The concept of create, share, play has always been at their heart, creating a community that thrives of each other’s work. Mojang’s Minecraft is obviously the biggest name in the business, but similar concepts have been developed through games like LittleBigPlanet, ModNation Racers and Dreams. The Sandbox entered the fray way back in 2012, when it originally launched as a mobile game
- Create and sell your own content
- Great community support
- A step into the metaverse
- Endless amount of content to play
- Very early days
- Dependency on Ethereum
Gaming has always provided creatives with a wealth of possibilities to immerse themselves in and no genre does it better than sandboxes. These games give players the tools to create their own content. The concept of create, share, play has always been at their heart, creating a community that thrives of each other’s work. Mojang’s Minecraft is obviously the biggest name in the business, but similar concepts have been developed through games like LittleBigPlanet, ModNation Racers and Dreams. The Sandbox entered the fray way back in 2012, when it originally launched as a mobile game. At the time it had no blockchain technology to speak of and was simply sold on the promise of having a powerful sandbox game in the palm of your hand. Eventually the game even made it to the Steam platform on PC in 2015. But The Sandbox’s revolution with come with its acquisition by Animoca Brands in 2018. The blockchain game development company quickly announced its intentions of bringing The Sandbox into the Ethereum blockchain. The rest as they say, is history.
Animoca Brands argued that the biggest issue with sandbox games is that ultimately the game owns all the content. Players might spend hours upon hours developing new assets and content, while big game companies take all the credit. The company proposed a way forward. Through NFT based assets, items and content, players will finally own everything they create in The Sandbox. This play-to-earn model allows players to build, own and monetize their in-game assets. It’s a great incentive and one with Animoca Brands hopes to bring into the metaverse ecosystem that it is building around The Sandbox. This different approach gives gamers, artists, game designers and investors a whole new way of looking at sandbox games.
Having partnered with strong artists and brands like Adidas, Snoop Dog, Deadmau5, Atari and more, The Sandbox looks to cement itself across these new gaming frontiers. A blockchain game that builds its own metaverse ecosystem sounds incredible, but what does that mean? Does The Sandbox manage to bring in all these elements together successfully to create a winning formula? Or is there still a long way to go? Our review lifts the hood off this ambitious project, giving you an insight into what The Sandbox has managed to achieve so far and what you can expect in the future. Read on below to find out now!
Deposits / Withdrawals
The Sandbox uses its very own in-game currency called SAND. This currency is an ERC-20 token on the Ethereum blockchain that can be used for all sorts of in-game purposes. Players can earn it by completing specific events and creators can then use it to purchase in-game assets, LANDS areas, etc. The currency also gives players the power to take part in the game’s governance system. The more SAND a player has the more influential their votes are. The resource is finite, with only 3,000,000,000 of SAND available.
The Sandbox does not have an in-game wallet and as such, players cannot make any deposits into their account. Instead, they must utilise one of the various methods of acquiring SAND to be used in game. This can be done through a Binance app. SAND can be bought for crypto and it can also be swapped for Ethereum. The Sandbox also runs its Ambassador Programme that rewards its participants in SAND. The programme picks specific applications to educate the community, moderate game channels, experience and feedback in-game products and help in other tasks that will push the game towards its goals. The game also promises to give away Community Airdrops. These timed events will inject more SAND into players’ hands, incentivising more content creation and collaboration.
Similarly, players may not technically withdraw any SAND funds. This is because the SAND tokens will be placed in your crypto wallet of choice. It is then up to the player to follow their respective wallet’s terms and procedures in trading or selling their currency.
How the Game works
The Sandbox takes the familiar creator genre and doubles down on it to create a truly unique blockchain game. The game operates through three distinct pillars to achieve its create, share, play experience. As such, the team has created the VoxEdit, Game Maker and Marketplace to cater for each category.
In order to create all of the game’s assets and elements, players need a strong toolkit that can satisfy their needs. That’s where VoxEdit comes in. It’s a voxel editing software, created by The Sandbox team to give players the chance to create all the in-game assets they require. The voxel (3d pixel) editor can be used to create new characters, items, equipment, bits of environment and more. The first process is the create the models that they need. This can be done directly in the software although assets can also be imported from similar editors for other games. Once the model is complete, players can assign the various animation functions to the object. This will determine how it interacts with the player, as well as other in-game elements. From here, players can test their new assets, tweaking and modifying along the way to enhance it to perfection. Perfected assets in hand, the player can proceed to mint said asset into an NFT. Should the player choose to do so, the asset can also be shared on the blockchain via the Marketplace.
