Early in the development of my game, I used the free and open-source Tiled Map Editor to create levels. It was a big time-saver since it let me worry about more important things instead of investing effort into being able to place tiles down on a map. Later on I decided that the traditional approach to map construction wasn’t right for my project – but I was still glad I’d used Tiled.
Recently I realized that there aren’t very many easy ways for newbie XNA developers to get maps into their games, so I decided it was worth packaging up my Tiled map loader and sharing it with the world. So, I’ve created a simple example that shows how to load Tiled maps in your XNA game on Windows PCs and the XBox 360, and included the loader with it. It’s open-source and free for your use, no strings attached. I hope you find it helpful.
Note that it doesn’t have support for isometric tiles or embedded tilesets, because I had no use for either feature. Tiled’s file format is relatively simple, so if you need those features, it should be simple to add them.
And of course, this wouldn’t be possible without the generous contributions of the developers of Tiled, Adam Turk and Bjørn Lindeijer. If you’d like to try it out, you can download it from their website (note: requires Java).