"Life" is a web-based version of the life simulator. Life is played on a rectangular board of cells. Each cell can contain either nothing (empty) or an object (in this version's case, objects show up as either surviving objects, dying objects, or newborns).
When you start the game, you can choose the game's options. They include the size of the game area, the rules of the game (how to decide overcrowding, loneliness and families), and the graphics set used in your session.
For more information on each of the game options, click their links. (ie, click the "Size" link to find out what the size option is used for.)
The game screen shows the game area, a brief message and current game statistics.
The game area (some number of cells across by some number of cells high) is where the action takes place. The top and left of the game area are labeled with letters and numbers (respectively).
The message tells you what's going on in the game: "Starting out" reminds you that the current game area was just randomly created. "Equilibrium has been reached!" lets you know that no more changes will be made by the game's rules (ie, all of the cells are empty (no more objects can be born or die) or some pattern has been achieved which keeps all objects in their current state).
The game statistics include the current "round" (how many times you've "moved" in this session) and the number of "living", "dead" and "born" objects for the current round.
Below the game statistics is an error message area. If you've made any mistakes in your "Changes" code from the last screen, they'll show up here. You can go BACK and fix them, or continue, letting the messed up errors stay.
Lastly is your input area. A small window labeled Changes lets you make changes in the game (described below), and a GO! button lets you continue on in the game.
At any time during a "Life" session, you can add or remove any number of objects from the board. Using the input field, simply type in the cell position you wish to change, column first, then row, preceded by a plus ("+") or a minus ("-"), to add or remove an object, respectively.
+A3" would add a new object (a "newborn")
to the game (in the next round) at the first cell of the third row.
You can enter any number of changes at a time - simply type them all in, with or without spaces in between, and they'll all be made.
+a1+a2+a3+a4+a5-b1-b2+b3" (which, by the
way, is the same as "
+a1 +A2 +a3 +a4 +a5 -b1-b2 +B3") would
add five newborns on the left of the game area, and so on.
If you made any errors in your input, you will be informed of them. You can use your browser's BACK command to go back and fix the errors, or simply live with it. If you made a change and no errors occurred, you will see the text: "No errors."
By Bill Kendrick, New Breed Software, September 1996
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