The Sandbox Alpha Season 2, we tried the new evolution of the metaverse

The Sandbox Alpha Season 2, we tried the new evolution of the metaverse

The Sandbox Alpha Season 2

Cryptocurrencies, blockchain, metaversi, NFT, play-to-earn. These terms, until recently rather mysterious for the vast majority of players, have become, like it or not, more and more central. Not only in the field of technology or social media, as well as, of course, economic speculation, but also in everyday life.

Bitcoin and colleagues have made a comeback in the last week due to their role that are playing in the dramatic clash between Russia and Ukraine: the government of Volodymyr Zelens'kyj, in fact, is not only using BTC and Ethereum (the two main Crypto on the market) to quickly and directly collect a large number of donations from all over the world, but also offered Russian soldiers a Bitcoin reward in case of surrender.

They were even organizing an Airdrop to thank the supporters and they were selling NFTs again to raise funds to support war and humanitarian expenses.

This window on bigger topics of us only serves to make people understand how these technologies are increasingly intertwined with modern society, at all levels, and gaming is only a small part of the overall picture. So it is inevitable that these new trends will also forcefully arrive in the world of video games. Also because, as Valve and Steam founder Gabe Newell says, the technology is interesting and potentially revolutionary, but what is often wrong is the way it was used.

For this reason we have tried the Alpha Season 2 of The Sandbox, one of the video games that tries to bring together all the concepts with which we have opened this article in the most convincing way.

What is The Sandbox

A scene from The Sandbox It is not the first time that we have talked about The Sandbox, but what is it exactly? The answer is more complex than expected, because this game is all and nothing at the same time. As its name suggests, it is a sandpit like those found in playgrounds. It is a virtual space in which those who have access can do almost what they want.

Freedom, at least for the moment, is not total due to two main factors: a technical and an economic one. The first is related to the game engine, built with Unity, which guarantees some flexibility and rather powerful development tools, but it is not suitable for everything. In other words, it is difficult for now to create experiences that are more complex than a (simple) third-person action. The physics in the management of objects and in the interactions between characters and the environment, for example, make it virtually impossible to create a quality sports game not comparable to FIFA or NBA 2K, but also to simpler and more arcade experiences.

The economic limit is given by the fact that each of these experiences occupies a LAND, that is a virtual land whose cost has risen enormously over the years. So to create a Skyrim in The Sandbox not only would you have to push the physics engine to the limit to create the complex game system of the Bethesda RPG, but you would also have to buy virtual plots of land worth tens of thousands, if not millions of dollars for. having "physically" the space available to recreate such a vast map.

The crazy Rabbids in The Sandbox Having said that, The Sandbox wants to be a real metaverse, that is a place where you enter with your avatar and move around from one LAND to another you decide what to do, as each has a unique theme and development independent of everything else. For the moment you can visit an NFT museum, dance in a club or explore a fantasy labyrinth, but in the future there will be spaces dedicated to The Walking Dead, Ubisoft's Rabbids or Square Enix's Dungeon Siege, art workshops like Snoop's. Dog or deadmau5, but also virtual showcases such as spaces bought by Adidas or Hell's Kitchen.

Thanks to the free editors everyone can potentially contribute to the growth of The Sandbox. You can create gameplay experiences and place them in your LAND or dedicate yourself to the creation of compatible NFTs, or unique digital objects, that other people can use within their own worlds. And through this system the play-to-earn concept of the game is fed.

Alpha Season 2

What quality experiences will there be in The Sandbox? Mouse and keyboard in hand, the first hours inside the second Alpha of The Sandbox convinced us, considering the itinerant nature of the project. From a playful point of view we are still far from excellence, but the steps forward compared to the proposal a few months ago are significant. Not only are the experiences more beautiful to look at and rich in detail, but the controls are more responsive and the interactions between your avatar and the environment seem more precise.

From a design point of view, despite the game maintains the style that has distinguished it so far, there is an improvement with elements richer in detail, more complex architectures and forms of game design a little more elaborate. In addition to the quests to get tickets with which to win the Alpha Pass, there are also other collection quests, conceptually very simple, but which encourage you to fully explore the various levels.

For the moment, therefore, every experience of The Sandbox is a kind of third-person action-adventure in which you have to explore the levels to find special crystals or unlock certain areas. In the previous Alpha there were also vertically developed levels, in which to test your jumping skills, and even some role-playing experiences with a sketchy combat and equipment system. These elements return in this second alpha slightly improved in the response of the commands and in the precision, even if not yet satisfactory, especially in the case of the jumps, a little too "slippery" and unreliable due to a camera that is not always dancing. In this sense the introduction of the gamepad could help a lot, as it is a perfect control system for the third person.

