I often speak with potential clients who want to create activations in The Sandbox and the one question I get asked often is, “what do we create?” Almost always, I then ask what is the company’s story and mission?

In asking for the company’s story and mission, I’m looking for what emotions we could create in the users through the activation. And by creating the emotions, we can create trust between the brand and the consumer.

After all, as Keith Weed would say,

“A brand without trust is just a product. And a product can be replaced.”

The Sandbox is one of the upcoming metaverses, and the one that I believe has the greatest potential for brand building. That’s because it’s a game-centered platform.

Quoting Les Binet, the godfather of effective advertising,

“When you’re building brands, you need emotion. And if you want emotion, you need to use video if you can.”

If those statements are true, then how much more powerful will a game experience be, which is an immersive and interactive video.

In thinking through how different brands can best tell their story in a creative way, I’ve compiled the following. They are ideas for game experiences in The Sandbox Metaverse and the industries they would best match with. It’s not an exhaustive list but one that will grow over time.

1. For Every Industry, Music Events & Influencers

Create: Social Hubs

Every brand will need to have this and will be the first experience they’ll build. In the web 1.0 sense, this is the company’s website. In the web 2.0 sense, this is the social media pages (Facebook, Instagram, TikTok).

The social hub is going to give the player the first impression about the brand or company. Upon first look, they will ask the web 3.0 equivalent of “does this website look up to date or does it look like it was created using Geocities”?

While the social hub isn’t engaging by itself, it can be gamified by adding a collection aspect. For example, a game can be created where the player has to find all the gold coins (or some other item). Some of the items can be hidden behind secret entrances or puzzles. Players who find all the coins can get a reward, possibly a NFT from that business or brand.

For influencers, this is a very interesting option because it’s their virtual residence. Fans already think it’s a big deal when they can play a game of Fortnite with their favorite YouTuber. How much more if fans can get access to the ONE hangout where their favorite online celebrity resides virtually.

Sandbox’s Main Social Hub

2. For Intellectual Properties or Brands With A Main Character

Create: Zelda-style Puzzle Adventure Game

This type of gamified experience is one where players solve puzzles and not fighting any monsters. Another question I hear a lot from brands is, “can the avatar not carry a sword?”. A lot of brands are family friendly and want to stay away from any illusion of violence. While there is fighting in Zelda games, they are mainly known for really hard puzzles.

Great video talking about the puzzle game mechanics in Zelda

This type of gamified experience has a lot of levels, and new ones can be added with an update. Level-based gamified experiences tend to retain players better than non-level based ones. More levels mean players will come back which means more engagements with the brand. Just look at the highest level you’ve gotten if you have ever played Candy Crush or know of someone who has.

This gamified experience utilizes LAND very well. In the screenshot below, you can see how our team laid out the levels.

Laying down levels for our Beast Quest game jam submission

This game experience works great for intellectual properties like Game of Thrones, Harry Potter, Walking Dead, Tomb Raider, etc. The gamified experience below was actually created by us for a past game jam utilizing the Beast Quest IP. We told the story of the main character, Tom as he goes on a quest to obtain his sword.

Trailer for Beast Quest game jam submission

3. For Brands That Sell A Physical Product

Create: Collect & Craft Game

This game is one where the player has to go on different mini-quests to collect items that is used to craft a final product. That final product should be used to solve a problem, like escaping from zombies or obtaining a reward.

This gamified experience will work for any brand that sells a physical product. It’s is a very good way of educating players how a particular product is created in a fun way.

Let’s use Nike as an example of what they could create. (Disclaimer: we are not working with Nike but if you are, we can build this!) The final item that’s created is a legendary shoe, the Air Jordan 1.

Air Jordan 1- Image by Heritage Auctions

In order to craft the shoe, players have to go collect all the in-game items that go into making it. Maybe they have to find the insoles in a secret location at a particular factory. Maybe they have to take on a quest by a NPC in order to get the design. Maybe players have to go to the CEO’s house (also in the Sandbox but on a different LAND) in order to get the swoosh logo. Then finally, maybe they have to talk to an in-game version of Michael Jordan in order to get his endorsement, because that is also what went into making the shoe. What a cool, fun way to tell an origin story!

Now, once the final in-game product is created, the player is rewarded with a NFT that they can take to the store and get a discount on sneakers. That discount reward is only available for the player that completed the game. Now we just tied the digital with the physical.

Below are two Sandbox games that utilize this collect and craft mechanic.

Playthrough of Professor Stitch

Play-through of The Breakdown

4. For Brands That Has To Educate Users Of Its Products or Services

Create: 1st Person Trivia Maze

This gamified experience is essentially a trivia game but in a 3D maze setting. It combines interesting facts with beautiful set design. It works very well if the questions are themed around a specific topic.

I first thought of this when speaking with a client that was an educational company. They wanted a way to bring their content into a game. How could they do it?

My initial thought was to create some kind of trivia game. After some research, I found that Microsoft created a game called Mind Maze way back in the day (1993 to be exact). It was for their Encarta Encyclopedia. And actually, people still play it and do walkthroughs of it on YouTube!

Microsoft Encarta Mind Maze

Something like this can be re-imagined in The Sandbox easily. The dialogue system already works very well in the Sandbox. Combine that with being able to create really beautiful set design and you get a 2022 version of Mind Maze.

This also works well for a company that needs to educate its customers a lot before a purchase is made. Let’s take a financial services company for example. Actually, let’s use a crypto-lending company because it requires educating its user base even more. The would-be game could be created around facts about how money and crypto works, how collateral lending works, how much they would save compared to getting a traditional loan, etc.

We could do so much with the game’s world design! If we wanted to point players to how they are slaves to the fiat system, we could start players in a dungeon. Players would have to answer questions correctly about how money works in order to progress. Once they get to the crypto related questions, maybe the setting is now a palace because being your own bank allows people to have freedom.

I hope these give you some ideas if you’re considering building an gamified experience for your business or brand.

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