- What's your name?
- How did you choose "mugwum"
as your handle?
It came about when I tried to enter Mugwump as my name in a
console game, but it only accepted 6 letters, and well, Mugwum
- What does "mugwump" mean?
Dunno, it's a Terrorvision song.
- In your final GTA
page on www.mugwum.co.uk, you state that "It's been a
helluva ride". When did that ride start?
Back at the beginning of February, I had had GTA for two and a
bit months, but I hadn't been into websites for that long. I had
a very basic page at that point, but I put loads of effort in and
it got bigger, and bigger.....
- What made it grow? Lots of sites start small and stay
I had sources.....I had known a few people who worked at the now
defunct PC Attack and they fed me release dates and such, but I
was constantly evolving my HTML skills too, which meant people
came for evolution as well as information. Plus, I had the
backing of sites such as Gouranga, and I knew GTA UK Style quite
well at the time, too.
- Your site was named "Bubbys" at the time, wasn't
Yeah, I figured some GTA content would help.
- It's hard keeping
track of your GTA projects over the time. While Bubbys and later
mugwum.co.uk were your "native" GTA sites, you have
cooperated with mouse on MandMs (named after Mugwum and Mouse)
and Squish, as well as designed some GTA websites run by other
masters. How did this come about? Do you yourself still know what
you had produced?
I lost count of web design jobs I did. I reckon my work spans
over a gig of space on my drive (including artwork, websites,
files etc..) and I eventually cut down, I now have only one full
time site, and it's doing great. The pressure got to me after a
while ya know?
- How did you notice? When pressure builds up gradually,
sometimes it's hard to.
When I pulled all-nighters three times a week, and I couldn't
stop. My schoolwork didn't suffer either, astonishingly. I have a
built in never say stop attitude... Hurts me sometimes. Things
like my hamster dying brought me back to reality.
- I didn't want to mention toffee first, but, with a grin:
Was it that you forgot to feed to hamster over your GTA
commitments, or is that just a rumor?
GTA was a hobby, never a commitment. Also, no, my hamster died of
a mouth infection. I have two kittens and another hamster and
feed them as and when, ya know?
- Feeding myself can be a problem on those long chat
I'm a vegetarian in real life, so feeding myself wasn't a problem
either. Lean out of the window and grab a tree ;-0
- When did you
realize you were an integral part of the online GTA community?
When I had 50 emails a day and a domain. No, when people actually
commented on the way my site was progressing. GTA pages were and
still are turning up left, right and centre, and it made sense to
act on my own and not bother about the obvious competition. I
also worked out that my level of humour was quite popular
compared to the relatively dry Gouranga and SS/GTA. When
something happened I took the piss, and people liked that.
- Can you give an example?
Yeah, people wanted an editor for the mission.ini and I thought
this was bollocks (at the time) and told people so. Nobody was
frank enough (or brave enough) to accurately portray their
feelings. The common response to everything on most pages was
"cool" and I would go into detail as why the idea
sucked. People like other people who voice their opinions. I
thrived on people brave enough to stand up to me and mine.
- We still don't have a Mission.ini editor that is 100%
That would be due to my constant ideas that it's a text file, and
Notepad was made for text files. Hence I write my own ini code,
for things like the DM ini. *I said it would never work anyhow*
- How much have you been involved in creating GTA levels?
About -- this much ;-) Actually, I have loads of good ideas, but
the problem is that I never feel happy enough with my work to
release it. I have at least three semi-finished maps, never
released. How could I be a critic if my work was semi-critical in
- Makes a case for a GTA scrap yard site... ;-)
- What got you started editing GTA?
When it became necessary for me to do so (about March). My first
try, was the famous Red Bull Truck, which won countless awards
and such, and I progressed through various things. The main
problem, as I have already stated, is that I really despise
releasing sub-standard work, and find it hard to let myself
release anything nowadays.
