Some time in 1998, Kyle Orland started a small corner of SMBHQ that would eventually evolve into the SSS today. Mash Toady brings us the inside story. Please note that these interviews really did take place, with the real people, and Mash is hiding their screen names in respect of their privacy.
Mash: Describe the original SSB Grudge Matches section, and the first matches you wrote.
Kyle Orland: Well, I got the idea from a reader on the message boards, I believe. I can't remember the member, unfortunately. But he said that it would be cool to put Mario characters against each other in SSB and write about it. The way I went about it was setting four computer controlled characters to level 9, setting the characters, location and item settings, then letting the game go. I would pause about every 5 seconds to jot down notes about what was happening on notebook paper. When the match was over, I'd go down and write it up in a (hopefully) entertaining manner.
Mash: How did you come to meet VGW Man, and give him control of the Site?
Kyle Orland: I never actually met him. He emailed me, asked if he could take over, and I said yes.
Mash: Rather anticlimactic, isn't it?
Kyle Orland: I was getting tired of doing all the grunt work... it's very tedious. I never imagined what the section would turn into, or how it would evolve.
Mash: First, I'd just like to thank you for taking the trip out to see us, VGW.
VGW Man: Don't mention it.
Mash: So let's get down to business. How did you first come across SMBHQ?
VGW Man: I was looking for a Mario website that had something unique...and SMBHQ provided it. Neglected Characters really showed how underrated Luigi and others are. Eventually, the SSB Grudge Matches section was made. The matches were played in real time, and the transcript was recorded on the site. ...eventually, [Kyle's] matches were coming too slow...he had planned a few matches that he still never wrote...so I came in and wrote them. I had SSB at the time, so I was able to keep in the spirit. At about match 8 or 9, I was given ownership of the whole section, which I renamed to Super Smash Stadium another match or two later.
Mash: What were your initial experiences running the site?
VGW Man: Quite fun...and challenging. I was still learning HTML, and I was soon learning the demands of maintaining a website. However, it also showed me what it was like to be responsible...you have to give the fans what they want. ...to be quite honest, I didn't really know how many fans there were out there. Sure there were the reactions section, but I didn't fully pay attention to the number of names that graced that page. I started noticing some improvement a little later...if I were to guess, maybe match 13 or so.
So In conclusion, SSS started out as a simple SSB Grudge Match section, a mere shadow of what it would become. Go to Part 2 to continue the interview.