Howto:Write a FlightGear Review
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Provide a simple framework/guideline for people wanting to review FlightGear, to make sure that reviews are kept constructive and helpful, i.e. so that they can help guide the future of the program.
Why reviews matter
|the whole reset/re-init work seems to be largely based on FlightGear reviews stating how the sim is unable to save/load/resume flights and change aircraft without restarting the whole simulator: FlightGear Sessions#Problem
Those reviews mentioned there predate the reset/re-init effort by several years, and while the original reviews may not be very objective, they did have /some/ merits - and it seems that some core developers do care about such reviews and are sufficiently motivated by reviews highlighting certain issues - for instance, Stuart used to be an avid participant in "usability" discussions, including reviews of FlightGear highlighting the lack of usability - equally, the Qt5 effort could be said to be aimed at making FG more accessbile.And the FlightGear multicore debate is seeing some attention via HLA - so people certainly care, it's just the timeframe that makes things appear very unresponsive
|Some points a review could potentially talk about - stimulus material for reviewers:
A check list of things that FG does well, and that other sims do not have or are not likely to have might help with write ups? (for instance the weather simulation, and the way it interacts with terrain to both affect flight and provde visual cues). Examples of aviation situations where FGs strengths at simulating come to the fore would help reviewers. I think the promotional value of specifying unique aspects should not be underestimated for a sim that people currently invested in other sims can try out easily. A list of links to evidence that give measures of the quality of JSBSim as well as accuracy of some of FG FDMs might help, as they can be dropped in reviews to great persuasive effect (e.g. this link from an article in the tour section). FG reviews have to contain some reference of FG's opensource nature and what it means. What are a checklist of positives to include? Are there examples of issues in closed source projects that an open source engine would avoid? e.g. aircraft devs getting stranded by lack of engine development.(Is the features page up to date? Any journalist reviewing FG would look at that.. come to think of it screenshots on the front page are outdated).
|Two things to avoid in writing such a thing: writing what disappoints you because of personal preference, but also taking care, while backing away from that trap, not to fall into the other pit of sounding dry, bland, and impersonal. Nevertheless, things relating to personal preference rather than real user convenience may be inserted so long as A.) it is presented as such, B.) it can relate to other users. C.) it can be proved to be inconvenient in any scenario.
Moreover, the review, with regards to performance, ought to be written by one person but based on the experiences of at least two different pcs with different specs--in other words both ends of the gamut.Also we should not be afraid to write about bad things in FG--awkward chat boxes, horrible clouds in basic wxr (and basic wxr is necessary for low end pcs) etc. In short, we need an Unbiased, objective, honest, lively, and engaging review.
— MIG29pilot (Feb 21st, 2016). Re: How to write a FlightGear review (brainstorming) ?.
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- recent Changelogs (link template)
- recent newsletters
- Unique Features
- old reviews
Things to cover
- FlightGear version to be reviewed, download location
- background of the reviewer (e.g. previous flight simulation experience)
- target audience
- focus of the review
- expectations of the reviewer
- simulator performance
- quality of visuals, audio/effects, aircraft systems
- operating system, hardware (graphics card, ram, cpu)
- settings used
- aircraft/airports tested
- summary (pros & cons, suggestions for improvement)
- conclusion / final words
- Youtube videos