Behind-the-Scenes: QAstroNotes!

by Abby @ Quaver on September 29, 2011

in At Quaver HQ,

What a treat for your Thursday!

Today we’re going behind the scenes (or should I say screens) with one of the fantastic programmers behind –

Take it away, Adam!


Hi! My name is Adam and I help program the games on the Quaver website.

What are programmers?

They’re the people who write the weird-looking language that computers can understand really well. Everything you see in the games was created by an artist, but everything you don’t see was done by people like me!

The Idea

QAstroNotes was one of the first games we created for It’s based on a classic video game from the 1980s called Asteroids. Asteroids used to be really popular, and just about everyone played it (maybe even your parents!). We took the idea of space rocks breaking into little pieces and put a musical twist on it. When the notes in QAstroNotes are destroyed, they will break down into smaller notes.

Can you guess what a whole note breaks down into?

What about a sixteenth note?

In QAstroNotes you’ll have to figure it out quickly if you want to keep your guitar rocket alive!


If you’ve played QAstroNotes, you probably noticed the planets and stars moving in the background. Look really closely and you’ll see they’re made of tiny little squares. Those squares are called “pixels” (short for “picture element”) and every game used to look like that!

Now we have games that are created with 3D graphics (sometimes you can’t even tell that they’re not real!), but some of the first games, like Asteroids, could only use pixels for their graphics. Do you think it would be easier to create games using only pixels than it would be using full 3D graphics? As a game developer that’s a question I have to ask myself a lot.

Tips and Hints

    • The notes in QAstroNotes break down all the way to 32nd notes in the later stages. They’re really tiny and move very quickly, so watch out!
    • Whenever the Middle C UFO appears, make sure you destroy it! It will always drop a special powerup.
    • There are four different types of powerups in QAstroNotes. Each one is represented by a musical symbol. Do you think you can look at the symbol and guess what kind of powerup it will give you?
    • Try to save the rockets for when you have only a few small notes left. Otherwise, you may end up with more notes than you can handle.


Now that you’ve been behind-the-scenes – it’s time to go inside the screen!

Sign-up or Log-in to and visit the QArcade in your Music Room to play QAstroNotes and more fun mini-games. Or play QMeasureUp while logged into Facebook to share with your friends!

What classic arcade game would you like to see turned into a QArcade game?

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