Particle Simulations are great. Life Simulations are fun. Meet Particle Life – the intersection of these two worlds.

Inspired by Biologist Lynn Margulis’ theory of endosymbiosis, Jeffrey Ventrella invented his Clusters. The main idea is simulating microorganisms that have pretty basic interaction patterns. Some species are drawn towards certain others, while some will be repelled by others. Implementing a particle simulation with these rules leads to very interesting patterns.

Compared to physics-based particle simulations, this approach explicitly violates the Conservation of Momentum. This allows for self-propelling structures, clusters that look like biological cells, and much more.

Porting this simulation to WebGL code was pretty straight-forward using CindyJS. Play around with the simulation here: