SAM, or Scenery Animation Manager, is a plugin, which takes care of the animations on the airports. For example, jetways, windsocks, safedock etc. In the latest version, they added season plugin addition, which can add seasons to your simulator.
The first thing to mention, this plugin is absolutely free of charge and can be found on X-Plane.org forums. I will provide a link below the article.
As many X-Planeists know, the lack of seasons was a little problem for many years, there are many plugins, that add seasons to this simulator, but does not work well every time. Will this one be a breakthrough then?
Installation of this add-on is very simple. Just put the “resources” folder in .zip to your X-Plane 11 folder. Don’t be like me, and don’t forget to update your SAM plugin to 2.0. Because it won’t work. I had to reinstall my entire SAM plugin because of that. But that is my fault, and not a fault of the developer.
Once you finished the installation, which might take longer, because the entire plugin is 8GB (in .zip, 10GB in total) big, start your simulator and see if it works.
The SAM Seasons Plugin adds 5 seasons in total, which are: Winter, deep winter, spring, summer, autumn. Each of which has its own ground and trees textures, so it feels really realistic. I really liked the way it looked in the simulator.
Mechanics of the plugin
The plugin itself is really user-friendly, and it can be set up by, I think, every X-Plane 11 user. You just need to go to plugin menu, choose SAM, and in the drop-down select seasons. There, you’ll see the season options, as well as texture options. Texture options just edit autogen regarding the sceneries.
What I didn’t like about SAM seasons, is the fact it can’t configure seasons regarding the time in-sim. Despite that, you can have more accurate textures, especially in hot winters like it is right now. So it’s hard to say if it is good like this or vice versa.
What does this plugin a little bit bad, is that it can’t save your settings, even it should. I tried to look in the settings, but I didn’t find any options saying “save your current options”.
The reloading of the scenery due to changing the seasons might be a little bit longer, especially in hills or mountain areas. But, it is really well-made plugin overall.
I’ll leave some screenshots of the ground here, so you can compare every other season.
So, is it a really good plugin? Well, certainly, it is. I can recommend it with all 10 points out of 10. The settings are really user-friendly, sim looks more real with it, and, most importantly, it is free, as some of the season plugins aren’t. So go get it right now, to make your sim to look more realistic. Get the SAM plugin v2 here, and the season library can be got here.
For more reviews like this, stay tuned on FSNews.