And That's How the West Was Won
You all know the story: some slick young gunslinger rolls into town and quickly discovers the mayor of this small, wild west hamlet is deviously corrupt and must be stopped. Several montages later, our hero foils the evil mayor's plot and gets the girl. Then they all soon die of tuberculosis.
It's a tale as old as, well, the mid-1800's. But that's not the point. What I want to know is why the mayor was such a douche in the first place, and you probably want to know what any of this has to do with anything.
If 9th grade history class and made-for-TV specials have taught me anything, it's that if you're sneaking around doing backroom deals with shady sorts in order to bring about a grand vision for 'your' sprawling desert town, you're soon going to have an unpleasant visit from someone with a name like "Chafing Chaps Johnson" or "Shooter McGavin."
Even with good intentions, anyone acting in this manner is sure to earn a quick bullet to the back of the skull. Why?
Spoiler alert: If you're secretly acting out your own ambitions instead of those of your townspeople, you're gonna have a bad time.
The way I see it, there's a few practical guidelines these scumbag mayors should've followed if they wanted to stay one step ahead of sweet western justice.
Protip: Don't Be a Shady Douche
Just come out with it already. You may have grandiose plans to put your fair little burg on the map, but for the love of Calamity Jane, bring the townspeople in on it! They'll let you know if you're on the right track and will be more than happy to set you straight if you're not. Integrity and transparency can go a long way to extending one's lifespan in your line of service. Basically, if what you're plotting or planning can't be brought up openly in the town hall meeting, you might want to reshuffle your priorities.
Protip: Be of, Not Above
As mayor, you are neither better nor more important than your fellow townspeople. You have chosen a role as a public servant so why don't you, as they say, serve the public? You know, as a representative of your people, who is truly of your people? Yeah, that kind of fairytale crap. You only have one job: to further the collective interests of your community, which you can't do if your head is too far up your own rusty sheriff's badge to know what they are.
The Point: Game Development is a Lot Like Running a Town in the Wild West
You're surrounded by untamed wilderness, there's danger around every corner, and if you want to survive the night, you sure as hell better have something to sustain both yourself and the people you lead. You have to be prepared and able to protect your community from criminals, disasters, and other outside threats. You HAVE GOT to cater to tourists and those just passing through. If you want to grow, your town better offer something no other town does, or at the very least, offer it better than everyone else. Remember: hundreds if not thousands of people have chosen to chase this same crazy wagon train adventure as you. Why should you be mayor?