Dan, left, is retiring from the Canadian Armed forces this fall
After more than 37 years in the Canadian Armed Forces, Warrant Officer Daniel Sauvageau had a lot to think about as his military retirement approached.
“After serving for a long period of time, you feel somewhat disconnected from the civilian world. You need to step away from the military mindset.”
This past spring, Dan joined the Cold Furnace team as part of the military’s vocational rehabilitation program for medically releasing Canadian Armed Forces members. He spent the last six months of his service cycling through the studio’s different departments, starting out as a military advisor and ending up working with our programmers on some of the more technical aspects of Atrocity: Field of Hands, our first video game, currently in development.
As his official retirement leave begins this month, Dan is taking personal time to do some training in Unreal Engine 4 and other tools of the trade, with plans to continue on as a developer at Cold Furnace.
“There’s often a feeling that you no longer have a purpose, that you’ve been set aside,” says Dan, reflecting on retirement for many with military careers. “Voc Rehab is a great thing from that perspective. It really sheds light on veterans’ talents and helps them reintegrate into civilian life.”
Dan enlisted in 1981 at the age of 17. He’s worked in artillery, air defence and as an Assistant Instructor in Gunnery (AIG). But he’s had an interest in gaming and game design since the days of Pong and the VIC-20.
“It’s a big learning curve. But it’s challenging, and I’m really enjoying it. And Atrocity: Field of Hands is a great concept with a great script. I can’t wait to play the game we’re creating. It’s based on real places, real events that we, as a military, were involved in. It’s all about decisions, ethics. This is the real thing. This is how it happens.”
Dan is excited as he continues to lend his own military expertise as part of the Cold Furnace team, while building on new skills.
“Voc rehab really makes for an easier, more fluid transition back to civilian life,” he said. “It helps you reintegrate into how you work with people, how you interact outside of a traditional military setting, while helping you develop new skills and giving you time to deal with the reality of your impending end date.”
Plus, he added, being veteran operated, Cold Furnace provides a comfortable middle ground between the military and civilian worlds during this time.
This Quebec-native now lives in the Maritimes, where he keeps busy during his free time fishing, operating radio-controlled aircraft and exploring the world from the perspective of a Side-by-Side all-terrain vehicle.