Prototype Design Pattern in Swift

1. Definition

The Prototype pattern is a creational design pattern that involves creating objects based on a prototype. Instead of building a new instance of an object, the pattern provides a way to copy an existing object and then modify it as required, making object creation faster and more efficient.

2. Problem Statement

Imagine having to create an object that is almost identical to an existing object but only differs in a few properties. Creating such objects from scratch, especially if their initialization process is complex or time-consuming, would be inefficient.

3. Solution

With the Prototype pattern, you can clone an existing object and then adjust the clone as necessary, rather than constructing a new instance from scratch. This approach is particularly useful when objects have numerous shared configurations and only a few differences.

4. Real-World Use Cases

1. Creating a new document by copying an existing one and making modifications.

2. Spawning a new game character that's a variation of a predefined prototype.

3. Generating a new UI theme based on an existing theme but with minor color changes.

5. Implementation Steps

1. Define a prototype interface that declares a clone method.

2. Concrete classes that need to be cloned should implement this prototype interface.

3. Whenever a new object is required, instead of creating a new instance, clone the prototype and modify the clone.

6. Implementation in Swift Programming

// Step 1: Prototype protocol declaration.
protocol Prototype {
    func clone() -> Prototype
// Step 2: Concrete class implementing the Prototype protocol.
class GameCharacter: Prototype {
    var health: Int
    var attackPower: Int
    init(health: Int, attackPower: Int) { = health
        self.attackPower = attackPower
    // Implementing the clone method.
    func clone() -> Prototype {
        return GameCharacter(health:, attackPower: self.attackPower)
// Usage
let warriorPrototype = GameCharacter(health: 100, attackPower: 50)
let clonedWarrior = warriorPrototype.clone() as! GameCharacter
clonedWarrior.attackPower = 60
print("Original warrior's attack power: \(warriorPrototype.attackPower)")
print("Cloned warrior's attack power: \(clonedWarrior.attackPower)")


Original warrior's attack power: 50
Cloned warrior's attack power: 60


1. We start by defining a Prototype protocol that declares a method for cloning objects.

2. The GameCharacter class, which represents a game character with health and attack power attributes, implements the Prototype protocol. The clone method returns a new instance of the class with the same properties.

3. When we need a variation of the warrior, we clone the warriorPrototype and then modify the properties of the clone.

7. When to use?

The Prototype pattern is useful when:

1. Classes to instantiate are specified at runtime.

2. Objects can have numerous shared configurations and only a few differences.

3. You want to avoid the overhead of creating a new instance from scratch when it's more efficient to copy an existing object.