With June upon us it’s time to reflect on the first half of 2021, celebrate the goals we’ve met, and get hyped about what’s ahead.
The team at Liquid Bit published a KQB roadmap just prior to our release on Xbox, Game Pass, and Stadia in February of 2021. Time flies! Since then, we’ve welcomed new players and witnessed a lot of cross-platform action.
NEW platform launch highlights:
Xbox Tavern picked up KQB and we loved the raw honesty in their review. Yes, sometimes a chaotic multiplayer might be intimidating, but once you get going, it is actually quite addictive.
In another Xbox review, Liquid Bit’s Adam Walters and Chris Wallace, chat it up with Chris Clarke of Xbox Era to dive into our history, gameplay, and community.
The SML Podcast crew hosted a session with Liquid Bit’s Matt Tesch and Mike Chorak – tune in for a super-fun party cast celebrating our Xbox launch.
Our release on Stadia allowed us to meet content creators from around the world including, CloudGamingDad, who sparked a run of Liquid Bit devs jumping in streams and connecting with Stadia players. Here’s one of the first looks of KQB on Stadia with Lee, LB’s devs, and KQB community regulars.
Other 2021 Updates
A few of the changes that have taken place over the last 6 months:
We pushed 1.65 in March, which included in-game audio updates and a slew of fixes.
The MMR refresh of February 2021 is explained in more detail here and you can dig even deeper into the behind the scenes of the new post-match screens here.
The Liquid Bit team is still ecstatic over our localization efforts. This exciting update was no small feat, we now offer localization in French, Italian, German, Spanish, Japanese, and Korean for PC players!
We are in the process of submitting our next release which tackles bugs, includes a new map, ABS, and MORE!
We’re working on a new map and a new character for our Q3 release. As always, we will continue to monitor matchmaking, bugs, and feature requests.
Last, but not least – Q2 of 2021 introduced a fan-designed, community-developed KQB league! A big Liquid Bit and Killer Queen Black welcome and thank you to the hardworking folks that make BGL so special. Learn more about Bee Game League, their tournaments, and events here.
Thank you for your ongoing support, stay tuned for 1.66!
This is the second of a two-part article going deep into the post-match stats screens of Killer Queen Black (read part 1 here).Now that we’ve gone over all the information in the chart and graph screens, we can go back and discuss how we arrived at the final designs.
Everything in Killer Queen Black has roots in the arcade game, and our stats screens are no exception. The below image is a post-game stat screen created by Matt Abdou, a long-time Killer Queen player from Portland. He originally designed it for the Camp KQ tournament in the summer of 2019, and it was used again at BumbleBash 4 that October.
Note some key differences with KQB that I had to address immediately –
This only shows a single game, not a best of 5 set. Yes, games on the arcade version generally last a lot longer!
Player names aren’t feasible to display, they’d be too hard to update after each match, and in arcade you can more easily identify players by their character/physical position on the cabinet anyway. So here it makes more sense for a player’s data to be in a column, not a row.
Warrior kills aren’t explicit, but they’re the K in K:D minus queen kills.
There are no berry throws in the arcade game!
Warrior and speed gates are tracked separately, which doesn’t make sense for KQB, where you often have both upgrade types in one gate.
Some time around the end of January 2020, I sketched the below as a first concept for what an advanced stats chart for KQB might look like.
Details of this version include –
Switching to players being in rows so we can display usernames and profile pictures. This version also includes an icon for what character you picked.
The column on the left is copied from the original post-match screen, each showing the result of each game
Preserving presentation of K:D format from the arcade screen instead of listing kills and deaths individually
Separating out berry dunks vs throws
Gate control % and warrior uptime % are in the same column to save space in my tiny notebook
Extra column for adding friends or reporting players (looking back, simply selecting an entire row could have opened that submenu)
In addition to a chart, I thought it would be interesting to be able to visualize the story of a game over time in a graph, starting with the idea of post-match graphs of StarCraft as a general reference. When I got the go-ahead to start fully fleshing out the updated post-match experience, I started by making a very rough mockup in Google Spreadsheets, to illustrate the basic functionality before handing it off to our illustrator, Anailis “Ika” Dorta. The below mocks are from that spreadsheet, made on April 20th.
I also added a few extra details in photoshop – the legend above the chart, and the game scrollbar on the left.
Here’s an early comp Ika sent back on June 8th.
