First, all of this is written out of a constructive mindset, where I value this product and want to see it in a state where it is working more or less as specified. I want to offer my skills in any way that I can to help this come to fruition.
Second, I worked in games development — specifically flight sims — first as a QA “Tester” and then as a Producer. I was responsible both for finding and testing bugs, maintaining bug reports and interfacing with the programming/art/audio teams to see that these bugs were addressed, in addition to other Producer responsibilities. I am intimately familiar with this process and the obstacles throughout that may or may not be involved in why bugs are “allowed” to ship in a Gold Mastered product.
That said, I’m really confused by the bugs I’m seeing in this software package. There will always be bugs and the kinds of bugs I’m seeing aren’t the “I’m using an obscure graphics card with a 3rd party driver and, on Wednesdays when I fly upside down over Telluride the sim CTD” type of bugs. The kind of bugs I’m running into and I’m being frustrated by (as are many other posters here) are the easy-to-find going-over-a-basic-software-functionality-checklist-to-see that-the-rudimentary-functions-of-the-sim-are-working kind of bugs.
• Default out-of-the-box keyboard Profile F10 and F11 keys do not work as described
• “Next Pilot View” from the default view freezes the sim
• Airports having aircraft-crashing invisible obstacles on taxiways and runways
• Bush Trip progress saving bugs
• ATC IFR Cruise ceiling issues, whereby ATC assigns a cruise out of the range of an aircraft’s specification or the pilot cannot request a lower altitude successfully either by radio or changing the flight plan via on-board computer and must listen to ATC repeatedly request an expedited climb
• Broken or impossible to complete achievements
• Basic aircraft systems, even in non-study-level aircraft, that are supposed to work do not.
• Taxiing the DA40 broken
• DA62 always overheating coolant temperature
• TBM Parking Brake warning alarm can’t be overridden
• Starter safety switch in Junkers JU 52 isn’t required to be turned on, as specified in the Start checklist, for the starters to operate
• Radio sounds in headset when avionics switch and/or radios are turned off
• Ammeters showing massive draws when master battery switch is off
In addition to these low-hanging-fruit types of bugs there is the serious issue of “bug regression” where bugs previously squashed make their way back into the sim in newer released versions. Having a proper bug regression testing methodology (along with solid version control) is the key to arresting these issues.
What is concerning for SU8 is there appears to be something at Asobo going on that is allowing all this to occur and why will SU8 be any different? Is it a baseline poor QA dept.? Is it a management that is allowing bugs through because of lack of staffing resources to address them? or the business side of the company is pushing for release dates before the product is ready? or a “kick the can down the road” type of approach? or any other type of internal issues that could be the reason.
What I don’t really understand about modern-day development is how all of this even gets by Microsoft. If I sent a release version of a game to Nintendo or Sega of America, they’d kick the thing back if it had bugs. Showing my age here, you couldn’t patch a cartridge before we had the Internet we have today, so bugs had to be addressed. It seems there is almost a laziness in developers today, because releasing a patch via the Internet to your entire user base is so much easier than mailing them a package of 3.5” floppy disks.
How can I help you here? I”m willing to invest my own time and money to sign up for the Xbox development program, so I can beta test for you. I can do the same on my PC, if needed.
I love this sim, I’m completely smitten by it. I want to be a part of the solution here. Please, Asobo, take me up on my offer to help.