The Marketplace is where all commerce happens in The Sandbox. All assets are created as NFTs that exist within the Ethereum blockchain. These can be bought or sold accordingly using the SAND currency. Of course, players looking to trade here must make sure that they are connected to the Ethereum mainnet. Assets in the marketplace are divided into four categories; Entities, Equipment, Wearables and Art. Players can filter and sort through these accordingly as they look for the asset they require. The Sandbox promises to add even more filtering options in the near future. So, is this the ideal open marketplace it promises to be? Well, not quite. As it stands, any assets you create will need to be vetted by the marketplace’s curation team before they can be successfully added as sellable NFTs. Players must also form part of the Creator Fund in order to have their assets published on the marketplace. It’s a bit of a downer and limits the freedom which the marketplace should ideally provide. Still, the game is in its early days, and we hope to see this develop properly into a more feasible system.
Speaking of the Creator Fund, The Sandbox launched this initiative back in 2018 with $2,000,000 at the ready. The fund serves as an initiative for artists to really hone their skills on VoxEdit, creating high quality assets that push the engine’s boundaries. The fund supports 1,000 creatives, guiding them from the asset’s inception, all the way to publishing it on the marketplace. Additionally, the participating artists are also given a bonus for the work that they successfully create. In its current state, only artists who form part of the fund can publish their work on the marketplace. This policy will continue through the remainder of the alpha phase as well as the beta phase until launch. In creating this tier, The Sandbox hopes to have groomed the top artists who will be working on the game’s content creation, giving them an advantage once the game eventually launches fully.
Of course, creating assets alone doesn’t make a game, as these need to be implemented correctly into a virtual world. That is where the Game Maker finally comes in. The Sandbox works with virtual spaces called LAND. These ERC-721 tokens can be bought and used by players who are looking to construct a level or game world. All relevant assets come together on a LAND, creating new and exciting experiences. Owning LAND is crucial to being able to build and publish your own game experience in The Sandbox. As such, players must own LAND or work with someone who does to publish their game content. Game Maker is also where game design and logic finally come in. Its not enough to simply have good looking, animated assets. Content creators must now put these pieces together, tying one asset to another in order to create an immersive experience. It’s worth noting that no programming is required to use the Game Maker. The software has created tools that allow anyone to piece assets together, facilitating the process to open it up to more people. The Sandbox pushes for more development using the Game Maker by organising Game Jams. Creators must submit their content for a Game Jam, with the first 10 places receiving a substantial reward. These game Jams vary in requirements, game genre and rewards with every iteration.
Additionally, The Sandbox team have also invested in the Game Maker fund to push the aspect of game creation further. Selection is incredibly scrutinised to make sure that the content being produced is of the highest quality, with only a handful of creators making the cut. The fund supports game creators to realise their vision, rewarding them in SAND that can be used in the game as well. Through this concept, The Sandbox looks to nurture game creation further, ensuring its players find plenty of high-quality content to enjoy.
The Sandbox is undertaking a massive project which is being built in gradual stages. Sure, the game is still in its Alpha stage, which presents a number of limitations, but these will surely be ironed out by the time the game is ready for release.
The entire concept behind The Sandbox is to build a wonderful community of creators and players who can work together and enjoy each other’s virtual experiences. As such, a robust customer support system has been developed by the team. This system makes sure that all players feel connected and supported, no matter what issues or concerns might arise.
The most basic form of help comes through an email form, which allows players to directly write to a member of the support team. The best way to work comes through the game’s Discord channel. Not only does this system guarantee live chat support, but other players, designers, artists, and investors will also be present. This helps players get different perspectives, answers and opinions, no matter what their questions might be. Chinese community members also have the option to use WeChat as an alternative. There are also several Telegram communities available in a variety of global languages.
What is The Sandbox?
The Sandbox is an NFT sandbox game that uses the Ethereum blockchain. Players can assume the role of content creators, designing and building a variety of assets that can form unique gaming experiences. These assets and game worlds are published as NFTs on The Sandbox marketplace, where other players can buy them to experience them as well. If you’re not really the creative type and simply want to jump into the action, you can do so as well, playing through an endless amount of varied user generate content.
How do I create content on The Sandbox?
The Sandbox’s experience is split into three categories. The content creation somehow touches upon all three. Players begin by using the VoxEdit software to create different in-game assets. Voxels can be used to shape characters, items, equipment, and level design artifacts. Once these have been adequately designed, animated, and tested, they can be minted as NFTs and published on the marketplace. Here other players can purchase them and use them in their own creations. These assets must then be used within the Game Maker to create new game worlds. They can be as simple as short linear levels or as deep as huge open world experiences.
