Although the creation of a metaverse made headlines thanks to Facebook’s name change to Meta, companies in the gaming industry such as The Sandbox were already betting on this virtual world. But what is The Sandbox, exactly?
It is a play-to-earn game that combines blockchain, DeFi and NFT technology in a 3D world. Here, players can create and customize their games, avatars and other digital assets through the free design tools offered by the platform. Virtual assets can be monetized as NFT and sold for SAND tokens on The Sandbox marketplace.
The game, which was created by video game studio Pixowl in 2011, aimed to compete with the creators of games like Minecraft and Roblox for mobile gaming dominance. And although the 40 million downloads it had around the world proved its success, its founders wanted to take it to another level.
In 2018, Arthur Madrid and Sebastien Borget, co-founders of The Sandbox, decided to explore and build a different experience in a metaverse on the blockchain. In this, users could own their own creations through NFTs and earn rewards while interacting in the ecosystem. In a short time, the game conquered the crypto world, along with Axie Infinity and Decentraland.
In November 2021, The Sandbox raised $93 million in funding, a round led by Japanese conglomerate SoftBank. The game also attracted more than 50 partnerships, including the famous gaming company, Atari, CryptoKitties, hip-hop star, Snoop Dogg, among others.
How does The Sandbox work?
This gaming platform has three integrated products that make the user-generated content (UGC) experience more seamless. These also allow community members to secure ownership of their content through blockchain and smart contracts.
1. VoxEdit, for creating NFTs.
This software allows users to create, modify and animate their own voxel-based NFTs. Voxels are 3D pixels that look like lego blocks that can be modeled with the different functions of the platform. The different elements that can be created here include equipment, clothes or weapons for avatars, animals, vegetation and real estate.
Any asset created in VoxEdit can be mined and transformed into an NFT, then sold on the market for SAND, the platform’s official token. Since its creation, thousands of features have been added which makes it a friendly platform for new members of the community and the crypto world in general.
2. The Sandbox Game Maker, for creating games
Here users can create and test their 3D games for free. For this, they can use any element created with VoxEdit such as terrains, avatars, buildings, as well as other assets from the library developed by the community. Its interface is simple and requires no programming knowledge thanks to the visual scripting tools.
3. NFT Marketplace, for trading digital assets
This marketplace joined the NFT boom in 2021 to make the Sandbox experience even more interactive. Here players can upload, publish and sell their NFTs. Assets are first uploaded to an IPFS network to ensure decentralized storage and then registered on the blockchain to prove ownership. And once registered, they are ready to participate in the market.
Within The Sandbox ecosystem, users primarily use three assets to interact on the platform: SAND, LAND and ASSETS.
What are the digital assets in The Sandbox?
Within The Sandbox, several types of tokens are used to ensure a circular economy between the different users that will interact with the platform: players, creators, curators and land owners.
A LAND unit is a digital piece of real estate in The Sandbox metaverse that players purchase to create interactive experiences. Once a LAND is purchased, it can be used as part of a game or populated with any type of NFT. Each LAND is a unique (non-fungible) token found on the public Ethereum blockchain (ERC-721).
This is the asset around which this entire ecosystem revolves. There are 166,464 LANDS, which make up the map of The Sandbox metaverse. Two types of plots are available among the LANDS.
- LAND: is the basic unit of the map. Each land has an area of 96 x 96 meters in the game world, enough space to create any kind of experiences in it.
- ESTATE: is the combination of multiple LANDS. It is here where users can create larger and more immersive experiences.
These LANDS allow players to monetize gaming experiences in a variety of ways. They can charge others (in SAND) to visit their land, play their games or sell their land for additional profit.
- It is an essential part of The Sandbox’s circular economy that was introduced on the Binance platform in August 2020. SAND is a utility token created on the Ethereum blockchain that serves as the currency for transactions within The Sandbox. Additionally it has the following uses:
- Platform access: players use SAND to buy assets, customize their avatars, acquire lands, among other items. It is also needed to upload NFT on the official metaverse marketplace.
- Governance: the token allows SAND holders to participate in governance decisions on the platform, using a DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization) structure. They can exercise voting rights on key elements, such as the attribution of funds to content creators or on the platform’s roadmap.
- Fee model: 5% of the volume of transactions made on SAND is charged and 50% of the revenue goes to a fund as rewards for token holders and the other 50% to the foundation.
- The foundation: the role of the foundation is to support The Sandbox ecosystem by offering grants to incentivize the production of high quality games and interactive content on the platform.
An ASSET is the name of a token that refers to voxel assets that are in the market. Once those assets are registered on the market through the blockchain, they are automatically converted into NFTs based on the ERC-1155 smart contract.
Any entity that wants to add design elements in Game Maker or equipment for an avatar counts as an ASSET. Assets can be used for in-game experiences, to add to a land, to create game experiences, or to trade.
Assets can be classified into three categories:
- Entity: serves as a level design entity. It can be an environmental asset such as a tree, a building, or a giant dragon flying over a land.
- Equipment: anything that can be attached to an avatar, from a Viking axe to a pair of cat ears.
- Block: In addition to the basic blocks that will be available in Game Maker, players will be able to create new blocks that can be used to create unique experiences.
What is The Sandbox? It is a user-generated content platform that allows members of this community to create and contribute to the creation of the metaverse. Unlike other play-to-earn games, The Sandbox does not have a predetermined world, as users can customize all of their assets through freeware.
User-created content can be monetized as NFT or used to enhance gameplay experiences. The Sandbox is a project that aims to transfer power and control from game creators to artists, crypto enthusiasts and gamers who want to participate in the metaverse.
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