by Johan Bontes
Conway's Game of Life freeware
Version 2.15, last updated August 10,
There is a European mirror of this page in Holland:
Please send questions and comments on Life32 to Johan
Life32 version 2.15
... from an FTP site in California: zip file or self-installing
... from an FTP site in Wisconsin: zip file or
... from an FTP site in Atlanta: zip file or self-installing
... from a web-site in Holland: zip file or self-installing
The self-installing .exe uses InstallShield to make installation a breeze.
The .zip file is provided because of the size difference, and because there
really is nothing tricky in the installation.
If you just want to give Life32 a try, the installshield is recommended because
it has an easy uninstall feature.
If you don't have a program to handle zip files, have a look at Winzip
(shareware) or UltimateZip (freeware).
Downloaded the thing and still have questions?
Read the FAQ
Life32 is a player for Conway's game of life and related cellular automa.
If that does not ring a bell, look here
Life32 is the fastest life player in the world, it is very powerfull and extremely
easy to use.
Here is a screenshot:
In short, Life32 is the best, fastest, and most user-friendly life player around.
But if you need more convincing, here is a list of Features:
- Universe size is 1 million x 1 million.
- Fastest Windows Life player anywhere; adjustable
speed using 1 millisec accurate timer.
and writes patterns written in Xlife 2.0, Life 1.05/1.06, ProLife, MCell,
dbLife and even bitmap file formats (.bmp and gif).
- Uses Microsoft DirectX to accelerate drawing, with
seamless non-DirectX support (albeit that the latter is a lot slower).
for multiple universes, so you can have multiple files open at a time.
- Adjustable frame dropping increases speed
at the cost of smooth animation.
- Make a "snapshot" and revert to it later
in one button press. Advanced snapshot list maintenance.
- "Skip to..." lets you skip to a specific
generation fast, both forward and backward.
enables you to play patterns that require a toriod or otherwise bounded universe.
- Unlimited playback. Life32 uses the
most recent snapshot to recalculate the previous generation.
- Change rules using standard text format (23/3,
etc.), or check boxes, or a list of interesting rules with descriptions.
for Hexagonal, Moore and VonNeumann neighborhoods.
- Advanced editing features: cut and paste, drag
and drop, etc. Cut and paste to and from text editors -- good for e-mailing
support where building blocks can be stored and recalled with a single keypress.
- Zoom from 10 pixels per cell down to 1/256 sub-pixel.
Zoom cursor for selective zooming. Zoom to fit.
- Scroll bars and keyboard shortcuts for moving around
easily; hand cursor for scrolling in all directions.
- "Move to..." lets you jump to any location
in the universe, the edges of the pattern, or the center of the pattern.
- View and edit pattern descriptions: shows a description
to you in the "Open" window before you even open a pattern. View
the description again with one click on the "i" button in the tool
bar. Edit it in the "Settings" window or in the "Save As..."
- Lexicon for looking up life jargon.
programming interface using Automation, write macro's for Life32 from most
Win32 programming platforms, e.g. MS Office, VB, C++, Delphi.
- Extensive on-line help.
Life32 works best when used with Microsoft's DirectX. If you have Windows '98,
Me, 2000 or XP, you already have it, guaranteed. But if you have Windows 95
or NT, then you might not have it. You can check by trying to set "Enabled
DirectX" in Life32's "Settings" dialog, in the "Speed"
"Works best" is a vast understatement. Life32 is very efficient,
which makes the Windows API a serious performance problem. DirectX is Microsoft's
solution to such problems.
For Windows '95: You can download the lastest version of DirectX for users
For Windows '98/Me: Silly you, DirectX is part of Windows '98/Me. You should
have skipped to the next section already.
For Windows NT 4.0: DirectX 3.0 comes in Service Pack 3. Download it from http://www.microsoft.com/ntserver/nts/downloads/archive/nt4svcpk3/default.asp
For Windows 2000/XP: DirectX is a standard component, just like in Windows
To find out more about DirectX, visit http://www.microsoft.com/windows/directx/productinfo/overview/faq.asp
I can't stress this enough. Life patterns are the essence of Life!
In order to make the most of Life, here are some pattern collections to get
- Alan Hensel's great LifeP.zip
- David Bell's huge dblifelib-2.tgz
collection (312K), featuring many patterns in all kinds of evolution rules.
- If you are a real gun enthusiast (glider guns, that is), here is Dieter
and Peter's collection Guns.zip
(282K) of smallest guns with periods 100 < p < 1000 and their collection
of smallest guns with periods 1000 < p < 10,000. Note that these gun
collections are in Dieter and Peter's ProLife format, so if you intend to
use them with another Life program, you may have to convert them using Life32.
- Jason Summers has made an unofficial
update to Dieter & Peter's collection. His site contains a lot of
other worthwhile pattern collections
- New! Dieter and Peter
have each put together a small collection of their own favourite patterns.
All of the above files can be unzipped with WinZip.
Other Life links
- Mirek's Cellebration
(aka MCell) is a great Life player which complements Life32 nicely; in addition
Mirek has a very informative page on Life and related (and lots of not so
- If you're in to spaceships, visit David
Bell's site, you can cut and paste (or drag and drop) the patterns in
his articles to Life32.
- Alan Hensel's Java Life player
has been the basis for Life32's generation engine.
- Dean Hickerson's
Life page features some patterns, mostly built by Dean himself.
- H. Koenig has a massive
compendium of life patterns which is regularly updated.
- Paul Calahan's Life page
is not maintained anymore, but if you're new to the subject, it is a great
place to start.
- Achim Flammenkamp
has done experiments with random life patterns and reports about the results
on his web page.
- Mark D. Niemiec's
Life Page specializes in constructing lifepatterns by smashing gliders
- David Eppstein has
investigated small spaceships in universes related to life.
- Paul Rendell has -incredibly-
constructed an implementation of a turing machine in Life.
- Robert Wainwright's
"Lifeline" was a quarterly magazine featuring discoveries in
Conway's Life in the early '70's.
- Steven Silver
houses the Life lexicon, very usefull if you aim to understand the elusive
- Andrew Trevorrow has written LifeLab,
a life player for the Apple Mac.
For news concerning anything digital, look at http://slashdot.org
If you are more interested in AI, http://www.generation5.org
might be your thing, they occasionally have a newsflash on CA too.
For CA fans, see what's cooking at the primordial soup kitchen (http://psoup.math.wisc.edu/)
As you may (or may not know) Life32 is written in Delphi. I hope you agree
Delphi is a great tool to easily write nice looking programs. Go and have a
Borland, these guys know how to write
Borland recently released the free (as in beer) Kylix
(read: Delphi for Linux) compiler with which you can write Open
Source ('Free' as in GPL)
programs (of course you can also buy the regular package and make 'closed source'
If you are looking for components, I recommend the Delphi
DirectX & Delphi
If you are into graphics-programming, definitly have a look
at the DGC homepage; DGC is the tool if you want to use DirectX,
but don't want all the headache; Oops, the DGC project seems to be discontinued.
Still it floats around on a few places on the web, try the following (but don't
blame me if they don't work):
has a DGC 7.6 Download,
This yahoo forum also offers a more elaborate DGC
Hiroyuki Hori has written a replacement for DGC, simply called DirectX.
I have not reviewed this yet, but it may help you out.
Join in on the discussion @ the Yahoo
Delphi Games Forum.
Otherwise, just use Google
to search for +delphi +directx