A catastrophic plague has left a trail of destruction across 14th century Europe. Survivors confront sickness and scarce resources in a land rife with banditry. Attempt to find a cure, acquire power, learn skills and adapt to survive. Those lucky enough to survive have come to call it ‘The Black Death'.
Recent Reviews:
Mixed (29) - 62% of the 29 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
All Reviews:
Mixed (882) - 61% of the 882 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date:
Apr 19, 2016

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Early Access Game

Get instant access and start playing; get involved with this game as it develops.

Note: This Early Access game is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if the game progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

Why Early Access?

“We have brought The Black Death to the Early Access community because we want players to join us in shaping this new medieval role-playing experience that offers a unique take on survival. As a multiplayer game, continuous community feedback is vital for us to enhance and evolve the strong foundations that we have built. This is your chance to get involved. Those who choose to take part in the Early Access scheme should expect bugs and potentially game-breaking issues, but can look forward to a dramatic and rapidly evolving simulation of medieval life.”

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?

“Our release date is still being planned. We are enough time to allow us to act on invaluable community feedback, add and extend features, improve performance and fix bugs.”

How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?

“The full release version of The Black Death will include a whole host of features, many of which we have already begun work on. Server stability is a big focus for us, and testing through Early Access should allow us to incorporate an even more dense population and thriving world without sacrificing performance. The full release will have more playable professions and an increase in the size of the playable area and content included within the game.

We have a roadmap and are looking forward to working with the community with iterating and including their ideas.”

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

The Black Death currently has a strong foundation on which we can continue to build, with core mechanics such as combat, trading, hunger, crafting and plague systems already in place. We have a large Western European themed world, with a range of NPCs, animals, towns, mines, castle ruins and dramatic landscapes, providing an engaging sandbox experience.”

Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?

“Yes, the game price will increase after Early Access.”

How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?

“We have exciting plans for the future of The Black Death and will work actively with the community to gather issues, feedback and ideas to further enhance the game. We’ll continue to provide updates, keeping players informed of changes/improvements through Steam and social media and will work closely with the community to create a roadmap of future features.”
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Recent updates View all (97)

November 17

Patch Notes: V0.20 - Co-Op Housing

Welcome adventurers to V0.20: Co-Op Housing!

Fresh Installs & Server Wipes

We highly recommend performing a full clean re-install of The Black Death when downloading the new update. As the update includes a brand new Engine version doing this should help to minimise any issues.
Fresh Re-Install Steps

Due to the fixes and changes in this update we are performing full Server wipes for all of our Official Servers. SIG Official Server List

This wipe is necessary for the updates and fixes to take effect in particular regards to player housing.

The wipe will be happening as this update, V0.20, is deployed onto our Live servers.

Update Notes

The update was delayed due to the previous engine update (4.17) causing some undesirable effects such as bugs and crashes forcing us to update to a newer more stable version. However 4.18 is a fairly new engine update so please if you do come across any issues let us know.

In this update we have focused on housing stability, crashes and adjusting the base housing mechanics as a whole and implemented a huge unreal engine update to 4.18 which has the following patches notes:
Unreal Engine 4.18 Released!

The housing changes should now able you and your friends to share ownership of the house which includes the ability to build utilities, open doors and employ guards but also give automatic locking and unlocking to players with correct permissions, this has allowed us to streamline the door mechanics to be more efficient and not require manual operation.

Here is a screenshot showing the Housing permission list where you can add and remove Players

If you have completed the Tutorial before but would like to re-do it, bring up the Console Command window in game by pressing the Tilde key, and typing in "restarttut".

Here are the other important changes with this update:

  • Fixed a crash that could happen when you pick stuff you have grown from a seed
  • Fix for rare crash when getting the icon for an object you are looking at
  • Fix for your player name in the death screen appearing as “none”
  • Fixed to house nodes location/rotations to stop built object blocking/intersecting
  • Fixes for doors and house objects popping in and out
  • Fixed bug with radial context menu where if you hover over seeds twice it would clear the seed list
  • Fixed bug causing combat red dot cross hair to stay on screen when not in combat
  • Fix to stop house nodes from blocking the player's camera
  • Fixes to misc montage skeletal mesh problems
  • Misc fixes to things that became broken when transitioning to Unreal Engine V4.18
  • Fixed misc backend UI problems that were slowing down cooking process
  • Fixed a bug that would stop you being able to dig up graves
  • Fixed bug in the hanging guys actor
  • Crouching in front of an enemy prevents them hitting you
  • Fixed an issue with some iron ore nodes being unable to mine due to missing collision
  • Fix to stop tents bleeding when you hit them
  • Fixed bug that caused two sickness animations to play at the same time, also made sure it plays the same randomised animation on all clients
  • Added safety checks against the character create loading screen getting stuck up
  • Adjusted the network values of A.I. attacks to prevent them hitting earlier than the animation they use

