Time: 2012-2015
Client: Guerrilla Games

The Nora tribe is the gateway to the world of ‘Horizon – Zero Dawn’.
After Guerrilla Games had come up with Horizon’s visionary setting (in other words, the “what”), Karakter was to develop much of the “how” and “why” behind it’s human cultures. Over the course of three years, we helped Guerrilla to create the visual design of the Nora as well as the rationale behind it. Led by our intrinsic ideation process, the goal was to create a culture with a clear identity, unlike any other ever seen before.

Team Nora:
Tobias Mannewitz – Creative Direction
Christian Günther – Creative Writer
Henrik Bolle – Lead Artist
Floris Didden – Concept Artist
Viktor Jonsson – Concept Artist
Viktor Fetsch – Concept Artist
Ville Eriksson – Concept Artist
Dan Blomberg – Concept Artist
Jana Schirmer – Concept Artist
Sebastian Gromann – Concept Artist
Tom Hiebler – Matte Painter
Meredith Rowe – Graphic Designer
Marko Schöbel – Previz Artist
Philipp Scherer – Intern
Benjamin Schulte – Add. Concept Art

The Nora is a tribe of machine hunters. They dwell in naturally defensible hamlets. Watchtowers monitor the lands for dangerous roaming machines.Tobias Mannewitz, Creative Director Karakter
The Nora adorn themselves with hunting trophys – only that the most prestigious trophys are not organic teeth, claws or bones, but of robotic origin. Hence, the final call on the Nora design had to wait until the visual design for Horizon's machines was established.Henrik Bolle, Lead Artist Karakter
Organic materials like leather and furs play a role for the Nora, but they also appreciate the durability of robotic material, like plating and cables, which they weave into intricate knotwork.Tobias Mannewitz, Creative Director Karakter
This is 3D previz work of a shelter hut. The Nora would erect them as weather and robot refuges for hunters ranging the mountains far from the villages.Henrik Bolle, Lead Artist Karakter
Guerrilla Games and Karakter closely collaborated on the deveopment of the Nora history, mentality and identity. The Nora's simple, self-sufficient lifestyle, endurance, pride, meritocracy, but also obedience towards their leaders and their specific attitude towards robots and technology are all rooted in their unique history and circumstances. Thoughts on maturity rituals and ancestor worship were further developed by Guerrilla and materialized in the final game as the Proving, the All Mother, and more.
The iconography of the Nora is deeply rooted in the tribe's heritage. See if you can discover it's meaning!Tobias Mannewitz, Creative Director Karakter
A 139 page strong styleguide converted the creative development results into concise briefing material for the visual artists.