Seeing this mock made me realize I’d made a mistake by not hand-mocking the graph, as the lines in that version weren’t representative of how the lines should actually look to properly represent the information. Soldier and econ lines always go up in one discrete moment rather than on a slope, and econ lines never go down. There also was a bit too little contrast between each of the line types for everything to be quickly readable. So I sent back this quick drawing illustrating all of those points. Having the mock show actual possible values would help us iterate on the final visuals.
The other area we iterated heavily on was the icons for the chart headers. Ika came up with several possibilities for the various kill/death icons before we settled on the two-row header style of the final version. Here are a few options she made for queen and worker deaths:
We continued iterating on the presentation of the screens until we felt ready to send out our first ‘playtest’ survey to gather feedback on July 26th. We asked players what they thought of the following mock, and asked them to identify the various columns to make sure everything was clear.
The main trouble points that came back from the survey were:
The example econ lines were still to curvy, people were expecting a ‘staircase’ shape
Many suggested a toggle between the different stats, showing only one at a time for increased clarity
K:D was confusing to people, while arcade players were used to thinking that way, the KQB community wanted to see everything broken down much more granularly
Berry column was confusing, it wasn’t clear at all the numbers were supposed to represent dunks – throws – kick-ins
The inconsistency of showing a “-” for both queens and workers who didn’t soldier up in the soldier uptime % column confused people, so we made sure in the next version to only use “-” for “not possible” or “not applicable” and 0 or 0% otherwise.
To show kills and deaths in a more detailed way, I realized we’d need to go back to the original two-tiered header approach from my original drawing. Here’s a very rough mock I sent over to Ika on the 25th of August.
I also asked her to please make better icons for the berry columns than my very janky sketches! This is also when I first suggested trying a worker’s butt climbing in the hole as the berries dunked icon, as an alternative to the “thumbs up”.
Other feedback I suggested at this time resulting from the survey was removing the space in between each player row and changing the player name colors to white on both blue and gold, As for the graph, I sent the following, going into more detail about how the individual stat highlighting might work, and clarifying the display of some of the data –
The end of August was a whirlwind as Ika and I quickly went back and forth through several iterations. At first, she explored standardizing all of the icons with the existing ‘pixelated’ look from the original post-match results screen. But we both agreed that it didn’t look as good, and switching everything over to using the smooth vector icons would give us more freedom to explore different options.
Ika’s next version of the graph also came a long way towards the final version. She also added tabs above the graph for the different views to make them even more clear.
From here it was just a matter of picking from different options for the header style, text and bar colors, and the icons themselves. Below is an example of a compsheet Ika sent over with various permutations. She’s exceptional at making these really quickly and they’re really great for prompting discussion.
My only remaining suggestion for the berry dunk icon was to offset the rows slightly to match the way they appear on most maps as well as to give the worker butt a little more space so we could enlarge it slightly.
Our next step was to send another “playtest” feedback survey out. This time, the results were extremely positive. We felt good enough after this 2nd round of feedback to move forward with implementation. Ika sent the final designs to Brice, our dev who implements all of the game’s UI. As Brice worked through adding the screens, they caught something that I was actually kind of embarrassed that I overlooked, which was adding the sum row under each team’s four players! That addition made doing a quick read of the results much easier, so I’m really glad they put that in. Teamwork makes the dream work!
Here again are the final results –
If you’ve made it this far, I really hope you enjoyed reading about our design process and got a better idea about how much work goes in to making these complex screens from both the team and our playtesters! And as always, thanks for playing Killer Queen Black!
RANK RESET + other updates happening Monday, February 1, 2021
Get ready for the early release of 1.64! PC and Switch players can get a head start on the rank reset Monday, February 1st, 2021. The patch, originally planned to go live alongside the Xbox Game Pass launch, will be available ahead of schedule at 10am CST 2/1/21.
Note, the game will be unavailable from 8am – 10am CST prior to the reset.
Here’s what to expect:
New post match screen with stats and graphs
Fixed a bug with couch players and emotes
More Optimized Switch Build
For details on what the updated MMR means for current players visit cwal’s post, Reset is Coming.
“After launch, we quickly realized that our initial approach to distributing MMR was far too simple to produce good results given the complexity of the game.” – cwal
Killer Queen Black’s original algorithm was essentially a modified Elo system that compared each player’s rating to the average rating of the other team when distributing points. Had the initial player population been large enough to ensure that player ratings in every game were relatively close together, this system would have been passable. However, in our situation, where teams were often made up of players across a wide range of ratings, it ended up causing large swings and ‘felt’ unfair.