  • Updated to Unreal Engine Version 4.18
  • House workbenches now have permission lists. (This list is for people who you want to be able to use your doors and access your nodes)
  • Made it so you can now withdraw from the house workbench as well as deposit into it
  • You can now hold Alt to freely look around your character as you are walking
  • Added a small note to house workbench to show what each resource icon means
  • Added Chicken Farmer serf as a possible house/kingdom node build option
  • Hunter Camps serf as a possible house/kingdom node build option
  • Larger house storage items are now available
  • Added a UI warning when you try to open a door that you do not have permission for
  • Added “equip tool” into the interaction required tool context, so that you can more quickly get to the tool you need
  • New knock on door animation
  • New eating animation
  • New harvesting using sickle animation
  • New planting seed animation
  • New wood chop/Mining Animation
  • New dig animation
  • Add blending left and right direction lean when you run forward
  • Added rat sounds to rat swarms

  • Removed house door codes and locks from the game. This system has been replace by a house permission system in a houses workbench
  • Doors to a house can now only be opened if you have permission on the workbench
  • Graphics overhaul such high quality ambient occlusion, post process improvements and cloud shadows
  • Change the server list population from numbers to text: low, mid or high
  • Updated house outside nodes to include campfire build option
  • When buying a house you get nodes straightaway instead of having to upgrade the shell
  • Sped up door open/close speed
  • Updated the look of NPC chat to match the paper style
  • Pushing enter on LAN IP input in the server browser, submits instead of starting new line
  • Adjusted attenuation on unsheath weapons
  • Adjusted timers in UI to a better format for when under 10 sec (house and context wheel)
  • Updated version number to V0.20
  • Removed forage stones action from mining context wheel as no functionality yet
  • Updated lowest state of iron ore resource mesh
  • Adjusted the battleaxe icon so it isn't the same as the wood axe icon
  • Made barricades do a locked door anim/sound rather than a dropping item anim

  • House storage re-balanced and now has tiers available
  • Maul removed from shops to prevent exploits
  • Rebalanced shop gold amounts
  • Increased boar health

  • Optimised the growing actors (things that grow from seeds)
  • Optimised the hanging guys
  • Optimised house nodes tick rate
  • Optimised weapon pickups
  • Optimised gamemode
  • Optimised player starts tick rate
  • Optimised main menu
  • Optimised UI across the board
  • Optimising textures
  • Optimised network data for character replication
  • Deleting old style UI textures
  • Optimised sounds

Known Issues

  • Looting & Gathering animations sometimes do not play

…See you in Mercia!

// The SIG Team
29 comments Read more

November 16

Dev Blog #47: Weekly Q&A Returns, Feedback Focus & Mercia Monthly Newsletter

Welcome one and all to our weekly Dev Blog!

We’ve got information on the return of our Weekly Q&A, a Community Feedback Form for you all and a Mercia Monthly Newsletter.

Update Forecast: V0.20 should hopefully be dropping sometime this Friday if everything goes smoothly.

Return Of The Weekly Q&A

Many of you might remember our Weekly Q&A that we used to run here on the Dev Blog. Here is one of our past Blog posts where we had this feature:

Dev Blog #15: Sneak peaks, Weekly Q&A, Fight Night returns!

We had a pool of questions submitted by you all from our forums, Twitter, Facebook, Dev Blog comments and even by email. We would then fish out around 4-6 of these each week and answer them in as much detail as we could, providing we didn’t let lose any big update drops!

This will be making a return in next week’s Dev Blog! To start things from a fresh pool (there were a few rats floating in there) we ask you to submit to us your questions that you want answering from the team! You can send these via email at: Emily@small-impact.com, over on our Twitter, Steam Forums or as comments down on this Blog post.

The Black Death Social

You may have noticed there has been recent activity over on our Facebook and Twitter, this is thanks to Dmitri for scheduling some new content for you all, he has some more things planned.

Read our Dev Blogs but don’t have the game? Or have a friend who wants to join you in Mercia? Worry not! Keep an eye on our Twitter tomorrow for a surprise giveaway, be sure to share this with your friends too! If you have not yet followed us on our social pages, get a little Plague in your life and check out the links below!

