Location is the key
The first time you expand the boundaries of your kingdom in CastleVille is a scripted experience designed to show you how the process works, and what it takes to expand even further. What the game doesn't tell you, however, is that there's a smart way to expand your kingdom. Each plot of land surrounding you has a different amount of Castle Level needed to expand into.
At first, you might be enticed to expand into that piece of property that requires a mere 20 Castle Level to expand into, but stop right there. The key to expanding your kingdom quickly is to save those Coins and Exploration Crystals for when you have enough Castle Points to expand where it counts. The quick rule of thumb is to expand in the general direction of grayed-out characters waiting to be saved.
This is because the sooner you come in contact with new characters, the sooner you'll have new quests to complete. For instance. Expanding into that Wishing Well requires a hefty 80 Castle Points, but if you focus on expanding there first, you'll both unlock a new item for use in your kingdom and be one step closer to Alistair, a major character with quests for you.
Water Makes the Flowers Grow
Of course farming is a feature in CastleVille--it wouldn't be a 'Ville game without it. However, farming in this game serves multiple purposes, and it benefits from, again, smart positioning. When a crop is near a body of water such as a lake, river or even a well, the time it takes for that crop to ripen is reduced. As you can see the image bellow, I've planted crops all around my first lake, which as a result will score me more coins and other resources even faster.
Can't Chop Wood Without Trees
You'll soon come to find that smart positioning will be your greatest asset in CastleVille, and the same applies for gathering the game's three primary resources: Wood, Stones and Ore. Once you're able to place the Lumber Mill and Mining Camp, it's best to place them near trees and stones on your property, respectively. Just like crops placed near water, these buildings will produce their respective resources more quickly when near the source.
Everything Can Be Made Better Through Design
That adage doesn't ring more true in any Zynga game than CastleVille. This is because you can quite literally move everything in your kingdom. Don't like there those rocks are? Move 'em. Want to move that lake closer to your crops? Done. How about moving all of the trees in your kingdom to surround your Lumber Mills for a massive bonus? Now we're talking. Use the handy "Move" tool to your advantage--it could turn your kingdom into a resource power house.
No, it's just not a discount supermarket. As goes with most Zynga games, saving the items you find can go a long way. When you receive items like Carrots from harvests and Water Pales from fishing, don't immediately turn them into new items through crafting. It's best to wait until you have a relevant quest, as spending those items early on combined items you don't necessarily need at the moment will simply end up wasting your time.