Game Development Reference
Figure 10.5 Completed pairwise combinatorial table for three Jedi combat parameters.
The number of choices (values) tested for a given parameter is referred to as its dimension .
Tables are characterized by the dimensions of each parameter. They can be written in
descending order, with a superscript to indicate the number of parameters of each
dimension. In this way, the Jedi combat table completed in Figure 10.5 is described as
a 2 3 table. A table with one parameter of three values, two parameters of four values,
and three parameters of two values is described as a 4 2 3 1 2 3 . Another way to describe
the characteristics of the table is to list the parameter dimensions individually in
descending order with a dash in between each value. Using this notation, the Jedi
combat table is a 2-2-2 table, and the second example mentioned above is described
as 4-4-3-2-2-2. You can see how the second notation takes up a lot of space when there
are a lot of parameters. Use whichever one works best for you.
Create pairwise tables of any size for your game tests using the following short and
simple process. These steps may not always produce the optimum (smallest possible)
size table, but you will still get an efficient table.
1. Choose the parameter with the highest dimension.
2. Create the first column by listing each test value for the first parameter N
times, where N is the dimension of the next-highest dimension parameter.
3. Start populating the next column by listing the test values for the next
4. For each remaining row in the table, enter the parameter value in the new
column that provides the greatest number of new pairs with respect to all
of the preceding parameters entered in the table. If no such value can be
found, alter one of the values previously entered for this column and
resume this step.