I think there's a balance issue between requiring a minimum of 2 hours per night but not having a cap on the number of hours per night after that ... I mean I've read articles where people say that they had difficulty finding the time to get 2 hours in last year ... but if there isn't a cap, then you can just go hog wild on night 1, looting, carcas hunting, etc. and then spend the minimal on the next two.
Further while I get the point that keeping cabin fever in would take the difficulty up exponentially, the strategy I suggested above is entirely doable ... gather enough candy on day 1 and then don't fast time anything indoors for nights 2, 3, and 4 (that's precisely what I did on night 4, left the game running while I read a book, because there was nothing to do out in the blizzard). To me that seems like more like Hinterland wanting to pad played hours of their game rather than meaningful gameplay (I mean I like The Long Dark as anyone else and I think the game should get more press / exposure / attention (the visuals are a work of art), but having set real world time seems odd to me).
As for a wish list ... I would suggest a few things:
90 minutes minimum, 120 minutes real time maximum per 'day'
Clear notification that YOU WON'T GET ANY FISH (so don't waste your time making paths of rocks to a fishing hut, having fishing line / hooks craftable or available as loot, etc.)
Catchup opportunity (not sure if this is already in game); if you can't play 90 minutes on day 1, you can play 180 on day 2, with the event shifting from day 1 effects to day 2 effects at the 90 minute mark
Swap day 3 and day 2 ... or perhaps have it as a progression ... Aurora on Day 1, intermittent Aurora and demon wolves on Day 2, pitch black and blood wolves on Day 3
Vampire Wolves instead of blood wolves (or whatever the red eyed ones were) ... any non-instantaneously fatal injury is healed over time and they come back for more
Timberwolf packs (a nod to Chapter 3) (weaker than solo wolves to provide balance and variation)
Blood thirsty rabbits? Combat deer?
Rethink day 4 ... a blizzard, in and of itself, is kinda boring, as it removes the main thing the game allows ... outdoor exploration. Maybe we can bypass it if we've built up enough resources (like the stocking up for the super blizzard challenge) ... maybe have it ridiculously cold and windy but without the snow (so we have long range visibility) and have, at some set distance from where the player starts day 4, a periodic flare going up and the goal is to make it to that supply drop / rescue party / whatever (in my mind it was a couple of survivors sent out on dogsleds) (with every radio squawking out a message every 5-10 minutes real time) ... maybe these people need rescue themselves and the goal is to get them to shelter of some sort (have them lying down, indoors somewhere, on a bed or a bedroll, their ailments treated, and a set amount of food / water so they can survive without you)
Night crows to help find those wolf bodies ... I mean they're dropping their feathers, why not have them flying around above the carcasses, glowing blood red eyes, cawing to their heart's content ... we get the default owls hooting, but crows are a bit more Halloween IMO
All of that said, keep up the good work! :)