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Technologies come in a randomized order, you can check that order by clicking the research progress bar at the top right order.

Rock islands provide production speed bonus (buildings are built faster on such islands). "Timber" islands are actually "game" islands, they provide population growth bonus.

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Ah wow... I thought the randomization is a bug.

Thank you for your answer, now I have to beat my own record while waiting for a battleship like multiplayer. :)