Conway’s Game of Life is a simulation developed in 1970 describing a grid of binary cells and transition rules for each cell which depend on the state of the cell’s neighbors. It’s capable of creating some pretty cool patterns.

This variant of the Game of Life uses three overlapping channels, so instead of just one simulation, there are three simultaneous simulations. I visualize these in the three color channels, red, green and blue. Two or more channels active on the same cell are represented with additive color mixing.

These additional channels enable additional interaction between channels, which is pretty neat. I’ve added a rule which revives a dead cell if the sum of its active neighbors from other channels is 9. One nice result of this inter-channel interaction is that stagnant colors can be reactivated by other colors that pass by.

Finding parameters that don’t cause the simulation to blow up or die out is a bit of a trial and error. I made an empirical choice which results in a lively “pond” after the chaotic initial state. I’m sure there are other nice combinations as well.

Other variants I experimented with briefly were to include more than three channels and to consider more complex relationships between the channels. However these ran slower and/or were harder to balance between chaotic and desolate tendencies.