- What I really was after is why the necessity (to edit)
arose in the first place ;-)
Because it became far too much hassle not to really. Everyone
else was, and so you needed your own GTA related projects, just
to keep up.
- Does webmastering intoxicate? Like a drug, does it build
up dependencies? Are you on cold turkey now?
PC work is different ya see, it seems less like *work* than
physical writing essays etc. I could quite happily write you a
review on some new PC game if I was asked, as long as it gave
somebody pleasure. It doesn't intoxicate as such, it grows on
you. I took out some time a while back for C programming. I
thought it was good, but it wasn't as hands on as my "learn
as yer go" relationship with the net.
- Looking back on
your 8 months as GTA webmaster, what would you say were the high
points of that "helluva ride"?
One of the best things about it is all the friends I have made.
Mouse and Klamath, and all my other friends are great guys and I
really am thrilled that I did this, because it gave me such scope
for future work. My friends are great fun to talk to, and work
with. If I ever met them in Real Life, I know we would all get
along really well.
- What happens to MandMs?
Pressure happened to MandM's. Mouse and myself have lots of
commitments, and with the sort of mapwork inactivity faced at the
moment, we couldn't keep it up. It's still up at
if you want to read it or download some maps. In fact, the whole
files archive is still up at that address if you want them, but I
cannot maintain it anymore.
- Ian abandoned GTA UK Style in favour of a sports game site
as well (back in January). What makes sports games so attractive
for GTA webmasters?
Heh, I guess that roadrage should be Olympic then, eh? I dunno,
it's just a coincidence I imagine.
- Is the strategic thinking most of those sports managers
demand related to GTA gameplay?
Nope, unless the swearing and wife beating things are properly
brought into focus ;-)
- When GTA2 comes out
and you like it, would you want to make a website about it
(again), or will you stick to sports games sites only?
That's one question a lot of people are asking round about now,
Mike. In all honesty it depends on what GTA2 is. That may seem
like a slightly odd answer, but with so much uncertainty
surrounding it, the best I can do is maybe. Myself and a few
others are involved in something that may bring me back quite
soon, in a passive way if nothing else, but GTA2 will herald new
surprises for us all, and I wouldn't miss that for the world.
- Thanks Mugwum.
Been a pleasure Mike.
always seemed to be a communicative guy, with a hand in every pie.
Some people spend most of their time working on some utility or on
their web site, you seemed to spend most of your time talking to
people and getting them to cooperate (or get mad at you), dishing
out SOTWs, raising your voice on Boardzilla. Are you that way in
I ain't that way in Real Life, but I do have a very
outgoing personality. I charm my way out of bad situations too ;-)
Do you still have time for RealLife with your
I always put Real Life above everything else. I
never have too much to do to warrant leaving my friends in favour
of my PC. It may seem like I live on websites, but really, I'm
just incredibly with it 200% of the time. I even have spare time.
What's your favourite way to spend your spare
time when you're not on the net?
Sleeping ;-) No, really? I read a lot, and watch a
bit of TV. I also like to spend time out and around the area with
my mates from the local school. I go to rock concerts and do
teenager stuff really.
Did you make friends while you were here? Or
would you consider them "aquaintances"?
I made friends. Mouse, you, Klamy, Tosh, schu, stu
etc.. all are friends as such. I know them and like spending time
chatting with them and having a laugh. It isn't the same as real
life, but it seems that way with many people I meet.
Did you know some of the people
in RealLife before? Did you get to know some of them in RealLife
after you knew them on the net?
I actually know a few, but i packed it in when I
had the looking up to people thing. I hate being above people. I
always wanted to be "on their level".
Can you give an example?
When people write me and say, "Wow, mugwum."
I'm like, "Er, yeah, I'm not a bloody celebrity".
I see :-)
I think you said at one time, "mendel is a
fucking GTA god" or something :-) Any comments on that?
Well yeah, I am prone to bouts of constant