This is something a little different from my usual examples. I’m going to take you through Construct 2’s random number expressions, how they work and how we can manipulate them to our advantage when creating a game.

Click below to read the whole post.

Firstly lets look at C2’s random number expressions, then later, we’ll look at how we can manipulate them for our needs.

**Random(***X***) – **This is the most basic random expression in C2. To use this we simply replace the “X” in the brackets with a number. C2 will then generate a random number between 0 & “X” but not including “X”.

So what does that mean?

Well let’s replace “X” with 10. Our expression is now **random(10).** C2 will now generate a random number between 0 & 10 but **not** including 10. Another thing to note is that the number generated will be a **float **or in simpler terms a decimal number.

Here are 10 random numbers that I generated in C2 using **random(10).**

*6.8455614476, 0.2660379512, 1.8084836775, 6.2771765306, 3.0607472965, 8.2386168512, 3.4278223943, 7.2873926791, 1.6512241215, 3.5610843915*

**Random(a,b) –** This expression now lets us generate a random number between a & b but not including b.

Again let’s look in a little more detail. Lets replace **a** with 10 and **b** with 20. Our expression is now **random(10,20)**. C2 will now generate a number between 10 & 20 but **not** including 20. Again the number generated will be a **float**.

Here are 10 random numbers that I generated in C2 using **random(10,20)**.

*13.1834654487, 12.682121573, 19.7562856413, 15.1425380167, 11.9350582873, 19.0866457392, 10.1437296323, 16.2661679252, 19.0550344018, 14.185810599*

Before looking at the third way of generating random numbers let’s take a look at how we can manipulate the numbers generated using **random(X)** and **random(a,b)**.

It’s not very often that a project will require a randomly generated number with 10 decimal places, usually what we’d want was whole numbers (integers). C2 has three expressions that easily allow us to convert a **float** into an **integer, **it’s just a matter of picking the correct one for our needs.

**Floor()** – Will round down a float to the nearest integer. For example **floor(5.6)** would round down to 5.

**Round()** – Will round up or down to the nearest integer. For example **round(5.6)** would round up to 6, while **round(5.3)** would round down to 5.

**Ceil()** – Will round up to the nearest integer. For example **ceil(5.2)** would round up to 6.

Let’s use one of our new expressions and add it to **random(10)** to create some more random numbers . Here are 10 numbers generated using **ceil(random(10))**.

*6, 7, 2, 2, 10, 3, 8, 6, 5, 6*

Excellent! Gone are our 10 digit decimal floats and we end up with some nice integers.

But this has given us a problem!

Remember from earlier we learned that **random(10)** generates a number from 0 & 10 but **NOT** including 10. If you look at the list of numbers you’ll see that 10 is included in the list.

Why is this?

It’s simply down to our rounding method. **Random(10)** still generates a number between 0 & 10 not including 10 but we are rounding that number up. So if **random(10)** generates 9.0094645182 and we use **ceil()** to round up. Our interger will become 10.

Just keep in mind when using **floor()**, **round()** and **ceil()** how they’ll effect the numbers generated for your project.

Now let’s say that you want your generated number to be to 2 decimal places. C2 doesn’t have any built in expressions to do this, but using a tiny bit of Math you can convert your 10 decimal place float to a 2 decimal place float. You do that by using the following **round( yourvalue*100)/100** and simply replace

*yourvalue*with the number you wish to covert.

Here are 10 randomly generated numbers using **round((random(10))*100)/100.**

*0.48, 3.09, 2.82, 2.79, 9.49, 6.62, 8.36, 7.99, 3.16, 1.07*

You can do this for any number of decimal places by using this formula as the number of 0’s represents the number of decimals. For example **round((random(10))*10000)/10000 **will round the decimals to 4 decimal places.

*2.9026, 8.9499, 9.3635, 9.9643, 7.3747, 8.3462, 0.3388, 2.2167, 4.8356, 9.897*

Now lets look at one of my favourite expressions in C2. The **choose()** expression and how we can use it for random numbers.

**Choose(a,b,c) – ** C2 will pick a value at random from a comma separated list. There can be infinite values as long as there are 2.

Again let’s look at this in more detail. First let’s build a valid choose() expression. **Choose(0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10) **now C2 will choose a value at random from our list.

Here I’ve used **Choose(0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10)** to generate 10 numbers.

8, 9, 6, 9, 6, 5, 3, 6, 10, 5

It’s important to note that unlike **random()** the **choose()** expression also works with strings, for example **Choose(“Paul”,”John”,”Bob”)** C2 would randomly choose Paul, John or Bob.

Let’s look how we can make **choose()** more useful and more powerful for a game. Using the **choose()** expression we can generate a weighted random number.

Imagine we are creating a basic RPG. We have a monster that when killed could drop 5 different normal items and 1 rare item. We could achieve this easily by using the **choose()** expression.

**choose(0,0,0,0,0,1,1,1,1,1,2,2,2,2,2,3,3,3,3,3,4,4,4,4,4,5)**

As you can see the chances of choosing 0, 1, 2 , 3 or 4 are the same while 5 or our rare item has a much smaller chance of being randomly selected.

Here are 100 randomly generated numbers using our expression **choose(0,0,0,0,0,1,1,1,1,1,2,2,2,2,2,3,3,3,3,3,4,4,4,4,4,5).**

0, 1, 2, 4, 1, 1, 3, 3, 4, 3, 2, 3, 3, 2, 1, 3, 0, 1, 3, 4, 3, 4, 4, 1, 3, 2, 1, 3, 1, 0, 4, 2, 1, 2, 2, 3, 3, **5**, 3, 1, 2, 4, 0, 3, 1, 3, 2, 2, 0, 3, **5**, 4, 1, 0, 4, 1, 3, 0, 4, 4, 3, 0, 0, 0, 4, 3, 0, 2, 4, **5**, 2, 2, 0, 1, 4, 1, 3, 3, 4, 3, 1, 2, 1, 0, 4, 1, 4, 1, 0, 0, 4, 4, 3, 1, 2, 4, 3, 2, 3, 0

As you can see from the numbers above if we killed 100 monsters we would only get 3 rare item drops.

And that’s the basics of random numbers. I hope you find it useful. If you do please leave a rating for the post and I’ll create more of these types of posts.

can you make an equation to pick a random number up to X, without including a certain number between 0 and X?