Conway Wars - Staying Alive
Jan-Ole Hübner
Cedric Pump
Katja Krause

How to play ConwayWars

Game of Life

The game ConwayWars is based on Game of Life, designed by John Horton Conway in 1970.
This game consists of a x times y grid, containing cells, that are awoken or die depending on their neighbours. There are four rules for the cells state after each iteration.


  1. Any alive cell with fewer than two alive neighbours dies of underpopulation
  2. Any alive cell with two or three alive neighbours keeps living
  3. Any alive cell with more than tree alive neighbours dies of overpopulation
  4. Any dead cell with exactly three alive neighbours is awoken in the next generation
Example Underpopulation
Example Stay Alife
Example Overpopulation
Example Awoken

Making it a game

To make this an interesting game one defines that each cell belongs to a player and, lets the players interact with the lifecycle to influence the next generation and make one's cells dominate the grid.
The cell's player is indicated by the cell's colour. Each time a new cell is awoken it's player depends on witch players their neighbours belong to. A new cell always has 3 neighbours so under normal circumstances it should always be defined.


There are two basic types for a player to interact with the game. Each player has his own turn one after another and each turn triggers a new generation of the cell population. For these interactions each player has to invest points. By default each player gets one point at the beginning of his turn.


A player can invest one point to kill a cell. Sometimes it can even be worth it to kill one own's cell.


A player can invest two points to awake a cell. For that it's necessary to save points in the first place.


A player can skip his turn to save points, if he has absolutely no idea what to do or to give his opponent a fair chance.

To kill a cell simply click or tap on a living cell. To awake a cell click or tap on a dead cell and to skip click ot tap onto the skip button.

End Of Game

As soon as a player has lost all of his cells he is removed from the game. The last player that still has cells wins and the game ends. If all remaining players lose their cells in the same turn it is a considered a draw.


To make it easier for players to see what will happen in the next generation, each cell shows a preview. The inner part of the cell shows the cells state in the next generation. Black means that it will die.

Cell Life and Weight

To make the game even more complex, cells can have multiple lives an weight. By default these are one.
A cell with more than one life can survive an evolution even if it would die and loses one life instead. If it reaches zero lives it finally dies.
To kill a cell with several lives a Player also needs more than one action, reducing the cells lives to zero.
On the other hand a cell whose weight is bigger than one counts as more cells when calculating if a neighbour dies, stays alive or is awoken. so a cell could be awoken by a single cell with weight equal to 3.


For advanced interaction with the game, players can use powerups to solve difficult levels. These powerups differ in types and can have additional attributes.

Powerup Kill

powerup button kill
powerup button kill range

The Kill powerup acts like a normal Kill action, but has a range and a force. If this powerup comes with a range, it does not only kill the cell selected, but also the surrounding cells within the range.
The force defines the amount of lives a cell loses if the player tries to kill it.

Powerup Awake

powerup button awake
powerup button 3 life
powerup button weight

The Awake powerup also acts like a normal awake action, but gives the new cell more lives and/or weight.

Powerup Repeat

powerup repeat

The Repeat powerup gives the player a second turn.

Powerup +1 Point

powerup plus one

The +1 point powerup gives the player +1 Point. Who would have thought that?

Powerup Ugly Goo

powerup ugly goo

This powerup spawns a new kind of cell that dominates Player and Ai Cells and slowly takes more and more space if you don't pay attention.