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Suggestions for better middle and end-game


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The start of the game is fantastic. But after the 4th cycle on Hard I can survive 20+ days of drought and the game becomes fast-speed setting wait-for-gears and metal to be made. The long droughts undermine the coolness of using waterwheels, which become mostly useless when water isn't flowing. 

Suggestions:

  • Have droughts slow water, but not stop it completely (except for long droughts which would eventually stop it). Keeps the usefulness of water wheels, and adds some dynamics around steering water and trading off water for drinking with water for power.
  • Have the leisure /decorative elements unlock with productivity or society #s/beaver achievements, and NOT based on science points. Allows the player to steer towards "a bigger, better society" to unlock things (and obviously, the more beavers, the harder it is to survive the droughts). 
  • Tech development / building works really well up thru Gears and until Metal. Metal (and the following harder techs like pine resin planks or grinding mills) doesn't seem needed for anything essential. It's just "extra stuff". Maybe if some areas were inaccessible except without metal bridges or platforms, or if dams above a certain height needed metal reinforcement, or if beavers started to get depressed if they had too many cycles of tier 1 food. 
  • Suggest adding some middle game obstacles. Either reasons to have multiple districts, or inaccessible areas that can become accessible, or things like dam failures (% chance can increase with water pressure), or beaver dissatisfaction that can cause them to splinter off and make their own society or take some resources as they go, or to reduce birthrate/productivity.   
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