It can be difficult getting a game going, especially if you try to focus on puzzles instead of survival at the beginning of the game. The keys to success are:
- Keep your population at a level that will avoid starvation, until your tribe has an unlimited food supply. That number will vary as you discover additional food sources and also depends upon how willing you are to hunt mushrooms.
- Keep an adequate number of villagers researching so that the tribe can discover better food sources.
It's usually better to focus on food and research and limit the Villager's work on the building projects and puzzles until there is a steady, reliable food supply.