The Sandbox - An NFT-Powered Metaverse Gaming Ecosystem

19 Nov 2021
The Sandbox - An NFT-Powered Metaverse Gaming Ecosystem Banner
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Hello and welcome to another fantastic Discovery of the Day! From Monday to Friday, we here at MarketSquare put together in-depth articles on some of our top finds from the realms of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), Decentralized Finance (DeFi) protocols and Blockchain-based games. Today we are proud to bring you an exciting initiative seeking to democratize the Metaverse and allow players to determine how it all comes together. This is The Sandbox!

Life in Another World

The gaming industry is big, and by big, I mean incontrovertibly massive. According to a report by Accenture, as of April 2021, the total value of the global gaming industry is estimated to be over $300 billion. Moreover, the number of players has increased by 500 million over the past three years, and over 400 million more are expected to join by the end of 2023. With the state of the global economy and preventative measures imposed upon human populations to combat the spread of COVID-19, more and more people are turning to Information Technology for answers. As such, more and more people are working remotely and socializing in digital spaces.

Graphic courtesy of Accenture, 2021

Things aren’t changing…they’ve already changed. And in fact, many of these changes are taking root, causing humans to fundamentally adapt their ways of thinking, acting and being productive. Life is taking on an interesting new shape, and from what it appears, the metaverse is going to play a key role in ushering in this new paradigm. The great thing about virtual worlds is that the possibilities and concomitant opportunities they present are practically without limit. By leveraging the power of Blockchain technology and crypto, the metaverse will be able to provide users with meaningful ways to engage in transactions, build assets and infrastructure and make a living for themselves from virtually anywhere in the world.

The Playground of Imagination

I’m reasonably sure that almost everyone is at least aware of Minecraft and that a good chunk of you have played or are currently playing it. In a recent article by Zachary Boddy of Windows Central, there are around 141 million active monthly users playing Minecraft (according to August 2021 figures). While this is an impressive number, it pales in comparison with Roblox which, according to Brian Dean of Backlinko , had about 202 million monthly users as of April 2021. Many more players have joined these two highly popular games over the last months, most likely as a result of the ongoing COVID Pandemic and other factors related to it, and if trends continue as they are, this number will continue to grow for the foreseeable future.

So are Minecraft and Roblox the be all end all of sandbox games and game creation platforms? Not by a long shot. I’d like to bring your attention to a project that takes some of the best components of these two games and combines them with the best of Blockchain tech and the Metaverse. Yes indeed, The Sandbox is what you might consider a ‘Metaverse ecosystem’ that runs on the Ethereum Blockchain. In this virtual world, players can build, own and monetize their gaming experience and assets. The Sandbox’s native ERC-20 token, $SAND, may be traded, staked and used to take part in the governance and evolution of the ecosystem as a whole.

The Sandbox ain’t no rinky-dink fly-by-night project. Seeing that it has well over 300K followers on Twitter (most of which seem to be legitimate followers and not bots), as well as a metric ton of existing NFT and crypto projects (and even established brands) actively purchasing land, it’s safe to say it’s very, very popular.

Pieces of the Grand Puzzle

The Sandbox has only really started out, but it’s already pretty extensive in terms of what it offers to end users. When you visit their official website, you’ll see a couple of navigation buttons to the left that read, Home, Market (Beta), Create, Map and About. Each of these buttons will provide you with some useful insights into the ever-growing universe that is The Sandbox.

You can also check out this convenient One Pager on the Sandbox if you really want to learn a whole lot via one source

So let’s dive into the various moving parts that constitute The Sandbox and discuss their significance and utility in some detail…

Game Maker

Maybe you’ve had a great idea for a game but never really known how to go about doing it. Well, thanks to The Sandbox’s built-in Game Maker, users will be able to build, share and monetize their very own games on The Sandbox’s highly customizable 3D gaming platform. The best part of all this? No prior coding knowledge is required! That’s right, even if you have zero experience with coding, you will still be able to bring your own games and stories into being. Take a look at this video that demonstrates what users can create using The Sandbox Game Maker:

Marketplace

Arguably one of the most important parts of The Sandbox is its NFT Marketplace (currently in its Beta phase). In essence, the Marketplace is an open market that permits the free trading of tokenized in-game ASSETS that serves as the primary dashboard of The Sandbox.

