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Mattster
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Response to The Flash 'Reg' Lounge 2013-02-16 14:31:44 Reply

At 2/15/13 02:42 PM, 4urentertainment wrote: Also I'd much rather see a classic game jam first. To bring back everyone together again.

I'd love to try out some tools I am not familiar with, especially something HTML5, and a jam would be the perfect way to do that, but I would have to agree with 4urentertainment. I'd like to see a classic jam to get back in the spirit of things ;)

For the last several weeks I have been mentoring a local robotics team, and was thinking back to when I started to learn how to program. I knew nothing about code, much like a few of the students on the team. It feels so strange when you say "write an if statement", and it causes mass confusion, since it is such a simple thing for someone who already knows the logic behind programming.

I think it would be fun to start from scratch learning a new language/program. Although, I almost wish I could hit a reset button and start from scratch, to feel that full sense of discovery once again.

MSGhero
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Response to The Flash 'Reg' Lounge 2013-02-16 16:57:08 Reply

At 2/16/13 01:05 PM, PrettyMuchBryce wrote: This reminds me, isn't this more like "The Game Dev 'Reg' Lounge" now ?

I'm sure there are a lot of devs who will never go to the flash forum and see this thread.

This would be a good time to make my small game ideas, since I probably won't stick with the tool for too long (unless it's AMAAAAZING), and I need to stop coding RPGs badly.

Archawn
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Response to The Flash 'Reg' Lounge 2013-02-16 20:38:06 Reply

At 2/16/13 01:05 PM, PrettyMuchBryce wrote: This reminds me, isn't this more like "The Game Dev 'Reg' Lounge" now ?

Basically. Ever since Animation became its own forum the Flash forum in general has become more game-dev oriented.

At 2/16/13 02:31 PM, Mattster wrote: For the last several weeks I have been mentoring a local robotics team,

FIRST is a blast. May I ask what team you're mentoring? Maybe I'll see you down at the Championship event this year, haha. Or maybe not, our robot's not looking so good and it doesn't look like we'll be getting any time to program the competition bot before bag day.

and was thinking back to when I started to learn how to program. I knew nothing about code, much like a few of the students on the team. It feels so strange when you say "write an if statement", and it causes mass confusion, since it is such a simple thing for someone who already knows the logic behind programming.

I started our fall season with a dozen or so new programmers, and by the time I was done trying to show them around NetBeans there were only three or four left. The ones that stuck around are fantastic, though.

I'm still trying to find an approach to teaching people to code without scaring them away. The learning curve's daunting.

MSGhero
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Response to The Flash 'Reg' Lounge 2013-02-16 21:08:44 Reply

At 2/16/13 08:38 PM, Archawn wrote: I'm still trying to find an approach to teaching people to code without scaring them away. The learning curve's daunting.

If you find a way, you should mention it to our MATLAB class's teachers. Quite a few people fail the class and have to retake it. Most copy the hw from someone else. Some switch majors. What's hilarious is when someone takes an hour to copy the hw (not sure where that's spent) while it takes me 10 mins to do the whole thing :)

Mattster
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Response to The Flash 'Reg' Lounge 2013-02-16 21:11:37 Reply

At 2/16/13 08:38 PM, Archawn wrote: FIRST is a blast. May I ask what team you're mentoring? Maybe I'll see you down at the Championship event this year, haha. Or maybe not, our robot's not looking so good and it doesn't look like we'll be getting any time to program the competition bot before bag day.

I'm mentoring Team 4814, it's a rookie team formed at the University which is an incubator group for all local highschools. All extra-curricular activities around here have been cancelled due to a teacher strike. We've got 2 schools in with us this year, who we hope will become independent next year (and we'll take in 2 more). We're basically trying to suck all the highschools in London into joining FIRST.

I think we've got a pretty good chance at getting Rookie All-star, so you never know. I was on Team 3739 in highschool and was at the 2010 championships (via Rookie All-star), it truly is an amazing and inspirational experience.

I started our fall season with a dozen or so new programmers, and by the time I was done trying to show them around NetBeans there were only three or four left. The ones that stuck around are fantastic, though.

I'm still trying to find an approach to teaching people to code without scaring them away. The learning curve's daunting.

Oh my god, yeah, people get scared and run away. I've been lucky to have some students who stay interested and at least try. For a few days the programming team (size: 2) didn't show up, so I was told to appoint 2 of the electrical people to learn how to code... It was... interesting.

What team are you with?

