Read all about the goal, features, and history of Jangaroo in the Jangaroo Blog.
What I did update for Jangaron are two things: I used the latest version of the Jangaroo compiler, and I revamped the settings UI. Read about both changes in a minute, but if you want to try the new version immediately, here are some hints for troubleshooting:
Updated to the Latest Jangaroo Compiler
I used the latest version of the compiler (version 0.1.1, which has just not yet been released) to recompile the Jangaron code. Besides some performance improvements, the main point is an even better browser compatibility of the Jangaroo runtime. This makes Jangaron run in Konqueror 3.x (tested with 3.4) and even on... yes... Safari/iPhone!!! It seems that Safari/iPhone is more similar to Konqueror/KHTML than to Safari/Desktop. Unfortunately, the way Jangaron grabs key strokes does not seem to work on Konqueror, and the iPhone does not even have (many) keys. So I set up a special iPhone version that uses on-screen buttons for turning. Speed and view control are not yet available, this is just a quick test whether it is playable at all. Please report back!
But most importantly, Jangaroo being Open Source allows me to release Jangaron as Open Source soon, too. I had to wait until Jangaroo was released, because nobody would have been able to produce a running version from the Jangaron source code without the Jangaroo compiler! Now, I have to figure out which license I'm going to use for Jangaron and where to put the source code repository. Developers, stay tuned!
Revamped the Settings User Interface
To come back to the new features, the settings dialog now has
- a large glowing lightcycle changing to the first user player's color and serving as the new "Enter the Grid" button,
- a different color theme,
- expandable, overhauled help texts for each tab,
- it starts on the "Players" tab when visiting for the first time (since there you find the setting you most likely want to change),
- there, it starts with the main two settings: game mode and number of players, and
- in the background is now an optionally animated game grid (what else?), that can be switched on in the "Grid settings" tab. However, by default it is switched off, since the permanent redraw consumes quite some CPU. Also, you can get dizzy in the head from staring at the sliding grid.
Of course, I also fixed some bugs. For example, combo box selections did not update correctly in Safari. Fortunately, someone else had identified and solved the problem before. The point is that Safari is very close to the spec here, which does not allow two options of a select element to be selected at the same time. So to select a different option, you have to deselect the currently selected one first, or the change is ignored in Safari. The fix was to simply use the selectIndex property of the select element, which avoids this problem completely.
Finally, you may ask yourself, and what about the 3rd person perspective? I have also been working on that, but there are still some performance issues in some browsers and some minor bugs and features (e.g. changing camera position), and I want to give you a good experience from the start when introducing that feature. Maybe I'll set up an alpha version of Jangaron 0.6 for curious and brave Jangaron fans, so let me know if you want me to!