Over the past months I’ve been sporadically working on a new game for the Commodore 64, which for now is called “Cab Hustle.” The game’s objective is to maneuver a flying taxi through the playing area to haul passengers between platforms, similar to “Space Taxi” on the C64 with a ship that flies like the vessels in “TurboRaketti” on the Amiga.

There are so far two videos on my YouTube channel about the game and its development, which you can find below. The first video covers some background, the games that inspired this project, creating the sprites, and designing a rudimentary level in which to transport passengers between platforms. The second video shows the progress of improving the background graphics for the level and reflects the current state of the game.

The game is written in C, using the cc65 compiler (see more on cc65 in my article on TCL on the C64). Writing it in C makes it significantly easier to change things around to experiment compared to writing it in Assembly. Some Assembly is used in time-critical spots: the game’s interrupt service routine is written in Assembly, and the code that updates the screen and color RAM when flying into a new room is implemented using Assembly as well.

At this point, the game is playable. There is some flickering in the status display in the lower left that you can see in the videos, which requires fixing. Also, the algorithm placing new passengers needs tweaking. “Crazy Taxi” (which you can see me playing in the first video) does a great job of placing passengers such that you slowly make your way through all parts of town. Lastly, the sound is on the dull end of the spectrum. There’s no music, and there are only four basic sound effects: two chimes for a passenger being picked up or dropped off, respectively; a noise sound when thrusting, and a static hum when refueling. So there’s still a bit to do, which will keep me entertained when I’m in an 8-bit frame of mind…

That’s it for now—if you have thoughts or suggestions, feel free to leave me a comment on YouTube.