As a metaverse creative studio building in The Sandbox, we have extensive insight into the project. The following is our guide for investors looking to understand more about it. This guide will be continually updated as we get more information.
- What is The Sandbox Metaverse?
- Who's behind the project?
- What are the different components of the ecosystem?
- What is LAND?
- How do you buy LAND?
- What are voxel assets?
- What is SAND?
- What are gems?
- What can you create?
- How do you drive players to an experience?
- What are the different ways I can invest?
What is The Sandbox Metaverse?
The Sandbox metaverse is a decentralized virtual world built on the Ethereum blockchain. It is part Minecraft in that it has the creative building aspect using blocks. It's also part Roblox because it allows users to create their own games and share it with others. Lastly, it's also an extension of The Sandbox IP, which dates back to the mobile game which first launched in 2012.
The previous two mobile games can best be described as a game platform that allow other users to create 2D worlds, and games. In essence, The Sandbox Metaverse is just a 3D version of the previous two mobile games. Those two mobile games have been downloaded an estimated 50M times.
Who's behind the project?
The two founders are Sebastien Borget and Arthur Madrid. The Sandbox is owned by its parent company, Animoca.
It has raised a total of $95M to date, according to Crunchbase.
What are the different software components of the ecosystem?
In our view, there are four major components of The Sandbox ecosystem. They are: VoxEdit, Game Maker, Marketplace and Game Client. Each is explained in detail below.
VoxEdit is the modeling software used by voxel artists to create voxel assets. VoxEdit is similar to other voxel modeling software such as MagicaVoxel and Blockbench. However, the major distinction is that the Sandbox assets have to be exported from the VoxEdit software. In other words, a voxel artist can create a voxel asset using MagicaVoxel, but in order for that asset to be usable in The Sandbox, they would need to import it into VoxEdit, and then exported to The Sandbox ecosystem through the software.
All the voxel avatars that we see are created using VoxEdit.
The Game Maker is the software used by creators to build various experiences. The Game Maker contains the placement of the various voxel assets, the building blocks as well as the programming logic.
Creators can share their experience for others to play through the Gallery Tab. Sharing of experiences is off-chain.
The Sandbox Marketplace is where players can buy and sell voxel assets, LAND and in the future full experiences. This would be considered the primary marketplace for anything related to The Sandbox. As such, everything in The Sandbox Marketplace is priced in SAND. With all these assets being NFTs, they can also be traded on secondary markets like OpenSea, Rarible, and Looksrare.
In the image above, notice that there's a token ID associated with the asset. You can copy and paste that into OpenSea and see how the same asset is trading there.
The Game Client is not talked about much but still an important software in The Sandbox. Unlike the Game Maker software which is used primarily by creators, the Game Client is primarily used by players.
Roblox also has this dual software system. There is one that creators use to build games. And then there is one used by players.
The Game Client is a lightweight piece of software and loads much faster than the GameMaker software. Also, the GameClient only lets players access specific games as opposed to the Game Maker.
What is LAND?
LAND is a limited resource in The Sandbox ecosystem that allows creators to build various experiences on it. It is a ERC-721 token. We'll use two analogies to understand LAND better.
In Minecraft, anyone can start their own private server and create their own private world. These servers are usually created for multiplayer purposes. There is no limit to how many private servers can be created.
Now, imagine if Minecraft said there will only be 100,000 private servers ever in existence. In order to create your own world and monetize it, you have to buy one of these private server spots. That's what LAND is.
Another way to think about LAND is comparing Sandbox to Roblox.
For this comparison, I took a screenshot of the iOS appstore page for it. In the first screenshot, it says "Millions of worlds". In Roblox, the equivalent of LAND would be worlds. When a creator designs their own game, they put the game logic and various game assets onto a "world" and then share it for everyone to play. In Roblox, there is no limit to the number of worlds. Again, imagine if Roblox said there would only be 100,000 worlds in existence ever. That's what LAND is.
As stated on their website, there is a fixed amount of LAND: 166,464.
How big is the LAND?
Each 1x1 parcel of LAND is 96x96 blocks. But it is also 128 blocks tall.
How do you buy LAND?
There are essentially three places to buy LAND: direct from the Sandbox team, secondary markets and through a 3rd party.
Direct LAND Sales
The Sandbox team periodically have LAND sales, sold in SAND tokens. Here is the link to their LAND sale schedule. The cost of a single 1x1 parcel of LAND have stayed the same when priced in SAND. We have heard the team say that it will always stay at that price. Buying LAND direct will always offer the lowest price.
LAND Secondary Markets
LAND can also be purchased on OpenSea, Rarible or Looksrare. These are mostly priced in ETH, but some in SAND and USDC.
