[DAO:66b180c] Creativity & Growth - Sandstorm Creator platform

by 0x8958bdbeeeeb1a0e3eeec3306e7fc07ca3edd7d8 (SandStormco)

Should the following $120,000 grant in the Platform category be approved?


Sandstorm is a talent marketplace that puts creativity first. Creators are the people who make UGC platforms magical, and we are here to support them.

Our platform allows independent artists & studios to create profiles and build their portfolios, get hired by top level brands / agencies & gain more visibility across all types of virtual worlds.

With this project, our goal is to use the experience of all the campaigns we did so far to innovate & grow the creative input in Decentraland. Our last campaign generated more than 200 unique assets, scenes & wearables by dozens of creators.

By leading with creativity, we aim to onboard, educate & fund new creators while providing opportunities to already existing creators in the space.

Grant size

120,000 USD in DAI

Project duration

6 months

Beneficiary address


Email address



The Sandstorm platform has 4 main live features actively used by 15+ Virtual world platforms:

  • Contests
  • Proposals
  • Analytics
  • Server hosting service

Website: app.sandstorm.co

This project will be concentrated around using Contests & Proposals

Here is how it works:

  • 1 “project round” has 1 theme and lasts a month
  • On launch of the project round, 1 proposal with a budget of 18000$ (total budget of the project round) is initiated.
  • Creators & Studios will be able to apply for the project round with IDEAS & PROJECT CONCEPTS, as well as the amount they want to be compensated for the work. It is expected that creators provide in depth descriptions as to why they should be funded.
  • Each Creator / Studio will be able to do 1 request, and each funding request can be of a maximum of 2000$ to help them realize their idea.
  • Simultaneously, an open contest will be launched for people who want to participate without requesting funding OR creators who want to produce more than 1 project. That contest will last over the course of a month and only grant extra visibility.

Note: Sandstorm being a US company, following US regulations & laws, we are required to KYC users in order to issue monetary compensations.

This means that per round, a minimum of 9 projects will be produced. Each project having its own scope & being able to consist of 1 more extensive scene OR a full suite of wearables OR a full suite of emotes OR a full suite of assets, it is to be expected that more than 500 individual assets will be produced by over 45 unique designers / studios over the timeline of this campaign.

Each project will be individually marketed on release by the creators & Sandstorm.
Sandstorm will additionally leverage their network to put creators in touch with event hosts & production teams - this will help further content production down the line, outside of the scope of this initiative.

Within the proposal description, there will be included:

  • The overall THEME of the project round
  • Technical expectations (Decentraland guidelines)
  • Description of the above
  • An expected Delivery Deadline

Through our management infrastructure, we will handle oversight of projects & make sure all creators deliver on time.
Example of a Virtual World successfully leveraging Sandstorm as production & creative partner: https://twitter.com/OfficialTCGCoin

In the Budget rundown, we added example themes that could be tied to a Round of initiatives.

In addendum: If this goes through, we will provide our Streaming hosting infrastructure for free to the DCL Facilitation Squad for them to host their Townhalls, workshops & events in world.

We @ the Sandstorm team hope that you are as excited about this initiative as we are.
Time to get creative in Decentraland!

Roadmap and milestones

I. Preparation:

Content planing & preparation

II. Execution:

Month #1: Project round 1 launched, creators hired, productions initiated
Month #2: Project round 2 launched, creators hired, productions initiated
Month #3: Project round 3 launched, creators hired, productions initiated (All creators / Studios completed Round 1)
Month #4: Project round 4 launched, creators hired, productions initiated (All creators / Studios completed Round 2)
Month #5: Project round 5 launched, creators hired, productions initiated (All creators / Studios completed Round 3)
Month #6: Project round 6 launched, creators hired, productions initiated (All creators / Studios completed Round 4)

Note: Depending on production speed of designers, there might be an Add-on of 1-2 months until Rounds 4 & 5 are fully completed. In that case, the Month 1-4 designs will already be open-sourced.

