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Conways Game Of Life

I've written a lot about the Game of Life on Medium, so for more background on the game's history, head there. I was inspired to play around with the game, and have created this browser based implementation of the game, along with some fun modifications. You can get right down to business, and play around with all the modifications here.

Mods & Documentation

There are currently a number of simulations/applications, each with different rules and behaviors. In all modes you can click on the grid to add life, and in most of the modes (esp. modes with one grid) you can pause the simulation by pressing z.

Conway's Editor

A fun tool to experiment with numerous different rules, configurations, and tools for creating your own version of Conway's Game of Life. Of special interest is the "toggle rule box" mode -- when in this mode highlighting a section of the grid will set the rules for only the highlighted areas. This tool is how I found the inspiration for simulations like Rainbow and Wild Ocean.

In standard mode, users can fiddle with the rules, and click "update rules" to apply the current selection to the board. Users can also click random rules to automatically generate a random set of rules and apply them to the board.

When in toggle rule box mode, selecting random rules will only change the numbers in the input boxes, rather than automatically applying that ruleset to the whole board.

As in many of the single grid modes, you can pause by pressing the z key while the canvas element has focus.

Currently, rule box mode only works on PCs, not on phones.

Single Large Grid Mode

The single large grid mode takes the full page, and can be started and stopped by clicking the button at the bottom of the page or by pressing the z key when the focus is on the canvas element. You can click anywhere to add life. Life is seeded randomly, with a 10% chance of any cell staring alive.

Gosper Glider Gun

The Gosper Glider Gun was the first shape found that will generate an infinite number of living cells. It does this by constantly emitting gliders. This finding was key to the ultimate proof that Conway's Game of Life can be used to create a Turing machine.


Rainbow is a modification to Conway's rules -- the bottom quarter of the screen is a slightly "harsher" are, with cells dying due to underpopulation with fewer than 3 neighbors (as opposed to fewer than 2). Initial conditions for life are single horizontal line drawn randomly somewhere in the bottom quarter of the screen (the harsh zone).

Wild Ocean

Wild Ocean is a mode that builds on the modifications of rainbow, but adds several different zones with different rules. In some places reproduction can happen without any neighbors; in some places life is harsh, and it's hard to survive; but the two largest zones are still standard Conway's.

Creeping Ivy

Creeping Ivy has 6 boxes of standard Conway's Game Of Life are enclosed in rows and columns with the death-by-crowding rate bumped up to 5, instead of the regular 3. The result reminds me of a spreading disease, or creeping vines.


Gliderville randomly spawns a series of gliders in a world with a heart of ivy. When a glider crashes into the central box, the center begins to fill. Highly satisfying.

Three By Three

Three by three is an Andy Warhol inspired version of Conway's game of life.

Random Rules

Taking three by three to the limit, random rules creates 16 grids, each with randomly chosen color schemes and randomly chosen rules. The rules and color schemes automatically update themselves every 5-10 seconds.

Grid Maker

Grid maker is the logical conclusion of three by three and random rules. Using a web-form you can customize the grid, pixel size, animation speed, and control if the rules and colors are randomized or not.


The most interesting implementation of Conway's Game of Life on the internet.




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