The Black Death

Dev Blog #54: Dev Update, Beta Test Server Reminder & Steam Guide

Greetings citizens of Mercia and welcome to Dev Blog #54!

We’ve got a Dev Update, a reminder on our Beta Test server and also a Steam Guide for those of you having issues with getting the Console Command window to appear in game for using Admin controls on private/LAN servers.

Dev Updates

We are currently working on a range of things for The Black Death. These include: Resource balancing, more fluid gameplay, AI changes/additions, UI/HUD changes, Quick Slot Bar, Revamped Rarity system and more!

In the next Dev Blog we hope to show you more information on how our revamped item rarity system works and also our new Equipment Slots in the Inventory.
Today’s teasers are a few GIFs showing the new animations for gathered resources and lootables too.

All of our resources including lootable crates, barrels and chests in our upcoming update are now procedurally placed in the world of Mercia. This means that if you find a Berry or Cotton Bush in one place chances are something different will spawn in its place when you return, or there might be no resource in that spot at all! This also includes Wood Logs and Mining Nodes.

This is to encourage exploration around Mercia and make gameplay feel more fluid so players are not returning to the same exact spots for materials and loot. Along with our big AI revamp we feel this will make for some great gameplay sessions and experiences.


To show off the way resources look when gathered here are a few GIFs to show just that. We hope players will find it clearer to see when a resource has been harvested before getting close for an inspection.

In our full Patch Notes for our upcoming update we will be featuring comparisons in the form of GIFs and screenshot sliders to show changes such as resources and our HUD.

Please note that as these are taken from our Beta Test server some elements of what we show may be changed/tweaked in the final versions.

First off here is our signature Berry Bush resource. Notice how it now collapses into a pile rather than just the actual berries themselves being removed. We wanted to give the resources a makeover with them feeling more like you had actually harvested them.

Our Chamomile bushes now fall in several piles of stems. Again it is more visible that the resource has been harvested than our previous version.

The Ore node in this GIF is Iron Ore. These are also procedural in their placement around the world. Instead of the node magically shrinking with each strike of your pickaxe, the node will now fall apart and crumble on the ground. You can now only harvest an ore node once before it crumbles, this is for balancing and to make some materials more valuable.

Lastly for our resource teasers here is the Wood Log. When struck with your woodaxe these logs will now split into 3 sections instead of having missing pieces of wood. Wood Logs along with Ore nodes now feature physics on them, see how the logs roll down the hill!


As mentioned above, all of our resources including lootable crates, barrels and chests in our upcoming update are now procedurally placed in the world of Mercia. This means that if you found a sweet spot with a few crates, these may be barrels next time or they may not spawn at that spot at all!

To make gameplay feel more fluid and for a different kind of play session loot should now feel more rewarding when you stumble across something good. We have also added new loot items that can be found around the world and Player written books should now appear more often!

Do you recognise either of these paintings? These can be found hanging on the walls of abandoned houses in Mercia or for example on the walls of The Black Goat Tavern in Raven’s Reach! Eagle eyed adventurers may remember that paintings used to spawn in the wooden crates scattered around the coastal areas. We have now brought them back as physical items that you can loot and sell for some extra Gold!

Much like our resource nodes, our lootable containers have been given a revival too. When you loot one of these you instantly receive the goodies inside without the need of an extra loot menu. After looting these crates they will collapse in on themselves, barrels will lose their lids too. When approaching one of these in the world it should be clear if they have be claimed or if the loot is ripe for the taking!

Beta Server Build Reminder

We hope to bring you a new Beta build on our Test_Beta server again soon. When we have uploaded a new Beta build to our test server we hope to provide you all with some form of patch notes to inform you of the additions and changes to the Beta build.

When we do have updates to our Beta server we hope that you will all understand if there are issues present. This is of course intended as a testing ground for updates and patches. If you do find anything be sure to report it over on our Google Bug Form, and make sure you select “Version V0.xx (Beta)”

There is now a Google Form that will appear in your web browser once The black Death has been closed after playing. This form will only load in your browser if you have been playing on the Beta branch. It is designed to help us gather feedback whilst it is still fresh in your thoughts after playing so we can get a clear impression on Player thoughts. We greatly appreciate your feedback and suggestions. Thank you in advance for your submissions.

Steam Guide – Using The Tilde Key With Non English Keyboards

As a little extra [SIG]_Emily has created a Steam Guide on getting the Console Command Window working for players who are not using an English (United Kingdom) layout keyboard.

Steam Guide – How To Use The Console Command Window Without A UK English Keyboard

This guide should allow players who are not using a UK English layout keyboard to use the Windows Console Command when playing The Black Death. This unlocks the ability to use Admin commands when playing on a private server, LAN server or player owned/hosted/rented server.

I understand that this guide is written in UK English and this may not be easy for some players to read and understand, apologies in advance! I did not want to run this guide through a tool such as Google Translate as the translation may not have been accurate.

If you have any questions or feel any information in this guide is incorrect, or needs updating please do not hesitate to drop me an email at:

That’s all for this week, see you next time!

// The SIG Team

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