Think about this. Like civilization or rise of nations.
You and your settlers start on “primitive-era”. They can make houses, basic warriors, etc but cant do so much more. When they grown from 4 houses to “village” with more people and more materials, they can past to other era, like “stone-era”.
Then you can grown and grown, improve your warriors, start to research some things (like better houses?)
When you reach some requeriments, you go to “mechanic-era”
More and more evolution… and, finally… maybe… (its just a idea)… reach other planets… take other resources (other colours and materials), fight or allied to other races… etc etc.
(Sorry for bad english, im doing other things).