Consider a team with each player rated close to 2200 against a team of 3x players with a rating of 2000 and one player with a rating of 2800. If the latter team lost, the high ranking player would lose a huge amount of points against a rating of 2200 without considering the lower rating of his teammates. Conversely, if that team won, likely due to some amazing effort from the higher ranked player, the 3x players rated at 2000 would get quite a boost to their ratings.
As mentioned earlier, the results often felt unfair even though over time things would have evened out – so as a band-aid, we capped losses to -10 points (players would often lose 20-30 points in a match they clearly were not likely to win). This solved the issue in the short run, but in the long run caused the large drift up in the rating distribution we see today, where most players are rated way above the minimum points to reach obsidian. We even see that most new players are now placing right into into gold, platinum, or even obsidian.
A little help from our friends
When the Liquid Bit team started looking at overhauling the rating algorithm, we realized there were a number of directions we could explore, but the best option would be to get help from experts. We reached out to a friend at P3 Analytics who specializes in game data analysis, and they were eager to help out on such a unique project.
P3 Analytics ran a statistical analysis of thousands of competitive games and were able to determine what variables actually mattered in predicting which team would win a match.
You may be thinking, “obviously it’s the number of ha-ha emotes per player per minute,” but that one was actually too low on the list to be statistically significant. But there were about 6 or 7 factors that were, and so P3 was able to create an algorithm to both accurately predict the outcome of a match based on the ranks of each player, as well as fairly distribute points after the match. We quickly implemented it in the game behind-the-scenes to test it out.
At this time, Liquid Bit will not be releasing the algorithm – know that it is something we will be constantly monitoring and tweaking.
It’s been running for a few months now and we think the results are promising. Just before we launch on Xbox Game Pass, all players will have their ratings reset and go through placements again. Historical data (matches played, wins/losses etc.) will temporarily be hidden while in placements, but will come back once you’ve completed the ten placement matches.
In the new system, there’s no cap on point losses, but distribution should always ‘feel’ fair thanks to the new algorithm. But, the new tier cutoffs will be distributed as such that only the best of the best should make it to obsidian. We’ve also added demotions, so it will be possible to go down a tier if you don’t keep up your record.
We appreciate the community’s feedback as always and will be tuning the algorithm and player experience as needed in future resets. We’re incredibly excited for both our upcoming launch on Xbox Game Pass and the MMR reset and can’t wait to see what happens with the competitive scene. Good luck out there!
Indy Gaming League’s Fall Circuit 2020 was a display of hardcore talent, professional, polished casting, emerging casters, 4th circuit regulars, and some new, exciting teams too! Thank you to IGL, the players, and the community for another incredible circuit.
IGL’s KQB Fall Circuit by the numbers:
4th IGL for KQB – that’s 1 FULL YEAR!
7 tiers of play – 4 in the west and 3 in the east
The roster: 275 teammates with 214 unique players = 50 teams!
What’s an IGL Circuit without the hard-working BOTler?
BOTler really shined this season! Thanks to Dadcore’s tech-savvy and Bee’sKnees Almanac organization, this fine gentleman delivered match schedule after bracket upon team finder to be the resource we rely on to stay in-the-know.
As the proper BOTler would say himself,“without further ado, let’s give a hooray for our champions!”
BIG thanks to KG for showcasing these amazing players and teams throughout the circuit with his rad montages of TOP PLAYS. Subscribe and don’t forget to submit your plays.
IGL Liaison Shout Out!
Fall Circuit 2020 introduced double elimination, even more Almanac features, and the capture and distribution of who is casting what, where, and when with greater detail than ever – none of that would have been possible without Bee’sKnees. She’s the voice of the community and the Liaison we all needed and love, if you haven’t thanked her for her dedication to superior experiences and league play, what are you waiting for?
Betelgeuse 1.63 is the update to our 1.62 Betelgeuse release and contains many new features, including the heavily requested spectate feature! For a full view of what’s new, check out the release notes below!
Spectate custom matches from the friend list or via a spectate code.
Custom match rule modifiers now available.
Region select will now ONLY place you in your selected region.
In game ping menu has been redesigned to show region and spectators.
Emote and dance on Meet Thy Family.
Emote in post-match.
Added an option to block emotes and pings in game.
