Star Citizen – Squadron 42 – crowdfunding has begun!

As I mentioned last week, Wing Commander creator Chris Roberts was going to announce a new game. And as I predicted, it was big. A hybrid of a game, one that we probably won’t see for at least 2 more years. And it breaks down in to two parts. The first part is a single player campaign: Squadron 42. If the full version of the game launches, you’ll be able to skip this right by, if you want… but most players will complete a massive story line driven campaign, which is primarily single player. I say “primarily,” because during his GDC presentation, Chris announced that he wanted to implement real-time “drop-in / drop-out” multiplayer, where people on your friends list can jump in, perhaps at your request, and help you complete a difficult mission. The Squadron 42 story arc is designed to be branching and expansive, just like every prior Wing Commander game. The specifics have not been detailed, what enemy we’ll be fighting is still a bit of a mystery.

The online part of Star Citizen will allow you to be a merchant, a mercenary, a pirate, or even continue your life in signing up for more tours of war, or being recalled to active duty. As the universe expands, players to successfully achieve certain goals can have pieces of the universe named after them. You could even design and sell some of your own ships at some point! The game allows so much creativity, and such a wide-ranging experience, almost anybody could find something to enjoy.

Roberts has already stated that this game will be designed for the PC, and is going to push the limits of the platform like they’ve never been pushed before. He wasn’t completely opposed to consoles, but with this generation as stagnant as it has gotten, it’s made him decide to set off on this mission to prove that PC gaming isn’t dead, nor is the Space-Sim genre, and the players who support space-sim’s on PC’s certainly aren’t dead, either!

Now comes the hard part. All of this will only come true, he can only be proven right, if we help. Star Citizen has begun a Crowd Funding Campaign, on their own website, taking sites like KickStarter and IndieGoGo out of the mix. And their goals are lofty. $2 million to complete Squadron 42’s campaign, and around $5 million to get the full on Star-Citizen, persistent, real time Wing Commander universe, online experience. There are various rewards and tiers, like we’re used to seeing on crowd funding sites. I haven’t decided on the amount, yet, but I know for a fact I am going in on this. Wing Commander is the game that made me a PC gamer for such a long time. Hopefully another Chris Roberts game makes PC gaming relevant to me once more. You can bet I’ll be on and making my donations.

Did you know there was a Microsoft Community? serves as a community hub for most of Microsoft’s products. It’s a great place for those who need help to get it, and those willing to take a little time and offer some expertise can volunteer their assistance! Whether you want to know about Office (even for Mac), Windows Phone, viruses and malware, even just the latest on Windows itself, the community is there to answer your questions 24 hours a day. I’m just beginning to get more active, there, and hope to see you around!

Outlook asking for password: "Welcome Back to…"

Since I didn’t have an app for you this week, how about a special edition of “From The Help Desk.” Today is a problem we’re seeing, live and “on the ground” right now. Outlook users are getting a pop up window, prompting them for their credentials. The Window would say “Welcome Back to servername…” Even if you enter your credentials correctly (DOMAINUSERNAME & password), you then receive an error message that Exchange isn’t responding.

The bad news: this is not something the Outlook user can fix. The good news: it is very easy for your server administrator to fix.

All I did, as the server administrator, was log in to the server, and click Start, then Run then typed: services.msc. Then, the easiest thing for someone new to administering an Exchange server to do is to is look for servers with a Startup Type of Automatic but with a Blank status and start them. I was able to quickly see that the Microsoft Exchange Information Store and Microsoft Exchange System Attendant were not started on the server. Once I started those two services, I had the users close and re-open their Outlook clients. Issue resolved.

The precise cause is, as yet, undetermined, but this happened on multiple Windows Small Business Server computers over the last few days.