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House of Whack | Official site of the House of Whack Board Game - Part 3

DreamPunk Does Dallas!

DreamPunk will be at BoardGameGeek.CON, November 15th through the 18th in Dallas, Texas. This is where House of Whack will have its glorious debut! I am excited to present the game to this gathering of board gamers. One lucky individual will win a copy of the game as a door prize!

Click here for more info on the con.

House of Whack Now Available for Pre-Order

I have waited years to say this:

House of Whack is now available for pre-order! The game will ship out in mid-November.

I encourage you not to wait, but to go ahead and order your copy right away. This will provide me with a real world test of the ordering system. Please consider buying more than one copy as it will make a cool holiday gift!

Visit to place your order.


While there have been many contributors to the game over the years (they are credited in the manual), I would like to take a moment to acknowledge some of those people (in chronological order, if you must know):

Besides me, stavros has put more time and energy into play testing House of Whack than anyone else. I brought one of the first prototypes over to his apartment and we played for hours and hours. stavros is an accomplished film maker and artist. Check out his site to find out more. He recently completed the film Committing Poetry in Times of War. Some of stavros’ photography appears in the game. You can see more of his work at Model Mayhem.

My father, Alfredo Monserrat, has always encouraged an entrepreneurial spirit in me. He is working on a book about surviving in America as in immigrant. Visit his site at

Deborah Reese is a really fantastic and dynamic person. She owns Seventh Goddess, a boutique which sells world-class lingerie. She is also the lead singer of Black T-Shirt Monday. They give a performance that is not to be missed. Also, she introduced me to the Landmark Forum, which has transformed my life in ways I could not have imagined. I can never thank her enough.

Dave Glowacki has been one of my best friends since college. He has been doing some really impressive work in the mobile entertainment arena, bringing many popular titles to cell phones. He is now a Mobile Producer for Electronic Arts, one of the giants in the video game industry.

Cory Williamson is an industrial designer and board game aficionado. His designs include complex devices for the medical industry. I met Cory shortly after moving to Austin and he’s turned out to be a great friend and a fellow geek.

Arvind and Becky Raichur have been the best bosses I’ve ever had. I’ve developed a friendship as well as a great employee relationship over the past eight years. If you need a lawyer or legal information, please visit our two flagship sites: and

Thank you everyone for your encouragement over the past few years. This is a big deal for me and I’m glad I have you in my life to share this moment.



State of the Game

An update on House of Whack

No matter how many times I brought up the fact that the printer was able to create nice glossy, tri-fold cards that didn’t fall apart, they would not acknowledge it. They either would completely ignore the message or say ridiculous things like the nice glossy cards were identical to the horrible cards that fell apart.

Their final solution was to laminate the cards. This initially looked okay, but then the laminate started to blister and wrinkle. Also, they wanted an extra $950.

Since all the other cards they have done look great, I decided to just redesign the entire Guest deck as non-folding cards about 2/3rds the size of the current cards. One of my original designs involved a card that could be rotated one way or the other, like some Magic cards I had seen. Mischa reminded me of this design when he suggested it himself. I had been so enamored with the cleverness of the trifold concept that I had abandoned this rotating card idea.

So now I am almost done recreating the Guest cards in the new format. This has also given me an opportunity to tweak a few abilities and make some edits. Since the manual, box and quick start guide make reference to tri-fold cards, I will have to include an errata sheet explaining the change. This will also be an opportunity to get people to go to the web site and download the latest version of the manual. There have been some significant changes to the play mechanics. Or rather, I have a collection of house rules I recommend that people use.

I’ve designed the game so that it can be “patched,” updated, and modded pretty easily, which is coming in handy now.

At Last!

Finally, it’s here!

I received the sample unit of House of Whack today. I could hardly stand the anticipation all day long. It’s like my first child was being delivered to me via FedEx.

On the whole, the game looks fantastic. The cards are on that nice stock you get in quality Euro games or Fantasy Flight games. There are a few color issues, but I believe they can be easily resolved.

One rather large mistake was the printer misunderstood the instructions to score the tri-fold cards and instead PERFORATED them.  You know, for easy TEARING. So they need to clear that up.

