Whether it’s SnowRunner, Kerbal Space Program or Human Fall Flat, there are many different ways to make a physics-based game. The sandbox has to be the most chill—just play around with a world to design, build or destroy things however you like. The recent Teardown is a great example of how satisfying it can be to, well, tear down voxel structures with abandon. Now there’s a new, promising project in the same vein you should keep your eyes on if you’re discovering this type of game for yourself.
For about a year now, programmer John Lin has been quietly working away on his own, untitled voxel sandbox. Recently, Lin’s work got some more attention on Reddit thanks to a feature by youtuber BlueDrake42, who uses Lin’s own video material since there is no way to download and try the sandbox for yourself yet. What you get to see is a stunning forest in which you can count every individual blade of grass and leaf, softly moving in the wind, while raytraced… rays of sunshine peak through the canopy. The world isn’t just there to be looked at—you can break off any piece, bend it, form it into something else or dig around at your leisure. Together with the simulated water Lin has been working on, his sandbox could serve both as a cool showcase for what’s possible with voxels, and could simply be fun to explore. You know, the same way Minecraft isn’t just about building things.
Lin has announced that he’s planning to make his sandbox into a game, and I hope it will be something that brings out people’s creativity in a relaxing way, like Cloud Gardens or the aforementioned Minecraft. If you want to follow John Lin’s progress, you can do so on his Twitter or YouTube channel.