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I'm making a bunch of 2D games (now and in the near future) that use a 2D, RPG-like interface. I would like to be able to quickly paint tiles down and drop character sprites to create concept art.

Sure, I could do it in GIMP or Photoshop. But that would require manually adding each tile, layering on more tiles, cutting and pasting particular character sprites, etc. and I really don't need that level of granularity; I need a quick and fast way to churn out concept art.

Is there a tool that I can use for this? Perhaps some sort of 2D tile editor which lets me draw sprites and tiles given that I can provide the graphics files.

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i've wrote a little "TileViewer" app in c# for those purposes, if you want i could send it to you ^^ – Ace Nov 14 '12 at 22:53
up vote 8 down vote accepted

Have you seen Tiled? I've used it for this very purpose myself a number of times.

From the website:

  • General purpose tile map editor with XML-based map format
  • Supports orthogonal and isometric maps
  • Custom objects can be placed with pixel precision
  • Full undo/redo and copy/paste support
  • Add custom properties to tiles, layers, objects or the map
  • Automatically reloads tilesets when changed externally
  • Resize or offset your tile map later as needed
  • Efficient tile editing tools like stamp and fill brushes
  • Supports input/output plugins to open and save files in custom formats

This program is a fantastic tool for laying out tile-based maps very quickly, with lots of flexibility. When finished, it can even render your map to an image file.

There's also Mappy. Though I have no real experience with this tool, it does appear to have similar features.

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+1 tiled looks good. I'll check it out in more detail tomorrow. – ashes999 Jul 5 '12 at 1:46

I have used Ogmo Editor for this purpose. It's similar to Tiled, but it's simpler hence it has less features.

I was very satisfied with it, but now the version 2 has been released and I haven't tried it yet. Here's a video tutorila for the older version.

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From the tutorials, it looks quite a bit harder to use. Thanks for mentioning it though. – ashes999 Jul 6 '12 at 13:08

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