Technological progress is obviously a must in a game like this. As such, there needs to be a way to achieve it. However, how would that be possible? Making a Sapien sit down at a bench and write on papers for hours on end would be boring. The same goes for a “tech tree”, where you just select a new technology and simply wait.
A much more interactive idea would be to have a more personable approach. For example, what about your own sapiens having ideas and acting out on them, such as, as you progress on and on through the Stone age, someone might get a random idea and decide to act on it. At that point, it either doesn’t work or they learn something valuable and share it with the rest of their kinsman.
Another way of executing this could be coincidences. An example of this? Suppose some tribesman named Jerry decides to bang rocks together because he’s bored or because he just… Feels like it. And then they shatter and become blade-like. Jerry sees this and realizes he can make tools from it. So, he goes on to share it with the rest of his tribe. Pretty soon it catches on and everyone is making stone knives! And all of that just because some dude was bored.
Yay or nay?