Glaiel-Gamer
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Response to The Flash 'Reg' Lounge 2013-02-16 22:19:48 Reply

i have been using unity lately its actually pretty cool

been making a multiplayer thingy

egg82
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Response to The Flash 'Reg' Lounge 2013-02-16 22:40:08 Reply

At 2/16/13 10:19 PM, Glaiel-Gamer wrote: been making a multiplayer thingy

been playing a little of it as you may have seen. It's actually really addicting.
my only complaint is the way the x-ray works. It's a tad confusing at first, and I nearly ran myself into lava with it several times.


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Glaiel-Gamer
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Response to The Flash 'Reg' Lounge 2013-02-16 22:43:53 Reply

At 2/16/13 10:40 PM, egg82 wrote:
At 2/16/13 10:19 PM, Glaiel-Gamer wrote: been making a multiplayer thingy
been playing a little of it as you may have seen. It's actually really addicting.
my only complaint is the way the x-ray works. It's a tad confusing at first, and I nearly ran myself into lava with it several times.

im gonna fix that eventually (i need to do some raycasts to find out what z-plane I can cull out objects at)

egg82
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Response to The Flash 'Reg' Lounge 2013-02-16 22:48:46 Reply

At 2/16/13 10:43 PM, Glaiel-Gamer wrote: im gonna fix that eventually (i need to do some raycasts to find out what z-plane I can cull out objects at)

i've actually been juggling the idea of a simple multiplayer worms-like game with a terrarian movement/world mechanic for a while now, just to get something out there. My submissions have been dead for quite some time.
Guess you beat me to the punch, in some ways :P


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PrettyMuchBryce
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Response to The Flash 'Reg' Lounge 2013-02-16 23:05:58 Reply

At 2/16/13 10:19 PM, Glaiel-Gamer wrote: i have been using unity lately its actually pretty cool

been making a multiplayer thingy

I'm impressed Tyler. This has a lot of potential.

Archawn
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Response to The Flash 'Reg' Lounge 2013-02-17 00:03:11 Reply

At 2/16/13 09:11 PM, Mattster wrote: I think we've got a pretty good chance at getting Rookie All-star, so you never know. I was on Team 3739 in highschool and was at the 2010 championships (via Rookie All-star), it truly is an amazing and inspirational experience.

Yeah, it is. I've been there twice now, both last year and the year before. I was lucky enough to be the human player last year, and being a part of the action down on the field is like nothing I've ever experienced before.

Good luck to you and your team!

Oh my god, yeah, people get scared and run away. I've been lucky to have some students who stay interested and at least try. For a few days the programming team (size: 2) didn't show up, so I was told to appoint 2 of the electrical people to learn how to code... It was... interesting.

What team are you with?

I'm an Adambot, on Team 245, out of Michigan.

MSGhero
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Response to The Flash 'Reg' Lounge 2013-02-17 00:34:40 Reply

At 2/17/13 12:03 AM, Archawn wrote: I'm an Adambot, on Team 245, out of Michigan.

I'm gonna play Find the Archawn.

Archawn
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Response to The Flash 'Reg' Lounge 2013-02-17 10:22:25 Reply

At 2/17/13 12:34 AM, MSGhero wrote:
At 2/17/13 12:03 AM, Archawn wrote: I'm an Adambot, on Team 245, out of Michigan.
I'm gonna play Find the Archawn.

Oh, man, please, most of the pictures on that website of me are terrible.

Archawn
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Response to The Flash 'Reg' Lounge 2013-02-17 10:29:25 Reply

At 2/17/13 10:22 AM, Archawn wrote: Oh, man, please, most of the pictures on that website of me are terrible.

That wasn't nearly as subtle as I had hoped for.

MSGhero
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Response to The Flash 'Reg' Lounge 2013-02-17 10:57:01 Reply

At 2/17/13 10:29 AM, Archawn wrote:
At 2/17/13 10:22 AM, Archawn wrote: Oh, man, please, most of the pictures on that website of me are terrible.
That wasn't nearly as subtle as I had hoped for.

It was more subtle in my forum feed :)

When I saw the brony, I lapsed and thought I found MintPaw...

Luis
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Response to The Flash 'Reg' Lounge 2013-02-17 11:38:31 Reply

At 2/17/13 10:57 AM, MSGhero wrote:
At 2/17/13 10:29 AM, Archawn wrote:
At 2/17/13 10:22 AM, Archawn wrote: Oh, man, please, most of the pictures on that website of me are terrible.
That wasn't nearly as subtle as I had hoped for.
It was more subtle in my forum feed :)

When I saw the brony, I lapsed and thought I found MintPaw...

