Town Building Stories
- What type of game system were you thinking of implementing?
- Does it effect everyone or just the MC?
- Are you taking this through the common individual lens or the rarer wider societal look? e.g. Donnytown (with aspects of the Ghosthound?)
- Do the gamelit elements also effect the villain?
- Are they a "player" like the MC?
Here's some ways I've found work well to get around these issues, as far as I can tell:
- growth doesn't need to be shown in excruciating detail all the time. Some of the development can run in the background, while other, unrelated story elements happen
- when you do show town growth, it should relate to your characters and plotlines, in an active, organic way. Maybe mirror your MC's growth through a description of the growing and changing town? The possibilities are endless.
- your MC should have an active interest in the town itself. It shouldn't ever just be a means to an end. A town is a giant blob of culture, filled with people. Treating it like nothing but a weapon to defeat the villain with is a waste. So it's useful if 'develop town' is a goal in itself, only if your MC has a proper motivation for it of course.
- related to the previous point: to make the town matter more to readers, at least some of the inhabitants should be actual people, and not NPCs. Bonus points if you write a couple chapters from their perspective, since they would see the same town from a very different perspective
That's it off the top of my head, hope that was a help. If I think of anything else, I might come back to this thread.
A good way for the MC to have active interest in the town itself could be to have them initially need to rely on it for a while but then come around to realise that they really care about this place and the people within it and they'll risk their own wellbeing to protect that
My thoughts aside, here are some interesting games to check out; I attached some highlights. There is no need to buy or play the game, just watch some youtube videos on the gameplay to get a feel... try not to get blinded by the pixilated artwork though.
1. Beast and Bumpkins
- Males + females + houses = population grow.
- Periodic attacks made by beast.
- Simplified tech tree.
2. Tropico 2 (pirate cove)
- Play politics with foreign super powers that have varied objectives.
- Balance the anarchy generated by troops vs the peace other citizens want.
- Go out and capture staffs needed.
Of course, you have to keep it realistic. Don't be a Foreign Realm Domination.
Other that, have you read Be The King?
As for the whole defending against the villain aspect, then I would suggest you look into why the villain wants to take over the town or why the MC is going after the villain. Does the MC's views coincide with a powerful figure who opposes the villain? Then maybe said "good" figure offers military support or is able to allow the MC to be able introduce the MC to a band of mercenaries.