## DEV Community is a community of 642,334 amazing developers

We're a place where coders share, stay up-to-date and grow their careers.

loading... # React: Conway's Game of Life. Utkarsh Yadav
Another Programming Guys.
・4 min read

Table of Content

• What is Conway's Game of Life
• Rules of the Game.
• Coding out the simulation using React
• CodeSandBox Playground

# What is Conway's Game of Life

The Game of Life, also known simply as Life, is a cellular automaton devised by the British mathematician John Horton Conway in 1970. It is a zero-player game, meaning that its evolution is determined by its initial state, requiring no further input. One interacts with the Game of Life by creating an initial configuration and observing how it evolves.

View full details for the Game here

# Rule of the Game

• Any live cell with fewer than two live neighbors dies, as if by underpopulation.
• Any live cell with two or three live neighbors lives on to the next generation.
• Any live cell with more than three live neighbors dies, as if by overpopulation.
• Any dead cell with exactly three live neighbors becomes a live cell, as if by reproduction.

# Coding out simulator using React

## Generating Empty Grid (our first task)

• The total number of `Row` and `columns` for the grid is to be set initially.

Note: Totally depends as per the requirement. The best is to use 30/30.

``````const numRows = 30;
const numCols = 30;
``````
``````const generateEmptyGrid = () => {
const rows = [];
for (let i = 0; i < numRows; i++) {
rows.push(Array.from(Array(numCols), () => 0));
}
return rows;
};
``````

Explanation:

• we used Array `rows []` length of `numRows: 30`
• For every row index we are pushing `numCols: 30` columns.
• This function will be later used as a clear function to clear, to set the grid to empty.
``````[   {1, 2, 3, ...., 30},
{1, 2, 3, ...., 30},
.
.
30th row    ]
``````

## Putting Random stuff on the grid

Requirement: `Button` and `funtion`

• Creating Function `generateRandomStuff()`
`````` const generateRandomStuff = () => {
const rows = [];
for (let i = 0; i < numRows; i++) {
rows.push(
Array.from(Array(numCols),
() => (Math.random() > 0.5 ? 1 : 0))
);
}
return rows;
};
``````
• In this function, we are actually randomizing the column's number and choosing random columns in each row and if the `Math.Random() value for the columns is greater than 0.5` we put that `1`: black else `0`:cleared;

## State management for `setting Random Stuff` and `clearing the stuff` from the grid

``````const [grid, setGrid] = useState(() => {
return generateEmptyGrid();
});
``````
• using use State: we can do the state management for the grid.
• Initially: The grid is set to empty.

`Generate Random stuff`: TO do this we will call for the function

``````const generateRandomStuff = () =>
``````

and set it in grid : `setGrid(generateRandomStuff())`

`````` <button
onClick={() => {
setGrid(generateRandomStuff());
}}>
Random Stuff
</button>
`````` `Generate Empty Grid`: To do this we will call for the function

``````const generateEmptyGrid = () =>
``````

and set it in Empty the grid : `setGrid(generateEmptyGrid())`

`````` <button
onClick={() => {
setGrid(generateEmptyGrid());
}}>
Clear
</button>
`````` ## Running Simulation (Logic) :)

• For the simulation we need some preprocessing.
``````const redundant = [
[0.1],
[0, -1],
[1, -1],
[-1, 1],
[1, 1],
[-1, -1],
[1, 0],
[-1, 0]
];
``````

an array is taken with all steps, where we can move

• We can move in all eight directions in the grid.
`````` const [Simulation, setSimulation] = useState(false);

const runningRef = useRef(Simulation);
runningRef.current = Simulation;

const runSimulation = useCallback(() => {
if (!runningRef.current) {
return;
}
setGrid((g) => {
return produce(g, (gridCopy) => {
for (let i = 0; i < numRows; i++) {
for (let k = 0; k < numCols; k++) {
let neighbors = 0;
redundant.forEach(([x, y]) => {
const newI = i + x;
const newK = k + y;
if (newI >= 0 && newK >= 0 && newI < numRows && newK < numCols) {
neighbors += g[newI][newK];
}
});
if (neighbors < 2 || neighbors > 3) {
gridCopy[i][k] = 0;
} else if (g[i][k] === 0 && neighbors === 3) {
gridCopy[i][k] = 1;
}
}
}
});
});
setTimeout(runSimulation, 100);
}, []);
``````
• we will make a state `simulation` and `setStimulation` which will be initially `false`. and will be triggered to `true` using the button.
• `const runSimulation = useCallback(() =>{}`: here we will be using callback function.

• Logic:

• we will traverse the grid from index {0,0} to {numRows,numCols}
• Take a counter for the `neigbours`.

What we exactly want is:

1. if there is a cell in the grid which is `set` with exactly `2` or `3` neighbors in any of the direction.
2. if there is a cell in the grid that is not `set` and has three `set or live` neighbors become `set or live`.
3. All other cells that are `set or live` are now set to `dead or unset`, whereas all `unset` will remain `unset`.
`````` redundant.forEach(([x, y]) => {
const newI = i + x;
const newK = k + y;
if (newI >= 0 && newK >= 0 && newI < numRows && newK < numCols) {
neighbors += g[newI][newK];
}
});
``````
• we will move in 8 directions from `redundant array`
• following the above rule we have written, three cases.

After completion of the simulation, we run the function once after the interval of time.

For this we use `setTimeout(runSimulation, 100);`

• Button for the simulation.
``````<button onClick={() => {
setSimulation(!Simulation);
if (!Simulation) {
runningRef.current = true;
runSimulation();
}
}} >
{Simulation ? "Stop" : "start"} Simulation
</button>
`````` Note: Using `immer` for mutating the state.

If you like the content. kindly let me know.

Happy Coding.