Buying LAND Through Third Parties
There have been a few third party brokers started to help buyers and sellers transact anonymously.
Can you rent LAND?
The team have said they will be building that functionality. Right now, renting of LAND is only offered by third party.
What are voxel assets?
Voxel assets are things a creator adds to a game experience. All the following things are assets: a tree, an animal, an elaborate door, a custom voxel avatar, etc.
In any Sandbox experience, there will be three things: blocks, assets, and game logic. The blocks are the foundational building blocks. The assets are used to both enhance a structure as well as to provide interactions for the game.
The game logic a player doesn't see and is behind the scene. The game logic controls the interactions between the different voxel assets. When the player avatar talks to a NPC and receives a quest, that is created by game logic.
What is SAND?
SAND is the ERC-20 utility token of The Sandbox. Currently, the token is used in buying LAND directly from The Sandbox team, staking, and buying voxel assets from the marketplace. There are many more planned uses for the token, such as rewarding players in-game, and rewards for bounties. There is a finite supply of the SAND token: 3,000,000,000.
What are gems?
Gems are another part about The Sandbox ecosystem that is rarely talked about. They are used to create item rarity as well as to add stats to it. As a result, the ones who know about gems are usually the voxel artists. There are 5 different gems. and add to the corresponding stats: Power, Defense, Magic, Speed and Luck.
Let's take a look at an example. In the image above, an item of legendary status requires four gems to be added. There are essentially 5 rarities, known as "Catalyst" in The Sandbox. Legendary items require four gems, epic items require three, rare items require two, and common items require one. But there's also a fifth rarity in which an item can be created without using any gems. That's denoted by "none" in the image above.
The item rarity also determines the number of copies of that item. For example, we see that the items in the above image only go up to 11 copies. They are all legendaries. However, I've seen some legendaries have as many as 200 copies. There seems to be an upper limit for each rarity but right now we're unsure what that exact number is.
It's unknown at this point how gems will be distributed.
What can you create?
We've seen a variety of experiences that people have created. Social hubs are a common thing creators build for NFT collections. As for games, we've seen everything from a Temple Run style runner to a Doom-like game.
How do you drive players to an experience?
There are essentially two ways at the moment, as The Sandbox is in beta (or alpha depending on how you look at it).
The first way is through Alpha Seasons. Alpha Seasons are curated previews of various experiences that creators have made. They typically last 1-2 months. Experiences have to be submitted to The Sandbox publishing team in order to qualify. The publishing team looks for a variety of things and make a decision on whether an experience will go on to be showcased in a particular Alpha Season.
At the time of this writing, The Sandbox is about to have its Alpha Season 3. The team have said that they plan to run Alpha Seasons until the game is live.
Alpha Seasons are only accessed through the Game Client, not Game Maker. All the experiences in Alpha Season are off-chain, another common misunderstanding. This confusion comes from the fact that players can click on an experience on the map, then be taken into the game through the Game Client. Even though this is the case, it is not minted to the Ethereum blockchain. It is simulated to show players what the real experience will be like.
The draft gallery is a tab inside the GameMaker software that gives creators a place to share their experiences for others to playtest. Thus, many of these experiences are not in its final, polished form. However, some creators still share their experiences there.
There is however no search feature (we expect this to be added soon as it's a very commonly requested feature). So, a creator would need to tell players to look for an experience named "Best Sandbox Game" for example, but also tell them the approximate page it's on, page 130-137. As more experiences are shared to the Draft Gallery, a shared experience will get pushed further back.
There is an area for featured experiences which make them easier to find. This is also curated and have to go through the publishing team.
What are the different ways I can invest?
Disclaimer: None of this is financial advice of course, but here are some of the ways we've seen investors generate a ROI.
- Buy and sell the SAND token
- Buy LAND to flip or rent out
- Buy and sell the individual voxel assets
- Create experiences on LAND for others
- Create voxel assets to be sold on the marketplace
Buying and selling the SAND token is the most straight-forward way to invest in The Sandbox. The next way is buying LAND. Some longterm hodlers have purchase LAND and never sold. Others have flipped LAND on the secondary markets. And then another way that is emerging is renting out LAND.
We see some people buying and selling individual voxel assets on Opensea. It's very similar to flipping LAND, but for individual game assets.
The fourth way someone can make money from The Sandbox is to create experiences for others. This is essentially what our team, Tentango does. Brands, NFT collections and some individuals have expressed a desire to be early adopters of The Sandbox and are looking for creators to build games, social hubs, and more on their LAND.
Then finally, an investor who's also a creator might opt for this last option. They can create voxel assets to be sold in the Sandbox marketplace. Each of these are NFTs and thus have a creator royalty fee attached to it.
This wraps up our in-depth guide on The Sandbox Metaverse.