El Ingenioso Hidalgo Don Miguel de la Chula Vista's
personal take on the Cellular Automaton known as
The Game of Life.
Warp Life is now in Beta Test!
We could use your help in finding any remaining bugs, testing on a wider range of hardware than is available to us as well as making suggestions as to how we can improve the product. If you'd like to help out, we need some configuration information from your iDevice. Please follow these instructions if you'd like to volunteer as a beta tester.
Warp Life is an implementation of Conway's Game of Life, which was invented by Computer Scientist John Conway in 1970. It is the most-popular example of a class of computer program known as a Cellular Automaton.
Cellular Automata store their state in multidimensional grids. A fixed set of rules propagates the grid state from generation to generation as time advances. The rules of Conway's Life are designed to yield visually interesting patterns as well as "Emergent Behavior", but some Cellular Automata can be used to solve useful problems, and so are an important area of Computer Science, Physical Science and Mathematical research
Conway's Life uses a two-dimensional grid. A cell is either alive or dead. The fate of each cell in the next generation for the most part has to do with how many neighbors it has:
Rotating the Selection
Warp Life is Accellerated by Don Miguel!™
While Algorithmic research into both generation propagation and display update is ongoing, Warp Life's speed already puts all our competitors in the Apple iOS App Store completely to shame!
There are many competing implementations of Conway's Game of Life on many platforms, not just the iOS.
The intrigue of Conway's Life for most people comes from setting up initial grid states, either to see how they will evolve or to solve special challenges such as the construction of Space Ships, oscillating patterns that move to a new location on the grid during each oscillation cycle.
To this end, Warp Life has a well-developed grid editing User Interface.
There are two modes, Run Mode and Edit Mode. You switch from on to the other by tapping the right-hand button in the Navigation Bar at the top of the screen.
Grid lines appear when in Edit Mode, to help you locate the cells you want to edit.
When in Edit Mode, you can single-tap to toggle cells between living or dead, or draw continuous lines of living or dead cells by dragging your fingertip.
Also in Edit Mode, you can select, resize and move rectangular areas with a two-finger pinch gesture, then use the User Interface buttons to Cut, Copy and Clear selections, as well Paste from the Clipboard.
You can as well Drag and Drop the selection.
Conway's rules are symmetric with respect to each of the four ninety degree rotations as well as horizontal and vertical reflections, yielding eight-way symmetry. To support exploration of the symmetry, you can rotate and reflect selections.
In Run Mode you can single-step or run continuously.
When running continuously, a slider allows you to adjust the generation propagation speed from quite fast to quite slow.
Scroll the screen in Run Mode with a single-finger drag gesture. Zoom in with a two-finger unpinch, out with a two-finger pinch. You can zoom out as far as one Retina Display pixel per cell.
You can save either your starting grid setup or the current grid setup in standard Run Length Encoded files. You can download such Run Length Encoded files from web sites such as the LifeWiki and import them into Warp Life via iTunes with your tether cable, then open them by tapping the Document icon that appears at the bottom of the Run Mode screen.
Run Length Encoded files are Plain Text files and not in binary format. The RLE Specification limits the length of each file line to seventy characters. Thus you can open your Run Length Encoded files in any text editor, copy them to the Clipboard, and paste them bodily into electronic mail messages as well as Usenet News and message board posts!
If you discover interesting new patterns, you can save your starting grids as Run Length Encoded files, then user your tether cable to export your new files to your Mac OS X or Windows computer with iTunes to share with others over the Internet.
Thus, Warp Life is not only a fun and interesting game that anyone may enjoy, but truly a useful tool to the Computer Scientists who perform original research into Cellular Automata Algorithms.
Warp Life will be Free Software, published under the Affero General Public License version 3.0, and a free download from the App Store after it passes a final two-week round of Beta Testing with no bug reports of any sort, at which time it will be submitted to Apple for App Store approval.
That approval process typically takes oen week but from time to time can take far longer.
Based on our presently known bugs, the work that we know remains to be peformed as well as Apple's written App Store Approval Policy, we expect Warp Life to be available at the App Store by the end of October 2013, by the end of November at the very latest.
Early prototype development of Warp Life for Android Mobile Devices such as the HTC phones and Samsung Galaxy commenced recently, with free download from the Google Play store targeted for late Summer 2014.