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The Sandbox avatar in a metaverse hotel room.

The Sandbox: A blockchain-based virtual world

Martin Petkov ⋅


The Sandbox is a virtual world where players can create, explore, and interact with an immersive gaming experience. It is a platform that focuses on capitalizing on the play-to-earn economy. The Sandbox’s Alpha testing phase is open to all, and users can start exploring and engaging with the metaverse in just a few clicks. They can complete quests, interact with players in the community or buy and develop their own virtual land. The Sandbox also creates several opportunities for players to earn by participating in events, monetizing land, and trading assets. This emerging world in the Metaverse redefines gaming and blockchain and is a platform you must explore.

What is The Sandbox?

The Sandbox is a blockchain-based virtual world running on Ethereum. It is a community-driven, user-developed, play-to-earn game where players can create, share, and monetize their gaming experiences. First launched as a mobile game in 2020, The Sandbox was created with a vision to allow players to own their virtual creations in the form of NFTs, interact with other players, and earn rewards while participating in the community.

The Sandbox comprises three primary components - the Voxel Editor, the Marketplace, and the Game Marker, which encourages players to develop user-generated content. The platform’s simple user experience also makes it easy for players with any level of technical expertise to design and publish their own games.

The Sandbox’s unique point of differentiation from other metaverse platforms is that it bridges the gap between gaming and blockchain, providing players with a new way to engage with both technologies.

The Sandbox also has three native tokens that operate in its platform:

  • SAND tokens: SAND is an ERC-20 token that functions as a virtual currency to facilitate in-game transactions or interactions. Players must own SAND tokens in The Sandbox to purchase LAND or ASSETS.

  • LAND tokens: The Sandbox comprises a finite number of 166,464 LAND parcels or digital real estate that building games, experiences, or other assets can develop. It is a non-fungible ERC-721 token on the Ethereum blockchain, which players can trade on a global marketplace.

  • ASSET tokens: ASSETs represent in-game items created by users, including wearables or equipment used by avatars. Players in The Sandbox can create these tokens (ERC-1155) with VoxEdit, which can be converted into NFTs and traded on the marketplace.

A cyberpunk style cafe in The Sandbox metaverse.

How do I access The Sandbox?

Getting started in The Sandbox requires a few steps to follow:

Create an account

To create an account on The Sandbox, navigate to the company website: https://www.sandbox.game/ and click on the ‘Sign Up’ button in the top right corner of the page. You’ll be prompted to create an account by registering in any of the three ways:

  • Connecting your crypto wallet

  • Logging in through Google (Gmail)

  • Logging in through the social network options mentioned

After registering your account, the website will also direct you to set a username and create a password to secure your account.

Create an avatar

The next step is creating and designing your avatar - a digital representation of yourself. You can customize your avatar from head to toe by choosing hair, apparel, footwear and more.

Download the game

Once you create your avatar and explore The Sandbox map, you’ll see several experiences and games you can dive into. To start playing games in The Sandbox and interact with experiences, you must download The Sandbox game client. You can do this by clicking ‘Play Now’ on any game or event. Simply click the ‘Download’ button to initiate the action and choose the operating software you are downloading for - either Windows or macOS.

Access open alpha testing

The Sandbox is in its testing phase with the current Alpha Season. It releases multi-week testing events open to users who sign up for The Sandbox. It allows users to experience new features, experiences, and gameplay. Users can also get Play-to-Earn rewards and test features not open to the public.

Explore the game world

Once you’ve created an account with or without an Alpha Pass, you can start navigating The Sandbox map and teleport to any plot of land that offers an experience that interests you and start completing quests or interacting with players in the community.

Rabbit-shaped avatar running in front of pyramid and palm trees in The Sandbox.

What does buying land in The Sandbox do?

Buying LAND in The Sandbox makes players a vital part of The Sandbox ecosystem - opening up opportunities to develop the land, monetise the space and build a community. Landowners can also merge a group of LAND parcels to form a bigger ESTATE to capitalise on.

Here are a few things you can do once you own land in The Sandbox:

  • Host events & games: LAND in the platform was created to allow players to build interactive and immersive experiences on top of digital pieces of property. For instance, players can build games, art galleries, social hubs and homes on their LAND that can be open to players of The Sandbox community to engage with, either for free or through gated access.

  • Stake land: Sandbox landowners can now stake (lock up as collateral) their SAND tokens against their land to earn rewards - including the highly sought-after GEM tokens that can be sold on The Sandbox marketplace once earned. Players can stake up to 500 SAND per LAND they own in their wallets. The more LAND they own, the more they can stake.