III. Completion:

Collect all productions, reorganize them & open source to the Decentraland community

Vote on this proposal on the Decentraland DAO

View this proposal on Snapshot


This seems like a potentially awesome grant, but I think this may be the wrong category. But, Perhaps I am mistaken.

Platform #

Platform grantees create tools and applications that extend the power of the Decentraland platform or provide alternative ways to explore Decentraland’s ecosystem.


  • Build in the public, publishing open source code and documentation.

Performance metrics:

  • The number of contributions made to the main repository of code.
  • Publish the tool or application to the production environment and provide usage metrics.

I loved seeing all the growth and creativity from the last grant you received! It was fun to see what modelers created here.

I would like to support a second grant, but I’m not 100% this is the right time for this. My hesitations around a second grant are:

  1. This is a lot of money. Right now I feel like grants to increase our DAU have the most value. I wonder how many DAU were acquired from your last grant. I know a lot of people created for this community, but I’m not sure how many people actually came and stayed in the Decentraland community from it. I’m also not sure if many of the builds were permanently deployed in Decentraland, which would have been a good way to make sure that there was a lasting impact, long after the contest was over.

  2. I’m just reiterating here (because you already mentioned it above) that in order to participate, you need to dox yourself. I’m wondering if this reduces the amount of users who feel comfortable participating. I wish there was a way for users to participate without having to share their identity.

Can you provide any analytics from your last grant, like:
How many Decentraland users received funds from the contest?
How many Creators got hired after their submission to the contest?
How many wearables were published after being created for the contest?
How many emotes were published after being created for the contest?
How many builds are currently deployed in Decentraland?
Are the assets being created offered for sale on your marketplace? And if so, is that money returned to the DAO?

Like I said, I want to support your grant, but I want to make sure it’s the right idea for the Decentraland platform. I’ll wait to vote, I’d like to see how the community feels.


Hey @jar0d @Canessa :wave:

Thanks for your great questions & very glad to see you are enthousiastic about this project.
I’ll respond on behalf of Sandstorm in this Thread.

I didn’t have enough room in the Grant description, so it will be a longer message - apologies for that! :pray:

I’ll first address the category question for @jar0d & then address the different questions & comments @Canessa

Before going into each explanation, I want to point out that everything that is produced within this new project will be open sourced on a public github. I wrote it in the “Roadmap & Milestones” section under III. Completion. Apologies if it didn’t stand out more in the grant description!

cc. @Zino

I. Platform category

This grant request is in preparation since Early June & we took extra time - before the new Quarter reset - to determine in which category we would post this request. As a company, projects of this size go through multiple approval processes. We determined that the Platform category is the best fit for what we do as company & what we do within the scope of this project.

High level, this grant is: “Hire creators & studios to open source productions”.

On Sandstorm:

Sandstorm is producing Virtual World infrastructure on 4 key verticals: Promotion, Hiring, Streaming server infrastructure, Analytics. 3/4 of those features are already live - We are currently working on a in depth behavioral analytics platform, that will release in 2024.

All development is done in house & we won’t charge the DAO for it. Any projects we launch have the purpose of growing the Virtual worlds we work with through High impact activations.

We, as a talent marketplace & infrastructure provider, have vested interest in the success of each Metaverse - because we directly benefit from a growing ecosystem.

On this specific project:

First off, this project is difficult to categorize because it includes:

  • Sandstorm platform Services usage & maintenance (management platform to hire & work with individual creators) - provided at no cost to the DAO.
  • 3D production (By hired creators / Studios)
  • Marketing (Automated & Manual promotional posts through all Sandstorm social channels) - provided at no cost to the DAO
  • Account management services (Managing production process of creators, custodying funds & payout) - we are charging 10% (12k) for this. This covers managing the production of a minimum of 45 projects through our platform (more if creators request less for their project). This fee is very low & favorable to the DAO - We charge more in traditional business transactions.
  • Collection & open sourcing of productions in a fresh public repository.

At the end of the project, you will have a new repository with 6 sections, each following the theme of the “project rounds”. Tentative themes have been shared in the budget breakdown with descriptions.

