Hey! This was really cool! Super grateful that the game playable in the browser. I run Linux and it seems that itch developers hasn't figured that they lose a portion of players just by forgetting to building either for web or to create a working Linux executable.
Here's some feedback of my experience:
With the GUI, I can see that you are going for a unique style. I think it is a good thing to strive for, just be aware of how easy your GUI is to understand and use. Some buttons (mainly the scroll and arrow) doesn't necessarily communicate [click me] and their responsive surface area is a bit unclear.
In-game I would like the parchment scrolls to stay on the side of the play area, or just fill the whole screen. Feels a bit indecisive and unclear what it's purpose is when it takes up half the screen + it's a bit small area to fit all the stylish text anyways. You could go with a text area in the bottom of the screen and some character that communicates the messages to enhance the narrative and make it feel more personal to the player. (Creating a feeling that they are helping real people/creatures in the world.)
I want pinch zooming on touch and scroll wheel zooming on desktop in order to get an overview of bigger puzzles.
Here is some potential I see:
The game seems to right now be aimed to solely as a Puzzle game, and I think game has potential to appeal to more people if it also incorporates optimization problems . The game that springs to my mind is Opus Magnum. In Opus Magnum the main goal is still to solve puzzles or find a solution to a problem, but there are multiple ways each problem can be solved, and the player can therefore optimize their solutions to be more efficient and compare their solutions to other to friends and other players. For puzzle Pelago, interesting problems could be for example to minimize the longest travel paths or to minimize the area take up by buildings and paths.
This play could be enforced with a design phase and then a play phase. In the play phase the player's design unfolds step by step over time until the requirements of the level is met. Paths are built one block at a time and each resource travel the paths one step at a time. (Again see Opus Magnum.)
Restrictions (that makes optimization problems more interesting) could be limited amount of resources available from each source (forest or mine), and resource requirements (5 logs, 2 chairs) needed in each town (So they take different amount of time/steps to finish).
Sorry for the rant.
I really like your game and I see that you have put a lot of effort into it.
Thanks for letting me play!