In game menus have been updated to allow you to set privacy permissions, adjust audio, enable voice chat, and change your input configuration.
A snail eat will now be counted as a kill for the rider.
Snail riders can now jump off the snail in one of three directions; front, up, and behind.
Quick Play matches will now start with only one player.
Quick Play will now allow a match with an AI queen if you choose runner as your preferred role.
AI movement updates.
Collider and physics updates to smooth out bumps.
PC players can now lock/unlock the framerate.
Switch performance improvements.
UI animation updates.
Many misc bug fixes.
Added a 6th berry pile back to Helix. While the tension leading up to famines that the previous version enabled was very exciting, the famines themselves were both far too frequent and boring for everyone except the queens and any remaining warriors. We’ll be continuing to monitor famines across all maps and considering what, if any, mechanical changes to the game might fit best for famines in KQB.
Added a gun and removed the shield on Spire. Gun is underrepresented generally among the 7 maps, and this change should open up exciting new opportunities for play, especially in the bottom half of the map and the hives.
This release was made even better by the community Bug Hunt playtest participants! Join the conversation about this release, feature requests and playtesting via our Discord.
Indy Gaming League’s Summer Circuit 2020 was the perfect way to cool down and hang out with friends this summer. From intense gameplay to polished casting, it was an exciting circuit that delivered some quality entertainment!
Big thanks to all the players, casters, and spectators for making IGL’s Summer Circuit the best yet.
Our Discord Server welcomed a proper gentleman this season to assist us in not missing a thing! Always at your service, can we give it up for BOTler? !matches, !bracket, !teamfinder, you name it, BOTler has the answer. Community shout out to Dadcore and Bee’sKnees for introducing us to our new friend.
Tier 2 WEST
4th: Flap Around and Find Out
3rd: Cat Pics
Supreme Champions: Snailed It!
The team that wrote “will probably lose every match but will have fun doing it!” in the team finder description takes the title! Championship Match casted by KG! Fun fact: KG casted 8 of 9 Snailed It! games. By the end of the season, he knew their stats better than they did. Congrats, Snailed It!
Tier 1 West
4th: Snail in the Coffin
3rd: Dave’s Killer Queen
2nd: Tear Bears (west)
Supreme Champions: SoaK
Championship Match viewing on The Big Show with Big Chungus! Shout out to SoaK and family – the first IGL match to be interrupted by a baby being born! Congrats on your win and your growing hive.
Tier 3 East
2nd: Cross-Platform Disadvantaged
Supreme Champions: Temp
Some awesome Tier 3 East action this circuit. Congrats, Temp on your title and 7-1 record! Championship Match action with The QP MiniBosses!
Tier 2 East
4th: Smooth Snailin’
3rd: Whiskey Beesness
2nd: According to All Known Laws
Supreme Champions: Tier 2
Tier 2 takes Tier 2, not confusing at all! Congrats on your win and 8-1 record! Prosive with the Championship Match cast!
Tier 1 East
2nd: Tear Bears (east)
Supreme Champions: My Whole Stack
Tier 1 East put on a show this circuit. Congrats to all teams and to My Whole Stack on a great run with their only loss of the season in a bye match. View the Championship Match casted by Peanutphobia!
Summer Circuit TOP PLAYS: You can also check out TOP PLAYS per week from KQB Community Content Creator and Caster, KG! Thanks for putting these together to showcase these amazing players and teams.
Make sure to join our Discord where you can find Big Chungus’s weekly IGL recognition awards. They’re fun ones such as, the Purple Heart (most deaths in a week) to Eternal Warrior (most kills by a drone warrior) and even more in between! Thanks, Chungus for making us smile week after week!
IGL also releases official trophies and awards for most berries by a drone, most snail mileage by a drone, and most kills by a queen. Make sure to check out membership and their networks for some great content! More about Indy Gaming League.
Thanks again for an awesome Summer Circuit! Enjoy the off-season and get ready to game with friends this fall!
Welcome to the ever-evolving, official-unofficial, Killer Queen Black glossary of terms.
In general, Killer Queen, and its expanding universe, have maintained a philosophy of not naming anything explicitly. Having fans and players attribute their own nicknames and references is entertaining and encouraged, but can sometimes be confusing. For a full list of community lingo, visit the original KQB player’s dictionary.
For new players, casters, and spectators may this glossary help you dissect some of the Killer Queen Black vernacular and inspire the creation of your own – but most importantly, help you communicate via the in-game chat and strengthen your strategy for the chaotic battle that is KQB.
