The Making of Fire Emblem: 25 Years of Development History contains some fun trivia regarding the series. You can find all the information I translated thus far in one place here.
This is a brief post about a Fire Emblem if (Fates) design document from December 2012 that was used as a framework for the entire game then on. I provide the translated image below, but the original/raw scan can be found here. The transcript is at the end of the post. See below for some commentary.
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Just some things of note here:
- Hoshido/Nohr (Byakuya[White Night] Anya [Dark Night]) were the Kingdoms of Light and Dark respectively. (Hikari and Yami).
- Three paths were emphasized from the beginning, rather than the third coming in later.
- They got to work on this game soon after Awakening’s Japan release (April 2012). Most of the framework remained, meaning that Fates got the groundwork laid out just seven months later.
- The word “Prince (王子)” is specified, so perhaps gender was not selectable/customizable at first. However it can be read as “royal child” too, I suppose. But the word often used for female Kamui/Corrin (Princess 王女) is not used.