Conway's Game of Life - In Javascript

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Recently, someone mentioned to me Conway’s Game of Life was a programming challenge at a code retreat they attended. I had never heard of it so I went to take a look at the concept. It seemed like a cool idea. So, I decided to use Canvas and Javascript to create my own instance of it. This is just my first draft of it - so take a look. And, if I’ve done anything incorrectly, please please please! let me know.

The canvas was really simple:

<h1>Conway's Game of Life</h1>
<h2>Using Javascript and Canvas</h2>
<canvas width="500" id="mainBoard" height="500"></canvas>

And now the javascript used in this document:

(function(){

  /**
   * Game of life object
   */
  function GOL() {

    /**
     * the color of the on cells
     * @type {String}
     */
    const ON_COLOR = '#336699';

    /**
     * The canvas DOM element
     * @private
     */
    var _canvas;

    /**
     * Current Matrix
     * @type {Array}
     * @private
     */
    var _currentMatrix = [];

    /**
     * Initializer function
     * @public
     */
    this.start = function() {
      _canvas = document.getElementById('mainBoard');
      _bigBang();
      setInterval(function(){_watchEvolution()}, 100);
    };

    /**
     * Generates the random pattern and paints it
     * @private
     */
    var _bigBang = function() {
      var limit = 500;

      for (var x = 0; x < limit; x++) {
        _currentMatrix[x] = [];
        for (var y = 0; y < limit; y++) {
          _currentMatrix[x][y] = Math.round(Math.random());
        }
      }

      _paintCurrentMatrix();
    };

    /**
     * Kicks off the cycle, regenerating new matrix and repainting
     * @private
     */
    var _watchEvolution = function() {
      _generateNewMatrix();
      _clearCanvas();
      _paintCurrentMatrix();
    };

    /**
     * Generates a new matrix based on the currentMatrix and assigns it
     * @private
     */
    var _generateNewMatrix = function() {
      var newMatrix = [];

      for (var x = 0, xLimit = _currentMatrix.length; x < xLimit; x++) {
        newMatrix[x] = [];
        for (var y = 0, yLimit = _currentMatrix[0].length; y < yLimit; y++) {

          var liveNeighborsCount = 0;

          if (_currentMatrix[x-1] != undefined) {
            if (_currentMatrix[x-1][y-1]) {
              liveNeighborsCount++;
            }
            if (_currentMatrix[x-1][y]) {
              liveNeighborsCount++;
            }
            if (_currentMatrix[x-1][y+1]) {
              liveNeighborsCount++;
            }
          }

          if (_currentMatrix[x][y-1]) {
            liveNeighborsCount++;
          }
          if (_currentMatrix[x][y+1]) {
            liveNeighborsCount++;
          }

          if (_currentMatrix[x+1] != undefined) {
            if (_currentMatrix[x+1][y-1]) {
              liveNeighborsCount++;
            }
            if (_currentMatrix[x+1][y]) {
              liveNeighborsCount++;
            }
            if (_currentMatrix[x+1][y+1]) {
              liveNeighborsCount++;
            }
          }

          var pointValue = 0;

          if (_currentMatrix[x][y]) {
            // live
            if (liveNeighborsCount == 2 || liveNeighborsCount == 3) {
              pointValue = 1;
            }
          }
          else {
            // dead
            if (liveNeighborsCount == 3) {
              pointValue = 1;
            }
          }

          newMatrix[x][y] = pointValue;
        }
      }

      _currentMatrix = newMatrix;
    };

    /**
     * Clears the canvas
     * @private
     */
    var _clearCanvas = function() {
      var ctx = _canvas.getContext('2d');
      ctx.clearRect(0,0,_canvas.width, _canvas.height);
    }

    /**
     * Takes the current matrix and paints it to the canvas
     * @private
     */
    var _paintCurrentMatrix = function() {
      var ctx = _canvas.getContext('2d');
      ctx.fillStyle=ON_COLOR;

      for (var x in _currentMatrix) {
        for (var y in _currentMatrix[x]) {
          if (_currentMatrix[x][y] == 1) {
            ctx.fillRect(x, y, 1, 1);
          }
        }
      }
    };
  };

  var game = new GOL();
  game.start();
})();

Let me know your thoughts!

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