Contents Next

GTA Ideas Pages

EMail Help/Impressum


Mugwum announced his departure from the GTA scene on Sunday, October 4th, 1998. You can see this announcement and the final state of his site here on GTA Ideas Pages. Since mugwum awarded me the second of his SOTW awards (mouse received his first), I feel I owe it to him. I also enjoy his articles, his rants, and his Auntie Biscuit very much and feel you still ought to be able to look at them once in a while.

The Interview

I (mendel) interviewed mugwum on Tuesday, October 6th, and concluded that Interview on Wednesday.

Well, "Mugwum" stuck really. * It's been a helluva ride. * I lost count of web design jobs I did. * When I had 50 emails a day and a domain. * One of the best things about it is all the friends I have made. * I wouldn't miss that for the world. * I do have a very outgoing personality. * Er, yeah, I'm not a bloody celebrity.

What's your name?
Tom Dicks.
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 stuck really.
What does "mugwump" mean?
Dunno, it's a Terrorvision song.

In your final GTA page on, 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 small....
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 it?
Yeah, I figured some GTA content would help.

It's hard keeping track of your GTA projects over the time. While Bubbys and later 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 sessions....
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% done.
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 itself?
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.

You 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 "real life",too?

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 online efforts?

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 exaggeration ;-)

Contents Next

GTA Ideas Pages

EMail Help/Impressum

Created by Michael Mendelsohn 9. Okt 98