One of the daily missions of The Sandbox During the Game Jam the developer also tried to ask that sports games were made and we will probably see the results of this competition during this second trial period.

Over the next few days, moreover, new spaces will be unlocked, each with its own missions and peculiarities to explore. There will be experiences created during the recent Game Jams, but also Snoop Dogg's Foreplay or Dracula's Castle. The presence of many different singers and artists guarantees an extra gear on the sound side of the game, with different appropriate music to dance on. The paintings of the artists, on the other hand, are inserted a little by force into the context and could have been proposed in a different way, especially within fantasy settings.

However the richness and variety of the contents of this second Alphas seem much larger and we hope that progressively the play experiences proposed will become more and more complex and refined.

Do not underestimate the fact that this Alpha is also able to run on Mac, the first step towards the be a cross-platform experience, one of the fundamental requirements for creating a real metaverse like the one told by novels and films.

Can I really make money by playing?

The DeFi system of The Sandbox Uno of the most interesting concepts of The Sandbox, but also one of the most controversial and with implications to be explored, is the play-to-earn side of the game. At the basis of the experience, in fact, there is a well-defined economic model that is based on a coin, the SAND, which is used to carry out all transactions, from buying a LAND to buying special equipment to show off in the game. .

Unlike the many other virtual coins in existence (think of FIFA Points or Fortnite V-Bucks) SANDs can be bought not only in the game, but also in dozens of different exchanges such as Binance, or Coinbase. This makes their price very volatile and subject to market fluctuations. Think that now a SAND is worth about $ 3, but within a few months it went from peaks of over $ 8 to go down to $ 2.5. You will understand, therefore, that a sword that costs 20 SAND in a short time can go from costing $ 60 (in itself a very high value for a single game item) to around $ 170. To the delight of those who own that object.

This factor has obviously prompted many speculators to throw themselves into the game with the simple aim of making (a lot) money, putting the playful side in the background. When the system matures, however, it will potentially be possible to sell the treasures found in the game for real money, as well as create new accessories for sale on OpenSea, the largest NFT market in the world. This is because the objects found are NFTs that everyone can then freely sell to get other SANDs or normal euros.


The Sandbox museum in which NFTs are exhibited As we have said, we are still in its infancy and the balance between the playful and the economic part is still to be established. To put everything in perspective, however, we are faced with a project that does not have a cover price and not only has to finance itself like the classic free-to-play, but also offers users the opportunity to earn through creation and sale. of objects, but also with forms of decentralized economy such as the staking of SANDs (i.e. the interests earned just by leaving your tokens available to the team to validate transactions or participate in governance).

Furthermore , to encourage participation in these initial phases and have testers, the development team has decided to give all those participating in this Alpha Season the opportunity to earn up to 1000 SANDs. To do this, you must have an Alpha Pass, that is a limited edition NFT (there are only 10 thousand passes, compared to 5 thousand of the first Alpha).

Alpha Passes can be bought, but they can also be won through various initiatives , such as a lottery to be held on March 31st, social contests and in-game initiatives. The system with which this process is managed is much more varied than in the past and pushes players to explore all the experiences that will progressively be published, but also to use all the DeFi tools present in the game. That is to spend real money to increase your chances of winning.As we have already said, the moral and economic aspect behind this initiative and its legal implications (we are talking about real money and competitions) are all to be defined, as it is to be define the kind of experience. What we see is that the Sandbox team in recent months has not only carried out the economic part (the transition from Ethereum to Polygon should reduce the fixed costs necessary to carry out the various transactions), but also the playful one.

The Sandbox's Alpha Season 2 promises to show a significant step forward compared to the first test at the end of 2021. The game has matured both graphically and playfully, thanks to more precise controls and bigger, better experiences and colored. However, there is still a long way to go, both to have a real video game in your hands and not just an experience, and to create a healthier environment, less focused on speculation and more on fun. The Sandbox is confirmed, however, one of the most credible pioneers of this new way of making video games, a way that mixes play, economy and various cultural contaminations. Alpha Season 2 is open to everyone at no cost (other than opening a cryptocurrency wallet), although only Alpha Pass holders can try to earn something from this experience.


The game has improved in recent months Many new collaborations It is the dawn of a potentially revolutionary project DOUBTS The play-to-earn model is the subject of speculation The price of SANDs is volatile The gameplay is still weak You have noticed errors?

Powered by Blogger.