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.

What’s next from the creator of Wing Commander?

We’re nearing the end of a countdown, leading up to an announcement on 10/10/2012 at 10 AM (New York time) from Chris Roberts, creator of the Wing Commander franchise of video games. Wing Commander, without hesitation, was the game that made me a “PC Gamer.” Wing Commander III, then IV, then Prophecy… sure I had DooM, Duke3D, Quake II, and Unreal. But I never threw myself so deeply in to any saga as I have the Wing Commander games. And when I heard that Chris Roberts started up something new he’s posting over at (RSI) – well, you can guess I’m going to be onboard that vessel when it launches.

While we don’t know what the final announcement will be in its entirety, we have been handed several clues. Whatever it is, it seems that there will be some sort of closed “beta” phase – this is hinted at by the “golden tickets” that you can only get by signing up for the site BEFORE the announcement is made. Also, since the “RSI” unveiling, Chris Roberts has been slowly taking visitors through the history of the Wing Commander universe. Several polls have been posted on the site, many of them trying to get a feel for what someone wants in a game. But if the game were this early in its inception, that they were just getting ideas, would they really be teasing it like this? I doubt it. Another recent poll asked what made Chris Roberts’ games great – the feeling of playing a movie? The large universe? The visceral combat and flight simulation details? I’m starting to think that these polls aren’t trying to gauge responses, but rather build hype.

Recently, members of the of the site received a message from one of the administrators. Though not spoken aloud, there are some clear indicators that this game is going to be an MMO Wing Commander experience. Why else would we “golden ticket” holders be told that, “should you choose to join us on our new adventure — will receive defining gold decals for your spaceship to immortalize your early support.” Certainly wouldn’t need those decals in a single player game. True, it might be nice, but I far more often see “founders” emblems in online games. The brief letter ends with “Together we will shape the universe – one or one million polygons at a time.” By together and at a time are they alluding to all at once? Is in, simultaneously? Online? Shaping a persistent universe?

All of this, paired with my February discovery of an extension with the U.S. Patent Office of the “Wing Commander” brand, and other rumored work involving Chris Roberts’ and some original Wing Commander III and IV cast members in Detroit, I think we’re going to see something new. An MMORPG that will feel very much like Privateer, take place in the Wing Commander universe, and rather than just a handful of cut-scenes, it will involve video briefings by familiar Confederation faces. I guess we’ll find out in just a few more days, though, won’t we?

NiGHTS is on the Backorder list!


It only happens once a generation: a game gets to represent an entire console. Sometimes that brand can become so successful that it leads to a future unimagined by the creator. The character can become an entire franchise and last for years such as Mario or Sonic the Hedgehog. In 1996 one character, nights, intended to become that franchise character for the Sega Saturn. It was not to be. NiGHTS Into Dreams was released on the Saturn in the summer of 1996 to compete head-on Nintendo’s Nintendo 64, and Super Mario 64.

Compared to Nights, Crash Bandicoot had a more illustrious career. Nights was a short-lived flash in the pan for Sega. But I have always looked at that game and wondered what it would be like to play. I recall the winter, waiting for the holiday season, and anxiously awaiting my Nintendo 64, and my latest dose of Mario. I would stand in Toys “R” Us, playing my Pilot Wings 64 demo, and only glancing curiously at NiGHTS. The Saturn didn’t drive me to it, and I was certainly not alone, but that’s no reason to ignore a game that has been beloved by many, today.

NiGHTS Has developed a cult following years. Now that I’m older and more interested in the games themselves than being a fan for one particular brand, I am excited to get my hands on NiGHTS Into Dreams when it comes out on Xbox Live Arcade on October 5. The game will include all of the original levels but will feature enhanced graphics for the modern high-def era. I’m excited to play it either way, it could have the classic graphics, still I’ve always been interested in how this game works and what drew people to it over games like Super Mario 64. What made Sega choose this as a flagship title? Did they think it was a worthy substitute for Sonic the Hedgehog? Could it compete with super Mario?

I have to play NiGHTS into Dreams to find out what made this a great launch title, paired permanently in my mind with the Sega Saturn. Do people love this game out of nostalgia for the Saturn? Or does the game stand on its own merits? I can’t wait to find out. The backorder is my list of games I should have played but never had time for. This game has been a long time resident on that list. Even though it’s a remake, I am excited to finally get my chance to sit down and play Nights into Dreams.

How to get Open NAT type on Xbox Live

The unfortunate truth about NAT type is that sometimes it is out of your hands. If you’re on a network that you didn’t set up, like some apartment buildings or dorms, it may be hard to resolve. But if this is your home internet connection, you can most likely resolve your issues by logging in to your router and enabling UPnP. The steps for doing this on every router are a little different, but it’s usually fairly simple to find.

Along the same lines, many newer routers also feature an option called teredo tunneling. Enabling that may also resolve your issue.

But Xbox 360 users, fear not! If you’re still having problems after you enable UPnP and teredo tunneling, Microsoft hasn’t given up on you. They suggest some ports you can open as well as other tips to get “NAT type Open” on your connection to Xbox Live.

This became such a huge problem, that Microsoft presented a PowerPoint discussing the issue at Gamesfest 2010, which you can download from