you find a place to move it. Once you have the room in the green grid and where you want it tap on the “Accept” button to lock in the changes.
- Tip – You may need to move other rooms first before you purchase more
- When you tap on the “Design button” you will notice a blue “Move Rooms” button appear at the upper right corner of the game screen. Tap on this and all the furniture will be taken out of your rooms and you will only see the floors. Don’t worry your furniture is safe and will appear again when you lock in the changes.
- Tap on the room you wish to move and when it highlights use your fingertip to move it where you want it.
- Try to think about future rooms and where you will need to place them.
- Note – You can only place a room within the dark green line that appears around the house. Outside of this line is where you can place outside décor.
- Tip – Try to avoid awkward spaces and gaps in your house as this wastes space.
- When the grid appears under the room, move and rotate the room until it turns green within the grid for proper placement.
- Moving a room does not require any wait time or construction materials. This is only for when the room is first built.
Removing and replacing the walls
- There is a feature in the game that allows you to remove and/or replace the walls of your house. This is a matter of preference as leaving the walls allows you to paint, wallpaper, and add décor to them and leaving them down may help you see the rooms of larger houses better.
- You may want to play around with this feature to see how it helps you and what you prefer.
- Look for the small box icon at the top right of the game screen next to the envelope icon. This toggles the walls up and down for you when you tap on it. Look for the blue green arrow to see the direction of your walls.
Materials needed for Construction
- Once you place the room (unless you purchased it with gems) you will now see a gold hammer icon in the center of the room. Tap on this icon to bring up the construction menu. Here you will see a list of the items you need to construct this particular room. Each room has different requirements based on its size and your level in the game.
- If you have all the items in your storage which have been gifted to you over time by neighbors you will see the word “Completed” in that area. If you still need materials there are two buttons available for you.
- Purchase materials – You may use gems to purchase the materials you need by tapping on the pink button. (This is the only way to purchase materials you may not purchase them with coins.)
Asking friends/Accepting building materials
- Ask friends – You may tap on the blue button to ask neighbors to send you these items. This will bring up a menu of your neighbors and you must tap on the empty box to check their name. Once you have all boxes checked scroll to the bottom and tap on the “Send” button.
- Note – If you have a large number of friends and you need several materials to complete a room it is recommended you divide the requests and not send one material request to all of your neighbors. For example if you need wood and nails tap on ten friends for nails and ten for wood instead of all twenty for wood. This will increase your odds of getting all the items you need instead of waiting double the time to collect all.
- You usually need a minimum of four materials to complete a room so it is important to check your messages daily and accept all gifts into inventory. If you do not accept them they don’t appear in your inventory box.
Completing Room Construction
- Once you have all required materials tap on “Build” and then you will see a clock icon appear in the center of the room.
- Tap on the room while under construction and a menu will appear from the bottom showing you how much time is left until the room is finished.
- Instant completion - There is also a button for instant completion if you would like to purchase gems and pay to do this. This can be very expensive. Wait times can be from one to twenty four hours for room completion depending on the room size.
- Each time you open the game for the first time you will be shown any new messages that have been sent to you by others.
- These include neighbor requests and materials sent to you after you request them when you need to construct a new room for your house. (See “Room expansion” above)
- How to find your inventory – Tap on the “Design” button at the bottom right then scroll all the way to the far right until you see the blue box icon and tap on it to access your inventory. Here you will see all the items you have accepted from the messages area when sent to you.
- Construction materials are critical as they keep you moving forward in the game.
- You will see at the bottom how many of each material you have in inventory. You do not have to go get the material to use it. The game will know how many you have and as long as you have enough the item will be listed as “Completed” when adding a new room. If you need more items then tap on the “Ask Friends” button that appears to send out more requests.
- Storage items – If you decide to store items they will also be placed in this area. Simply tap on the “Use” button when you are ready to place an item back into your house.
- Tip – Try not to store items you have purchased whenever possible as this amount is deducted from the value of your house. It is better to store an oven on the lawn than to put it into storage. It may not look that great but it does not deduct from your overall value and keeps you leveling up faster in the game.
- Home Design Story is a very social game and you will need to have many neighbors to do well.