The projects creators & studios work on can be:
(1) individual 3D asset packs
(2) scenes
(3) wearables
(4) emotes
(5) A mix between multiple elements of the above

We are sure that some scenes will also include code & custom interactions, which will then be open sourced.

After the creator requests a budget, we will get in touch with them & question the budget required + provide recommendations to have realistic scopes of work & high impact productions.


  • For wearables, Creators may request 150$ (publishing fee) + x$ production fee. We will advise them on the publishing of their work on the marketplace & ask them to keep sales prices at 0-5 MANA (with high emphasis on 0)
  • For Scenes, Creators may request 2000$ (max budget) - our role will be to provide advice in order to make high impact scenes that can be reused by content creators & development teams.

Similar Grants in Platform category:

We identified 2 similar grants in the platform category that had similar goals / Structures:

II. @Canessa Questions

a. Last grant and DAU generation

It is really difficult to evaluate DAU, especially for creators. DAU are tracking people who are logging into the platform & walking in there, NOT people who are using creative toolings / builders / etc.

Our last grant had the objective to produce Builder contests & we put in extra care that in each contest, creators would showcase the asset uploaded in world / in the builder tool.

Our contests had entries # ranging from 5 to 20 / contest, depending on complexity of the task & general appeal of the theme.


  • 233 produced entries & scenes
  • 23 Contest Launches
  • 29 individual users payed out (TOP 5 receive prizes)
  • All contests, entries & winners can be reviewed here: https://app.sandstorm.co/search?type=contests (missing contests 1-6 because we used a different system then)
  • Social metrics would take too much time to track. But in each contest, we did 3 tweets & each creators tweeted their submissions out individually. We plan to recycle that content as well in the next few months.
  • 15 results shows produced with 15-30 live viewers on twitch each time
  • All assets to be open sourced by September 2023

We have a base of 8-10 people who participate in almost EVERY contest we launch. Consering the often complex scope of those, it means that those people are actively building for Decentraland on a bi-weekly basis.

No, our marketplace doesn’t have an option to sell assets (turned off).

On your other questions: I am currently reassembling all asset entries & reviewing the contest files with participants to open source on our github. We decided to do it at the end of the project to win time & organise 1 full email campaign with followups.

My goal is to publish all assets in a custom World, which is in the works.

I also want to do 2 workshops: 1 on uploading on the marketplace, and 1 on how to get in touch with content creators. More on that in (b). We - Sandstorm - did not take / make any money from the initial grant, giving all away to creators & heavily adapted the initial scope of the first grant to have the best possible impact in DCL.

b. What we learned & What is different about the new project

To clarify: The new project is not a contest campaign, it is a different kind of project.

I really like the fact you point out @Canessa that real impact in DCL is important. The biggest problem with contests is that creators can publish anything they want. Some productions are extremely well polished, some others are rushed to “make it last minute within the deadline”.

Additionally, open sourcing requires getting the authorization from creators, who have a right on protecting their IP. At Sandstorm, we have the opinion that creators should not be forced to open source if they don’t want to.

This is why I talked about “hire to open source”.

In this project, creators / studios propose ideas within the budget scope & get funded to open source. Our role is to make sure all productions are high impact & useful to the community (see in I. different examples - creators requesting 150$ to publish wearables, etc.). We have all connections to facilitate more activations for builders - i.e. event producers, Communities, DJ, etc.

On KYC: I mentioned this in the Abstract of the grant description, there will be an “open call” that will be launched as contest alongside the Project round. Since that won’t issue monetary compensation, it will be able to be entered without KYC (on our contest system)

I hope this answered all questions! Happy to share more if needed.
I’m really excited about this & would love to see it passed!

Have a great day,

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I’d prefer to wait for September then, I want to see the output of the first grant before funding another one. There was many contests, but not much is out there for the community to reuse for the moment.


If it helps, I can accelerate that & work on it next week.

We have a lot of files already collected. I wanted to wait in order to time a marketing campaign with it & share assets publicly - but can update the repo ahead of time, no problem.