  • Participate in governance: LAND and SAND owners also have a say in the governance of The Sandbox. They are instrumental in determining how The Sandbox evolves and takes shape in the future via a decentralised autonomous organisation (DAO).

  • Monetize land: LAND ownership opens up a gateway to earning passive income by renting the digital land owned to other players, creators or designers looking to develop experiences on digital real estate.

How to make money with The Sandbox?

The Sandbox’s play-to-earn model provides several ways for players to make money - including creating and publishing games and experiences, participating in the community, and trading in-game assets on the marketplace. Let’s take a closer look at each:

  • Participating in events: Players can earn SAND tokens by contributing to the community, participating in events, and completing challenges and quests. Players can also build and monetize their own games that other players can join.

  • Monetizing land: LAND owners can earn SAND tokens by using the Game Maker software to create and publish content on their property, like events and experiences that community members can join. LAND owners can also earn a passive income by renting out LAND to other players in the platform to build their own experiences.

  • Trading Assets: Within The Sandbox, the VoxEdit tool helps players create in-game ASSETs like ‘entities’ (a character like animals), equipment (like weapons), wearables (like clothing) and more. Once uploaded to The Sandbox marketplace, these items can help generate another revenue stream to be sold as NFTs.

The Sandbox avatar standing on top of a cyberpunk build.

Which is better Decentraland or The Sandbox?

Decentraland and The Sandbox are both virtual worlds that use Ethereum blockchain technology to provide players with unique and immersive experiences. While built on the same infrastructure, some aspects make each virtual world better suited for different use cases. We’ve compared The Sandbox to Decentraland based on four criteria:

Purpose

The Sandbox was created to build a decentralized gaming experience where players can create and monetize games and assets. Conversely, Decentraland primarily focuses on developing and owning 3D virtual real estate, which content creators can use to build immersive experiences and earn rewards from their contributions.

Gaming Experience

The gaming experience on The Sandbox is much more robust and user-friendly since the platform is created with gamers in mind. This UX structure makes it a better choice for new users or those without technical expertise. While Decentraland can be used for developing games, this is not the platform’s primary focus as it is tailored more toward creating experiences, art and wearables.

Land

A finite number of virtual land parcels creates the real estate in The Sandbox and Decentraland. The Sandbox consists of 166,464 LANDs, with each lot measuring 96×96 metres. Landowners can combine these parcels of land to form a larger estate or to create a district in collaboration with other landowners. Conversely, Decentraland has 90,061 LANDs where each piece of virtual land measures 96×96 metres, where landowners can combine multiple parcels to form estates or merge similarly themed parcels to create districts. Decentraland having fewer land parcels means that the value of each parcel is higher than that in The Sandbox.

Accessibility

The Sandbox is a browser-based application that players can access by connecting a crypto wallet or signing in through email or social media accounts - making it accessible. Decentraland, on the other hand, though designed as a browser-based application as well, only has the option of creating a crypto wallet to register.

Taking these factors into consideration, ultimately, the choice between Decentraland and The Sandbox comes down to personal preference, goals, and the specific features and experiences each platform offers.

Conclusion

The Sandbox creates a new virtual world where players can create, share, and monetize their own gaming experiences. The user-friendly interface and platform tools - Voxel Editor, Marketplace and Game Marker, make it easy for any novice gamer to get started in the metaverse. The Sandbox also presents opportunities to earn by creating and monetizing games, events and assets. The Sandbox, however, is one of many virtual worlds that exist. Compared to other platforms like Decentraland - the primary differences that crop up are related to the platform’s focus, gaming interface and accessibility, which players and brands should consider to guide their decision on which is the best platform to operate on.

Are you looking to develop a game or experience in The Sandbox? We can bring your vision to life and help you monetize your idea. Get in touch with us today!


About LandVault

LandVault is the largest metaverse builder with over 100 million square feet of virtual real estate, more than 120 full-time creators, and nearly 300 completed projects. We’ve been helping brands build and grow in gaming environments since 2017 and the metaverse since 2021.  

LandVault’s platform-agnostic proprietary technology and creative powerhouse builds and delivers tailored, data-driven, and optimized business solutions and insights. We help clients launch, optimize, and monetize metaverse experiences. 

LandVault’s mission is to accelerate the metaverse economy through technology with a vision of a fairer wealth distribution across the web.

Get in Touch | Website | Discord | Twitter | LinkedIn | YouTube

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