The Beginner’s Guide to Sandbox: The Past, Present, and the Future

In October, Facebook gave the crypto world a fresh fillip when it rebranded itself as ‘Meta.’ The name is a nod to a futuristic virtual reality world. Furthermore, experts believe that blockchain and DApps will significantly power it up. Many have hailed this meta future as ‘Web 3.0’, or the next logical evolution of the internet that focuses on interconnectedness and lightning-fast transfer of data.

‘Sand‘ was one of the few cryptocurrencies that surged with the announcement, along with Mana and AXS. The common thing among the three is that all three are gaming coins. They are all government and utility coins for the virtual world of the metaverse.

Sand, the governance token of The Sandbox, has risen by a whopping 600 percent since the announcement by Facebook. Currently, it is the leading metaverse coin, with Decentraland’s Mana trailing just shy of it. Let us take a closer look at The Sandbox, Sand, and understand how you can be a part of this world.

The History of Sandbox

The Sandbox is not new to the gaming world. It was first launched as a mobile game in 2012 (developed by Pixowl) and gained massive popularity almost instantaneously. That year, it was announced as the ‘Best Game of the Year’ by Apple. It was launched on Android in 2013, reaching 10 million downloads in 2014 and crossing 40 million in 2018. The same year it was acquired by Animoca, one of the biggest game-creation companies in the world. 

In 2018 The Sandbox 3D project was announced, which was to be built on blockchain. This has further bolstered the popularity and adoption of the game. Since then, the game has come close to its full-fledged launch with the calibrated sale of lands since 2020, which takes place regularly.

The Beginner's Guide to Sandbox: The Past, Present, and the Future
The Beginner’s Guide to Sandbox: The Past, Present, and the Future

What is The Sandbox?

The Sandbox is a decentralized game application built on the Ethereum blockchain. It is a multi-player, multi-creator metaverse, which allows players and creators to develop games inside plots of land they buy with Sand, which is the game’s token. The game’s economy comes from renting these immersive virtual experiences to other players who can explore them, play games there, and even buy them if these land parcels are on sale. 

To give you some context, the metaverse of The Sandbox contains 166,464 plots of land. Each of which is an ERC-720 token that doubles up as a non-fungible token (NFT) as well. Each such token is tradable on the game’s marketplace and other decentralized exchanges, like 

Read more: The Sandbox, $SAND Token and $LAND Token Explained

The Sandbox is unique in the sense that there is no one core game with a central narrative to it. There can be as many games and other real-world replications as there are parcels of land in it. Buyers of plots treat these pieces of land as zones to display their gaming creativity. Once they have created a virtual world of their liking, they can rent them to others, and can also rent others to play their games.  

The Sandbox is a play-to-earn game, unlike most traditional games. Players can earn Sand by participating in games and other contests, selling their NFTs, and even staking Sand in their plots to get yield. Many leading crypto exchanges (like Binance) enable the exchange of Sand on their platforms. 

Land in The Sandbox

Just like in the real world, land is a premium asset in the metaverse. The Sandbox has sold a part of its land plots in batches starting last year, but there is still a lot of property left to be purchased. 

Buyers can also combine multiple plots to create larger estates. Each plot of land comes with coordinates and a tab to check its metadata. The plots are minted as NFTs in the ERC721 protocol which can store the history of original ownership, the date of minting, and subsequent sales, and all of this data stays uneditable. 

Players can buy land by going on The Sandbox website and clicking on the ‘Buy Land’ button. The developers announce land sales in advance, and when it happens, players can buy land directly from the game’s site. At times, when the new land sale is on hold and not available directly on the website, players can buy it through from other landowners who have put theirs on sale. 

At present, land prices vary according to their size and proximity to premium plots. Premium plots are those owned by big corporations or brands, like Binance, Atari, Snoop Dogg, and DeadMau5. But in addition to these factors, in the future, the price will likely be determined by the quality of experience a user gets by visiting a specific place in the future.

Avatars in The Sandbox

Players can create their avatars to be used in The Sandbox Metaverse. The game offers several predesigned avatars. You also have the option to create your avatar from scratch. The site currently gives 39 predesigned avatars to choose from. These avatars can further be customized with attributes such as wearables like shirts, pants, shoes, and other things like hairdos. 

Assets in The Sandbox

Assets are any equipment or property that a gamer creates to deploy in the metaverse. These can be costumes, weapons, trees, fireworks, buildings, characters, or just about anything that you are used to seeing in the real world. 

Players can create their assets with the help of VoxEdit—a software tool that you can download from The Sandbox website. Needless to say, the assets too, are ERC1155 and ERC720 NFTs, which are tradable on the game’s marketplace and at other exchange platforms.

Creators need to sign up for a creators’ grant to be eligible to create assets on The Sandbox. The sign-up page asks a user for their basic information, such as their name, email address, etc., along with their voxel portfolio. 

The Sandbox community members then vet the submitted artwork. If approved, the creator is allowed to upload the artwork on The Sandbox. Creators receive a grant sum for each such artwork produced and become entitled to retain entire proceeds from the sale of the NFT.   

Voxel is the 3D version of a pixel. The Lego-like graphic information is the building block of all artwork inside The Sandbox. VoxEdit is the software that enables artists and creators to create NFTs that are compatible with The Sandbox structure. Please note that the grant is limited to the first 1000 creators and players from all countries are eligible to participate.

