Conways' Game of Life is a well known cellular automaton "played" on an infinite grid, filled with cells that are either alive or dead. Once given an initial state, the board evolves according to rules indefinitely. Those rules are:
- Any live cell with 2 or 3 living neighbours (the 8 cells immediately around it) lives to the next state
- Any dead cell with exactly 3 living neighbours becomes a living cell
- Any other cell becomes a dead cell
Consider the following initial state:
PPCG made up of living cells. Each letter is in a \$4×6\$ bounding box, with a single empty column of cells between boxes, for a total bounding box of \$19×6\$
After 217 generations, it reaches the following states:
From this point onwards, it is a "fixed state". All structures on the board are either still lifes or oscillators, so no meaningful change will occur.
Your task is to improve this.
You may place up to 50 live cells in the \$5\times10\$ highlighted area, such that, when run, it takes more than 217 generations to reach a "fixed state". The answer with the highest number of generations wins, with ties being broken by the fewest number of placed living cells.
For the purposes of this challenge, a "fixed state" means that all structures on the board are either still lifes or oscillators. If any spaceships or patterns of infinite growth are generated, the board will never reach a "fixed state" and such cases are invalid submissions.
For example, this initial configuration takes 294 generations to reach a fixed state (this), so is a valid submission with a score of 294:
Preloaded testable version, with the \$5\times10\$ box fully filled in.