I've just published (pending review) my first Fitbit game! My own implementation of Conway's Game of Life, which is a cellular automaton simulation.
Considered to be a "zero player game", it uses simple rules to guide the evolution of living cells and results in unpredictable and complex patterns over time. You can watch these complex interactions play out right on your wrist!
Some cell patterns die out quickly. Some patterns flourish for thousands of generations. Some patterns will produce other groups of cells that travel across the grid. Some patterns oscillate indefinitely. Some patterns solidify into a stable mass.
In this version you can draw your own cell patterns and see what they do. Will you discover a new form of Life with the patterns you draw?
Each dot is a living cell. If the cell has 2 or 3 neighbors, it will stay alive. If it has more or less, it will die due to overpopulation or underpopulation. If a dead cell has exactly 3 neighbors, it will come to life.
The rules are applied to the 10x10 grid of cells to advance 1 generation. Each successive generation applies these rules until no more generations can be calculated. This could be thousands of generations or only a couple. It all depends on the starting pattern!
In this version of Life, there are 3 modes that can be switched between by long-pressing on the screen:
- Auto: a random starting collection of cells is created and generations happens once per second. Tap to pause.
- Draw: tap a cell to toggle it between dead and alive. Draw whatever pattern you want, or recreate a classic pattern to watch it evolve.
- Step: run the simulation at your pace. Tap the screen to advance 1 generation.
Here is a deep dive on known cell patterns that yield interesting results (unaffiliated website):
I created this game because I wanted to push the boundaries of what the Fitbit can do. I think the Game of Life is really interesting because such simple patterns can yield extremely complicated and unexpected results. It's fascinating to watch. I think it's really cool that we can have a nearly endless space of possibilities playing out in real time on our wrists.
I have a fascination with finding meaning in the depths of randomness. The Game of Life provides simple rules that can apply a meaningful evolution to a random assortment of dots on the screen. I think that is really intriguing. I love inviting randomness into my life in controlled ways to see what unexpected delights it may leave behind.
Embrace the chaos of Life, and all its beautiful patterns!
Thank You For Playing!
If you like my work, please consider buying something from my shop to show your support!
Date: 19 December 2021
Platform: Fitbit Versa 3, Fitbit Sense