The graphics on DS titles may not be of the same complexity as the last generation of consoles, but that doesn't mean to say the gameplay and features cannot be.
Race Driver's online functionality allows you to upload and download custom tracks to the Race Driver network. How does the process of this work?
Shea: It's very straightforward. You can save six different tracks on your Game Card, and then by connecting to Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, you can upload any of these tracks to your own space on the Gamespy servers.
You can then tell your friends about it, and they can look for your tracks online using your Friend Name, and download them to save on their own copy of the game. They are then free to race or edit the track, or upload it to their own bit of the server.
User created content is the next big thing. Was this trend influential on your decision to incorporate an upload option?
Shea: Not really, it just seemed a really obvious thing to do, once we'd built the Track Designer. We looked into it for Create and Race, but decided to hold off on adding it until we were certain we could do what we wanted within the rules set out by Nintendo and Gamespy.
User generated content has been around since the start of games - I can remember spending hours with a track editor on the Commodore 64 - and the modding scene is decades old now.
I think the trend for user generated content is spreading because of changes in other media as well as games.
The DS has been criticised for its implementation of online gaming. How hard was it to develop global online leader boards and other online gameplay, given the limitations of the system?
Shea: The technical side is not that difficult from a programming point of view, but the difficulties lie in the rules and limitations set out by Nintendo and Gamespy.
They have very good reasons for those rules, however, and I think once you understand them, you can make things work more or less how you'd hoped.
Race Driver: Create and Play avoided exploiting the unique functionality of the DS for the sake of using it. How much of a focus does Grid place on the stylus and dual-screens?
Shea: A very similar focus to Create and Race. We strongly believe that you must design the best game you can for the console, using however much or as little of its uniqueness as is appropriate for the game.
We have experimented with touch screen driving controls in the past, but it was never as fun as using the Control Pad and buttons, so didn't go in the game.
As well as the Track Designer which works perfectly with the stylus there are also some new features in GRID that make use of it, such as the ability to draw your own Car Liveries and Trackside Billboards.
Accessibility and pick-up-and-play is a key focus of Race Driver: Grid. Does this signal a move beyond the tough, unforgiving nature of the series?
Shea: I can't comment on the direction of the whole series, you'd need to ask Codemasters about that, but certainly with GRID on the DS, we felt that it was really important to make a game that was accessible to the whole DS audience.
And yes, that has meant making it easier to play and a bit more forgiving, but it's still full of challenge. We've looked at the structure of the game as well, making it more open, with short but intense events to play.
This type of smaller chunk gameplay suits the DS as many people play it on the bus, train, or even while stopped in traffic driving a car (or so I'm told)!