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Marauders new prison map was influenced by board games and Half Life 2

How does Small Impact Games create a prison ship for Marauders? By looking at things like Aliens 3, Half Life, and dieselpunk board games, of course

Marauders Penal Colony Aliens Half Life 2 board games: A Penal Colony ship floating in space

When you think about a prison ship floating in space, you might well think of Mass Effect or Disney’s The Mandalorian. However, while Small Impact Games has certainly done its research for its upcoming content drop, its Penal Colony map actually took its inspiration from somewhere quite different indeed.

The Penal Colony, which will drop in early access along with the Navy Outpost, is technically a love letter to Aliens 3, Half Life 2, and Dust Tactics – an old board game which game designers Cameron Small and James Rowbotham say helped establish the Dieselpunk genre.

“The prison was definitely influenced by Aliens 3 and there’s a Half Life 2 Nova Prospekt feel to it too,” Small tells The Loadout. “But this is more of a love letter to a board game called Dust Tactics, which basically helped establish the Dieselpunk genre for a lot of people. The game had these amazing walkers – they basically took a Sherman or a Panzer tank and stuck legs on them and it just looked so badass.”

It’s this sort of vibe that Small Impact Game is hoping to replicate with its Penal Colony map, especially now that the melee system has been reworked for the launch of early access in October. According to the team, the map is littered with half-empty cells, a central security tower that’s full of good loot, and lots of angry prisoners who’ll attempt to ambush you on your journey.

Marauders penal colony map: two space pirates look around the prison as a prisoner with a knife rushes them

But while that might seem like a daunting prospect, you do have some protection in both the Penal Colony and the other new map, the Navy Outpost. And that’s through the big and small shields Marauders is getting in early access. The big one is a nod to Montagne from Rainbow Six Siege, apparently, and while you can “smack” someone with the sharp blade on the top, you’ll need to work together as a team to use them effectively.

Navy Outpost and Penal Colony will be added to the game when Marauders hits early access in October. A series of limited-time technical tests will also take place from September 6-14, however the new content will not be available in this phase.