Behind-the-Scenes: QMeasureUp

by Abby @ Quaver on January 19, 2012

in At Quaver HQ,

Super Programmer Adam is back with another installment of Behind-the-Scenes at!

Take it Away, Adam!


Fellow Quaver gamers, I have returned! Welcome to the newest installment of our Behind-the-Scenes series on tips, tricks, and hints for games in Quaver’s QArcade at

Today I’m going to fill you in on a few secrets about QMeasureUp. It’s another game that I programmed, so you can bet that I have the inside scoop on everything you need to know! You can play QMeasureUp in the QArcade in your Music Room at OR as a Facebook game!


The Idea

The idea for QMeasureUp came from a game that you have probably heard of – Tetris! Tetris is a classic puzzle video game developed in 1984 in the Soviet Union, and it remains a worldwide hit even to this day.

Did you know the name Tetris comes from the Greek numerical prefix “tetra-” meaning four, because all the pieces have 4 segments, and the game of tennis – the creator’s favorite sport?

We all love Tetris, but I can promise you that QMeasureUp isn’t just a Tetris clone! Nope, it’s much different and it’s much more MUSICAL!


In QMeasureUp, the goal is to use your knowledge of note durations to keep your screen from filling with notes!

So how do you fill up a measure? With notes, of course! As you know, only a certain number of notes will fill up a measure, depending on the time signature! It might sound simple, now, but think of all the combinations that could fill a 4 beat measure:

  • One Whole note
  • Two Half notes
  • Four Quarter notes
  • Eight Eighth notes
  • One Half note and two Quarter notes
  • One Half note, one Quarter note, two Eighth notes
  • One Half note and four Eighth notes
  • The list goes on and on and on!

Once you start playing you’ll quickly get the hang of it. But then, the notes will start falling faster and faster and you’ll have to think on your toes!

Here’s my challenge to you: clear 10 lines of measures within two minutes. You can do it!

What’s that? You say you’re already a QMeasureUp master? Well, only those who have played the game at the Hard difficulty can say that! In the Medium and Hard difficulties of QMeasureUp, the time signature for each line of measures will change every so often. That means you’ll have to know exactly how many notes (and what types of notes) fit into each measure.

I’ve always found learning to be really fun, but it’s even more fun when you’re doing it while playing an awesome game!


Do you notice anything sort of odd about the background in QMeasureUp? Look closely and you might see some eyeballs following your every move! But don’t worry, their owners aren’t dangerous!

The eyeballs belong to the busts of some of history’s most famous composers. Can you name all three? You’ll only see one composer at a time, though, because each of the three composers belongs to a specific difficulty level.

Tips and Hints

  • Use the left and right arrow keys to move the falling notes.
  • Use the down arrow key to make the note fall faster.
  • Use the up arrow key to make the note fall instantly.
  • Keep an eye on the “next” panel. It will tell you which note is going to drop after the current note. Using the “next” panel to your advantage will make you a much better player.
  • If a note won’t fit in any of the measures, try your hardest to make sure to place it on top of a measure that is already full, rather than one that is only partially full. This will ensure that you don’t block a partial measure unless absolutely necessary.
  • If a note starts falling below the measure you wanted it to go inside, all is not necessarily lost! You can usually get the note to go into that measure by simply using the arrow keys to move it into the measure as it’s falling.
  • When playing on medium or hard difficulty, you’ll notice the time signature on the left side of each line of measures change every now and then. However, if you see that the next completely empty line of measures will have a time signature smaller than 4/4, you can force that line to convert to 4/4 by dropping a whole note onto it before any other note type!

QMeasureUp is a wonderful way to reinforce note duration and time signatures! Let us know your high score in the comments below!

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