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 2020 was organized by Peter Naszvadi and bubblegum.

Final rank Stars Pattern/Discovery Author(s) Link(s)
1 45 Day and Night knightships incl. a growing one AforAmpere and Adam P. Goucher [1]
Various knightships in B3678/S34678 (Day and Night), including a growing knightship
2 44 Small natural replicator simulating W110 iNoMed [2]
Replicator that follows the computationally universal 1D rule W110
3 43 Tiny adjustable ships/oscillators Arie Paap and Oscar Cunningham [3]
Adjustable ships/oscillators: mobile ship tracks (diagonal ship bouncing between and slowing down two orthogonal ships), also the first relativistic adjustables; 3-cell adjustable spaceship family with infinite speeds [4] and a rule family with 12 members [5] supporting 3-cell adjustable oscillators covering all periods, by Oscar Cunningham
4 41 Speed orthonoids and geminoids cvojan [6]
304c/11272 Orthogonoid and (700,100)c/72300 Geminoid in B2c3aeij4krtyz5cij6-ak7/S2-ik3-aek4aeiknw5a6ikn7 (Tubular)
5 40 Wire-like rule 1e2-a3-cij4kaijrtz5cnrq/2ce3aejnr4aj5y6a/3 silversmith [7]
1e2-a3-cij4kaijrtz5cnrq/2ce3aejnr4aj5y6a/3 (A Wire-Like World), a universal Generations wiring rule with complex dynamic circuitry and construction capabilities
=6 39 Oblique (421,1)c/867 ship AforAmpere [8]
Spaceship moving at (421,1)c/867
=6 39 LFoD O(t^(3/2)) growth construction FWKnightship and Aidan F. Pierce [9]
Constructed pattern in B2/S0 (Live Free or Die) that grows with a complexity of O(t^(3/2))
8 38 Various LeapLife discoveries Hunting [10]
Meta-discovery: An attempt to reproduce the development of CGoL - and see how state of art tools and blueprints could accelerate this process with much success. Detailed progress summary and animation
9 37 Various W110 unit cell constructions Naszvadi, FWKnightship, Layz Boi and GUYTU6J [11]
Various W110 generalized unit cells, rakes and (noncompact) stripes in D&N, Morley, Logarithmic replicator rule, B368/S12578, LFoD, Seeds, Life without death, DotLife, a TC 4-state vonNeumann rule, 14-state OT hexagonal rule with 2×2 CGoL unit cell and a 4-state hexagonal rule directly simulating CGoL
10 36 B378/S23 first glider gun Matthias Merzenich, Naszvadi and Paul Tooke [12]
Márta guns, the first guns in B378/S23
=11 35 Natural adjustable ships Saka [13]
Adjustable-speed spaceships to have been found naturally rather than constructed, with unusual complex mechanism for adjustability. A Diamoeba-like IOT rule: B2ci3-i4cit5-i6-i78/S3a4t5678
=11 35 First Unit Cell's visualisation rule Naszvadi [14]
Visualisation of CGoL patterns in the first ever constucted p5760 unit cell grid
=11 35 Failed replicator in OT rule B378/S2458 LaundryPizza03 [15]
B378/S2458, a new gem of an OT rule with a failed 1D replicator
=11 35 Box-pushing spaceships Saka [16]
Various spaceships including boxes with smaller spaceships pushing them from the inside, right triangles and crosses
=15 34 Various symbiosis discoveries and constructions many [17]
New developments in Symbiosis, including a vast array of oscillators and guns, lightspeed signal circuitry and a unique MSM breeder.
=15 34 Various oscillators and spaceships in HROT rules lemon41625, Saka, Chris Rowett and Hunting [18]
Oscillators and spaceships in HROT rules: circular chequerboards fighting for territory, and rocket rules[19] in the cross neighbourhood
17 33 Spaceship discovery progress in life-like vonNeumann rules Naszvadi and Aidan F. Pierce [20]
Various spaceships and replicators in R1 OT B0 VN rules
18 32 HROT Almostlife discoveries and W110 constructions lemon41625 and FWKnightship [21]
R2,C2,S6-11,B9-11,NW0010003330130310333000100 (AlmostLife), a HROT rule very close to Life resembling an INT rule, with first ever constructed HROT unit cell simulating W110 by FWKnightship
19 30 B36/S245-alike logreplicator AforAmpere [22]
Replicator emulating the B36/S245 logarithmic replicator
20 29 Binary counter-stretcher-lograke-ship Naszvadi [23]
Binary counter one-ended wavestretcher/logarithmically-growing spaceship
21 25 Crystal Chaos HROT rule muzik [24]
R2,C0,S4-7,9-11,B4,NB (Crystal Chaos), a dynamic HROT rule with a hidden crystal structure that allows for fragile explosions



The OCA Discovery of the Year competition for 2019 was organized by testitemqlstudop and bubblegum.

