ThymineC wrote:if my proposed system is analogous to a real-world system, then it helps improve confidence that the system is at least internally consistent i.e. works given the assumptions it's making
What you're saying is not wrong, exactly, but I believe the right context is larger.
Yes, implementing some object or process in some apparently realistic way helps some players understand how to play with that object or process. Seeing something recognizable from our world sets expectations in the imagined world.
But that cuts both ways. OK, now you've modeled X in some apparently realistic way... well, why didn't you also simulate Y to an equal level of real-world fidelity? What about Z? Or Q? Or C(3)a?
The point is that once you accept "should be like the real world" as a guiding principle for parts of a made-up secondary reality, you have no grounds to object when someone demands that some other part(s) of the game be based on real-world stuff as well.
And then your game is doomed to be considered a failure, and on two counts:
1. No matter how many things in your game are modeled from the real world, you will never get them all. You will always have missed the One Thing your game "really needed to be fun."
2. No matter how accurately you model any object or process from the real world in the wholly imaginary world of your game, it will never be sufficiently accurate for some people. Like Patsy said, "it's only a model." By agreeing that trying to model some part of reality is a correct goal, you set yourself up for failure because it's impossible to fully
model any real thing in a computer program.
Between these two effects, I do not recommend ever, even once, accepting the claim that anything in a game world is automatically right or better just because the developer tried to make it look or work like it does in the real world. Even for games that have a realistic setting, they're still games -- and that means the correct measure for any feature is not "is it realistic?" but "is it fun?"
Certainly there are some applications where more realistic = more fun. But "more fun" is still the top-level goal, "more realistic" is just the means by which those very specialized games achieve that goal.
The real test for any game feature has to be, "Does this feature, interacting with all the other features, fit the aesthetics and dynamics and mechanics and kinesthetics of this unique invented world
that I am creating?" If it does, then it may be worth implementing; if not, then it undercuts the logical and emotional coherence of that new world and should be excluded regardless of whether what's left is how things would work in our real world or not.
As I said to CutterJohn, there's nothing wrong with looking to the real world for inspiration about features for the game world. What I'm saying is that I think there are strong game design reasons why realism should never be the ultimate test for the features that go into the imagined world of a computer game.
If you're just saying your geometry system was inspired by a real-world system, and not that basing your geometry suggestion on a real-world system automatically makes it better for LT than some other system, then my apologies for wasting your time with all this.