I found you


None

I-smel
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Response to The Flash 'Reg' Lounge 2013-02-17 12:27:32 Reply

I'm doing my first multiplayer thingy in Unity aswel, but cos I'm only one guy, testing this multiplayer game is kind of fucking impossible.
Fly around with the mouse, left-click to shoot, right-click to eject (and steal other jets if there's more than one player flying around)

Setting up a room where multiple players could jump in was astonishingly easy! Getting it to run well is more accurate to how I expected: really hard.

egg82
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Response to The Flash 'Reg' Lounge 2013-02-17 12:57:45 Reply

At 2/17/13 12:27 PM, I-smel wrote: I'm doing my first multiplayer thingy in Unity aswel, but cos I'm only one guy, testing this multiplayer game is kind of fucking impossible.

the "player name" thing forcing you to have one character is really annoying D:

other than that, I don't see much problem with it other than the semi-confusing buttons. Can't really say for sure, though, because there wasn't anyone else on.


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PrettyMuchBryce
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Response to The Flash 'Reg' Lounge 2013-02-17 13:13:05 Reply

How are you guys doing Multiplayer in Unity ? Does it come built in with some sort of socket server ?

I-smel
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Response to The Flash 'Reg' Lounge 2013-02-17 13:27:56 Reply

I had to input a player name on Glaeil's, which I thought was weird. It usually generates "Guest<number>".

I'm using Photon, because it's free and I don't have to set up a server. Glaeil's probably using something else. I'm building a good prototype with this, then hopefully getting someone who knows how to make videogames in to take over.

egg82
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Response to The Flash 'Reg' Lounge 2013-02-17 14:24:27 Reply

oooooooohhh
do want :D

this brief interruption brought to you by: egg's "shiny things" radar
and now back to your regularly scheduled program.


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4urentertainment
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Response to The Flash 'Reg' Lounge 2013-02-17 15:48:09 Reply

On the topic of tutoring people.

I've had friends ask me to teach them programming (mostly after they realize you can make money making games), and I've realized I actually love to teach. I used to wonder how teachers can be happy with their lives, basically doing the same thing every year and never really going anywhere, but even when I was saying the same explanations and repeating the same introductions, there's a sense of satisfaction when you teach someone and they end up doing something with what they learned.

And yeah, it was interesting seeing things that are extremely intuitive that you wouldn't think twice about apparently being not easy to understand at first.

Something I do is that I tell them, that the only way to change the value of a variable, is by doing "variable = value", there's absolutely no other way to change the value of a variable. Then I ask them to figure out a way to increment a variable by 1.

And it's really interesting seeing them think, and trying to get them to figure it out on their own. The thought process is something like, "When your brain wants to increment a variable by 1, it takes the value, adds 1 to it, and returns it. So if I tell you increment 'counter' by 1, you're going to check the value held in counter, and add 1 to it, then make counter equal that value". And I wait for them to translate that into code of "variable = variable + 1".

And it's such a beautiful "Aha!" moment when it clicks.

MSGhero
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Response to The Flash 'Reg' Lounge 2013-02-17 16:04:32 Reply

At 2/17/13 03:48 PM, 4urentertainment wrote: And it's such a beautiful "Aha!" moment when it clicks.

I tried helping a group of friends understand for loops within for loops. It didn't work.

In my Java class, for programmers not engineers, everyone seemed to know how everything worked, but not how to use it. We used this online forum where people can ask and answer questions, with the teachers and TAs overseeing it all. Every day, there were about 20 posts (and 20 emails) asking how to do something, like swap the indices of 2 array elements. The TAs eventually just emailed those few lines to everyone. Our final homework was to make a basic game over two weeks (class died when it was announced, I was like "I'll start next week...end"), and the forum exploded with posts. Basically what we see in this forum.

I'd like to tutor, but I have way too much stuff to do now. I tutored at my high school (tutoring for middle school kids) over two summers, and it was awesome. I went through that program when I was younger, and I scored the all time highest on the how-much-have-you-learned test. A kid I tutored broke my score. I definitely would have been beyond lost in math if I didn't go through that program, so I know how much of a difference it makes.

Mattster
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Response to The Flash 'Reg' Lounge 2013-02-17 16:10:51 Reply

At 2/17/13 03:48 PM, 4urentertainment wrote: I've realized I actually love to teach.

I too have realized that I like to teach, but would never want to be a teacher or prof of any sort. I can handle people who want to learn, but start to lose that enjoyment of helping people learn when they aren't committed or they just can't seem to learn it. In my opinion, it seems to takes a certain mindset to be able to program, and not everyone has that. Sure someone can learn a language, but can they really program?

That moment when you give someone the pseudocode of a problem and they manage to translate that into actual code is so fantastic.

