The theme of a totalitarian regime is a suitable setting for a game of hidden identities, where each player distrusts one another. Of the (too many) regimes to choose from, I chose a leftist one, not because of any political standpoints but because they have an abundance of art and slogans to choose from to create a colorful background.
The game plot with loyal and disloyal workers was inspired by the miniseries
The First Circle, based on the novel with the same name by
It is a hard but optimistic story about the victory of the human spirit over totalitarianism and a fitting theme
for the disloyal workers. However, for the game objective I chose the more known and gruesome project of
White Sea-Baltic Canal, a project
with little room for the silent strikes of The First Circle and which may have left up to 25 000 dead.
The loyal and disloyal worker cards were all illustrated with old soviet propaganda posters from Wikimedia. The supervisor illustration is propaganda against "enemies of the People" and fits the role very well, although the supervisor him- or herself may be an enemy in the game. The commissar illustration is actually a call to arms prior to WWII which has been replaced by a map of the White Canal. The work card on the other hand is really propaganda for the White Sea Canal, both illustration and text.
For more reading, there is plenty tho choose from, both facts and fiction: