Analysis of the initial form of the blockchain Metaverse: Taking The Sandbox as an example

The Metaverse is the virtual world of the real world, and requires a lot of transformations in content production, economic systems, user experience, and physical world content. At present, platforms in the industry that are close to the Metaverse form include Sandbox, Decentraland, Cryptovoxels, etc. Among them, Sandbox currently has the most complete ecology. This article will analyze the project from the dimensions of user experience, content and content production, and economic system.

user experience

From the perspective of media media, games are undoubtedly the most suitable media for the Metaverse world. From the perspective of user experience, games are the most interactive and user-focused category in applications. With the emergence of 3A games in the future, the game effects will greatly enhance the sensory impact, allowing players to experience the game scene. As people continue to expand the game form, players will not only stop at fighting monsters, but also explore in-game functions such as socializing, earning, and learning. In the end, when popular games become a cultural phenomenon and spark discussion, their significance goes far beyond the game itself.

Analysis of the initial form of the blockchain Metaverse: Taking The Sandbox as an example

Sandbox is the only project with gameplay at this stage, Decentraland and Crypto Voxels are still on the basis of browsing. Browsing refers to the fact that the player can only move around in the virtual space and cannot do other interactions. In the recent Sandbox Alpha Season 2, players can be pleasantly surprised to find that different maps (games) correspond to different functions: some maps emphasize gameplay (Dracula), some highlight cultural output (Snoop Dogg), some The map focuses on popular science (Star Ferry). When the game starts to have complex functions, people will realize cloud dance, cloud shopping, cloud concert, cloud learning, and cloud marriage in the virtual space, not just to fight monsters and upgrade.

Analysis of the initial form of the blockchain Metaverse: Taking The Sandbox as an example

Content and Content Production

UGC is actually not a new word. Short video platforms such as Youtube, Tiktok, and Bilibili in Web2 all adopt the UGC model. The perpetual motion-type content creation makes the platform have strong vitality. For game UGC, from Warcraft 3 to start a small experiment, to Roblox to carry forward the concept; game UGC represents an advanced idea of ​​game creation. Compared with traditional games, which have experienced hardships from germination to birth, but have a very limited lifespan; game UGC enables the continuous development of games based on the underlying architecture, achieving sustainable ecological development.Although Roblox is an epoch-making product, its development is limited by the Web2 system, which will be detailed in the last chapter.

The support that Roblox provides to developers is that the platform provides creators with tools to help develop games, and serves as a traffic portal for back-streaming games. Referring to Roblox, Sandbox provides creators with two authoring tools. Among them, VoxEdit helps game developers create voxel assets and sell them on the market, while Game Creator helps players build game scenes, place voxel assets, and design dynamic effects of characters.

Analysis of the initial form of the blockchain Metaverse: Taking The Sandbox as an example

For UGC, the ease of creating tools and the support of the platform are crucial. Currently, Sandbox’s authoring tools are developed entirely in-house and no external tools have been introduced. This means that first, for creators who are not familiar with voxel creation, it takes time to learn, and the cycle from entry to mastery is long. Second, the existing voxel material library inventory is far from enough, and the official needs to attract more creators to create and introduce external materials. At present, the government has launched an incentive plan for excellent voxel works and subsidized some studios, and the support needs to be strengthened.

If the Metaverse platform is a ship, UGC is already there as the engine, and IP-led content as the fuel needs to be constantly filled in. Some people say that the form of the Metaverse is cyberpunk, but in fact the Metaverse spans ancient and modern, looking at the world, and it is both real and virtual, like a dream. The Metaverse can be established in the real world, or it can be divorced from reality; wherever the eye can reach or the imagination can reach it, it can be called the Metaverse. Taking Sandbox as an example, the IP can be the familiar Adidas, Warner Music and Snoop Dogg, or it can be the Dracula Castle, the Tang Dynasty border town, the underwater world, etc. in the creator’s mind. The entry of real-world IPs such as Adidas, Smurf, Snoop Dogg, and Atari has given new vitality to traditional IPs, and also made the Metaverse platform more out of the circle. At the same time, the UGC mode also encourages the creation of new IPs. For example, The Walking Dead and Deadmao5 will continue to launch games on the platform. As long as the UGC mode does not turn off, the content will be updated iteratively.

Analysis of the initial form of the blockchain Metaverse: Taking The Sandbox as an example

economic system

As mentioned above, the development of Roblox is limited. The reason can be attributed to the fact that Roblox’s currency, Roblux, only circulates in the game system, and it is quite difficult to convert it into legal currency. This has led to a sharp drop in creators’ earnings, well below the industry average. In addition to platforms, traffic, and creators, monetization and revenue sharing are the essence of UGC. For example, the short video platform currently adopts a model that is open to users for free to obtain traffic, and monetizes through advertisements and games. For the Web3 platform, even if FT&NFT can flexibly reconcile the interests of all parties, it is still necessary to prudently use and master the economic model. After all, the economic model is a double-edged sword. It can accelerate the development of ecology, and it can also make the ecology enter a death spiral. Sandbox involves many stakeholders: platforms, creators, B-end users, C-end players, land holders and token holders. Once the price of NFT or FT fluctuates violently, it will break the balance of all parties. It will affect the development of the whole ecology. Therefore, the project party needs to ensure the gradual ecological development in order to seek a longer-term future.

To sum up, Sandbox is the most stable ecological development in the current Metaverse platform. This combination of game + UGC + IP content + economic system is full of opportunities (for creators), but it also faces many challenges. For example, how does the platform attract creators to enter the ecosystem continuously? How to balance the interests of the platform and creators? In addition to land income, what other profit models does the platform have? These challenges still need to be seriously considered and solved by the project party.

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