Speaking to PlayStation journalists during a sneak preview of The Order: 1886, creative director and writer Ru Weerasuriya revealed that gameplay and story development began as early as 2009, with ideas incubating within Ready at Dawn since 2006.
"We incubated ideas for story for a long, long time," Weerasuriya said. "We weren't really working on a game, we were just trying to build something--a world that people could attach to. Now of course, to build something that a team attaches to, you have to limit it for awhile before you bring it out to everybody else."
It would take a few more years before ideas were ready to capitalize on. "Gameplay development and story integration happened later, in the 2009 to 2010 period," he continued. "When we were thinking about the next game, we were just finishing Ghost of Sparta. We were thinking about how we were going to roll into the next project. . . . we had built the team and the technology and everything we wanted to, to start our own project."
That project, what we know as The Order: 1886, marries alternate history with Arthurian lore. "We built this fiction based on history and legends, and this historical fiction was really where our minds were at," Weerasuriya said. "It's where the whole team basically gravitated towards, and decided, 'We're excited about this, this is what we're going to build.' [So] we created Neo-Victorian London."
Weerasuriya went on to describe a two-week research trip to London, complete with 5 a.m. mornings, in which members of the Ready at Dawn team gathered research about the city's districts, landmarks, and history. The result, an exciting narrative blend of mythical, historical, and fictional elements, provides the gravitas for third-person shooting and exploration in a post-Industrial Revolution London beset by both rebellions and otherworldly monsters.
For more on those things, read my preview of The Order: 1886 and find out why Ready at Dawn's blockbuster exclusive could be the reason to own a PS4. Then, check out tons of new screenshots in our gallery.