Rustygames
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Response to The Flash 'Reg' Lounge 2013-02-17 19:53:51 Reply

Just spent wayyyy longer than I wanted to on a dumb carousel. I'd say it's taken the best part of 7 hours to get the thing working exactly as I want it and hooked into the game it was built for

Here is the prototype version (which is now in a [cleaner] class of it's own in the final product)

http://www.newgrounds.com/dump/item/761f732f26871e2e297a5407 8aa50d01

Sorry if no one cares, just thought I'd start throwing some stuff I'm doing in my spare time up here so people can have a nose if they like :)


- Matt, Rustyarcade.com

MSGhero
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Response to The Flash 'Reg' Lounge 2013-02-18 00:43:54 Reply

80 million particles and 69 hour render time. This is how we will make smoke effects.

Luis
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Response to The Flash 'Reg' Lounge 2013-02-18 01:14:16 Reply

At 2/17/13 07:53 PM, Rustygames wrote: Just spent wayyyy longer than I wanted to on a dumb carousel. I'd say it's taken the best part of 7 hours to get the thing working exactly as I want it and hooked into the game it was built for

Here is the prototype version (which is now in a [cleaner] class of it's own in the final product)

http://www.newgrounds.com/dump/item/761f732f26871e2e297a5407 8aa50d01

Sorry if no one cares, just thought I'd start throwing some stuff I'm doing in my spare time up here so people can have a nose if they like :)

That runs actually pretty well. I think carousels in general are a pain... i have dealt with them on the css/js side and they are just as annoying, particularly to get them to work with mobile. It's almost more worthwhile to build them from scratch. HMPH.


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Luis
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Response to The Flash 'Reg' Lounge 2013-02-18 01:19:12 Reply

At 2/18/13 12:43 AM, MSGhero wrote: http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/611392
80 million particles and 69 hour render time. This is how we will make smoke effects.

that was neat. Dunno how practical but neat anyway. That reminds me though... maybe im too artsy to put my head around it but is it really impossible to make things truly 'random' in the programming world... i mean is there such a thing as random to begin with? like when ive told programmers to 'make it random'.... do you like instantly dismiss the idea of 'random' and come up with something that has enough breathing room to feel 'random' or is there a such thing as random... also i might have had some drinks today. but regardless, that has been on my mind. i think about stuff while i goto and come back from work and sit on the train for an hour.


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MSGhero
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Response to The Flash 'Reg' Lounge 2013-02-18 01:41:50 Reply

At 2/18/13 01:19 AM, Luis wrote: that was neat. Dunno how practical but neat anyway. That reminds me though... maybe im too artsy to put my head around it but is it really impossible to make things truly 'random' in the programming world... i mean is there such a thing as random to begin with? like when ive told programmers to 'make it random'.... do you like instantly dismiss the idea of 'random' and come up with something that has enough breathing room to feel 'random' or is there a such thing as random... also i might have had some drinks today. but regardless, that has been on my mind. i think about stuff while i goto and come back from work and sit on the train for an hour.

I've thought about that too some. It's like how a coin flip or die roll is "random" when there's a predetermined result when all the physics gets worked out. Same thing with programming, it just picks the next number in a list. The seed could be based on the current time or the location of a star or something, but it could be figured out.

It's more along the lines of being "random enough." A coin flip is random enough for the superbowl. Dice rolls are random enough for board games, and the random function is random enough for a game. There was one thing I saw where the guy had 200 numbers in an array, and his random function literally just picked the next one in the list and looped back to the start.

I saw this thing on tv where a bunch of labs every second submit a random number from a supercomputer (0-255 I think), and normally the distribution is more or less even. But when shit is about to go down, like an hour before 9/11 and at other times, most of the values were the same...

I'm not sure how quantum computing is supposed to work, not sure if the value is "truly random" or just so random enough that we don't have the means to calculate the result. The same could be said for how the mind randomly chooses, I guess.

Midnight musings
egg82
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Response to The Flash 'Reg' Lounge 2013-02-18 10:48:37 Reply

At 2/18/13 01:19 AM, Luis wrote: hat reminds me though... maybe im too artsy to put my head around it but is it really impossible to make things truly 'random' in the programming world... i mean is there such a thing as random to begin with? like when ive told programmers to 'make it random'.... do you like instantly dismiss the idea of 'random' and come up with something that has enough breathing room to feel 'random' or is there a such thing as random... also i might have had some drinks today. but regardless, that has been on my mind. i think about stuff while i goto and come back from work and sit on the train for an hour.