Catalysts and Gems in The Sandbox

Catalysts and Gems are two (of the many) types of NFTs in The Sandbox forged with an ERC20 token. For starters, Catalysts define the rarity of the asset character created. Meanwhile, a gem can determine the attribute of the character. 

There are essentially four types of catalysts; namely, Legendary, Epic, Rare, and Common. Gems determine the kind of attributes of an asset. These attributes are arrayed as power, defense, magic, speed, and luck. 

Catalysts also determine the tier or grade of the asset; the higher the grade, the more scarce the asset will be. Catalysts are fundamentally sockets in which gems can be fitted. Each category of catalyst comes with a certain number of sockets. Legendary catalyst has the highest number of sockets at 4, while Common has the lowest at one. 

A player can add catalysts and gems to their asset by first uploading their asset to The Sandbox marketplace from the VoxEdit and then dragging and dropping catalysts and gems from the designated tab. 

How To Start Playing The Sandbox

To access the metaverse of The Sandbox, a player needs to first register on the game’s website. Registration asks a player to link the Metamask wallet with the game account. Please note that no charges are deducted from the wallet for the registration. Once the wallet is synced, the site asks for the email id and a player name to be used inside the game. Once that’s done, you are ready to explore the metaverse. To start, you can customize your avatar and check out different land parcels for their addresses and ownership status. 

The Sandbox began its Alpha Raffle on November 29, 2021, allowing 1000 lucky landowners to explore the metaverse. The season will continue till December 20. Entry to the Sandbox metaverse will be enabled through an Alpha pass, which will be forged in an NFT, allowing the holders to get the first look game experience at the Alpha hub. 

The entrants to the Alpha season will also get a chance to win 1000 Sand tokens if they complete some quests along the way. Even though the season is open to only landowners, those left out can also buy the pass from if pass holders are willing to sell them. However, such participants in the season will not be eligible to earn Sand. 

Game Development in The Sandbox

Players can create their own games in The Sandbox metaverse. However, they will need to download the Sandbox Maker software from the website to do that. 

A creator doesn’t need to have any coding knowledge to be able to create the game. The creation of games through software will be free of cost. The software enables the construction of assets with preinstalled properties, which the creators can customize as per their taste. 

The software is not available for download on the Mac OS yet, and one needs to have Windows 7 or above (the recommended OS is Windows 10) for its installation. The developers have also set aside a USD 1 billion fund for game makers. The company seeks to help developers with their projects during its building and grant payments on a per-game basis with the fund. 

Transportation in The Sandbox

The developers have given considerable thought to the problem of traversing the huge landscape of The Sandbox. For this purpose, lands will have a number of exit points and a single spawn point.  

The exit points will allow a player to exit one metaverse property and enter the adjacent one and experience it. The spawn point is the point where the player’s avatar would emerge in the land upon such entry.  

Portals in The Sandbox

Portals are the gateway from one metaverse property to another. Initially, only lands belonging to The Sandbox will have these portals, which will gradually be expanded to other estate holders. 

Portals work like a tube or a subway system, wherein a player can enter a gateway at one end of the metaverse to emerge on its other side. While exit gates help transport players across adjacent properties, portals have no such limitation and can teleport players to just about anywhere on the map of the game. Portals are not assets and not NFTs; thus, they are not tradable in the game. 

The Sandbox Marketplace

The marketplace is where creators can display their artwork and put it on sale. Initially, artists chosen for the Creator Fund will be able to post their NFTs on the marketplace; the rest will be decided later. The Sandbox marketplace was launched on March 30, 2021. 

A five percent fee is charged against all transactions that take place in the marketplace for these NFTs. Ninety-five percent of these proceeds go to the creators of the NFTs, while the remaining five percent goes to the pool funding the ‘Creator Fund’ and ‘Game Maker Fund.’ 

The Sandbox’s Partners and Collaborators 

Since the beginning of its metaverse journey, The Sandbox has managed to rope in more than well-known 60 partners; all of them illustrious and prominent leaders in their respective fields. 

Some of these partners are Atari, Deadmau5, Snoop Dogg, Adidas, Hell’s Kitchen, The Smurfs, Care Bears, and even South China Morning Post. Many of these brands were even given land in The Sandbox as part of the venture. Visitors to The Sandbox can see the brands’ big estates by going to the map. 

The Future of The Sandbox

The Sandbox is one of the oldest games around and has probably had one of the smoothest transitions from a traditional platform to a blockchain-backed one. That it is taken seriously by those in the gaming industry is apparent from the $93 million investment from Japan’s Softbank, which is one of the most prominent investors in projects across the world. 

The Sandbox stands on the very edge of a new form of immersive gaming experience. There is a good reason that it is one of the hottest games in the crypto market, and chances are it will remain so in the near future as well.

If you haven’t played any blockchain games as of yet, The Sandbox can be the ideal place to start for a stellar experience and participate in the game as it develops.

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Anju Mobin

Anju Mobin is a passionate cryptocurrency enthusiast with extensive knowledge in the field. As a dedicated writer and editor, she has made a name for herself as an expert in the crypto world. Her main focus is on testing new crypto wallets, Defi applications, and NFT games to create informative and reader-friendly tutorials.

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Anju Mobin
Anju Mobin is a passionate cryptocurrency enthusiast with extensive knowledge in the field. As a dedicated writer and editor, she has made a name for herself as an expert in the crypto world. Her main focus is on testing new crypto wallets, Defi applications, and NFT games to create informative and reader-friendly tutorials.