Help For the Game Of Conway

Welcome to the network Conway server. The challenge command is described here. Other commands are the same as for all pbmserv games.

   conway challenge userid1 userid2 [userid3..8] [-size=S] [-place=P] [-touch]

Starts a new game between userid1, userid2... up to eight players.

The -size option specifies the size of the board (default is 10).

The -place option specifies the maximum number of pieces that players may place each turn (default is 3).

The -touch option specifies that pieces must be placed to touch at least one existing friendly piece (if any).


It's Life, Jim, but not as we know it.


The board is initially empty. Players take turns placing a number of their pieces on empty board points.

The first player places one piece on the first move, then the second player places two pieces on the second, increasing until the maximum number of pieces P is reached on move P. Players may place less than their allowed number of pieces and may pass.

After the second round of moves is complete, the board undergoes one cycle of life and death each turn according to the Game of Life rules:
  1.  Any piece with 2 or 3 neighbours survives.
  2.  All other pieces die.
  3.  A new piece is born on any empty cell with 3 neighbours.

New pieces are assigned to the player who contributed most to their birth (i.e. who had the most neighbours). If there is no dominat parent then the new piece becomes a neutral piece '#'. The board is toroidal, that is, it wraps from top to bottom and from left to right.

Players with 0 pieces after any cycle of life and death are removed from the game. The game is won by the last surviving non-neutral player.


   conway move board# userid password c3
   conway move board# userid password a5,g2,e7
   conway move board# userid password pass
conway move board# userid password random (place random pieces)

Random moves are marked with an asterisk in the move list.

References and History

Conway was designed by Eric Shultz and Cameron Browne in Februrary 2005, based on the Game of Life by John Conway.

Implementation and help file by Cameron Browne, February 2005.