# ActionScript 3Random Value Generation

## Random number between 0 and 1

``````Math.random();
``````

produces an evenly distributed random number between 0 (inclusive) and 1 (exclusive)

Example output:

• 0.22282187035307288
• 0.3948539895936847
• 0.9987191134132445

## Random number between min and max values

``````function randomMinMax(min:Number, max:Number):Number {
return (min + (Math.random() * Math.abs(max - min)));
}
``````

This function is called by passing a range of minimum and maximum values.

Example:

``````randomMinMax(1, 10);
``````

Example outputs:

• 1.661770915146917
• 2.5521070677787066
• 9.436270965728909

## Random angle, in degrees

``````function randomAngle():Number {
return (Math.random() * 360);
}
``````

Example outputs:

• 31.554428357630968
• 230.4078639484942
• 312.7964010089636

## Random value from an array

Assuming we have an array `myArray`:

``````var value:* = myArray[int(Math.random() * myArray.length)];
``````

Note we use `int` to cast the result of `Math.random()` to an int because values like `2.4539543` would not be a valid array index.

## Random point inside a circle

First define the circle radius and its center:

``````var radius:Number = 100;
var center:Point = new Point(35, 70);
``````

Then generate a random angle in radians from the center:

``````var angle:Number = Math.random() * Math.PI * 2;
``````

Then generate an effective radius of the returned point, so it'll be inside given `radius`. A simple `Math.random()*radius` won't do, because with this distribution the produces points will end up in the inner circle of half radius half of the time, but the square of that circle is a quarter of original. To create a proper distribution, the function should be like this:

``````var rad:Number=(Math.random()+Math.random())*radius; // yes, two separate calls to random
``````

This function produces a value that has its probability function linearly increasing from 0 at zero to maximum at `radius`. It happens because a sum of random values has a probability density function equal to convolution of all the random values' individual density functions. This is some extended maths for an average grade person, but a kind GIF is presented to draw a graph of convolution function of two uniformed distribution density functions explained as "box signals". The `if` operator folds the resultant function over its maximum, leaving only a sawtooth-shaped graph.

This function is selected because the square of a circle strip located between `radius=r` and `radius=r+dr` increases linearly with increasing `r` and very small constant `dr` so that `dr*dr<<r`. Therefore, the amount of points generated close at the center is smaller than the amount of points generated at the edge of the circle by the same margin as the radius of center area is smaller than the radius of the whole circle. So overall, points are evenly distributed across the entire circle.

``````var result:Point = new Point(
);
``````

To get a random point ON the circle (on the edge of the circle of a given radius), use `radius` instead of `rad`.

PS: The example ended up being overloaded by explanation of maths.

``````function randomAngleRadians():Number
{
return Math.random() * Math.PI * 2;
}
``````

Example outputs:

• 5.490068569213088
• 3.1984284719180205
• 4.581117863808207

## Determining the success of a "percent chance" operation

If you need to roll for a `true` or `false` in an "x% chance" situation, use:

``````function roll(chance:Number):Boolean {
return Math.random() >= chance;
}
``````

Used like:

``````var success:Boolean = roll(0.5); // True 50% of the time.
var again:Boolean = roll(0.25); // True 25% of the time.
``````

## Create a random color

To get any random color:

``````function randomColor():uint
{
return Math.random() * 0xFFFFFF;
}
``````

If you need more control over the red, green and blue channels:

``````var r:uint = Math.random() * 0xFF;
var g:uint = Math.random() * 0xFF;
var b:uint = Math.random() * 0xFF;

var color:uint = r << 16 | g << 8 | b;
``````

Here you can specify your own range for `r`, `g` and `b` (this example is from 0-255).

## Randomly loop through alphabet

``````var alphabet:Vector.<String> = new <String>[ "A", "B", "C", "D", "E", "F", "G",
"H", "I", "J", "K", "L", "M", "N",
"O", "P", "Q", "R", "S", "T", "U",
"V", "W", "X", "Y", "Z" ];

while (alphabet.length > 0)
{
var letter:String = alphabet.splice(int(Math.random() *
alphabet.length), 1)[0];
trace(letter);
}
``````

Example output:

V, M, F, E, D, U, S, L, X, K, Q, H, A, I, W, N, P, Y, J, C, T, O, R, G, B, Z

## Randomize An Array

``````var alphabet:Array = [ "A", "B", "C", "D", "E", "F", "G", "H", "I", "J", "K", "L", "M", "N", "O", "P", "Q", "R", "S", "T", "U", "V", "W", "X", "Y", "Z" ];

for (var i:int=alphabet.length-1;i>0;i--) {
var j:int=Math.floor(Math.random()*(i+1));
var swap=alphabet[j];
alphabet[j]=alphabet[i];
alphabet[i]=swap;
}
trace(alphabet);
``````

Example output

B,Z,D,R,U,N,O,M,I,L,C,J,P,H,W,S,Q,E,K,T,F,V,X,Y,G,A

This method is known as Fisher-Yates array shuffle.