When Bitcoin was invented in 2009 very few people on the planet had heard of blockchain technology – now it’s exploding, leading to all kinds of new possibilities.
NFT gaming is a fairly new concept, but it’s quickly growing, with many developers seeing the potential it has. One of the largest blockchain-based games available is the Sandbox, which has garnered a lot of attention in recent years.
So what is the Sandbox, and what makes it so special? Keep reading to find out.
What Are NFTs?
NFTs (non-fungible tokens) are items that can’t be replicated or reproduced in any way. They generally take the form of digital assets that people can trade using blockchain technology.
Over the last few years NFTs have exploded in terms of popularity, and it seems as though they’ll only keep growing from here on. Most NFTs are digital art, but they can also take the form of music, videos, trading cards, video game items, and more.
With the increased use of blockchain technology in recent years, there has been a range of technological innovations alongside it. One of these is The Metaverse.
A metaverse is a digital world where people can interact with one another in various ways. This technology is in the very early stages, so while people are already using it, there is still a lot of room for it to grow.
There are many ways that people can use crypto and NFTs in metaverse worlds to buy a range of assets. This can include things like avatars, objects, and even real estate. Some organizations have even created jobs with people working full-time in metaverse roles.
NFTs are expanding, and one of the ways this is happening rapidly is within gaming. This can allow for a range of features in blockchain-based games that were previously not possible, and the players can have more control over certain things.
Skins, for example, have been a staple of many games for years. Typically a player would be able to unlock or purchase a skin, and they would own it permanently. Creating skins as NFTs means that players can buy and sell them as they choose, and with a limited supply it creates a possibility for players to make a profit, depending on how certain items are valued.
The same type of situation can apply to other types of items, adding value to in-game collectibles. Blockchain technology allows players to trade these NFTs securely, and the publisher can keep earning by adding a royalty percentage to their in-game assets.
This is a significant step forward in the world of gaming. Before NFTs, it was very uncommon for people to make money through gaming, with the only option being professional tournaments. With NFTs people can create and sell their assets, or even invest in things that they believe will increase in value with time.
The P2E (play-to-earn) concept is also becoming more popular, where people can earn money just by playing a game. Most games use their own tokens for this which can typically be used in-game or exchanged for other cryptocurrencies.
What Is the Sandbox?
The Sandbox is a gaming metaverse on the Ethereum blockchain. The Sandbox Alpha launched in November 2021, and since then it has gained over 2 million users.
Sandbox was originally launched back in 2012 as a mobile game, but Animoca Brands decided to relaunch it as a virtual reality NFT game, implementing many of the new features made possible by blockchain technology.
Sandbox has a distinctive visual style. All of the content within this metaverse is made up of voxels – 3D pixels that resemble small blocks.
These blocks are 32 x 32 x 32, and you can alter the design between solid and transparent, and various colors. You can even combine different blocks to create new surfaces/materials such as water or stone.
Users can create a range of different NFTs with these, which they can then use in-game, or sell for real money. One of the first things a player is likely to make is their avatar.
This is the model that they’ll play as in the Sandbox. Anyone can visit the Sandbox website, create an account, and start editing.
Beyond avatars, there’s a wide range of things that people tend to make, such as vehicles, weapons, and buildings. Ultimately, the only real limit is people’s creativity. These assets can even be animated.
One of the main appeals of the Sandbox is that it’s not just a single game. It’s an incredibly open system, so anyone can create smaller games within it. The Game Maker allows people to build custom environments with whatever features and assets they want.
This way people can design different types of games such as action-adventure or puzzlers. As a creator, you can set up different experiences where players have to complete quests, find treasures, defeat enemies, uncover secrets, and more.
The Game Maker has a range of ready-to-use LOGIC bundles which you can use to easily set objectives or apply specific properties to an item. You even have complete control over the setting and landscape, so you can give your adventure whatever feel you want.
When you create avatars or other assets, you can use them yourself, you can publish them to your SandStorm profile to showcase to brands or employers, or you can sell them on the Sandbox marketplace.
All are great options for beginners and we always recommend getting your work in front of as many brands as possible with the goal of making building these NFTs a full-time job.
One of the more unique innovations that make the Sandbox stand out from other games is the utility of LAND ownership. While anyone can make games and other experiences with the Game Maker mentioned above, you’ll need to own a plot of LAND if you want to publish anything.
Each plot of LAND is an NFT and essentially works as a virtual piece of real estate within the Sandbox metaverse. In total there are 166,464 LANDs, and each one takes up 96 x 96 meters in-game.
You can purchase multiple pieces of LAND, and if they’re adjacent to one another you can combine them into an estate. Anyone with an estate can create larger experiences and build across all of the LANDs they own. Various large companies own some sizable estates, as well as some high-profile celebrities such as Snoop Dogg and Steve Aoki.
Currently, it’s only possible to own LANDs, but in the future people will be able to rent and borrow them too.
The Sandbox is on the Ethereum blockchain and has its own native ERC-20 token – SAND. This token is what players use in the game to make any transactions. This means if you want to buy an asset from the store, you need to do so with SAND.
Beyond making purchases, SAND works as a governance token. The Sandbox will have a DAO (decentralized autonomous organization) in the future, and SAND owners will be able to take part in it. SAND holders will have a vote in important decisions for the future of the Sandbox.
Anyone can buy or sell SAND on a third-party crypto exchange such as Kraken or Gemini. It can also be staked alongside ETH or MATIC (via Uniswap or Polygon respectfully).
SAND tokens have been distributed in the past through airdrops, and players can earn them through different contests or in-game events. Those who own LAND will be able to use it to stake their SAND there in the future, thereby generating profits.
It’s worth noting that anyone can invest in the SAND token, regardless of whether or not they play the game. Like many cryptos, the value of SAND has increased significantly since it was created. If you’re thinking about investing it’s important to do your own research first, as all cryptocurrencies are volatile, so the value can go up or down very rapidly.
The Future of Metaverse Gaming
Despite how impressive the Sandbox already is, it is far from finished. It will continue to grow in the coming years as more people become players and creators. Other developers are working on various types of NFT games and metaverse worlds, and so far we’ve only seen the beginnings of what’s possible.
Sandstorm works to connect the best Sandbox creators with the world’s biggest brands, to help companies establish themselves in the metaverse. Our website provides some of the highest quality creations and can help you find the right builder for you. If you have any questions about our services, click here to contact us today.