This is the first of a two-part article going deep into the post-match stats screens of Killer Queen Black. It provides an overview of all of the screens and how to read them so you can understand the story of a particular game or match. We’ll discuss what stats to focus on for each of the game’s roles, and analyze some matches and games to illustrate. The second post will talk about the long process to design and implement these screens. Both assume a basic familiarity with the game, so if you don’t know why there’s a snail in the game yet, watch this video or check out the strategy guide.
Killer Queen Black is a complex game with three different ways to win. Providing players with post-game stats is therefore really important for players to both see where they may need to improve as well as understanding why they won or lost a game or match.
When we launched the game, our original post-match screen only showed four stats per player – kills, deaths, berries in, and snail distance. It was straightforward and easy to understand, but didn’t provide much information about a match. So we recently launched two extra post-match screens, a chart and a graph. But before we learn how to read those, let’s take a look at the original screen.
While it gives you a good high-level view of a match, there are some big questions that it doesn’t answer, such as –
- How many of a queen’s kills were against other queens, vs soldiers or workers?
- For a worker, how many of their deaths were as a worker vs as a soldier?
- How many of a worker’s berries were throws vs dunks?
- For how much of the game or match was a player up as a soldier, vs simply a worker?
Now, here’s the first of the two new screens, the advanced stats chart.
It definitely can feel overwhelming at first, there are a lot of numbers here! How do you know what’s important? Where should you look? Before we get into that, I want to briefly talk about the column on the left – each rectangle represents that we’re showing either the sum of all games in a match (as shown here) or the stats for an individual game.
When looking at individual games, we can see the map that each was played on, the team that won, and what the win condition was. Below, we have the total time for either the whole match or the selected game, in this case 7 minutes and 12 seconds.
Now, looking at the total numbers for this entire match, let’s break down the important stats for each role, starting with the queens.
What makes a good queen? Staying alive, and controlling the map for their team – primarily by tagging gates, but also by killing the other team. Our first two columns are kills on queens and soldiers. If we add the kill columns and compare it to the deaths column, we can get these queens’ K:D ratios for this match as 13:9 and 14:8.
The next most important stat is all the way on the right – gate control percentage. This shows the percentage of total time that a tagged gate was a particular color, and can give you an overall idea of which team had military control throughout the match or game.
Finally, we can go back to the left and also look at worker kills, which is another indicator of how well this queen controlled the game. Overall we can say that from the queen perspective, this match was fairly balanced. Yet, we see that the blue team won this match 3-1, and we’ll see why when we look at the performance of their soldiers and workers.
For soldiers, it’s mostly similar to queens in terms of K:D and worker kills. The main difference is instead of gate control, we’re looking at what percentage of game time this player was upgraded to a soldier for. It takes time and skill to grab a berry and get to a gate without dying, so the longer you’re able to remain alive as a soldier, the more efficiently you’re playing if that’s your main role. Staying alive also takes pressure off the queen – the less soldiers die, the less time queens have to worry about getting them back up, allowing them to focus on stopping the other team’s win condition or military formation. So we can say knowing when to engage the enemy and risk dying vs when to hang back and stay alive to fight later is a key skill for soldiers.
Notice in the above game, ikkiN was a soldier for almost 60% of the match. I would say anything over 50% is good for someone maining the soldier role, so 60% is pretty solid. Even though the main soldier on gold, warby, had the same number of deaths as ikkiN, you can see that on average, ikkiN’s lives lasted much longer. If we look at the worker kills column, we can see what that time was spent doing – preventing gold’s workers from completing their objectives by continuously killing them. Usually a queen will have the highest worker kills on a team due to their mobility, so the fact that ikkiN has more worker kills than the blue queen here is impressive.
For workers, the columns that are most important are berries and snail, and secondly, deaths. If your team is getting berries in or moving the snail faster than the other team, as long as your queen can stay alive, you’ll win. (Note that the two berry sub-columns represent berries deposited by jumping into a hive hole directly, and berries thrown in from a distance).
So we’ve seen that ikkiN was a large reason blue won, by stopping gold’s workers. But from the game summary screens on the left we see that blue won with two economic victories. Taking a look at the two remaining players on each team, we can see that SurLancelot86 ran 23 berries in this match, much higher than any of the gold workers. Even PSI Chris had more berries in than anyone on gold as well. So we can really attribute blue’s wins to the combination of ikkiN’s stopping gold so the two other blue workers could do a fantastic job running berries.