Berries, beans, pearls, orbs, balls – it all works! For the purpose of this glossary, we will refer to “them” as “berries.”‘
KQB’s Official-Unofficial Community Voice Chat Glossary
What did they say?
What it refers to:
Where characters start the game and where the “berry” deposits are for progress on an economic victory.
Military Victory: Kill the enemy’s queen three times. Economic Victory or Econ: Fill your team’s hive with “berries.” Snail Victory: Ride the snail to your team’s goal.
Platforms or ledges (noun)
Where you run, jump to.
Ledge, Ledging (verb)
Guarding an enemy hive to defend against economic victory. Prevent “berries” from scoring, kill enemies in or near the hive, and push loose “berries” away from the enemy hive and toward their own hive.
Best practice for scoring lingo. Game = one map Set = winning 3 games in a best of 5 Match = winner of the required amount of sets as per the league/tournament rules
Black Queen’s Keep (BQK) Helix Temple Pod Spire Split Juniper Tally Fields Nesting Flats
Places workers can take a “berry” to transform/upgrade into a warrior.
Either going speed or shield. Often on nesting, one drone will head directly to the upgrade gate on open and make the call out, I’m getting upgrades.
Speed Sword (or any weapon)
When a runner has speed and then upgrades at a gate to become a warrior/soldier.
Sword and Board
When a worker has both a sword + shield.
When a worker has speed + shield.
When a worker has shield + speed + sword.
When a worker has shield + speed + laser.
Super Soldier or “going super”
When a worker has speed + shield + sword.
When a worker has a speed upgrade.
Wall and Ball
When a worker has shield + mace.
When you have been killed and are re-spawning.
When you have successfully completed a military upgrade. “I’m up.” “I’m up sword.” “I’m up mace.”
I’m Going ____
State the intended location and upgrade type in order to avoid a rush of multiple workers to the same gate location and/or upgrade type and split the queen’s attention. “I’m going left gate.” “I’m going laser.”
Used to indicate that the Queen or enemy Queen has died once.
Used to indicate that the Queen or enemy Queen has died twice and the match will end on the next kill.
May indicate a need for worker(s) to upgrade to military to defend their own Queen or help achieve the final kill of the enemy Queen for a Military victory. If their own team is near Economic or Snail victory, workers can say “Stay Safe” or “Stay Alive” to indicate Queen only needs to play conservatively for a short time to allow for other objective victory conditions to be met.
All Mil or full mill
When all three workers go military. “They’re going all mil.”
When two workers go economy. When all three workers go economy.
When a team has no military up, usually due to recent kills.
Thank you to BeeKnee’s, sklover, tm0z, KQB Discord Mods, and the casting community for your love the game, your bee-utiful puns, and the creation of above terms to keep things interesting.
Have you coined a KQB term? Drop in the comments and we just might include it in our next glossary update. Thanks!
Indy Gaming League’s Winter Circuit – that’s a wrap!
Congratulations to the 209 players, making up 50 teams, who battled it out in Indy Gaming League’s Winter Circuit 2021. With 5 Tiers of play, the matches were non-stop and the KQB Casting Community delivered almost every match on stream – way to go!
Give it up for the KQB IGL Champions of Winter Circuit 2021!
Tier 1 East
Champions: Gang Gang Gang | 2nd: My Whole Stack | 3rd: Penguin Peeps
Killer Queen Black is a special game for many reasons, but particularly because it relies on teamwork, communication, and friends with the game! Steam has knocked down the barrier of your friends owning KQB with the introduction of their Remote Play Together option. KQB and 100’s of other titles are now available for you to play with your friends over the internet as long as one party owns a copy, sweet!
Starting now through Monday, March 29th at 10 AM PT, KQB is 20%!
In addition to the sale, we’ll be celebrating by showcasing the game and highlighting KQB community members on the following streams:
It’s a QP MiniBoss play and chat with Liquid Bit Game Designer, Chris Wallace! Join the fun Friday, March 26, 2021, at 9 PM ET/8 CT/6 PT. https://www.twitch.tv/qpminibosses
Have you met the KQB crew behind the Bee Game League? You’ll have a chance Saturday, March 27, 2021 at 10 PM ET/9 CT/7 PT. Check out KQB gameplay in a custom match showcase with the founders of BeeGame.gg. Joined by Liquid Bit in the chat, you won’t want to miss this ultimate celebration of working together to claim your victory! https://www.twitch.tv/BeeGameLeague
Welcome to the KQB FAQ. So many questions, so many resources. This is a good starting point. You can also jump in #questions in our official Discord server where community members and devs tackle Q’s in real time.
