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Is there any known two-dimensional Conway's game of life variation where each cell can not be just on/off but able to hold more states, maybe 4 or 5?

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3… – anon Jun 27 '11 at 7:01
There is lots of free software out there, implementing Conway's game of life with lots and lots of variations, including arbitrary (adjustable of course) number of colours, rules that take into account neighbours that are further away, and much more. A quick internet search will get you started. – Alex B. Jun 27 '11 at 8:15

Adding on to anon's comment, here's a cellular automaton called Wireworld.

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I wrote a "spatial ecology" variant here in which different populations (with various birth and death rates) in-effect compete for "space". It's in Java, with source available (tho' was written a long time ago, with the 'original' windowing system).

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There are many: check out this website.

Often scientists will write their own variations to model certain real world scenarios.

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I can recomend the software Golly, it's so far ahead of anything else and easy to use. Generations rules are similar to Lifelike rules such as Conways Life but have more states. Alternitivly WireWorld as mentioned above is an example in Golly of a Rule Table, and their are many other for more human engineered cellular automata.

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