Jared’s Journey: Meow Wolf develops arcade game

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Usually, when you play a video game, you control the main character, but on “Jared’s Journey,” you play as the world around the main character.

“You’re just the environment,” said Ryan Woodward, the technical director and programmer for Subliminal Gaming. “You get to change the world around him and be the multiverse.”
Ryan, and his partner Shandiin Woodward – the co-founder and art director for Subliminal Gaming – are the masterminds behind the short arcade game, now enchanting players at the new Meow Wolf Grapevine location in Texas. But the game was created in New Mexico.

“We’re a small studio,” Shandiin said. “We have about four people working full time with us. Three of us are here in Albuquerque.”

“We’re also working with the music team in Santa Fe, and some of them who were in Texas at the time,” she explained.

Ryan said he loves having a studio in Albuquerque because the game industry is not as big in the metro.

“So, you really get to kind of go against the typical grain, like the mainstream gaming things,” he said. “You can be a bit more creative.”

No one does creative quite like Meow Wolf, which is why “Jared’s Journey” is anything but ordinary.

“There are two trackballs and two buttons, and depending on where you are, they’ll affect different things in the environment,” Shandiin said before performing a demo for KOB 4 on a laptop.

“We’re mostly affecting the mountains, some of the light effects there,” Ryan said as he controlled the buttons on the keyboard, while Shandiin manned the mouse. “So, this is outside the arcade, so affecting like the rain and some of the lighting around him.”

“Two people could also play together side by side, or one person,  and you could play it multiple times and discover something new each time you play through,” Shandiin said.

Each game only takes about three minutes, and Shandiin and Ryan encourage players of all ages to try it out for themselves.

“Check out Meow Wolf Grapevine,” Ryan said. “We’re extremely happy to be part of it. It’s amazing what they’ve done, and we’re super happy to have created ‘Jared’s Journey.’”