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I am looking to start my first side scroller project using Cocos2D, but I am curious. What is the preferred/best method of creating you levels? For large levels I see hand making it very laborious, is there a more visual way of doing so, as punching in coordinates for everything at a guess seems wrong. Which is why Im here to learn from you guys.

So any help would be much appreciated, thanks.

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Personally for side scrolling games such as 2D platformers I like to mix a traditional tile map system with hand placed graphics and objects. Using editors such as Tiled and tIDE you can create levels very quickly. By adding a layer of hand placed graphics and objects over the tilemap you can make a map much more interesting and dynamic than you can just with a tilemap alone.

I use tIDE personally and really like it. However, I don't know how easy it would be to integrate with cocos2d since I've never explored its import/export functionality. Tiled is very mature and a quick Google search finds many tutorials to help get you started.

I have an in game editor to hand place objects that are not tiles. However, you could use either Tiled's or tIDE's objects layer and properties to align things for you.

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Thanks! Do you know what the size limit to a tile map is? Does it have to be a certain dimensions? Or could I go 'wild' within reason of course ;) – Josh Kahane Mar 10 '12 at 13:23
I've never worked with the iPhone so I'm not sure what it can handle. However, if your clever about loading only the needed parts into memory I'm sure you can make it very large. – ClassicThunder Mar 10 '12 at 21:16

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