The Sandbox Gameplay Demystified — How You Can Earn, Play, and Create in This Exciting New Metaverse

9 min readFeb 8, 2022


Written by Robin Prock

You. One sword. 10 ingredients. Massive killer bees. This is how the “Green Inferno” — an Alpha Experience from The Sandbox — welcomes you.

Everyone who held an Alpha Pass was allowed to immerse themselves in 18 breathtaking Alpha Experiences from November 29 to December 20.

Playing The Sandbox for the first time.

Enjoying the Open Metaverse.

Because so far the game is not live.

So how does it feel to play The Sandbox? What is The Sandbox gameplay? How can you earn money there? And — like the “architect” in the Matrix — even create your own worlds?

You’ll find out in this post:

“A game without a goal” — What is a sandbox game?

Remember when you were a kid on the playground?

Maybe you often sat in the sandbox — your pants full of sand, a shovel in your hand, and in front of you a tower, a castle, or a sand cake.

You were allowed to be a child and live out your creativity.

Sandbox games are supposed to give you something similar:

They are open-world games that you can roam and explore. There you’ll be able to exercise your creativity by completing different quests, leveling up your avatar, or even changing the world.

Features of these sandbox games include:

  • An open-world: the map is not limited; you can explore it completely.
  • Non-linear story: You don’t follow the main campaign (or not only), but choose your quests, tasks, and missions, which often build on each other like a Jenga tower.
  • Focus on creativity: You can live out your whims — for example, in GTA: Either you follow the missions or take a short breather by chasing through the city. Pursued by sirens and blue lights.
  • You build, design, and create by (often) reshaping the world to your liking…

…so also in The Sandbox.

Here you have two possibilities to enjoy this open and free world:

The Sandbox Gameplay: How does it feel to play The Sandbox?

Part of the Sandbox Map

238 million times.

That’s how often Minecraft has been sold. Minecraft is a massive “Lego block world,” where you fight monsters, explore alien worlds, or build them yourself — the Titanic, Middle Earth, or King’s Landing are already impressively immortalized in blocks.


Worlds like Minecraft and Roblox are not yours. You just borrow your items. One snap of the game studios’ fingers — like Thanos in Infinity War — and you could lose everything.

The Sandbox wants to change that.

Here you also create and explore. However, everything is yours — your items, your games, your land are secured as NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain. If the servers of The Sandbox fail, your NFTs remain. Maybe forever.

But what can you do in The Sandbox? That depends: Are you a creator or a gamer?

The Sandbox gameplay for Creators

  • Build: Create your own worlds, scenes, and stories with the Game Maker (more on that below). You decide who can win the game, how to play, what to play. Only your imagination sets the limits.
  • Create: Forge and design your own ASSETs, with which you can either equip your games or sell them on the Marketplace. These ASSETs range from a comfortable sofa to a fire-breathing dragon.
  • Socialize: Hang out with your friends in your LAND or build a larger game with others that spans many LANDs (=ESTATE) — perhaps a carnival, an ancient city, Atlantis… As a Creator, you have unimaginable opportunities to live out your creativity with others…

…you are “God” in The Sandbox. While you must adhere to the game mechanics, you determine how gamers experience The Sandbox:

The Sandbox gameplay for gamers

  • Explore: The Sandbox consists of 166,464 LANDs. 166,464 ways to explore different worlds. Be it the cursed swamp, the undead land of “The Walking Dead” or a stomach-churning roller coaster ride with “RollerCoaster Tycoon”…
  • Fight: In Adventure Mode you fight your way through a world — either as a classy swordsman or like in a first-person shooter (not yet included in the alpha).
  • Interact: In the Alpha Hub — the “meeting place” of the Alpha Pass — you could talk to other players, interact, or show off your moves on the dance floor.
  • Experience: Immerse yourself in exciting storylines that creators thread through their games…

…but how does it really feel to play The Sandbox? How can you explore the world with your avatar?

Find out now, when we descend into the dangerous jungle of the “Green Inferno:”

How do you play the game? — enter the “Green Inferno” Quest

“Can you get through this untamed wilderness alive?”

This is how the description in the Alpha Hub greets you before you go through the blue portal and suddenly find yourself standing in a cave.

In the quest the “Green Inferno.”

Screenshot from Sandbox YouTube

The Green Inferno was one of the Alpha Experiences that you could play through — as mentioned in the introduction — with an Alpha Pass.

So, how does it begin?

You are standing in a cave. Roots wind around the walls like thick, brown spider webs. You hold your sword tightly in your hand — you know: you’re about to have to fight.

Suddenly someone speaks to you. A professor greets you through the roots. Surprised to see you, he asks you to climb up the vines. At the top, he wants to talk to you.

What does he say?

Actually, you shouldn’t be here. You’re not a scientist, only block figures with lab coats are allowed to enter the “Green Inferno”…however…now that you’re here…you might as well help the scientist out. How Typical.

Find the 10 ingredients for his experiment. Then he will open the portal and you will get back to the Alpha Hub safely. And one more thing…

On the platform — conveniently and without being a scientist — is a Metaverse Guide that gives you the real Alpha Quest: Reach the points “Ancient Plaza”, “Old Ruins”, “Stilt House” and “The Hive”… then you have completed your Alpha Quest and you get a reward.

