This gives just enough structure for players to escape the Second Life trap. (What happens to people who have no needs/problems in a virtual world? They go right up the Maslow Need Hierarchy -- to Sex.)
Hopefully, this will provide the right kind of structure to let players game-balance the game themselves. (And give them enough scope to invent their way into and out of corners.)
It turned out to be somewhat pointless because once you know how, you can easily skip the night phase altogether. A game where you can't do that might be interesting.
Also: preparing for floods. What happens when the river overflows or the storm surge hits?
Another idea: build a sand castle and see how long you can hold out against the rising tide. No bad guys involved, just waves. Almost a literal sandbox game.
Hey, it works in Minecraft. (But in Minecraft, you have to earn it.)
I didn't expect I'll be googling that phrase ever in my life. :o.