Something I learned a while back is that ideas need room to grow and change. The development of Khora, the 35th Warframe, complete with her own Abilities, weapons, and play style, is a testament to this idea ever since I first envisioned her.
The deep secret behind Khora’s original inspiration was my mascot, “Stir-Fried,” a character I used as a vehicle to explore new styles or learn new techniques. Her weapon of choice was a metal spoon that she could change the shape and size of to handle whatever challenge stood in her way. Fusing everything from Iron Maiden torture devices, spiders, burlesque dancers to Vogue models, and a sprinkle of Stir-Fried’s Abilities, Khora was forged into a powerful female character and a stunning Warframe. In Khora’s final form, with her metallic whip, stylish stances, and ability to manipulate metal, players can still see a little of all those influences, and how far she has come since her original conception in 2015!
From the beginning, I wanted Khora to be a defensive support character. The thing that gives her a special place in the roster of Warframes is that her traps unlike Vauban’s or Nidus’s, have multiple instances; and, they are alive! Abilities such as Ensnare (where players bind a hapless target in living metal), Strangledome (which weaves a dome of living chain that ensnares and strangles any enemy within), and even Venari (which gives players the chance to summon a ferocious, gleaming Kavat, to an extent), will continue to grab more enemies as they approach, enabling Khora to control more than one chokepoint at a time.
If an enemy isn’t immediately killed by Strangledome, they then will attract enemy fire, taking some of the heat off you, your allies, or whatever needs defending. With the ability to command Venari, Khora’s devoted Kavat, you will also be able to command her to disarm specific enemies. So when that pesky Bombard rolls up, you can command Venari to “sic ’em!” and not have to worry about getting blown to bits.
With 34 Warframes already in the game, creating a design that was unique, but still felt at home with the rest of the cast, was a challenge. Our designers and animators were able to take my model and truly capture the personality I was hoping Khora to have. Her powers allow her to control space setting up a stage for her teammates, a defensive objective, or herself to strike a fierce pose. Enemies that get to close are quickly whipped back into place.
Game development is a roller-coaster ride, Waframe being quite the wild one. Ideas need to shift and take new forms in order to survive all the twists, turns, and double loops. The development of Khora has been a testament to that. As the artist that pitched the idea, I had to hand my baby over to the talented hands of the DE staff and trust that she will be in good hands. Khora definitely isn’t what I originally imagined her to be while I dreamed her up in my vacuum space; she is better! Let the team and I know how you like her!