Things that can keep you from getting compasses are upgrading buildings because the game will replenish the common building materials first, then it will give you special building materials, tickets and compasses. As long as you are getting badges and continue to build and complete decorations, you should be getting compasses. It doesn't really slow down until you hit 500 badges.
slow building doesn't help get compasses... The game doesn't start pumping more compasses out of gold chests when you have a full bag of "special materials" It will just throw more coins at you. And same in opposite manner. If you have maxed amount of compasses, you won't get more materials from gold chests, just coins.
I am getting frustrated with the game waiting for compasses. I have plenty of money, have been keeping up on my building but never enough compasses. I am ready to quit. Whats the point if you can't open new areas? The money is worthless without space to build something on.
Land "management" is an important part of game play, and it's not given the attention that it deserves. I can appreciate the desire to landscape beautiful islands, especially with limited availability items, and there is a very real talent to attractive layouts....
Space is a very limited resource in Pearl's, and new space is meted out at a very slow and specific pace. No matter how you play the game, such-and-such area (let's make believe there's a plot of land called "Area 4") only becomes available while playing Chapter so-and-so. In otherwords,no matter how much you might need more land (because you've filled the available land with some attractively laid out and colorful items), you're not going to open "Area 4" until you finish Chapter 22. (These numbers are totally made up, but meant only to suggest that each new area opens during a certain chapter of the game).
Having finished the entire game, I can flat out tell you that there is no way to complete the game and have a beautiful island. The only way you're going to finish this game is to utilitze the highest prestige/smallest footprint items, and squeeze them in as best you can. The grass and the pretty hedges and the topiaries and the fences and the little statues - they all look nice, but trust me when I tell you that there is no room for those 1 or 4 or 12 prestige items on the completed map - they take up too much of your limited resource space.
As I've said before, the single 'best' purchase - bang for you buck - is the completely unnatractive Thatch Umbrella on the very first page of the store - it pays 160 prestige points for 10,000 coins and takes only 2 hours to complete. My final island is absolutely filled with them.
If you're going to fill your island with the pretty stuff, you're going to run out of room to build - and you will not amass 12 compasses until the next "scheduled" or "hard wired" point of the game. There's nothing you can do to speed them up. If you're stuck and can't build - your only choice is to sell back some of the low prestige items that are taking up the room you'd need to place the higher prestige items that will open new chapters and allow you to advance toward the next "12 compass" position of the game.
Finally - I can absolutely assure you that you can finish this game without spending a single penny.
This is all true. I finished without spending a penny also; took a couple of years, but it was worth it. Also true that you must get the most prestige out of little space, so you can keep opening scenes and chapters while avoiding running out of room.
Patience is a big key. The good news is, once you finish the game, you can finally sell all those Thatch Huts (for 1/2 value) and start buying the decos you really want. In other words, you will finish the game and get your beauty island, too.
About a month after finishing I decided to Reset and replay through the chapters. Great part about it is you don't need prestige or a "flight crew" to keep going. It's kind of like "relaxed mode" in other games. Oh-make sure to lift/move some of your buildings. Extra space can be found hiding nearby.
While I totally agree on the necessity for land management, I disagree on the Thatch Huts/Gazebo. For one of my games, my strategy was to buy Pagodas, which cost less coins per prestige (75 coins/prestige vs. 83). It has a little less prestige per square space (100 vs 120), but as you can see from my screen shots, I have plenty of space at chapter 69, and I believe I’ll make it to the end without having to buy any Thatch Huts.
In my other game, I bought Ornate Towers as soon as they were available to me, which cost the same as the Thatch Huts (83 coins/prestige), but purchasable in increments of 10K coins (vs. 32K), so I don’t have to wait so long between purchases. And it’s ready in 24hr (vs. 72hr).
Additionally, I always look for good deals on prestige in the seasonal shops, like the Seals in the Winter Shop right now (295 prestige/square at 62 coins/prestige, ready in 24hr).
BTW, I spent $4 on the first game and 0 on the second.