Conroy's Game of Life (Wikipedia) was first published in the October 1970 issue of Scientific American.
Technically, it was a zero-player game. You just got to watch the patterns progress as time went by. You could, however, manually set the initial state. This allowed you to examine the progression of generations from whichever state you chose to initialize.
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, (or populated and unpopulated, respectively). Every cell interacts with its eight neighbors, 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 neighbors dies, as if by under population.
2. Any live cell with two or three live neighbors lives on to the next generation.
3. Any live cell with more than three live neighbors dies, as if by overpopulation.
4. Any dead cell with exactly three live neighbors 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. Each generation is a pure function of the preceding one. The rules continue to be applied repeatedly to create further generations.
My modifications to the game are as follows:
1. The game is played on a 64 x 64 square grid. Outside of that grid is a poisonous atmosphere where no life can survive.
2. You can manually set the initial state, or you can specify the number of live cells in the initial state and allow their locations to be selected randomly.
3. You can either specify the tick rate and then run the game, or you can single-step the game.
4. You can stop the game to inspect its current state and then you can restart its progression.
5. You can start a new game at any point.
1. Click the "New Game" button.
A. Click the "Manual" button and then click any number of cells on the grid, one-by-one, to set them to the alive state (displayed as red -- Shift|Click on a red cell to turn it back to white), or
B. Enter a number between 1 and 4096 in the text box to the left of the "Random" button, and then click the "Random" button. If you don't specify a number, or if you specify a number less than 1 or greater than 4096, the game will use the number 640.
A. Click the "Single-step" button to proceed through the game's progression at your own pace, or
B. Enter a number between 1 and 50 (tick rate in tenths of a second) in the text box to the left of the "Run" button and then click the "Run" button. If you don't specify a number, or if you specify a number less than 1 or greater than 50, the game will use the number 5. Whenever you wish, you may click the "Stop" button, and thereafter either:
i. Return to Step 3A, or
ii. Return to Step 3B.
4. At any point, you can start over by clicking the "New Game" button.
● To explore this game's code, just right-click this page and then click on "View Page Source" (in Firefox browsers - other browsers are similar.
● To download this game's image files, click here.
● To download this game's sound files, click here.
● The button and canvas (board) click sounds were constructed in Audacity 2.1.0. They work in Edge, Firefox, Chrome, Opera, and Slimjet browsers, but not in Internet Explorer. In order to get these .wav sound files to work in Firefox, I had to make sure they were exported at 48kHz rather than at Audacity's default 44.1kHz.
Wikipedia - Conroy's Game of Life. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conway%27s_Game_of_Life.