No, you can have fun from the beginning. There are few difficulty modes (with modifiers) so you can tailor your game to yourself. Each difficulty is also a "director" so it will change according to how you're doing in the game. So if you're short on food it will let you starve for a some time to create drama but then it might drop 100 units of cheese from the sky (in drop pods) to your front door. It's really neat.
Also, it's one of those games where losing is fun because it creates interesting stories so don't be afraid to be bad at this game.