What kind of reward? I’ll tell you under the next heading.

But now go: Find the ingredients and visit the places!

You start running. But enemies are lurking all over the place— wild bears, stinging bees, ravenous wolves — which you can fight with your sword.

They are the first obstacles that separate you from the 10 ingredients… in addition, an acid swamp nibbles at your life bar, you have to jump over steep platforms to get to your targets and you even have to climb a mountain until you finally reach the last ingredient.


Now you have them all. You go back to the professor. However…

Suddenly, the professor is catapulted up a tree. So you chase after him, over the platform onto the tree, until you save the professor — and he falls down like a coconut.

Now you have completed the “Green Inferno” and the professor opens the portal for you. But not so fast!

If you want to complete the quest completely, find a golden and a silver key; and a hidden room: as a reward you will receive three rare NFTs — a sword, a helmet, and shoes.

Now you’re done.

That was the “Green Inferno” and now you know The Sandbox Gameplay:

You can run, jump, climb, collect, fight and interact.

Everything is still very simple and rudimentary. However, it was only the alpha. Later, you’ll be able to explore underwater worlds by swimming; or you jump through the air with low gravity as if you were on the moon.

But now back to my promise. Do you remember?

I’ll tell you what kind of reward you’ll get in The Sandbox:

Play-To-Earn: How you can make money in the Sandbox

1000 $SAND tokens and 3 unique NFTs — the Alpha Gate, the Alpha Dragon, and the Alpha Sword…

…you will get them little by little when you have completed all 5 levels of the Alpha Pass. They are “real” NFTs and “real” tokens that you can exchange for the cryptocurrency of your choice on an exchange.

For example — wait, I’m looking — an Alpha Dragon on OpenSea costs 0.096 ETH — $244.35 as I write this (Jan. 29).

Screenshot from Sandbox Medium Post

That’s why The Sandbox is an excellent representative of Play-to-Earn. What is Play-to-Earn?

Play-to-Earn is a concept where you earn cryptocurrencies and NFTs while playing. Just like NFTs and $SAND in The Sandbox.

For example, NFTs are items — a sword, a helmet, an armor — that are stored on the blockchain and are represented by a token. This token is ONLY in your wallet, so you can either use the items in-game or sell them.

$SAND, on the other hand, is the currency in The Sandbox. You can use it to buy ASSETs on the marketplace, pay admission for later experiences — maybe a concert, maybe a battle royal — or rent LAND.

However, how can you earn $SAND in The Sandbox?

  • Gamer: You slay legendary monsters, complete a quest, or open a mysterious chest — it all depends on the world you play in. Of course, you can also win prizes in competitions or get a tip in $SAND as a live streamer.
  • Creator: You create ASSETs and sell them on the Marketplace or you design incredible Experiences — a magical cave, an enchanted castle, a zombie-like swamp — and take admission…

…there are even more options like staking, renting out… But the most important thing in The Sandbox is not earning money — it’s having fun. And that’s what you do as a creator, turning the barren blocky desert into a vibrant metropolis of games, fun, and action:

Creating in The Sandbox: The VoxEditor and the Game Maker

There’s something I didn’t tell you above.

There’s more to sandbox games than a free world, a non-linear story, and tanker loads of creativity — you can also create things that never have been planned.

This also happened to The Sandbox.

A creator has created a lasso. This wasn’t meant to happen, as The Sandbox’s Director of Marketing Marcus Bläsche revealed on the “Overpriced Jpegs” podcast.

How did the Creator manage to do that? With the Game Maker; the first tool to create games in The Sandbox:

  • Game Maker: is a free software that you can download to start designing games right away. You don’t need to be an experienced game designer. You don’t need to code. If you want to get started right now, here’s a tutorial from The Sandbox: The Game Maker Academy

…but it’s not that simple. Firstly, you need LAND to publish your game on; secondly, although it is beginner-friendly to create experiences, you are limited in the functions. Coding will follow later so that more complex gameplay will be possible.

Caption: Screenshot from The Sandbox

Now you have your game. Yet it’s still empty like a looted treasure chest — you still need ASSETs to bring your game to life. How do you create them?

With the…

  • VoxEdit: Skeleton Warriors, Chestguard of the Great Oracle, Gym Woman Head — these are all ASSETs you can equip your game or avatar with. Be it with NPCs, equipment, artwork, or wearables — all stored as NFTs. How do you create these ASSETs? Via the VoxEdit — a voxel editing tool. The Sandbox shows you in their VoxEdit tutorial how to use ist…

…that was The Sandbox gameplay — both for creators and for gamers. Let’s jump to the conclusion and then we release you into The Sandbox. You can only create at the moment, but soon Alpha Season 2 will start!

Conclusion: What kind of gameplay does The Sandbox allow?

The Sandbox is an open world that you can freely explore. The variations of worlds are almost endless — from the world of The Walking Dead to the Smurfs.

As a gamer, you’ll move through the world in jump, run and fight mode. You can collect items and interact with NPCs or other players. So far, The Sandbox gameplay — especially fighting — is still very simple; however, only the alpha version has been released at the moment.

As a gamer, you can also earn $SAND and NFTs, so you can even make money with The Sandbox.

As a Creator, on the other hand, you can create entire worlds — all without coding. Only your imagination limits how you design a game and with which ASSETs you decorate it.

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