OCA Discovery of the Year

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The OCA Discovery of the Year[note 1] (OCADOTY) competition is held each year on the ConwayLife.com forums as a counterpart to Pattern of the Year dedicated to rules other than Conway's Game of Life. Users are invited to submit interesting and noteworthy patterns, rules, families of rules, or projects relating to other cellular automata, their own or others'; following discussion, a final list is then curated, and a public vote held. All entries must have been found during the year in question.

Results by year



The OCA Discovery of the Year competition for 2019 is currently taking place, and is being organized by testitemqlstudop and bubblegum. The results will be posted both on the wiki and on the forums when voting is complete.



The nominations for the 2018 competition were organized by Rhombic, and the voting by 77topaz. Users were able to vote on as many entries as they wished, awarding up to three stars to each one.

Final rank Stars Pattern Author Link(s)
1 38 Adjustable slope spaceships AforAmpere [1]
Spaceships which can be adjustable to travel at any integer slope.
2 24 bf esolang simulator M.I. Wright [2]
A cellular automaton simulating the bf programming language.
=3 23 ATPP dani [3]
A rule containing many spaceships based on failed replicators as well as several actual replicators based on it.
=3 23 Exponentially long-lasting methuselahs toroidalet [4]
Various fuse-based methuselahs, one of which has an estimated lifespan of 22^50 generations.
5 22 Smallest Oscillators Supporting Specific Periods Oscar Cunningham [5]
Examples of two-cell oscillators for every period up to 102.
6 21 8c/9 orthogonal spaceship AforAmpere [6]
The fastest known sub-lightspeed spaceship in an isotropic non-totalistic rule without B0.
7 20 Suns Goldtiger997 [7]
A rule containing a high-period oscillator which can be hassled at various other periods.
8 18 JvN29 loop-based replicator fluffykitty, Redstoneboi [8]
A replicator in von Neumann's original cellular automaton.
=9 17 Omosso Saka [9]
A rule containing high-period spaceships, a natural RRO, and OMOSes of various periods, hence its name.
=9 17 Rule 110 unit cells in various rules Peter Naszvadi, Luka Okanishi, LaundryPizza03 [10] [11]
[12] [13]
Proofs of Turing-completeness for rules including but not limited to HighLife, DryLife, and LowDeath.
11 16 tlife puffer dani, Luka Okanishi [14] [15]
An 8c/282 orthogonal puffer, and a spaceship based on it.
=12 15 Hype FlameandFury [16]
A rule with a wide variety of high-period oscillators which has also been proven omniperiodic.
=12 15 Hive dani [17]
A rule with a failed replicator from which various high-period and unusual-speed spaceships have been constructed.
=14 14 Record-slowest spaceships AforAmpere [18]
A rule table supporting spaceships based on Knuth's up-arrow notation, allowing for unimaginably slow speeds.
=14 14 Emitters dani [19]
A rule with many high-period oscillators (similar to Hype) but also a small spacefiller, a replicator, and several guns.
16 13 Other adjustable spaceships Luka Okanishi, muzik, Arie Paap, 2718281828, AforAmpere [20]
17 11 Other RROs 2718281828, et al. [21]
18 10 Arrow 77topaz [22]
A rule with adjustable rakes and many known reactions based on them.



The 2017 competition was organized by Rhombic. Users were able to vote on as many entries as they wished, awarding up to three stars to each one.

Final rank Stars Pattern Author Link(s)
1 25 Orthogonal adjustable spaceships Aidan F. Pierce, Luka Okanishi [23] [24]
Two rules allowing for the trivial construction of infinitely many odd and even-period spaceships respectively.
2 18 5s project dani, et al. [25]
A collection of the smallest known spaceships of every speed among the isotropic non-totalistic rulespace.
=3 15 SMOSMOS Saka, et al. [26]
The first known spaceships made of SMOSes, with various examples posted.
=3 15 Movostill 3 dani [27]
A rule with various elementary spaceships and guns as well as construction potential.
=3 15 HighLife replicator spaceships Luka Okanishi [28] [29] [30]
Replicator-based spaceships traveling at speeds of c/18, c/12, and c/30 diagonal respectively.
=6 14 tDryLife pondlayer-based spaceship Luka Okanishi [31]
An engineered spaceship based on a high-period pond puffer.
=6 14 One-cell universal constructor blah [32]
A method of producing arbitrary complex patterns from a single cell using rule tables.
8 12 Snowflakes Blinkerspawn, dani [33]
A rule with construction potential despite its differences from Conway's Game of Life.
9 11 Rule 110 unit cells in various rules Peter Naszvadi [34] [35]
[36] [37]
Proofs of Turing-completeness for certain Life-like rules including but not limited to Pedestrian Life, EightLife, and HoneyLife.
=10 9 Spaceship-bouncing-off-object adjustable spaceships muzik [38]
=10 9 Extremely slow spaceships Blinkerspawn, et al. [39]
The design of spaceships with excruciatingly slow speeds using different approaches
12 7 Slope 73 spaceship AforAmpere [40]
A (73,1)c/160 spaceship, at the time the oblique spaceship with the steepest known slope.
13 6 Larger than Life developments Saka, muzik, et al. [41] [42] [43]
A collective entry for various discoveries within the Larger than Life rulespace.


  1. "OCA" is an acronym for "other cellular automata."