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House of Whack


I hadn’t heard about STAPLE! until last year. Chris Nicholas, a guy I met in improv classes at The New Movement, created and organized it. It is basically a mini convention for indie comic creators, game designers, and artists in general. You can find out more at www.staple-austin.org .

I had never been a vendor at a convention, so I didn’t know what to expect. Chris warned me that STAPLE! kind of spoils vendors for other conventions because it is such a cool experience. He was not wrong. My vague plan was to roll in there with copies of House of Whack and The Stork and see what happened. Continue reading

The House always wins

Tonight I brought House of Whack to Boards ‘n Brews. It was good to see it on the table again. I hadn’t taught the game to new players in ages, but this was the smoothest explanation so far. There were four players, a really good size group for newcomers. We played the straight up “Inside the Box” version with nothing fancy. The Throne of Swift and Whimsical Judgment came into play and there was a pretty amusing trial as a result. Dan had a legitimate beef with Jeff, namely being forced to stand while playing and walk around in a circle. The jury was split and it came down to a roll off, which Jeff won. That’s how it goes down sometimes.

Jeff pulled ahead of everyone on the score track and took home a copy of the game. Good times!

That is Whack

Ah, here is an appropriate use of a blog: venting.

I received an email today that just sent me over the edge of bewilderment and anger. It was from someone I hadn’t heard from in over a year. The message simply said “Can you afford to begin paying for my contributions to our game yet?” And he’s talking about House of Whack. Continue reading

Whack Magnets

A few months ago I ordered some printable magnet material and today I used it to print out a set of rooms from House of Whack. Now I can play on the front of my refrigerator.

Emergent Game Play in House of Whack

Last night I had some friends over to play House of Whack. Most of them had played the version that comes in the box, but I wanted to show them the version that comes *outside* the box. This was the version I had always wanted to play. It’s not something that can easily be explained in a manual as you really have to experience it firsthand due to its emergent, organic game play. Continue reading

Had to share this

House of Whack was printed by BoardGameDesign.com and the project rep for the job was Lisa Marie. She had to deal with all my weird requests for the game, changes in mid-stream, the whole tri-fold fiasco, etc. So, now that the game is done, I thought the least I could do would be to thank her for putting up with me. I think I made her day.



As I sit at my desk taking the next call from a complaining customer, there arrived a HUGE box marked with the words FTD and GODIVA!!! I sat and tried to imagine who in the world could possibly be sending me such a wonderful surprise marked with FTD and Godiva…. hmmm….

YOU…it was from YOU!  Andre Monserrat, I screamed so loudly that I think the windows shook! LOL

There inside was a beautiful bouquet of ONE DOZEN of the most beautiful roses that I have ever seen. Not to mention the GODIVA chocolates that I was able to savor slowly while opening the box! (who am I kidding…I gulped 2 right down!) This is a wonderful surprise! I’m so elated and so appreciative that I’m leaving work early so I can go place them inside of one of my nicest vases so I can then place them on my table so I can adore them all weekend…. this is sweet…..real sweet!  They are all different colors and each one is a perfect rose shape. They are perfect and absolutely beautiful and they smell so yummy rose flower good!

You are thanked more than you could ever imagine…. thank you from the bottom of my heart. Glad I could do my job and help make your game a reality. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

It’s Full of Whack!

This is what a storage locker filled with 162 shipping boxes looks like. Each one contains 6 House of Whack games. It is a sight I find simultaneously exciting and terrifying.

BGG Photos

Action shot of Nukes attacking the House.

My display at the flea market, in the calm before the storm.

HoW spotted in the wild! Total strangers own my game.


I was in Dallas this past Thursday through Sunday for BoardGameGeek.con, a fantastic board gaming convention. It was a smaller, more laid back type of con than your GenCon or ComicCon, with perhaps only 700 attendees.

I cajoled Cory into going at the very last minute, so he, Nukes, Majcher and I headed up there Thursday morning. The con was at the Westin near the airport. The only thing nearby was a Denny’s and a Shell station. That Denny’s must make bank as it was the only source of reasonably priced “food” within several miles, as we found out.

The con itself was spread out between a large ballroom, a smaller ballroom and an overflow room. Plus there was a foyer area and a games library. The games library was this heavenly wonderland where you could find every game you had ever heard of, no matter how rare or out of print. Games that would cost you $300 on eBay could be checked out and played, even taken up to your room overnight. That right there should tell you about the top shelf quality of people at this convention.

I got to see Mischa again! Mischa is a gaming dynamo. I came down one morning, at what I thought was an early time (maybe 7:30 or 8AM) to find Mischa embroiled in a game of Galaxy Trucker. He had gamed through the night with no signs of stopping. Later that afternoon, I began to suspect the use of illegal stimulants, or, at the very least, a clone. How could someone do this? The secret to his staying power was revealed a few days later, but I shall take it to my grave.

I had the most fun playing obscure games, out of print games or games designed by my friends. Kapitan Wackelpudding left a deep impression. Shipping a stack of coffins and video games to Dracula land is no easy task. Tales of the Arabian Nights stole my heart. It is a game I should have been playing during my childhood at the same time as Talisman or Cosmic Encounter. It is essentially a Choose Your Own Adventure board game with role-playing elements. Thankfully, Z-Man is coming out with a new version next June. I learned the ferocity of soccer moms vying for the best looking garden in Garden Competition.

I played Dan’s Monkey Lab again, outwitting my opponents. I also had a chance to play Majcher’s Honeypot, which is a brilliant abstract strategy game. I was also delighted by his prototype of Fluffy Bunny Tea Party. It involves bunnies sitting around eating cakes, drinking tea and being horrifically polite to each other. Dan sold out of Chains of Fenrir, Majcher sold out of Honeypot and Ian sold out of Taktika. We were all really happy for Ian. He walked around in this kind of daze, unprepared for how well his game would be received.

I brought 12 units of House of Whack and managed to sell 6 of them! At first I was really overwhelmed. I felt kind of stunned by what it was I was trying to do and a deep terror grabbed hold of me. I didn’t think anyone was going to like my game. I wanted to give up and run far away. But on the morning of the flea market, I went down to the show room, claimed half a table, and set up a display for House of Whack. When the browsers flooded in like a Zerg rush, I kept my head and hyped the game to everyone who came by. My very first sale was to Aldie, one of the guys in charge of the convention. That was cool.

Friedemann Friese, a famous game designer was there as the guest of honor. He hung out and played games with everyone like a regular guy. You could always spot him in the room due to his shock of bright green hair. He always looked like he was searching for something, entering a room, head craning about, trying to spot something just out of view. I talked with him about what it was like when he had finished his first game and he said that he felt like he had no idea what he was doing, but, after the first game, nothing else quite gives you the same feeling. I get that.

Sunday morning found us packing up our massive hauls of treasure gleaned from the math trade and the flea market. If I had an extra $100 (and more trunk space), I would have matched Jake and Jen’s impressive finds. I think they got Arkham Horror and Descent for $40 total. Nice.

And then we came back to Austin.

The End.

It Multiplies

It is weird to be looking at twelve copies of House of Whack, all shrink-wrapped. The shipping boxes say “DreamPunk Productions, LLC” on the side. It’s kind of like it’s a real game or something.

I wonder if seeing the other 988 boxes will make it even more real.