Beginner’s Guide To The Sandbox Metaverse (& How To Monetize)

The Sandbox is a virtual world powered by the Ethereum blockchain; many have compared it to Decentraland which is another metaverse-based game that is also widely recognized for its NFT capabilities (also known as the ability to own the items used within the game). 

The Sandbox is a decentralized metaverse; the game provides a unique gaming experience as the virtual world is fundamentally created by its users and is powered by non-fungible tokens. Building games within The Sandbox is done through VoxEdit and these models can be sold on the marketplace as NFTs. 

The Sandbox has enjoyed vast recognition for its partnerships with widely recognized companies; in The Sandbox these companies have built their own virtual experiences on top of LAND NFTs with their own renowned IPs. Stick around as we will examine some of the top companies and celebrities that have land in The Sandbox towards the end of this article. 

Our team will examine the four core principles that make The Sandbox unique before briefly touching on our personal experience with the game. 

VoxEdit is the first aspect we will touch on and is the free tool that allows you to build avatars, creatures, and stationary items without knowing code. Creating within VoxEdit allows you to build surprisingly complex assets (relative to the well known tooling found in Roblox & Minecraft).

We won’t touch on how to effectively use this tool as the firm makes available free tutorials – look for them after you download the program. Additionally, The Sandbox YouTube channel has many good tutorials on how to create 3D assets. 

One important note if you are an aspiring Sandbox creator – we would recommend creating assets under approximately 5,000 quads – which are shown in the animator – so the asset can be extracted and listed on the NFT marketplace. 

The NFT marketplace is another core aspect of the Sandbox which is similar to the OpenSea marketplace. The core difference is that all assets in The Sandbox NFT marketplace are compatible with The Sandbox metaverse (and can be used on your land if purchased). 

NFTs found in The Sandbox NFT marketplace (all Land & Estates) are listed on OpenSea as well. 

Our team will note that in order to get an asset from VoxEdit listed in The Sandbox NFT marketplace, it must first be approved. Again, this request will put the asset in a mintining queue before it can be listed. However, the asset automatically saves to Game Maker in the meantime. So, what is Game Maker?

The Sandbox’s Game Maker is another core component to the game; once the program is launched, clicking ‘L’ will show the asset library – which shows you readily available items that can be placed to create a game. Assets are imbued with behaviors or capabilities – for example, plants as an asset will attract hungry herbivores. 

Additionally, attributes set by gems will also be displayed; this gives insights as to what assets will be more powerful in their differing regards. Gems interact with assets in order to grant unique attributes to them.

The Game Maker allows you to build out experiences without owning land and can be downloaded along with The Sandbox game. 

Our team won’t extensively cover the Game Maker in our general overview. We will note that the process is relatively simple and easy to use after a few tutorials have been consumed. You will be proficient in no time and no coding skills are needed. 

After customizing your game, you are able to hit play which allows you to demo your creation and then make edits based on what needs improvement. For inspiration and to check out other games made by players, you can go to the draft gallery (where you can find games that have been highly rated using their 5 star system). 

The draft gallery are the creations that have not yet been published to the metaverse – likely because the creator doesn’t have land or the NFTs that are used in the game. If either of these two aspects are missing, the experience can’t be published to the metaverse. 

Lastly, The Sandbox has the Game Client which enables users to explore The Sandbox ecosystem and what it has to offer. This is what you download in order to begin playing the game.

Now to touch on our team’s personal experience playing the game, we found the process of getting started to be quite easy. Creating an account via signing in through MetaMask or through an email – which automatically creates a crypto wallet for you – makes the first step simple. 

The game is free to play including the creation of your own avatar and the controls are typical to most desktop computer games; W, A, S, D are used to move around with the space bar being your control to jump. Left click allows you to swing or hit and holding left click down allows for a more supercharged hit. Right clicking allows you to block. 

All other keys or functions are visible on the screen and it doesn’t take long to get the hang of exploring this metaverse. For example, hitting ‘o’ on your keyboard will provide you with more options including the ability to view the map or dashboard – which will pop up on your browser – and then allow you to teleport anywhere that you have selected. 

Now that we’ve covered some of the basics let’s examine the main functions available to users in The Sandbox. 

What Can You Do In The Sandbox?

Users have the option to build games atop land in a very easy way and can monetize their in-game creations through the NFT marketplace. Users can also explore parcels of land created by companies and other users; additionally, users can complete quests within those plots of land. 

There are many functions to The Sandbox metaverse and getting started is completely free. 

One of the most interesting aspects of the game is the ability to build out your own ideas. The process of creating games is streamlined through VoxEdit which allows you to create without knowing code.

One of the most fun aspects of the game is going to ESTATEs that are already built out and that have many quests for you to finish. Quest are the tasks that the avatar bots give you and are specific to a parcel of land (e.g. finding dinosaur bones in Snoop Dogg’s mansion).

Through a simple chatbox, users also have the option to type in order to communicate with other users in a chat known as the “metaverse”. 

Opportunities to monetize arise when users have created games that others users enjoy playing. Let’s examine more closely the monetization aspect of the game.

Can You Make Money In The Sandbox?

Before we dive into the different ways to make money from The Sandbox, our team would like to preface this by stating that we are in no way providing any financial advice and we highly recommend doing your own due diligence before making any investment. Let’s dive in. 

