Each “turtle” is an independently operating agent.
Where they are placed on a grid doesn’t matter too much for as long as they have some neighbors, they will interact with them.
A better metaphor for turtles or agent behaviors would be:
Multiple Magnetic steel balls on an almost flat but slightly warped surface.
You let go and they will do some things, such as rolling towards minor attraction points (wells) and away from raised saddles (hills).
But the emergent behaviors will arise when the “magnetic rules” of each steel sphere interact with the “magnetic rules” of other spheres.
That’s when you’ll start to see broad collective behaviors that resemble smooth functions from a far away view.
So, you can view these systems from BOTH a continuous and also a discrete zoom.
(the falling towards and away from warping area is also complex behavior but as we’ve described macro behaviors of gravity for hundreds of years now in various ways, it’s not as surprising)
So, the plane itself is complex. My metaphor with magnetic steel balls is inaccurate in this case.