- Each person that plays the game has a “Storm8” ID. If you have played any other Team Lava game on your device the game will automatically log you in under that name. If you are not sure what your ID is tap on “Menu” then “Help/FAQ” then on “Storm8 ID” and the game will reveal your ID here. It may also be shown at the top right of your social menu profile screen. You will need to give this name to others so they may invite you and add you as a neighbor. (Note – Do not give them your house name as this will not work.)
How to invite and attract neighbors to your game
- How to invite neighbors and have others invite you – Once you know your ID you can visit others player’s houses in the community menu and after you help them out to give them a bonus, be sure to post your storm8 ID on their wall asking to be invited and soon others players will contact you with invitations.
- Tap on “Post” at the bottom right (purple icon with pen) and this will bring up their wall. You may now type or paste a message on their wall asking to be added to their game or leaving any compliments on their home if you wish to do so.
- Tip – It saves a lot of time if you type out a standard message such as “Please add me as a neighbor my user ID is “-Insert_your_ID_here” and copy it so when you visit the walls of other players you can simply tap on the empty space and paste this into their wall area.
- Tap on “Invite” when you read the Storm8 ID of other players on their and other people’s wall and type in their ID in the box provided. The game will tell you if the invitation was successful and once the other person accepts you will be neighbors.
- You may also invite people by email address, SMS, and Facebook by choosing the options on the invite menu.
Community members vs. Neighbors
- While playing the game you will see three tabs in the social menu and you will need to what each tab means for you.
- Community member – The players listed here are not your neighbors, they are players of the game that have high social rankings because they visit a lot of others and help them out. This raises a person’s name higher on the list and more people will see you and invite you to be their neighbor if you have a high social ranking on the community menu list.
- There are more people on the community list as you scroll down. This list changes each time you refresh or return to it so be sure to invite a community player and get their ID name while you are visiting their home.
- Your ultimate goal is to turn as many community members into neighbors as possible as neighbors are much more valuable to you overall.
- Neighbors – These are players that either you have invited or have invited you to become neighbors where both sides have accepted this arrangement. You will earn a once per twenty four hour bonus each time you visit a neighbor.
- The daily neighbor reward will be ten to thirty gold coins. You can help a neighbor by liking a maximum of six home furnishings in their home every twenty four hours. You can only do this if six are available as once someone likes an item it is locked up until the neighbor collects the bonus by tapping on the sparkling items in their home. They will collect twenty coins per item just as you will when others visit your home.
- Invite - Your goal is to visit as many community members as you can and help them out and post on their wall with your storm8 ID or look for theirs and others and invite them by name using the invitation menu. If you devote a few hours to doing this each day you will soon have a large number of neighbor and these people will send you materials needed and requested by you to build additional rooms.
How to help out community members and neighbors (Give Sparkle Bonuses)
- Whether you are in the community menu or the neighbor menu tap on the “Visit” button to visit that person’s home.
- You will instantly be taken to this person’s home and you can see how they have chosen to layout their rooms and yards and design them.
- Large heart – The large heart along the top of the screen will have a number in it which tells you how many furnishings in this home can be tapped on to help your neighbor or community member out
- Hopefully your neighbor is collecting his or her bonuses frequently and you will see a high number in this heart. You may help out a neighbor six times, and a community member three times once every twenty four hours.
- You are looking for the red signs that say “Tap to Like” over any furnishing that has been placed in the house. This means no other player has tapped on this item since the owner has last collected all their bonuses. Use your fingertip to scroll around the house and look for these signs over furnishings.
- Once you tap on this red sign a heart will drop to the floor. Tap on this as well to add it to your social ranking and you will note the item will begin to sparkle.
- Sparkling furnishings will give your neighbor or community member a twenty coin bonus when they tap on the sparkling item in their home to collect on it.
- Note – Once an item is sparkling it is locked up meaning no one else can gain social hearts from it and the house owner must collect the twenty coins before another visitor can come along and leave more.
Neighbor visit daily bonus
- When you visit your neighbor’s homes you will earn a special daily reward of gold coins which will randomly range from ten to thirty coins. Visiting community members will not earn you any coins but you will earn one to three social hearts for helping out community members and one to six social hearts for helping out neighbors so it is worth your time and effort as the higher your social ranking the higher up the list your home will be on the community menu for others to see and visit.