If we look at the totals for each team, this is even more evident – both teams had about the same distance on snail, and there were no snail victories in this match, so it really came down to berries. And again we see that the blue team’s total (37) was much higher than the gold’s (25). We also see again the effect of ikkiN’s efficient soldiering – gold’s worker deaths were over 1.5x those of blue.
Now, let’s switch to a completely different match to take a look at how to read the second new screen, the graph.
Unlike the chart, the graph can only show individual games in a match. If we know how to read it, we can get a good idea of the second-to-second story of each game. At the top of the graph, we have eggs representing the points in the game where queens died.
We have lines representing each team’s economy, number of soldiers up, and snail progress from the center of the map. It’s a lot of information and can definitely feel overwhelming, so let’s take a look at each stat separately first.
Each queen egg represents the moment in time where a queen lost its life. We can see that the gold queen died at around :15 and :50 seconds, and the blue queen died at around :35 and 1:40. This game ended with both queens on their last life.
Next, we have the number of soldiers up for each team at each moment of the game. At any point a team can have a maximum of three soldiers, as there are three workers on each team. In this game we can see that there was a lot of back and forth between the two teams. Both were able to keep at least one soldier up for most of the match, and although gold was completely wiped a few times, they always quickly got at least one soldier back up, until the last 30 seconds of the game when blue seemed to dominate militarily after briefly being wiped.
Looking at the economy tab, we see how quickly and how many berries each team was able to put in. In this match, blue didn’t get in any at all, while gold started off extremely strong filling over half the hive in about 15 seconds, and then slowly getting the rest in over the remaining two minutes, before finally getting the last berry in at 2:35.
This type of shape is very common for the economy lines, as it’s generally much easier to get berries in at the start of the game before the other team gets any soldiers up to stop them. It’s important for queens to keep an eye on early berries – the lower that initial spike, the harder it will be for that team to complete the win condition, especially on maps with no vertical wrap and hives at the top of the screen. This game took place on The Black Queen’s Keep, which is fairly balanced between econ and snail.
Finally, we have the path of the snail. This line represents the distance from the center of the map to either snail goal, with the color of the line denoting which side it’s on. We see here that blue had a fantastic start getting snail over 75% of the way to the goal, but then struggled in that final distance, until gold really started pulling the snail back at around 1:40. We see a little more back and forth starting around the two-minute mark but blue just wasn’t able to push it the way they did at the start.
Now that we understand each of the components of the graph, we can combine them to really understand what happened through this entire match.
- Blue starts with a classic 2 soldiers/1 rider snail push while gold gets 1 soldier out and has two workers focus on berries.
- Both are around 75% of the way to completing their chosen objective around 30 seconds in, but then one of gold’s workers switches to help pull the snail back, and the other worker soldiers up for a bit.
- There is a long struggle for the snail over the next minute with blue able to slowly push it almost to the very end, meanwhile gold gets another 2 berries in.
- The critical moment happens around 1:40 when the blue queen is killed and both of blue’s soldiers go down.
- Because gold is so close to winning on berries, when the blue queen respawns they have to abandon the snail to both ledge guard (act as a ‘goalie’ in the enemy’s hive) and attempt to get soldiers back up.
- Even though they’re able to kill both of gold’s two soldiers and then get two soldiers up themselves just around the two minute mark, by that time gold has pulled the snail halfway back to its starting position.
- At this point, it would have been wiser for the blue team to completely defend the gold hive and attempt to kill the gold queen, who was on their last life, but instead they continue to try to push the snail while simultaneously preventing gold’s last two berries from going in.
- The gold queen kills one of blue’s soldiers around 2:15, making space for the 2nd to last berry to go in, and the final one follows just a bit later, winning the match for gold.
This match illustrates the classic trade-off between econ and snail perfectly – snail is faster, but requires you to be able to hold your military advantage so the other team can’t ride it back. Berries are harder to push but once they’re in, they’re in for good, so by the time you have only 4 or 2 left the other team has no choice but to completely focus on stopping you.
I hope this was fun and helpful for you, and maybe even helped you think about how to play the game more strategically. If you have any questions, hit us up in the discord!
Stay tuned for our next post, where we’ll cover the process of how these screens were designed and iterated on over the course of 2020.