Hey @HPrivakos

Status update:

Example: Builder | Decentraland


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Hey all,

Sharing some progress on the open-sourcing progress of the first grant.
We’re using the Scene system to streamline open sourcing + are progressively updating the Github with builder files.

This can give you an idea of the amount of output we are producing within Decentraland w/ a lot of scenes that are usable by Land owners, Content creators & developpers

Here is an overview of all builds published through the Scene system so far by Creators from our community. Way more to come in the next few weeks :+1:

Github: SandstormDCL (Sandstorm) · GitHub

There’s more coming as builders need to adjust their creations to the SCENE system - that increases Triangles for Colliders - which makes scenes that are deployable from the SDK7 not work in that specific system.

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I’ve taken part in over a dozen sandstorm contests in Decentraland, and managed to win several prizes. I can say there previous contests are definitely worth the effort. Since around 90%, of the rewards goes back to the creators’ community associated with Decentraland. They’ve got an open source scenes, wearables, and emotes on GitHub, which provides great marketing content, especially on Twitter.
I support this new Idea, hiring creators for open sourced projects, and I’ve been in touch with them and shared some ideas to enhance the GitHub repository. It’s particularly useful for newcomers to Decentraland since there are hundreds of free assets available for them to use and now will increase significantly more.

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Creativity & Growth - Sandstorm Creator platform

This proposal is now in status: PASSED.

Voting Results:

  • Yes 75% 6,853,326 VP (99 votes)
  • No 7% 686,547 VP (13 votes)
  • Abstain 18% 1,701,630 VP (46 votes)

They’ve got 23 3d models, it’s not even scenes…

I would expect more for the amount they got.
Every single submissions should be there

The repository was not part of the initial grant agreement and done on top - as you know - because you were in the meeting where we discussed it.

We have rushed the timeline as stated above. It is actively being worked on. And yes, there are scenes in there.

No, not every single submission will be there. Because we didn’t enforce open sourcing due to it not being the initial objective of the grant & we can’t enforce creators to get their productions syphoned + sold on 3rd party website against their own will.

Additionally, some contests were about emote & Wearable production. These won’t be added in the repository either as there is risk of the works being stolen. We will educate the builders to publish themselves.

Hope you understand, our focus is on our creators and community + providing a fresh wave of inspiration for Decentraland.

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I don’t remember joining any meeting directly with you, but I might be wrong.

So you give money to people for creating content that the community cannot use? Sounds amazing, great use of money!

Reusing and modifying open source content is not stealing… Again, it doesn’t make sense to pay people to do stuff that nobody will use because nobody has access to it.

I don’t know where are your scenes, I can’t find them, only 3d models as I said

0 files for scene.json or game.ts

So, first, this entire discussion & Back and forth is about the first grant, which was about producing Builder competition. All things you are criticizing now will be solved / fixed in the next few weeks - I shared the timeline above.

Within the scope of the first grant, we did: Marketing (on our costs), contest hosting on our platform, education series (on our costs), different workshop sessions (on our costs), networking & collaborations (on our costs), collection & publication of contest entries (on our costs). The money was only used for prizepools. On top of that, we created a Sandstorm HQ build out (on our costs) with Last Slice where we hosted our Contest result streams with different guests each time. We also changed the initial approach multiple times, reduced the prizepools to be able to host more contests on a longer time period, etc. to increase the results of that first grant.

As you can see - the asset publication & open sourcing is only 1 small part of that first grant - and we agree that it’s very good that we did that / are doing it. The github / publishing is something I do from my personal time, and it’s a lot of back & forth with each individual creator, especially with older submissions that need to be reupdated / worked on / creators who want to improve their assets before open sourcing - hence the delay.

In regards to the new grant:

We created this grant specifically to avoid all problems we encountered with the first one, which was competitions. Competitions are a tough topic in regards to IP law, especially because not all users get compensated for their works (only winners) & you need the scope of contests to be as clear / easy as possible to have several entries - which means the quality of the delivery is ranging and unpredictable.