A simple way to make money is purchasing the game’s utility token – $SAND – in anticipation of it appreciating. Owning NFTs of land (or digital real estate) and selling digital assets you’ve created on The Sandbox NFT marketplace can earn you money. Staking $SAND and monetizing games and experiences are also viable options. 

All of these options are currently available; let’s examine each one more closely and also discuss the difficulties involved. 

$SAND is the game’s utility token that has a market cap found among the top 50 to 60 tokens according to Coinmarketcap. $SAND is the currency that allows for all transactions to occur within The Sandbox metaverse; for example, if you were to purchase assets made by other creators on The Sandbox NFT marketplace, this token is required. 

$SAND can also be staked on the Polygon blockchain. The official article explaining how to do this will be linked here; the process is quite simple and HODLing as well as staking are the easiest options to make money from The Sandbox (should the token appreciate in value).

Purchasing NFTs of digital real estate is another way to invest in the game and possibly earn money from the asset appreciating in value. Plots of land in The Sandbox can be purchased on secondary marketplaces like OpenSea and currently have a floor price hovering just under one ETH. 

One way to monetize your land – aside from creating and charging for an experience developed on your land – is to rent it out. This is slightly more complex but can safely be done through third party platforms via the creation of smart contracts.

More on leasing land in a safe manner can be found in our article about ways to earn passive income with NFTs, which can be found here

Moving on to a more complex way to monetize in the game is through using VoxEdit; VoxEdit allows you to create assets. However once an asset is created, it must be approved before it can be listed on the marketplace. 

Our team ranks this as a more challenging way to earn compared to holding and staking because testing the asset within the Game Maker often needs to be done in order to ensure the asset works as intended; this can be a time consuming process. However, this is a rewarding one if you are into creating. 

The final way to monetize in The Sandbox is through the creation of games or experiences that you have developed on your plot; again, this is one our team would rank as challenging because it can be a time consuming process and requires land ownership (which is quite expensive).

As our team previously stated, many of the games within The Sandbox are free for all users to play however some games require you to pay before you are able to play. 

The amount you are able to earn from monetizing a game within The Sandbox fluctuates and depends on the amount you are charging; in order to remain competitive, two things must occur. A very compelling game must be created and it must have a fee somewhat closely aligned to other game designers (or else users will take their $SAND elsewhere). 

Eventually, play2earn mechanisms will be able to be developed on games or experiences created by users; however, this function is currently unavailable (although The Sandbox announced that it is planned). 

Let’s further examine land within The Sandbox as it’s a fundamental aspect to the game.

How Does Land Work In The Sandbox?

In its most basic form, LAND is an NFT of a 1×1 plot that is 96 meters in length and 96 meters in width. When someone owns multiple pieces of LAND, next to each other, an ESTATE is created. LAND can be monetized through the Game Maker as our team previously mentioned and can be resold like all NFTs. 

The wisdom of investing in LAND we leave to you to decide – again, our team is not providing financial advice – but rather acting as an informational guide. 

The Sandbox has announced that there will only ever be 166,464 LANDS available and 10% or 16,704 LANDS are currently being reserved by The Sandbox to hold events. Additionally, approximately 16% of LAND is also being held in order to be distributed to partners. This leaves only – approximately – 75% available to the secondary market.

Widely recognized corporations like Atari own ESTATEs within The Sandbox and plots of LAND surrounding the estate have become more expensive; this is because these plots are highly trafficked, making the surrounding land more desirable.   

This makes The Sandbox virtual land work in the same way that the real estate market does (i.e. more desirable and visited real estate is more expensive).

Opportunities to monetize LAND arise when it is being rented and when users decide to charge other users for the experiences they created atop their land. 

Atari is among the many recognized companies that own an astonishingly large amount of virtual real estate within The Sandbox – let’s examine the other companies. 

What Companies Are Building In The Sandbox?

Companies building in The Sandbox include Warner Music Group, Samsung NEXT, Gucci Vault, Adidas, The Smurfs, Zepeto, Atari, Care Bears, Playboy, South China Morning Post, Walking Dead, HSBC, Hell’s Kitchen and LG Technology Ventures amongst a growing list of other firms. 

Our team will note that Zepeto was listed as one of our team’s top 10 choices for metaverse related games; if you would like to learn more about Zepeto and our other choices like Horizon Worlds, click here

Famous people who own land within The Sandbox metaverse include Deadmau5, Snoop Dogg, Richie Hawtin and Tony Hawk amongst others.

Widely recognized NFT projects that have land within The Sandbox include: Animoca Brands (which invest in a wide array of companies including many blockchain games like Axie Infinity), Yuga Labs (creators of Bored Ape Yacht Club & World of Women) and OpenSea (the largest NFT marketplace) amongst others. 

To conclude our article, let’s examine how emerging technologies can be used with The Sandbox.

Can You Use VR Goggles In The Sandbox?

At this point in time it is not possible to access The Sandbox with VR goggles however it is possible for this to evolve as the game is still in its alpha. The Sandbox currently has aesthetics similar to that of Minecraft and Roblox but is differentiated by its blockchain enabled abilities. 

One thing to consider is that the business model for Oculus, the best selling VR headset, is at odds with The Sandbox’s business model and it seems unlikely that either party will change. 

In the foreseeable future, it is unlikely that The Sandbox will be available on Oculus.

That being said, if you are interested in learning about the top metaverse related devices – including the Oculus – click here

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