December 25th

Here I’ve been adding a number of housekeeping functions: implementing the six game levels, providing an introduction to each of them, making sure that they work properly (still not done with that). I wasted an entire day trying to get transparency working. I came up with a neat little trick: I started with a photo of the Earth for the Apollo missions, duplicated it, then tweaked the color ranges to produce a sickly looking brownish-red earth image. My plan was to have the splash screen alter between the two images by altering the alpha channel of the upper one. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get anything working. I tried all sorts of variations on the various schemes I found on the Internet, but nothing worked. After wasting at least 10 hours, I decided that it was time to move on.

After screwing around endlessly with the supply elasticity of price for the eight different energy forms, I broke down and decided to go with a conventional logarithm approach. This option was available to me from the start, but for theoretical reasons I felt the need to eschew it. But I’ve had so many problems coming up with a clean solution that I finally threw up my hands and fell back on the trusty old logarithm. It works perfectly, of course, but now I have a lot of tuning to do.