Game of Life with floating point operations: beautiful Smoothlife

Smoothlife (paper, source code is a floating-point version of the old Game of Life, a classic of evolutionary computing and genetic algorithms. By adding floating point math to the mix, Smoothlife produces an absolutely lovely output:

SmoothLife is a family of rules created by Stephan Rafler. It was designed as a continuous version of Conway's Game of Life - using floating point values instead of integers. This rule is SmoothLifeL which supports many interesting phenomena such as gliders that can travel in any direction, rotating pairs of gliders, wickstretchers and the appearance of elastic tension in the 'cords' that join the blobs.

(via JWZ)


    1. I miss Yersinia.  She had that one breakout hit in Europe for a couple of years, but since then the only time I ever hear of her is in a “Where are they now?” context.  

  1. If the algorithm is as simple as the original life game, there are going to be a lot of palm prints on a lot of heads. :-)

  2. I want a GPU-powered version of that running fullscreen as a screensaver.

    Although I’ll feel a bit guilty that those cycles aren’t going to better use.

  3. I guess beauty’s in the eye, etc. Personally, I prefer my memory of multicolored gliders sailing along the TV screen when I first played with Life on my TI 99…

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