General KQB FAQ
Q: What platforms can you play Killer Queen Black on?
A: Nintendo Switch, PC: Steam and Discord, Xbox and Xbox Game Pass, and Stadia!
Q: Is there a physical edition of Killer Queen Black?
A: Yes, only for Nintendo Switch.
Q: Is this an online version of the arcade game?
A: No, this is a new game in the Killer Queen universe, designed from the ground up for home consoles. Learn more about Killer Queen and BumbleBear here.
Q: What are the modes of play?
A: Offline: local / Online: Unranked, Ranked, and Custom Matches
Offline/Local: Local wireless is available for up to eight players on Switch, PC, and Xbox.
Unranked: Hop in solo or with your friends and play against other teams in exhibition matches that don’t affect your overall score.
Ranked: Put it all on the line. Hop in solo and get matched with players of your skill level, or join with three friends and compete against other online teams to increase your score and rise in the leaderboards!
Custom Match: Create a private game and invite up to eight players online to battle for bragging rights!
Q: Does Killer Queen Black offer cross-play?
Q: Can multiple people queue up and enter an online game together?
A: Yes, remote party support is included.
Q: Do Bots play in ranked matches?
Q: How does the queen selection work online?
A: Queen selection works by choosing a ‘preferred’ role before you enter matchmaking. The game prioritizes having a non-Bot queen on each side.
Q: Is there league play?
A: Yes! Check out the KQB community designed and developed BeeGame.gg for league play and events!
Q: Is there a spectate mode?
A: Yes, you can watch live streams of your friends’ matches if they have the setting enabled, or watch live custom games if you have the spectate code. KQB-TV is a great way to see a variety of matches featuring players beyond your friends list!
Q: Any tips on troubleshooting firewall connection issues?
A: If you’re having issues connecting, the first thing to check is Firewall Permissions. You can do this via the Windows control panel, but oftentimes anti-virus software handles the firewall too. In the Windows search bar (accessed via the Windows icon in the bottom left of the taskbar), type ‘firewall’, click ‘firewall status’ and on the left side of the window, choose ‘Allow an app through the firewall.’ Scroll down to find Killer Queen Black – if it’s not there, you’ll need to add the executable manually. If it is there, make sure it’s allowed and not blocked through your firewall, and if it isn’t, allow it through! If the executable is missing from the list, the easiest way to find it is to right-click the game in the Steam Library, go to Properties, then Local Files, to ‘browse location’ and then copy the directory at the top. When you choose to add a program to the firewall, paste the directory address and select the executable.
Q: Does mashing make a difference? If I’m playing queen and dashing from one side of the map to the other is it quicker to mash the button as fast as I can or does the game have some way of compensating?
A: Mashing CAN, but doesn’t always. There’s a limit to how many flap inputs can be registered.
Q: Are the Killer Queen and Killer Queen Black snails different snails? I know they look different, but maybe one just molted? Are they both Winston?
A: Different snails. There are two Winstons – one in KQB and one in Brice’s fishtank.
Q: Where can I go to report abusive or toxic language or behavior?
A: While the game does not currently have a report feature, we want to ensure the community both in-game and on Discord can enjoy a fun, competitive, and respectful environment. Visit #rules-and-reporting for more details. If you encounter individuals exhibiting toxic and/or abusive behaviors report to a MOD in our Discord community immediately.
Q: Is there an official community code of conduct?
A: This agreement outlines the expectations of members of the Killer Queen Black community online and at events.
Discord Community FAQs
Q: What is LFG?
A: LFG is “looking for games.” Use this channel to find other members looking to form a party.
Q: What is Solo Queue Arena?
A: You can hop in ranked queue solo and use the voice channel “solo queue arena” to interact with other community members also queueing ranked solo.
Q: Are there gameplay guides?
A: Yes, the KQB community has contributed to a Wiki page with basic information as well as detailed visual guides.
Don’t see the answer you were looking for?
Check out Liquid Bit’s Linktree for community spots, review this r/XboxSeriesX AMA for more on the Black Team, or feel free to add a comment or drop your question in our Discord #questions channel. We look forward to sharing quarterly updates on the KQB FAQ.
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.