Final rank Stars Pattern Author Link(s)
=1 37 Dominoplex Orthogonoid 2718281828 [25]
Orthogonoid spaceship in rule B2cen3ek4ejkwz5-ein6an7e8/S12an3-eijq4enrty5e6k.
=1 37 Orthogonoid AforAmpere [26]
Speed orthogonoid spaceship in rule B2ein3cijn4cnrwy5cnq6e/S1c2-ai3acny4anqy5c6ek8.
3 33 Snowflakes' pseudo-Orthogonoid Goldtiger997 et al. (2718281828, dani, toroidalet, BlinkerSpawn etc.) [27]
A pseudo-orthogonoid, a self-constructing puffer.
4 26 RROs 2718281828 and AforAmpere [28]
massive reflectorless rotating oscillators.
5 25 3S1CShip8 and its c/2^6911+6913 one-cell ship fluffykitty [29]
3S1CShip8 and its c/2^6911+6913 one-cell ship.
6 24 Non-explosive B1e rules toroidalet, Saka, testitemqlstudop, wildmyron, A for awesome et al [30]
Non-explosive B1e rules.
7 23 B2a/S circuitry toroidalet [31]
Signal logic circuitry with replicator streams
8 22 Additions to the 5S project wildmyron et al [32]
Additions to the 5S project, especially these ones: (176,1)c/440, 108c/37886 diagonal, (98,97)c/4312
9 21 GUYTU6J's OCA discoveries GUYTU6J [33] [34] [35] [36]
Triangular and ruler replicator + SMOS, 2D replicator with beautiful fractal, 2D replicator firing gliders and 10c/20s, Bizarre rake-plicator
10 20 Hactar's 2x2 p2 metacells HactarCE [37]
Hactar's 2x2 p2 metacells simulating outer-totalistic life-like rules.
11 18 Omosso's pair-interaction ships 77topaz et al [38]
Omosso's pair-interaction ships with very high periods.
=12 17 Mahler-rep Letters [39]
Mahler-rep, a modification of Devore which allows for smaller replicators and computers.
=12 17 Rule X3VI Rhombic, testitemqlstudop et al [40]
The first INT rule to reach 1T objects in C1 on Catagolue.
14 16 W110 in Codd Naszvadi [41] [42]
Usual W110 Unit cell that proves Turing-completeness of a classic 8-state vN rule by E.F. Codd.
15 15 ZombieLife 77topaz, Moosey, dani, dvgrn et al [43]
A rule with its enormous natural spaceships.



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 [44]
Spaceships which can be adjustable to travel at any integer slope.
2 24 bf esolang simulator M.I. Wright [45]
A cellular automaton simulating the bf programming language.
=3 23 ATPP dani [46]
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 [47]
Various fuse-based methuselahs, one of which has an estimated lifespan of 22^50 generations.
5 22 Smallest Oscillators Supporting Specific Periods Oscar Cunningham [48]
Examples of two-cell oscillators for every period up to 102.
6 21 8c/9 orthogonal spaceship AforAmpere [49]
The fastest known sub-lightspeed spaceship in an isotropic non-totalistic rule without B0.
7 20 Suns Goldtiger997 [50]
A rule containing a high-period oscillator which can be hassled at various other periods.
8 18 JvN29 loop-based replicator fluffykitty, Redstoneboi [51]
A replicator in von Neumann's original cellular automaton.
=9 17 Omosso Saka [52]
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 [53] [54]
[55] [56]
Proofs of Turing-completeness for rules including but not limited to HighLife, DryLife, and LowDeath.
11 16 tlife puffer dani, Luka Okanishi [57] [58]
An 8c/282 orthogonal puffer, and a spaceship based on it.
=12 15 Hype FlameandFury [59]
A rule with a wide variety of high-period oscillators which has also been proven omniperiodic.
=12 15 Hive dani [60]
A rule with a failed replicator from which various high-period and unusual-speed spaceships have been constructed.
=14 14 Record-slowest spaceships AforAmpere [61]
A rule table supporting spaceships based on Knuth's up-arrow notation, allowing for unimaginably slow speeds.
=14 14 Emitters dani [62]
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 [63]
17 11 Other RROs 2718281828, et al. [64]
18 10 Arrow 77topaz [65]
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 [66] [67]
Two rules allowing for the trivial construction of infinitely many odd and even-period spaceships respectively.
2 18 5s project dani, et al. [68]
A collection of the smallest known spaceships of every speed among the isotropic non-totalistic rulespace.
=3 15 SMOSMOS Saka, et al. [69]
The first known spaceships made of SMOSes, with various examples posted.
=3 15 Movostill 3 dani [70]
A rule with various elementary spaceships and guns as well as construction potential.
=3 15 HighLife replicator spaceships Luka Okanishi [71] [72] [73]
Replicator-based spaceships traveling at speeds of c/18, c/12, and c/30 diagonal respectively.
=6 14 tDryLife pondlayer-based spaceship Luka Okanishi [74]
An engineered spaceship based on a high-period pond puffer.
=6 14 One-cell universal constructor blah [75]
A method of producing arbitrary complex patterns from a single cell using rule tables.
8 12 Snowflakes Blinkerspawn, dani [76]
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 [77] [78]
[79] [80]
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 [81]
=10 9 Extremely slow spaceships Blinkerspawn, et al. [82]
The design of spaceships with excruciatingly slow speeds using different approaches
12 7 Slope 73 spaceship AforAmpere [83]
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. [84] [85] [86]
A collective entry for various discoveries within the Larger than Life rulespace.


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