The Order is not steampunk, Ready at Dawn co-founder Ru Weerasuriya told me during Gamescom.
"It's a word that we don't use – it's the 's' word," Weerasuriya said. "We don't use that word purely because I think there's a connotation of 'steampunk' that's already been built into a lot of things out there – movies, anime, all that. That is not exactly the one we try to endear to. I think our world is a lot darker, grittier, dirtier and more real."
If "steampunk" is the "s" word, then "fantasy" is the "f" word – Ready at Dawn isn't interested in creating an exaggerated, fantastical world full of things that could never exist. Weerasuriya wants The Order to challenge the validity of our real history, proposing an alternate timeline of events in Europe, specifically London, directly after the Industrial Revolution.
"What if everything you know today and the events that happened did happen, but they didn't happen for the reason that you believe?" he asked. "What could be different in the way that we view our world? It's full of mystery and it's fun to see where those mysteries lie."