The current grant will lead to a more controlled process w/ higher quality build outs & more complex projects. The different opportunities will be directly marketed towards game developper studios & excellent 3D modellers, as well as the initial community we created thanks to the last grant.

It’s a different project & approach

You are wrong - it was a meeting with Yemel, yourself & me - in october or november 2022

The community can use them, they can get in touch with the creators we’ll facilitate the connection. There’s a difference between fully open sourcing and “giving community the option to use them”.

In fact, we are working on Sandstorm led initiatives where you will see people actively using them :slight_smile:
In the past, several other creators used the creations for events / content / etc.

Yes I agree with you - Though creators may have this fear of “stealing”, and it would be justified. The 3D community is very scared of providing open sourced files, because reselling is a big market. It’s a different culture & approach than the coding community, which means the approach to convince them is different.

And no, again, people can & will use them. They can use the open sourced ones or can contact me / my team to get the connections.

You’re right on this - My bad. I extracted the 3D models from the scenes and didn’t put them in yet.

Refer to this for scenes published on SDK 6 - now that they opened SDK 7, I’ll get the creators to update & publish on SDK 7

I think I provided a complete answer & clarification - hopefully it contents you.

I will keep working on the remaining things layed out above & we will focus on the success of the new grant + other creator led initiatives :fire:

Creativity & Growth - Sandstorm Creator platform

This proposal has been ENACTED by a DAO Committee Member (0xbef99f5f55cf7cdb3a70998c57061b7e1386a9b0)

Vesting Contract Addresses: 0xD29992CD9270fFC5B01396835B0a1f97B1F924c2

Dear Community,

The Grant Support Squad was created to support the grantees in achieving their goals and taking care of the DAO treasury.

After thoroughly reviewing this project, the Squad wants to communicate that we recommend creating a new vesting contract.

Based on the timeframe proposed by the grantee, we held a meeting with the team @oscom and reached an agreement that the vesting contract should follow a newly proposed timeline. Therefore, we recommend that the DAO Committee (@HPrivakos @Tobik @rizk) create a new vesting contract that aligns with the presented schedule and public roadmap.

The suggested start date for the new vesting contract, allocating the funds, is Sept 1st, 2023, with a duration of 8 months instead of 6, (same starting date, 8 month duration).

Thank you,
The Grant Support Squad

Creativity & Growth - Sandstorm Creator platform

This proposal has been ENACTED by a DAO Committee Member (0xfb1afa4dc069ffb47b19dbee196045d508fcd5a2)

Vesting Contract Addresses: 0xD29992CD9270fFC5B01396835B0a1f97B1F924c2,0x0ED1b0184dB55B9085dB5401696FF4d23367817d

The vesting contract for this grant was paused in accordance with the GSS recommendation, until the grantee published the official update with the precise information.

CC> @palewin

We had the monthly meeting. The project’s contract will remain paused and in the next month, we will review the status to define if it can be unpaused or extended.

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Dear Community,

The Grant Support Squad was created to support the grantees in achieving their goals and taking care of the DAO treasury.

After thoroughly reviewing this project, the Squad wants to communicate that we recommend revoking the current paused vesting contract of this project and creating a new one.

Based on the facts explained on this message we reached an agreement that the vesting contract should follow a new proposed timeline.

Therefore, we recommend that the DAO Committee (@HPrivakos @Tobik @rizk ) create a new vesting contract that aligns with the presented schedule.

The suggested start date for the new vesting contract, allocating the rest of the available funds, is May 1, 2024, with a duration of 3 months.

The grantee commits to the following schedule:

  • By the end of may (1st step of the contract to be released by june 1): present all the deliverables for Round #4 in the open source repository.
  • By the end of june (2nd step of the contract to be released by july 1): present all the deliverables for round #5 in the open source repository and complete payments from Round #4.
  • By the end of july (3rd step of the contract to be released by august 1): present all the deliverables for round #6 in the open source repository and complete payments from Round #5.

If any round is not completed, the contract will be paused and the funds will be released when the deliverables are presented.


cc: @Oscom

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