It takes a certain amount of grit, fearlessness, and a serious sense of adventure to pick up and move to the Arctic. But that’s exactly what Cold Furnace Chief Creative Officer & President Lori Shepherd did.
“Life in the Eastern Arctic is amazing, beautiful, awe inspiring. The sense of community there is so strong, so central to the social fabric.”
Some of these features of Northern life are related to the fact that it’s so damn cold, where average temperatures are too low for trees to grow. But she developed a tremendous respect for Inuit culture that still informs her outlook on life. She even learned some Inuktitut.
“People are really grounded and connected. Everything is a team effort – nobody ever walks alone. Inuit culture holds a huge place in my heart till this day.”
These days Lori is still focused on team building as she follows another of her life’s passions: creating her own digital entertainment studio. As Cold Furnace CCO, she combines an innate creativity with extensive experience in IT & Game Security and a firm understanding of how to get the most out of a diverse team of people combining their talents.
Lori joined the game industry in 2007, and has acted as a subject matter advisor to the international security community, assisting international law enforcement and security organizations to better understand virtual world culture and crime in online gaming. This included contributing to the INTERPOL Working Party on Information Technology Crime. In games, Lori has specialized in anti-cheating, anti-piracy and secure distribution. Prior to that, she worked with the Canadian Government in security design and architecture. Lori has presented extensively to groups as varied as police agencies, government, military and defense, legal professionals, technology experts and private investigators.
Lori has a particular interest in hardcore games. Though she enjoys many of the great games available today, she has long felt that something is missing. So like any good entrepreneur, when she realized her particular brand of hardcore wasn’t really out there, she decided to make her own ideas a reality.
“I feel like the emphasis is often placed on shallow goals – like head shot counts or weapons skins. I want my games to give a more realistic experience. Something more in touch with both reality and humanity.”
So the dream behind Cold Furnace Studios was born, and Lori is stoked watching it develop into a solid reality. The company is currently offering a military advisory service and expects to launch the first part of its Atrocity game franchise in 2019.