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Round Up: The Ship Goes Commercial, Square Enix Prepares For E3, DiGRA Heads To Tokyo

Today's round up includes news of the commercial release of a project that began as a mod for Valve's Half-Life 2, titles announced to be showcased by Square Enix ...
Today's round up includes news of the commercial release of a project that began as a mod for Valve's Half-Life 2, titles announced to be showcased by Square Enix at E3 in May, and the announcement of the 2007 Digital Games Research Association (DiGRA) world conference, as well as the latest GameSetWatch and Serious Game Source updates, product news and Gamasutra job postings. - UK publisher Mindscape has announced that The Ship, which originally began life as a mod for Valve's PC first-person shooter Half-Life 2, is now being developed by Edinburgh-based Outerlight as a stand-alone retail product featuring both first and third person gameplay, as well as a Sims-style day-to-day needs system including food, sleep and social interaction. The game will offer both single and multiplayer gameplay across multiple game modes. The Ship will be released into UK retail stores in September, and is scheduled to be shown at E3 in May. Interestingly, the game's official FAQ mentions that the game will also be released via Steam in May. - Square Enix announced that the company will have several titles on display this year at E3, including four games for the PlayStation 2, two for the Game Boy Advance, three for the Nintendo DS, and one for the PlayStation Portable. Included in this list are the much anticipated confirmation that the remake of Final Fantasy III for the DS will be localized and brought to North American audiences in 2006, along with remakes of Final Fantasy V and VI Advance, both for the Game Boy Advance. The company will also continue its support for the mobile market with the prequel to Final Fantasy VII, Before Crisis - Final Fantasy VII, again making an appearance at the show alongside other mobile offerings Final Fantasy I, as well as Chase H.Q. 3D and 3D Space Invaders from recently acquired Taito. - The Digital Games Research Association (DiGRA) has announced that the next world conference will be held in Tokyo in September 2007. Taking place alongside the annual Tokyo Game Show, the event will be staged by DiGRA Japan, a newly formed national association aimed at bringing together game researchers in that nation. DiGRA has, since its establishment, aimed to support the community of game researchers with academic events and other activities. In 2003 the "Level Up" conference was organized jointly with the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands, and in 2005 "Changing Views: Worlds in Play" with the Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada. More information is expected to be announced soon on the event's website. - The latest updates on Gamasutra sister weblog GameSetWatch include a detailed analysis of traffic-related controversy surrounding the launch of new consumer game site GamesRadar, Jeremy "Toastyfrog" Parish's re-review of Square Enix's venerable Final Fantasy VII, the latest comic from The Multicart Project, and a look back at when retro clothing wasn't so retro. - Also updated today: Serious Games Source news on a new advergame called DinoHunters and new coverage of the PeaceMaker serious game, plus Gamasutra product news regarding a lipsynching Maya plug-in by Lifemode, as well as the latest Gamasutra job postings, featuring openings from BioWare, Blizzard, High Moon, Insomniac Games, LucasArts, Syandus Inc., Mad Doc, Total Immersion Software, Rubin/Gavin Project, Sucker Punch, and Ubisoft Shanghai Studio.

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