How do I play The Sandbox?
Players must sign up for The Sandbox and make sure they have an Ethereum wallet with some crypto in it. They can then choose to go about the game as they please, either building and creating their very own game experience or choosing to enjoy the work that other content creators have constructed. At the moment the game is still in its alpha phase and as such, only a select group of people are allowed to publish their assets and game experiences onto The Sandbox marketplace. This will of course change once the game officially launches.
How do I earn money from The Sandbox?
The Sandbox adopts a play-to-earn policy whereby players can make money while playing the game. In its simplest form, completing certain game objectives will yield players SAND, the in-game currency. As an ingredient, this can be used to create more assets, buy LAND, or build game world, although it can also be traded or sold for a profit. All assets that players build can also be placed on the marketplace, where they can be sold as NFTs to other players accordingly.
- Create and sell your own content: The Sandbox does well on its promise of creating a sandbox game with a difference. Through a play-to-earn model, players can obtain items and resources that have actual monetary value. These can be used to build additional game assets or sold for a profit. Players also have complete agency over the world that they build. From characters to equipment, items and even environmental assets, there are absolutely no limits on what can be created in The Sandbox. Creators can then charge other players a fee to access and play their content. The possibilities are endless, especially with the metaverse ecosystem that the game is veering towards.
- Great community support: The creators and developers of The Sandbox are incredibly hands on with their community updates. Players are given constant updates on social media with regards to new updates, events, and additions. It gives players a feeling of safety, knowing that the project they are investing both time and money into is taken seriously and looked after by the developers. This level of commitment from the team helps to build trust, increasing the number of players that continuously join The Sandbox.
- A step into the metaverse: As a buzzword that started doing the rounds a few years ago, the metaverse is still a fairly new concept. The idea is to create a virtual-reality, interactive space, where users can immerse themselves into a functional world. These virtual environments don’t just exist for the sake of video gaming, instead they offer players a window into another world. There can be online stores and shopping malls, all represented through actual virtual-reality versions of their brick-and mortar stores. Libraries and cinemas allow for entertainment within the entertainment. The concept is hugely ambitious and projects like The Sandbox are already giving us a taste of what is to come.
- Endless amount of content to play: With its open sandbox approach, there no limits to the variety and consistency of experiences that players can enjoy. The content creation mechanics allow for creators to generate all kinds of different gameplay, with huge levels and worlds that can continue to expand. It’s exactly what makes these kinds of games appeal to such a wide audience, mixing creativity with game design in a fantastic toolkit. No matter what digital experiences you’re into, you’ll definitely find something that suits your tastes in The Sandbox.
- Very early days: As exciting as The Sandbox and its possibilities are, the project itself still hasn’t officially launched. Its currently in its Alpha phase, providing a select group of players the opportunity to try out the full features that are still being built and experimented. As much as we’d like to get our hopes up, we still need to see just how faithful and dependable the final product will be.
- Dependency on Ethereum: The Sandbox currently only uses the Ethereum blockchain. With The cryptocurrency’s gas fees spiking at alarming rates, it makes playing The Sandbox incredibly difficult for players who aren’t Ethereum rich.
- As a big fan of sandbox games, I think The Sandbox can be something really big. At the moment it seems too early to tell for sure, but in my experience so far, I feel like this could be one of the biggest blockchain games when it eventually releases.
- As a Minecraft player, I was looking for a similar experience, but something that takes things a step further. I spend countless hours creating detailed content and the idea of finally getting paid for it is something I am looking forward to.
- The tools the team has created are fantastic. As someone who enjoys game design without a background in coding, this is exactly what I am looking for. The possibilities are endless, and this will just get bigger and better as The Sandbox gets more and more popular.
The Sandbox makes big promises. Its aspiring to be the next big thing in gaming, changing not just the way we play, but the way we interact as people as well. Merging blockchain technology with a metaverse ecosystem is as ambitious as it gets, but the team seems to be on the right path. The tools and funds the game offers are incredible, and the investment being done into the game so far points to something truly special. Now, a lot of the game’s freedom is locked away, with The Sandbox team only allowing a handful of creators to experience all it has to offer. While we understand the reasons behind this, we would love to see this change soon, with more tools on offer for a wider range of players and creators. And there’s no reason for this not to happen. The team has been incredibly supportive in its communication with the ever-growing community, creating a level of transparency and trust that players truly appreciate. The road will be long and tough, but if The Sandbox sticks to its principles and makes it to the finish line, this could be the gaming revolution we’ve all been waiting for.