LifeWiki:Life links

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This page contains a comprehensive list of links to important sites about Conway's Game of Life and related cellular automata.

Introductory Articles

Research Papers

Glossaries and Encyclopediae

Online Pattern Catalogs

Downloadable Pattern Catalogs

Blogs and News Sites

Other Personal Life Pages

Downloadable Simulation Software

Other CAs

Web Browser Based Life Simulations

Downloadable Computation and/or Search Software

  • apgsearch for Catagolue - Downloadable distributed soup search script, written in C++ (LifeWiki article, LifeWiki tutorial)
  • Bellman by Mike Playle - Program for searching stable catalysts in Conway's Game of Life. Written in C. (LifeWiki article)
  • Catalyst v1.0 by Gabriel Nivasch - Finds ways of modifying the evolution of an input pattern by placing catalysts that react with it, by a backtracking search. Written in C++. (LifeWiki article)
  • CatForce by Michael Simkin - fast brute-force testing of arrangements of potential catalysts for signal-processing reactions. Written in C, based on the LifeAPI library. (LifeWiki article)
  • CollisionsSearch v0.1a by Sergei Petrov (Guam) - finds arrangements usually of small Spartan or near-Spartan objects, with various constraints. Similar to CatForce, but with a GUI.
  • dr/drifter by Dean Hickerson - Finds patterns consisting of a a small perturbation "drifting" across a still-life background. Takes as input the perturbation and part of the background. Depth-first; simulates the evolution of the perturbation, making a choice whenever it needs the value of an unknown background cell, and backtracking whenever it finds an inconsistency in the background or the perturbation grows too large. Useful for finding high-period billiard-table oscillators, circuitry consisting of signals moving through static wires and components, and custom eaters. The 'knownrotors' file is a list of previously discovered drifters, to avoid duplicated searches. Written in C.
  • gencols by Paul Callahan - Enumerates collisions between patterns (e.g. gliders and still lifes). Includes output filters to detect oscillators, spaceships, or successful eating of one pattern by another. Life evolution rule is hardcoded as a sequence of bit-parallel integer operations (so it's possible to change but not easy). Written in C.
  • gfind v4.8 by David Eppstein - Search program for low-period spaceships. Extends partial patterns a row at a time, keeping track of rows in all phases of the pattern. Includes modes for finding symmetric patterns. Written in C. (LifeWiki article, LifeWiki tutorial)
  • gsearch by David Eppstein - Performs a brute force search of all patterns fitting within a small rectangle. Evolves each pattern for a specified number of generations or until it repeats, grows too large, or matches a previously seen pattern. Recognizes spaceships, oscillators, unstable oscillators (such as queen bee and p90), replicators, and some puffers. Includes modes for finding symmetric patterns. Written in C.
  • Hersrch by Karel Suhajda (via - the original site is down) - Searches for open or closed Herschel tracks in Conway's Game of Life, using a database of known static and periodic track components. Written in C++.
  • life-soup - an FPGA soup searcher written by Rob Liston in Verilog, running on the Xilinx EK-U1-VCU118-G evaluation board.
  • lifesrc v3.8 by David Bell - Search program for oscillators. Written in C. (LifeWiki article)
  • Logic Life Search/LLS - An SAT-based search program written by Oscar Cunningham for patterns in Conway's Game of Life and other cellular automata. (LifeWiki article, LifeWiki tutorial)
  • Life Slice Ship Search/LSSS - A spaceship search program by Andrew Wade for outer totalistic rules.
  • ofind v0.9 by David Eppstein - Searches for low-period oscillators. Similar to gfind, but extends patterns in all phases simultaneously rather than a single phase at a time, and includes special handling of stator cells. User can specify what spark the oscillator should produce, or how it should interact with neighboring patterns of other periods. Written in C.
  • qfind - a spaceship search program by Matthias Merzenich, combining aspects from zfind and gfind.
  • Random Agar v1.1 by Gabriel Navasch - Looks for new Life oscillators, wicks, and agars. Generates random spatially periodic patterns, and runs them until they oscillate. Includes complete support for all possible symmetry types. Written in C++.
  • Scripts forum at
  • Seeds of Destruction Game v0.5 by Paul Chapman - Manual search assistant for self-destruct circuitry, efficient glider-construction cleanups, reburnable fuses, etc. Java application. (LifeWiki article, LifeWiki tutorial)
  • WLS 0.71 (WinLifeSearch) - a Windows port of lifesrc, with a GUI to help with setup. Windows executables are included in the zip files; source code is on github. (LifeWiki article)
  • zfind - a spaceship search program by zdr, updated by Matthias Merzenich and Tomas Rokicki.


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