How I build a SandBox game with MagicaVoxel

Entero Positivo
5 min readOct 29, 2020

The Sandbox is a community-driven platform where creators can monetize voxel ASSETS and gaming experiences on the blockchain https://www.sandbox.game/en/

MagicaVoxel is a free lightweight voxel art editor and interactive path tracing renderer
https://ephtracy.github.io/

The Sandbox Game Jam

The Sandbox announced a first game Jam where users could send their game creations
https://medium.com/sandbox-game/announcing-the-sandbox-game-jam-a21837d34e16

… and I won the 3rd place

I submitted my game and won the 3rd place.
The following video shows a game play of my game

The Making Of

I’m going to show you how I designed my game using MagicaVoxel and the game logic with Sandbox Game Maker

Multilevel

The main idea was to to develop a game of four levels or layers and each level connected by inner galleries.

  • 1st level: Is the top level where user starts it’s game consists on a layer with snow, a lake and the Ice Temple
  • 2nd level: The Ice Room and some parkour challenge to pass
  • 3rd level: The Stone Room
  • 4th level: The Hell. Is the lowest level

Adapting MagicaVoxel to Sandbox LAND format

First of all we need to create a scene of the same size of a Sandbox LAND that is 96x96x128 voxels.

And setup a palette where each color corresponds to a Sandbox block.

So I could design what I want using MagicaVoxel and later convert my vox project into a Sandbox experience.

Ice Temple and the landscape

The game is based on an ice temple located on top of a hill, so the first phase was to design the following voxel Ice Temple.

And put over a hill that player must reach by climbing some long stairs after crossing a big lake.

The landscape and the lake with and without water
The result once I converted my voxel project into Sandbox experience

Inner Galleries

Every part of my game is connected by inner galleries so I designed some standard parts to allow make every kind of gallery i need.

Now I can create a network of underground galleries very easily

Sample of a underground gallery
How it looks in MagicaVoxel and how it looks in the Sandbox game

Duplicating all these parts and changing their colors to fit the inner ice level of galleries and the transition block from stone to ice.

Stone level

The are some parkour levels that player must pass to reach the next objective. They are designed as a block to fit the doors of previous galleries and be able to make different scenarios very easy.

With and without lava

This is the result of the stone level completed with all of each parts connected.

And once it was converted to Sandbox land format, it looks very good.

The Ice level

The steps to make the ice level are similar , and its placed on top of Stone level

The Hell

The hell is the last level i designed before players could reach the final stairs and get the victory.

From MagicaVoxel to Sandbox

After many hours of researching on how Sandbox works and its experience file format, I ended developing a personal application capable of converting any MagicaVoxel design into the Sandbox format

So my whole process to end my game was like this.

  • Design in MagicaVoxel
  • Convert it into Sandbox experience
  • Place assets and game behaviors with Sandbox Game Maker
  • Test the game
  • Return to MagicaVoxel to retouch or finish parts
  • Inject changes into existing Sandbox experience
  • Change/add assets and behaviors with SandBox game Maker
  • Test the game
  • Loop through these steps until time of sending our works to Sandbox Game jam team expired :)

Do you want to make a game design using this method ?

https://enteropositivo.medium.com/magicavoxel-to-sandbox-instructions-503cc48ef146

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