The Black Death on Facebook

The Black Death on Twitter

Feedback Focus – Community Survey

We need YOU citizens of Mercia! We welcome you to sit down with a nice hot cup of cocoa and fill us in with your feedback about The Black Death. As always, we appreciate your responses and this feedback will be gathered up by Dmitri & myself and will be sent over to the team in a report. Your responses will be fed back into what we do here at SIG. There are a total of 7 questions for you to answer and the form will be open for the next 2 weeks closing on the 29th November at 6:00pm.

The Black Death Community Feedback Form

Mercia Monthly Newsletter

Do you feel there is something missing in your Email inbox? Could you do with some Medieval fun in one easy place each month?

We would like to welcome “Mercia Monthly” your one stop Medieval shop for all things Black Death. You may already notice a new element to our website. This is a top bar which can be seen on all our pages.

Simply enter your email address, click confirm and at the end of every month, starting December 30th for the 1st issue, you’ll see our newsletter landing in your inbox! It will have a rundown of

The Newsletter will include elements such as:

  • Community Member of the month
  • Best Screenshot
  • Best video
  • Content Creators Corner
  • A rundown of the months posts including: Dev Blogs, Patch Notes & Showcases
  • Fan submitted content

Much like our Showcase feel free to send us your fan creations and you might be featured in our newsletter! Send them in at: Emily@small-impact.com

That’s all for this week’s Dev Blog, thank you for reading and we will see you the same time next week.

…See you in Mercia!

// The SIG Team
13 comments Read more
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“There's a kernel of something special here, and if it keeps building, I'd love to come back, dreary as the Middle Ages may be.”
PC Gamer

“Drown in bubonic plague with your pals.”

“Two NPCs charged at me with clubs raised and death in their eyes, trying to end my miserable existence. Outnumbered, my “Fight or Flight” decision process very heavily favored the second option – so I mashed the “Sprint” key and made a run for it.”
MMO games

About This Game

A catastrophic plague has left a trail of destruction across 14th century Europe. Survivors confront sickness and scarce resources in a land rife with banditry. Attempt to find a cure, acquire power, learn skills and adapt to survive.

Those lucky enough to survive have come to call it ‘The Black Death’.

Take on the role of a medieval man of science, a plague doctor, hell-bent on finding a cure to the horrific plague spreading across the land. Study the effects of the infection through experiments and autopsies on man and beast alike, with the ongoing risk of your own infection - and in danger of being lynched by townsfolk who believe science to be heresy!

Take advantage of different realistic medieval professions: Crafting fine armors to protect yourself from deadly raiders as a Blacksmith, taming animals and farming the land as a Peasant, tricking players with counterfeit goods as a Bandit, and much, much more.

Embark on a journey through a dark and gritty open-world depiction of a plague-infested Medieval Europe. Witness the plague spread in real-time through the population including your friends and enemies whilst exploring bustling towns, striking castles and plague-infested mines in your search for the cure to this deadly infection. Interact with hundreds of NPC’s; trade with merchants and hunters, clash with crusaders and bandits and be wary of infected beggars.
You don't have to face these horrors alone - team up with other players and work together to prosper or become a menace to the world and take everything you can! But be careful who you trust…

Try to rebuild society by building a homestead by yourself, or with friends. Develop your building skills and turn a rickety shack into a powerful estate, complete with an ultimate medieval research lab to help you perform your experiments and find a cure.

Key Features in Early Access -
  • Enter the world as a plague doctor, looking for a cure to the deadliest pandemic of the Middle Ages.
  • Learn skills from a number of different professions to help you survive.
  • A huge open world (8km2) based in 14th century Western Europe. Explore thriving castles, bandit camps, busy ports and abandoned mines.
  • Learn more about the plague through physical examinations and autopsies of infected animals and humans.
  • A living world with hundreds of NPC’s and day / night cycle. Trade with merchants, hunt animals, talk to townsfolk and fight bandits.
  • Over 300 in game items. Craft over 40 different weapon and armour pieces, using medieval tools and utilities.
  • Buy deeds to houses, upgrade them, and hire staff to work on your estate.
  • Large scale multiplayer, with up to 50 players per server

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows 7 / 8 / 10 (64bit OS)
    • Processor: 2 GHz Dual-Core 64-bit CPU
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Compatible GPU with 1 GB Video RAM
    • DirectX: Version 11
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 10 GB available space
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