William Bunce-Edwards (born 7 October 1987), also known by his screen name Max the Mug, is the Studio Coordinator of Just Add Water and long-term Oddworld fan. Along with Xavier De Coster he co-owns Oddworld Library and along with Nathan Rose he co-administrates the Oddworld Forums.
Bunce-Edwards got an original PlayStation on Christmas Day 1997, and on Boxing Day 1997 played the Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee demo on the demo disc that came with it; he got the full game in the summer of 1998. It wasn’t until he recognized Mudokons in a magazine he was flicking through that he realized he was a true fan. He joined the GT Interactive Software message boards in 1998 with the username skELUMton to ask what a Greeter looked like (getting Abe’s Exoddus on Easter Sunday 1999), but along with the other regular posters moved to the Exoddus Club when activity on the GTIS boards died down, joining as billy_squeek on 12 February 2000.
Bunce-Edwards first came to the attention of Oddworld Inhabitants when he emailed Alf with a collated list of errors regarding the Oddworld Map and was in return made Fan of the Month February–March 2003 on the official Oddworld website.
Bunce-Edwards began being called ‘The Oddworld Dictionary’ and ‘The Oddworld Encyclopedia’ at least as far back as April 2001, although because the original ezboard Oddworld Forums are not well preserved the terms could pre-date this. The latter nickname became the more popular and longer lasting, being made Bunce-Edwards’s custom title around September 2002 and remaining in use until June 2004, after which the term was used in discussions exclusively referring to his fansite. However, his custom status remained ‘Oddworld Encyclopædia’ until at least May 2006, and ‘The Oddworld Encyclopædist’ until at least May 2008.
Key Oddworld Forums features to which Bunce-Edwards has contributed include the current Stranger’s Wrath-themed titles, the current Oddworld-themed reputation levels and the current Forum rules.
Bunce-Edwards stopped posting on the Oddworld Forums in August 2002 in favour of The Glass Asylum, but returned the following month having missed the Forums-wide moderator elections that saw Xavier De Coster join the moderation team; he was elected moderator of General Oddworld Discussion (and by extension the Spoiler Forum) by public election the following year. He retired from moderatorship in July 2005 only to return as a Super Moderator of Zulag One in February 2007 and be promoted to administrator in January 2008 to complement the Oddworld Library’s new sponsorship by the Oddworld Forums.
|Moderator||General Oddworld Discussion||16 September 2003||15 July 2005|
|Moderator||Spoiler Forum||19 June 2004?||15 July 2005|
|Super Moderator||Zulag One||1 February 2007||Still active|
|Oddworld Administrator||N/A||15 January 2008||Still active|
Bunce-Edwards has won the following Poster Awards in the following years:
Bunce-Edwards’s first attempt at a fansite was a 2000 webpage on Xoom called ‘The Kennels’. It took the form of a conjoined twin Glukkon called Glasp taking the reader on a tour around the Kennels, which hosted one of each Oddworld creature known at the time. By 2001, the project changed to one more formally encyclopædic in nature called ‘The Scrabacombs’, but by 2002 this was renamed to ‘The Oddworld Encyclopedia’ to reflect his Oddworld Forums nickname. Despite numerous promises that the site was coming, only an FAQ appeared (in 2003) before The Oddworld Encyclopædia finally launched in April 2006—although the April Fools’ Day joke articles were little appreciated by members of the Oddworld Forums given the site’s long-awaited appearance.
By this time Bunce-Edwards had already created OddBlog—originally a personal blog but quickly evolving into an Oddworld news blog—and had made plans to have it join with Xavier De Coster’s TOGG and Oddsville’s Oddworld Archives to form ‘The Shaman Network’. Although De Coster eventually assumed Oddsville’s role of creating the Archives and most component subsites were already public, the project—incorporating The Oddworld Encyclopædia and renamed ‘The Oddworld Library’—was formally launched simultaneously with the Encyclopædia. The Oddworld Forums became a sponsor of the Oddworld Library in January 2008 by adding a link to the fansite to the top of its banner alongside links to Oddworld-Web and Oddworld Universe.
Bunce-Edwards and De Coster visited the office of Just Add Water in August 2010, between OddTours 3a and 3b, meeting Stewart Gilray for the first time. Bunce-Edwards was invited back to the office in November that year where he was offered the task of looking after the official Oddworld Inhabitants website and Facebook Page in his spare time.
At the start of August 2011, Bunce-Edwards began working in the office full-time with the job title of Studio Coordinator. His usual tasks include monitoring of Oddworld fan communities, filing, watering plants and communicating with fans, job applicants, the gaming press and potential merchandise partners. During the production of Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath HD he put together the unlockable extras, contributed to the achievements and decided where to place the easter eggs. Although he had updated his Twitter and Facebook profiles to accurately identify his job with JAW, Bunce-Edwards did not declare his employment on the Oddworld Forums until 23 December 2011.