ARTICLE: The Story About the Hamster

Have you ever flipped over the Hold piece and noticed a funny little piece of art? Today, Ignacy shares with us the story of how this came to be.


Today, let me share with you a super light story of a small animal that made it into Rattle, Battle, Grab the Loot although it can’t even swim!

This is the story behind… the hamster!


In most cases it is damn simple – you use a card, you tap it. We all played Magic at some point in our lives, huh? The problem is, Rattle, Battle used both cards and cardboard pieces… and what’s more, some pieces (most commonly sails, cannons and hulls) don’t even have a card. They are so common that we didn’t need to include a card with rule explanation.


So no tapping. That’s for sure.

We went for flipping cardboard pieces. You use it, you flip it to the other side. Easy peasy.

We faced a small problem – players had hard time recognizing which opponent pieces are already used and which are still ready.

We added a blue filter on the artwork and it helped a lot. From other side of the table you were able to easily distinguish which piece is ready and which is blue and exhausted.

My artwork manager changed the artwork on the exhausted side of the cannon. Instead of cannon, it showed a closed window. They cannot shoot. It’s very clear. Then he prepared artwork for the back of sails. Artwork presented furled sails. Looked cool.


We didn’t need to do this. Playtesting proved that the regular artwork with a strong blue filter works perfect and is clear information for players… but we are Portal Games, aren’t we? After Raphael showed me this special artwork for the Cannon and Sail, I said: “OK, I want new artwork for each and every piece players have!” I wanted two versions of artwork for Drill and Super sail.. for Harpoon and for Monkeys! Pieces are double sided,  so we will have double the amount of artwork – used and ready version.


That’s an additional few days of work. This is additional work that nearly no one will notice. But, it is also another piece of the “expect the unexpected” equation we work on every day here at Portal Games.

We have double artwork for Sails, Cannons, for all Upgrades in the game. There was one question left:
Hull is not flipped during game. Do we actually need to order additional artwork for it?

I think you know what my answer was.


No comments yet.

Leave Your Reply


We are bookworms. Movie maniacs. Story addicts. We grew up reading Tolkien, Howard, Herbert, Dick, Lem… We were watching Willow, Blade Runner, Never Ending Story, Robin Hood…

And yet, we don’t write books… we don’t make movies. We don’t make those things, because we make games. We make games that tell stories.

Sing up for our Newsletter!