Conway's Game of Life implemented in Ruby
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Conway's Game of Life

This is a simple implementation of Conway's Game of Life written in the Ruby programming language.


Please note that much of the work here was based upon the ofcan / game-of-life-ruby repository.

You can find out more about the Game of Life on it's Wikipedia entry.

The Gosu 2D geme development library was used to generate the graphical output, resulting in the final result shown here:

Game of Life in Ruby

Rules of the game:

The rules of the game are explained clearly in it's Wikipedia entry. The relevent portion is quoted here:

The universe of the Game of Life is an infinite two-dimensional orthogonal grid of square cells, each of which is in one of two possible states, alive or dead. Every cell interacts with its eight neighbours, which are the cells that are horizontally, vertically, or diagonally adjacent. At each step in time, the following transitions occur:

  1. Any live cell with fewer than two live neighbours dies, as if caused by under-population.
  2. Any live cell with two or three live neighbours lives on to the next generation.
  3. Any live cell with more than three live neighbours dies, as if by overcrowding.
  4. Any dead cell with exactly three live neighbours becomes a live cell, as if by reproduction.

The initial pattern constitutes the seed of the system. The first generation is created by applying the above rules simultaneously to every cell in the seed—births and deaths occur simultaneously, and the discrete moment at which this happens is sometimes called a tick (in other words, each generation is a pure function of the preceding one). The rules continue to be applied repeatedly to create further generations.

Installation & Usage

To get started you'll first want to install the required Ruby gems and you can do so easily using bundler:

bundle install

Once the gems have been installed successfully, you can play the Game of Life by passing the gosu.rb file to the Ruby interpreter:

ruby gosu.rb


Tests are run on the command line using RSpec:

rspec spec_game_of_life.rb


MIT License. Copyright 2015 Derek Barber