Tag Archives: game of life

Conway’s Game of Life: 3D

Another MRes Processing assignment, and on this occasion – something cellular automata related.

In an effort to again try out some Processing ideas that I hadn’t used before, the application created for this is 3D.

The application itself is based on Conway’s Game of Life, the basic idea of which is “to start with a simple configuration of counters (organisms), one to a cell, then observe how it changes as you apply Conway’s ‘genetic laws’ for births, deaths, and survivals”.

The initially defined rules are:

  • Survivals. Every counter with two or three neighbouring counters survives for the next generation.
  • Deaths. Each counter with four or more neighbours dies (is removed) from overpopulation. Every counter with one neighbour or none dies from isolation.
  • Births. Each empty cell adjacent to exactly three neighbours–no more, no fewer–is a birth cell. A counter is placed on it at the next move.

For this version of it a cell’s neighbours are the 2 cells either side of it in each of the 3 planes. The rules used are:

  • Survivals – cells with 2 live neighbours will continue as they are
  • Deaths – cells with 0 or more than 4 live neighbours
  • Births – cells with 1, 3 or 4 live neighbours

In the application the dead cells are coloured green, live cells start off pink and get brighter turning yellow and then white depending on how long they’ve been alive.

As the neighbour cells being used to determine the future of each call do not wrap this can lead to the edges of the cube becoming permanently white. The two examples below show how this can, but doesn’t always, happen.

In these versions the dead cells are not drawn.