A portion of a GameSpot interview with Gordon Hall, president and founder of Rockstar Leeds:

GS: What, if any, limitations did the console’s graphics hardware have on the delivery of your artistic vision for the game?

GH: None whatsoever. We knew the scope of the game when we set out to build it, and the only thing this meant was that it would be the most challenging project we’d ever be putting ourselves to work on. If we truly wanted to build the city in 3D on the DS and have it feel alive and breathing on the hardware, we knew that the amount of coding alone was going to be more intense that any GTA before this one. For us at Leeds, it’s never a matter of if we can build it, but how we can build it. Looking at it now, and just seeing all of the flashing billboards in Star Junction, the lettering on the tops of buildings in Hove Beach modeled in 3D, the peds that wake up in the morning and go about their daily lives with their own unscripted AI–it’s all come together in a way that’s even more than what we maybe even thought we’d be able to get out of the hardware itself, and it simply could not have been done without the extraordinary talent we have working on this project.

GS: Tell us about GTA:CW’s Social Club integration and what players will be able to do with it at launch and further down the track.

GH: Tying directly into your single-player experience, there will be plenty of different ways that we’ll be able to keep the player checking out the site in-between play sessions. All of your stats and progress will be tracked online, so at any given time, you’ll be able to hop on and see where you stand with all of the missions, OddJobs, and rampages in the game. You’ll even be able to see the city’s surveillance-camera guy and watch what happens as you take down all 100 in the game.

Beyond that, there will be plenty of other surprises in store for players in terms of contests and prizes! A lot of that stuff is still being sorted out, but rest assured, our most talented players will be rewarded as long as they’re signed up with the game and continue to synch their stats via Wi-Fi Connection, so stay tuned!

Full Interview here