JavaScript and Canvas version of Conway's Game of Life

Multithreaded JavaScript, O'Reilly 2021, has been published!

I just spent the last two nights building a version of Conway's Game of Life using JavaScript and the HTML5 Canvas tag. You can check out the game here:

The game is really simple. You progress through different levels by getting a specified goal to turn on. This goal is always a 1×1 grid location and is highlighted in blue. You're allowed to change the are of the level highlighted in pink. Changing that area is as simple as clicking a grid location to toggle the state between on and off.

Game of Life Screenshot
Game of Life Screenshot

Conway's Game of Life is a rather simple simulation. It is a state machine, exemplified by a limitless 2d array (mine is just 64×64). This thing falls into a category of similar things called “Cellular Automata”. You can read more about it on [WikiPedia]('sGameof_Life), however, the four simple rules are copied here for your convenience:

  1. Any live cell with fewer than two live neighbors dies, as if caused 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 neighbours dies, as if by overcrowding.
  4. Any dead cell with exactly three live neighbours becomes a live cell, as if by reproduction.

Each frame of the playing animation represents a single generation.

Tags: #gamedev
Thomas Hunter II Avatar

Thomas has contributed to dozens of enterprise Node.js services and has worked for a company dedicated to securing Node.js. He has spoken at several conferences on Node.js and JavaScript, is an O'Reilly published author, and is an organizer of NodeSchool SF.