With our Gaming Metaverse Writing Contest round 1 winners announced and the 2nd round in full swing, we thought it'd be the perfect time to talk with one of the active members of The Sandbox community to learn more about the platform. We spoke to Gecho, a LAND owner and active member of the community to understand just what The Sandbox metaverse really is and what value it brings.
This Slogging thread by Limarc Ambalina and Gecho occurred in slogging's official #blockchain channel, and has been edited for readability.
With the https://hackernoon.com/the-gaming-metaverse-writing-contest-j5737sx underway, we've been learning more and more about The Sandbox. Today, I wanted to speak to anyone who has firsthand experience with the platform. Let's Slog!
Gecho thanks for joining me here! Can you tell us how you found out about The Sandbox and what drew you to become an active community member?
Glad to be here, thanks for having me! I was researching blockchain-based virtual worlds and found The Sandbox to be one of the most approachable and inspiring. The community was immediately engaging and the partners were interesting. I got really hooked after buying my first property during a LAND sale.
Awesome I just bought my first LAND myself last weekend and I was wondering what the price for LAND was when you initially bought it back in??? When did you first buy LAND?
Congrats on buying a LAND last weekend. That's awesome! Like many others, I was a wee bit distracted by the pandemic last year (2020), so I didn't stumble into The Sandbox until 2021 with Public LAND Sale #2 on Feb 25th. Public LAND sales have been consistently priced at 1,011 $SAND. And, if I recall correctly, $SAND was hovering around US$0.20 in February. So, I bought my first LAND for approximately US$200.
OMG you're super lucky to have gotten in at that time
I think the LAND I bought with the ETH gas fees total was around $700-800 USD
SAND is nearly $1 USD now
So when you bought your LAND..why did you buy it? Investment purposes or do you want to build a game on it?
For sure, it's been an exhilarating run for $SAND of late. $SAND had a similar run at $1USD in March and that was pretty heady stuff for everyone involved. Exciting to see it surging again. Well deserved for the devs and community IMHO.
I bought my first LAND because I wanted to build on it. The Game Maker is pretty intuitive; more so when it becomes available again for Mac (nudge nudge devs).
I'm keenly interested in leveraging virtual worlds for science and technology education. So, I'm planning some content on that theme.
So you'd say for you, it's not really about the money, but more that you actually want to be involved in the metaverse Sandbox is building? For example, if SAND was worth only $0.01 USD and showed no signs of rising, would you still purchase land and try to build games/experiences?
Realistically, the incentives are a blend of creating and earning. The success of the platform and the potential to connect with users is reflected in the price of land on the marketplace and value of the $SAND token. My ability to spend time, outside of my day job, interacting with The Sandbox is directly proportional to potential benefits, including financial gains.
The efforts of the Sandbox Team to stimulate growth through tool development (e.g. VoxEdit and Game Maker), competitions, creator funds, and liquidity pools, has had a direct effect on adoption and growth. In joining a vibrant market like The Sandbox, content creators can allocate more time to the platform thereby catalyzing better overall content, i.e. games and NFTs. This success also attracts more users and commercial partners; reflected in the mosaic of banners and diverse land owner names on the game map. That said, much of The Sandbox content is community generated and there are many different goals among users.
I believe it is possible in virtual worlds, such as The Sandbox, to create quality content, enjoy the gaming experience, and generate transferable value through income, NFTs, tokens, learning, skills, and reputation. The more the LAND price floor rises the more it floats all boats; albeit, admittedly, with some deleterious side effects on socioeconomic accessibility. However, perhaps best of all, as a blockchain game, effort is transferable to other virtual worlds and marketplaces, as well as the real world … how cool is that?
Very, very cool! I too was attracted by the no-code game maker which I just started dabbling in. And I'm excited to build my own experience, as I've always wanted to get into game development, despite having no coding skills.
I'm back. Ironically, above, I'd posted about wanting more time to spend on blockchain projects, then got pulled back into the day job 😅 Thanks for your patience. Where were we ...
Yes, the SB team have done a good job making this accessible. I've had a side thread going this week with friends from other blockchain projects who are interested in tying their work into the SB (e.g. Guild of Guardians). They've gotten going very quickly with the Game Maker. I think it's critical to lower the technical bar to increase engagement. It unlocks the potential and creativity of the community.
Among those in my immediate circle that I'm seeing becoming engaged are friend's kids. Many of them are voxel art natives and can seamlessly transition to platforms like this.
Anecdotally, I was visiting a friend and set his kid up with the Game Maker. The kid pulled some content together within the hour and was effortlessly moving around the UI. His father was incredulous about his use of the controls, to which the kid [somewhat patronizingly] stated: "Of course, Dad, this is how they all work." I stifled a laugh.
RE "build my own experience" you absolutely should. Heck, you could yourself a media centre for slogging interviews.
I assume though that the real value of the platform won't be realized until we can actually get players in and playing the games everyone's worked so hard to build.
Do you know if there is a tentative timeframe on when we can expect that?
Like many blockchain experiences, there's a lot of new ground to cover. Of course, the 2D version of SB goes back to 2012, so there's experience and precedent there.
The game is very much in content creating mode. There's a flood of videos being posted that show some epic creations; catalyzed by the Game Maker and Creator funds, plus regular giveaways.
Understandably, there have been no firm commitments for an official launch; however, there is anticipated to be a ~15-day test period (alpha version) imminent.
Also, all games on Sandbox by design will be Free-to-Play for players right? No SAND purchases needed?
The open world is somewhat of a bazaar model, with unique game experiences on individual plots of land. So, I anticipate there will be lots of variants on monetization and access. For instance, some plots may require a particular NFT in your wallet to access certain areas. Overall, within the SB metaverse, there will likely be loads of free content and SAND shouldn't be required to participate. As far as I tell, drawing upon analogies from the default world, you can walk around most places, but there will be some private property, markets where you can buy stuff, and some experiences will require membership, while others are pay to play or play to earn.
As a gamer and builder, I hope the in game economy presents more of an opportunity than barrier to access.
As a parent, I hope the requirement to connect a crypto wallet, in conjunction with the grey areas of blockchain, and crypto specifically, doesn't create issues. We know from non-blockchain games that experiences like loot boxes can create incentives and lead to adverse online behaviours, especially among children who may not grasp the ramifications. The connection with real world fiat via the connected wallet of course opens up the possibility of real world consequences from spending. So, I'm hoping we as a community and the SB team can help mitigate these risks and collectively build an accessible and open gaming experience.
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