With regards to token types, The Sandbox makes use of four, namely SAND (ERC-20), LAND (ERC-721), ASSETS (ERC-1155) and GEMS (ERC-20). These tokens exist to ensure that a circular economy develops and is maintained within The Sandbox. These tokens are used by all members of the platform: players, creators, curators and land owners. The following diagram illustrates the nature and utility of these tokens in a little more detail:

Voxel Editor

OK, now this is seriously cool. So if you want to be able to create your own NFTs, you can make use of The Sandbox’s VoxEdit which allows you to model, animate and create NFTs that can then be sold and traded on The Sandbox Marketplace! And again, no real coding knowledge is required here. As one reviewer eloquently put it:

’…it’s the fusion of a modeling editor with an animation system all in the same software.’

Just take a look at the different components within VoxEdit and I think you’ll see how this integrated and user-friendly approach to modeling and NFT creation is truly ingenious:

The Map

Yes, it somehow gets better and better the more you look into it. The Sandbox allows users to purchase virtual real estate alongside more than 160 well-known brands, companies and celebrities including Atari, The Smurfs, Care Bears and Snoop Dogg. As an added bonus, users can rent out their virtual real estate to others for a fee or purchase NFTs and populate it with content in order to increase its value. There will only ever be 166,464 LANDS available, and if you take a look at the map below, it’s clear that a lot of it has already been bought up:

Oh, and if you want to know exactly what you can do with LAND in The Sandbox, this handy graphic should summarize all you need to know:

The Game

Naturally, The Sandbox also offers users the ability to play and experience games created by other users. What does this mean? Unlimited possibilities of course. The Sandbox allows users to create content and experiences for one another, encouraging participation and community-based innovation. In short, if you’re part of The Sandbox, and you somehow get bored…you’re doing it wrong.

Partners

As I touched on earlier, The Sandbox has a ton of brands, celebrities and organizations they have partnered with and that are already actively involved in The Sandbox. Here’s just a handful of the prestigious names they have partnered with:

Like Sand Through the Hourglass

So the next question is ‘What does the Sandbox plan to do next?’ Or maybe the better question to ask is ‘What *don’t* they plan on doing?’ With an extensive Roadmap that goes all the way back to 2011 and up till 2023, it’s safe to say that the team behind The Sandbox takes their work very, very seriously. Here’s just what’s in store for Q4 of 2021 and the first two quarters of 2022:

For the full detailed Roadmap extending from 2011 to 2023, click here and you’ll be routed to the relevant page on The Sandbox’s official website.

Open Metaverse Alpha

In a few days, The Sandbox Metaverse Alpha will be available for testing. The best part? It’s open to everyone! Anyone will be able to access the Alpha HUB as well 3 unique experiences. However, Alpha Pass holders will have access to all 18 exclusive experiences and earn up to 1,000 $SAND and 3 NFTs in rewards! The Alpha runs from November 29th till December 20th 2021. Check out the details below!

For full information on this event, please visit The Sandbox’s official website

A Sea of Stats

There are a mind-boggling 860 ASSETS and well over 100,000 LANDs currently available on The Sandbox’s OpenSea . You can also buy/sell/trade from the platform’s circulating supply of 705 million ERC-20 $SAND utility tokens that are used for value transfers as well as staking and governance participation. Let’s take a look at a couple of stats…

Smart Contracts

Please Note: Stats are accurate at the time of writing, but be sure to check the original source for the most current information.

  • Available ASSET/LAND Items - 101.3K
  • ASSET/LAND Owners - 14.2K
  • $SAND Supply - 3 billion (705 million in circulation)

Well now, that was a trip! I actually wish I could go on, but The Sandbox is literally so extensive I would need at least another post to really cover it all in a sufficient amount of detail. I think the proof is in the pudding here. I highly recommend that you follow The Sandbox on Twitter and join them on Discord so that you can get to know the team, talk to the community and learn more about this fascinating Metaverse ecosystem.

I’m absolutely staggered by the level of depth and detail The Sandbox already possesses. Thanks for joining me on this amazing Discovery of the Day. That’s all for now. Until next time Blockchain fans, keep it decentralized and keep your minds open to the many great opportunities around you!

For updates on new NFT drops, NFT news, and more, make sure you follow OurVillage on SubStack, and don’t forget to follow Farmer Joe and Lumberjack Larry on Twitter.


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Brynn is the Content Manager at ARK.io, lead DeFi writer for MarketSquare and die-hard metalhead. When not researching yield farming, he spends his time crushing demons in DOOM or shredding his favorite axe.
Tags:
NFTs
Metaverse
Blockchain Gaming

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