- As you visit other people’s homes you will see a row of heart icons at the bottom left of the game screen. (You may also see this ranking on your profile page) This shows your overall social rating with four hearts being the maximum number of hearts you can earn.
- The more people you visit and help out by tapping on the furnishings in their home you like, the more hearts you will earn toward your overall social ranking. This gives your neighbor a twenty coin bonus for each item you like and you will earn a heart for each item bringing your social ranking up which bumps you higher on the community menu when players are looking for non-neighbor players to visit.
- Having a high social rating will help you as it causes you to appear on or near the top of the community menu where thousands of other players will see your name and will visit you for bonus coins and hopefully post on your wall asking for a neighbor invitation for even more bonus coins and points.
- Note – If you get your social ranking high you must continue to visit others daily to keep it up.
- Social ratings will go down over time if you stop visiting other player’s homes.
Sending and Receiving free daily gifts
- There is no limit to the number of gifts you can receive per day but you must accept all gifts in the message area and they are placed either in your inventory area or added to your overall gem total.
- Tap on the gift icon when you visit a neighbor or go to the social menu and tap on “Send gifts”
- You are only allowed to send out three gifts per day.
- If you have a large number of neighbors, you may want to rotate them in order to be able to send them all a gift over time.
Overview and Profile
- Tap on the “menu” with the purple book icon at the lower right corner of the game screen then tap on the red “Overview” area which will take you to the overview menu. Along the top you will see two tabs. One is your “Wall” where people leave messages for you. You will find many leave their Storm8 IDs here for you so you can invite them and others will ask for you to send them materials or just comment on your great home design.
- Tap on the second tab which is your “profile tab” and see a summary of your game progress such as how much your house is currently worth, your game level, social ranking number of rooms and how many neighbors you have.
- You can tap on your profile picture or “Home Designer” image at any time and change it. There are three male and three female icons to choose from. This is what others see when you send them neighbor invitations, gifts, etc.
- Note – You can also change the name of your home at any time from this menu but it will cost you ten gems to do so as only the first time is free of charge.
- Refer to your profile anytime to see how you are doing in the game.
- The key to leveling up fast and building an amazing home is to have a large number of neighbors. Visit a lot of community members and work to get your social rating high. Post your Storm8 ID on as many walls as you can and especially on the walls of those that have reached a high level in the game and that have a lot of visitors. If you post your name on the wall along with “Add me” you will have several invitations waiting on you to accept.
- Remember to post your Storm8 ID name not your home’s name or people won’t be able to invite you to be their neighbor.
- Visit your neighbors and help them out daily by tapping on furnishings to “Like” them then tap on the heart when it falls to the ground to add to your overall social ranking.
- Only sell back items if you really don’t want them or desperately need the coins as you will only get a quarter of the purchase price back when you sell something. If you spent gems on an item you will not get gems back when you sell it.
- If you take any furnishings out of your home and put it into storage it will no longer be counted in the overall value of your home which will delay your leveling up. It is best to keep all items in the home somehow even if you are waiting for a room to be built to place it in. Tip – If you don’t mind how it looks temporarily keep these items on your lawn instead of storage and this will maintain your home’s value.
- Tip – If you are waiting on a room to be built and it will take many hours you can purchase items and place them on the lawn of your home. This might not look too good at first but you will be able to add these items to your overall home value right away instead of waiting until the room is ready to hold them.
- Some players have a room they choose not to decorate but to use as a type of storage room. They try to get as many items as possible to pack into this room until they have built on additional rooms to place the items in. This will help you to level up very fast if you have the funds to do this.
- Check into your game frequently and collect those sparkle bonuses. The more you collect them the more you will get overall in a twenty four hour period. People cannot leave you a bonus if you haven’t collected it so the slot is empty.
- Be sure to post your ID in as many community members’ walls as possible especially those that have reached a high level as they attract the most visitors. You may want to do this for the same friend a few times a day as your name will scroll to the bottom as more people post.
You have completed the basic quick start guide for Home Design Story by Team Lava. Be sure to check back often for game updates, staff and user reviews, user tips, forum comments and much more here at Gamezebo