In 1970, John Conway came up with a 1-player game called Game of Life. The Game of Life is a mathematical game that simulates 'colonies' that grow or die based on how crowded or lonely they are and is known for the way it creates a beautiful organic display out of randomness.

Here is a design for a simple electronic project that plays Conway's Game of Life. Make one kit and keep it on your desk, or attach multiple kit modules together to create a large display.

Originally created by Dropout Design, this revision adds a few extra features. The kit is very easy to make and an excellent first electronics/soldering project. It is perfect for workshops since at the end everyone can connect their completed module together.

The animated GIF above shows 4 modules connected together. Each kit comes unassembled and includes all parts necessary for one module.

Features:

  • Each kit displays a 4x4 grid (16 LEDs)
  • Connect as many kits as youd like, in any configuration, to create a larger game board
  • Runs off of 2 AA batteries (not included), but can be easily modified to run off of USB or wall-wart power
  • On/Off button to save power, also for resetting the display
  • Automatically resets if the colony has died or stagnated (regeneration)
  • Backwards compatible with older versions

There's tons more to read about the project, including directions at the website!


PCB CAD files and firmware available in the product tutorial.

Dimensions:

  • PCB only: 71mm x 71mm x 1.6mm (2.8in x 2.8in x 0.06in)
  • Assembled (not including AA baterly holder):71mm x 71mm x 12.5mm (2.8in x 2.8in x 0.5in)
Blinky fun cellular automata

(AF-89)

SKU AF-89
Brand Adafruit

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