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Conway Machine

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Also available on itch.io (with a fullscreen button).

Conway's famous non-player game, with a few fun features and controls. 

  1. Any live cell with two or three live neighbors survives.
  2. Any dead cell with three live neighbors becomes a live cell.
  3. All other live cells die in the next generation. Similarly, all other dead cells stay dead.

(Read More Here)


  • Clicking the cells will add a new living cell.
  • 'Pause' the simulation to draw on it, or click the +1 to advance by one frame.
  • 'Clear' will wipe the board if you want to doodle.
  • 'Resize on Respawn' can be unchecked to maintain your drawing as you experiment with scale. Note that cells are erased when they exceeds the window boundary.
  • You can turn on the grid if you'd like!
  • Mirror Mode offer several mirrored views. You can draw a triptych when paused in this mode and see what happens! Keep in mind that the full grid still exists; the top-left quadrant is targeted for the mirroring.
  • Adjusting 'Cell Age' will visually show how old cells are in the simulation. At the peak age, they maintain their new colour. 'Age Style' adjusts how colours are rendered as cells age over time.

Be warned: the smaller the size of the cells / the bigger the resolution of the screen, the more taxing this will be on your processor. Even if it's lagging, it should still be responsive, albeit slow.

On mobile, if you move your touch slightly left or right it wont trigger a refresh. Lmk if you know a web fix!

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Nice implementation. Some comments on the interface:
Make grid lines and an option to toggle them on and off
The sliders should display their value while sliding, not just when they land.
Maybe have a mode where you can "draw" with the mouse instead of clicking every cell?
The two colors need a color picker in addition to just the numbers.
Next to randomize colors button should be a swap colors button
Next to refresh button should be a clear button - to clear the board (make all cells dead) so I can experiment with a pattern from scratch
Maybe a way to save and recall the board, or a way to go back some steps. Sometimes I made something cool but can't remember how I did it.

Anyway, great work, and thanks for sharing. Did you hear that the guy that invented this game died of COVID-19 a couple weeks ago?

VultureBoy responds:

I did! Was pretty upset to hear about Conway's passing :(

Thanks for the solid feedback! I'll keep it in mind for when I next update this!
I'll probably have several of these features added within the hour!

Edit2: Updated! I'll see about adding 'memory' in the future.

It'd be nice to be able to alter cell size without the game board also refreshing and clearing everything without warning. Or at least have a "clear board" button; having to manually destroy most of the random configuration every single time in order to be able to play around without interference is incredibly tedious.

VultureBoy responds:

Your wish is granted! Thanks for the solid feedback!

Credits & Info

2.88 / 5.00

Apr 29, 2020
8:10 PM EDT
Misc. Kit
  • Visual Studio Code
  • p5.js