MSG's got most of it down, but i'd like to add some technical mumbo jumbo I learned along my security travels.

so, Here's the thing about computers: They don't do random. You can tell a person to pick a number from 1 to 10, and they'll pick something that we would consider "random" - you tell a computer to spit out a number 100 times, and it'll be the same number over and over again. The essence of "random" is "unpredictable" - and computers are very, very bad at being unpredictable. They live in a world of math and logic. Unpredictability is quite literally impossible in that world.

Now, that isn't to say that you can't have seemingly-random numbers. This is called a pseudo-random number, and the generators that make them are pseudo-random number generator or PRNG. These generally deal in a number as a seed value, and use bitwise operations to create a new value from the seed. This is a very fast operation, but the same seed value will always result in the same output number (as is the case with all PRNGs, secure or not - the same input results in the same output - always)

an example of a PRNG is AS3:

private static var _fastSeed:uint = 1;

public static function fast(seed:uint = 0):Number {
	return Math.abs(((seed) ? seed = (seed * 16807) % 2147483647 : _fastSeed = (_fastSeed * 16807) % 2147483647) / 2147483647);
}

this returns a number between 0 and 1. The big issue is that it doesn't do any checks whatsoever, so the number could be (and has a high chance of being) something like 0.0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 000000000000000000000000000001348543564356432657865928374659 4386584365784365464326
which is pretty useless.

so, the big question is: How can you have a PRNG that is hard to guess? This is where a cryptographically secure random-number generator or CSPRNG comes in. An example is the Blum Blum Shub algorithm, which takes two prime numbers and a seed into account. As long as the seed is not known (this generally stems from a timestamp) it is almost impossible to predict. It has the unfortunate drawback of also being very slow, however, as re-calculations must be done every time a limit is reached (even then, there's quite a few steps to it)

Blum Blum Shub in AS3:

private static var _prime1:uint = 0;
private static var _prime2:uint = 0;
private static var _oldSecureSeed:uint = 2;
private static var _sequence:Vector.<Number> = new Vector.<Number>;

public static function secure(seed:uint = 0):Number {
	var M:Number;
	var xi:int = (seed > 1) ? seed : _secureSeed;
	var returnNum:Number;
	
	if (!_prime1 || !_prime2) {
		do {
			_prime1 = Math.random() * uint.MAX_VALUE;
		}while ((_prime1 - 3) % 4 != 0 || !isPrime(_prime1));
		
		do {
			_prime2 = Math.random() * uint.MAX_VALUE;
		}while ((_prime2 - 3) % 4 != 0 || !isPrime(_prime2));
	}
	
	M = _prime1 * _prime2;
	xi = (xi * xi) % M;
	
	if (_sequence.indexOf((xi * xi) % M) == -1) {
		_sequence.push(xi);
	}else {
		if (seed <= 1) {
			if (_oldSecureSeed == uint.MAX_VALUE) {
				_oldSecureSeed = 2;
				_prime1 = 0;
				_prime2 = 0;
			}else {
				_oldSecureSeed++;
			}
			
			_secureSeed = _oldSecureSeed;
			xi = _secureSeed;
			
			returnNum = secure();
			
			if (returnNum) {
				return returnNum;
			}
			
			return 0;
		}else {
			seed = (seed == uint.MAX_VALUE) ? 2 : seed + 1;
			
			returnNum = secure(seed);
			
			if (returnNum) {
				return returnNum;
			}
			
			return 0;
		}
	}
	
	if (seed <= 1) {
		_secureSeed = xi;
	}
	
	if (_sequence[_sequence.length - 1] / uint.MAX_VALUE) {
		returnNum = Math.abs(_sequence[_sequence.length - 1] / uint.MAX_VALUE);
		
		return returnNum;
	}
	
	return 0;
}
		
private static function isPrime(val:uint):Boolean {
	if (val < 2) {
		return false;
	}
	
	if (!(val % 2) && val != 2) {
		return false;
	}
	
	for (var i:int = 3; i <= val / i; i += 2) {
		if (!(val % i)) {
			return false;
		}
	}
	
	return true;
}

once again, however, this has a small chance of coming up with some ridiculously small number. I fixed all of this by adding a "normalize" function, which slows things down a bit, but will also return better-looking numbers.

here is the full class, if anyone wants it. It took me a few hours and quite a lot of google-fu to get everything working. (I suck at math)

The main reason I created the class is because I wanted random numbers that came out the same every time. It's nice for testing - means you can rule out the possibility of randomness when things go wrong.


Programming stuffs (tutorials and extras)
PM me (instead of MintPaw) if you're confuzzled.
thank Skaren for the sig :P

BBS Signature