People: A producer discusses sandbox mode and user-generated content

Earlier this year, the Meta Connect event looked at the future of virtual reality. This included an in-depth look at what happens in VR games. While new titles were showcased, the existing hit Population: One was also on display with a brand new Sandbox update on the way.

Whereas Population: one has already been a blockbuster battle royale for the VR space, Sandbox has been in the works for a year and it’s finally time for BigBox VR to bring it into Early Access. The free update is expected to release later this week. Prior to that, Shacknews had the opportunity to speak with producer Casey White about what People: A Fanbase can expect to see.

Shacknews: Population: One has been around for a few years, but now you’re about to release the new Sandbox mode. How does Sandbox mode stand out from the rest of what the current game has to offer?

Casey White, producer at BigBox VR: Sandbox is the ultimate game maker where you are only limited by your imagination. We’ve given the POP1 community creative superpowers where they can create games, set their own rules, explore over 1,000 community-created games, and check out playlists for quick matches.

POP1’s popular Battle Royale experience that players know and love will evolve alongside Sandbox.

Shacknews: You plan to develop Battle Royale at the same time as Sandbox. Are there two separate teams working on each and are there separate development roadmaps?

White: We are a close-knit team. We have developed the best Battle Royale game in virtual reality and we are now building on this base to give players creative tools and create new social experiences.

Since POP1 is a live service game, players will continue to see updates in both POP1 and Sandbox. For example, the Rocket Launcher recently became available in POP1 and players love it!

In Sandbox, we can’t wait to see what players will create with these new tools. For those who don’t want to build, there’s a ton to explore, vote on, and more!

A sandbox edit of Population: One
Source: BigBoxVR

Shacknews: What can you tell me about the three environment models that will be available at the start of Early Access for Sandbox?

White: We have three different terrains, each with its own lighting:

  • Buttresses pattern: This model is flatter, mostly grass and has the closest lighting and setting to our Battle Royale game.
  • snow pattern: This model has a snow aesthetic and a main mountain feature that players can build on.
  • moon pattern: This template takes place on the Moon, in space. It’s the perfect environment to try out the new low gravity settings!

Creators who have selected their game to “allow copies” will also have their own games as a starting point for other creators to use.

Shacknews: Give me examples of what players can potentially create using Sandbox? What have you seen players put in place in a short period of time, and what kinds of long-term projects have you witnessed from the community?

White: In terms of community-created content, players are clearly inspired by a lot of things. With over 1,000 new games already created, there is a wide range of content.

We’ve seen some creators create a game that has rocky terrain with scenic waterfalls in less than an hour. Other creators have spent days adding fine detail to their game. An example is the published game, “Lily Pad”, featuring a pond with frogs, fish, reeds and underwater life !

That’s one of the reasons we’ve curated playlists, so you can easily access the games our community loves and enjoys.

The moon model in Population: One's Sandbox mode
Source: BigBoxVR

Shacknews: Finally, what else are you looking to bring to Sandbox in the future?

White: We are excited about the launch of Sandbox as we can’t wait to see what the community comes up with! To expand the player experience, we are also looking to add more creative tools and the sharing capabilities of our creators.

White adds that Sandbox will begin in an early access period, but there is currently no indication of how long this will last. She adds that just as there is no clear “finish line” for a live service game like Population: One, there is no specific date when Sandbox will leave its early access state. .

Population: Sandbox One mode will arrive as a free update Wednesday, December 14. For more on what was revealed at Meta Connect earlier this year, be sure to check out our roundup.

Ozzie has been playing video games since he picked up his first NES controller when he was 5 years old. Since then, he has taken an interest in games, only stepping away briefly during his college years. But he was retired after spending years in quality assurance circles for THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping push the Guitar Hero series to its peak. Ozzie has become a huge fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can’t enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

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