Archive for the ‘Game of Life’ Category

Build a working game of Tetris in Conway’s Game of Life (brain candy)

Tuesday, September 19th, 2017

Build a working game of Tetris in Conway’s Game of Life

From the webpage:

In Conway’s Game of Life, there exist constructs such as the metapixel which allow the Game of Life to simulate any other Game-of-Life rule system as well. In addition, it is known that the Game of Life is Turing-complete.

Your task is to build a cellular automaton using the rules of Conway’s game of life that will allow for the playing of a game of Tetris.

Your program will receive input by manually changing the state of the automaton at a specific generation to represent an interrupt (e.g. moving a piece left or right, dropping it, rotating it, or randomly generating a new piece to place onto the grid), counting a specific number of generations as waiting time, and displaying the result somewhere on the automaton. The displayed result must visibly resemble an actual Tetris grid.

Your program will be scored on the following things, in order (with lower criteria acting as tiebreakers for higher criteria):

  • Bounding box size — the rectangular box with the smallest area that completely contains the given solution wins.
  • Smaller changes to input — the fewest cells (for the worst case in your automaton) that need to be manually adjusted for an interrupt wins.
  • Fastest execution — the fewest generations to advance one tick in the simulation wins.
  • Initial live cell count — smaller count wins.
  • First to post — earlier post wins.

A challenge that resulted in one and one-half years of effort by an array of participants to create an answer.

Very deep and patient thinking here.

Good training for the efforts that will defeat both government security forces and DRM on the web.

Generating Sequences of Primes in Conway’s Game of Life

Thursday, September 3rd, 2015

Generating Sequences of Primes in Conway’s Game of Life by Nathaniel Johnston.

From the post:

One of the most interesting patterns that has ever been constructed in Conway’s Game of Life is primer, a gun that fires lightweight spaceships that represent exactly the prime numbers. It was constructed by Dean Hickerson way back in 1991, yet arguably no pattern since then has been constructed that’s as interesting. It seems somewhat counter-intuitive at first that the prime numbers, which seem somehow “random” or “unpredictable”, can be generated by this (relatively simple) pattern in the completely deterministic Game of Life.

You may not have a favorite Bible verse but surely you have an opinion on whether prime numbers are ‘somehow “random” or “unpredictable,” yes?

Take a break from the drivel that makes up most news feeds and get some real mental exercise.

The link to Conway’s Game of Life in the original post is broken. I have repaired it in the quote.

There is much to explore at:


dgol – Distributed Game Of Life

Wednesday, August 19th, 2015

dgol – Distributed Game Of Life by Mirko Bonadei and Gabriele Lana.

From the webpage:

This project is an implementation of the Game of life done by Gabriele Lana and me during the last months.

We took it as a “toy project” to explore all the nontrivial decisions that need to be made when you have to program a distributed system (eg: choose the right supervision strategy, how to make sub-systems communicate each other, how to store data to make it fault tolerant, ecc…).

It is inspired by the Torben Hoffman’s version and on the talk Thinking like an Erlanger.

The project is still under development, at the moment we are doing a huge refactoring of the codebase because we are reorganizing the supervision strategy.

Don’t just nod at the Thinking like an Erlanger link. Part of its description reads:

If you find Erlang is a bit tough, or if testing gives you headaches, this webinar is for you. We will spend most of this intensive session looking at how to design systems with asynchronous message passing between processes that do not share any memory.

Definitely watch the video and progress in this project!

Game Of Live in Clojure with Quil

Saturday, November 29th, 2014

Game Of Live in Clojure with Quil by Nazarii Bardiuk.

You already know Conway’s Game of Life. You may not know Quil, a Clojure wrapper for Processing (version 2.0 is out). Look on this as a learning opportunity.

It doesn’t take long for the Game of Life to turn into serious research so advance this work with caution. 😉


I first saw this in a tweet by Anna Pawlicka.

PS: I don’t know if “Live” in the title is a typo or intentional so I left it.

Conway’s Game of Life in Clojure

Monday, April 7th, 2014

Conway’s Game of Life in Clojure by Charles Ditzel.

Charles has collected links to three separate implementations of the “Game of Life” (aka cellular automata).

Before you dismiss cellular automata as “just graphics,” you might want to remember that Stephen Wolfram, the inventor of Mathematica is a long time CA enthusiast.

I’m not saying there is a strong connection between those facts but it seems foolish to presume there is none at all.

A Partly Successful Attempt To Create Life With Data Explorer

Sunday, April 28th, 2013

A Partly Successful Attempt To Create Life With Data Explorer by Chris Webb.

From the post:

I’ll apologise for the title right away: this post isn’t about a Frankenstein-like attempt at creating a living being in Excel, I’m afraid. Instead, it’s about my attempt to implement Jon Conway’s famous game ‘Life’ using Data Explorer, how it didn’t fully succeed and some of the interesting things I learned along the way…

When I’m learning a new technology I like to set myself mini-projects that are more fun than practically useful, and for some reason a few weeks ago I remembered ‘Life’ (which I’m sure almost anyone who has learned programming has had to write a version of at some stage), so I began to wonder if I could write a version of it in Data Explorer. This wasn’t because I thought Data Explorer was an appropriate tool to do this – there are certainly better ways to implement Life in Excel – but I thought doing this would help me in my attempts to learn Data Explorer’s formula language and might also result in an interesting blog post.

Here’s a suggestion on learning new software.

Have you ever thought about playing the game of life with topic maps?

Conway’s Game of Life for Curved Surfaces (Parts 1 and 2)

Thursday, November 29th, 2012

Conway’s Game of Life for Curved Surfaces (Part 1) and Conway’s Game of Life for Curved Surfaces (Part 2) by Mikola Lysenko.

A generalization of John Conway’s original Game of Life on curved surfaces.

Definitely not for the faint of heart and will likely have you consulting old text books.

A simple game that even in its original version, unfolds into complexity. To say nothing of the extended version.

See Cellular automaton (history and applications).

I first saw this in a tweet from Math Update.

Adventures In Declarative Programming: Conway’s Game Of Life

Friday, August 31st, 2012

Adventures In Declarative Programming: Conway’s Game Of Life by Manuel Rotter.

From the post:

My first blog post about declarative programming explained how to write a Sudoku solver in the logic programming language Prolog. This time I’ll show you how to implement Conway’s Game of Life in the functional programming language Clojure.

But before that, let me explain a few general things. The first three paragraphs are for readers who are not familiar with certain concepts. People who already know what Clojure or Conway’s Game of Life is, may feel free to skip those paragraphs. It starts getting serious at “Game of Life in Clojure”.

Having a result that interests me makes learning something new easier.

Here it is “Conway’s Game of Life,” a two dimensional type of Cellular Automata.

You may also find the following of interest:

Game of Life 3D

The Game of Life in 3D (using three.js)

If you have heard of Wolfram’s A New Kind of Science, be aware the full text is online for free viewing with other materials at: Wolfram Science.

Clojure Game of Life

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

Clojure Game of Life

From the post:

This is a Conway’s Game of Life in functional style written in Clojure.

Wikipedia (Cellular Automaton) mentions:

Cellular automata are also called “cellular spaces”, “tessellation automata”, “homogeneous structures”, “cellular structures”, “tessellation structures”, and “iterative arrays”.

You may recall that Stephen Wolfram wrote A New Kind of Science (1280 pages) about cellular automata. Had a great author. Needed a great editor as well.

At a minimum, I take cellular automata for the proposition that computational artifacts exist, whether we expect or forecast them or not.

At a maximum, well, that’s an open research question isn’t it?