GOF Pursuit Workshop

EuroPLoP 98 Workshop
Led by James Noble and Charles Weir.

Learn the Gang of Four patterns… painlessly!

Just as no one can learn how to ride a bicycle just from classroom lectures, so also it is very difficult to learn about patterns from a lecture or a conventional training course. Instead, students learn better from involvement and interaction with the pattern process.

GOF Pursuit is a light-hearted and entertaining introduction to the Design Patterns book. This not-so-trivial session is a chance to play a variant on the famous board-game based around the work of the Gang-Of-Four with plenty of opportunity for learning and reflection. It uses a board based roughly on the patterns diagram in the GOF book, and uses the format of the book to create generic questions about each pattern.

Come along and play. You’ll enjoy it!

Instructions for the game

 The game is played on a board based on the ‘design pattern relationships’ diagram on the inside back pattern of the ‘Gang of four’ patterns book. Note that three of the associations were added for the purposes of the game - they have a cross line at each end.

Each team has a coloured counter with slots for the coloured ‘pieces of cheese’.

On each turn, a team member throws a single die, and moves the counter that number of patterns following the red associations between patterns.

The counter may go in any direction, but may not pass through the same pattern twice in a single throw. Once on the new pattern, the team throw the die again, and answer a question according to the number thrown according to the table below:








Describe the intent or motivation of the pattern




Draw the structure diagram




Describe the collaborations for the pattern.




Describe one consequence of using the pattern.



Implementation Note

Describe one implementation note for the pattern.



Known Use

Describe one known use. This can be from your own experience rather than the book if you prefer.


The other team, with the help of the patterns book, must decide if the answer is reasonably convincing. Be fair - anything which suggests reasonable knowledge should be accepted.

If the team answers convincingly, they get a piece of cheese of the correct colour if they haven’t got it already; if they’ve got it already, they get another turn. Then play passes to the other team.

The winning team is the first to get all six pieces of cheese, or the team with the most pieces of cheese at the end of the session.