Also, they actually randomly collated the sample just like a final game. There was one small error, but they otherwise deciphered my intricate collating instructions. This is a huge weight off my mind.

I played a game tonight with stavros and Jaqui (she creamed us). I couldn’t get over the quality of the cards. I just kept looking at them, you know, and touching them. I also discovered that the little wooden houses from Rio Grande Games’ Power Grid make excellent player tokens. I think I will recommend that people buy a copy of Power Grid or Caylus so they can use the tokens for House of Whack.

To sum up: I am very happy and excited and much closer to having HoW on the market!

Anyone care for a game of…

You can right click and choose “View Image” for a slightly larger version.

More Delays

I just heard back from the publisher and the printer is going to need another two weeks to print the sample unit of House of Whack. This is really disheartening. At best, I’d have it by the 19th.


On Christmas Eve I drove down to the airport post office because I had received a package notification. What could this be? A Christmas present, perhaps? When the clerk pushed a large box from the board game printer over to me, my heart just about exploded. I grabbed it, forced myself not to tear it open in the car, and drove quickly home. I thought that I had just received the best Christmas present ever. My game was finally here! I thundered into my driveway, leapt from the car and went inside. I opened the large, heavy package to discover…

…a big thing of jelly beans. What crushing disappointment. Even though there were 49 different flavors, it was not enough to counter the blow. It was like a cruel trick. They had suggested the game would be ready around the same time, but instead sent a bunch of multi-colored sugar. It was then I realized just how much I cared about the game and how I had been longing for it for quite some time.

Whacked Musings

While waiting for the game, I sort of put it on the back burner to simmer. But now House of Whack stirs and dances to the forefront. I still have a staggering amount of work to do on the online content. Like if people could actually see what needed to be done, they would think I was insane. Sometimes I think, “What have I done? What was I thinking?” But then I just laugh a wild laugh that lasts for what I guess would be an uncomfortable amount of time if someone else were there to hear it.

I had to step away from the game for a bit because I was trying to cater to potential players and that was harming it. Every time I try to make it more palatable and logical and thematically cohesive, it starts to kill Whack’s soul. For instance, I was working on the rules for Whack Ball, one of the game variants. I had come up with a very workable set of rules involving a soccer-like game with teams within the House of Whack. They were nice rules, very detailed and straightforward. But they were wrong. In Whack Ball, this should be a common occurrence: Wendy plays the flute to lure the ball back to her, but Cirrus spills a glass of wine and steals the ball’s reflection and then does a layup into the chandelier which got turned into the new goal because Bob discarded a Wild Arcana. That’s where things are heading now.

In my recent musings I realized something: While I made a game that could possibly amuse certain gamers, I really designed the game to summon certain people to me. This is all just a ritual to bring them forward out of the ether. I need to know if someone else sees what I see. I need to know if someone else can see the game within the game. I’ve left the clues to the other game, but I’m certainly not going to show it to anyone. They will either see it or they won’t. They will either go through the door or they will play a board game.

It’s quite possible that I’ve made something just for me and I’ll be able to build a little fort out of 1000 game boxes.


Today I enjoyed a rare treat. I recently learned that a friend of a friend had a copy of Talisman, the board game which inspired me to become a graphic artist. As a kid, I was in love with this game and I made all kinds of cards and house rules for it. But my friends always teased me about my scribblings on index cards. I learned to draw and eventually make computer art so I might one day make better cards.

So today a bunch of people came over to play Talisman. I hadn’t seen it in about 15 years and it was a tear-inducing experience to hold this near mint copy in my hands. I remembered the rules like I had played it yesterday.

Talisman had a powerful influence on House of Whack and it was neat to see some of the cards and compare them to their House of Whack counterparts. As I sat there playing, I remembered being a kid and coming up with new cards and new rules and eventually coming up with a whole new game. And I realized that House of Whack is a million times better than Talisman. I’ve essentially created a game for people who enjoyed Talisman when they were kids but now want something more. I think those people will appreciate the homage. Still, House of Whack makes Talisman look like Candyland.

And that’s how Tyler and I were able to have Fight Club every night of the week

I’m pleased to announce that House of Whack will be funded by the DEA, who settled out of court.

The incident has been reported to their internal affairs division, so some actual good might come out of it.

Don’t do drugs, kids!