What an adventure this has been. It’s been 4 years since I started writing Threat Level, well nearly. In February 2019, I was lucky enough to work in London and travel at least four hours a day. I spent those four hours with my tiny laptop and watching the British Transport Police. When I wasn’t on the train, to and from work. I was working for a wargame company as a junior developer, spending my day working on some of their games. I also learnt valuable techniques and skills to help design and develop my titles.
When I left in the summer of 2019 after some surgery healing issues, which wasn’t the expected outcome. I also got a job working closer to home. This gave me even more free time. I ploughed my talents into writing on weekends and in the evenings. Nothing was off limits. I was developing my own game and needed it to be a success. Unsure I would get a response from the system I had created, I pushed forward with Queen’s Quest. A wargame to test the market. I gave it away for free in September 2019. Queen’s Quest was hardly a game, now I think about it. However, that release gave me the confidence I needed.
I made it my mission to hunt for a 3d miniature sculptor who was able to not only provide excellent quality work but also was within my budget. I would completely self-fund this game. I found someone, a sculptor, who has guided me through my first few orders, and I have worked with them ever since. I showed my first miniature off and got an even better response than expected. I knew I would have something. Now I needed to get it released.
I had been lucky to work with my wife, Clare. She was reluctant to help at first. Along with my best friend Dave and my mother, I had my small team. I was nervous and enthusiastic to finally release my first commercial game. Threat Level: Tube Strike was released in April 2020. I was so fired up to publish my first for-profit game. What an exciting time to be alive. How little did I know at the time?
The game was sold in PDF and a printed copy. Printed copies are still for sale at shows. We also started selling miniatures as well. I brought a 3d printer, which is still going. This was critical to making us flexible to the needs of the customers. Soon after the release, quite a few people bought into the game. I sent a copy to several reviewers, and one reviewed it. It was a very generous assessment, which I understood. Now, I knew the main takeaway. The team is miniature. I am paraphrasing. It massively helped me understand the problems. It also showed me what to fix. I didn’t get any more feedback. Except for one thing, the customers wanted more options.
I started work on Threat Level: Emergency Response. The name change was just one part of the update plans. As one of our customers pointed out, the title wasn’t great for non-British customers. The tube is a British slang term for the London Underground. Also, I should make it coherent that the game what the game was about.
Days and nights I spent writing the game and updating it slightly. I even brought on a game developer with more experience than I had. Ethan helped with the growth of the game. However, I didn’t send this out to reviewers until I had already set about making the third edition. I didn’t see any benefit from the reviewer copies. The miniature and mission collection kept growing.
With the release of Threat Level’s third edition, Pandyman Entertainment looks keen to see the future. Still called Threat Level: Emergency Response. The game has grown to be even better than the second edition. Firstly, I added training incidents to the book. This allows the players to get an idea of the game without downloading another product. I added another way to use AI in the game. I kept the old player-focused method. However, I also added a card-based method. The cards are still in production and will release as soon as they’re ready.
Adding more sections. The keyword section shows the player what each keyword does. The special rules section allows the expansion of the complacency checks. More concise rules and a better layout. The group-of play-testers we brought into the team were a massive help. They guided my hand through with their kind words and helpful criticisms. The incidents in the book are exclusive to the book, one from a police’s point of view. One from a fire crew's point of view.
So, with all of this said. I hope you have an incredible week of fun games, and we look forward to releasing the third edition soon!